The number of calories that break a fast depends on several yardsticks and set goals. For example, a fast for religious purposes is different from a fast for medical or weight loss purposes. Even drinking water while fasting can be considered to break a religious fast even though water is a zero-calorie food. This is except for religious fasting that allows this.
But for medical and/or weight loss reasons, the amount of calories that breaks a fast is largely dependent on your goals. More on this subject would be covered in this article on the weight loss page of the International Health Alliance website. So, it will help if you continue reading.
Your Fasting Goals Matter
Before engaging in an alternate eating and fasting widow as intermittent fasting is known for, it is best that you have set goals. These goals help guide the intermittent fasting program as it concerns:
- How long you should fast
- If you can or what to eat while fasting
- What your diet should comprise after fasting
These are some of the reasons to have a clear goal before you start fasting. In light of this, the next part focuses on the number of calories that break a fast.
Various Yardsticks that Determine How Many Calories Break a Fasted State
Some of the medical and weight-related yardsticks that determine how many calories break a fast are discussed below:
Less Fat but More Muscle Mass
Some people confuse weight loss with fat loss. They do not mean the same thing. If the goal is to lose fat but build and increase muscle and bone mass, then eating is permitted. However, you need to be conscious of your food choices and very importantly, how much you consume.
The major class to be consumed in very little amount is protein. This is because proteins contain properties that make for an increased and healthy muscle and bone mass. So, you should prioritize foods like legumes, eggs, and soy for this reason.
If you are fasting for a day or several hours which almost amounts to a whole day, around 50 calories of high-protein foods will do. The right workout routine is also important for this reason. This is more reason to eat something for energy
Autophagy has been identified as one of the huge benefits of fasting. However, this is only when the fasts are done properly. The health goal is to have dead and weak cells helping in the buildup of new, better, and healthier cells.
Consuming even one calorie is going to affect the ability to attain autophagy. So, it is best to strictly stay away from food. But if you must eat something during the fasting window, avoid taking in too much calories. This informs the need to avoid sugar and other high-calorie options. For example, you can have your coffee or tea without sugar or cream. Broth can also be considered (in minute amount) for those who want some more.
Ketosis is bringing the body to a state where it is reliant on fat rather than carbs for fuel. To reach ketosis, the body needs to be free of carbs. It is then that it will be forced to start burning fat as the primary source of fuel. This is the concept behind the keto diet.
Completely avoiding meals will get you to the state of ketosis. This is when you fast consistently for days. But during the eating time during intermittent fasting, you would have to avoid carbs. Even protein should be minimal. This is to avoid converting amino acids into carbs.
Insulin plays a vital role in the body. For example, it helps blood sugar permeate body cells. It also enables the proper storage of blood sugar by the liver. However, there are adverse effects of having high insulin levels. One such is increased appetite.
Fortunately, intermittent fasting is one way to keep insulin levels low. That will also help keep blood sugar levels low. If this is the motive for fasting, staying as much as possible from food during the fasting window on the days allotted for fasting is important. So, if you can, don’t consume anything as any food or drink you consume would do so.
Do you want other relevant and interesting information? Check other articles on the weight loss page of the International Health Alliance website. For example, you can find out the best exercises for burning belly fat at home.