As you begin learning more about intermittent fasting, you will have a lot of questions. How long should you fast for, what are the benefits, and do you fast every day? And one of the most common questions is what breaks a fast? While studies are still being performed to look at what breaks a fast, here are some things we do know so far.
Anything That Raises Your Insulin
To put it simply, anything that isn’t water, black coffee, or unsweetened tea could potentially break your fast. There are some people who can have 50 calories or less and be okay, but this is going to depend on your preferences and goals.
But to keep it simple, you want toa void raising your insulin at all in your fasting window, as that is the point of fasting to begin with.
This means nothing with calories, carbs, fat, protein, or sugar. You might hear someone say they have collagen peptides with their coffee since it is only 35 calories, but it also contains 10 grams of protein, which is sure to break your fast.
Be Careful with Artificial Sweeteners
While studies are still looking at whether or not artificial sweeteners like sucralose and Stevia affect your fast, it is best not to have them if you can help it. You will find these sweeteners in a lot of beverages labeled as calorie-free or sugar-free. This might include sugar-free creamer in your coffee, sweetened sparkling water, or energy drinks with no sugar or calories.
If you insist on having some of these beverages to help get you through your fasted periods, experiment a little. Do a few days with them while fasting, and a few days without them, and compare your results.
Do What Improves Your Happiness and Effectiveness
There should be a balance between being happy with your life while fasting and what is effective. You don’t want to turn this into a diet that makes you feel miserable where every time you are fasting, you just hate your life because you can’t have sparkling water or a Diet Coke on occasion.
You need to understand your own motivations, why you want to fast, and what you hope to gain from it. For some people, they would prefer not to risk it and just have water and black coffee. Other people feel much better just being able to have their little splash of creamer in their coffee in the morning. This is your journey, and it is really up to you to figure out what is best for you.
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