One of the most popular wellness trends in today’s age is intermittent fasting, and there is a fairly good reason for this.
You see, thousands of people are using it, and are using it successfully to lose weight, simplify their lives, and improve their health overall.
Today, we are going to go over all the aspects of what you need to know about intermittent fasting, including how you can break your fast, why so many people are curious about smoothies, and how they relate to intermittent fasting.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, not really, not like Keto or Paleo. It is better described as being more of an eating pattern between stages of fasting and then eating.
It does not specify the foods of which you should eat or should not, instead it specifies when you SHOULD eat.
Any time that you aren’t eating, this is considered intermittent fasting.
Most people have a period of fasting between eating dinner and then eating breakfast the next day, which is usually around 12 hours long.
Technically speaking, intermittent fasting is considered to be a part of normal, everyday life.
The Types Of Intermittent Fasting
Strictly speaking, there are 3 types of intermittent fasting. They are as follows:
Time-restricted: This is when you only eat during a particular set of hours per day, this often establishes a constant daily pattern of eating set to an 8-12 hour window. An example of this would be the 16:8 diet, which includes 16 hours of fasting and an 8-hour window of eating. This is very common, with most fasting hours being during the night.
Alternative day: This method alternated between 24-hour windows of fasting. A person will eat less than 25% of everyday energy needs, then a 24-hour feasting day period.
Periodic fasting: This is also known as whole-day fasting, which involves consecutive fasting hours over 24 hours. The 5:2 diet is like this, including 2 days of fasting a week and then 5 days of eating normally.
What Happens To Your Body When You Fast?
In order to know how you should practice intermittent fasting, it is important to understand how insulin works.
This is a hormone that regulates your blood sugar. When you eat insulin is made and then released into your bloodstream. Once it is released, insulin causes your body to store energy as fat.
The more insulin that your body produces, the more fat your body will store.
When you do intermittent fasting, the period when you do not eat will give your body time to lower your insulin levels, reversing this process and helping you to burn fat easier.
Weight loss is the most common reason that people will try intermittent fasting, a study even showed that intermittent fasting can actually cause a 3-8% loss in weight over a 24-week period, which is much more significant than most think.
Can You Have Smoothies While Fasting?
If you are keeping to a strict window of fasting then you need to avoid foods or drinks that contain calories.
This means that you should avoid fruit juices, bone broth, and even smoothies.
The only things which are allowed during a fast are water, tea, black coffee, zero-calorie beverages, or low-calorie beverages, sadly smoothies are not one of these!
Even a green smoothie will have too many calories for intermittent fasting.
What Breaks A Fast?
Many people who do intermittent fasting are very confused about what can and cannot be consumed while they are fasting.
Some think that as a smoothie is a liquid it is fine, but the line is not between liquids and solids, but instead in calories.
Any calories will disrupt the process of fasting.
If you should adhere to a strict window, then you should be avoiding any food or beverages which have any caloric contents including smoothies.
No calorie, or low-calorie beverages such as tea, water, and so on, are allowed, as hydration is key.
Green tea is a good choice, for example.
Diet sodas, while calorie-free, are a point of contention, apple cider vinegar is a ‘healthy food’ and is okay depending on its calorie count.
However, you should choose apple cider vinegar which has been diluted.
Breaking Your Fast With Smoothies
You cannot consume smoothies during a fast, however, you can have them when you break a fast.
When you need to break your fast, you should ease back into eating. Going from eating nothing to having a huge meal would stress out your blood sugar levels and your digestive system.
Consumables which are high in protein and fat are ideal as they will be low in sugar and calories.
The micronutrients in them will also help you to feel fuller without stressing your digestive system out.
Smoothies are an ideal tool for breaking a fast in a gentle way, and when correctly prepared, they will help to keep you satiated, while boosting your energy and balancing your blood sugars, as they are blended, they are often easier to digest as well!
You should avoid too many fruits and hard-carb ingredients as this can lead your blood sugar levels to go crazy! This could raise your insulin levels and make you hungrier and feel unwell.
What Else Breaks Your Fast
You should break your fast with a low glycemic liquid meal (i.e. smoothies), however, there are some other ways you can reintroduce food into your diet after your fast.
Consider the following:
- Avoid any processed foods.
- Take probiotics before your meal.
- Stick to eating smaller portions.
- Eat flowy.
- Try adding protein powder to a fast-breaking smoothie.
When You Should Not Fast
Fasting is not good for everyone, and therefore you should not fast if you are dealing with certain conditions or are in a certain state of health.
This means if you are breastfeeding or pregnant you should not do intermittent fasting.
Fasting will promote the burning of fat, and when you are breastfeeding or pregnant you actually need to store fat, if you burn too much fat while pregnant you can actually harm your baby as well as yourself.
Loss of fat can also decrease the quality of your milk and harm your body’s ability to create milk.
Fasting is also not recommended if you have an eating disorder, or if you have had an eating disorder in the past.
Fasting is done to improve overall health, however, if you have struggled with an eating disorder or any type in the past, it can easily trigger a relapse.
You should always consult a doctor, dietician, or your GP before you decide to try intermittent fasting or any other alternative eating lifestyle that your body is not used to or has not experienced before.
Any manner of health condition can affect the body in a negative way if you try a diet that has not been confirmed as okay for you to do.
Hidden health conditions or seemingly minor health conditions can easily become worse with certain diets.
We would also recommend speaking to a GP before you try intermittent fasting if you have, or have a history of anemia.
Smoothie Recipe For Fasting
When it’s time to break the fast, you want to consume food that is easy on your stomach, and ideally packed with nutrients.
Smoothies are a great way to provide your body with an easy-to-digest meal and in the meantime provide it with lots of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Here’s a great smoothie recipe to break the fast:
Super Green Celery Smoothie
- 1 Blender We used Ninja
- 1 rip diced celery washed and diced
- 1/2 cup/75g Frozen pineapple chunks
- Handful of spinach washed
- 1/3 avocado peeled and stone removed
- 300 ml coconut water or regular water
- Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth.
- Serve and enjoy!
Drinking Smoothies While Fasting FAQs:
What Smoothies Are Good For Fasting?
Smoothies should not be consumed during fasting, however, they can make for a great tool for when you are breaking a fast. That being said, fruit smoothies should be avoided, as they can easily overload your blood sugar. The best smoothies for coming out of fasting would be green smoothies or detox smoothies which are lower in sugar and can help your body get used to eating again.
Can I Drink A Banana Smoothie During Intermittent Fasting?
You cannot drink a banana during intermittent fasting, however, a banana smoothie can be delicious when you are breaking an intermittent fast.
Can I Break My Fast With A Fruit Smoothie?
Fruit smoothies are not advised for breaking a fast as they contain a lot of sugar which can make you unwell. Choose a lower sweetness smoothie, such as a green smoothie.