You might have also done fasting or will be fasting in the future. So you are here! Things you should know about fasting before doing it and after also like what all things need to be taken care of. So the topics we will be covering here are: what to eat after a 24-hour fast, how to break a fast, and many other topics.
1. What Is Fasting?
In simple words, we say it is absenteeism of food for a day or more than a day (extended period).In some types of fast, you are allowed to drink water, coffee, tea, or even a small amount of food during that ‘fasting period.
2. What Is Intermittent Fasting?
It is a way of fasting in which you don’t intake food for a certain period, in a day only at a particular time. You can eat food and in that time you can take pretty much any quantity at a particular time. This type of fasting works for fat-burning and losing weight. Because when the body does not get food for a long period then sugar gets stored and begins burning fat.
There are various types of intermittent fasting. They are as follows:
- 5:2 strategy- It involves eating normally 5 days in a week while restricting yourself to 500 to 600 calories on two nonconsecutive days.
- 16:8 strategy- This involves fasting for 16 hours and for the rest of the 6 to 8 hours you can eat foods each day and when you are fasting you can drink water, milk, coffee, and tea. In this, there are two simple rules to it. Skip breakfast and no snacks.
- Alternate day fasting- This involves fasting every other day with days of not eating we can consume 500 calories in between and it is difficult for maintaining in the long term.
- 24 hours- From the word itself it suggests stop eating food for the entire day, monthly or weekly.
2.1 Benefits of Intermittent Fast
- Helps to improve immunity function
- Helps to improve insulin sensitivity and metabolic health
- Helps to promote weight loss
- Help to promote fat burning
- If you add exercise( like cardio etc.) cetera for even more weight loss
- Reduces the level of blood sugar
- Helps to reduce acne and inflammation
- Helps to improve sleep and mood which increases focus and energy
3. What Is Prolonged Fasting?
A prolonged fast refers to a long period, typically over 3 days without eating food. Only you can consume noncaloric beverages, water is only allowed. It is more powerful than intermittent fasting. In that, we can eat at least a meal and in this prolonged fast, we are not allowed to take a meal.
3.1 Benefits of Prolonged Fast
3.1.1 Improves Memory:
As we become older, our memory begins to deteriorate. Fasting for a long period can aid by stimulating the brain cell’s renewal and regeneration.
3.1.2 Reduce Inflammation:
Chronic inflammation harms the entire body while frequently causing disease and pain. Fasting for an extended period can reduce inflammatory markers.
During a prolonged fast one has the opportunity to take advantage of the body’s inherent cell recycling system. Fasting activates autophagy, which causes the body to clear the damaged cells and replace them with new ones, clean cells. It also provides anti-ageing effects and boosts the immune system etc.
Fasting activates the release of human growth which is responsible for burning fat, increasing metabolism, and helping to make you look young.
- Common benefits of prolonged and intermittent fasting
Reduce of inflammation
Normalises of insulin sensitivity
Helps in weight lose
Improves blood sugar level
3.2 Side Effects of Fasting Periods
As everything has some benefits as well as side effects, we have discussed the benefits of fasting. Let us now discuss its adverse effect.
This unpleasant adverse effect can be extremely tough and is the most prevalent adverse effect experienced by people nowadays, who are new to fasting especially those who enter with the consuming high carb. It could be due to the reduction in the insulin levels that stimulate the kidney to flush excess water.
The solutions are:
Take one tablespoon of psyllium in a minimum of one cup of water and stir it well and let it sit for 10 minutes before drinking first in the morning. Remember while taking psyllium husk it’s important to take a lot of fluid because the proper results of it.
3.2.2 Headache, Laziness, And Dizziness:
This can be due to a decrease in the level of sodium. When we start fasting, insulin levels significantly drop because insulin enhances water retention. This drop in insulin signals our kidneys to release extra water. Most people feel like they urinate quite a lot when they are fasting and this is a reason.
The solutions are
- To take a drink of bone broth
- A sip of pickle juice with no sugar in it
Some people’s digestive tract moves much lower than others. So eating frequently helps things stay moving. When you begin fasting, you do not consume anything to aid move the previous meal through and system you may feel discomfort after a few days.
The solutions are:
- Do more and more exercise
- Drink and a photo when you are thirsty especially
4. What to Eat after A Day’s Fast?
Let’s look at some of the best foods to consume after breaking a fast as these will be easy-to-digest foods and also will boost the health advantage during your eating window.
4.1 Begin With A Drink:
Try not to directly jump towards solid foods. Begin with something liquid. In liquid to start there are plenty of options like fruit juices, smoothies, bone broth, etc. but don’t overload your digestive system.
You can even try apple cider vinegar as it has a lot of health advantages; try diluted apple cider vinegar from one part of vinegar to 5 to 10 parts of water.
Another excellent option is to take soup as you can still load up on nutrient-dense foods while not overeating. Because after fasting, overeating is a common problem among people. So if you consume processed foods and high glycemic carbohydrates like cookies, jellies, pasta, etc, then there can be a rapid increase in the level of blood sugar. So liquid items are the best to consume after a fast.
4.3 Dried Fruits:
The next method is to reintroduce meals after intermittent and prolonged fasting. The fruits, whether fresh or dried, naturally increase energy without adding much sugar to many high-carb meals in the diet.
Begin with non-starchy vegetables, raw vegetables are good but you can also eat cooked veggies if you do not like uncooked vegetables. Tomatoes, avocado, leafy greens veggies, etc. are great, to begin with after a fast. And cooked broccoli is best.
4.5 Chia Seeds:
These seeds are rich in Magnesium, iron, copper, etc. They are consumed while you are breaking fast and provide various additional nutrients.
4.6 Lean Protein:
Once you are back to your diet after fasting and adding abundant protein then make sure to choose lean protein sources.
4.7 Healthy Fats:
And finally, after a proper diet don’t forget to get healthy fat, these include ghee butter, Grass-fed butter, coconut oil, etc.
5. Avoid Foods After A Day Fast
If there are best foods to eat after a fast then there are some foods also to avoid after a fast. These are are follows:
These are usually good if you are consuming them during your eating window or on a ketogenic diet. But right after a fast, they can make you feel bloated.
5.2 Junk Food:
Many things can come from junk food. So the simple rule is anything with high sugar foods, fat little dietary protein, vitamins, etc. should also not be consumed just after the fast. This may include things like sweets, fast food, ice cream, etc. Even some food seems healthy but contains high sugar levels which is not good.
5.3 Drinking too Much Water:
As discussed above, we should start with a drink but consuming too much water continuously just after the fast is also not good because it may cause problems like vomiting, etc.
5.4 Dairy Products:
As these are rich sources of protein and after breaking a fast, consuming protein directly is not suitable for health. In your regular diet, it is a very good source. Dairy products include milk, paneer, etc.
6. Best Foods to Break A Fast ( And The Worst Foods!! )
6.1 Bone Broth:
It is basically like a soup only and it is often used as a base in making soup. It is rich in protein, and collagen which is good for your health. As it does not contain calories so it helps to break your fast. It also supports digestion and is generally easy on the stomach. Prefer eating homemade organic bone broth. Because it is considered natural and excellent.
6.2 Avocados And Fruits:
If we talk about the world’s most excellent super fruit, the avocado. Exactly what your body needs after a fast is nutrients and healthy fats. Avocados are the best. Experts also say to go easy on fruits. As they are a great source of vitamin C, natural sugar, and many other nutrients, but just remember to eat slowly because the digestive tract has been hibernating.
6.3 Cauliflower And Broccoli:
As cooked veggies like broccoli and cauliflower are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B 5, iron, etc. it is easy to breakfast. Ensure you cook them before eating which makes them easy to digest.
6.4 Fermented Foods:
Such as yoghurt, good gut bacteria can be found in fermented yoghurt, kimchi, etc. This means that they consume the gut with beneficial bacteria and enzymes that aid in the process of digestion.
It is a rich source of protein compared to other animals. After a fast fish is a great option. In contrast to most other animal proteins, it is fairly easy to digest. Fish is also rich in other nutrients like vitamin D, and Omega 3 fatty acids besides protein.
7. How Can You Do 24 Hours Fast Safely?
As most individuals can do a 24-hour fast safely but it’s not suitable for all. If you are less than 18, pregnant, breastfeeding, or for any type of medical issue, then you should avoid fasting. Before beginning a fast, do your research and if necessary visit a medical professional.
Some key points or tips need to be kept in mind before proceeding fast. They are as follows:
7.1 Slight Start:
If you have never done a fast before then don’t go directly for 24 hours fast. Start by skipping one or the first meal of the day, once you are comfortable then proceed to intermittent fasting in which you are restricted to eating food for 8 to 12 hours a day. And then slowly your fasting period gets built up and you are ready to go for prolonged fasting.
7.2 Don’t Overstate Yourself:
Some people prefer not to eat anything during the fast. Fast involves eating food 500 to 600 calories during the day. This approach will help beginners who want to do the fast.
7.3 Drink up Or Hit The Bottle:
At the time of fast remember to keep your body hydrated because 20% of the water in our body gets from the food we eat. And at the time of fast, we might need to increase the intake of water as too much water is also not good for our body because it causes problems like hypotension.
So the best option is to listen to your body, it can tell you whether it needs water or not. Secondly, drinking tea and coffee reduces the level of hunger.
7.4 Break Your Fast Safely:
When you break your fast after 24 hours remember eating a heavy meal directly after the fast can cause bloating, gastric discomfort etc. So eat normally as you eat on the non-fasting days, go with that eating pattern.
8. Stay Motivated during 24 Hours Fast
Taking three meals a day by not taking a single meal is difficult to go with. Follow the strategies you can easily do.
8.1 Stay Busy:
Be active throughout the day because when you will be busy you will think less of food and all the day will pass on and the fast will also come to an end. Things to do to keep yourself in that period are watching series, movies, reading novels, doing yoga, and meditation.
8.2 When You Are Not Fasting Then Eat A Healthy Meal:
If you want to do fast without causing any problem related to the health issue or anything then take a healthy meal on the non-fasting days. Eating healthy food which is well-rounded and has a lot of nutrients, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron, etc. will keep the body in top shape and you will easily be able to do the fast for a longer time.
8.3 Take Light Snacks And Meals:
If you want to eat something then go for light snacks or meals during the time of the fast, nutrient-dense food, opt for low calories like fruits, nuts, veggies, etc. Fasting does not mean completely stopping yourself from eating food. Fruits, veggies or liquid can be taken in the fast which makes it easy to do and will give your mind and digestive system a break.
9. What Is Refeeding Syndrome?
It is a disturbance of electrolytes and fluids. It can occur due to an extended period of strict fasting, dieting, and then suddenly beginning to eat an ample amount of food.
When a person is on a diet or fasting for a long period, fasting for an extended period may cause malnutrition which leads to complications with refeeding. Usually, the refeeding syndrome has been seen within 4 to 8 days of fasting.
9.1 Symptoms of Refeeding Syndrome
The risk that occurs with refeeding syndrome is fatigue, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, rapid weight gain, vomiting, weakness, difficulty in breathing, swelling, muscle pain, etc. These symptoms are seen after 2 to 4 days of refeeding. 24 hours is too short a time as compared to 2 to 3 days fast. And 24 hours fast also puts your body in a depleted state, but that doesn’t mean you should not be aware of exercise and this syndrome.
There are a few ways to decrease the refeeding issues when you break a fast.
Focus on hydration during your fasting period.
You should prefer low-carb, high-fat meals rather than high-carb meals after you break your fast.
If you keep fast for more than 2 to 3 days keep it under medical supervision or a medical consultant, before you start fasting
9.2 Who Should Not Do It Fast?
Intermediate fasting or fasting for a short period is generally considered safe. However, talk to your medical practitioner before attempting any changes in your eating pattern or behaviour. People with medical problems like high blood pressure, women who are breastfeeding or pregnant, heart disease patients, and old aged people, should not do fast, and if they want to then go for proper medical supervision.
Now, here it’s time to conclude the topic of what to eat after a 24-hour fast. We have learned a lot of things like what fasting is, how we can do it safely, what things to eat after fasting, what things to avoid during the fasting period, etc. Now after 24 hours fast there is a need to break a fast and need a lot of things to avoid also during fasting.
As we have discussed already above, like when you break your fast, have a Mediterranean diet. Because this diet is rich in plant-based food like leafy green veggies, etc. Fruits and dried fruits, bone broth, Chia seeds, etc. And at the things that need to be avoided like carb-loaded meals, junk foods, too much drinking water continuously at the same time, etc.
Lastly, remember to listen to your body. After breaking a fast remember to start with the liquid and slowly intake over the main course. Stay hydrated throughout the day and drink little water after every hour or half an hour. Always have a consultant with a medical professional before you start fasting or dieting.
My name is Yogita Rathi, and I’m pursuing student at RNB Global University in Bikaner, Rajasthan. Additionally, I completed a digital marketing course and obtained certificates from Google Digital Garage and Great Learning Academy. I am enthusiastic regarding my work .