What to eat when fasting

Yes, you can eat certain foods while “fasting.” The foods listed here are “negative calorie” foods (to a point) that won’t break your “fast” or interfere with the benefits of fasting.

This list is also great for those times when you aren’t actually hungry but need to eat for “emotional” reasons (and we ALL have those times – even me). Plus, eating within 2 hours of bedtime is always a bad idea, unless you are trying to gain weight. The Sumo wrestlers in Japan have learned over the centuries that the best way to get fat as fast as possible is to eat the biggest meal of the day right before bed. Most of us though, aren’t sumo wrestlers, so if we get hungry, this post will give you some options so you don’t have to go to bed with a hunger level that might interfere with getting to sleep because a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality is fattening too!

When you are hungry on a fast or are doing intermittent fasting, before you eat anything at all, first make sure you are hydrated because a thirsty body often sends signals to the brain that it’s hungry.

If you don’t know if you are hydrated, here’s how to calculate the proper amount (for people who weight between 100-250 lbs.): Take your body weight in pounds, then divide by two and confirm that you have drunk that many ounces per day for the last two days (at least) including that proportional amount for today, based on the time of day.

Next, whether you have or haven’t consumed that much liquid, drink 8 ounces more and wait 21+ minutes.

Then, if you still feel hungry and you’re sure you’re not thirsty, eat from the list of options below.

  • up to 50 cal. of seaweed, or
  • up to two celery stalks, or
  • up to 2 oz. of pickled ginger, or
  • up to 3 oz. of pickles/zucchini/cucumber, or
  • up to 4 oz. of sauerkraut/kimchi, or
  • up to 6 oz. protein drink (with up to 15 grams protein), or
  • up to 8 oz. bone broth (with spices and salt if desired), or
  • up to one hard-boiled egg, or
  • unlimited apple cider vinegar, or
  • unlimited tea and coffee with stevia, lo han (monkfruit) or erythritol (if sweetener is needed), or
  • unlimited leafy greens with a splash of vinegar and salt to taste or
  • unlimited habanero peppers (this is a joke, but actually fine if you really can…)

Adding salt and spices to any of these options is also OK.

If the foods on this list don’t sound good enough to eat when you are fasting, then you aren’t truly PHYSICALLY hungry. It’s emotional hunger you are feeling in that case. If you are truly hungry, you will feel it in your stomach – not your head – and at least some of these foods will become a viable option.

As you can see, fasting gets you in touch with what real hunger actually is. Most people in the USA have forgotten what that even feels like because food is so readily available. A good technique to help you learn how to get in touch with your hunger mechanism is to use the hunger scale technique.