1

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Energy level decline after breaking a fast

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 12, 2011 at 3:04 PM

I have noticed that I have super good energy levels in the morning during my fast, yet I also tend to get the 2pm crash, or a massive energy low in the early afternoon after breaking my fast. It seems to be 1-2 hours afterwards every time. Has this happened to anyone else?

I saw another question about being hungry after the break-fast meal and that being due to the meal being high in carbs (relatively speaking.) I don't think this is my case as my meals are generally heavy on protein and fat. I don't usually add more fat in but I don't see that as necessary. Any thoughts?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on April 12, 2011
at 06:55 PM

Ahhhh okay thanks for the additional input

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:58 PM

@ JakeA, the reason for the 1 to 2 hour lag is that it takes time for the stomach to empty its contents into the small intestine. I would add that energy = blood flow, and the small intestine (which has much more blood flow than the stomach) shunts blood away from the brain and skeletal muscles. Nice answer by Jenna, +1

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:27 PM

I would be hesitant to place the problem solely on digestion taking energy. I have no energy issues after my dinner. Though maybe my stomach has had so little in it for so long that a large amount of volume causes issues...

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:18 PM

Thank you for asking this! I've been trying to figure out this phenomenon for weeks. I typically do 2 or 3 20-hour fasts a week and have tried breaking the fasts with different permutations of macronutrients (near-zero carb to making a meal out of two yams, and everything in between). I'm not new to IF, and have only had problems with extreme post-fast lethargy for the last couple of weeks. Looking forward to reading the responses!

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:17 PM

Thank you for asking this! I've been trying to figure out this phenomenon for weeks. I typically do 2 or 3 20-hour fasts a week and have tried breaking the fasts with different permutations of macronutrients (near-zero carb to making a meal out of two yams, and everything in between). I'm not new to IF, and have only had problems with extreme post-fast lethargy for the last few weeks. Looking forward to reading the responses!

5d0283f9cf2480374a0b7df56b7f3d9b

(418)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:01 PM

this totally happens to me - almost makes me not want to eat at all :)

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on April 12, 2011
at 03:56 PM

You better not use the word "nap" in front of T.S Wiley ;)

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2 Answers

best answer

3
00960a1ce76c7e3f99406ba91cfe2fb4

on April 12, 2011
at 03:49 PM

Digestion requires a lot of energy. Try keeping your first meal light and if possible, plan a brief siesta afterwards. A 20-minute nap is the best and seems like the kind of thing our hunter-gatherer ancestors would do!

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:58 PM

@ JakeA, the reason for the 1 to 2 hour lag is that it takes time for the stomach to empty its contents into the small intestine. I would add that energy = blood flow, and the small intestine (which has much more blood flow than the stomach) shunts blood away from the brain and skeletal muscles. Nice answer by Jenna, +1

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:27 PM

I would be hesitant to place the problem solely on digestion taking energy. I have no energy issues after my dinner. Though maybe my stomach has had so little in it for so long that a large amount of volume causes issues...

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on April 12, 2011
at 06:55 PM

Ahhhh okay thanks for the additional input

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on April 12, 2011
at 03:56 PM

You better not use the word "nap" in front of T.S Wiley ;)

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:24 PM

Ahh - yes. I went through the same thing. IF takes some personal tweaking so I'll share what I did:

First thing in the am: Almond Milk/Spinach/Berry/Protein Powder (yes, I use whey), fish oil shake.

Meal 1: Huge meal at noon/noon:30 usually last night's leftovers in an egg scramble. This includes a huge protein source (steak, roast), veggies, and I will sprinkle some almond slivers or goat cheese on the top.

Meal 2: Huge dinner around 6:30/7pm. Pretty much the same food composite as above.

I also incorporate green tea and water throughout the day. I do not consider portion control but I am mindful of my protein intake.

This is basically all I eat and I'm totally satiated, do not get tired and in fact, I see a spike in energy around 4pm. Mind you, I was the type of person who ate every two hours and would black out if I went more than 4 hours without food. I was hypoglycemic and IF scared the poop out of me at first.

What helped me succeed at IF was not concentrating on the fasting part but finding the right time of day for my meals and eating when I was hungry which is now only 2x's/day. I don't even think about the hours between meals in terms of asking myself if I am fasting long enough. So I generally stay in a fasted state from 7pm to 7am.

Good luck and do what works best for your body.

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