What Is Dirty Fast? You Should Know How Many Calories Break A Fast

Dirty Fasting

Dirty Fasting

Updated on 3/3/2024
Martin AlvarezBy Martin Alvarez
Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide
Learn More about Martin Alvarez

There are a few different kinds of intermittent fasting, a common technique that entails frequently subjecting oneself to periods of fasting in which one does not consume any calories and how many calories break a fast.

The practice of consuming food and calories just once every other day is known as alternate-day fasting. Time-restricted eating, also known as consuming calories only within a predetermined time frame known as a "feeding window," usually lasts between six and ten hours and has gained popularity over the last decade.

Some individuals who participate in intermittent fasting have recently adopted a novel method known as "dirty fasting."

This article discusses the practice of "dirty fasting," including what it is, how it operates, and whether or not it is successful.

What Exactly Is A "Dirty Fast"?

dirty fasting

dirty fasting

It's vital to remember that the phrase "dirty fasting" isn't used in the medical field before delving into the specifics of this kind of fasting. This practice and how it compares to "clean" fasting has not been the subject of any study.

The practice of ingesting some food or drink during a period in which one is supposed to be fasting is "dirty fasting."

This is in contrast to the conventional or "clean" method of fasting, which involves abstaining from all meals and drinks that contain calories.

On a typical day, a person who engages in dirty fasting will take up to one hundred calories worth of food within their fasting window. This may include adding milk and sweetness to their coffee or sipping a cup of bone broth.

Because there is no agreed-upon definition of "dirty fasting," it is possible for some persons to eat a much lower number of calories. In comparison, others may consume a significantly higher number.

On the other hand, those who adhere to more conventional fasting practices, sometimes known as "clean" fasting, abstain from consuming any calories throughout their fasting periods.

The modified alternate-day fasting method is an exception to this rule. In this method, you eat a limited amount of calories, often about 500, on days designated as "fasting."

Some proponents of filthy fasting contend that consuming little food or drink does not, strictly speaking, constitute a "break" in a fast and that dirty fasting makes it simpler to stick to a fasting routine.


The practice of eating just a few calories during a period in which one is supposed to be fasting is known as "dirty fasting." This is in contrast to the conventional or "clean" form of fasting, which is a strategy in which you abstain from consuming any calories during the fasting periods.

Is The Practice Of Unclean Fasting Beneficial?

dirty fasting

dirty fasting

Consuming little food during fasting is known as "dirty fasting," a modified form of traditional fasting.

Reducing calorie consumption of any kind will bring about health advantages, even though you will continue to take in some calories.

If you want to lose fat, filthy fasting may help you achieve your objective more quickly. This is because, during a dirty fast, you are likely to consume much fewer calories than you would on an average day during which you would typically eat with no time limits.

However, other individuals utilize intermittent fasting for the numerous advantages that fasting gives, such as boosting autophagy, lowering insulin resistance and blood sugar levels, and more. Other people do it because they believe it will help them lose weight.

The process known as autophagy includes the "cleaning" of cells using a predetermined algorithm. It is an effective mechanism for preserving good cellular function and preventing illness.

There is no evidence to suggest that unclean fasting is as successful as conventional techniques of fasting, which require total calorie restriction during fasting times, in promoting these potentially beneficial effects.

Although having a splash of milk in your coffee or a cup of bone broth is not the same as having a full meal, technically speaking, you are not fasting if you take in any calories, regardless of how few there are. This is the case even if you only consume a few calories.

Even while the only way to know for sure if one is in a fast state is to consume zero calories, the vast majority of experts believe that drinking a calorie-free beverage, such as black coffee is not likely to cause one to break their fast.

However, if you want to break your fast, drinking coffee with cream, milk, sugar, or any other liquid that contains calories is a bad idea.

Intake of calories during fasting windows of modified alternate-day fasting has been associated with several health advantages, including weight loss and reductions in inflammatory markers, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Modified alternate-day fasting is a kind of intermittent fasting.

On the other hand, this practice is not the same as other forms of intermittent fasting, including calorie restriction to its fullest extent during fasting times.

Because of this, it is possible that it will not have the same results as conventional techniques of fasting, which call for eliminating calorie consumption throughout the fasting time. In the same vein, unclean fasting should be seen as a modified form of fasting.

Once again, no study focuses only on filthy fasting. People who engage in dirty fasting have a greater chance of not being in a fasted state throughout their designated fasting periods. This will likely be the case if they ingest more calories than they realize.


"dirty fasting" refers to a modified form of traditional fasting. During a fasting window, the only way to know if you are in a fasted state is to refrain from consuming calories. Consequently, there is a possibility that a "dirty" fasting outcome may be different from the results of a "clean" fasting outcome for the same reasons that "dirty" fasting may be different from a "clean" fasting outcome.

Is The Filthy Fast Something You Should Try?

dirty fasting

dirty fasting

If you are interested in intermittent fasting, I strongly recommend choosing a method supported by research in its effectiveness rather than a dirty one. One such method is time-restricted eating, in which you consume all your calories within a specific timeframe. It is best to choose an intermittent fasting method with research backing its efficacy rather than a dirty one if you are interested in intermittent fasting.

Some individuals, for instance, could choose to eat within a window of six or eight hours and then abstain from food for the next sixteen to eighteen hours.

During your fasting window, the only way to know that you are in a fasted state is to ensure you do not consume any calories. On the other hand, most authorities believe that the small number of calories included in beverages such as black coffee and herbal teas won't cause you to break your fast.

Research has shown that intermittent fasting has various positive effects on one's health. However, it is essential to understand that it is not necessary to participate in intermittent fasting to experience improvements in one's health.
There are many additional methods available than fasting protocols that may help you reach your objectives of reducing the amount of fat in your body, lowering the risk of illness, or increasing the amount of time you live.

Check out this in-depth tutorial if you're considering giving intermittent fasting a go but want more information first.

Consultation with a certified dietitian may also assist you in determining whether or not intermittent fasting is an appropriate option for your requirements and objectives regarding your health.


Stay with a strategy that has evidence to support its potential advantages, such as time-restricted eating, and be sure to see a medical expert or a qualified dietitian before beginning an intermittent fasting program if you are interested in giving it a try.

The Bare Essentials

Consuming a limited quantity of calories during fasting windows is a component of the dirty fasting method. Although proponents of filthy fasting claim that adhering to a fasting routine is made simpler by this practice, dirty fasting is not considered fasting. You risk breaking your fast whenever you consume any amount of calories, regardless of how little of them you consume. During your fasting window, the only way to know that you are in a fasted state is to refrain from consuming calories.

Only One More Item

Even though intermittent fasting has proven beneficial for health, it is not essential to maintaining good health. Maintaining physical and mental health advantages is vital by adhering to a diet rich in nutrients, obtaining lots of restful sleep, being active daily, and learning to manage stress effectively and how many calories break a fast.

You may want to try a variation of intermittent fasting based on research, such as the 16:8 approach, instead of filthy fasting if you want to try intermittent fasting for the first time.