Intermittent Fasting

How to Break Your Prolonged Fast

Breaking a prolonged fast safely is crucial to avoid potential health issues such as refeeding syndrome.  This severe and potentially fatal medical condition happens when you start to increase your calorie intake after a prolonged fast. The reintroduction of carbohydrates triggers a shift from fat to carbohydrate metabolism, leading to severe electrolyte imbalances and fluid alterations. These imbalances can cause complications such as heart failure, seizures, and, in extreme cases, death. A crucial factor contributing to refeeding syndrome is nutrient deficiency, particularly phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium, which are rapidly depleted as they are used in metabolizing glucose upon resuming eating. This condition underscores the importance of carefully planning and executing the transition from fasting to a typical eating pattern to avoid such risks. 

Please review “The #1 Danger of Prolonged Fasting You HAVE to Know About” to learn more about refeeding syndrome, its risks, and ways to help avoid it. 

Here are the steps to safely break a prolonged fast, based on Dr. Berg's advice: 

  1. Start Slowly: Begin by consuming small amounts of food. It's important not to overwhelm your digestive system, which has been resting during the fast. 

  1. Supplement with Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Essential for glucose metabolism and helps convert food into energy. It is particularly crucial during refeeding to help prevent refeeding syndrome. 

  1. Avoid High-Carbohydrate Foods: Avoid foods high in carbohydrates immediately after a fast. They can rapidly deplete minerals like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and B1, increasing the risk of refeeding syndrome. 

  1. Choose the Right Foods

  1. Keto-Friendly Foods: Keto-friendly foods help maintain stable blood sugar levels and prevent sudden depletion of essential minerals. 

  1. Easy-to-Digest Foods: Foods like soups, smoothies, or bone broth are recommended as they are gentle on the stomach and more easily digested. 

  2. Gradual Increase: Gradually increase the quantity and variety of foods over several days. This allows your body to adapt without causing undue stress on your metabolic system. 

  3. Listen to Your Body: Pay close attention to how your body reacts during refeeding. If you experience any adverse symptoms, you may need to adjust and consume less food and/or space out your intake of nutrients. 

These steps can help reintroduce food to support your body’s needs and minimize potential risks. Consult a healthcare professional before starting or ending a prolonged fast, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions. 

This information is provided from Dr. Berg's Guidelines for Prolonged Fasting.docx.

Dr. Berg Nutritionals staff, including Dr. Berg Advisors, do not encourage prolonged fasting. We are not healthcare professionals equipped with the tests and facilities to perform the necessary monitoring during a prolonged fast, nor do we have an individual's medical health records. Dr. Berg Advisors provides this document based on Dr. Berg's education for informational purposes only to those already on a prolonged fast or independently choosing to do one.

Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting a prolonged fast.  If you're considering prolonged fasting, discussing the benefits and risks with your healthcare provider is essential.

Last updated: May 02, 2024 13:55 PM