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What Breaks a Fast? [my attempt to answer]

"Does ____ break a fast?"

That's one of the most common question I've seen from people new to fasting.

​From where I sit, the answer comes down to two things:

What are your goals?
What's in the food (or drink, etc) you want to use? ​ First, why are you fasting? What are your goals?

​Maybe you want to lower your blood sugar, reduce your risk of diabetes, reduce your body fat, or improve your mental clarity.

Or something else.

How strict you need to be with fasting depends on your goals.

Fortunately, you don't have to be 100% strict all the time to get a lot of health benefits from fasting. :)

But before you eat or drink something, it's probably worth asking, "Will ____ prevent me from reaching my goal(s)."

Second, consider what's in the food (or drink, etc.).

​If you're thinking about eating or drinking something while you fast (i.e. a sort of "dirty" fasting), it helps to know exactly what's in it.

​How many grams of carbohydrates, protein, and fat does it have? How many calories?

​It also helps to know what carbs, protein, etc. do inside the body. Then you can relate that back to your goals.

Obviously this isn't comprehensive, but in general:

-- avoid carbs as much as possible, because they raise your blood sugar and insulin, and promote fat storage

-- protein is kind of okay, but may limit some more "advanced" benefits from fasting (like maximal autophagy)

-- dietary fat (like mct or coconut oil) is the best thing to supplement with, but doing so can reduce how much of your own body fat you burn in the short term

I also wrote a longer article on this topic recently, going into more detail and covering a lot of specific examples that people ask about a lot. I'd love to hear any feedback if anyone cares to share. :)



  • ilovepopcorn2016
    ilovepopcorn2016 Posts: 6 Member
    Thanks for this information.
  • mhands9783
    mhands9783 Posts: 6 Member
    Hi, I m also trying to stop smoking and use nicorrette lozenges/ mints to stave off cravings . I usually do 8 pm - 12.30 next day fasting. Will it affect me much if I need a lozenge .
    Thanks Smee