How To Properly Exit A Fast

Breaking a fast correctly means ensuring that your body has a smooth transition to a new diet. To hurry up and load your gastrointestinal tract with food from which the body’s enzyme system has already become unaccustomed means to earn diarrhea at best. So let’s break the fast the right way!

Doctors, nutritionists, and ministers of the Church speak and write about breaking the fast, and they all agree on one thing: with all the desire to eat delicious food, one should not forget about a sense of proportion. Returning to a normal diet should be gradual, as slow, and thoughtful as possible. After all, a sufficiently long “diet” of plant-carbohydrate foods causes changes in the physiology of the gastrointestinal tract: the body produces only those enzymes that break down starch, fiber, sugar, vegetable protein, and fat. It takes time for the gastrointestinal tract to start producing more enzymes responsible for breaking down meat and animal fats.

If we change the menu abruptly, our digestive system and excretory organs will react first.

There may be disruptions in the functioning of the liver and pancreas, and chronic diseases may be exacerbated. The smallest manifestation of the body’s reaction to “unusual” food can be a skin rash. However, the consequences can be severe, up to intensive care, when acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or exacerbation of gallstone disease occurs.

The transition to a healthy diet should be smooth. To ensure that the usual food does not harm the body, start preparing at least seven days in advance. Ideally, 12 days should pass from the moment of leaving the fast to the usual diet.

Basic rules for breaking the fast

  • In the first days after fasting, it is very important not to overeat. Portions should be small, and you should get up from the table with a slight feeling of hunger. The diet should still be dominated by plant-based foods – fruits, vegetables, and cereals, preferably boiled or baked.
  • Protein foods should be added gradually and in small quantities.

It is important that the protein is of high quality and well absorbed. In the early days, you need to be especially careful. You can gradually add cereals, dairy soups, and eggs to your fasting meals. Start your fast with dairy products. Cottage cheese, yogurt, and kefir will help prepare your body for regular food.

On the fourth day, start adding meat dishes to your diet. But it doesn’t have to be a fried steak or juicy kebab. It is better to cook steamed cutlets, lean chicken, or turkey fillets.

After a couple of days, you can start eating stewed meat. However, the dish should not be fatty. It is better to serve vegetables or cereals as a side dish than meat. But legumes and mushrooms are too heavy food.

Eggs are also considered heavy food. Two a day is the maximum you can afford.

  • .Add ground flaxseeds to your porridge (1 tablespoon per serving) – they contain valuable omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory and regenerative effects.
  • Drink plenty of clean water, chicory drinks (they improve the functioning of the pancreas), herbal teas, and compotes made from dried apricots, sea buckthorn, blueberries, etc.
  • Do not rely on mayonnaise, ketchup, and sauces containing a large number of animal fats.
  • Avoid fresh baked goods as much as possible. It is generally contraindicated in cholecystitis.
  • But everyone can eat cottage cheese Easter: it is delicious and not difficult to digest.
  • Pastries and cakes with cream and confectionery made from puff or yeast dough stimulate the fermentation process in the intestines – a feeling of heaviness appears, and the stomach bloats.
  • Alcohol after fasting is allowed only with food, and the rate should be 2-3 times less than usual. The optimal dosage is 2 ml per kg of weight for women and 3 ml per kg of weight for men. Dry red or white wines, which stimulate digestion and help digest animal products, are best.
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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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