Fasting is commonly thought of as having no food/water, however, fasting can be done in a way that allows considerable portions of food to be consumed. 

Fasting has been practiced for centuries. Fasting is often utilized to bring about mental clarity, including its proposed benefits to create a sound mind for religious practices. Additionally, as made infamous by Mahatmas Gandhi, fasting has been used as a form of protest, such as hunger strikes. 

More recently, fasting has been utilized to aid in weight loss. One specific type of fasting, intermittent fasting, has created a buzz in the world of nutrition.

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Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss 

Intermittent fasting is distinct from other forms of fasting because it allows for food consumption. Although there are no definite limits to what you can eat during this type of fasting, there are designated time windows of when you can eat and when to abstain from eating.

How many hours is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is characterized by the number of hours spent eating in a specific window versus the amount of time spent fasting or abstaining from food. This time frame is often characterized as:

Fasting Time: Consumption Time 

The hours of intermittent fasting can vary depending on lifestyle and preferred schedule. One popular window of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 method in which 16 hours are spent fasting while 8 hours are allotted for eating. Within the 16-hour period of fasting, one could sleep for 8 hours and replenish with liquids (water or coffee is recommended) to reduce cravings. 

So, How Exactly Does Intermittent Fasting Work

You may be wondering: Exactly what is the science behind intermittent fasting? The ultimate goal of fasting is ketosis. Ketosis is a process that occurs when carb intake becomes increasingly limited. This process starts when the body has burned through all its carbs and needs to begin burning fat for energy. Weight loss occurs as the body seeks a different type of fuel. Thus, following a high-fat, low-carb regimen can help you lose weight quickly. 

Can You Eat When You’re Fasting? 

What To Eat and Drink During Fasting for Weight Loss? 

Ketosis occurs because of insulin resistance. Non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, dark leafy greens, and peppers, as well as citrus fruits, are some of the foods that help create insulin resistance and facilitate weight loss. During intermittent fasting, it is recommended to limit foods with high carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, or bleached flour to maximize weight loss benefits. Foods high in carbohydrates can disrupt the process of ketosis, resulting in gaining back the lost weight. It is also best to be mindful of dairy intake and introduce plant-based options as well. Whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa, are recommended to accompany a high intake of fruits and vegetables to help maximize the benefits of weight loss. Additionally, lean meats and protein, such as white turkey, fish eggs, and legumes can help promote a sense of fullness which helps with transitioning to an intermittent fasting lifestyle.

Some recommended snacks include: 

  • Celery with peanut butter 
  • Carrots and hummus 
  • Kosher pickles 

As far as beverages go during intermittent fasting, water is a fail-safe option. It is imperative to stay hydrated as your body adjusts to the differing influx of nutrients. Coffee is also recommended to help with appetite. 

What Can You Eat To Boost Your Metabolism During Eating Window Intermittent Fasting?

The intermittent fasting diet doesn’t have a specific meal plan. It instead relies on the person’s natural appetite and his/her body’s digestive patterns to help with consistency and weight loss.

The general rule is that one should eat anything they want as long as they do not consume any food or drink during their fasting period. A person can eat anything during the other two periods. However, it is essential to avoid carbs and sugar during these times because they are the body’s primary fuel source when one consumes them.

Did you know? Low-calorie plant-based foods are full of fiber and leave you feeling fuller longer. And when you feel fuller for a more extended period, you’re less likely to overindulge on higher calorie, more satiating food items.

Fasting is not just about eating less food. It is also about nourishing your body with more nutrients and higher-quality ingredients. For example, when fasting, you can drink a protein shake to keep your muscles strong or eat nuts or seeds because they contain healthy fats that will keep the hunger pangs away.

That is, with proper fasting, the body can boost metabolism on its own. It has been shown that the body will produce HGH and common growth hormones when fasting. Fasting slightly reduces the number of calories consumed, promoting weight loss by consuming fewer calories.

  • Ideally, you should eat about 1-2 hours before fasting. This is when your body has plenty of nutrients that are fired up and ready to burn fat for energy. So it’s a good idea to eat something with protein like eggs or whey protein powder, something that provides healthy fats like avocado or nuts, and some carbs like a banana or apple.

So, should you take supplements while fasting to get better results and boost your metabolism? Intermittent fasting can be done with or without supplementation. However, there’s been a lot of discussion about whether it’s worth taking supplements to make your fast more effective. Some people also like using this option to keep their weight in control and feel satisfied with their diet.

Taking any type of vitamin, especially B12, B6, and D, is good for you, but it won’t have the desired results because these vitamins are already present in the food you eat. In addition, studies show that these vitamins don’t improve the effectiveness of intermittent fasting.

People take many supplements while fasting, but it is vital to ensure they are suitable for you and won’t cause any adverse effects. For example, if you regularly take medication or supplements, it may not be wise to take them while fasting if they are incompatible with the fast.

You should always consult a professional before combining specific therapies or supplements to get the best results. If you want an increased chance of success in your weight loss journey with intermittent fasting, drink lots of water! We spoke about this before, and we will repeat it. However, intermittent fasting can also make you hungrier than average and decreases performance if this needs to be taken into account, as well as lowered energy too!

Things to Be Cautious of When Fasting 

It is always recommended to consult a doctor before beginning any diet regimen. During this time of altered food consumption, one should be wary of strenuous exercise which can result in potential dizziness and overexertion. Another aspect to be cautious of is foods and drinks that contain high levels of fructose corn syrup, including excessive sugary drinks that can impair the progress of intermittent fasting.

Can You Eat Gum When Fasting – Opinions of Nutritionists

Nutritionists generally donʼt recommend eating gum when fasting because it produces excessive saliva, known as ‘breaking the fast’, along with other components of the gum such as sugar alcohols, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners. 

Gum typically isn’t considered part of a nourishing diet, even though it is made up of mostly natural ingredients, so individuals should avoid using gum while fasting. That said, an opinion may vary depending on factors such as the length and purpose of the fast. 

Nutritionists typically advise consumables with smaller amounts of calories while abstaining from larger meals during fasting periods. Gum can also provide a helpful distraction if hunger proves too difficult during their fast.

What to Eat After Fasting Without Detriment to Health?

Intermittent fasting can be an effective way to give your metabolism a jump start. While it can be helpful to stick with healthy, nutrient-rich meals during your eating window, there are specific tweaks you can make to optimize the effectiveness of fasting further and boost your metabolism.

While it can be tempting to assume that you can eat whatever you want during your eating window with intermittent fasting, doing so can hinder the diet’s intended purpose. 

After you finish fasting, it’s crucial to eat something right away, too. Your metabolism will be slower if you wait for too long after this point because your body will start using muscle for energy instead of fat, so it’s important to have some carbs within the first hour after waking up to take advantage of this window.

So, can you eat whatever you want when intermittent fasting has finished? Definitely no! Read the food-offer list below to be in good shape and don’t cause weight gain. 

  1. Eating nutrient-dense meals during fasting can boost your metabolism. Good options include vegetables, healthy proteins, fats, low-fat dairy products, and eggs and lean meats such as chicken and fish. These meals can help keep your metabolism active throughout the fast.
  2. Eating high-fiber foods can help you feel full for longer and support healthy digestion. 
  3. High protein meals can help balance out blood sugar levels, providing sustained energy throughout the day and encouraging your body to boost its metabolism. 
  4. Additionally, some drinks containing caffeine that doesn’t break a fast, like green tea, can help provide steady energy throughout the day while intermittent fasting. 
  5. Drinking plenty of water can keep you hydrated and aid in weight loss efforts. 
  6. Overall, making mindful meal choices can go a long way in boosting your metabolism when intermittent fasting is part of a regular health plan.

9 Good Foods to Break a Fast: Foods That Make the Fast to-Feast Transition Smooth

Transitioning from the fast-paced world of work to a more relaxed home life environment can be difficult for many people. Eating healthy is one way to make this change in pace easier. The first step to a successful fast-to-feast transition is planning. 

First, you need to know what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the ingredients you need. 

The next step is preparing the food for your meals ahead of time so that when you are ready, it is just a matter of heating up or cooking your meal.

Some foods that make the transition smooth are:

  • Breakfast: eggs, oatmeal, pancakes
  • Lunch: salads with protein (chicken or fish), sandwiches
  • Dinner: pasta dishes (spaghetti bolognese), grilled chicken.

We will focus on foods that make the fast-to-feast transition smooth. You can’t eat anything while breaking intermittent fasting! The best foods to break a fast are those high in protein, low in sugar and fat, and rich in vitamins and minerals. These foods can be eaten as appetizers or meals.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and probiotics. It also contains live cultures that restore balance in your gut after fasting.

Yogurt is a good source of protein, probiotics, and lactose. Proteins are building blocks for muscle and other body tissues, while probiotics aid in digestion and have anti-inflammatory properties. Lactose is a complex sugar that can be converted to glucose for energy by the body.

Almond Milk 

Almond milk has less sugar than cow’s milk but just as much protein. 

Almond milk is an excellent choice for breaking a fast. This non-dairy milk has no added sugars or preservatives and is high in Vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and protein. Calcium is an essential nutrient to maintain your bones and teeth!


What can you drink while breaking fasting? Try to eat or drink cucumbers. Its high water content makes it an excellent snack option because it can help you feel full and rehydrated, two of the essential benefits of breaking a fast. In addition, it’s high in water content which helps keep your skin hydrated during fasting periods.

Plus, they’re low in calories and won’t leave you feeling bloated or sluggish afterward.


Broccoli has more vitamin K than any other vegetable! It also contains vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins help maintain healthy skin cells and protect against cancerous cells.

It is low in calories and nutrients, providing you with the energy needed to get through your day. Broccoli has also been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, lower cholesterol levels, and maintain healthy bones.


Eggs are one of the most versatile foods on the market. They have the ability to be cooked in so many different ways and can be eaten at any time of day – for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. As a result, they boost energy, are packed with fiber and protein, and make it easier for your body to transition from a fast state.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is the newest health craze. This superfood is loaded with healthy sugars that create a slower release of energy than other oils. Coconut oil also smooths out hormones like insulin produced by carbs or sugars in food or drinks that cause spikes in blood sugar levels. People with diabetes, for example, can use this low-calorie fat to help manage their blood sugar levels.


You not only can but also need to eat fruit when breaking fast! Bananas are the best choice. They have many benefits for those looking to break their fast.

It’s not just a fruit. It’s a powerful tool for health and fitness. Bananas are rich in potassium, which can help replenish the body’s electrolytes and bananas are also rich in nutrients such as vitamins A, B6, and C.

Brown Rice

Brown rice has more carbs and slow-release sugars than other foods, which is great for transitioning from fasting to eating something solid and adding veggies into the mix!


Mint is a fresh, light green tea that can be enjoyed after a long night. Mint has a refreshing zesty flavor that cools the mouth and softens the stomach. The tea is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner with its refreshing taste.

Also read: Intermittent Fasting and Alcohol: Can I Drink While I Fast?

Concluding A Fast: How to Eat After Fasting 

After fasting, the body may still be adjusting to larger portion sizes due to eating less frequently. It is recommended to ease back into heavier foods by consuming light, nutrient-dense portions. In doing this, it is essential to form a set routine for when to consume larger and smaller meals throughout the day.



Keonna is experienced in creative writing, academic and professional research, and proofreading. Her work has been published in several academic journals and concerns educational leadership/pedagogy. Keonna's expertise is in the literature concerning lifestyle and personal development. She is flexible and open to exploring a variety of subjects and research topics.

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Kimberly Tytyk is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach (INHC) and a Certified International Health Coach (CIHC). Following decades of personal experience transforming her personal health and achieving remission of autoimmune thyroiditis and PCOS, Kimberly completed her formal coaching training in 2021 at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Her passions include deep nutrition, holistic and balanced living practices, regeneration, community-building, and finding bliss — usually in a cuddle with her husband and dog.

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