If you take the trouble to do a long-term keto fast, you definitely want results. You’ve done the hard part during the fast, but you don’t want to throw it all away. That means it’s important to break the fast properly, without overdoing it and undoing what you’ve worked hard for during your fast.
As you prepare to break your keto-fast, be sure to stay positive. You have accomplished a lot, and you can finish it off properly. Here is what you should know about a long-term keto fast and how to properly break one.
What Is a Keto Diet with Fasting?
A keto diet is a very low-carbohydrate diet. It may include about 20 to 40 grams of carbs daily, or about 5% of total calories from carbohydrates. With such a low daily carb limit, a keto diet usually excludes high-carb foods, such as these.
- Grains and grain products, including bread, rice, pasta, and cereal
- Potatoes, yams, and other starchy vegetables
- Snack foods such as crackers, pretzels, chips
- Sugar-sweetened foods and beverages
- Fruit, such as bananas, apples, grapes, and pineapple
A low-carb diet can include these foods.
- Butter and oil
- Chicken, fish, and meat
- Cheese and cream
- Nuts and peanuts
Some people choose to combine a very low-carb or keto diet with intermittent fasting, often called IF. You might follow a keto diet during the times when you are eating. In between the periods of eating are periods of fasting. These are some different types of IF patterns.
- 16 hours of fasting followed by 8 hours during which you can eat
- 5 days of normal keto eating and 2 days of very low-calorie eating, such as with 500 calories, in every week
- Regular keto eating with 1 to 2 periods each week of not eating for up to 24 hours, such as between dinner one night and the next night
Whichever you choose, the tricks are to stay in control of your carbs and calories if you want to manage weight and stay in ketosis.
What Is a Long-Term Keto Fast?
Short-term fasts, often for between 12 and 24 hours, may be regular parts of a keto diet with IF. Longer-term fasts may be for 24 or more hours at a time. You might consider a long-term keto fast to speed weight loss, improve glucose regulation in your body, or support ketosis.
It’s a good idea to ask your healthcare provider before trying a keto diet, IF, or long-term keto fasts. They are extreme diets that may not be safe for everyone.
Tips to Break a Long-Term Keto Fast Properly
At the end of your 24 hours (or more) of fasting, what should you do? Your body’s systems may be a little altered compared to how they were before the fast, so it’s a good idea to tread cautiously. Here are some tips for feeling better and staying on track as your fast comes to an end.
Your body can be fairly depleted after a long-term keto fast. The most important nutrient is water, and that’s likely in high demand during and after a fast. Water and low-calorie beverages are best. Netrition has a variety of hydrating fluids, such as Low-Acid Coffee that’s gentle on the stomach, Herbal Tea, and Low-Sodium Broth.
When you don’t eat, you’re missing out on a lot of nutrients from food. Some of those nutrients are minerals, and some of those minerals are electrolytes. Electrolytes help your body keep water balanced, and a lack of electrolytes can lead to dehydration or muscle cramps. Sodium, potassium, and even some B vitamins can have electrolyte properties. Netrition has a variety of Electrolyte Products to help you stay hydrated.
While your eyes may want a large meal, and your stomach may tell you that it wants one, eating a large meal at the end of a fast can make you feel pretty bad, pretty quickly. You may feel overfull, nauseous, or bloated. Diarrhea and gassiness are also possible. That’s because your digestive enzymes may have gone on a bit of a vacation while you were fasting, and they may not be up to speed right when you call on them if you eat too much at the end of your fast.
While carbs may look delicious at the end of a fast, be wary of them. First, there’s no point in going through a 24-hour (or longer) fast if you’re just going to undo it all by eating a lot of carbs. If you’re hoping to stay in ketosis, you’ll need to keep carbs down. Plus, you need to be aware that your glucose, or blood sugar, regulation may be a bit off. In fact, you may be especially prone to blood sugar spikes or even low blood sugar if you challenge your body too much with excessive carbs.
When you break your long-term keto fast, it’s not usually because your diet is over. It’s because it’s time to move to the next phase of your diet. That’s likely to be an eating phase of a keto diet. You’ll likely go back to your typical keto and intermittent fasting eating patterns. You’ll be keeping carbs down, and following your planned patterns of fasting and eating.
While it may feel regimented or challenging, there are ways to make a keto diet easier. Netrition has all kinds of low-carb, keto-friendly foods that can substitute for high-carb treats and foods. Just a few examples are Keto Baking Mixes, Zero Carb Breads, Keto Pasta and Rice, Keto Cookies and Chips, and Sugar-Free Candy.
A long-term keto fast may be a core part of your weight loss program or keto lifestyle, but just as important is how you break your fast. By staying hydrated, continuing to count carbs and plan your meals, and choosing keto-friendly foods and treats, you can stick to your keto and intermittent fasting lifestyle. Netrition has nutritional supplements and keto-friendly food swaps to help you stick to your healthy intentions while loving your lifestyle.