Breaking a fast: carbs? protein? fat?

by (4236) Updated August 29, 2013 at 8:45 AM Created February 24, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Hey hackers,

I did a pretty long fast most of yesterday and into today -- about 20 hours I think. When breaking a fast, what is best? I'm craving carbs like sweet potato and nuts, but other, fattier foods sound tasty too. I guess anything sounds tasty. But like I said, if I want to break my fast, what is the best profile of macronutrients, etc?

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6 Replies

8497 · February 24, 2012 at 5:47 PM

I tried to find some guidelines on for you but all I could find was:

"On workout days, break the fast with meat, veggies and a fruit. If you’re planning to train shortly after this meal, add a few carbs in the form of a starch source."

So it probably doesn't matter, though I would think going higher on protein may feel better for the stomach then higher sugar or fats.

37013 · February 24, 2012 at 4:54 PM

I'm on ADF (alternate day fasting) right now so I go about 40 hours of water-fast. I usually break mine with coffee that has cream and honey added.

I agree with thhq and Wayne that at the 20-hour point you can pretty much do what you want. It's what you're hungry for and what goes down best. In my case, once I have adulterated coffee to sip I'm not really hungry for solid food so I usually don't eat a meal until the 44-48 hour mark. But then I eat meals arranged exactly the same as when I was eating every day.

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10077 · February 24, 2012 at 4:26 PM

I'd go for yogurt and berries and go for a long walk. Then have some bacon and eggs mid-walk. That's if it were a perfect Sunday morning.

The macronutrients are the same no matter how you mix them up. Whatever your appetite says to do.

0 · August 29, 2013 at 8:45 AM

I'm not sure if 20 hours is long enough to really matter. However, the issue is that the body goes into "starvation mode" and ketosis. This is the goal of the fasting time, so it's not necessarily a bad thing. HOWEVER...your body is likely going to hold tight to the first thing that you eat. Fat gets used as energy quickly, protein gets stored as muscle, carbohydrates get stored as fat. So my advice would be to primarily eat proteins and good fats, and maybe some non-starchy vegetables for your first meal after your fast. Then for your second meal you can add fruits and starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, etc) to build some energy back up. I'm not a nutrition or fitness professional, but I am a nurse and have a good understanding of how the body works. This is just my opinion and suggestion based on my knowledge and experience. Hope that helps.

Nichole, RN Paleo Believer

21258 · February 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM

I always break fasts with a zero carb meal, but that's mostly to take further advantage of ketosis.

1153 · February 24, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Only 20hours and your concerned with breaking a fast? Eat whatever you like,ridiculous question.

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