Fast Before the Feast

Before Thanksgiving, I’m doing a 3-day group fast led by Peter Attia where people can join for all or part of the fast (Sunday evening -> Wednesday).

Why am I fasting before the feast? Zero lists a couple of reasons that I like:

  • To give our gut a little rest before putting it to work
  • To shift our mindset so when we do feast, we do so thoughtfully
  • To appreciate the delicious food even more

One natural question that has come up from people doing the fast is “how should I break the fast?”

Here’s a full article from Zero on the best way to break a fast and I’ve pasted some key learnings below.

1. Ease into it

Breaking an extended fast with a huge meal (read: Thanksgiving day meal) is not a great idea. Why? 

Your stomach will have decreased in size over the course of your fast, so you’ll want to avoid binging.

Experts in the field generally recommend starting at about 500 kcal or 50% of your normal intake and working your way up from there.

Therefore, I’ll be breaking my fast on Wednesday and will make sure to not eat so much food that I stretch out my stomach. This can be very uncomfortable (I’ve learned this the hard way 😅)

2. Eat Protein + Fat

Protein provides essential amino acids to help rebuild + repair the body and you’re bound to be in ketosis after a longer fast, so fats will serve as fuel.

A meal of sautéed vegetables with some chicken or fish, or a non-starchy salad with chicken and avocados are both great ways to ease your body back into eating, especially with a nice warm mug of bone broth.

Two sample meals to ease back in could be:

  • 2-3 eggs, half an avocado, some nuts and spinach
  • 1 can of sardines with some salad and olive oil

3. Chew your food

This preps your digestive system!

The act of chewing food activates enzymes in your mouth that begin breaking down your food. So do your GI tract a favor, and get some of the digesting done before that food even enters your stomach.

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