Intermittent Fasting Health Benefits
Fasting sets in motion impressive processes in our body. Thanks to advances in biochemistry and medicine, we are getting a better understanding of what fasting does.
Here are the main health benefits of intermittent fasting for beginners that research can explain to date:
1. Weight Loss
With numerous diets, the question arises whether losing weight will work. Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, is different.
When you dont eat, the energy expended must come from your energy stores. If stored carbohydrates are gone, the body must tap into stored fat for energy .
In doing so, the body burns not only fat right under your skin but also visceral fat in organs, which is particularly harmful .
2. Muscle Gain
16/8 Intermittent fasting has been known among bodybuilders for decades as a strategy for muscle building.
Moreover, fasting is the most effective way to stimulate human growth hormone naturally .
HGH promotes bone, cartilage, and muscle development. As a result, you get bigger, stronger muscles and protection against age-related bone and muscle loss .
Accordingly, intermittent fasting combined with appropriate weight lifting helps build and maintain muscle mass.
Fasting activates autophagy, which directs damaged, harmful and toxic compounds out of the body and recycles proteins.
Thus, it helps fight cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, liver, or autoimmune diseases.
5. Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
8. Gut Health
What Can You Eat
During your fasting window, you can drink as many of the approved beverages as you want, but you can’t eat anything. Eating provides calories and starts digestion, both of which break your fast.
But when your fasting period ends and you enter your feeding window, it’s best to make food choices that keep your blood sugar levels stable. Although there’s no specific dietary recommendation when intermittent fasting, many people choose to combine it with a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet.
At the same time, it’s best to limit or avoid high-carb or high-sugar foods like:
- Whole grains like whole-wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice
- Most fruits
- Sugary, processed foods like baked goods or soda
Caffeine While Fasting: What The Experts Say
According to Dr. Akil Palanisamy, physician and author of The Paleovedic Diet:
Autophagy is the self-cleaning process by which the bodys cells break down and recycle damaged proteins and components. This is activated by intermittent fasting, but anything other than water disrupts it to some extent.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick, a Ph.D in biomedical science and expert on nutritional health, seems to agree in this interview with Joe Rogan. She says that drinking black coffee, green tea and vitamin supplements break the fast.
On the other hand, some experts agree in saying that caffeine is okay while fasting, but only to a certain extent:
- Steve Kamb, fitness instructor, publisher, and writer best known for promoting health and wellness at NerdFitness.com, says its OK to drink any zero-calorie beverages during an intermittent fasting routine.
Zero-calorie beverages are okay. As previously stated, I drink green tea in the morning for my caffeine kick while writing. If you want to drink water, black coffee, or tea during your fasting period, thats okay. Remember, dont overthink it keep things simple! Track your results, listen to your body.
- Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., of DrAxe.com and best-selling author of Eat Dirt thinks that tea and coffee are fine to consume as long as you dont add any milk or sweeteners. He explains on his blog:
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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.
Beckys Glucose Results: Equal
Her blood glucose was at 94 mg/dL, it went up to 105 mg/dL at 30 minutes, then back to 94 mg/dL at 60 minutes, and up to 103 mg/dL at 120 minutes.
It kind of went back and forth a couple of times over the test in both your ketones and glucose.
When we look at my results for Equal, they are actually very similar to my results for sugar.
Yes. Your blood glucose definitely went up a little bit, and your ketones came down a little bit.
Nothing significant happened, I didnt really benefit from it.
As far asyour ketones go:
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Answers To The Most Common Intermittent Fasting Questions
Welcome to the first Reader Mailbag!
Im taking a page from the playbook of one of my favorite sportswriters, Bill Simmons, and answering a boatload of your questions today.
Questions are rolling in all the time mostly through the free newsletter or and I love hearing from you. Keep them coming! I’m happy to help however I can.
My hope is that this mailbag will bring useful answers together in one place and make it easier for you to find the information you need to make the changes you want. My goal is always to make it easier for you to lose fat, gain muscle, and live healthy.
Boom. Lets get this party rolling.
As always, these are real emails from real readers.
Is Black Coffee Okay For Intermittent Fasting
Is black coffee okay to consume for people who are undergoing intermittent fasting?
The answer is yes, it is okay for people to drink black coffee even during fasting periods. This is because it contains relatively low calories which cannot hinder your fasting.
However, black coffee should be taken in moderate amounts only as overconsumption can damage your health.
Sue Ryskamp, a Senior dietitian who works at the Michigan Medicines Frankel Cardiovascular Center, said that it is okay to drink a coffee with the condition thatit has to be pure black coffee with no sugar or creamer in it.
A cup of black coffee contains approximately about threecalories along with very few amounts of minerals, fats, and protein.
Although not scientifically proven, it was claimed by some people that drinking black coffee helps suppress appetite making it much easier to fast.
In general, though, drinking black coffee is unlikely hinder your intermittent fasting.
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Should You Drink Coffee While Fasting
Ultimately, drinking coffee during a fast is up to personal preference.
If you dont like coffee or dont currently drink it, theres no reason to start. You can obtain many of the same health benefits from a diet rich in whole, nutritious foods.
However, if a hot cup of joe seems to make your fast a little easier, theres no reason to quit. Just remember to practice moderation and avoid extra ingredients.
If you find that youre overconsuming coffee or having trouble sleeping, you may want to cut back and focus solely on intermittent fasting.
Drinking a moderate amount of black coffee during intermittent fasting is perfectly healthy. Still, youll want to moderate your intake and avoid most additives like sugar or milk.
Intermittent Fasting: Coffee With Creamer
Creamer and similar additives in powder form are highly processed. Therefore, these are absolute junk!
They are loaded with carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Moreover, some creamers consist of up to 50% sugar.
Also, coffee with sugar-free creamer isnt an option. Besides too much protein and fat, you will find other artificial additives like sweeteners in it.
If you like your body, you should avoid these junk additives not only during fasting.
Read Also: How To Do 16 8 Intermittent Fasting
When Does Coffee Break Your Fast
There are two big things things in general that will break a fast:
- Anything with calories
- Anything with a sweet taste
While not all fasting experts agree on this, the short answer is if youre having either of these things while fasting for weight loss, youre making your fasted time harder on yourself.
This includes adding artificial sweeteners, heavy cream, and even that seemingly harmless splash of milk.
More on what you should add to your cup of coffee in a minute
Does Coffee Break A Fast
Such a dietary pattern as fasting allows consuming low- and zero-calorie beverages in moderate amounts. Such drinks are unlikely to break your fast.
Black coffee belongs to this list. One cup of this drink has a barely detectable amount of minerals, fat and protein. Moreover, such amount of coffee contains approximately 5 calories , which is not enough to affect your metabolic rate and break your fast.
Black coffee offers some health benefits as well. For example, according to the recent research, this drink may lower your risks of type 2 diabetes, heart attack, heart stroke, liver diseases and even Parkinsons disease . Dieters also claim that black coffee helps to decrease your appetite, which makes it easier for you to follow the dietary plan and manage your fasting days. However, this theory lacks scientific backing.
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How To Start Intermittent Fasting
In the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, we practice a 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule. This involves eating all your meals in an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
Starting intermittent is easy. As I said, it is not a diet. It is an eating schedule.
Start by monitoring the time you eat or drink your last thing in the evening and then plan to skip breakfast. I usually stop eating around 8:00 or 9:00pm and dont eat my first meal until 1:00pm the next day.
So what can you have during that 16 hour window to help curb your appetite? Well, water of course!
But what about coffee?
Coffee is a great appetite suppressor, so many of you might already be skipping breakfast if youre an avid coffee drinker like me. HOWEVER, if youre wanting your body to stay in that fasted state, you might have to change your coffee order up a little bit
Intermittent Fasting Infographic via Prevention.com
The biggest question about intermittent fasting revolves around what can break it. And since drinks are typically the first thing we consume in the morning you need to make sure that youre not accidentally consuming anything that could break your fast.
Caffeine And Sleep Disturbance
Intermittent fasting improves the quality of your sleep, yet too much coffee can interfere with this. Doctors suggest limiting your coffee consumption to 4 cups per day. If youre sensitive to caffeine, avoid drinking coffee in the afternoon and evening. The general rule of thumb is to keep a space of six hours between your last dose of caffeine and the time you go to sleep for the night.
Sleep is crucial, and if you get too little sleep youll feel miserable, and it will reduce the impact of your intermittent fasting regimen, which could cause you to gain weight.
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Intermittent Fasting: Coffee With Milk
100ml of milk not only contains almost 5g of lactose but also approximately as many milk proteins.
The calculation here is simple. With intermittent fasting, milk makes the difference in coffee. Even a dash of milk detracts from the benefits of fasting.
Coffee with milk breaks the fast.
What about skimmed milk?
Coffee With Monk Fruit
Monk fruit extract has a similar effect to stevia. It is also extremely sweet about 200 times sweeter than sugar.
Although monk fruit sweetener is one of the better alternatives, I wouldnt use it daily for intermittent fasting, due to its counterintuitive nature.
According to studies, intense sweetness promotes appetite and cravings .
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Does Cinnamon Break A Fast
First of all, this depends on WHY you’re using Intermittent Fasting. If you are completing a water fast or fasting for religious purposes, than ANY food will break your fast. However, if you’re following the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle guidelines in order to tap into fat burning mechanisms and boost energy levels, then your criteria is a little different.
One of the main goals of Intermittent Fasting is to stabilize blood glucose levels and reduce the insulin response. This will help to shift your body out of storing mode and into fat burning mode. So the question you want to ask is… what causes a spike in your blood glucose and insulin? The answer: carbohydrates .
Carbohydrates aren’t EVIL. In fact, when properly used, carbs can actually HELP you achieve your wellness goals as well. But during your fasting period, a good rule of thumb is to keep carbohydrates and protein to below 1g each. Everyone’s body will respond to glucose/amino acids differently, but this low level is generally a good place to start.
1 tsp. of cinnamon contains roughly .8g net carbs and .1g protein. So with the 1g total carbohydrates and protein rule in mind, then cinnamon will not break your fast. When you stick to less than 1 tsp. of cinnamon during your fast, cinnamon will not break your fast. However, if you are combining multiple spices, make sure that the total number is less than 1g. For this reason, sticking to around 1/2 or 1/4 tsp. cinnamon is ideal.
Intermittent Fasting With Coffee And Tea
Cant start your day without coffee? Same. The good news is that when youre intermittent fasting, coffee and tea are finejust hold the milk and sugar.
Most experts agree that a cup of black coffee or tea wont dramatically impact your intermittent fasting results, even though youre technically breaking your fast by drinking a few calories. In fact, the caffeine can help suppress your appetite .
But if you want to maximize the benefits of autophagy, stay as close to zero calories as possible during your fasting window.
You also might have heard of Bulletproof intermittent fasting, or starting your day with a cup of Bulletproof Coffee: a creamy blend of grass-fed butter and Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil. This isnt a true fast. Its considered a fat fast, which means you wont spike your blood sugar. Youre only consuming quality fats, not carbs or tons of protein. The quality fats keep you full and energized, and the MCT oil kickstarts ketone production to help you stay in ketosis.
You might start your fast with strictly water to promote autophagy, then have a small cup of Bulletproof Coffee in the afternoon to get through the midday slump and burn fat for energy. Experiment to find what works for you.
Read Also: Can I Do Intermittent Fasting With Keto
Should You Avoid Dirty Fasting
Besides looking at your blood sugar, why would you want to avoid dirty fasting? First, there is the issue of calories. Dirty fasting can increase your calorie intake and make it harder to lose weight. Also, if you are fasting to give your digestive system a break, you should make sure you are clean fasting. Otherwise, you may be able to consume my intermittent fasting coffee recipes. Furthermore, you may find that they help you fast longer. As I was experimenting for this blog post, I discovered that my bulletproof coffee kept me full and satisfied for much longer. Fasting was easier.
For most people, making the decision to avoid dirty fasting will depend on how it affects their blood glucose.
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.
Practical Benefits You Did Not Know
Although I came to intermittent fasting because of its remarkable health benefits, it is the practical advantages in everyday life that are why I have stuck with it.
After a few weeks, even beginners will find that intermittent fasting makes life far more straightforward because of the following facts.
1. Its Incredibly Simple
Unlike most dietary advice, Intermittent Fasting is simple for beginners. Classic 16/8 intermittent fasting has two rules:
- No breakfast
- No snacks
Bottom line. The simpler the rules, the easier it is to implement methods in everyday life.
2. Intermittent Fasting Is Cheap
Intermittent fasting is not only free, but youll save yourself money doing it:
- No breakfast
- No expensive exotic superfoods
- No gym subscription
Even though marketing has taught us otherwise, less can be better. Youll feel it in your checking account.
3. It Saves Time
The food industry loves diet tips that involve multiple meals because no one can cook six times a day. Hence, these tips create a need for more convenience foods.
On the other hand, with intermittent fasting, you can focus on 1-2 meals and prepare them relaxed using real food. Or simply skip a meal when there is no time.
This way, on stressful days, youll save yourself the junk food, the post-meal productivity slump, time, and money.
4. Fasting Is Executable With Any Diet
Intermittent fasting is not a trendy special diet but rather an omission.
On the contrary, you have to choose what not to prepare and eat today.
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.
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