How Many Calories Break a Fast?

Intermittent fasting is done to fast for a specific period of time, then stopping, and continue again. If you have planned to fast for several days, or even weeks continuously, you may find it a little difficult to adjust to the routine. In such a scenario, a common question is asked by the fasters that how many calories break a fast.

While there is no specific answer to that question, there are some different cases that must be discussed to try to understand it.

A common, albeit inaccurate, belief among faster is that consuming up to 50 calories does not break the fast. However, it is incorrect because fast is broken as soon as you consume any calories. It happens because as soon as any calorie enters your body, it starts burning glucose for energy, and burning fat – the primary purpose of fasting – is inhibited.

In this in-depth article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about breaking a fast. From whether supplements affect the fast to which foods to consume post-fast, you’ll learn to make smart, healthy decisions. After all, the time following your intermittent fast is incredibly important, and now you’ll know just how to manage it.

The misconception that somehow 50 calories or less do not break the fast is believed to be originated from James Clear’s website. Clear is a fast enthusiast and an influential entrepreneur. While this strategy is ineffective in achieving all of the benefits of fasting, it should be remembered that there are different types of fasting. Some of them allow you to eat for a period of up to eight hours a day. It is called the 16:8 method of fasting as you fast for 16 days and can eat for 8 hours a day. If you have adopted 16:8 fasting with the recommended balanced diet of 500+ calories, then the 50-calorie rule can be suitable for you.

However, if you are on water fast or dry fast, then consuming any calories will break your fast. An article by Furthermore stated that the majority of the intermittent fasters around the world are okay with consuming 50 calories during fasting. The same report also states that ingesting even a small amount of calories is enough to nullify your fast because the body stops burning fat, and the purpose of fasting is not achieved. 

Another critical aspect of calorie consumption while fasting is the use of supplements. It can be confusing for people to determine the effect of supplements on fasting and whether it will break the fast. It depends on the type of supplements you are taking and their ingredients. Commonly following supplements do not break the fast:

  • Probiotics
  • Creatine
  • Fish oil
  • Multivitamins
  • Pure collagen

On the other hand, the following supplements will definitely break your fast:

  • Sugary supplements
  • Protein powder
  • Gummy vitamins
  • Amino acids

To sum it up, it can be said that consuming even a single calorie can break your fast, so it is recommended to be fast cautiously and make sure you are not consuming anything during the fasting period, which can nullify the whole process. To enjoy all the benefits of fasting, you should fast diligently and be smart in your calorie consumption.