If you're Intermittent Fasting for weight loss, it's really important that you pay attention to how you break your fast. What you eat during your eating window can make or break your Intermittent Fasting weight loss results. So today, I'm sharing 10 things you should not break your fast with if your goal is weight loss.
*The data for this blog post was originally shared by a CGM website that measures continuous blood sugar levels of its customers. When breaking an Intermittent Fast, the goal is to eat something that stabilizes blood sugar levels, so anything that causes a big spike in blood sugar can work against a weight loss goal. The ingredients shared in todays article were all found to greatly spike the blood sugar of its various participants. If you want to checkout their original article, you can find it HERE.
This one can be tricky because it seems so wholesome. It's a whole fruit, so it should get a free pass, right? Turns out, maybe not.
One cup of grapes has a bout 15-20 grams of sugar. And although it's fairly low glycemic, those wearing a continuous glucose monitor in the CGM article found that grapes still caused their blood sugar levels to skyrocket. My guess is because grapes are typically a snack item that is eaten on its own so you don't have the protein and fat to slow down the release of those sugars. Plus, due to the size of grapes it's fairly easy to eat a lot more than one cup, causing the sugar content to quickly go up.
Better fruit options when breaking a fast include those that are high in fiber and low in sugar, like blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.
Psssst... curious how long YOUR Intermittent Fast should be? Take my FREE Intermittent Fasting Schedule Quiz by clicking the button below!
This is often seen as health food item and there are some great perks to sushi. Namely, the fish in sushi can provide some protein and essential omega 3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA. But if we're honest, the vast majority of what we're eating with sushi is rice. Both white and brown rice are very high glycemic load and can quickly raise blood sugar levels.
If having sushi, try opting for sashimi without the rice and pair it with a cucumber salad/salmon skin salad, edamame and some miso soup. Yum.
I know... shocker! But even though this is a fairly obvious one, donuts are still super prevalent and eaten on a daily basis by many Americans around the world. Donuts have the double whammy effect on blood sugar levels by being loaded with refined flours and refined sugars.
Pho + Ramen
Pho and ramen can both be made with amazing ingredients like high quality meats, veggies and bone broth. But it's also loaded with noodles that are made from processed flours that quickly raise blood sugar levels.
You can make your own pho or ramen at home by swapping out the noodles with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles instead - both of which have minimal effect on blood sugar levels.
This is one I've been talking about for a while (check out my video linked HERE for more details). Although oatmeal tends to get a "health halo", both instant and rolled oats go through processing that make those starches (and eventually sugars) easy to absorb and raise blood sugar levels. Plus, most people aren't just eating a plain bowl of oats. Typically, they're adding honey, maple syrup, dried fruit and/or granola.
Instead, try my grain-free oatmeal recipe that's packed with fiber and high quality protein to help keep you satiated and blood sugar levels more stable with the recipe below.
Interestingly, acai is actually very low in sugar and therefore a great option for preventing blood sugar spikes. But acai bowls are not. Acai bowls tend to be made with a lot of bananas, honey and dates. After blending, they also tend to be topped with even more fruit, honey and granola. This makes achieving a whopping 100 grams of sugar per acai bowl a pretty easy feat.
Instead, try my low sugar Acai smoothie bowls and smoothie recipes HERE.
Chick-Fil-A and McDonalds
I know... another shocker!
Both menus are filled with meals containing heavily processed flours and sugars. But they also tend to be hyper-palatable. This means their meals are engineered to taste really really good. This can hijack our natural satiety cues and make us want to eat well beyond what our body actually needs, therefore working against a weight loss goal.
If you need to order something from one of these fast food spots, there are at least better options. For example, Chick-Fil-A has salads with grilled chicken (not breaded). If possible, try adding some high quality fats like olives or pumpkin seeds on top.
Pizza + Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Regular pizza is very high in flour and very low in protein. Even if you get the "meat lovers" pizza, you're still mostly just eating bread. But I also wanted to add cauliflower crust pizza into this category because most cauliflower crust pizzas replace regular wheat flour with another refined, highly blood sugar spiking flour, such as tapioca starch or cassava flour. If you choose to make a pizza, look for a cauliflower crust made just with eggs, parmesan, cauliflower and seasonings. My favorite brand is Outer Aisle, but you can also find other brands at places like Trader Joes.
Whether it's from a box or a restaurant, it's going to be high in refined flours and sugars. If you love pancakes, try making a protein pancake with my recipe HERE.
Cereal + Granola
Even whole grain cereals are made from processed flours/grains. "Whole grain cereals" is not the same as eating a cooked bowl of wheat berries (which is often the image that's portrayed with the "whole grain" statement). Granola also combines starchy oats with added sugars that can greatly spike the storing hormone insulin and blood sugar levels.
Instead, you can try topping your greek yogurt bowl with low sugar options like toasted coconut flakes, cacao nibs and pumpkin seeds.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition