Today, I am going to talk about breaking a fast.
What I eat to break a fast
When I first started doing longer fasts, breaking the fast was a big concern to me. What would I eat? I read a lot that you had to be gentle on your stomach when breaking a long fast, and I think that is true.
Firstly, when I am not fasting, I always eat a low-carb ketogenic diet. I eat a lot of fat, a moderate amount of protein, and very few carbs at all. About the only carbs that I eat come from vegetables.
I started out breaking a long fast with some soup, broth or something of that nature. Maybe later I would eat a boiled egg or some nuts. Just small amounts of food that would not upset my stomach.
I did this for a while. However, as I have become more of a frequent, and long-term faster, I think my body has become accustomed to breaking the fast. Now, I pretty much eat whatever I want (ketogenic food) when I break a fast, and as much as I want. I never experience stomach problems from breaking a fast. You should be careful, maybe you should keep breaking the fast in a light way, but I don’t find that to be a need of mine. We are all different, though.
Since I usually eat only 1 to 3 meals per week, when I break my fast now, I almost always eat 3 fried eggs covered in cheese (cooked in coconut oil). I love this meal for breaking my fast. It is filling, tastes good, and I enjoy it.
If I am going to eat more than the one meal, I will almost always also have a green salad. Generally, my salads consist of several types of lettuce, tomatoes, bok choy, some other vegetables that are available here in the Philippines where I live, and that kind of thing. I also almost always put some meat in my salad. My go-to meat for that is grilled chicken, but sometimes I put other types of meats, just whatever I feel like and what is available in the house. I use a homemade salad dressing that is kind of like Wishbone Italian Dressing. Heavy on the oil (olive oil), and with some dijon mustard in it. I have gotten where I love salads, and sometimes I even forego the eggs and break my fast with a salad. Additionally, I use either a low carb tortilla or a “wrap” made with scrambled eggs with my salad. It is very filling and enjoyable.
After I eat my evening meal after fasting, I also have a “keto mug cake” for dessert. I enjoy that, and it fits into my macros. Makes for a satisfying “feasting time” and prepares me for another 6 days.
What if I can’t make it?
Hey, we all go through times when we plan to fast 5 days, 8 days, 10 days or whatever, but after a couple of days we just can’t-do it. Happens to me. Nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. If you plan to fast for 6 days and break it after 2 days, that is not a failure! That is a successful 2 day fast! It will help you make progress even if it is shorter than you hoped for. You should, however, feel no shame for needing to stop early!
If you are feeling that you can’t make it for your planned time, my suggestion is to consume something small and see if that will help you keep your fast going. Things I have consumed to continue my fast:
- Bulletproof Coffee
- A boiled Egg
- Some bone broth or soup
These things generally generate little insulin response, and if they extend your fast, great! If you still feel you must break the fast, do it! Again, there is no shame in taking in something small to extend your fast, or need to break the fast altogether.
Next article, I will talk about how to tell if you are in ketosis.
Read the entire series!
How to get started with Fasting: Part 1
How to get started with fasting: Part 2
Connie Blake Thingstad
good article. i can eat whatever I want after a fast as well. I think I have an iron stomach though as nothing bothers me.
Thank you, Connie! Ha ha.. sometimes having an iron stomach is a good thing! 🙂
Connie Blake Thingstad
I”m certainly not complaining!
I just completed a 77 hour fast successfully last night. I broke my fast with two eggs and a small piece of ham along with about 1 cup of cooked veg. I was so sick and was sick all through church still feel bad. I do need to say I don’t feel very good everytime I eat though, as my intestines and stomach are partially paralyzed. It loves the breaks that it gets. Thanks so much for your informative and heartfelt articles! I’m getting a lot out of them, thanks!
Hi Bonnie, I’m glad to hear that you’re getting some good information from our articles that means a lot to me. I’m sorry that you’re not feeling well after eating, perhaps you should try to break your fast with some soup and then perhaps some knots before you eat a larger portion. I wish you the very best and hope everything works out for you.
Sick how, Bonnie? Nauseated? The “runs?”
Inquiring minds, etc etc.
I felt hot and cold, sick to my stomach really bad couldn’t sleep and my pulse was really fast for about 6 hours. I don’t digest food normally so I don’t have normal reactions?
Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve been experimenting with EX, once I hit 33 hrs. I get this feeling of anxiety? I don’t feel hungry, have great energy. Does this happen to you? Secondly, this is TMI and I’m sorry. I’ve had issues with constipation all my life, each time I break an EX, the opposite happens. I have to stick around the house. This is welcomed and surprising. Is this normal or just a period of adjustment?
Hi, Tatiana, thank you for reading my article and for commenting. It’s not that often that I need to use an egg or two to make it through the fast, but it does happen from time to time. For example, last night I was having a very bad headache and I ate 2 eggs, the headache went away.
Don’t worry about the TMI, questions about bowel movements are probably the most frequent that I get! I used to have terrible problems with diarrhea while fasting, but now I have constipation instead. It is a real dilemma. I don’t know really what to do about it.
Good luck to you.
I would like do some extended fasts but I just can’t seem to break through the hunger barrier after 24-36 hours. I can do a 23:1 regimen pretty easily but going to bed without eating always dooms me. Is it just a mind thing? Something I just have to tough through?
The worse days of hunger, for me, are days 2 and 3. I find it to be a mental thing, though. Everybody else’s experience may vary, though. Good luck, Don.
Bob Martin thanks. I was, however, hoping for a magic bullet though.😋
Ha ha.. we all always are looking for that magic pill, my friend! 🙂
I had such a hard time with fasting for 24 hours. But after doing Intermittent Fasting for a while I was able to do a fast for about 26 hours. So I keep on with my ‘no breakfast plan’ and eating low-carb/keto meals when I do eat. I think I will be able to fast longer in time.
That’s great, Nissa! Congratulations on being able to extend your fast. The more you fast, the easier it will get! Dr. Fung often says that by doing more fasting we are “exercising our fasting muscle.” Although I don’t think that there is such a thing as a fasting muscle, I believe his statement is true, nonetheless!