Avoiding side-effects of fasting


Save a few calories for a small glass of milk or a cube of cheese before bed

Fasting increases alertness (which was very helpful for our ancient ancestors hunting down their prey, but not so good for us modern humans trying to get a good night’s sleep). Insomnia can be a problem particularly with the first fasts. Saving some of your calorie allowance for a snack, preferably one that contains fat and protein such as milk or cheese, can help with sleep. Again, the insomnia problem tends to ease with more fasting experience.

Break your fast wisely

Your stomach will have had a good rest during the fasting period, so don’t give it a big shock by having a huge meal straight off. You may be surprised how much your appetite will have reduced after your fast but it is easy to serve out the same sized portion as always and this can lead to considerable discomfort in the stomach and sometimes even diarrhoea. Give yourself a smaller portion of breakfast and preferably not too high in carbohydrates or sugary stuff.

Learn more about what to eat on non-fast days

Feeling cold

It is completely normal to feel colder than usual on a fast day. The process of eating and digesting food generates a fair bit of heat, so when we eat very little, we do feel cold. Drinking plenty is a good idea on a fast day anyway; make the drinks hot drinks such as a low calorie soup or tea or coffee will help keep you warm. Some light exercise will also help. And of course, you can always put on some more clothes!

Visit the FastDay Forum for encouragement and inspiration

If you are feeling low, worried about something or just want to chat, you’ll find plenty of support and encouragement at the FastDay Forum. There is always a ‘Fasting today’ thread where you can chat with other people who are currently fasting, plus there are dedicated threads for different types of intermittent fasting.

Visit the FastDay Forum

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