So, you’re new to intermittent fasting and you’re finding it hard to endure what most beginners find challenging: hunger. But you are determined to stick to your new-found and would-be eating habit. However, even though your will is strong, your flesh is weak, and it can only do so much. You have to drink something that would stretch your endurance to hunger. So you turn to whatever it is that you think will alleviate your craving for food– milk, coffee, water, soda, and everything else in between!
This is exactly what my mindset is and how I felt when I first started to do intermittent fasting. Instead of giving in to the temptation of eating food, I drank loads and loads of water. I also drank coffee with a heaping spoon of sugar, not to mention milk, hot chocolate, and I even mix cocoa and coffee to make my very own mocha drink.
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However, after doing some research, I’ve learned that what I did was wrong! I realized that you couldn’t just drink any beverage when fasting, especially those that are high in sugar. To keep you from making the same mistakes that I did when I was just a noob in fasting, you would want to read on because I’ll be sharing with you everything that you should know about drinks that will break your fast.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT BREAKING YOUR FAST
From a purist point of view, everything you eat or drink is considered a fast-breaker. Some religious fasting traditions even consider drinking water as breaking a fast. However, many followers of intermittent fasting fast because they want to lose weight.
And if that’s your main drive for fasting, then definitely read on because I will talk about everything that you need to know about breaking your fast, from calorie restriction to the safe way of breaking an extensive fast. To help you avoid drinks that will break your fast, I will also list some beverages that you can drink during your fasting window. Are you ready? Then let’s get started!
The real goal of intermittent fasting is to make your body use its reserves as a source of energy instead of using calories from the food you eat. This makes IF one of the most effective ways of losing weight. Besides, it has many health benefits, too, such as delaying your body’s ageing process, mental clarity, and many more.
But let me give you an equally important question to ask before fasting: what does it take to break your fast? If I am to be technical, even as little as 1 calorie can break your fast. So, to make it clear, whenever I say drinks that won’t break your fast, what I am trying to say is low-calorie drinks that have little to no impact on your fasting’s weight-loss effects.
That being said, if the reason why you are fasting is to lose weight, then drinking beverages with 50 calories or below shouldn’t hamper the weight-loss effects of your intermittent fasting. You can mix up to a gram of sugar to your coffee or tea without feeling guilty.
Drinking low-calorie beverages is also a good start if your objective is to make your body adapt to not eating food for an extended period, i.e., if you plan on strictly following traditional fasting rules once your system has become “familiar” to fasting already.
If you’ve been fasting intermittently for quite some time now and you want to take it to another level, say you want to try 24 or even 36 hours of fasting, chances are, you might feel tempted to eat heavy meals after being famished for an extended time. But, whatever you do, do not eat heavily after fasting for 24 hours or more right away. Doing so may shock your stomach, which can cause digestive problems and stomach cramps.
To avoid stomach problems, it’s best to break your fast by drinking water or tea first. If you can’t stand hunger anymore, slowly introduce light food to your system– such as soup or a serving of egg. As soon as you feel that your tummy has adjusted to eating a heavy meal again, feel free to eat as you would typically do. However, you want to avoid eating unhealthy foods, and you don’t want to go on an overeating spree as well, or else, your fasting would go in vain.
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WHAT CAN YOU DRINK WHILE FASTING
Most practitioners of intermittent fasting are ordinary people who do not have that much willpower to withstand hunger for an extended period of time. This is precisely why many drink low-calorie beverages during their fasting window; it helps strengthen their will to not eat even for just a couple of hours more.
So, instead of turning to drinks that will break your fast for endurance, here are some of the beverages that, not only will help your fast last longer but may also enhance the benefits of fasting.
Water is on the top of this list because, well, our bodies are about 60-70 per cent water. If you drink water, you are replenishing your body’s lost fluids. Water doesn’t have calories, too, so it is the best beverage to drink. But water alone can get boring! However, you can “spice up”, your hydration by sometimes mixing some salt to your water to make your body retain fluids better.
You might also want to turn your H20 to a lemon-infused tonic by adding a slice of lemon and/or mint to it which is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants! Another way to liven-up your water-drinking is to go for carbonated water; it won’t do your fast any harm, so long as it does not have sweetener, artificial or otherwise.
Some variants of tea contain catechin– a compound packed with high levels of antioxidants and weight-loss properties that will enhance the effects of your fasting. But, you don’t want to put too much sugar on your tea. A gram of sugar will do, but if you have stevia, even better!
Also, you do not want to mix milk into your tea because milk has high levels of sugar and calories that can bring your fasting to nought. Some of the tea that has the highest concentration of antioxidants are white and black tea, jasmine tea, ginger tea, as well as green tea.
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks of choice for intermittent fasters. I personally know a lot of people who fast regularly who are also avid coffee fans. (I’m drinking black coffee as I write this article, and I’m in my fasting window).
According to experts, coffee is also rich in antioxidants, and it also acts as an appetite suppressant, don’t mix it with milk or creamer and you’ll reap its benefit of just a calorie per ounce! Of course, everything in excess can be harmful, so if you stick to the recommended daily caffeine allowance (about 3-4 cups) then you’re all good!
Because milk isn’t allowed during your fasting window, we have some creative people to thank for the invention of a much healthier alternative: almond milk. It is rich in minerals and vitamin E that promotes good health, and a serving of a hundred milligrams contains only 39 calories, making it a perfect beverage to drink while fasting.
You can also mix it with coffee or tea because unlike real milk, this won’t break your fast so long as you don’t put additional sugar or any other sweetener save for stevia.
Bone broth is one of the most popular beverages for intermittent fasters because it is said to be rich in minerals that your body needs while being low on calories (13 calories per 100 grams), which makes it a perfect appetite suppressant when fasting. You can get calcium, sodium, phosphorus, sulfur, and other minerals that promote healthy bodily processes.
Because of bone broth’s nutritional properties and low-calorie characteristics, it can also be drunk after your fasting period. To prepare your broth, use natural chicken, beef, or pork bone instead of bouillon cubes because the latter contains artificial flavourings that might affect your fasting.
Fasting can be challenging especially if you are just starting. Don’t feel guilty if you’re unable to truly fast without the help of low-calorie beverages. As long as you’re avoiding drinks that will break your fast, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your weight-loss goals. Always remember that each body is different; therefore, fasting is not for everybody.
Hence, before committing to a special diet, it is still a good idea to consult your doctor first, especially if you have a health condition that is not compatible with intermittent fasting.
I hope that this article answered your question what can you drink while fasting. If you have questions, some suggestions, or if you want to add valuable information about fasting that you think could help your fellow readers with their intermittent fasting, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Stay safe and stay healthy, especially in these trying times!