Good preparation almost always increases your success rate, no matter what the field. It’s the same situation when you’re fasting. A successful fast often has as much to do with what you eat before you fast as it does with the fast itself. We’ve put together some information that can help you get started with fasting.
Table of contents
- Getting started fasting: here’s how to make it work!
Entry into fasting: how to make it successful!
Regardless of what you eat before you start your timer, you’ll likely reap many benefits from fasting. But you can make it much easier, and possibly reap even greater benefits, by eating certain foods and avoiding others.
Eat vegetables rich in fiber
When starting your fast, don’t forget to eat vegetables – especially ones that give you an extra dose of insoluble fiber (the kind that doesn’t get broken down by your gut bacteria, but passes through you and helps you eat regularly). Tip: Reach for green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are also rich in insoluble fiber. They also provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals without a lot of extra carbohydrates, so they’re filling.
Good tip: Legumes and fruit on the menu
Fruits and legumes are a good source of fiber and protein. Beans, lentils and peas can also be a good substitute for meat if you are trying to eat a plant-based diet. Some legumes, such as white beans and lentils, are also high in resistant starch – carbohydrates that have little effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. They can be mixed into salads or eaten plain. Most legumes are even easier to digest if soaked overnight.
Be sparing with the fruit, as most of it contains quite a bit of sugar, which is stored as glycogen if you don’t use it immediately for fuel. Choose fruit that is lower in carbohydrates and lower in sugar and fructose, such as berries, grapefruit and pears. And remember, fruit juice is not the same as fruit. Even if it’s natural, raw and organic, fruit juice contains all the sugar of fruit, without the balancing effect of fiber and other nutrients. Therefore, it is better not to drink juice before fasting.
Dietary change when fasting entry: Healthy fats are important
Consume essential fats. Even if you eat a plant-based diet, you’ll find plenty of “healthy fats” in nature’s pantry, including avocados, olives, nuts and coconut oil.
Animal sources of protein before starting your fast.
In addition to the plant-based protein sources mentioned above, you can also enjoy animal protein without any negative effects on starting your fast. We recommend choosing lean, organic, grass-fed protein. Regardless of the source, focusing on protein and fat consumption and minimizing carbohydrate consumption before fasting is a good idea.
Shorten the time window for food intake
Gradually shortening your food intake window about a week before fasting can also help prepare your body to go without food. This shortening can also help you if you want to lose weight during the fast.
Refrain from alcohol and nicotine
Alcohol and nicotine should be taboo. It is best to avoid caffeine as well, but of course you can still enjoy 1 – 2 cups of coffee per day. When starting fasting, prepare yourself not only physically, but also emotionally: You need more rest.
Entry day of fasting
The actual first day of fasting should then ideally start with thorough bowel emptying, this way there is no feeling of hunger during the fast.