To break your fast, start by eating gentle foods and be sure not to overeat.
Gentle foods to break a fast
When you’re ready to break your fast, it’s best to ease out of it. Toward the end of your fast, you might want to introduce small portions of foods that are more easily digested, so you don’t overwhelm your digestive system.
Breaking your fast with foods that are especially high in fat, sugar, or even fiber can be difficult for your body to digest, leading to bloating and discomfort.
Foods and drinks that can be even more shocking to your system after a fast include those like a greasy cheeseburger, slice of cake, or soda. Even high-fiber raw produce, nuts, and seeds may be difficult to digest.
On the other hand, nutrient-dense foods that easy to digest and contain a bit of protein and some healthy fats can break your fast more gently.
Below are a few examples of what to eat to break your fast.
- Smoothies. Blended drinks can be a gentler way to introduce nutrients to your body since they contain less fiber than whole, raw fruits and vegetables.
- Dried fruits. Dates are a concentrated source of nutrients frequently used to break fasts in Saudi Arabia. Apricots and raisins may have similar effects.
- Soups. Soups that contain protein and easily digestible carbs, such as lentils, tofu, or pasta, can gently break a fast. Avoid soups made with heavy cream or a large amount of high-fiber, raw vegetables.
- Vegetables. Cooked, soft, starchy vegetables like potatoes can be good food options when breaking a fast.
- Fermented foods. Try unsweetened yogurt or kefir.
- Healthy fats. Foods like eggs or avocados can be great first foods to eat after a fast.
Breaking your fast with healthy foods that may be better tolerated can help replenish important nutrients and electrolytes while easing food back into your diet.
Once you’re tolerating gentler foods, add in other healthy foods — like whole grains, beans, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry, and fish — and return to eating normally.
Be mindful not to overeat
It can be easy to overeat between fasting periods.
Although fasting doesn’t emphasize what you eat as much as when you eat, it’s not designed to be an excuse to eat unhealthy foods.
Overeating and eating junk food between fasting periods can cancel out the health benefits of fasting. Instead, choose minimally processed, whole foods as much as possible for the most overall health benefits.
When you’re ready to break your fast, start with foods and drinks that will be gentle on your digestive system. Avoid foods that are especially high in sugar, fat, and fiber. Additionally, take care not to overeat.
When fasting, it’s important to be aware of which foods and supplements may break your fast. You can then decide whether to consume them during or between fasting periods.
During a fast, choose calorie-free beverages and supplements, if any.
Some people choose to eat small amounts of certain foods to curb cravings, which may break your fast but still keep you in ketosis.
When you’re ready to break a fast, focus on easily tolerated foods that don’t contain high amounts of sugar, fat, fiber, or complex carbs that could be difficult to digest.
You can then ease back into a normal, healthy eating pattern.