I am a Human Potential Coach who helps individuals achieve their goals and live their best life!
Specialist in Performance & Wellness.
Hi Max, it depends on many specifics. However, as a general practical rule you can break a fast by having high quality whole foods that are easy on your digestive system. Other colleagues have given great nuanced answers so there isn't a need to go much deeper on the subject, however I´d like to highlight again that it all depends on the kind of fast and also the person doing it. A holistic detailed approach is always more useful.
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I love the excellent, comprehensive answer submitted by Katrina Cook, MScN. Since there is nothing more I could possibly add to that, I would like to answer the question from a different perspective, that of intermittent fasting. Although people vary as to the number of hours they fast each day, it is very common to constrain eating to a restricted window of 8 hours. Meaning, you do all the eating you are going to do for that day/night during the span of 8 hours. If you stop eating at 6 pm in the evening, you would wait until 10 am the next day to break your fast. If you curtail eating by 5 pm, you would break your fast at 9 am the next day, and so forth.
When you do break your fast, it is advisable to refuel your body with healthy, wholesome foods, of course! No junk food or packaged, processed foods laden with unwanted ingredients or unhealthy fats. If you are intermittent fasting, chances are you know that already! So, my advice is not so much what to eat but how to eat it. Eat slowly, reverently, mindfully. Chew your food thoroughly and enjoy the taste, aroma and sensation. Feel it nurturing every cell in your body. I know you are hungry, but don't woof it down like an animal! Digestion begins in the mouth with the enzymes found in saliva. Give the food some time in your mouth before swallowing. Don't dilute your digestive enzymes by drinking copious amounts of liquid while eating either. Chew your food enough so that it is practically a liquid, and then drink your water, tea, or coffee a bit later. Bottom line: Ease into eating when breaking your fast; chew thoroughly, eat mindfully, and recharge with nutrient-dense foods. Now go enjoy that leisurely, healthy meal.