Coming off the Fast: Select Healthful and Nutritious Food

When you come off a fast, you should eat what you would have eaten if you hadn't fasted. Just make sure you focus on choosing nutritious food, meaning you stay clear of the double bacon cheeseburger with fries and a milkshake.

Focus on the effect that each macronutrient (such as carbohydrates, protein, and fat) will have on your post-fast body. If you completed a dinner-to-dinner fast (say, 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Thursday), then you eat dinner. If you fasted lunch to lunch, then you eat lunch. Just make sure that you aren't engaging in any celebratory eating, so pick wholesome foods.

You've spent 24 hours controlling your blood sugar levels. Regardless of what you choose to eat after you begin eating again, your body will experience a change in blood sugar. That's to be expected, but you can mitigate that change by making better food choices.

For example, if you end your fast by going out to dinner with friends, you may be tempted to eat the dinner rolls. However, by eating carbohydrates as the very first thing after a fast, you'll experience a rise in blood sugar levels that is different from if you broke your fast with dark leafy greens or protein.

Watch out for weekly food traditions. Maybe you have a friend who partakes in this type of eating or maybe you and your family do. These weekly food traditions involve eating a particular food on a certain day of the week, such as Hoagie Tuesday, Pizza Friday, or Pancakes and Waffles Sunday.

Following these traditions can lock you into poor eating habits and make it that much harder to adopt a healthy lifestyle. That's not to say that you should get rid of them entirely, but you should be aware of them and be willing to adjust them in order to meet whatever your weight loss, health, and fitness goals are.

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