Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. You spend a period of time during a 24 hour period eating and a period not eating. It’s simple and straightforward. The most popular fasting pattern in the 16/8 method where you eat only during the 8 hour period. We often get asked, what are the best foods to break intermittent fasting to lose weight more effectively?
Because intermittent fasting does not have extensive research conduction, conclusive evidence is hard to come by. There are studies coming out recently that provide consumers with more scientific evidence that supports what the best foods to break a fast are and what foods to avoid during intermittent fasting, but at this time, the more simple you can keep what you eat and drink, the better.
Remember the overall goal - to improve your body's system and give it a reboot itself naturally, every day. Intermittent Fasting is not a one-size-fits-all lifestyle by any means. But it's certainly worth a try!
Best Foods To Break Intermittent Fasting
The best way to break a fast is to ease your body back into eating with easy-to-digest foods that are wholesome and nutrient-dense. We recommend planning your food ahead of time and sticking to the basics of incorporating nutrients from protein, carbohydrates, and fat. When you eat healthily during your 8-hour window you ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle. Here are some of our favorites.
We recommend incorporating fresh, lean, minimally processed sources of protein. Many of these will come from animal protein sources, but if you are a plant-based eater and eat a lot of meatless meals, lentils and beans are a good source of minimally processed and fresh protein. If you do eat meat regularly, lentils and beans are considered to be a source of carbohydrates.
Examples: eggs and egg whites, fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, lean beef, bison, pork, wild game, cultured cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, and tempeh
When you incorporate complex carbohydrates, choose ones that are whole, minimally processed sources of carbohydrates that back a lot of nutrition and fiber. It’s also important to eat a variety of starches and colorful fruits when counting your total carbohydrate intake. If you want a fast convenient way to get your complex carbohydrates into your diet, try out Swolverine's Clean Carbs®
Examples: sweet potatoes, beans and lentils, oats (steel-cut, rolled, old-fashioned), plain non-Greek yogurt, kefir, fresh and frozen fruit, corn, barley, buckwheat, quinoa, whole or sprouted grains (bagels, breads, muffins, pastas, wraps), and whole-grain rice (brown, black, wild)
We recommend aiming for a mix of whole-food fats, blended whole foods, and pressed olives. These fats will come from a variety of sources, like nuts, nut butter, and oils. Unless you’re following a specific diet, healthy fats shouldn’t exceed more than 30-35% of your daily calories.
Examples: oils (extra virgin olive, walnut, avocado), marinades with non-inflammatory oils, cheese aged more than 6 months, egg yolks, seeds (chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin, sesame), nuts (cashew, walnut, almond, peanut, brazil, pecan, pistachio), natural nut butters, pesto made with extra virgin olive oil, and fresh unprocessed coconut
Vegetables come in all sorts of shapes, colors, flavors, and textures. There are so many out there to choose from that there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t include them in your daily diet. We recommend aiming for 2 palm-sized portions of vegetables with every meal, regardless of if they’re raw, steamed, cooked, sautéed, microwaved, or frozen. Make sure half of your daily vegetable intake comes from leafy or cruciferous vegetables.
Examples: beets, tomatoes, radish, onions, peppers, cabbage, squash, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, asparagus, eggplant, salad greens (spinach, arugula, kale, baby kale, collards, spring mix, etc.), celery, green beans, and cucumbers.
Fermented foods are a staple of any healthy gut dietary lifestyle. Not only do fermented foods boost the number of beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, in your gut, but they also contribute to improved health, digestion, and absorption of nutrients from your other foods, like fruits, vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates, for example. Choose ones that are unsweetened, as these are the fermented foods that are best to break a fast with.
Examples: kefir, tempeh, natto, kombucha, cabbage, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, and probiotic yogurt
It’s no secret that fruit is a staple part of any healthy diet and that some fruits are more nutritious than others. If you’re looking to boost your intermittent fasting weight loss results, then we recommend sticking with the fruits that are lower on the sugar range than others.
Examples: apple, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, grapes, pomegranates, oranges, cherries, grapefruits, apricots, peaches, prunes, oranges, and kiwi
What Foods Should You Avoid During Intermittent Fasting
The following foods will help you lose weight in the most effective and efficient way during your intermittent fasting, promoting cellular detoxification, a healthy gut, and aid in metabolic reset. These foods are not only lacking nutrients but they’re harder on the digestive tract than their fresh, wholesome counterparts.
- Fried Foods
- Highly Processed Foods
- Simple Carbohydrates
- Inflammatory Oils
- Excessive Caffeine
What Are The Best Foods To Break Intermittent Fasting: The Takeaway
Of course, you don’t HAVE to actually eat any of the foods on this list to break your intermittent fast if you don’t want to. The reason why we advise you do though is so that you can not only maximize your intermittent fasting efforts, but also increase your overall health with quality nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential to achieve a healthy body. Not only that, but these foods will help you reset your metabolism and lose weight faster (if those are your goals). If you are new to this journey, we recommend you also learn about intermittent fasting mistakes to avoid.
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