Intermittent fasting is a healthy way to boost energy, promote mental clarity, and lose weight.
While abstaining from food is a HUGE part of it, what you eat in between is just as important. Today, I’m sharing the best foods and beverages to enjoy while practicing IF.
I want to first note that you should first consult a licensed medical physician before you jump into intermittent fasting. IF isn’t for everyone and therefore, it’s something to discuss with a professional.
The purpose of this post is to give you an overview of IF schedules, not to provide any professional/medical advice.
If you’re totally new to intermittent fasting, read this post first, it’s everything you need to know about IF, and then come back to this post.
Fasting is a state in which one abstains from food for a certain period. It’s nothing new; fasting has been used for thousands of years for spiritual and cultural purposes, but only recently has there been a new shift in focus on fasting for the purpose of health.
Not only does it promote weight loss, but it also gives mental clarity, boosts energy, improves blood sugar, and increases longevity. There are certain methods to IF so here’s a quick overview:
- 16:8 – A practice in which you narrow your eating window to 8 hours and fast the remaining 16. For instance, if your last meal is at 7 p.m, you wouldn’t eat again until 11 a.m the next morning.
- Eat-Stop-Eat – Fast for 24 hours once or twice a week.
- 5:2 – With this method, you would consume 500 calories on non-consecutive days and eat regularly for the rest of the week.
I go more in-depth on the benefits of Intermittent Fasting “IF” in this post, but in short, I find the 16:8 method best for me and I sometimes break my fast with Bulletproof Coffee.
It’s my “meal of the morning” that supplies me with ample health benefits and a terrific boost of energy.
What Liquids can I Drink While Fasting?
During a fast, you are to refrain from food but not drinking. As a matter of fact, liquids are important to maintain yourself hydrated.
You can still drink certain beverages and reap the full of benefits of fasting. Here are the top selections:
This one’s a no-brainer. Steady sipping on H2O will keep you hydrated while fasting. More info on water while fasting here.
Unlike regular broth, bone broth is rich in nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, other trace minerals, as well as collagen, an essential protein for skin, joints, and hair.
Bone broth is often called “liquid fuel” because of its nutritional benefits. It has proven to improve joint health and replenish electrolytes, which are beneficial during a fast.
YAS!! Coffee can help curb appetite during a fast but one drawback- no sugar or cream. You can add artificial sweeteners and a splash of cream but make sure to keep your intake under 50 calories. More about drinking coffee while fasting here.
Same as water, decaffeinated tea is a great way to stay hydrated and can even help curb appetite. Be sure to drink it plain, no cream or sugar, at least while you’re fasting.
This coffee has around 230 calories so it’s not a good option to drink while fasting. However, Bulletproof Coffee is one of the best ways to break (or end) your fast.
I like to make my daily cup of Bulletproof Coffee the thing that breaks my 12 or 16-hour fast for all of the benefits it provides. Check out this post to see read about the benefits of Bulletproof coffee for women.
Coffee During Intermittent Fasting
While black coffee is permitted during IF, a popular way to break the fast is with Bulletproof Coffee. It’s made with high-quality coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil for a brain-boosting beverage that gives you energy and is an excellent source of healthy fats.
First, MCT oil, better known as brain octane oil, is a caprylic fatty acid-containing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. You can find it in coconut oil, but Brain Octane oil is 18 times stronger!
When it comes to butter, grass-fed is the best choice. It’s higher in Omega-3’s, beta carotene, vitamins, and it tastes better. It also gives the coffee a creamy, golden texture and taste; after my first sip, I was sold.
If you’d like to go deeper into the world of Intermittent Fasting, I’ve written an ebook that can help you get started or get the most out of your fasts.
In it, you’ll get a full 1-week meal plan so you know exactly what foods to enjoy during your eating windows, every day of the week. Learn more here and purchase the book here.
Best Food to Break an Intermittent Fast
While Bullet Proof Coffee is a great way to break your fast, there are other foods you’ll want to consider eating to break your Intermittent Fasting period.
To maximize the benefits of IF, it’s essential to reap the bulk of your energy from nutrient-dense foods during “feeding” windows. Read this post to learn about fasting and feeding windows.
Choosing whole foods to build balanced meals will keep you energized during fasts and help your body process nutrients much more efficiently.
Break the fast with lean proteins
Some of my favorite proteins to include to break a fast are chicken, beef, pork, turkey, seafood, and eggs.
I often meal prep mini quiches for a quick grab-and-heat first meal option.
Breaking the fast with healthy fats
As mentioned earlier, Bulletproof Coffee (hah!), coffee, grass-fed butter, nuts, seeds, nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados are all terrific healthy-fat options to eat to break your fast.
Eat all the veggies you want
I’m sure this isn’t news to you but breaking the fast with a generous dose of veggies is always a great idea.
Eat one serving of fruit
Whether fresh or frozen, a serving of fruit is a delicious vessel for micronutrients. I try to keep it at one serving in order to maintain my blood sugar levels.
Try to avoid canned fruits or juice because of the concentrated amounts of sugars per serving.
Complex Carbohydrates to eat
I love sweet potatoes, white potatoes, quinoa, rice, oats, and other whole grains.
Ideally, you’ll want to avoid high-sugar foods and focus more on healthy fats and proteins to break your fast. In other words, skip the bowl of cereal and eat scrambled eggs or an omelet instead.
Here are just a few deliciously easy recipes ideas that provide a variety of nutrients and simple to prepare.
Recipe: Savory Oats Bowls
Great if you want your first meal to be breakfast. Creamy, savory oats loaded with roasted veggies and a fried egg, these bowls pack a variety of nutrients and are sure to satiate that post-fast appetite.
Recipe: Chicken Farro Bowls
Hearty and refreshing at the same time, these Mediterranean Farro Bowls are one of my favorite meals to enjoy. Farro is a rich source of protein and fiber, and the grilled chicken with Tzatziki sauce tops it off!
Recipe: Shrimp Fried Rice
A favorite low-carb meal thanks to cauliflower rice, this fried rice is high in protein and a cleaner version of the regular take-out without the energy crash.
Recipe: Kale Salad with Grilled Chicken
I love my Asian Kale salad recipe topped with leftover rotisserie or grilled chicken because it’s nutrient-dense and I love the dressing! Seriously, it’s really good.
Recipe: Spinach and Bacon Mini Quiches
You’ll want to make these on repeat. They are super easy to make in a big batch and they keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The base for these mini quiches is eggs, a bit of milk, and cheese (optional of course) and then about 1-cup of add-ins. The possibilities are endless! Grab more recipes for egg cups here.
Check out this video for Easy Veggie Mini Quiches to see just how easy they are to make.
With delicious food & drink options like this, intermittent fasting might be easier than you think! Which recipe will you use to break your fast?
Best Food and Drinks for Intermittent Fasting – Easy Breakfast Salad
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- Olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Black pepper, to taste
- 6 cups arugula or baby spinach or green blend
- 4 strips bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped
- 4 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the sweet potato and bell pepper onto the baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Toss to combine.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender when poked with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Assemble the salads by placing a large handful, or two, of greens in each bowl.
- Spray a non-stick pan and cook eggs sunny side up over medium heat.
- Top each bowl of greens with roasted veggies, fried egg, bacon pieces, and avocado slices.