I recently completed a 24 hour fast and the results were awesome! I felt so light, generated creative ideas for Heather's Health Habits and did something healthy for my body. If you would like to know how to successfully practice a 24 hour water fast, read my latest blog post here.
This blog post is all about how to eat after completing a 24 hour water fast. It is really important to eat the right foods after not eating for 24 hours. The main reason is if your blood sugar spikes too quickly, you will feel sick to your stomach, dizzy and shaky. Also, if you just simply start eating whatever you want after a fast, you will ruin the hard work that your body just did to eliminate damaged cells and create new healthy cells.
To avoid blood sugar spikes, it is important to eat foods that are low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a tool used by diabetics to identify foods that will not spike blood sugar. The typical foods that will spike blood sugar are white breads and pasta, packaged cookies and cakes, processed foods and foods that have hidden sugar, such as tomato sauce.
Eating those types of food after a fast will not only make you feel sick but can contribute to a host of different diseases. Spikes in blood sugar can lead to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and overweight. There is also preliminary work linking high-glycemic diets to age-related macular degeneration, ovulatory infertility, and colorectal cancer. (Source: Harvard Health)
As you can imagine, foods that are high in fiber and do not spike blood sugar are the foods to eat after a fast. One critical reminder while fasting is to drink plenty of water! Much more water than you think you need. This makes sure you do not get constipated once you reintroduce food that is high in fiber after a fast.
Does drinking water lower blood sugar? Yes - Drinking water can lower blood sugar levels by diluting the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood stream. Drinking extra water will not dilute your blood sugar levels if you are already fully hydrated. However, being dehydrated can cause blood sugars to concentrate and subsequently rise. (Source: Sharecare)
We get water not only from drinking it but also by eating foods. When fasting, we aren't getting the water intake from food which means we have to drink that much more. If water isn't appealing to you, you can also drink herbal teas without anything added to it.
If you already are having gut health issues, fasting as part of a healthy living routine may help. For example, if you have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or suspect you do, fasting may help reduce the symptoms. Especially if food is a trigger for bloating, gas or diarrhea.
Giving the body a rest from having to digest and process food can help promote migrating motor complex. Migrating motor complex happens naturally in between the times we eat. Think of it as natural cleansing that happens in the gut. Fasting improves the bodies ability to efficiently move intestinal contents through the GI tract because it has stimulated a longer period of the migrating motor complex. (Source: Healthline)
This is significant because if the body can enter migrating motor complex more often, it can reduce the excess fermentation of food in the body that can cause IBS symptoms. But what if you don't have IBS? What other symptoms indicate that the gut is unhealthy?
Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation
👉Bloating and/or gas
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Hives, flushing, and itchy skin
👉Tired all the time
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to even one of the above, your gut is unhealthy. Learning how to make it healthy so you can stop suffering can be hard! Fasting is just one complementary therapy that can restore your gut health.
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist obsessed with teaching people just like you how to heal their gut so you can stop suffering and get back to living!
I offer a FREE 30 minute call where we will talk about your specific symptoms and how the Simply Great Health program can help.
How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:
✅Be more present with your children
✅Thrive in your career
✅Improve your communication and your relationships
✅Have more fun!
✅Move your body and improve your fitness
✅Lose weight and feel better about yourself
✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
Simply Great Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your gut and fits your busy lifestyle.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing.
Below is a printable list of foods that will not spike your blood sugar after you are done fasting. The Glycemic Index (GI) ranks foods in their ability to affect blood sugar. A LOW GI means that the food will not spike blood sugar. Foods in the HIGH GI section have a better chance of spiking blood sugar. Click on the list to download it.
Focus on eating the foods in the LOW GI section. They will give you lots of fiber without spiking blood sugar. You can eat a food in the HIGH GI section as long as it is combined with a couple from the LOW GI section. Now, here are 4 tips to follow on what and how to eat after breaking a fast.
1) Cook fiber rich foods well
The first meal you eat after a fast should be full of fiber rich foods that will not spike blood sugar. With that said, the foods need to be well cooked to make it easier for the digestive tract to breakdown and process. Since it has been 24 hours since the gut has needed to spend energy on digestion, making that process as easy as possible will help digestion happen quickly.
2) Wait 1 hour after your first meal to eat again
While you may be hungry and ready to eat a lot after a 24 hour fast, take it slow. Eat the first meal and wait one hour before eating something else. Gradually eating more food will help your body get used to having nutrients again.
3) Chew your food well
Chewing is the first step in the digestive process. Chewing your food well will eliminate the possibility of undigested food getting into the stomach. Undigested food after a fast can create bloating and gas.
4) Continue to drink water, a lot of water
Water will help avoid constipation. Poop is 75% water! As your body begins processing fiber rich foods, it will need water to keep the process going. Continue to drink water as your reintroducing food to your body. Just don't drink water while eating, unless it is warm water. Ice cold water will interfere with digestion.
Here is the best part of breaking a fast, a few recipes to enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed this post about how to eat after a 24 hour water fast. Eating foods that do not spike your blood sugar, cooking foods well so they are easy to digest, and chewing your food well will help your body easily adapt to eating again.
Do you think you will try a 24 hour water fast? Let me know by leaving a comment below.