What To Eat During The Fast And Feast

In this article, you will find out what you can or can't eat during the eating and fasting window.
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What to eat or NOT to eat. That is the question.

When women start intermittent fasting, most want to know if there is anything they can consume during the fast. They also want to know if there are foods to avoid during the feasting time. The answers are yes and no, go through the article to learn more !

Written by
Jill Lebofsky
15+yr Women's Wellness Expert, Holistic Menopause Support, Intermittent Fasting, Midlife, Essential Oil, Author, Speaker

Yes, there are some things you are “allowed” to have during the fast, but you need to be careful not to end the fat-burning process too early. And no, nothing is prohibited during the eating window when you do intermittent fasting. You get to choose, but there are better choices, especially if weight loss is the goal.

What breaks a fast

When you eat or drink, your blood sugar begins to rise. When it reaches a certain level, insulin is released. Once insulin is released, the day’s fast is over. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone, and your body cannot store and burn fat at the same time. 

Soon after eating, even small amounts of carbohydrates trigger insulin release. Proteins and fats also increase blood sugar levels, although a few hours later. They stop the tremendous fasting benefit of autophagy just as it is kicking in, which helps detoxify our bodies and keep them youthful.(1)

Two ways to fast

Black coffee for fasting window.

Depending on your desired outcome of intermittent fasting, you can choose either “clean” or “dirty” fasting. 

A clean fast refers to avoiding all foods/drinks, except for:

  • unflavored water (plain, sparkling, or mineral)
  • black coffee
  • unsweetened/unflavored tea

If you are looking for the quickest route to weight loss success, then a clean fast is your best bet.

Note: In addition to eating, some feel that even a sweet taste in the mouth may release insulin, stopping the fast. 

On the other hand, if you absolutely can’t survive without a dollop of cream in your coffee or something in your stomach before heading to work, there are options.  If you’re willing to possibly slow your weight loss journey down and forgo the benefits of autophagy and other bonuses, you can try dirty fasting. Many professionals recommend the following additions during the fast, especially if it helps people to be more compliant.(2)

  • A teaspoon or two of cream, coconut oil, MCT oil, ghee, butter
  • Up to 3 oz of lemon or lime juice 
  • Bone broth
  • One to two teaspoons of diluted apple cider vinegar

If you aren’t achieving your desired results, consider adhering to a cleaner fast most of the time.

If you must take any medications or supplements in the morning with food, consider taking them with a small amount of healthy fat such as almond butter or avocado.

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Best food choices at the start of the eating window

Healthy carbs for eating window.

Ease into your first meal, as it has been a while since you’ve eaten, and you don’t want to feel sick. Break your fast with something small like a bowl of berries, soup, or a smoothie to prevent overeating during the first meal of your feasting period.

The early hours of your eating window are an excellent time to eat your healthy carbs or indulgences if you plan to partake. 

Best food choices during the eating window 

Huge meal for feasting window.

How to break the fast? What is on the intermittent fasting menu? Absolutely everything. NOTHING is off-limits. You get to choose what to eat and how much of it to eat. That is a lot in your control. But just because you CAN have whatever you choose doesn’t mean you should. 

You should fill most of the eating window with whole, unprocessed, hormone-free, high-fiber, healthy foods that help you lose weight and provide additional health benefits. Eat organic when you can.

Focus most of your meals around the first few food categories below and choose from the last two categories less often, especially the last one. Limit your dairy intake.

  1. Healthy Fats – Avocado, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, nut butter, cheese
  2. Lean Protein – meat, poultry, fish, tofu, eggs, Greek yogurt
  3. Vegetables – leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower
  4. Fruits – berries, apples, pears; limit fruit juices and dried fruit
  5. Healthy Grains/Complex Carbs – quinoa, beans, rice
  6. Indulgences/Simple Carbs – alcohol, cookies, pasta, bread, pizza

Best food choices at the end of your feast 

During the last few hours of your eating window, it is best to avoid fruit and carbs (whether healthy or not) and focus instead on healthy fats, proteins, and high-fiber vegetables. This will help you get into fat-burning mode faster and feel full longer.

Committing to an intermittent fasting lifestyle doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods or being hungry all the time. Knowing what to eat and when to eat it can boost your results. Pay attention to what you are eating, how you feel afterward, the overall results you are getting, and adjust as you go.

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