Been fasting? Is it time to start eating again?
How to break your fast and start refeeding safely
I fast a lot! I do extended fasts, 5 days, 10 days, even up to 28 days so far. I started fasting almost 2 years ago, and I do this a lot. Through my experience, I have had to learn how to properly begin the process of refeeding.
If you don’t approach refeeding in the right way, it can lead to some rather severe issues with “bodily functions”.
What is refeeding?
Well, refeeding just means that if you have gone for an extended period of consuming no food, when it is time to introduce food back into your diet, that is refeeding.
You will need to choose what types of food to start out with on your refeeding, and also the quantities.
What if I do Intermittent Fasting
I don’t consider refeeding to be an issue if you are doing IF. In my opinion, Intermittent Fasting would be a process of eating at least once per day, in a strict eating window that occurs daily. If you have only gone for less than 24 hours of fasting, I would not think that you will have any problems with refeeding.
Short Extended Fasts
When you first start doing a multi-day fast, I think you need to be careful about refeeding. Even if it is just 2 days or 3 days, if you are new at this, approach eating carefully.
The extent that refeeding might be a problem, or you should approach it with concern depends on your level of experience doing the length of fasting that you are doing.
For example, I do a lot of fasts in the 5 to 10-day range. If I do a 3 day fast, refeeding is not an issue. Even for a 5 day fast, it is no worry.
Longer Extended Fasts
If I do a 10 day fast, I will rarely experience problems either, but at that extent of extended fasting, I start to think carefully about refeeding.
Anything longer than 10 days, and I will be very careful.
I told you earlier this week about how I recently broke a fast after 18 days. In that case, on the first day that I ate, I have a very small green salad, no meat or anything. That one very small salad (about 1/3 the size of my normal salads) made me feel very full for the rest of the day. I had a need or desire to eat.
What kind of foods to introduce
I recommend that your first choice be something very bland. Bone Broth is what I would turn to. Eat maybe a small bowl twice or so on the first day of refeeding. The next day, introduce a salad.
Of course, what foods you introduce will depend on how you feel. If you eat that bone broth on the first day of refeeding, maybe you will find that it feels great, no stomach (or bowel) issues, so you will venture a little further. Just go by how you feel.
After fasting, it can be easy to just “pig out” and eat anything and everything around. Don’t do it! You will regret it, I promise. If you try it once, I doubt you will do it again after the next fast!