Whenever you fast, it is important to introduce the first food correctly so you dont damage your health. I will be sharing with you some of the vital things on how to break an intermittent fast.
What is an intermittent fast?
First, let get an understanding of what a fast is. A fast is when you willingly or deliberately abstain from eating for a period. There are many types of fasting that people undertake, depending on the extent of food abstinence. For this article, I will be dwelling on the fast that describes abstinence from food with or without water for at least 12 to 18 hours.
Intermittent fast is the eating plan where you alternate between periods of eating and fasting. This approach does not emphasize which foods to eat or which food not to eat, but instead when you should eat and when not to eat. There are several variations of intermittent fasting. You may decide to set aside a day, 2 days, or 3 days of the week to abstain from food. all of which split the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods
Why do people fast?
People fast for a variety of reasons. In the religious space, people fast to consecrate themselves, seek the face of God over certain issues, or observe established doctrines. It is also common to see people fast or abstain from food to lose excess weight. Whatever is the reason for embarking on a fast, there is usually a common ground which is a period of abstinence and the time to end the fast or the time to eat. What you do to end your fast can create your health or mar it.
What happens to your body when you fast?
When you fast or go without food for a duration of up to 18 hours, your system temporarily makes some adjustments to ensure your body receives the supply of energy to keep you going. Your gut experiences a break from the usual food digestion and absorption process. Instead, there is a process of breakdown or rather manufacturing of nutrients from your storage. When your body experiences food abstinence, your digestive system will stop producing the usual quantity of digestive juice. When you start to eat again, i.e. when you break your fast, your body may not have enough digestive juice to properly digest the food. At this point, your body only has little amount of digestive juice. Therefore, you need to ensure you effectively manage the situation to bring your system back to producing the usual amount of digestive juice.
The following tips explain how you can effectively manage your delicate gut, thereby preserving the health of your gut and overall health.
How to break an intermittent fast with a cup of water
For people who also abstain from the intake of water they fast, it is very helpful to start with drinking a cup of clean water. The water will help to lubricate your digestive system, especially from your throat down to your stomach. It helps to stimulate the production of digestive juice. It is not advisable to take too much water at this stage. A cup of water is just enough.
Break an intermittent fast with liquid for semi-solid foods
It is advisable to start the intake of foods with liquid or semi-solid foods. Examples of foods in this category are soups, vegetable or fruit smoothie, soft porridge, bone broth, and soft-cooked vegetables such as pureed squash, etc.
Watch the portion size
It is normal to be quite hungry when you are breaking your fast, especially if you are new to fasting. You will do yourself a whole lot of good to avoid eating a large meal for the first meal after a fast. The possibilities are that you might overwork your digestive system, and this may lead to unpleasant situations such as heartburn, bloating, indigestion, and more. Rather, make your first meal which should be liquid or semisolid a small or modest portion. The same goes for the main meal, make it a modest portion. Usually, the food gets digested quickly and you will have the chance to munch a few more foods as your body can tolerate.
Avoid rushing your meal in breaking your intermittent fast
Be it the first meal or the main meal, do not rush the intake of your meal when breaking your fast. In a normal situation, it is not healthy to rush your food, this is even more true during a fast. Giving adequate time to chew your food enables the secretion of enough digestive juice that you need in digesting the food. As the digestion of food starts right from the mouth with salivary juice, the food materials undergo initial breakdown and are adequately moisturized for easy passage through the esophagus. If you rush your food, there is a possibility of experiencing a crack in the esophagus, thereby sustaining an injury. Additionally, your stomach might not have secreted enough digestive juice to accommodate the food. Hence, you might end up getting bloated and having indigestion.
Avoid going to bed immediately after breaking your fast
Stay awake for a few hours before going to bed after having your main meal breaking your fast. This is to give your system enough time to digest your meal, so you do not have a hangover the next day. You want to wake up the next morning full of energy and ready to be on the go.
You don’t want to break your health thereby jeopardizing the benefit of your fasting. Breaking your fast should be an enjoyable experience. Following the few on how to break an intermittent fast as discussed here will help to minimize digestive distress while steadily releasing the glucose that your body needs. Remember to drink enough water, liquid, and semi-solid foods first, minimize your portions and avoid rushing your food.