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Fasting Foods: What Can You Eat During a Fast?
Intermittent Fasting

Fasting Foods: What Can You Eat During a Fast?

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on November 6, 2022
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6 min

A fasted state means you cannot eat food, but is there anything you can consume outside the eating window? If this is something you’re curious about, we explain what food products are suitable for fasting, including foods to avoid.

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Fasting for long periods can be a challenging task.

It’s perfectly normal to feel hungry during a fast, especially if you’re only drinking water. Some people even experiment with black coffee and tea. While these beverages are suitable for fasting, not every food item can follow the same path. 

As you might already know, refraining from food consumption is supposed to aid the fat-burning process. But what if you get too hungry? Are there acceptable foods to eat when fasting? 

In this article, you’ll discover what foods to eat during time-restricted eating.

Fasting Foods: What Is Allowed and What to Avoid?

Intermittent fasting means you eat for a set number of hours and fast for the remaining time. During a fasting period, you can’t consume any food. The only way to achieve a fat-burning state is by avoiding calories and allowing the body to use fat for fuel sources.

Drinking plain water, black coffee, or unsweetened tea is the only exception for a fasting diet. Consuming food and calorie-dense beverages may disrupt weight loss progress in the long term. It’s better to refrain from calories to ensure your fasting periods are still effective.

Of course, hunger pangs are bound to happen for beginners of the intermittent fasting regimen. A growling stomach might tempt you to eat just a few low-calorie snacks. However, be aware that dirty fasting doesn’t offer the same health benefits as a normal, clean fast.

Stick to drinking zero-calorie beverages that don’t contain carbs or fats. The nutritional profile should almost be non-existent, as this is the best way to keep insulin levels settled. Triggering an insulin response will ruin the fasted state and stop you from losing enough weight.

What to Eat During Intermittent Fasting? Try These 5 Things

Eating is not allowed while fasting, as the whole point is to encourage ketosis. This is a metabolic switch that occurs when the body lacks calories and carbs. To maintain ketosis, avoid consuming calories during a fast and only eat healthy foods when it’s completed.

Below, you’ll find 5 things you can drink throughout your fast without breaking it:

#1 Coffee with MCT oil

Black, plain coffee is perfectly fine for an intermittent fasting diet. Not adding milk, sugars, or sweeteners ensures you’re still in the ketosis state. MCT oil is a key ingredient that reduces hunger and improves the gut – two excellent benefits you’ll gain from consuming it every day. 

Drinking coffee with MCT oil can also help reduce your body weight. While triglycerides don’t burn body fat directly, they will maintain ketosis and give you enough energy to exercise. The more exercise you get, the more calories you’ll burn during intermittent fasting.

#2 Unsweetened tea

Just like brewed coffee, drinking tea with no additives can help you lose weight. This is because it contains almost no calories, which doesn’t increase blood sugar levels. Aim to consume plain tea throughout the fasting window, and do not add sweeteners or low-calorie milk.

Some people may opt for herbal teas to support a healthy lifestyle. Just be aware that store-bought teas often contain hidden ingredients, like carbs and sugars. Instead, make your own herbal beverages using fresh ginger root, green tea, hibiscus, or black tea extracts.

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#3 Diluted apple cider vinegar

Research suggests that apple cider vinegar curbs your appetite and keeps insulin levels at bay. Not feeling hungry as often means you won’t reach for unhealthy snacks. It’s also believed that ACV increases certain genes that work to reduce belly fat and hidden fat around your organs.

There are other benefits of consuming ACV on a healthy diet. These comprise better gut health, lower blood glucose content, stronger heart functions, and clear skin. Drinking diluted apple vinegar will not break an extended fast or stop you from losing stubborn weight.

Aim to mix 1–2 tablespoons of ACV with some water and have that once or twice a day. It might be better to drink it at the beginning of your fast to curb sugar cravings.

#4 Bone broth

Depending on the type of fast, bone broth won’t kick you out of the fasted state. It contains minimal calories and carbs, making it great for people who need something nutritious during the fasting window. 

Just be aware that making too much bone broth could break a fast. This is because most of the ingredients hold lean protein, which increases insulin levels when consumed in high amounts. Always monitor how much bone broth you’re eating when practicing intermittent fasting. 

There is scientific evidence that suggests bone broth supports weight loss. The high protein content will naturally feed your muscles and promote satiety. Reduced hunger cravings mean you won’t feel tempted to eat junk food, especially when building a balanced diet.

#5 Bulletproof coffee

Bulletproof coffee is a morning beverage that is made using high-quality coffee beans, unsalted grass-fed butter, and MCT oil. Since this drink contains more calories than the others on this fasting-friendly list, it’s very likely it will break your fast but won’t cause weight gain.

This coffee is a growing dietary trend that aims to prevent hunger and boost energy levels through intermittent fasting. The healthy fats give your body more fuel when it’s burning fat. However, certain people recommend bulletproof coffee as a breakfast replacement.

It’s never good to skip breakfast on a fasting eating pattern. You should always consume nutrient-dense foods outside your fast, as this will keep the metabolism functioning properly.

What Foods to Avoid While Fasting?

You should stay away from calorie-dense foods that are high in sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. Even low-calorie carbs or minimally processed foods can break a fast. Instead, stick to plain water or coffee, as this ensures your body is only burning fat sources.

Intermittent fasting foods have guidelines that you may or may not follow. For example, food that is under 50 calories is acceptable for dirty fasting. However, not everyone wants to follow this eating regime, so it’s all down to your dietary preferences and specific fat loss goals. 

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During your eating window, certain foods have different rules. Always consume healthy fats, whole grains, lean proteins, and cruciferous veggies in every balanced meal. The body needs healthier eating habits to burn visceral fat and keep you energized throughout the day.

Limit foods like sugary cereals, fresh juices, highly sweetened coffee, and carb-dense products. The food you eat is just as important as intermittent fasting. If you keep that in mind, you’ll start to see noticeable results in no time at all.

Can I Eat Fruit During Intermittent Fasting?

Eating healthy fruits and vegetables might sound great while fasting. Even though they’re good for the body, they will easily break a fast. Only consume these types of foods during an eating window, as they’ll give you enough energy to function.

Fruit and cruciferous vegetables can prevent a lot of health problems. However, since they still contain calories, they won’t be suitable for your intermittent fast. Instead, aim to consume fruit and veggies outside of the fast, especially when undertaking calorie restriction.

One thing to note is that certain fruits contain more sugars. For example, dried fruit usually has more sugar, which could slow down weight loss results. Mangos and dates are other high-sugar fruits that might disrupt your digestive system and blood sugar levels.

Can You Eat Eggs While Fasting?

Even though eggs are perfectly healthy, they will break your fast. Aim to eat this food outside the fasting period and pair it with other good fats. The best foods will contain fiber, protein, and vitamins, which are great for strengthening gut and heart health.

Eggs are the perfect example of a highly nutritious food, as they contain important minerals. They should always be a part of your daily meal plan while doing intermittent fasting. Of course, you can’t eat eggs during an extended fast, but you can have them as part of a varied diet.

Some people follow the egg fast when consuming more protein. However, an egg fast has risks, so it’s not worth attempting this fasting method. Always eat other foods alongside eggs, like whole grains, fermented foods, green beans, leafy greens, and even Brussels sprouts.

A Word From a Nutritionist

Intermittent fasting is different for everyone, so don’t feel too alarmed when you hear about the 50-calorie rule. Consuming minimal calories won’t ruin your fat loss results in the future. It’s just a matter of watching what you eat, especially when fasting for long periods.

You should learn about fasting types to understand which is best for your goals. For example, beginners might try the 12-hour fast and only eat foods under 10 calories. Practicing intermittent fasting is the best way to determine your eating pattern and lifestyle habits.

If you have any health conditions, always consult with your doctor before fasting. A medical professional can offer more advice about dietary recommendations. They may also refer you to someone who will create a detailed meal plan.

Conclusion 

Aim to consume plain water, black coffee, or unsweetened tea during a fast. Other foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can be enjoyed outside of the fasting period. Calories are the number one thing that breaks your fast and slows down the fat-burning state.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
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 by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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