Breaking A Fast: Guidelines

For six days, gradually increase the amount of raw fruits and vegetables in your diet. To break a fast and gorge on meat, bread or junk food will be a disaster. Jarring the system this intensely, when the digestive system is re-awakening, can cause stomach cramps, nausea and weakness, negating some of the benefits of a fast.

First day: Eat a piece of fruit in the morning and a small bowl of raw vegetable salad for lunch; vegetable broth also is good. Drink freshly made juice for the rest of the day.

Second day: Soaked prunes or figs for breakfast. Small bowl of fresh vegetable salad for lunch. Vegetable soup made without salt at dinner. Two apples or a fruit salad eaten between meals. All this in addition to freshly made juices and broths.

Third day: Same as the second day, but add a handful of dates or raisins.

Fourth day: You may return to the diet you have chosen, but it is important to listen to your stomach, eat smaller meals, chew your food and eat according to hunger.

NOTE: When breaking a fast over ten days, a good rule of thumb is that the break-in period should be extended one day for every 4 days of fasting. When breaking from water fasting, go to a juice fast for two days or eat sweet fruits like oranges, mangoes or pears.

Healthy Eating Habits

  1. Eat slowly and chew your food well. Saliva has enzymes that assist in digestion. The enzymes in saliva can digest up to 80 percent starch, 30 percent protein and 10 percent fat.
  2. Do not overeat! Listen to your body. Discover the amount of food that your body needs to live a vibrant, healthy life.
  3. Decide ahead of time what you want to eat and the amount rather than eating from an urge.
  4. Make juices during the breaking period. Juice is gentle nourishment to the body. Most fasters continue to include juice in their daily routine for the rest of their lives.
  5. Be relaxed. Try to unwind when eating.
  6. Stay focused on eating rather than on unsettling thoughts. Pay attention to the texture, smell and the sensation of eating. Be aware of how it feels in the stomach.
  7. Enjoy eating to the max. People are starving and you have the privilege to eat.
  8. Work at making healthy food appealing. A banana and pear taste great without preparation but having them sliced into a fancy bowl, sprinkled with chopped dates and chilled in the refrigerator will maintain your enthusiasm for eating healthy.
  9. Discern the difference between cravings and hunger. Never feed your emotions by eating from stress, depression or boredom.
  10. You will feel satisfied with smaller amounts of food and sluggish and tired when overeating. Rich foods full of fat, salt and processed sugars will cause nausea, headaches and weakness. A handful of fruit will be thoroughly satisfying. Because the digestive system has to work less, there will be boundless energy to spare.
  11. Have an exit activity for after eating. Make it something you want to do. It will be easier to move away from the table.
  12. Educate yourself on how to begin a lifestyle of healthy eating. Fasting is a wonderful new beginning, a foundation for a lifelong, healthy diet.

By Tom Coghill of
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29 Responses to Breaking A Fast: Guidelines

  1. angelabagassien says:

    thanks for that information,i don’t know why i am feeling so fearful, i really need to fast.I am a christian,and i am going through a rough time in my life.I try to do every thing the way it should,i give love to those that needs it,i give a helping hand when i can.i share what i have with others.In a nutshell i try my best to do the right things,in return i feel empty.i know i am doing something right because every day i am face with challenges,some times i feel like i cannot make it through and so i cry a lot.I know i need spiritual strength.How many days do you think I SHOULD FAST FOR.

  2. Tom Coghill says:
    Tom Coghill

    Hi angelabagassien,
    Deep pain and emptiness for me was a call to change.
    9 years ago left North America and also left the pain and emptiness behind. At the time I was successful, had money and respect but felt empty no matter what I did. I have never regretted it or looked back. To break through fear face it. I lived in Colombia for 7 years and was transformed. Now my life is a dream. Did you read ????? that was another break-through.
    How long to fast???? Follow your body and your spirit.

  3. gabriella says:

    hey… this is a really good site, very informative…
    thank you :O)

  4. Cesar says:

    excellent article… fasting will cure your mind body and soul and if people follow directions and give it a try they would experience the greatest feeling and health ever. dont be afraid to try….

  5. sandy says:

    I just wanted to know that after I fasting for 7 days, and then I ate regularly without knowing and I got sick stomach and passed out…Is that common

    • Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Yes nausea, diarrhea, dizziness are very common for the method you broke the fast with. Breaking is fast is crucial. The first meal scraps the loosened mucus coating off the intestine that has been there for years.
      The result is a wave of toxins. I recommend soft fruits like mango for one day and a salad on the second day. And be prepared to feel bad.

  6. christina24 says:

    Hi there,
    I’m wondering why it says to have soup without any salt? When can sodium be added back into the diet?


  7. mxxm says:

    When doing weekend water-fasts preceded by a day of eating only fruit, what would you say is the wise way of ending it? Today, Sunday, I ended my second weekend water-fast. I ended it by first eating three raw eggs; then around 1 1/2 hours later I ate some fresh fruit, rasins, and a little lettuce. Later this evening I think to eat three more raw eggs and that will be it for today.

    This seems to go well for me as my first trip to the bathroom was no problem at all. My stomach is not all disturbed by what I’ve eatened.

  8. Ron says:

    Hi mxxm, I’m assuming that you have already built an immune system tolerance to the bacteria in the eggs? In any case you might want to consider not breaking a fast with raw eggs. Once you’ve eased your body back with raw fruits and veggies for a day or 2, then go back to the raw eggs.

    I don’t see anything wrong with eggs, but they are a pure protein, and introduce some bacteria as well as other complex things for your body to work off. The key is to “ease” your digestive system back awake.

  9. mxxm says:

    I appreciate your advice Ron. I cannot say that my immune system has built up a tolerance for the bacteria in a raw egg, I can only say that eating them does not affect me negatively, as far as I can tell.

    I will consider what you say. By the way, I did NOT eat raw eggs in the evening. My stomach felt full and there was no need to eat if it wasn’t necessary. Breaking even a short fast with fruits and veggies sounds like good advice.


  10. yesman300 says:

    some help or suggestions

    I am on the 7th day of a water and juice fast combined. I was so tired that I just did not want any juice on certian days

    Day one 3 juice drinks
    Day two 3 juice drinks
    Day three 2 or 3 juice drinks
    Day four all water no juice
    Day five i juice in AM – all water
    Day six 1 juice in AM – all water
    Day 7 all water no juice


    1/ Can I start adding raw eggs and work out on Day 8? I would like to work out

    I lost almost 10 pounds but it feels like I lost some muscle mass as well. My stomach got much smaller and but still see lots of fat. I dont know how much of it was fat or muscle and I am not that impressed when looking in the mirror – feel “flabby” still

    2/I was taking Pepcid complete every day before fast for acid indigestion. Everyday during the fast I STILL have heartburn! I am taking TUMs with Pecip AC to put out the fire.. I hope this is not ruin the fast. It’s not as bad now, but I wish it would go away. PS.. Pepcid Complete was pulled from the market- the only thing that worked for me in the past

    3/ I was working pretty hard at work starting Day 4 and very stressed during most of the fast. I had no choice in the matter. Could this cause fat rentention? I broke the rule on resting

    4/ if I decide to break the fast all togther, can I consume salmon right away? eggs? or just stick with fruits and vegies as instructed? Miso soup, lentel soup ok right after the fast?

    thanks.. its a little frustrating finding info on the web

  11. Ron says:

    Hi yesman, You won’t lose muscle mass until every ounce of fat is gone! The muscle may shrink, from lack of activity, but your body won’t consume them. Your body is finding and dumping toxins into your bloodstream! Start an exercise program no matter how light. Believe it or not your energy level will increase…and you’ll feel and sleep better!

    Cut out the acid reflux treatments. You are just adding more chemicals to your body. Start taking lots of carrot juice, and DGL (deglicerized licorice) tablets and aloe vera gel, or juice. They have a soothing effect as well as healing your digestive system. And stop taking anything with sugar in it!! VERY IMPORTANT!! You would be better served with ALL veggie juices until your heartburn decreases. That’s about 3 weeks into your fast, depending on your weight. If you are 50lbs or more overweight, it may take 5-6 weeks of juice fasting to cure your acid reflux.

    Water alone is NOT good for healing! Keep juicing for as long as it takes to feel better. Then stay on a mostly raw foods diet, or your symptoms will return. Believe me on this…I’m living proof!

    Once we’ve cleansed and detoxed our system of years of crap….the body is very sensitive to ANYTHING we put in it!! I don’t know your particulars but you may need a lot more than a week or two to help you! Remember that detoxing a lifetime of chemical takes a lot more than a few days! But the benefits will save and cure you!

    Working hard at our jobs is not the problem…it’s the detoxing that weakens us, and fogs the mind! Grin and bear it! It gets better after time. Some days you will feel like superman, others like a jellyfish!

    Breaking a fast can hurt..I’m living proof again! No, animal proteins right away! I eat plain yogurt, honey and mashed fruits like pineapple, peaches etc. the first day. You must reintroduce probiotics to your small intestines, especially if you did the salt water flush (swf), and/or enemas. This is vital to digestive health!

    There is too much salt in most soups! which may lead to digestive problems and diarrhea I’d wait a day before using anything that may irritate the system. Look for all natural veggie broth, and fresh chicken broth which is good after the first day of raw veggies & fruits. Introduce whatever you’d like after 2-3 days…but test one item at a time! You may find culprits to your problems! Sugar though is NEVER a good thing for acid sufferers!

  12. coburn says:

    I am on my second fast, the first being a 14 day juice fast. I have attempted to do a water fast two times and failed. After reflecting on many things in my life, I abruptly started a water fast, that I am proud to say I’m on day 8! Overall I have felt great. I don’t seem to be experiencing the same types of “healing crises” as I did while juice fasting. My emery level is pretty good, so I also started light exercises, mainly abs, legs, and arms at home. I have decided to end my fast in 2 days, which will end up being a 10 day water fast. I feel like I can keep going, but I am flying to Colombia in 12 days, and I know I will not get the support from family that will be traveling with me for a fast of that length. I am already raising eyebrows, because they don’t quite get the point. My main reason for fasting is health. I am 35 and have no medical problems. I have decided not to wait before problems start to surface to get my life where I want it. Having said all that, I have not used an enema yet..should I even bother at this point? If so, what do I do? Secondly, it doesn’t look like I should start eating anything for a couple of days, or can I add a piece of fruit to the juicing? When I get back from Colombia, I hope to start another fast! Thanks for your input, Liz

  13. Ron says:

    Hi Liz, Congrats on your water fast! Tom is away in New Guinea, innoculating malaria victims. He checks in from time to time when near civilization. I will try to answer your questions.

    You should use the enemas for a thorough cleaning of built up toxins. You might consider a (swf) salt water flush to really push out the upper intestine build-up. A normal enema or 2 with warm water and a tablespoon of sea salt is fine. All info is searchable here and on the net!

    When breaking your water fast, try juicing for a few days. If you must eat, take only soft fruits in small portions until your digestive system starts again. Don’t return to a cooked food diet for 3-5 days if possible. Remember “moderation” is the key. Also probiotics should be introduced at the end of your fast. Especially if you use enemas and swf!

    As far as telling people about your fasting? Better left unsaid. Words just get in the way. When people ask why I look so good…then I tell them. Just do your thing, and look happy and radiant! Your attitude dictates what everyone around you feels and thinks! I can go to a big family party and no one even notices that I haven’t eaten a bite! I just sip my water or juice and SMILE!! ;-)

    Once again congratulations on your fast, and enjoy your new gained health and well being! Ron

  14. coburn says:

    Ron, Thanks for the kind words! this has actually been easier than I thought it would be! I have to admit, I’m a little nervous about the enema, but I’ll give it a go!if I were not traveling to Colombia, I would definately keep going. I feel I could easily make it to 21 days. I think I will just catch too much flack everytime we sit down to eat, that it just won’t be worth it. I have truely enjoyed this experience, and I plan on fasting when I get back! Anyway, I will break the fast on Friday by juicing. Sat juice, and maybe a few bites of fruit at my sons bday. Sunday juice, Monday a hard boiled egg in the am and maybe salad at dinner. Tuesday a hard boiled egg in am an salad pm. Wed a hard boiled egg in am, salad at lunch, sm salad dinner with a sm portion of boiled chicken. If I feel fine after that meal, would it be ok to return to regular eating habits? I was thinking of intermittant fasting while away in Colombia. I would make the family relax, but still remain somewhat disciplined. How does my meal plan sound ? would there be any health concerns going from a 10 day fast….intermittant fasting……then a 21 day fast? By the way, Tom and I have been emailing the last few days, I think what he is doing is amazing! It sure sounds like he’s on to something!! Thanks for your advice. Liz

  15. Ron says:

    Hi Liz, A pleasure to help! Get some yogurt into your diet. Eggs are better for you raw. Otherwise it sounds fine. Tom is doing God’s work!! Ron

    • coburn says:

      I successfully completed my 10 day fast!! I don’t know if I’ve focused on ending my fast, but my body stomach has been screaming for food these that two days. I know I need to remain just as focused on breaking the fast. Should I mix yogurt into my juice, or wait a couple of days to add solids? You also said raw eggs are better, I’ve never had them so how would I drink them? Is it that big of a deal? I was also wondering if I could drink unsweetened passion tea. It is a mixture of different herbs, and totally caffeine free. Thanks again for your support! Liz

  16. AngelLover89 says:

    Hopefully people still are active on this website. I have TONS of questions :/ I’m just about to break a 7 day water fast.
    Are teas okay to drink or should I only focus on fruit/veggie/water combo drinks for the first couple days?
    When can I add plain yogurt?
    I don’t have a juicer, so unfortunately I’m going to have to rely on bottled juices. I’ve heard that both raw, natural, unsweetened juices AND “dead” juices are recommended :/ I’m going to go buy some Naked or Evolution fruit/veg combos and water them down for the first 2 days then go pure the 3rd day… how much sugar is too much and what can I do to stop dying if I have a blood sugar spike?
    When can I drink reduced-sodium chicken soup broth or vegetable broth?

  17. AngelLover89 says:

    Also when can I eat bananas? Would they be ok for “raw fruits/veggies?” Like… maybe the 3rd day I could have half a banana for breakfast, and then for lunch some carrots/cucumbers/baby tomatoes? would those be ok?

  18. Ron says:

    Hi Liz, No, you can just eat the yogurt. Keep restraind on the portions. After a day or 2 of juice you can introduce soft fuit. Then a salad and harder fruits. By day 3 or four, you can eat some cooked foods. Don’t eat any nuts or cooked meats for a few days after you started eating cooked foods.

    This is just a sketched plan. You have some room for change. Just keep moderation in mind. When in doubt, just take a bite or two. Then wait. If you are feeling good in an hour or so, you are probably ready to have a full meal. The key is listening to your body! Ron

    • coburn says:

      I am now back from Colombia and ready to start another water fast. This time I will taake your advice…and keep my fast to myself! My last fast was a 10 day water fast, that was relatively easy to accomplish. This time I am going for a minimum of 21 days, but will shoot for a 30 day water fast. I am assuming water fasting means just water, or can I also drink unsweetened passion tea? I also plan on an enema…..please advise again on the “how to” and also how often. I will try to post stats every couple of days or so. Look forward to hearing from you, Liz

  19. Ron says:

    Hi Angel, Yogurt is fine anytime. Just keep the portions small. Also, canned juices have few live enzymes in them. So “dead” is a good description. Watch the sugar and salt content in these juices and soups. The sugar should be in the single digits in grams. Over 20 grams is a lot of sugar! Teas are also fine anytime. Use honey, agave or stevia for sweeteners.

    The bananas will be fine after a day of juicing. You have had a realitively short fast, so you can get back to normal a little quicker. Welcome to our site! Ron

    • AngelLover89 says:

      oh, i’m so glad this is still active. So far for the first couple of days I plan on drinking a mixture of 4 oz water / 3 oz natural vegetable juice (Evolution brand) / 1 oz watermelon juice mix. How do you drink a raw egg? I may try that on the 3rd day as well.

      • AngelLover89 says:

        and when would I be able to eat a raw egg? I might try one sunny-side up. Don’t think I can do it raw, but I’ve read that’s the least damaging way to the natural benefits.

        • AngelLover89 says:

          Okay. This will probably be the last comment I’ll make hahaha… so sorry to flood this comment list. This is my planned diet for the next 4 days:
          DAY 2 (Fri)
          Breakfast: 6 oz diluted veggie/fruit mix (the Evolution mix)
          Snack: 3 oz diluted fruit juice (its the watermelon)
          Lunch: 6 oz diluted mix
          Snack: 3 oz diluted fruit juice
          Dinner: 4 oz veg/2 oz fruit diluted mix, maybe a little less diluted

          DAY 3 (Sat)
          Breakfast: 6 oz diluted mix
          Snack: gonna try a bit of plain Kefer
          Lunch: low-sugar fruit (maybe raspberries or some cantelope)
          Snack: 3 oz mix, no dilution
          Dinner: spinach or leafy green salad mix with veggies like cucumber, baby tomatoes and carrots, maybe some red onion)

          DAY 4 (Sun)
          Breakfast: Banana
          Snack: Kefer, if my body doesn’t mind it
          Lunch: Veggie broth (YAY!!!)
          Snack: Veggie mix
          Dinner: something with chicken breast, or maybe some clear chicken broth, more Kefer.

          DAY 5: (Mon)
          Slowly go back to normal? Maybe add nuts/long-grain wild rice/beans.
          Would I be able to have, say, Beanee Weenees? (basically chicken wieners with baked beans)
          How does it sound?

  20. AngelLover89 says:

    do you think i would be able to try some chicken stock tonight? I am sooooo craving it. It has all natural flavors, just chicken, vegetable and herb flavors, sea salt, and honey.

  21. Ron says:

    Hi Angel, I don’t see a problem with the chicken stock. Just keep it small.