Despite all the benefits of intermittent fasting, we still have to understand that our gut is very delicate after the end of a fast. Breaking a fast is not about gorging yourself in a big meal, you have the potential to build a lot of muscle or store a lot of fat at the end of an intermittent fasting day -- Be very strategic with your one first small meal.
The most important part of an intermittent fasting regimen, we believe it's not the actual fasting part but it's how you break a fast. When you break your fast your body is sensitive and it's ready to absorb whatever you give it, good bad or ugly. Let's talk about how to break it:
Rule number 1: Do not mix Fats & Carbs:
When you eat carbohydrates your spike your insulin, putting your body into absorptive mode. This insulin spike causes the cells to be very receptive to retrieve whatever you just consume.
The body will absorb and store the carbohydrates & the fat. If you eat fats with carbs you get a double insulin spike, plus anything you eat after your fast will have a bigger impact.
If you consume carbs that triggers insulin, the cell opens and if you've consumed fat at the same time the carbs go into the cell but so does the fat.
if you consume carbs by themselves just the carbs go in, if you consume fat by itself fat doesn't even trigger an insulin response so you're not getting the cell to open. Just don't combine fats with carbs, either have carbs and protein or fats and protein but not a mix of the two.
If you're combining fats and carbohydrates the other thing we have to look at is something known as oscillations stimulating protein, which is indirectly increased by consuming fat so when we consume fat in an insulin sensitive state we increase ASP, this ASP causes an insulin spike so we get a double insulin spike betweens double fat storage, case in point you should be keeping it just lean protein.
It's simple. Never combine fats and carbs when breaking your fast. It's singularly the best tip to optimise all those hours of your fasting window .
it's very easy to want to just consume a whey protein shake at the end of a fast because it's easy but dairy causes some pretty big surges of acid in the body.
A study found that when they took a look at people that had ulcers and people that didn't when they had dairy, there was a much higher prevalence of acid because the protein and the calcium in dairy ends up causing a big surge of acid, you don't want that from a digestive benefit but more importantly we don't want the inflammatory effect. Remember you're sensitive at the end of a fast and dairy as much as we might love it is inflammatory, we have to accept that so when we consume dairy at the end of a fast we put ourselves in a highly inflammatory state which is a contrast to the highly anti-inflammatory state that we're in when we're fasting. Why would we want to ruin it? Just save the dairy for later, you'll live without it.
You can have those but we want you to have those two hours after you break your fast. Cruciferous vegetables are hard to break down generally and they also have something called raffinose in them, a sugar that breaks down very strangely in the body and causes you to be bloated, let's just avoid that.
Breaking a fast with some kind of Bone broth
When you break your fast with bone broth it allows the collagen to help restore the gut. A lot of times when you're fasting you end up weakening temporarily the gut mucosal layer, this gut mucosal layer is what protects you from any kind of acid or any kind of just damage in the gut, so if you consume some bone broth it can make it so that the gut can actually absorb things better.
You don't need much, four, six ounces but we highly recommend it no matter the length of your fast - break your fast with some bone broth it helps you out a lot.
It is super important for women that you have a cortisol mitigation strategy prior to breaking your fast. It's important for men too but really important for women because women tend to have higher levels of cortisol when fasting. Cortisol is your best friend when it comes to fat burning but it's also your worst enemy when it comes to fat storage.
Cortisol should be elevated while you're fasting because it causes you to burn fat but cortisol should not be elevated in combination with food because it causes storage glucocorticoid receptors and our belly fat, it causes us to store fat right in our belly when we eat. When cortisol is high (because your cortisol is high when you're fasting) you don't want to break your fast with your cortisol levels being high because the food you eat is going to go storage.
We have protocols: First and foremost lifestyle, this is separate and aside you probably should get in the practice of doing some deep reading, meditation, yoga or something to bring your cortisol levels down.
Nutrition oriented: Have salt! Start adding salt to your water a couple hours before you break a fast, some people like to have bone broth right before they break the fast and that's great too because it solves the same purpose but it does technically break a fast so you want to have your bone broth closer to the end of your fast but otherwise just salt.
Add some salt to your water, a couple teaspoons and get a good amount. Salt is going to back off the production of what's called aldosterone, which is something that regulates fluid retention and salt retention in the body. If we add some salt, aldosterone can decrease which believe it or not aldosterone and cortisol synergistically work together so if we have salt, aldosterone can drop and therefore cortisol drops, not significantly but enough to help you out.
Add a little bit of cinnamon
Add some cinnamon to a glass of warm water, or any other way you prefer such as cinnamon tea. What that is going to do is it's going to moderate your cortisol levels but it's also going to make it so that your blood sugar is a little bit lower.
It's interesting because cinnamon does something known as insulin mimic, so it makes it so that the cells open up as if you had insulin in the system but you don't, so you get the benefits of consuming carbs as far as the cell opening up but without actually consuming carbs, so it makes life really easy for you! It does this through something known as methyl hydroxy Chalcone and polymer, in simple terms, basically the way that cinnamon acts upon the cells so it's really good. You can do that about an hour or so before you break your fast and you're gonna be in a good spot and your cortisol levels are gonna be a little bit lower.
We need to do what we can to get some iodine in and the way is if you are gonna cook up some meat or something else you can use seasoning that has some kelp or seaweed in it. Believe it or not they're out there all the time, just make sure they don't have onion or garlic. Also you can get some seaweed flakes, some nori or some seaweed snacks crumple them up and put them on your fish, put them on your oysters or just eat a couple seaweed snacks that don't have a bunch of oil in them.
Couple ounces, white fish (shrimp, scallops) chicken with grass fed bone broth, wild alaskan salmon
When it's time base the majority of your bigger meals around these foods:
meat: red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey
fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
eggs: pastured or omega-3 whole eggs
butter and cream: grass-fed butter and heavy cream
cheese: unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella
nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
avocados: whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
low carb veggies: green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
condiments: salt, pepper, herbs, and spices
In summary, your break fast meal should look simple: A bit of bone broth or a little bit of salt before, some cinnamon and then break your fast with a lean protein.