Log In
Blog /
Nutrition Tips & tricks
14 min read

The Best Foods to Break a Fast and Maintain Your Weight Loss Progress

Profile Picture
Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD November 22, 2021

You’re nearing the end of your fast and all you can think about is food.

While you may know what’s delicious to you, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to digest.

There are many nutrient-dense foods that make a great first meal. If you’re thinking about some juicy carbs, try to erase the thought completely. Of course, treating yourself is very important, but it’s more important to care for your digestive system.

If you’re eager to find the best foods for breaking a fast, just keep on reading.

Take a
1-minute quiz

and discover how much weight you can lose with DoFasting!

Foods Rich in Protein

Protein-rich foods contain important amino acids that help to strengthen the body after a fasting window. Not eating for a while can make you feel weak, but protein aims to resolve your hunger pangs and promote satiety with each nutrient-dense meal.

Now, let’s take a look at the best protein-rich foods and their health benefits:

Bone broth

Bone broth recipes contain lots of essential nutrients. These comprise magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. Due to the animal bones and tissue containing a high amount of protein, this food will break your fast gently.

Magnesium is one mineral that regulates acids in your stomach. It can boost digestive enzymes – proteins that help break down food.

Also, there aren’t refined carbohydrates, added sugars, or saturated fats in bone broth that will upset your digestive tract. You can consume one cup of this food to break a fast steadily.

Some of the benefits of bone broth include:

  • Stronger gut health
  • Better movement in joints
  • Faster immune responses
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Smoother digestion after meals

Bone broth is one of the best low-calorie foods that promote weight loss. The generous amount of protein curbs your appetite and stops you from feeling intense hunger during the fast, which prevents any weight gain.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are an easily digestible food that feeds good gut bacteria. They contain selenium, copper, calcium, and iron. Selenium is a key mineral when it comes to supporting digestion and nutrient absorption.

The high number of healthy fats and protein will replenish your body after completing an extended fast.

You could have 20 grams of chia seeds with your next meal. Some people mix the seeds with smoothies or sprinkle them on top of banana slices.

The benefits of chia seeds can be found below:

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Promotes healthy weight management
  • Strengthens your bones
  • Improves blood sugar levels

Since chia seeds encourage the body to absorb more nutrients, you’ll have a stronger gut, heart, immune, and metabolic health. As you might know, a fast metabolism burns more calories during the day, leading to better fat loss.

Eggs

Eggs contain easy-to-digest proteins, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and iron. Even though the protein can break a fasting window safely, vitamin D especially targets your digestive juices, preventing serious constipation.

Another great thing about eggs is that they hold healthy fats, instead of saturated fats that contribute to heart disease. You need this nutrient for fuel when resuming food consumption after fasting.

You could have 1-2 eggs when breaking the intermittent fasting period. Just one egg should be enough to fill your body with essential protein.

Some benefits of eggs comprise:

  • Controlled blood sugar levels
  • Better heart functions
  • Lower triglycerides in the body
  • Improved HDL cholesterol
  • Stronger muscle recovery

With there being 5.54 grams of protein in one medium-sized egg, you’ll instantly feel full after eating it. This means you won’t be tempted to snack during a fast, which encourages more noticeable weight loss.

Fish

One of the best sources of protein comes from fish products. Common fish like salmon, tuna, haddock, and trout will make a great small meal for your eating window. They typically contain omega-3, potassium, zinc, and manganese.

Omega-3 fatty acids hold anti-inflammatory properties that boost your digestive system. Since they also support the gut microbiome, you don’t have to worry about painful bowel movements after fasting for extended periods.

Aim to eat at least one serving of fish a few hours after the fast. Just make sure to pair it with low-carb foods that won’t upset your stomach.

Here are some excellent benefits of fish:

  • Stops your arteries from getting clogged
  • Reduces the risk of stroke
  • Helps with weight management
  • Protects normal brain function
  • Keeps your muscles strong

Fish are packed with essential nutrients, like protein and fatty acids, that will help you lose weight. For example, in 100 grams of fresh tuna, there are 19 grams of protein. This is enough to fuel the fat-burning process in your body.

Nuts

Some nuts, like pistachios and cashews, have a very high protein content. Along with the protein, there is iron, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin E. An iron-rich environment in your digestive tract can help ease bowel movements

You could snack on nuts after intermittent fasting or pair them with cooked veggies. It’s essential that you begin eating slowly to let the nuts properly digest. One handful of nuts, which is around 50 grams, is plenty to fuel your body.

Below, you’ll find the benefits of nuts:

  • Boosts your metabolic energy
  • Reduces gut inflammation
  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases
  • Helps to eliminate LDL cholesterol
  • Increases your energy levels

Nuts are packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, and omega-3’s that may help control hunger cravings. The fewer snacks you have during a fasting window, the more likely you’ll experience fat loss over a few weeks.

High Fiber Products

Foods high in dietary fiber are the best for maintaining strong gut health. Since fiber speeds up the digestive process, you won’t be left feeling bloated after a fast. It’s very important that you consume 25-30 grams of this nutrient per day.

Keep reading to find some fiber-rich foods:

Avocados and avocado oil

One whole avocado almost exceeds your daily fiber intake. There are 13.1 grams of fiber in this food, making it great for the designated eating window. Some other minerals include vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and folate.

Vitamin C is a key nutrient that improves gut barrier function. This means your body can easily absorb minerals from more healthy foods.

You should have half of an avocado to gain the important nutrients. Eating too much could exceed your calorie intake, so keep that in mind. One avocado contains 322 calories and one tablespoon of avocado oil has 124 calories.

Here are some benefits of avocado or avocado oil:

  • Improves memory and concentration
  • Reduces common sleep problems
  • Strengthens your heart
  • Boosts skin and hair health
  • Regulates natural bowel movements

There is also healthy fat in this nutritious food, which may stop you from consuming excessive carbs after the fast. Going over your daily carb limit could lead to weight gain and slow fat loss during intermittent fasting.

Bananas

Bananas are known to be one of the best fruits for your health. They contain lots of fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, and magnesium. You should eat magnesium-rich foods to stop your bowels from becoming sluggish after a fast.

Also, vitamin B6 plays a significant role in the breakdown of protein. Without this nutrient, your digestive system might not absorb protein-rich foods.

Since this fruit is one of the high-carb foods, eat slowly and avoid having more than one banana in a row.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of bananas:

  • Boosts insulin sensitivity
  • Controls blood pressure levels
  • Keeps your eyes healthy
  • Regulates electrolyte balance
  • Strengthens the nervous system

Bananas will boost your intermittent fasting progress by increasing the feeling of fullness. A reduced appetite means you won’t snack during the fast and possibly break ketosis.

Broccoli or cauliflower (cooked)

Broccoli and cauliflower both hold great amounts of dietary fiber. These popular vegetables also contain phosphorus, thiamine, potassium, and iron. One great fact is that thiamine reduces intestinal inflammation after fasting.

Just make sure to cook these with avocado or coconut oil instead of olive oil. The latter doesn’t offer many health benefits, so it’s better to use natural oils when cooking raw vegetables.

You could have one cup of either vegetable to ease your stomach. Eating lots of green veggies ensures the body has plenty of nutrients for fuel.

Below, you’ll find the benefits of broccoli and cauliflower:

  • Supports blood sugar control
  • Helps to regulate hormones
  • Decreases the risk of cancer
  • Boosts memory and learning skills
  • Improves the cardiovascular system

Cooked cruciferous vegetables are easily digestible foods that have minimal calories. Of course, the fewer calories you consume, the more likely you’ll lose weight. Try to aim for 1,500 calories on your diet plan.

Dried fruits

Dried fruits contain simple carbs and dietary fiber to break a fast. They also hold important minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. Small amounts of phosphorus boost the good bacteria in your intestines.

You can eat a handful of mixed dried fruits to achieve a healthy body. Always make sure these fruits are completely natural and haven’t been tainted with added sugars or saturated fats.

Keep reading to find the benefits of dried fruits:

  • Decreases oxidative damage
  • Improves blood flow in arteries
  • Reduces gut inflammation
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Prevents painful constipation

Eating dried fruit is believed to speed up fat loss when fasting. They are low in calories but high in fiber, meaning your body produces fewer hunger hormones due to increased satiety.

Take a
1-minute quiz

and discover how much weight you can lose with DoFasting!

Smoothies

People can have fun with smoothies by adding different raw fruits and vegetables. This will give you minerals like vitamins C, E, D, A, and K. Getting enough vitamins and fiber ensures the body is well-fed after periods of not eating.

Only drink one cup of the smoothie to avoid upsetting your stomach. When making the smoothie, avoid foods that are loaded with carbs, sugar, and saturated fat.

Here are the excellent benefits of smoothies:

  • Prevents serious dehydration
  • Controls your hunger cravings
  • Promotes better digestion
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease
  • Helps you to lose weight

A thick smoothie is bound to satisfy your cravings after the fast. You won’t feel the urge to drink sugary beverages, which prevents potential weight gain during intermittent fasting.

Spinach or kale

These leafy greens are one of the most popular foods to have when losing weight. They contain minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, and vitamin K. Potassium-rich foods help the muscles to contract in your intestines.

You could eat one cup of either vegetable to gain almost the same nutrients. Since they are very light foods, they won’t disturb the normal digestive process.

Some of the benefits of spinach and kale include:

  • Maintains good eye health
  • Reduces oxidative stress
  • Supports brain development
  • Decreases bad cholesterol
  • Strengthens bones and joints

These “superfoods” contain a high amount of water and fiber – two things that fuel your fasting progress. Reaching your daily water intake encourages the body to flush out discarded fat cells.

Watermelon

Your body can easily digest watermelon, meaning it won’t cause constipation or stomach discomfort. If you’ve completed prolonged fasting, consuming minerals like vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and citrulline will increase your energy.

Some people snack on 1-2 cups of watermelon when breaking a fast. The normal intake is 100-150 grams, but it’s better to start slow.

Keep reading to find the benefits of watermelon:

  • Soothes muscle soreness
  • Improves long-term skin health
  • Prevents chronic inflammation
  • Supports good nerve functions
  • Increases your hydration levels

One whole watermelon is 90% water, which is great for people looking to lose stubborn weight. The minimal amount of calories won’t make a difference in your diet, so try to snack on this fruit during the eating window.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods contain lots of bacteria that support digestive health. They will restore good bacteria in your gut and stop the intestinal walls from becoming weak. It’s very important that you incorporate these foods into your eating window.

Here are some fermented products to consume:

Apple cider vinegar diluted in water

Diluted apple cider vinegar (ACV) will ease inflammation during digestion. The probiotic bacteria break down foods when eaten in small portions. ACV contains minerals like copper, magnesium, iron, calcium, and sodium.

To drink this beverage, mix one tablespoon of ACV with 16 fl oz of water. Always dilute the product beforehand to keep your teeth, throat, and stomach safe.

You can find the benefits of ACV below:

  • Decreases blood glucose levels
  • Reduces your appetite
  • Lowers high cholesterol
  • Helps to prevent diabetes
  • Promotes strong fat loss

ACV can support weight loss by decreasing the number of triglycerides in your body. It may also suppress your appetite, which prevents binge eating during long fasting periods.

Unsweetened yogurt

Plain unsweetened yogurt has all of the good bacteria you need. For example, lactobacillus bulgaricus, a probiotic strain maintains pH levels in your small intestine. Other minerals include calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.

One cup of yogurt should be enough to feed your gut. You can even mix this with some dried fruits to enhance the flavor. However, avoid carb-loaded meals when eating this food.

Take a look at the benefits of unsweetened yogurt:

  • Supports healthy immune responses
  • Strengthens the heart
  • Reduces the risk of colon cancer
  • Improves your teeth
  • Decreases allergy symptoms

Remember, healthy intestines can digest foods easily and increase the effect of fullness. Your gut is responsible for eliminating fat cells that could lead to future weight gain.

Worst Foods to Break the Fast

Of course, there are problematic foods you should avoid. These usually cause stomach discomfort and stop loose stools from passing due to undigested meals.

Below, you’ll find the worst foods for breaking a fast:

Alcohol

Alcohol prevents digestive enzymes from breaking down and absorbing nutrients from foods. Drinking this type of beverage on an empty stomach could also cause serious intoxication, which isn’t good for your overall health.

In the long term, drinking alcohol will only cause weight gain. Instead, consume water or a smoothie when breaking the fast.

Lactose

Lactose is often found in most dairy products, like milk and grass-fed butter. This ingredient can trigger amino acids (BCM-7) that cause inflammation. More inflammation means stomach discomfort, especially when it’s empty.

Foods containing lactose usually have sugar, saturated fats, and complex carbs. It’s better to avoid these products during an eating window.

Processed, high-glycemic carbohydrates

Yes, eating too many carbs is bad for the gut. These include foods like white bread, sweet desserts, breakfast cereals, and cakes. Since your body can’t absorb any nutrients from them, they won’t give you enough energy for the day.

High-glycemic foods can’t fill up the stomach either. This may result in binge eating which sets back your overall fat loss.

Raw cruciferous vegetables

Raw vegetables may be too challenging for your empty stomach. They could trigger gastronomical problems like bloating and constipation. Cooking them will soften the meal, so always keep this in mind when fasting.

Aim to steam the veggies to ensure they retain the nutrients. Remember, more nutrients can help you lose weight at a steady pace.

Whatever You Do, Avoid Overeating

Eating too much food after the fast can make you extremely sick. The body hasn’t been eased back into your normal eating pattern. Overeating slows your fasting results due to the excess amount of calories and undigested food.

Here are some tips for not overeating:

  • Eat breakfast, don’t skip it
  • Consume smaller portions
  • Stay busy
  • Plan your meals ahead of time
  • Remove any temptations
  • Stay hydrated during the day

To monitor your food intake, check out DoFasting’s page. They offer educational tips that are key to building healthier nutrition habits. You can also find 5000+ recipes, which contain important minerals for strengthening the gut.

The DoFasting app is a good place to start. With recipes, at-home workouts, and motivational tips, you can learn how to break a fast safely. You can take the online quiz to determine your goals and eating plans.

Take a
1-minute quiz

and discover how much weight you can lose with DoFasting!

Best Foods to Break a Fast: Final Thoughts

A low food intake during intermittent fasting can make you feel weak, so it’s important to eat nutritious foods once you’ve broken the extended fast. Certain foods, like fruit, cooked vegetables, and nuts, will feed the body with energy-boosting nutrients.

Author

Profile Picture
Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD
  • Head of Medical Affairs at Kilo Health
  • Medical Doctor at Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • Partnering with the EU-funded Young50 and EUPAP projects

Kasparas Aleknavicius is a medical doctor that graduated from Vilnius University, working as head of medical affairs at Kilo Health. After nearly 5 years in the industry, Kasparas focuses on digital health and is looking for innovative ways to help people lead healthy lifestyles through digital health and wellness platforms.

You can find Kasparas on LinkedIn and follow his latest research on Medium.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

See how DoFasting will improve your life

Find out what works for you with this 60-sec quiz approved by our experts and get your personal revolutionary fasting assistant.

Start the Quiz
Image
Take a 1-minute quiz and discover how much weight you can lose with DoFasting!
Start the quiz