Fasting And Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting isn’t a regimen built around limiting calories , but it can promote weight loss in a big way. Fasting gives your metabolism an overhaul. It works on the same principles as a ketogenic diet. By restricting food , you’ll switch your body from burning glucose for energy to burning stored body fat.
According to a study in Translational Research in 2014, intermittent fasting can reduce your weight by 3 to 8 percent over three to 24 weeks. A systematic review in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology in 2015 confirmed these results by reporting that, on average, participants following a fasting diet lost between 7 and 11 pounds in 10 weeks.
Your Reasons For Doing Intermittent Fasting Matter When It Comes To If You Should Drink Coffee During Your Fast
There are lots of different ways to do intermittent fasting and just as many reasons for doing it. This is why there is no one-size-fits-all list of fasting rules, and no easy answer to the coffee question. When it comes to determining whether or not coffee will break your fast, its important to first understand what your IF goals are.
Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting include increased energy, reduced inflammation, improved cognitive function, lower blood pressure, accelerated cellular repair, blood sugar control, improved body composition, and faster entry into ketosis.
Most people begin intermittent fasting with one or more of these general goals in mind:
- weight loss/improved metabolic health
- gut rest
- longevity/disease prevention
Which of these three benefits most closely matches your personal reasons for doing intermittent fasting? If you can answer that question, then you can determine whether drinking coffee can be a part of your IF plan without breaking your fast!
Basic Bulletproof Coffee: For Intermittent Fasting
I may receive a commission if you purchase through links in this post. I am not a doctor please consult your practitioner before changing your supplement or healthcare regimen.
While Bulletproof Coffee has been popular for some time, its less commonly used, but an effective tool, to support the process of intermittent fasting. Enjoy this Keto, Low Carb, Paleo and GAPS recipe that allows you to lose fat and gain energy! Just 3 ingredients and five minutes of prep time provide a satiating breakfast and heightened performance for your days goals.
Also Check: What Is Allowed During Intermittent Fasting
Consideration #: Insulin Was Not Directly Tested
Secondly, we did not directly test insulin, which is the hormone that determines if fat is to go into and out of storage. Insulin is not something that you can test at home. If you experience a rise in blood glucose and a drop in ketones after consuming food, it is fair to assume that insulin is entering your blood.
Heavy cream is mostly fat and fat has been shown to produce little if any change in insulin levels. Despite the fact that we dont clearly know what was happening to our insulin levels, we felt fairly comfortable stating that cream did not cause a significant rise in insulin.
Does Coffee Break Intermittent Fasting
Does coffee break intermittent fasting?Black coffee does not break intermittent fasting, as long as there are no additives. Studies have found that low-calorie or zero-calorie coffee beverages do not affect IFs health benefits.
However, other types of coffee may have a detrimental effect on your fast. Heres what to know before you sip.
How Many Calories Breaks A Fast
Hate to break it to you, but “technically, consuming any calories breaks a fast,” says Benjamin Horne, Ph.D., a genetic epidemiologist who has published research on the effects of intermittent fasting. Even a few calories’ worth of food can inactivate some of fasting’s perks. According to Horne, some mechanisms behind fasting’s benefits, like ketosis , remain active with the consumption of certain macronutrients but others, like autophagy, may or may not remain active. “In humans, it appears that autophagy does not remain as active when any food is consumed,” he says.
But what if we’re talking about a measly 2 to 5 calories in a cup of tea or coffee? This ultra-low-calorie territory is where things get a little tricky. According to Horne, it likely needs to be a water-only fast to maintain the maximum benefit from autophagy.
Others aren’t so sure we need to be quite this nitpicky, though. “I’ve heard good debates about whether coffee can break a fast. We don’t have any good evidence to show either way,” says Vincent Pedre, M.D., an integrative physician and gut health expert who frequently recommends intermittent fasting diets to his patients. “I would say if you’re drinking organic black coffeeno cream, no sweetenersthen you should be fine. That said, I would say stick to as close to zero calories as you can during your fasting hours with plenty of clean filtered water herbal teas are also good.”
Can You Drink Coffee While Fasting
You may have heard about the benefits of intermittent fasting and considered doing it, but theres one burning question on your mind: Can you drink coffee while fasting? Going without food for long periods of time might be possible but a morning without your cup of caffeine sounds unmanageable.
Dont give up hope for a successful fast yet. Heres the good news: You dont have to break the caffeine habit while youre fasting but what you put in your coffee can change the results of your fast. Before you start your fast, read on to find out what the science says about intermittent fasting and coffee.
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Intermittent Fasting Coffee: Is Milk Good Or Bad
Most people follow a 16/8 Intermittent Fasting schedule of at least 16 hours fasted, and ideally, during this period you consume zero calories.
And even if youre going hardcore, completely resetting your insulin and destroying the excess estrogen with a 72 hour fast, the same zero calorie rules still apply while fasting.
Black coffee has zero. Green tea has zero. Water has zero. Sparkling water has zero.
But milk has SOME calories.
Is it the end of the world?
Well, lets remind ourselves of why were fasting in the first place.
For most people most of the time, the primary goal is to lose fat. The secondary goal is for health benefits detox, hormones, mental health etc.
Does drinking milk in your coffee compromise any of this?
The answer is of course, no.
You will still lose weight if you have two splashes of milk in your two coffees. It amounts to about 20-40 calories, tops. Therefore 97%+ of your daily calories are still being consumed within the condensed, 8 hours or less eating window.
Which is what the Intermittent Fasting lifestyle is all about. Condense that eating window. Make yourself fuller.
So the answer is YES you can drink milk.
But what if youre that ambitious guy who wants to get down to a lean 10% body fat, and effortlessly maintain that chiselled state year round?
What if you want to eliminate your sugar addiction for the rest of your life, so that you can keep off that belly fat FOREVER?
Depending On Your If Goals You May Not Even Need To Drink Your Coffee Black
If youre fasting for weight loss or metabolic health, you may even be able to enjoy a rich, creamy cup of joe! We now know that a little bit of high-quality dairy in your coffee wont break your fast, and it has even been associated with lower fasting insulin levels.
Fans of bulletproof coffee will also be glad to know that starting their day with this popular creamy brew will not negatively affect the benefits of IF for weight loss or metabolic health purposes. It should be noted that both butter and MCTs are too nutrient-dense for a fast intended to support longevity though, so you may want to stick to black coffee if thats your goal.
Not a coffee person?
If coffee isnt your thing, dont worry you wont be left with only ice water to drink during your fasting window! There are other keto-friendly beverages you can enjoy that wont break your fast.
If youre fasting for metabolic health, weight loss, longevity, or disease prevention, drinking tea is not likely to break your fast. Consider green teas rather than herbal teas, many of which are made from fruit and may contain sugar. Certain teas may be okay for a fast intended to promote gut rest, depending on the type and quantity of tea that you consume.
Keto-friendly bone broth is another good choice for anyone fasting for metabolic health or weight loss. Although most bone broths do contain protein and fats, they arent likely to break a fast unless your goal is gut rest.
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Why Blood Sugar And Ketones Matter When Deciding What Breaks A Fast
As I explain in my post How Dirty Fasting Can Help or Hinder Your Weight Loss Progress, the only type of coffee that will not break your fast is black coffee. Even that may cause a rise in blood sugar for some. That is, if you want to practice clean fasting and keep your calories to a minimum . However, depending on your fasting goals, you may be able to enjoy my delicious intermittent fasting coffee recipes.
What You Can Drink While Fasting
First, lets talk about what you can drink and/or eat during a fasted state. The simple answer is that you can have anything with zero calories or extremely low calories. While fasting, you really should not have any calories, so the basics are drinking water, tea, and coffee black. Of course, there are some different variations on this depending on your preferences and comfort levels, which you will learn about in later sections.
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Types Of Intermittent Fasting
There are multiple types of intermittent fasting to choose from when you decide to practice this eating pattern:
- The 5:2 diet: For five days of the week, you eat normally without any restrictions, and on two days of the week you limit your caloric intake to 500 or 600 calories per day. This diet recommends 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men.
- The 16/8 fast: To follow this method, you limit your eating to a window of time that is 8 hours long each day, and you spend the other 16 hours of the day fasting.
- Alternate day fasting: This technique requires a day of fasting every other day. On the first day, you eat normally while on the next day you either fast completely for 24 hours or eat less than 500 calories. This pattern continues throughout the week and may be more intense than is advisable for beginners.
- One meal a day: Only one meal is eaten a day with this type of intermittent fast, and it is usually dinner. During the rest of the day, no calories are consumed.
/8will Coffee Break Your Diet
To be fair, drinking black coffee is permitted with Intermittent Fasting . But again, how many cups of coffee is too much coffee? Will it break your fast? And, are there better drinks to be had with Intermittent Fasting?
We give you a low-down on the truth about having coffee during fasting, and the best ways to safely enjoy your fast
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Consideration #: What About Autophagy
I see a lot of people concerned that any number of calories consumed during a fast will shut down autophagy. Autophagy is a self-cleaning process that your body has time to perform because resources are not used for the digestion of food.
While intermittent fasting does lend itself to better autophagy, it is challenging to determine how much cream in your coffee impacts the process.
I have a video on my YouTube channel that discusses autophagy and intermittent fasting if youd like to look into that topic further!
/8what Other Drinks Can You Have
Do remember that coffee is not the only low-calorie beverage that can be had during Intermittent Fasting.
There are multiple options you can choose from, as long as you don’t break the calorie consumption rule and stick by other rules of fasting.
Some of the best low-calorie drinks you can have include water, iced tea, black tea, green tea/ coffee/ lemon water.
As long as you follow the rule of moderation, keep calories under check and refrain from unnecessary additives, Intermittent Fasting will actually make a great load of difference to your lifestyle.
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Boosts Metabolism And Reduces Appetite
Intermittent fasting helps some people consume fewer calories and can even boost metabolism. One study even found that fasting promotes fat loss while preserving muscle more effectively than simple calorie restriction.
Coffee is also known to temporarily boost metabolism and suppress appetite, which may add to your calorie deficit and boost weight loss.
Does Flavored Coffee Break A Fast
Coffee is usually a staple for those who do intermittent fasting. It is delicious, it gives you energy, and it makes the fast easier. But sometimes black coffee can feel a little boring and you feel you would like a little flavor. Does flavored coffee break a fast?
It depends on its ingredients. Most flavored coffees contain natural flavors which could sadly mean anything. They may be harmless ingredients that wont break your fast, or they could cause an insulin response. Thats why most health enthusiasts advise against drinking flavored coffee.
So lets take a closer look at this type of coffee, its benefits, and its side effects.
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One Final Suggestion And Its Up To You
Believe it or not, the Leangains protocol says its OK to drink diet soda while fasting. Yes, diet soda. What is this heresy?
Other IF plans call for clean eating with a complete ban on processed foods. Diet soda is about as processed as these trap vocals.
Lets put diet soda in the maybe column. One every now and then wont kill you or mess with your diet too much.
Does Coconut Oil Break A Fast
Coconut oil can be classified as pure fat, and pure fat never affects your blood sugar, insulin, or any other indicator of an intermittent fast. When you consume coconut oil mixed with coffee, your body will still burn fat.
Some people also believe that consuming coconut oil while on an intermittent fast helps you fast longer. It also makes the fasting much more tolerable.
If you can do a twelve hour fast with regular coffee , when you add a bit of coconut oil you may be able to easily extend your fast to sixteen.
Additionally, coconut oil has also been found to spare the autophagy process, meaning it doesnt affect intermittent fasting negatively.
Having said that, many experts still disapprove of consuming coffee with coconut oil during intermittent fasting because it breaks a fast. Coconut oil is not calorie free when you consume it, you ingest calories.
If you consume coffee and coconut oil for breakfast, you need to be mentally prepared to burn off those extra calories and fat grams once you break your fast. Therefore, you need to consider this when entering your eating window.
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Questions About Exercise And Intermittent Fasting
A lot of people have questions about how to exercise and train while fasting. Here are some good questions that should push you in the right direction with your training.
I wanted to thank you both for writing such a fantastic, motivating blog and for introducing me to intermittent fasting. I am enjoying watching my weight go down by basically doing something that involves no effort skipping breakfast! I was hoping you could elaborate more on your exercise routine. I have waded through the Leangains site and the other links you mentioned in the beginner’s guide, and while very interesting, they are WAY too complex for me at this stage.Paul S.
Readers like Paul are what make our community great. He read about an idea that interested him and even though some of the details were overwhelming, he didn’t let that prevent him from taking action. In other words, he started before he felt ready.
I try to make my writing as easy as possible to use, but it’s always up to you to experiment and see if it makes sense for your circumstances. Keep up the good work, Paul!
Back to the question
Intermittent fasting works great with most strength training programs.
I believe in strength training and compound movements. I think 99% of the population could get in the best shape of their life with only eight exercises: snatch, clean and jerk, squat, bench press, deadlift, pushups, pullups, and sprints. If you did those exercises and did them well, then that’s all you would ever need.
Go Easy On The Coffee
Although black coffee is OK to drink while intermittent fasting, try not to go overboard. Too much coffee can leave you feeling jittery, anxious and weak, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine. Drinking coffee late in the day can also affect the quality of your sleep.
Plus, you’ll be drinking the coffee on an empty stomach, so the caffeine will enter your bloodstream faster than if you’d just had a meal and your stomach was full. Stick to one or two cups a day. If you want more than that, switch to decaf coffee.
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