What Should I Eat After Fasting for 24 Hours?
(Photo: Adobe Stock)
Human Window Staff
By Human Window Staff
Updated on April 18, 2019
Expert Content

If you’re new to Intermittent Fasting, you may be wondering what is the best thing to eat to break your fast.

So, if you’re looking to find out the best things to eat after a long fast, then you’ve landed on the right page.

This article is going to take a detailed look at the basics of Intermittent Fasting, and also look at the basic principals you should stick to when it comes to breaking your fast.

We’re going to split this article up into the following sections:

• What is Intermittent Fasting?
• What to Eat After Fasting for 24 Hours
• Expert Comment
• Anything Else to Consider?
• Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts

So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s now start taking a closer look at Intermittent Fasting and the benefits it can bring.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

If you’re reading this article, then you are probably already familiar with the basic principles behind Intermittent Fasting, but let’s cover them quickly just in case.

Firstly, you should not try Intermittent Fasting if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have an underlying medical condition. Always speak to a medical professional for advice before going on a fast.

Intermittent Fasting is a general term which refers to various eating patterns that involve fasting (not eating anything) for short periods of time.

It has become incredibly popular in recent years as more people look to take responsibility for their overall health.

Some people choose to do it because it could help with weight loss. Fasting is also believed to have a number of other positive health benefits, which have been studied more closely over the last few years.

There are various different types of fasting protocols, but one common one, for example, would be to fast for 16 hours of the day, with an eight-hour ‘eating window’.

Others involve slightly longer fasts, with some people opting to fast for 24 hours at a time, perhaps a couple of times a month. You should seek medical supervision for longer fasts.

You can drink as much water as you like while you are fasting, the important thing is not to consume anything which contains calories.

Be sure to check out our separate article on what breaks your fast if you are wondering what you can have during your periods of fasting.

To keep things simple, if you want to be 100 per cent sure of remaining in a fasted state, we recommend drinking water only during your fast.

Now that we’ve looked at some of the basic principles and facts about Intermittent Fasting, let’s move on to the fun part – breaking your fast!

What to Eat after Fasting for 24 Hours

As we mentioned above, some people choose to fast for 24 hours as their preferred method of Intermittent Fasting.

At this point, many people start to think about what are the best foods to consume after having fasted for 24 hours.

There is no ‘right’ answer to this question, but you can apply some common sense principles to help you make a decision.

We always recommend sticking to a diet that is rich in fresh vegetables and other ingredients.

Healthy diet and nutrition
Sticking to a healthy diet is important (Photo: Adobe Stock)

When you are eating for the first time after a long fast, it’s important that you supply your body with nutrient-dense food to help it to recover.

Simply put, we would recommend ensuring that your first meal after a long fast contains plenty of fresh vegetables and other ingredients that are rich in micronutrients (Vitamins and Minerals).

It may be a good idea not to consume greasy or highly meat-based meals immediately after a 24-hour fast. This is simply because a more vegetarian-based meal will probably be lighter on your stomach.

We would also advise to stick to ‘real food’ ingredients and avoid processed and pre-packaged food. For example, avoiding foods which contain artificial sweeteners and colorings is probably a good idea (whether you’re fasting or not!).

Examples of ‘real food’ include fresh vegetables, nuts, meats and fruits. Simply put, it is any food which has not had much human intervention and which would have been around thousands of years ago, before the food industry boomed.

So, to wrap things up, there is no ‘perfect’ meal to break your fast. But if you apply common sense, sticking to a healthy meal featuring fresh ingredients and lots of vegetables is probably a good idea. It’s probably also wise to not make it a very heavy meal.

Expert Comment

Max Lowery
Max Lowery (Photo: Tom Joy)

We spoke to Intermittent Fasting expert and personal trainer Max Lowery to get his thoughts on what you should be breaking your 24-hour fast with.

Max has been an advocate of Intermittent Fasting for years and is the founder of 2 Meal Day.

Here, we asked him the question of what you should eat after fasting for 24 hours.

Max says: “Real food, cooked from scratch. Once you start extending it to more than 24-hour fasting, then you want to be quite careful with what you break your fast with.

“For 24-hours or less, I wouldn’t eat a huge cheesy or meaty meal. I’d probably keep it quite vegetarian-based, just so it’s a bit lighter on the stomach.

“People get hung up on the food thing, but essentially, if you’re cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients, then you’re good to go.”

Spinach leaves
Spinach leaves (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Anything Else to Consider?

As ever, there is no ‘correct’ answer to what you should be breaking your fast with.

It’s best to apply some common-sense principles, such as sticking to a diet which is comprised mainly of fresh ingredients cooked from scratch.

It’s probably a good idea to avoid things that contain artificial sweeteners and colorings, and it’s also probably wise to make your first meal after a long fast a relatively light one.

As we always like to remind our readers, there is no ‘quick fix’ when it comes to getting into shape and staying healthy.

You should always make sure that you are sticking to a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

You should also ensure that you’re getting plenty of rest and exercising regularly to help support your overall health.

Staying healthy is a way of life. You shouldn’t expect one thing, such as Intermittent Fasting, to make all the difference. It’s about having a balanced approach to all areas of your life – diet, exercise and rest included.

Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts

So, that brings us to the end of our look at what you should eat after fasting for 24 hours.

We’ve taken a look at the basic facts about Intermittent Fasting, and we have also examined why it may be a good idea not to break your fast with a heavy, greasy meal.

Instead, it’s probably better to eat a lighter meal featuring lots of nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables.

We also brought you an expert comment from Max Lowery about his thoughts on breaking your fast.

All in all, there is no ‘correct’ answer to the question. We advise sticking to healthy lifestyle choices across the board, and that should mean that you’re eating balanced meals rich in micronutrients regularly, whether you are fasting or not.