How to break your dry fast determines the benefits you get from it. In fact, breaking the fast is more important than the actual fast. Follow these guidelines on how to break a dry fast safely, and you’ll not only feel great, you’ll also see results!
How to Break A 24-Hour Dry Fast?
- Decide time to break dry fast
- Break dry fast with gut-friendly liquid
- Drink first drink slowly
- Eat healthy, digestible food to break dry fast
- Avoid sugar & salt
- Eat ketogenic foods (if prone to weight gain)
- Eat smaller portions, and more often
- Chew slowly
- Listen to intuition
During a dry fast, your body is starved of food and water. This triggers a series of processes that include making water from your fat cells and a full internal metabolic spring clean and recycling process, which removes pathogenic, unneeded, and unhealthy cells and creates healthy, new cells.
After a dry fast, your body is screaming for fuel to rebuild and create new cells—whatever you eat is the help it needs. Your body is clean and purified and should be fuelled with the most pristine, high-quality nutrition without microbes or pathogens or anything that you know will rot in your body.
Your gut is also renewed, with many fresh intestinal stem cells and healthy bacteria that do so much good for you—so eat food that feeds the good guys! For more on gut health, food choices, and dry fasting, read my articles What to Eat Before a Dry Fast( Hint: Go With Your Gut! and What To Eat After A Dry Fast? (Here’s The Chow Down!).
The following guide will help you finish a 24-36 hour dry fast with the skill and panache of a fasting pro.
Plan when to Break your Dry Fast
Break your fast in the morning after you start the fast. The body heals most during the night, so instead of ending a fast in the evening when you can’t benefit from beneficial sleep processes, start early and end early. (Choose your busiest day, and a day you can stay indoors and not deal with too many stresses.)
An ideal example of a dry fast timing would be to wake up early, about 6am, drink a glass of water, have tea by 7am, or coffee, or whatever is your choice. Then dry fast all the way till the following day when you can wake up and have a glass of water, or the liquid you choose, to end your fast at 7am. For a 36 hour fast, you can start at 7pm the day before, fast an entire day, then break the fast at 7am the day after fasting.
The process of breaking your fast doesn’t end after you drink water or eat your first meal. The exit of your dry fast is twice the duration of the fast. This means, for a 24-hour dry fast, you should plan an exit (or extended break) for 48 hours.
Break your dry fast (with liquid)
The options here vary. Some purists suggest drinking water without anything else in it simply because a 24-hour dry fast isn’t too stressful on the body. I sometimes break with water alone, but I’m following a dry fast with water fast. If you are breaking with just water, get the finest water money can buy, like mountain spring water. You can also add some lemon juice to it to re-alkalize the body.
Some sources on dry fasting propose a different route. Dr. Sergey Filonov, a Russian dry fasting expert of 20 years; Dr. Mindy Pelz, who specializes in body resetting; and Luke Coutinho, author of the Dry Fasting Miracle, all suggest some form of probiotics for breaking a dry fast.
Dry fasting resets the digestive system. Dry fasting is a complete break for the body, unlike water fasting, where you ingest water. Even pure water can be a harmful agent to the body, containing chemicals, metals, and all kinds of microbes, depending on the quality of its long journey to your mouth.
Water’s molecular structure still needs to be assimilated to suit your body, so water must be broken down, reprogrammed, and integrated into your system, causing all types of immune and digestive responses.
A dry fast, therefore, is a fresh, new start. Since the stomach’s microbiome has been entirely inactive, it’s an excellent opportunity to douse yourself in powerful good probiotics.
To break your fast, it’s best to take water with a potent probiotic supplement to really boost your gut flora, including those with bifidum and lactobacterin—as proposed by Dr. Sergey Filonov, a Russian dry fasting expert. Other options to break your fast are with kefir, a probiotic made with milk or sauerkraut juice.
To ease your stomach, you could also break your dry fast with water and apple cider vinegar (ACV), but make sure your ACV label states ‘with the mother.’ (By the way, ‘the mother’ isn’t the head of a secret cult, but what we call the healthy strands of protein, enzymes, and bacteria that give ACV its wholesome goodness; you’ll often see strands of ‘the mother’ floating around in unrefined, unfiltered ACV.)
Here’s a list of liquids to break your dry fast:
- Water with probiotics ( lactobacillus and bifidobacterium)
- Sauerkraut juice
- Pure spring water
- Water with aloe juice
- Water with apple cider vinegar
- Water with lemon
Now, we come to a critical point: whatever liquid you choose to break your fast with, DO NOT DOWN IT! Sip your drink slowly, with intention. Swirl the liquid all over your mouth, mixing it all up with your saliva before you swallow. As a rule, drink the first glass in 15 minutes, drinking it sip by sip. Many different processes occur during a dry fast to cope with the internal dehydration in your body. The kidneys and the endocrine system are trying their best to process toxins and keep the body hydrated.
So a sudden spike will cause your body to retain the water and start to bloat. It will also stretch your stomach walls and can cause you a lot of pain. It’s best to slowly and incrementally increase the water in your body. To rehydrate your body after a dry fast, follow this method:
- Drink 1 glass over 15mins, sipping slowly.
- 500 ml of water for your first drink
- 1 hour later, another 500 ml of water
- 2 hours later, 1000 ml of water
- 3 hours later, drink as normal
Make sure you rehydrate well throughout the day until your pee is crystal clear once again, so you’re flushing out toxins.
Eat healthy, digestible food to break dry fast
Food that you break with should be raw and healthy, nothing processed and fussy. Raw nuts and fruit, dried, cooked, are excellent. Foods high in protein and good fats are the way to go and easily digestible vegetables. Here are some options:
Soups: bone broth, fish broth for non-vegetarians, are great for proteins, fatty acids, minerals, and collagen. For vegetarians, miso soup is a great replacement— try it with tiny bits of tofu and seaweed for added nutrition. All soups should be unsalted or very lightly salted. Soups hardly contain calories and are very digestible but have enough nutrients to give your body a nutrition boost. Glycine in bone broth is excellent for healing a leaky gut.
A handful of nuts: Go for healthier nuts such as unsalted almonds, pecans, macadamia, and walnuts. I’ve also broken my fast with a tablespoon or two of unsalted pure peanut butter. Check the ingredients to make sure it’s high-quality peanut butter – the only ingredient in it should be peanuts!
Vegetables: You want easily digestible raw vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, spinach and avocado. Avocado is a firm favourite and perfect after dry fasting, it’s an extremely nutritious vegetable although it’s actually a fruit! Vegetables contain cellulose and pectin and help to stimulate digestive enzymes. You can try eating these raw (raw vegetables and fruits are an amazing source of hydration) but pay attention to how you feel; sometimes cooked vegetables produce very different responses in your body. Go easy with vegetables that are less digestible, like cabbage and cauliflower – you can try these in a mild soup. (A note on spinach — it’s a high oxalate food, so if you’re prone to kidney stones, don’t break with this.)
Fruits: low-carb fruit such as berries like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries. You can have these with kefir or yogurt if your body handles dairy well. If you’re not concerned about weight gain, you can have dried fruits such as prunes, apricots, and dates. But don’t have too much fruit, though, as it can shoot up your blood sugar and cause you to put on weight.
Dairy: Almost 65% of the world population is lactose intolerant. However, Dr. Sergey and Luke Coutinho both believe having animal protein in the form of milk helps give the body the protein it needs to rebuild itself, and kefir and yogurt don’t have the same amount of lactose as the usual dairy products such as cheese and milk. If you’ve never had an issue with dairy, you can opt for these. Try it and see if your body reacts well (no bloating or cramps); otherwise, opt for coconut or nut dairy or yogurts.
Eggs: Eggs are an option but prefer to have a little later, after the first breakfast meal, as they can be slightly heavier on the system. If possible, on the first day, you should try to stick to lighter foods. You want organic all the way for these.
Probiotics: foods like sauerkraut, kimchi (not too spicy), olives, pickles, miso, kombucha (low sugar), and any fermented vegetables should be included as much as possible in your meals, so your gut microflora can flourish!
Example break fast day:
- 8am – Water with probiotics
- 11am- Miso soup (low sodium)
- 2 pm – Sauerkraut & Steamed Vegetables with olive oil
- 5pm – Tempeh and cucumber Salad
- 7pm – Unsalted peanut butter
- 8am – Water with probiotics
- 11am- Bone broth
- 2pm – Coconut kefir with berries & seeds
- 5pm – Scrambled egg and avocado
- 7pm – Mixed nuts & kombucha
Avoid sugar & salt
Anything that’s a simple carb, such as sweets, chocolates, sugary pastries, white bread, essentially anything that liquidates into sugar the moment it has contact with water, is to be avoided at all cost.
Pure sugar will spike insulin and quickly turn any sugar into fat, losing the benefits of dry fasting. Plus, all that lousy gut microflora (nasty bacteria causing many health issues ) has been weakened after a dry fast and is just waiting for some sugary nourishment to make a comeback.
You also want to avoid salt content in anything you eat for the first meal, especially. But also for the refeeding duration, as the body is hypersensitive and can quickly hold on to the salt, making you bloat, which can be uncomfortable and slow down the elimination of toxins from your body.
You want to wait after several meals so that the body has rebalanced itself and re-mineralized through its process of homeostasis and absorbed enough magnesium, potassium, and other essential minerals so that it can adapt to its new environment before taking salt.
If you do use salt, only use Himalayan rock salt, as it has some nutrients. Don’t eat take-out foods, like Chinese or Thai, or anything that you can’t see the ingredients. Most sauces have excess salt, usually table salt, and tons of sodium in them (as well as sneaky sugar in everything!). Whenever you break dry your fast, unless you know every ingredient in your food, don’t eat it.
Avoid carbohydrates (if prone to weight gain)
If you are concerned about weight loss or prone to obesity, then avoid all carbohydrate meals for the entire refeeding duration of 48 hours. Meals that emulate a healthy, ketogenic diet helps to prevent quick weight gain and are nutritious enough to support all protein and healthy rebuilding in your body.
There are also additional benefits to keeping your body in a semi-fasted state with a high-fat diet, as you will still be fuelled by ketones and have many of the beneficial pathways active. Ketogenic meals are meals with these macro ratios: 75–80% Fats, 15–20% Protein, 5–10% Carbohydrates.
After a 24-hour dry fast, your body is most likely in ketosis. Ketosis is the metabolic process when your body shifts gears into fat-burning mode instead of sugar-burning mode (in the form of glucose and glycogen).
When the body burns fat, it produces ketone bodies which activate a series of metabolic processes that create many dry fasting benefits. Staying in ketosis will allow your body to adapt to the nutrients and carbs slowly. Once you finish the refeeding duration, you can ease back into your ordinary diet without fear of an insulin spike and gaining fat. If you follow the ketogenic diet during refeeding, you’ll also effectively lose weight.
Example of a Ketogenic Break Fast Day:
- 8am – Water with probiotics
- 11am – Bone broth
- 2pm – Spinach omelet with nutritional yeast
- 5 pm – Handful of nuts
- 7pm – Mixed salad with avocado and olive oil
For more on weight gain after dry fasting, read How To Break A Dry Fast (Without Gaining Weight!). If you’re interested in ketosis and weight loss, see my articles Can Dry Fasting Hack Keto? and We Need To Talk About Dry Fasting: It’s A Weight Loss Game Changer.
Eat smaller portions, and more often
Food portions are significant when it comes to breaking your dry fast. Make sure you study the portion sizes and calorie content on the packaging, especially on nuts.
On the first day that you break your fast, eat half the calories you usually consume, so if you typically eat 2000 calories, eat about 1000 on the day you break your fast. For each meal, definitely no more than 500 calories.
The size of each meal should be less than a teacup full or less than a fistful. Your stomach needs to ease into digestion again slowly, and heavy meals put more pressure on your pancreas, which needs to slowly get activated back into gear.
Also, you can eat smaller portions more often, so on the first day or two of breaking your fast, try eating 4—5 snack-sized meals instead of eating everything at once.
Chew. Food. Slowly.
Think of yourself as a cow, moseying on evergreen pastures that go on for miles, not a care in the world, with tons of delicious grass to chew on for eternity. Ruminate. Take. Your. Time. You want to chew about 30 times and get the food in your mouth down to the consistency of milk before swallowing. If most of the food gets digested in your mouth, that makes it easier on your stomach, and it gives your pancreas less to stress about!
Pay attention to your intuition
Sometimes foods will taste funny or cause you discomfort, or you might suddenly feel sharp shooting pain, or you can’t even taste it at all. Stay away from these foods. Your intuition and senses are heightened after a dry fast, and your gut will tell you if you can or cannot eat certain foods. If your head is nodding yes, but your gut is screaming no, then don’t eat it, even if the walnuts cost you 2 months’ rent and were handpicked by highly-trained bees from the mountains tops of Siberia.
If you’re interested in doing a longer dry fast over 3 days and breaking it correctly, check out my article How to (Make or) Break A 3-Day Dry Fast.
Hopefully this introduction to breaking a dry fast has been helpful! But if you want to learn more on dry fasting protocols for rapid weight loss and age reversal, check out my new video course, 25 Again! The Dry Fasting Lifestyle For A Younger, Slimmer You. See you there!
***Disclaimer: I am not a doctor/ physician, and although I have a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science, I cannot and do not hold myself to be a medical professional (“Medical Provider”). This article does not contain medical /health advice. The medical/ health information here is for general and educational purposes only. It is my opinion, based on my research and personal experience, and not a substitute for professional advice by your health care provider. Please consult with a professional before acting on the information here, and do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical attention because of anything you read in this article. THE USE OR RELIANCE OF ANY OF THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.***
- Coutinho, Luke. Dry Fasting Miracle. EBURY PR, 2020.
- Filonov, Sergey. 20 Questions & Answers About Dry Fasting . Translated by Vera Giovanna Bani , Siberika , 2019.
- Dunning, August. The Phoenix Protocol Dry Fasting for Rapid Healing and Radical Life Extension: Functional Immortality. August Dunning , 2020.