The Lamen

Intermittent fasting: How to break your fast the right way

A bar graph for the breast cancer rates among women of different ethnicities.

Knowing how to break your fast can significantly help your physical and mental performance, while keeping you motivated to skip your breakfast.

Photo: Bing AI

Published on Oct 18, 2023

Fasting for upwards of 12 hours every day can require meticulous attention to nutrition, especially when a single candy can break your fast. Even though the idea of intermittent fasting is pretty simple, the mental barrier isn’t.

Giving up 3 meals a day spread over 12 to 14 hours doesn’t come easy. An initial period of irritability causes people to give up midway, without ever reaping all the benefits of time-restricted eating.

  • Palatable foods tempt the brain, evoking a sudden urge to eat that quickly grows from an innocent bite to a plateful. Brain systems consistently generate the urge to overeat — especially in under stress or other overpowering emotions. Fasting intends to override such emotions.
  • At its core, fasting requires you to refrain from eating anything for a certain time period. Spirituals suggest that this gives you emotional clarity and rests your otherwise always-going digestive system.
  • Intermittent fasting makes this practice slightly easier: allowing for some flexibility.

Need to know: Most experts fall on the same number — anything over 200 calories, or around 50 grams of carbs, can throw your body out of the “fasting state.

Some things you can have while fasting include:

  • carbonated water or zero-calorie drinks
  • bone broth
  • coffee or tea
  • some healthy fats (like ghee or MCTs)

As you break your fast, it’s best to begin with a more easily digestible meal that doesn’t overwhelm your gut. You should look to consume most of your calories at the end of your eating window, going to bed satiated and preventing any midnight cravings.

Once well-versed in fasting, you can also consume just a single meal a day — although that may not be fit for most people.