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Intermittent Fasting
8 Best Foods, Drinks, and Supplements to Break a Fast
Intermittent Fasting

8 Best Foods, Drinks, and Supplements to Break a Fast

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 August 17
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7 min

There are many reasons why people would start a fasting protocol, but many struggles with hunger pangs. The obvious choice that comes to mind when you feel hungry while fasting is to eat, which violates the basic rule of fasting.

best food to break a fast

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We have a few ideas you can use to feel less hungry and to keep on fasting comfortably. No matter your reason for fasting, you need to be determined to stick with it until your fasting window is over. Here’s how to fast without hunger and reach your goal for a healthier life.

In the beginning, you may feel desperate to complete the hours of fasting you’ve planned and may be visualizing the reward with food all that time.

But, doing a fast and then rewarding yourself with one of your favorite desserts soon after might not be the best idea because the body needs healthy nutrients to fulfill its basic functions. If you eat the right foods, you will promote your metabolism so you can burn fat efficiently and lose weight.

So what are the best foods, drinks, and supplements to break a fast? Let’s take a look.

8 Best Foods, Drinks, and Supplements to Break a Fast

Fasting has tricky rules, unlike anything you’ve heard before about other types of diets.

It may sound convenient to eat low-calorie foods and high-fiber vegetables during fasting hours, but even these healthy choices can break a fast. The reason for this is that even though they are healthy, they contain calories.

To get the benefits of abstaining from eating for several hours, it is crucial that during that time, you have access to the best foods that have fewer calories as possible to break a fast without any bad consequences.

Choose some of these options to break the fast and reactivate your digestive system in a gentle and progressive way:

1. Bone broth

Bone broth has many health benefits due to its mineral and protein content, as long as it is the homemade version. Avoid prepackaged broths or restaurant options that include too many unnecessary and poor-quality ingredients.

This elixir of nutrients is among the first places of the best foods to break the fast because it favors rehydration and helps you feel satiated. Approximately 500ml of a good homemade bone broth with spices and carbohydrates such as potatoes provides 147 calories.

2. Fish

Fish is an excellent dietary option because it provides protein and healthy fats at the same time, especially when you choose fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, or mackerel. Fatty fish such as salmon contains 19.9g of protein and 6.3g of fat, of which only 0.9g corresponds to saturated fat.

However, it is better to choose white meat fish for your first post-fasting meal because it is easier to digest. You can cook them in coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil as these fats are easier to digest.

Always choose fresh cuts of fish and if you choose canned fish, check that it says low sodium on the label and prefer options that come in water or olive oil. When it comes to breaking the fast, always opt for natural and healthy foods to promote good digestion.

3. Fermented foods

There is nothing better than preparing your digestive system with easily digestible foods and stocking it with friendly bacteria, better known as probiotics. These bacteria are found in fermented foods like yogurt and kefir, which are also rich in protein. 

According to the NutritionData platform, both contain between 100 and 170 calories depending on the type of milk used in their preparation (low-fat milk, whole milk, etc.).

Other options such as fermented vegetables like sauerkraut with only 5 calories per ounce are also rich in probiotics and promote the production of digestive enzymes that decrease during fasting. 

Unlike cruciferous vegetables, fermented vegetables are pre-digested and do not cause intestinal discomfort. You can eat these vegetables along with a small egg and avocado salad as a starter before your main course.

4. Eggs

Eggs cannot be skipped as one of the best options to break your fast due to their high protein content. Their ease of preparation with multiple gastronomic options makes them a great option in intermittent fasting.

A single large egg contains 71.9 calories, 6.2g of protein, and is rich in healthy fats in its yolk. It also contains calcium, phosphorus, selenium, iron, and B complex vitamins. Add them to your bone broth to break the fast with a meal rich in protein and healthy fats.

5. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are loaded with nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids in a small amount; that’s why you constantly find them on the superfoods list, which means they have many health properties.

They are high in calories – only two tablespoons (approximately 30g) of these seeds provide 138 calories. They contain 9.75 grams of fiber and a long list of minerals and vitamins.

If your first post-fasting meal is breakfast, you can make a chia pudding by adding two tablespoons to a small amount of almond milk or sprinkling them on top of your cooked vegetables. Once the chia enters the stomach, it will form a thick gel that will keep you satiated and guard the walls of your stomach, preventing any discomfort.

6. Protein powder

Protein powder is a supplement that contains protein and calories. Its carbohydrate and fat content is low and varies depending on the brand. 

One scoop of this supplement can contain between 100 to 140 calories, so it will break a fast. Choose a whey protein that is isolated or hydrolyzed, as this guarantees its purity, does not contain lactose, and is easier to absorb.

You can consume it as part of your main meals to benefit from its protein content and avoid losing muscle mass.

If you want to learn more about protein, check out these two articles:
Does Protein Make You Gain Weight
When to Drink Protein Shakes for Weight Loss

7. Watermelon

Watermelon is one of the easiest fruits to digest and it is perfect for weight loss because it is nutrient-rich and low in calories due to its high water content; taking a bite of this juicy fruit feels more like a refreshing drink. 

It is a fruit loaded with nutrients such as potassium and calcium that support a strong and resistant bone structure. Its anti-inflammatory ability makes it an excellent combination with fasting to help the body eliminate free radicals to fight aging.

8. Dried fruits

One of the best options when it comes to taking care of the digestive system is dried fruits such as raisins, figs, dates, and apricots due to their great capacity to fight constipation.

Facilitating bowel movement is essential to ensure the detoxification of the body. Dried fruits also retain most of their nutrients, such as iron, calcium, and beta carotene.

Dried fruits contain fiber and natural sugars, and you can combine them with a salad to accompany your favorite protein option. Half a dried apricot contains 8.4 calories, 0.2g of fiber, and only 1.8g of sugar. Consume dried fruits in moderation to prevent exceeding the number of sugars in your diet.

FAQs

What foods are best to be avoided while breaking a fast?

Avoid eating all foods that are difficult to digest, such as dairy products, ultra-processed products, foods high in sugar, junk food, and raw cruciferous vegetables, because they can cause constipation. 

What foods won’t break a fast? 

During the hours of abstinence from food, choose very-low-calorie options that do not raise blood sugar:

Water 
Carbonated water
Black coffee without sugar
Unsweetened herbal tea

How many calories will break a fast? 

Any amount of calories will break the fast since this type of diet seeks to avoid the consumption of calories to promote autophagy for losing body weight; otherwise, it is called dirty fasting. 

A Word From Our RD

Fasting has many variations, from a very “clean” abstinence period where the user consumes only water to some who are encouraged to put a small splash of skim milk or drink only the liquid part of bone broth to stay below 50 calories.

For beginners, it is advisable to do a transition period to avoid any physical discomfort; in this case, they can consume up to 25% of their caloric requirement, which is known as the modified alternate fasting diet method.

People who combine intermittent fasting with the keto diet usually allow themselves the indulgence of a coffee with healthy fat sources such as butter, coconut oil, or MCT oil.

Although these are caloric options, these fats promote ketosis and do not stimulate insulin production, which maintains an ideal metabolic state for fat burning.

Conclusion

The best options to break the fast are easy-to-digest foods that are loaded with nutrients.

It is recommended to start with low-calorie foods to avoid digestive discomfort and then make a meal to restore nutrient balance by prioritizing protein fats.

Eating fish with cooked vegetables is a good option for your first meal post-fasting, as you will be providing high-quality macronutrients (fat and protein). Cruciferous vegetables should be avoided in the first meal because they are difficult to digest and may cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

Drinking apple cider vinegar diluted in water breaks the fast in a gentle way and prepares your digestive system for better absorption of these nutrients.

Options such as tea and black coffee will always be your best allies either for the hours of abstinence or to break the fast, as they are very low in calories and give you energy without raising your blood sugar.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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