Breaking the fast
It’s a widely known fact that abstaining from food during intermittent fasting is accompanied by many positive effects, such as weight reduction and improved health and skin. This raises the question: How do I end my fasting phase in an ideal manner, and equally, what is the best way to kick off the eating window?
This article is all about how you can ideally break your fasting phase, what you should take into consideration. We’ll give you tips and tricks on how to get the most out of both phases.
Let us start with what happens in your body at the end of the fasting period:
What is happening in my body after a fasting period?
After about 12 to 14 hours without food, your body starts to tap into its reserves for energy. Your insulin levels drop with every hour of fasting, as less and less energy is being produced from your existing glucose levels.
Therefore, when you start your fasting window, the first thing your body begins to tap into is energy from previously consumed food. After that, your body uses up the glucose that has been stored in the body. It is only at this point that the fatty tissues start to get burned off, in order to once again provide sufficient energy. Because you don't continue eating during this period, the body can easily draw on these stores as your insulin levels are being kept low. The result: enough energy and body fat reduction!
And not only that - energy production through fatty acids is much more efficient than that of glucose. Researchers found that the brain is working more effectively in subjects during the state of ketosis. In particular, this shows by increased concentration and improved memory.
What does 'breaking your fast' mean?
Our body performs extraordinary things during the fasting phase. The digestive pause allows your body to purify itself as well as repair its cells through autophagy.
The greater the anticipation for the first meal of the day. Our sense of taste and smell has intensified, and the first meal takes on a special meaning. Time to supply your body with new energy!
When a fasting window ends, your body has to get used to normal food again. This means, of course, that you should not start with a greasy burger or a generous helping of pasta, as this would overtax your digestion and can lead to stomach cramps and nausea.
It is more effective to start with a small snack like nuts or a portion of vegetables - a starter, if you like. This little appetizer activates the digestive organs and facilitates the metabolising of the food. After that, make sure you eat as balanced and wholesome as possible. Vegetables, proteins and wholemeal products are good choices here! You will find numerous suggestions for healthy meals to break the fast in the recipe section of the Fastic App.
With the first meal of the day you "break" the fast. Your body ends the
repairs to its cells and stops producing energy from fat. Next to fasting, your diet plays a major and decisive role in your success.
A little tip: It is most effective to exercise towards the end of your fasting phase.
Intermittent fasting makes you think twice about food and your attitude towards it. It is important and desirable that you maintain positive eating patterns during and after breaking the fast.
Try to make sure that your first meal after the fasting window is as balanced as possible. You don’t fancy making a small salad to break your fast? No problem, have some nuts instead. Carrots or cucumbers are also great snacks. Another good idea is a green smoothie. Any of these will prepare your body for the eating phase. If possible, avoid foods with high sugar content.
Fastic Fun Fact: A handful of blueberries not only breaks your fast in an ideal way, it holds the additional benefit of antioxidants. Almonds and pumpkin seeds equally make great snacks for the first meal, containing 20 to 25 grams of protein per 100 grams.
After breaking the fast - Your meal plan
First meal: vegetables or low-fat proteins
Vegetables clearly are a priority here. You can ideally break your fast by snacking on raw vegetable sticks, simply by cutting up a carrot or a cucumber. Try and make it as balanced as possible.
To add a little variety to your everyday life, you can also choose low-fat, high-protein foods. These are here for example...
Second meal: balanced but high-protein meal
Take special care not to eat food that is too fat or carbohydrate-heavy. This will cause your insulin levels to skyrocket. There is no need to limit yourself to vegetables though. A tasty salad with tuna, tofu or a few cubes of feta cheese are ideal.
Snack time: nuts or fruit
You can have a few snacks between meals. Nuts are best suited (as always and if tolerated), but fruit is now also allowed. The recommended 2-3 portions of fruit per day is a good guideline here. The right time for this is now!
Last meal of the day: save the best for last and have your favourite dish
Make no mistake, unsaturated fatty acids are best for this meal. They can be found in large quantities in salmon or avocadoes, for example. But carbohydrates are now also allowed! Your stomach has already become accustomed to eating again. Now it's time to treat yourself to your favourite dish of the day! Fasting does not only mean abstinence, but also pleasure, because balance is key!
Your Fastic summary:
The right food at the right time provides our body with nutrients and gives you valuable energy for the day.
Below, we have summarized the most important tips for you:
Be sure to break your fast with an "appetizer". Particularly suitable for this are e.g:
Fruit, especially apples and blueberries
Try to eat protein-rich foods and wholemeal varieties more often, e.g. your favourite pasta. Avoid eating too much solid food when you break the fast.
Try to be more aware of the joy that food brings and give your body the chance to make optimal use of the nourishment in your food.
Nothing will stand in the way of your success if you follow these tips!