You’ll hear it again and again; how you break your fast makes your fast. Break it bad by feeding your hypersensitive body poison, and you could end up being 30-going-on-60.
Dr. Sergey Filovov, a Russian dry fasting expert who has conducted thousands of dry fasts over 20 years, often says, breaking the fast gives you most of the benefits of the fast. So does another fasting expert you might be familiar with.
“More caution and perhaps more restraint are necessary in breaking a fast than in keeping it.”
In other words, making poor nutritional choices when you break your fast and the days after won’t just be uncomfortable or painful but could take you backward, getting you in worse condition before the fast.
So break wisely!
Eating protocol after a dry fast
Ideally, you should have broken your dry fast with a drink first, which can be anything from kefir, sauerkraut juice, or water added with probiotics, baking soda, or apple cider vinegar. See how to break a 24-hour dry fast for more tips.
Refeeding after a dry fast depends on how long you’ve fasted. You can be less careful after a shorter intermittent fast of 12–18 hours, but breaking a dry fast of 3 days needs greater food and drink considerations.
Refeeding after a dry fast is always twice the length of the fast. For instance, a dry fast of 1 day will mean 2 days of refeeding, and a 2 day fast means 4 days refeeding.
The first meal
They often say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that’s because that’s the first thing you put into your body after your nightly sleep, which is, of course, a dry fast.
After your dry fast, especially if you’ve done prolonged dry fasting, your body is screaming for nutrition. Your newly created or healed organelles, cells, tissues, and organs needs supplies after the dry fast, and your body will quickly assimilate everything you eat. Any poisons you decide to eat also get absorbed rapidly, so you should consume only the most organic, freshest quality food you can get your hands on!
That first meal should be easy on the stomach, as it’s been focused on healing, not digesting. During the dry fast, your pancreas stops secreting hydrochloric acid, so you should have foods that don’t require much digestion, letting the pancreas ease back into working full time.
That first meal should give you maximum benefits in a snack-sized portion that goes easy on your system, but with all the nutrition you need.
Some foods you could break your fast with are steamed vegetables, yogurt, nuts, vegetable, fish, or bone broths. Many also choose bone or fish broths, high in good fats, protein, collagen, and plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Dr. Sergey Filonov prefers protein-rich foods like fish broth and kefir, as animal protein is good for synthesizing new cells.
Some of these recommendations are better suited to the first break-fast meal of 24 hours and above dry fasts, while all of these recommendations are pretty safe to break an intermittent dry fast (12–18 hours).
Soups are light on your system, don’t contain many calories, but have enough nutrients to give your body a boost of nutrition you need right after a dry fast. They are almost always a good idea as a first meal.
- Bone broths are full of electrolytes, rich in collagen, which is excellent for your bones, skin, and nails, and minerals like potassium, calcium, and sodium, which helps to remineralize your system after a dry fast.
- Fish Broth is great for minerals like calcium and iodine, proteins, healthy fats, and collagen. Fish broth is much lighter.
- Miso Soup is great for vegetarians, miso soup does the job, too; you can have silken tofu and seaweed for added nutrition.
All soups and broths should be unsalted. Broths are great to break dry fast from 1–3 days, or even longer.
- Eggs are a good option, as they are leucine-rich, which helps with muscle growth, but are preferable as a second meal after the first breakfast snack, as it can be slightly heavier on the system.
- Quail Eggs are also great and eaten raw, as recommended by Dr. Sergei Filanov (they don’t have salmonella, so it’s not a concern). Quail eggs contain stem cells, which are very useful straight after a dry fast. You want organic for any eggs and any other animal proteins you have.
- Tofu is a good option for vegetarians or vegans, as it has a good nutrient profile, although slightly processed. Make sure it’s minimally processed tofu.
- Fatty Fish like Salmon and Mackerel. This is more as a day 2 option, although once you’ve been dry fasting consistently, you can handle these kinds of proteins even on the first day of your fast, so perhaps eat a small portion for dinner. Wild Salmon is my top go to for protein, also for its high omega 3 and collagen content.
- Meat and Chicken can be options for refeeding days two onwards. Avoid red meat till after refeeding days, or check in intuitively with your body if you sense you can have it. If you’ve had a 3-day dry fast, then definitely avoid meat for 2–3 days after breaking.
The idea is to keep it light on the first day you break your fast. Eggs are the best protein source to go easy on your sensitive stomach.
Steamed vegetables are good choices for dry fasts from 1–3 days. Easily digestible vegetables, like cucumber, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach are a good choice. Vegetables with more fiber can be more stressful on your body, such as cabbage, cauliflower, and carrots, so have them steamed or boiled.
Vegetables are a good choice as a fast break option, as they contain cellulose and pectin, which stimulate digestive juices and get your stomach on the move.
Some people can eat raw vegetables, salad leaves, spinach, and cucumber, for instance, which is usually relatively safe, but do pay attention to your body; any bloating, discomfort, or cramps are a sign these foods aren’t your foods.
Avocado is also a great vegetable to have after a dry fast (although it’s technically a fruit!). It has tons of nutrients and minerals and is a superfood. Avocado is also a FODMAP food, which contains short-carbohydrates resistant to digestion. Therefore, it can sometimes be problematic for your gut if you have a sensitive belly or IBS, so check in to see how you feel.
FODMAP vegetables include leeks, mushrooms, okra, peas, onions, artichokes, asparagus, fennel, beetroot, shallots, cabbage, garlic, and Brussel sprouts. It’s a better idea to save these vegetables for after the first 1 or 2 days, once your digestive system is further along the way and less likely to cause you trouble.
If you’re doing a shorter dry fast under 24 hours, try this green juice mix that’s also a gut & liver cleanser. If you’re new to dry fasting, try this with shorter dry fast first, and see how your body handles it. I take this every day, but also before entering a dry fast and on the day I break my 24-36 hour dry fast, because it’s so full of plant power, so whatever I eat, I know I’ve got my superfoods sorted.
Your gut will love probiotics—foods fermented by friendly bacteria. After a dry fast, you have a unique opportunity to grow healthy bacteria in your microbiome, as much of the harmful bacteria have starved to death.
It would help if you consumed a probiotic supplement with your first glass of water ( Lenix or bifidobacteria) or sometime during the day. However, probiotic foods are a great addition to your breakfast meal and are an easy and tasty way to break your fast.
- Yogurt is amazing, even if you have lactose intolerance, you might be able to consume yogurt, as most lactose can become lactic acid. Check the label to make sure it does have live bacteria, though.
- Kefir, yogurt’s cousin, is meant to be superior to yogurt for its probiotic benefits. You can make kefir by adding milk to kefir grains, which is lactic acid bacteria. Those with lactose intolerance usually have no problem with kefir.
- Sauerkraut is a traditional food in Germany, sauerkraut is made from fermented finely cut cabbages, usually served as a side dish in European cuisine. Make sure it’s unpasteurized and contains live bacteria.
- Kimchi is a spicy, fermented Korean side dish with many lactic acid bacteria, including lactobacillus kimchi. It’s known to be very beneficial for digestive health. However, if you have a sensitive stomach to spiciness, this may not be your first meal but later in the week.
Probiotics are good food at any time after a dry fast. You can even break your dry fast (your first drink) with sauerkraut juice or kefir.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts may or may not suit you, as some people don’t react that well to nuts. That said, I’ve always broken my dry fast with nuts and never had a problem. They have excellent nutrients and the right balance of protein, fats, and carbs.
- Almonds are highly nutritious and easy to digest, almonds support your gut by supporting the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, which means almonds are also prebiotic.
- Walnuts are great for brain health and are considered a superfood. It has loads of omega 3 fatty acids and can reduce inflammation. It’s also a good choice for a snack meal.
- Pecans are high in good fat and dry nutritious- have been shown to increase antioxidants in your body.
- Peanuts, good on their own or even have a tablespoon or two of unsalted pure peanut butter. (Check the ingredients to make sure it’s high-quality peanut butter—the only ingredient should be peanuts!)
- Seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed, sesame seeds and hemp seeds are all nutritious, full of monounsaturated fats and vitamins, and delicious as a topping.
Breaking your fast with fruits is debatable. Muslims worldwide break their dry fast during Ramadan with dates and other dried fruits, like prunes and apricots, as they have a dense nutrient profile that can quickly restore energy—great if you need a quick burst of energy. Watermelon is a perfect fruit for breaking your fast, as it’s 97% water. That said, If you’re prone to weight gain, insulin resistance, or concerned about weight gain, then avoid fruits.
Sample meals to break your fast
Break 24–hour Dry Fast:
- 8 am – water with apple cider vinegar/probiotics supplement/ aloe vera
- 11 am – fish broth
- 2 pm – steamed vegetable & eggs
- 5 pm – handful of almonds
- 7 pm – kimchi & avocado
Break 2–3 Day Dry Fast
- 8 am – water with probiotics supplement / aloe vera
- 11 am – bone broth
- 2 pm – fried eggs & sauerkraut
- 5 pm – portion of nuts
- 7 pm – kefir
Meal Sample Day 2 onwards (till the end of refeeding)
- 8 am – water with probiotics supplement / aloe vera
- 11 am – yogurt with nuts
- 2 pm – grilled salmon & sauerkraut
- 5 pm – handful of nuts
- 7 pm – baked avocado with tomato & olives
Adding supplements when breaking your dry fast (also before and daily) can be useful when you simply can’t get the healthiest organic foods or want to boost specific dry fasting benefits.
Having a full stack supplement is the simplest way to make sure you get what you need, without stacking up on loads of organic, fresh, digestible produce.
I take a Multivitamin & Mineral powder mix, a potent nutritional blend that’s so complete it’s even been recommended for refeeding after 7-day dry fast (which means it has every nutrient your new stem cells and immune system could possible need!). I also keep the multivitamin & mineral tablets handy, in case I’m travelling and want convenience.
As you might know, I also use dry fasting as a lifestyle hack to look and feel younger.
However, as I live on boat, and travel all the time indulging in rich delicacies and alcoholic discoveries (which is great for the spirit but maybe not so much for the body!), I’m only partially on the diet of a health guru. One my hacks is an anti-oxidant vitamin that puts other vitamins to shame.
Say hello to OPC’s, or proanthenols, the little known Vitamin P. The results of patented tests over 50 years have been incredible for multiple health problems, and I’ve found switching to Pronathenols has drastically improved my hangover ‘comeback rate’. Plus, my skin still looks good, even after all that wine and fried food! (Yes, fried stuff is the most inflammatory thing to have, which is why I ingest the most anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants I can find!)
For skin, I also take this Hyaluronic acid and collagen-booster to maximise my dry fasting lifestyle’s capacity to produce more collagen.
Because dry fasting 3x as powerful as water fasting, and even water fasting 1 day can increase human growth hormone by 2000%, you can naturally create more collagen when you dry fast as a lifestyle, so you’ll have tighter, taunter skin with fewer wrinkles – but these supplements provide the raw materials that help dry fasting do its magic even better! (After all, I’m 42 and no one believes me!)
Although I have these supplement daily, I also make extra sure I take them on the day I break my fast – after all, you want your new cells to have the best nutrition possible to stay young. After all, a 1-day dry fast, is a full immune system reboot.
For overall anti-aging, I’m all over this top secret Chinese Herb, Astralagus root! Astralagus root has been used as an age-prolonging herb in China for over 2000 years, and if you haven’t heard of it, it’s time you did! Some information has been kept susssh, because of certain patents, but pharmaceutical research indicates that Astralagus root has significant age-reversal effects on the immune system, and your entire body. Over time, it could also help you look a lot younger!
Foods to maintain weight loss (and avoid weight gain)
The average weight loss during dry fasting is 4 pounds (2 kgs) per day. However, some of that weight is water weight. If your goal with dry fasting includes weight loss, then keeping your body in a semi-fasted or ketogenic state will help you maximize your weight loss goals and keep the weight off.
If you’ve been dry fasting for 24 hours, you’re likely already using fat for fuel, as dry fasting is a hack to get into ketosis—a fat-burning state that sometimes weeks for people to achieve.
If you’ve had a high-fat meal before your dry fast and half your caloric intake the day before your fast (see how to prepare for a dry fast), you’re probably in keto after your dry fast. You could even be in keto during intermittent dry fasting if you’re following the proper steps.
To continue benefiting from the ketogenic state, you should break your fast with keto foods. Ketogenic meals have this ratio:
- 75 – 80% Fats
- 15 – 20% Protein
- 5 – 10% Carbs
Ketosis happens when your body uses fat for fuel instead of sugar. When the body burns fat, it activates a series of metabolic processes, which gives you beneficial healing effects of dry fasting, so staying in a ketogenic state for longer is also good for your body.
Staying in ketosis will allow your body to adapt to the nutrients and carbs slowly. Once you finish refeeding, you can ease back into your ordinary diet, with your new weight loss numbers intact and without fear of an insulin spike (and gaining fat!)
You don’t want to starve yourself after a dry fast; however, as your body needs nutrients to rebuild itself, be sure to plan your meals well.
Example of a Ketogenic Break-Fast Day:
- 8 am – Water with probiotics
- 11 am – Bone broth
- 2 pm – Spinach omelet with nutritional yeast
- 5 pm – Handful of nuts
- 7 pm – Mixed salad with avocado and olive oil
What to avoid when breaking a dry fast
You want to avoid any salt intake in the first meal. Still, also less of it during the entire refeeding period, as your body is susceptible to sodium after a dry fast and will hold to any sodium it gets. Wait until your body has remineralized after a few meals, take in enough potassium, magnesium and other minerals, then slowly integrate salt into your diet. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself retaining water, bloated, and uncomfortable.
If you must have salt, only do Himalayan Rock Salt. Regular has no nutritional value whatsoever. Avoid all take-outs where you can’t see ingredients. Sauces usually contain excess salt, which is generally table salt, and tons of sodium and sugar. You should be familiar with every component you put into your food after a dry fast (and always!)
Avoid all sugar, including pastries, chocolates, white bread, white rice, sweets, coke, or fruit juices, including coconut water—which is very high in sugar.
After a dry fast, your body is hypersensitive, and sugar will quickly spike insulin and cause your body to retain weight while snapping you out of ketosis.
Sugar is also food for all that harmful bacteria that you have just decreased after your dry fast. You’ve just had an opportunity to clean up your gut, so help it along with good food choices and probiotics, not sugary devils.
If you’re prone to weight gain, then avoid all carbs for the entire refeeding duration.
Large portion sizes
Portion sizes are vital when it comes to breaking your fast. You should eat only the size of your fist or foods that fit into a teacup. On the day you break your fast, consume less than half your caloric intake. The first meal should not be more than 500 calories, and a lot less.
The day after you break your fast, you can go up to 1000 calories. The day after that, you can eat your regular caloric intake. However, remember to eat small portions still, and over a few meals. Your pancreas needs to ease back into digestive mode slowly.
Tips when refeeding
Chew your food
Make sure you chew as much as possible when eating your first meal. Chewing activates the salivary glands since your saliva consistency also changes during a dry fast, helping to digest a lot of the food in the mouth. You should chew food to the consistency of milk. Chewing also helps activate digestive juices in your belly and get the body prepared for more food.
Heed your intuition
If something you ate tastes weird, or causes sharp shooting pains, or smells funny, don’t eat it. Your intuition and your sense of smell and taste heighten after a dry fast, and you should trust your gut because it knows what’s best for you!
I hope this post has been helpful, and if you want to learn more about dry fasting protocols, hacks and to make it an effortless lifestyle, then check out my video course, 25 Again! The Dry Fasting Lifestyle For A Younger, Slimmer You.
***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 on this article. THE USE OR RELIANCE OF ANY OF THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.***
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