How to Break a Fast Without Gaining Weight

Avoid binging after a fast.

Avoid binging after a fast.

Intermittent fasting can help encourage your body to remove stored waste and aid in weight control, according to nutritionist Dr. John Berardi. After a fast, the absence of energy has modified your body's metabolism to store energy by gaining fat. Some weight gain is unavoidable as your body replenishes glycogen -- stored carbohydrates in your muscle and liver -- and associated water. However, smart eating after a fast will keep you feeling lean and healthy without gaining fat.

Limit calories coming off your fast and avoid the temptation to overindulge. Gradually step up your caloric intake over the next week if you fast for a few days, or the next few weeks if you fasted longer. The human body is tuned to maintain body weight season-to-season and year-to-year, as food supplies wax and wane. The lack of calories during a fast drives your body to increase stored energy in body fat to prepare for future times with reduced calories.

Avoid sugar, alcohol, fast food and junk food when coming off a fast, especially the first week. These foods provide a surge of nutrients that feed fat deposits. Eating foods with moderate calories that your body digests slowly favors the delivery of nutrition to your organs and muscles.

Eat low glycemic index carbohydrates, such as vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes. High glycemic index foods are digested rapidly, leading to a surge in blood sugar that, similarly to high sugar foods, promotes fat gain as your body seeks to replenish energy stores.

Choose foods that provide high quality protein, such as lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, whole grain, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Protein helps decrease hunger, promotes muscle growth and reduces your body's dependence on carbohydrates for energy, notes Precision Nutrition. Eat 20 to 30 grams of protein with each meal, the equivalent of one or two palm-sized servings.

Fill yourself up with low-caloric-density foods, such as vegetables and whole grains. These foods contain fewer calories per bite due to a high content of water or fiber.

 

About the Author

Chris Daniels covers advances in nutrition and fitness online. Daniels has numerous certifications and degrees covering human health, nutritional requirements and sports performance. An avid cyclist, weightlifter and swimmer, Daniels has experienced the journey of fitness in the role of both an athlete and coach.

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