Fasting FAQs

Fasting FAQs

In Fasting groups, and with our coaching clients, there are some questions that come up over and over. 

Chances are you’ve had these questions, too. Or will have them at some point. 

So we’ve put together a list of some of those most frequently asked questions about fasting.

Does _____ (fill in the blank) break a fast?

No matter what you fill the blank in with, the answer is the same. 

If it has calories, sugars, or sweeteners, it will most likely spike insulin and break your fast. 

Even just the act of chewing a piece of sugarless gum can spike insulin because the body thinks you’re eating. 

If you want maximum fat burning and autophagy, stick to water (plain or sparkling), plain coffee, and plain tea during your fast. 

Are artificial sweeteners okay?

Again, even though there are no calories, the sweet taste will still tell your body that you are taking in food and spike an insulin response, therefore breaking your fast. 

And even if it didn’t break your fast, you are going to get increased hunger and cravings if you consume any kind of sweetener. Why do that to yourself?

Do I have to eat Keto when I break my fast?

No, you don’t have to. 

But many people do, and it’s recommended because it will keep you in fat burning mode for longer.

But with fasting, it’s more about when you eat than it is about what you eat. 

Do I have to take electrolytes?

If you’re doing Extended Fasting, you will definitely need electrolytes. 

If you’re sticking to Intermittent Fasting, you might not need them if you aim for nutrition during your eating windows.

But keep in mind that when you start to lose fat, you lose a lot of water, too, and with it electrolytes. 

So even if you’re doing Intermittent Fasting, you might still need them. You can take the dosage quiz here to get a better idea of what your electrolyte needs are.

Will I lose muscle during a fast?

Not unless you have no fat to burn. And if you have no fat to burn you should not be fasting. 

Is exercise okay during my fast?

Most people are okay to do gentle exercise during a fast. Walking is great! You can check out our article on fasting exercise for more information.

Should I take vitamins during my fast?

You don’t have to, but you can if you want. 

Some people who already have a vitamin deficiency before going into a fast will need to supplement. Speak to your doctor if you have concerns about it. 

Read more about vitamins and fasting

How muchweight will I lose?

No one can tell you that for sure, but the normal fat loss with fasting is half a pound a day.

If you have a lot of weight to lose or you have a lot of inflammation, you’ll probably lose a little quicker at first. 

Will my metabolism slow down?

No. It’s one of those persistent fasting myths that have been debunked! 

In fact, fasting speeds up the metabolism. 

How many calories can I have on eating days?

As many as you need. Calories don’t matter when it comes to fasting. 

When your fast is over and it’s time to eat, always eat till satisfied. Nothing more and nothing less. 

Never restrict calories if you’re still hungry. Calorie restriction is what can really mess with your metabolism. 

Why do I feel cold when I’m fasting?

Feeling cold during fasting is normal. It happens because blood flow is being redirected to your stored fat. 

Sip warm liquids, take warm showers, and stay bundled up!

I have a headache, what should I do?

Headaches during fasting are usually due to one of three things:

  • Not enough electrolytes
  • Not enough water
  • Carb withdrawal 

Make sure that your electrolytes and water are on point. 

If you come into fasting from a diet high in carbohydrates, you’re probably not going to feel great for a few days. 

You can take Tylenol for the headache, and sip on pickle juice. DO NOT take Ibuprofen on an empty stomach. 

What hour does autophagy kick in?

It’s different for everyone, and no one can say exactly what hour it ramps up.

But the general consensus is that autophagy peaks somewhere around 36-72 hours and after that it levels off. 

I forgot and accidentally ate a bite of food, did I break my fast?

Probably. But if it was only one bite, keep going and pretend it didn’t happen. 

You will jump right back into fat burning. Just don’t make a habit of it. 

Keep it simple!

Fasting really is simple, but questions do pop up. We hope you’ll keep our FAQ handy and refer back to it as needed. 

Do you have a question not mentioned above? Please post it in the Comments below and we will get back to you asap. 

Author: Roo Black

Roo Black

Roo is a fasting coach with over 5 years of experience. She leads the admin team of the Official Fasting for Weight Loss Facebook group – one of the largest fasting communities on social media with over 125,000 members. We highly recommend this group for anyone who is looking for fasting advice or coaching.

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