How To Break A Fast With Mindfulness
Tips on how to break a fast with mindful eating habits
People around the world fast for a myriad of reasons like religious observances, health benefits, in preparation for surgical procedures, or just unintentionally skipping meals due to a busy schedule. When breaking a fast, it is common to have lack of appetite control and feel ravenous when diving into that first meal. Eating too much too quickly after a fast many times can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, gas, tummy aches, and even spike your blood sugar. Especially for those that fast often or for longer periods of time like during the month of Ramadan where you do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset, the tips below can help you break a fast with mindful eating habits.
Practice Mindful Eating Habits
Eating habits like having a sit-down meal without distractions and taking time to chew each bite can actually help you feel fuller since you are present and savoring each bite. Leisure eating can help you tune into to hunger and fullness cues leading to better appetite control. It can take about 20-30 minutes for your brain to register fullness signals from the time you start eating. It is common to go in automatic eating mode when you are starving leading to overconsumption and an energy crash afterwards. While eating, pay attention to the flavors and texture of your food while putting your fork down between each bite. Allow your body to take time to digest and process hunger-fullness signals.
Pre-plan your meals
Pre-planning what you will eat can help you make sure to have a balanced and satisfying meal that will replenish nutrients. Having no meals prepared can lead you to mindlessly snacking on random options that might keep you unsatisfied. Prepare a balanced meal with veggies, a protein source, along with some healthy fats. For example, a cucumber and walnut salad paired with grilled chicken can be a satisfying meal. You can also check out nourish bowls which are an easy and balanced meal prep option here!
Don't forget to hydrate
Drinking a glass of water before your meal can help with fullness and controlling excess hunger symptoms. It can also be important to break your fast with hydrating food sources like cucumbers, melon, bell peppers, or strawberries with are about 91% water. These veggies and fruits also provide fiber which is important for satiety. Incorporating these high water content fiber sources can also help prevent blood sugar spikes after a long period of fasting since it takes time to digest these sources.
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