Relax You Can Still Drink Your Coffee
I know what youre about to ask with a hint of panic in your voice: I can still drink coffee while I fast, right!?
Yes! Luckily for coffee drinkers everywhere, our favorite morning ritual doesnt boost your blood sugar or disrupt your fast.
If you cant stomach the idea of black coffee, then yes, its okay to add some creamer but not too much! Keep in mind that your body will have to burn through the fat in the creamer before it can get back to burning your stored fat.
What about coffee drinkers who need to mask its bitterness with a sweetener? Zane warns against all-natural sweeteners, including cane sugar, honey, and agave. Its true that theyre natural sugars, but they immediately send blood sugar and insulin levels surging. This in turn kicks your body out of its fasting period altogether.
If you need a hint of sweetness in your coffee, stick to a small dash of Stevia. Most artificial sugars are dangerous because they stimulate cravings and trick your digestive system into preparing for sugar that isnt coming. This is highly disruptive to the fat-burning process that fasting is meant to achieve.
Overall, the question of coffee boils down to your goals. If youre on a mission to lose 50 pounds, adding cream to your morning brew could slow your progress. But a sweetened cup of coffee is much better than a slice of cheesecake! Its all about balance.
Break Your Fast Slowly And Steadily
After spending several hours food-free, you might feel like a human vacuum ready to suck up whatever’s on your plate. But chowing down in minutes is actually no bueno for your body or your waistline, according to research. Instead, you want to chew well and eat slowly to allow your digestive system to fully process the food, Savage explains. This will also help you have a better idea of your fullness so that you steer clear of overeating.
Break Your Fast With A Normal Sized Meal
We touched on this earlier when we talked about how IF isnt an excuse to eat whatever you want. As with every other diet out there, IF only works for fat loss or muscle building if you maintain the appropriate calorie deficit or surplus. This means when it comes time to break your fast you dont want to throw caution the wind, particularly when your goal is fat loss.
Yes, skipping breakfast frees up calories to give you more freedom for your other meals but if you go too crazy then youll undo the calorie deficit you worked so hard to create. Now, your meal size when breaking your fast will depend on whether youve just worked out or are working out later in the day.
With this in mind here are some guidelines to keep you on track
#1 Just Worked Out
In this case, you want this meal to be 50 60% of your calories and include a mix of all macronutrients.
#2 Working Out Later
In this instance you want this meal to be 30 50% of your calories, again made up of a mix of macronutrients.
These guidelines are will help ensure you break your fast without going overboard by giving you a rough idea of how much to eat based on your circumstances.
You May Like: What Is The Best Type Of Fasting
Schedule #: The : 2 Diet
Popularized by Dr. Michael Mosleys The Fast Diet, this approach involves consuming a lot less food two days of the week, and eating normally the other five.
Maybe youre thinking, Thats not fasting! Thats part-time dieting! And youre right.
Technically, this style of eating is called intermittent energy restriction .
What it involves
Exactly what and how much someone eats on the two fasting days can vary from around 20 percent of normal intake to 70 percent. For someone consuming 2800 Calories a day, a fasting day might range from 560 Calories to 1900.
As you can imagine, the lower end of that range is a lot more challenging than the upper end.
People who benefit
People who do best with 5:2 fasting tend to have a lifestyle and/or fitness schedules that align with it.
Heres an example: Robin Beier, PN2, is a German nutrition coach who practices IF personally and coaches a number of clients who do the same. In Germany, most shops are closed on Sundays, including grocery stores. So for one of his clients, a 5:2 diet naturally emerged.
This client would wake on Sunday with hardly any food at homeand didnt want to eat out. So hed have breakfast and then eat either very little or nothing at all for the rest of the day. He broke the fast Monday evening, after hitting the grocery store for dinner supplies.
If you try it:
But 8 Hours Is Not Enough Time For The Body To Enter Into The Fasting Mode Which Takes Approximately 12 Hours To Begin To Set In
So, in terms of fasting, a window of 12 hours between the last meal of one day and the first meal of the next is the minimum required to give your detox processes the time and energy to catch up with the necessary work of maintaining inner cleanliness, Junger says.
Related: Is Intermittent Fasting Bad For You?
Also Check: Do You Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting
What Breaks An Intermittent Fast
If youre new to intermittent fasting, you may have a lot of questions about what to do while fasting1. Does coffee break a fast? What about diet soda, or tea? Can I eat a banana? Or a handful of almonds? What if Im really, really hungry? Read on to discover what really breaks a fast, and how to curb hunger while intermittent fasting for greater success.
How Gender Impacts Your Fasting Routine
From a biological standpoint, gender can impact the success of intermittent fasting. Male and female body composition and metabolic systems are different from each other. Physical activity, hormone levels, caloric intake, and fasting impact each of us differently.
Due to these reasons, males tend to benefit from fasting more than females. Females also should not focus on long-term fasting or drastic reduction in caloric intake.
Over thousands of years, the genetic makeup of females benefits most from the constant intake of high-quality calories, which eliminates such fasting regimes as 20:4 fasting from a female routine. The optimal amount of fasting would be 14 hours per day.
For males, skipping breakfast or skipping a day of eating might be just what the doctor recommended.
In both cases, the most important thing is to avoid hangriness, a state when you become very upset while hungry. The key here is to balance out your meals and eat highly nutritious meals throughout the eating window.
Generally, try to eat high-protein and high-fiber dishes to stay satiated for longer.
Don’t Miss: Which Intermittent Fasting Should I Do
Maintaining Muscle Mass When Fasting
If you want to create a Zen Dude Fitness physique, we recommend taking BCAA in the morning to maintain an anabolic state while youre fasting. This ensures your muscles get the nutrients they need to maintain your mass. Since BCAA are the building blocks of protein and protein are building blocks of muscle, this supplement keeps you on track to your fitness goals. While fasting you arent getting protein so taking BCAA replaces this protein loss. Take 5 grams in the morning and another 5 grams before your workout. Take what the Zen Dudes take with BCAA from Athletic Greens, which is the highest quality weve found on the market.
And thats it your full guide to intermittent fasting. It really is very simple, and youll find that your life gets drastically easier. Best thing to do is get started and readjust as required.
Ease Into Your New Eating Plan
While it might be tempting to jump right into your new eating routine , doing so can be difficult and leave you with increased hunger and discomfort, according to Michal Hertz, RD, a dietitian in New York City. Instead, she recommends starting slowly by, say, doing two to three days of IF during the first week and then “gradually increasing week to week.” Taking thing slow isn’t just a great fasting tip, but a great tip for life .
You May Like: Does A1c Test Require Fasting
Frequently Asked Questions About Fasting
- What can you drink while fasting?
Generally, you can drink plain water, unsweetened coffee, and various teas. If youre not sure if you can make it, you can try dirty fasting and enjoy drinks that contain less than 50 calories during your fasting windows, such as water with lemon or bulletproof coffee.
- Should you mix intermittent fasting and exercise?
Combining fasting with exercise is generally a great way to boost your metabolism and improve your overall health. Everyone should increase their heart rate for 150180 minutes per week or about 30 minutes per day to stay healthy. However, if youre trying more strict fasting regimens such as the Warrior diet, you shouldnt train too hard.
- What is dry fasting?
Dry fasting is a dangerous practice that eliminates not only food but also water from your diet. It isnt recommended for most people, as dehydration raises multiple health issues.
- What can you eat or drink while on intermittent fasting?
Fasting works best if you follow a balanced, high-quality diet. You can achieve it by following a simple proportion. Half of your daily food intake should include non-starchy vegetables, a quarter of it lean protein, and the final bit should consist of whole grains or starchy vegetables. You can easily follow it if you visualize this proportion on your plate.
- Can you chew gum while fasting?
- Can you drink green tea while on intermittent fasting?
- How to gain muscle while intermittent fasting?
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.
Approximately 8 Hours After Your Last Meal Depending On How Big It Was Your Body Completes The Process Of Digesting Absorbing And Assimilating It
So says Alejandro Junger, MD, founder of international health and wellness company CLEAN. This, according to the expert, is when the body refocuses from digestion to other vital matters such as detoxification. Detoxification doesnt stop while digestion is taking place it is simply slowed down, just as thinking and moving are, he says.
Schedule #: Fasting Mimicking Diets
Fasting-mimicking diets are similar to the 5:2 diet, except the time scale is longer:
- The low-energy period usually lasts around 3-7 days.
- Its done less often, generally once every 3-6 weeks.
What it involves
In practice, an FMD might include 1 week of low energy intake, say around 50 percent of normal needs, then 3-4 weeks of normal energy intake. Repeat.
People who benefit
This is an advanced fasting schedule that works best for people who have already mastered 5:2 eating or another less intense protocol.
Its ideal for people whose lifestyles reinforce the fasting schedule. Consider the life of a long-distance trucker who spends a week on the road followed by a couple weeks at home. Such a person might decide to eat very little while driving.
Why? For one, theyre quite sedentary, so their body doesnt need as much energy. Two, they may be incentivized to drive as long as possible and not want to take lots of breaks.
Then when that trucker arrives home, they might eat more normally.
If you try it
Recommended Reading: What Foods To Eat On 16 8 Intermittent Fasting
My Mornings Were Either Mega
In the beginning, I couldn’t focus at all in the morning. I was so distracted by my hunger that I couldn’t get through tasks without daydreaming about later meals or scrolling through food-centric Instagram accounts. Before the fast, I was much more productive before lunch, so this was a weird change. It even extended into the weekend. I flew to see family, and I had a hard time making myself get up and get moving before lunch. My last day with family was when I bumped my fasting up to 16 hours, and by the time I got back to work and the city, my mornings finally felt productive again. The weekend solidified the fact that I was getting used to being hungry, so I utilized that feeling when I was back at work. I busied myself until the time before lunch flew by. Essentially, just like with any diet, it takes awhile to get going and get used to the changes.
How I Got Started What Were The Initial Results
I heard about intermittent fasting in 2012 before I started practicing it from an Australian friend of mine named Jamie. I did some research on how to do it before I got started. I think the LeanGains method suits me the most with my lifestyle, habits, and daily activities.
After practicing intermittent fasting for three months, I lost 6% of body fat, from 24% to 18%, then the progress slowed down.
What I learned here is that intermittent fasting is not a magic eating pattern, you still need to slowly adjust what you put in your mouth to see the best results from it. Having all junk food for eight hours then fasting for 16 hours wonât bring you the lean body shape you want.
Recommended Reading: Can You Do Keto And Intermittent Fasting Together
Why Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is known to boost fat loss, increase muscle gain, heal an unhealthy gut, and improves brain function.
It can help you achieve your goals: Intermittent Fasting is much simpler than dieting. Its more sustainable and easier to stick to. Theres no hard and fast rules on what you can and cant eat, though the better your food choices, the happier youre going to be with your results.
Also, Intermittent Fasting can be incorporated into pretty much any other diet you are following .
It can help you to save money: Most folks who do Intermittent Fasting eat two large meals each day. This makes meal planning and meal prep easier.
Intermittent Fasting promotes stronger insulin sensitivity and increased growth hormone secretion, two keys for weight loss and muscle gain
How If Helps Weight Loss
If youre looking into IF to help you shed a few pounds, youre likely to see a drop on the scale due to the decreased number of calories eaten over the week. This is only true if you dont overeat during the eating periods to compensate for the fasting periods.
A 2018 systematic review and meta-analysis examined how effective intermittent fasting was for adults with overweight or obesity trying to lose weight. The various IF methods researched included alternate-day fasting and fasting for 2 to 4 days per week.
The results found that intermittent fasting results were effective, but comparable to groups doing a continuous energy restriction .
Therefore, the overall reduction of calories is what promotes weight loss, not limiting your eating timeframe.
In the end, there is no one weight loss diet that works for everyone. A 2020 review discusses how intermittent fasting is a recommended option to promote weight loss, but only if youre able to stick with it long-term. Do what works for you!
Beyond the promotion of weight loss, what else does intermittent fasting have to offer? Research has shown other benefits may include:
Read Also: How To Lose Weight Fast Fasting
Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan : 1
Eat stop eat or the 6:1 diet has also proven successful because of its simplicity. The restriction is limited to one day a week. You can choose which day you want to fast every week.
On the other days, you can simply keep your usual food routine. This Intermittent Fasting plan has proven itself especially for very active and competitive athletes who train several times a day.
The significant advantage here is that two nights may be hidden in the fasting period. Thus, you are fasting for more than 24 hours if you do not eat for a whole day.
Generally, this results in 36 hours from dinner to breakfast the next day. Hence, you get deeper autophagy and ketosis, but only once a week.
Since eating nothing once a week is a straightforward rule, 6:1 fasting has proven excellent for beginners.
Find The Best Time To Workout
Many people make the mistake of thinking they cant workout while theyre fasting, but the opposite is true. The morning is the best time for a vigorous workout! Youre fresh and have hormonal optimization on your side.
Afternoon and evening workouts arent always as effective as they could be youre fatigued from the day, consumed with whatever new stressors landed in your lap at work, and are fighting the urge to slip off your shoes and unwind.
I was loyal to my afternoon workout routine for more than a decade, but switching to an early morning gym schedule has been a game-changer. If I dont workout first thing in the morning, I can practically see the sliding scale as I lose my opportunity throughout the day for a quality workout. Life gets busy, and the body gets drained!