A new weight-loss method that is gaining traction of late is fasting. Fasting involves consuming only a certain number of calories for extended periods of time. Even though skipping meals can be unpleasant, it comes with numerous benefits including heightened longevity and reduced signs of aging. There are also different types of fasts, like intermittent fasting, that are distinguished based upon various factors like the time frame, the diet involved, and individual preferences. The only way to get through any fasting cycle is to know what you can and cannot consume during that time.
While your food intake may be low, your fluid intake needs to remain high. Of course, sodas and high-calorie drinks need to be avoided. However, there are numerous other liquids that can help you curb your hunger and even have healthy results depending on which stage of fasting you're in. Others can be a safe way to cope during a long-term fast.
Here are some of the drinks you can consume and the best time to have them to ensure you do not unintentionally break your fast. There are also some that help you break your fast the healthy way. These can help you remain energized through the duration of it and get the most from each fast.
Related: Fasting - What Is It and Should We Do It?
Drinks You Can Enjoy Freely
Fasting can be done in different ways. Some fasts last for a certain number of hours per day and limit the number of meals. Others involve skipping meals during certain days of the week. Either way, the key to getting the most benefit from fasting is to keep yourself saturated with fluids. The primary beverage of choice is water, a zero-calorie drink that also effectively keeps you hydrated. You can also enjoy your water with lemon or mint.
Tea. The next best options, in case water doesn’t quite satiate your hunger, are coffee and tea. Black tea, green tea, and herbal teas come with a variety of detoxifying agents and just enough caffeine to boost your metabolism. A single cup of tea has only 1-5 calories which are not enough to break your fast. 2 cups of black coffee a day is also a great way to curb any hunger. Putting any additives like milk, sugar, fruits, or sweeteners into these drinks will break the fast.
Diluted apple cider vinegar is another quick fix to help you feel satiated. Mix a glass of water with 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to manage your appetite and stay hydrated. Unfiltered apple juice with no additives like sugar or food color can also give similar benefits but with a greater amount of fiber, minerals, and vitamin C.
Drinks You Can Enjoy Occasionally
Going without much flavor, variety, and a minimal quantity of food in your stomach for extended periods of time can be exceptionally exhausting mentally, though it can be beneficial physically. Eventually, you need to satisfy your cravings. The bad news is that means breaking your fast. The good news is, if you’re careful about what you have, you can break your fast without changing your blood sugar levels.
If weight loss is the goal of your fast, then bulletproof coffee, also known as keto coffee, is a good option for an occasional break from the monotony. It is a high-calorie drink that contains coffee mixed with healthy fats like coconut oil or butter. If you’re really giving yourself a cheat day, you can also go for a cup of classic coffee with cream or milk, though the amount of dairy has to be kept minimal.
Alcohol. Sobriety is, of course, an important part of fasting. However, if you happen to have plans with friends or a date night, you don’t have to completely refrain. You can enjoy alcohol under certain conditions. First of all, it can only be enjoyed occasionally during fasts, and no more than two glasses at a time. Also, only keto-compliant alcohols can be enjoyed which are dry wine, whiskey, and vodka.
The best thing to have in between long periods of fasting is bone broth if your goal is not extreme and immediate weight-loss. It is an incredibly healthy snack, high in protein and flavor. It can also help you get through especially difficult phases of fasting. Many suggest that having a few sips of bone broth here and there can help satiate hunger during prolonged fasts.
Drinks That Will Break Your Fast
The good thing about fasting is that the choice of what to eat and calorie intake is entirely yours. You can enjoy up to 50 calories without breaking the fast in a way that affects blood sugar levels. However, breaking your fast the wrong way with excessive calories and unhealthy fats can nullify or reduce the health benefits of fasting. These are the drinks you need to be careful with as they can stop the fat-burning process that fasting sets into motion.
Alcohol is best avoided while fasting. Small amounts of certain types of fasting-friendly liquors can be enjoyed from time to time. However, this will cause the metabolism to shift its focus onto the liver, stopping the fat-burning process. Every time alcohol is consumed, this occurs so it’s best to enjoy it very rarely to get the best effects from fasting.
Milk and dairy products are lactose-heavy which means that they contain large amounts of sugar and carbs that will ruin your fast. Almond milk and coconut milk are considered to be good dairy substitutes, but they are also high in carbs and calories, as is coconut water. They can be enjoyed during the period between a fast, i.e., during feeding phases, but in extremely limited quantities.
Any coffee besides plain black coffee, like a latte or a cappuccino, will undoubtedly have dairy and sugar and therefore will be counterproductive if enjoyed anytime during a fast. Juices may seem like a good option but they are the opposite of keto-friendly. They’re much richer in carbs than actual fruits or vegetables and contain virtually no fiber, unlike fruit and veggies.
Protein shakes, powders, and bars also tend to be high in calories. Most major shakes and bars also come with large amounts of sugars or sweeteners. Energy drinks, sports drinks, and diet drinks (like coke-zero) are also not advisable to drink while fasting for similar reasons. They tend to be loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners which can reset your metabolism.
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