There are so many benefits of staying on a keto diet, especially if you want to lose weight fast. Water fast along with the keto diet boosts the ketosis process. But simple mistakes like drinking or eating the wrong food might bring you out of ketosis and negate the benefits you want. So, how to break a water fast and stay in ketosis?
During prolonged water fasting, your body stops digestion and some other metabolic processes. If you introduce solid food to your body right after breaking your fast, your body won’t metabolize it properly and store it as fat. Experts recommend to start eating with easy-to-digest foods like bone broth and leafy greens.
Besides, I also strongly advise against alcohol and processed sugar. There are some key points to remember to ensure you don’t harm your body’s natural tissue rebuilding process, which I will discuss in this article, along with some complications you might face if you don’t do it right. So, make sure to be here till the end.
How Does Ketosis and Water Fasts Work?
An excellent way to control your blood sugar and insulin levels is fasting. It also boosts your immunity and helps you reach your weight goals. People usually engage in prolonged water fast for about three days, and they don’t consume any solid food while staying only on water.
As the human body’s first instinct is to survive and adapt, it treats every meal as the last one. So, when you consume carbs, your body will put the energy on hold and reserve it for the leaner times. After 72 hours of water fasting, your body will not engage in the normal metabolic processes and will run out of the reserved glycogen.
Then, your body will start to use its fat, muscle, and other tissues for energy by ketosis. It’s a way of converting ketogenic amino acids from proteins and fats to ketones, which the body will use as energy by its organs and tissues. During the fasting stage, this process is autophagy, where your body quite literally will eat itself to survive.
Keto gives you the power of using fats as means of energy. While you are in ketosis, you can go for quite a while without needing to eat. Water fasts take things to the next level. It detoxes your body in a controlled way. In the fasting period, you have to avoid food entirely and drink 2-3 liters of water per day.
How to Combine Water Fast and Ketosis?
Water fasting is very straightforward to understand. You will have to eliminate food intake for at least a day and at best up to three days. Water fasts reduce oxidative stress, increases autophagy, and also improves insulin sensitivity.
A ketogenic diet will introduce your body to ketosis, and you can combine keto with water fasts. So, you’ll have to drink salty water throughout the entire day to prevent keto flu symptoms. If your body adapts to ketosis, you won't feel intense cravings for food, and get through the day quickly.
But if you are starting with water fasting, it might be a bit difficult for you to give up food intake entirely. My advice is to do intermittent fasting for at least five days and then take up water fasting.
It generally takes about two to four days for your body to enter ketosis. It’s best to start slow and build the fasting periods as you see how your body responds to the food absence. Some experts suggest that water fasting might provide you with a more extended ketosis state and repair cells deeply.
What to Eat to Break a Water Fast and Stay in Ketosis?
In terms of making suggestions on how to break a water fast and stay in ketosis, you’ll need a careful plan to avoid having any complications. As your body shuts its metabolic processes, including digestion, you will want to take it slow and introduce your body to solid food after it has adjusted to getting food again.
Because your body needs to restart the rebuilding process right away, I suggest you try the following suggestions to stay in ketosis. Keep reading to learn more about what breaks a keto fast.
- Bone Broth
The most common suggestion I’ve seen while researching this subject is bone broth. It’s one of the best foods to break your fast with as it has a rich amino acid composition.
It’s best to keep it small and keep consuming nutritious liquid like soup and kefir to get your body used to eat again.
- Probiotic Foods
You’ll want to wait for another day to eat solid food next. Additionally, you can try probiotic foods as experts widely encourage keto dieters to consume them.
The foods you choose at this phase are essential. Kimchi and sauerkraut have a wide array of probiotics and will assist in nutrient absorption.
- Ketogenic Foods
Once your body is ready to eat solid food without a problem, you can try the usual ketogenic foods like grilled salmon and grass-fed beef for proteins, leafy greens like roasted broccoli, green beans, and high fatty foods like Brussels sprouts, avocado, and double-boiled eggs.
- Whole Foods and Supplements
Processed food is one of the biggest no-gos, so you’ll want to stick to whole foods. During the first hours of water fasting, it’s best to eat non-starchy veggies and healthy oils.
Besides, to ease your body back to recovery, continue electrolytic supplements for the first few hours of eating again.
You could also try clean carbohydrates, as those along with proteins will kickstart the rebuilding process. The leafy greens will also keep your digestion going. After three to four days, you can handle a small meal.
The bottom line is, if you’re fasting for three days, it’s best to break your fast with liquids first. The next day, you can eat soft and gentle, easy-to-digest foods. On the fifth day, you can treat yourself to a small but nutritious meal.
What to Avoid When You Break Your Water Fast
There are some things you’ll want to avoid while breaking your water fast unless you want to undo the health benefits of fasting. Here’s what I learned about foods you should avoid while breaking your water fast.
- Sugar, including processed ones and artificial sweeteners
- Fresh juice
- Processed carbohydrates
- Starchy vegetables
- Nuts and seeds, including nut butter
Water Fasting Complications if You Don’t Break Your Fast Properly
When you enter ketosis or come out of a prolonged fast, your body stops digesting food, and the enzyme composition of your stomach changes dramatically. If you are water fasting for the first time, it is easy to feel like treating yourself to a big meal or go back to a diet that’s packed with calories for one day, but I strongly don’t recommend that.
You’ll want to blend water and high-vitamin liquids that will return the enzymatic composition of your stomach to normal and restart the digestive process safely. Additionally, you’ll want to break your water fast correctly to prevent refeeding syndrome or other symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, stomach pain, and nausea, among other things.
Ketogenic diets and water fasts are not the same, but they complement each other when you combine them. I hope you now know how to break a water fast and stay in ketosis.
Make sure to enjoy the benefits of water fasting while on a ketogenic diet, but don’t hesitate to pause if you are feeling unwell.
Thanks for reading. Wishing you good health.