Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan: What to Eat (& 3-Day Plan)

Intermittent fasting meals plans should prioritize healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains, like rice and whole grain pasta. These foods are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals that help to regulate blood sugar levels, which is important for managing hunger during fasting.

It's important that meal plans when maintaining intermittent fasting also include lean proteins, such as white fish, tofu and chicken. Foods should, overall, be easy to digest, as after many hours without food, it is important to eat food that maintains muscle mass and manages hunger. 

Processed foods, such as soft drinks, ready-made sauces, cookies, and high-fat foods, such as fried foods and ice cream, are difficult to digest, and encourage weight gain, as well as the onset of diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. These should be avoided as much as possible when fasting intermittently.

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What to eat after fasting

After fasting, it is important to prioritize foods that rich in fiber, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, such as white fish and chicken. These help to manage hunger pangs and maintain muscle mass. Some of the foods that should be prioritized when breaking a fast include:

  • Fresh vegetables, such as cauliflower, zucchini, chayote, lettuce, arugula and tomatoes
  • Whole, fresh fruit, such as oranges, bananas, grapes, watermelons and mangoes
  • Whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oats and whole wheat bread
  • Legumes, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas and lupini beans
  • Lean animal protein, such as beef muscle, chicken, white meat fish and eggs
  • Plant-based protein, such as tofu and miso
  • Plant-based fats, such as nuts, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and Brazil nuts.

In addition to these foods, you can also consume spices such as cinnamon, turmeric and pepper. It's also recommended to drink at least 2.5 liters of fluids a day, including water and natural teas such as green tea and hibiscus tea, which help increase metabolism and promote weight loss.

Can I eat or drink when fasting?

During intermittent fasting you are only permitted to drink water, coffee and herbal tea without sugar or sweetener. Consuming other foods or drinks may lead to an increase in insulin levels in the blood, which hinders fasting.

What foods to avoid after fasting

After intermittent fasting, you should avoid processed foods such as refined sugar, ready-made sauces, soft drinks and fast food.

In addition, it is important to avoid high-fat foods such as fried foods, fatty cheeses such as cheddar or gorgonzola, and ice cream. These foods are more difficult to digest and also promote weight gain and the onset of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. These foods should therefore be avoided after intermittent fasting.

18-hour fasting meal plan

This is a sample 3-day meal plan that outlines what to eat after an 18-hour fast:


Day 1 Day 2 Day 3


Fasting: water, black coffee or black tea 

Fasting: water, black coffee or black tea Fasting: water, black coffee or black tea

Lunch (1:00 pm)

1 chicken thigh stewed with broccoli and carrots + 3 tablespoons of whole grain rice + 2 tablespoons of beans + salad made with lettuce, arugula and tomato + 1 pear with peel 

1 fish fillet grilled with tomatoes and peppers + 2 small potatoes + sauteed chicory + 1 tangerine 

1 spoonful of whole grain spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce + 1 grilled beef + salad made with chickpeas, carrots, onions and tomato + 1 medium slice of melon 

Afternoon snack  (4:00 pm)

1 banana sliced with 1 tablespoon of oats, 1 teaspoon of peanut butter and a pinch of cinnamon 

1 portion of cashews and chestnuts + 1 medium slice of watermelon 

Toasted whole grain slice with a quarter of an avocado, sliced thinly, 1 teaspoon of ricotta cheese, salt and pepper

Dinner (7:00 pm)

1 veggie omelet made with 2 eggs, spinach, onions and tomato + 2 tablespoons of quinoa + 2 tablespoons of black eyed peas + half an avocado

1 chicken breast grilled with onions and ppers + 2 tablespoons of whole grain rice + salad with lettuce, arugula and spinach + 1 tangerine

1 stewed fish fillet + sauteed broccoli, carrots and cauliflower + 2 small potatoes + 1 peach

Evening snack

Fasting: water, black coffee or black tea  Fasting: water, black coffee or black tea 

Fasting: water, black coffee or black tea

This meal plan is just an example of how to carry out an 18-hour intermittent fasting. For best results during fasting, in addition to regular physical activity, it is essential to consult a registered dietitian to devise a diet plan that suits your individual needs.