Congratulations! You have successfully completed your fast and boosted your ketosis process even further. Alternatively, you are planning to start fasting while on keto. But how do you start eating after a fast without disrupting the ketogenic diet?
How to break a fast on keto? You cannot get back to your regular keto diet straight after you break the fast. Start with light foods, preferably liquids, keep your carb intake to a minimum, and consume high-fat foods to stay in ketosis. Also, you must strictly avoid processed foods as they are difficult for your body enzymes to break.
All in all, breaking a fast on keto is not challenging. Still, you need to be mindful about your nutrient intake, so you do not ruin your efforts of staying in ketosis. That being said, fasting has countless benefits for the ketogenic lifestyle and overall healthy well-being.
Do you want to learn all about the foods you must eat (and avoid) to break a fast on keto? Read on for a list of the best keto break-fast options, along with tips to ensure a successful method.
Your Saved Hours
Fundamental guidelines on how to break a fast on keto
Owing to its remarkable benefits, you decided to take up fasting on keto. However, you can lose all of them or, worst, harm your body if you do not break the fast the right way. Here are some basic practices that you need to follow while breaking fast on keto.
Minimize carb intake
If you think you can eat those high-carb foods because you were fasting, know that it is a bad idea. You want your body to stay as deep into ketosis as possible. Plus, fasting on keto significantly increases your insulin sensitivity, so you must not be high in glucose (carbohydrates).
Stick to small meals (do not overeat)
Irrespective of the type of fasting window you are following, you GOT TO stick to small meals. Large meals require your digestive enzymes to work significantly hard, and fasting for a prolonged period reduces these enzymes. If you eat a big portion soon after breaking your fast, you may have gastrointestinal issues like nausea, bloating, diarrhea, etc.
Keep the supplements going on
Consuming small meals after breaking a fast will not help you receive all the vital nutrients required by your body. Therefore, you must continue drinking supplements like electrolytes for energy and essential vitamins and minerals.
Consume more liquids
After a prolonged period of fasting, your digestive system will take time to adapt to hard (to digest) foods. Therefore, apart from taking small meals, try to opt for liquids like soups, freshly-squeezed juices, etc. These are easy to digest, will suffice your nutrient requirement, and also help you feel fuller.
Say yes to whole foods
When prepping for the break-fast meal, choose whole foods that are high in healthy fats and low in carbs. You will need fats to refill the fat-store of your body. At the same time, you must not eat whole foods like nuts, lean meat, seeds, etc., that are difficult to digest.
Avoid processed foods
You need to say a big NO to processed foods that are high in sugar alcohols, trans fat, etc. They can have adverse effects on your body and ruin all your efforts of fasting and keto. Therefore, keep items like candies, cookies, sauces, and all other human-made (processed) foods at bay.
Keep your body hydrated
Even if you have been on water fast, you need to keep your body hydrated after breaking the fast. It aids your digestive system to break down food more quickly and adapt to whole foods after a long fasting period.
If you were on a religious fast (no water for 12-24 hours), you need to drink up plenty of water. Also, consume foods with high liquid content for hydration.
What happens when you fast on keto?
You may have opted to fast due to various reasons like weight loss, religion, healthy, or spirituality, among others. When you avoid food for a set number of hours, your body completely uses up the glycogen store. As a result, it relies on your body's fats for energy, making your body enter ketosis.
So, what happens to your body if you fast on keto? If your body is already in a state of ketosis, fasting will only drive it further. That means a higher rate of ketone formation, rapid use of body fats, and, resultantly, a higher degree of weight loss. In a nutshell, you can call it Speed keto.
That being said, you still need to ensure not to increase your carb intake from the fasting meals. Plus, you must not sacrifice your macronutrients, i.e., protein and fat. If you eat excessive fats, it will get stored, and the whole point of weight loss will be worthless. Therefore, fasting on keto can be a tricky practice!
You must remember that fasting on keto is not merely for weight loss. It has multiple other advantages, along with a few downsides. Get ready to walk through the different types of fasting and how it can impact ketosis.
Types of fasting on keto
You can choose one of the multiple fasting types, or essentially, fasting windows. These differ in terms of the number of hours you stay without eating.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is all about restricting yourself from eating for a set number of hours and eating normally otherwise. Most commonly, individuals prefer an 18:6 window wherein they fast for 18 hours and eat anything in the 6-hour gap.
One meal a day
This type of fasting includes eating only one meal per day. One of the worst aspects of this fast is that most individuals may not be able to maintain it for long. Additionally, consuming all the essential nutrients in one meal is practically impossible or significantly unhealthy.
Worst case scenario, you may end up being nutrient-deficient or obese due to overeating. Not to mention, your energy levels can get low, and your body might exit ketosis if you do not consume enough fats.
24-hour or alternate-day fasting refers to fasting for a whole day and eating only the next day. However, this is relatively difficult to follow as you will have to survive only on water for the rest of the day.
Over 24 hours
Fasting for over a day may include 2-day, 3-day, or longer fasts. This means you will eat only once every two days, three days, or more. However, these are extreme fasts that you must only practice after consulting a doctor.
Fasting on keto requires you to be extra-thoughtful about the nutrient content of the little food you eat. However, keeping the downsides aside, fasting has a host of benefits. Moreover, when you practice keto with fasting, the benefits are surprisingly wide-ranging.
Benefits of fasting on keto (and downsides)
Though your body may find it challenging to adapt to the new routine of fasting, it has countless benefits in the longer run. Some of the prime advantages are reduced appetite and craving for snacks, and weight loss. Dive into the extensive list of incredible benefits of fasting on keto.
The prime benefit of fasting is a hype in the ketone levels of your body. When you do not eat for prolonged hours, your carb intake will further go down, making your body use up the stored fat.
According to a study, long-term fasting also proves to increase the transport of ketones in the bloodstream significantly.
Healthier blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity
The keto diet is known to help type 2 diabetic patients control blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. Fasting, too, has proven to have the same effects of increased insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.
That is not all. Research shows that the coactive use of fasting and the ketogenic diet is helpful for type 2 diabetics. Following this technique can eliminate the need for medications, aiding in glycemic control and insulin resistance.
As a result of calorie reduction due to fasting, your body cells rejuvenate themselves. That is, they recover the damaged parts and remove the toxins, a process known as autophagy.
If that was not a reason enough to fall in love with this activity, know that autophagy has more benefits. It helps reduce the risk of some cancers.
Improved mental health
Mental health is as vital (actually more) as physical health, and this concept has finally gained the spotlight it always deserved. Nevertheless, you will be delighted to learn that keto and fasting both aid to your mental health.
Are you a workout enthusiast? Why not combine it with fasting and experience the incredible results!
Potential downsides of fasting on keto
- Leads to a lack of macronutrients, causing a nutrient deficiency.
- Is not usually sustainable or suitable for everyone.
- OMAD also increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and increased bad cholesterol.
Fast-friendly keto drinks
Especially during long-term fasts, you may find it challenging to sustain with just water. Well, you don't really have to! You can actually consume calorie-free drinks even while fasting. Make sure they do not contain added sweeteners or preservatives.
- Water: Springwater, carbonated water, mineral water.
- Coffee: Black coffee without sugar
- Tea: Green, black, oolong, herbal tea without sugar
- Apple cider vinegar with water
What to avoid while fasting?
While there is a short list of items that you can consume while fasting, things to avoid are rather too many. You need to dodge all types of foods and beverages that contain even negligible amounts of calories. Here is a list of items that you may unintentionally consume but must strictly avoid while fasting.
- Supplements: While you need a few supplements to ensure the nutrient content, others can break your fast. These include gummy vitamins, protein powder, BCCAs, others containing sugars and calories.
- Fruits and vegetable juices (packaged or freshly-squeezed).
- Fructose, corn syrup, and any other type of sugar.
- Artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors
- Added preservatives and chemicals.
- Sugar alcohols
What to eat after breaking fast on keto?
Are you dreaming about what all you can eat after successfully completing your fast? Well, though you can eat all the keto-friendly foods when not fasting, this lists significantly decreases for the first few days. You need to be a tad bit cautious about what you eat after you break your fast.
- Bone broth
- Keto-friendly soups
- Leafy green vegetables cooked in healthy oil
- A small portion of tuna/salmon cooked in healthy oils (after a few hours)
Have you already accustomed your body to fasting on keto? If yes, be proud of your decision, and if not yet, do not get intimidated. A few days into fasting and your body will be thriving. It will get habitual to the low-calorie intake, cell regeneration, and weight loss.
That being said, the wiser option is to start with small fasting windows. If your body likes it, you can increase the window or continue on the same track. Never force yourself into long-period fasting from day one as it may have severe effects on your health.
Apart from that, be mindful about what you eat when you break your fast. Once you have successfully fasted, try to eat smaller meals with low carbs that are easy to digest. You do not want to give your tummy a hard time or ruin your fasting and keto efforts, do you?
Follow these guidelines on how to break a fast on keto and witness the wonderful results in your physical and mental well-being!
You need to fuel your body with nutrients for the long fast but also stay within the keto limit at the same time. Opt for leafy greens like kale that will also increase your body’s liquid content. Next, you must eat foods high in protein and fat like eggs, healthy oils like avocado, salmon, chia seeds, nuts, etc.
When you break your fast while on keto, you must opt for easy-to-digest, keto-friendly foods. Also, you got to keep the carb-content low and stay away from processed foods.
The ideal options to break your fast on keto are chicken broth, avocados, and cooked leafy greens. You can consume other high-fat whole foods like chicken and fish after a few hours.
Yes, fasting is highly-beneficial for keto. Fasting causes your body to use up the minimum carb content and enter the process of ketosis more rapidly than on standard keto. If you are already following a keto diet, fasting will drive your body deeper into ketosis and aid in quick weight loss.
Fasting for short periods is a relatively better option to quickly enter keto, although long-term fasting has higher health benefits. Nevertheless, the best fasting method for keto is a long fast initially followed by shorter fasting windows.