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Tips for Breaking a Fast

Published: May 15, 2020
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If you’re practicing intermittent fasting, it might be wise to have a checklist, a checklist that helps you break your fast properly. The reason that having a checklist helps is it kind of binds you to the right decisions. It’s very easy while you are fasting to make a poor decision upon breaking your fast. Why? Well because you start getting hyped up about breaking your fast and eating some food. You start getting excited and you start getting a little bit hungry. Next thing you know, you made a poor decision that kind of ruins the benefits of your fast.

Benefits that Come From Breaking a Fast

We have to remember that with intermittent fasting, a lot of the benefit comes from when we break our fast. What I mean by that is we get to capitalize on being highly insulin sensitive. So that we absorb protein better. So that we utilize fats better. So that we utilize potential carbohydrates better and whatever the case it is that the diet that we’re following. But we have to be paying close attention to how we break that fast. It’s kind of like you would say with Spiderman, right. With great power comes great responsibility.

The Importance of Testing with a Meter

Now when you’re fasting, you should be measuring your ketones in the first place. Okay ’cause that’s going to tell you how deep into a fast you really are. The higher ketones levels are, the more in a quote, unquote fasted state you truly are. It doesn’t mean that you’re not officially fasting if your ketones aren’t high. But it’s a great indicator. So I usually tell people that are a little bit more experienced not to necessarily worry about the length of time that they fast, but worry about the relative length of time on their body via measuring their ketones. Simple example of that is someone that is new to fasting might get into ketosis during their fast much faster than someone that is experienced. So their numbers and how long they should fast are entirely different. Point is, use a meter. But that’s not what this video’s about.

What Should You Break Your Fast With?

What should you be breaking your fast with? What should your checklist look like? Well I’m going to give you two scenarios. I’m going to give you a scenario for men and a scenario for women. Okay for men, the first thing that you want to make sure that you have on hand is going to be some form of lean protein powder, or a lean protein in general. We don’t want to have fatty cuts of meat coming in right after we break a fast, simply because all we want is to capitalize on the protein. We don’t want to capitalize on anything else because we are in a position where we’re insulin sensitive and we can utilize that protein significantly better.

Fat vs. Protein

Fat, although very, very, very good on the ketogenic diet does not come into play right when we break a fast. Because it can simply slow down the absorption of that protein. So what you’ll typically want to do is have your lean protein, have a protein shake, something like that and in 60 minutes later or so, then have a larger meal. And that’s the meal where you’re going to want to have and pay attention to this, good polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. So we’re talking about olive oil, we’re talking about avocado oil, things like that because those have been shown in studies to stimulate ketone production that much faster. And what we really want to try to do is we want to try to extend the life of the fast even when we’re not fasting. And the way that with we do that is by stimulating ketone production. So you break your fast with lean protein. That sure might stop the ketogenic process for a small amount of time. But then you continue on, later on and you have your next meal. Perhaps it’s something like this. A bowl of spaghetti squash, maybe just a cup or so along with some olive oil, maybe some pesto and maybe a little bit of chicken or a little bit of ground beef. What’s that’s going to do, that’s going to give you the fats. It’s going to give you the protein, but most importantly, it’s going to give you fats that break into ketones a lot faster, okay. Things like the olive oil and the avocado oil.

How Should Women Break a Fast?

Okay that’s very, very simple when it comes down to breaking a fast for men with women, it actually gets a little bit more complicated because we need to take extra care of the thyroid. Now we need to do so without slowing down the absorption of the proteins. So when you break your fast, you still want to have lean protein just like a male would. Nothing really changes there. You have muscles too. In fact, you can actually probably synthesize protein even better than men. So the point is you definitely want that protein in. But you need to be taking care of your T3 and T4 levels of your thyroid a little bit more. So I usually recommend some foods that are high in zinc, shortly thereafter. You could be looking at things like walnuts, things like almonds, shellfish, shrimp, scallops if you enjoy those. That is a perfect thing to have after you break your fast. Or even break your fast with something like shrimp or scallops if you enjoy it. Another thing that I highly recommend having on your little checklist is going to be some seaweed snacks if you like them. You see seaweed snacks are very high in iodine and iodine combines with tyrosine to create of course the active T3 hormone within our body. It’s very important that women pay attention to their thyroid levels. They are much more susceptible to hypothyroidism and when you’re fasting, you are in effect slowing down your thyroid for at least that point in time.

Why You Should Have Cinnamon After a Fast

Now another quick tip that I recommend men and women both have on hand is going to be some sort of cinnamon capsules or perhaps some powdered cinnamon that you put in some tea, shortly before you break your fast. The reason that you do this is it mimics insulin within the body, which lowers cortisol levels. Now that’s a whole different rabbit hole that I can go down, but in essence, the short answer is this. Cortisol is not a bad thing unless it is combined with food. And when you’re fasting, your cortisol levels are high. So when you think about it, at the end of a fast, your cortisol levels are high. And then you consume food. Well guess what? You’re combining food with high levels of cortisol. It just so happens that insulin blunts cortisol. And since cinnamon mimics insulin within the body, we can sort of artificially lessen our cortisol levels so that when we do break our fast, we have less potential of that cortisol storing the fuel that we just consumed as fat.

The Checklist for Men and Women

So in short, here’s the checklist for both men and women. Lean protein, or a protein shake. Okay, shrimp or scallops or some kind of shellfish for women, if possible. Okay then we have seaweed or some kind of a food that’s rich in iodine, also for women. And then later on, after you break your fast, then you have something like walnuts or pistachios or almonds or some kind of nut that’s going to be high in the specific minerals that you need, specifically zinc in this case. Okay and then of course we want to have some cinnamon on hand, and it’s also not a bad idea to have some ginseng on hand too. Simply ’cause it could help with digestion and help with your energy levels when you come off of the fast. But most importantly, measure your ketones, not just when you’re fasting, but after you break your fast too. So you can see how these foods truly react within your body. I’m Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo and I will see you in the next video.

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