Intermittent fasting is alternating between eating and fasting windows. You can not eat solid food in your fasting window as it contains calories. Eating that will break your fast. Liquids are acceptable as long as they have low to zero calories.
Below is a breakdown of what items you can eat or drink during fasting. But first, let’s understand what intermittent fasting is and how it is done.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that calls for alternating between fasting and eating at specific times. You schedule your meals at particular times when they reap the most benefit. It works on the principle of burning fat in the absence of glucose.
Here’s how: when you eat a meal, your body converts sugar into energy and stores the remaining sugar as fat. So, when the food (hence, sugar or glucose) is absent, the body breaks down that stored fat to produce an energy source called ketones.
Intermittent fasting has several forms or patterns, including:
16:8 Fasting Method – You fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours of the day. The eating window is between 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. or 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
5:2 Fasting Method – eat a regular diet five days a week while limiting the calorie count to 500 on two weekdays.
Alternate Day Fasting – It involves fasting every other day.
Eat-Stop-Eat Diet – This method involves not eating for 24 hours once or twice a week.
5 Food Items Allowed During Intermittent Fasting
No solid food intake is allowed, but you can have water, tea, coffee, or other calorie-free drinks. These items do not alter your fasting state.
Water is the best option to have during your fasting period. It contains no calories; hence it does not break your fast. Moreover, it keeps you hydrated and fresh to keep you going through fasting.
Water also helps you subside hunger by filling your stomach. So you do not feel too starving while you fast. While plain ol’ water is good enough, you can also use carbonated water. Or, make detox drinks by adding lemons, cucumbers, or berries to the water.
If you can’t function properly without having your morning cup of coffee, we can imagine your relief hearing this. Yes, you can drink coffee while fasting, and it won’t break your fast. But remember to take it without added milk, cream, or sugar.
You can also use bulletproof coffee to shoo away hunger while maintaining your fast. Bulletproofing your coffee means adding additional fats like butter, MCT oil, or coconut oil.
Bulletproof coffee is not precisely a calorie-free beverage, but these calories’ source is fat. Fat-related calories do not increase your blood glucose and keep the ketosis (fat-burning). There are mixed reviews about bulletproof coffee, so go with your intuition for having it or not.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a fermented apple juice containing acetic acid, probiotics, fibers, and minerals. Dilute 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it, preferably in the morning or before meals. It makes a fantastic drink to have while intermittent fasting.
Does apple cider vinegar break a fast? No, it does not. A single tablespoon of vinegar contains 0.1 g of carbohydrates, up to 3 calories. So, it is pretty safe to use while fasting.
You might be thinking, why are we suggesting ACV? What is apple cider vinegar good for? Regarding your fast, it improves satiation, keeps you hydrated, and prevents cravings. Besides, it supports digestion, enhances gut health, and regulates blood glucose levels.
Tea is another favorite thing on the list to have during fasting. It contains almost zero calories, so it does not affect your fasting. Moreover, warm tea makes you feel full for longer, so you can keep your fast.
Tea makes an excellent substitute for coffee as caffeine does not sit well on an empty stomach for some people. Also, it comes in a great variety: white tea, black tea, herbal tea, green tea, and many more. You can also go for apple cider vinegar tea; it tastes fantastic and provides comfort and warmth.
5. Bone Broth
Bone broth also makes it to the list of things allowed during a fast. It replenishes electrolytes, minerals, and nutrients lost during a fast. Moreover, it provides collagen to support your gut lining.
You can use either beef, lamb, or chicken for cooking the broth. Beef broth can cause an insulin spike since it contains protein, but it has a low-calorie count. Thus, people have mixed opinions on having it during a fast. As a general rule, if it helps you maintain your fast for a long, you can have it.
While intermittent fasting forbids taking any food during fasting windows, it allows beverages and drinks with low calories. You can have these to keep yourself hydrated and full. You can also take supplements if they do not trigger an insulin spike.