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.
Can You Chew Gum While Fasting
When asked about chewing gum during a fasting window, Dr. Fung told POPSUGAR, Yes, sweeteners can certainly produce an insulin response, but generally for gum, the effect is so small that there is likely no problem from it. So yes, technically it does break the fast, but no, it usually doesnt matter.
What Can I Add To My Coffee That Wont Break My Fasting
One thing to keep in mind: if you like flavored coffee, thats also OK.
What can be added to your coffee for fasting, the key is to watch the calorie count and avoid sugars. One cup of just plain black coffee is only about 3 calories. That is why during fasting, a couple of cups of coffee will not take away the health benefits by affecting your metabolic change in a negative way. If you need to add something to the coffee to make it more suitable for your taste, a little bit of artificial sweetener probably wont hurt you. Still, dont go overboard with it. In fact, you would be better off trying a few sprinkles of cinnamon instead. Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Other things that can be added to your coffee that wont break your fasting include:
- A sprinkle of cinnamon
Fastyle Coach Team
Lois Grey has a BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics and worked as a clinical dietitian to help her clients to manage their nutrition and healthy weight.
Iris joined the Fastyle team to contribute to collecting new and scientific information of IF to better spread knowledge of healthy lifestyle. For several years, Iris has become a faithful practitioner of IF and developed a healthier eating habit.
Bella Garcia is a big fan of intermittent fasting and has lost 10kg since IF. As being in the first group of Fastyle users, Garcia has grown to be a better her with Fastyle.
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Cream In Coffee During Fast
Ive been eating LCHF for about 6 weeks and lost around 26 pounds which obviously Im very happy with. My weight loss has now significantly slowed which Im not overly concerned about but thought Id try 24-hour fasting which Ive done for the last few days and feel great. However, I am having cream in my coffee during the fasting hours which really helps me cope. Am I undoing all the positives of the fast by doing this?
Good question Lucy. First, let me start by saying nobody knows the answer for sure. We simply dont have enough data to support a conclusion.
Anecdotally, I use cream in coffee during fasts as well. For me, that little bit of cream does not stop me from getting the results that I desire.
In others, it may undo some of the positives, but generally not.
The key is to monitor your goals and see if you are progressing.
You can read Diet Doctors full guide on fasting for more information.
Dr. Jason Fung
How Bulletproof Coffee Affects Fasting
Bulletproof coffee is blended with grass-fed butter, and often contains calorie-dense MCT oil, which the body converts to ketones. Individuals following the ketogenic diet typically use this buttery blend for an added fat boost.
However, coming in at an average of 320 calories per cup, its important to consume bulletproof coffee in moderation while fasting. And if youre fasting for autophagy or longevity, you may want to stick to black coffee consumption instead.
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Can I Drink Collagen During Intermittent Fasting
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Intermittent fasting is a popular health and fitness trend for good reason! In general, intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat, not what you eat. You can drink collagen during intermittent fasting–however, this article will explain the trade-offs.
The theory on intermittent fasting is straightforward–humans weren’t made to eat all day long, reducing calories through fasting will naturally lead to weight loss.
Not only that, but since the body isn’t working so hard to digest and process food and sugar, it can refocus its energy to balance and healing.
Furthermore, IF helps control your blood sugar. When your blood sugar levels are steady, your body will be a fat burning machine.
In fact, it will look to use fat within your body for its energy source.
There are other diets out there that you may have heard of, like the ketogenic diet and paleo diet. They strive to do something similar–eat more protein since it helps keep blood sugar steady and helps you feel full, limit the number of carbohydrates and consume healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids.
Let’s get started and answer if drinking collagen during intermittent fasting is a good decision for you!
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe
People can begin intermittent fasting for a variety of reasons. Some may begin to lose and manage weight and while others may be using intermittent fasting to address other health issues that could use a change in diet.
Regardless of reasoning, anyone planning to begin IF should consult and receive approval from their primary care doctor. If youre pregnant, breastfeeding, or have medical problems like, intermittent fasting may not be right for you.
If you begin intermittent fasting and experience unusual headaches, mental health disturbances such as anxiety or depression or have unusual changes in mood, consult with your primary healthcare provider to determine the best strategy or plan for your individual wellness.
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. Even if intermittent fasting is safe for you, it might not be the right diet for you.
If you find that IF makes you feel good and supports your health journey, thats wonderful! Youre joining a large community of fasters who have also found that IF enriches their life. If you find that intermittent fasting triggers disordered eating habits, makes you feel icky, or otherwise isnt the best option for your nutritional needs, thats OK too! There is no one size fits all approach to health.
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Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting And Coffee
Most people try intermittent fasting as a form of dieting to lose weight. But studies have also a lot of other health benefits from intermittent fasting.
If youre looking to better improve your insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control then intermittent fasting might be right up your alley. Studies have found a decrease in insulin resistance and improvement in type II diabetes in those who are using intermittent fasting .
People are also using intermittent fasting to improve their brain health. Studies have found a decline in cognitive diseases such as Alzheimers from fasting . If youre intermittent fasting then youll also notice an increase in clarity and brainpower.
Intermittent fasting is also going to reduce inflammation in your body. Lowering inflammation your body will not only help to decrease long-term serious health problems such as heart disease but will also improve your physical appearance .
Last but not least intermittent fasting increases autophagy in your body . This is the destruction of cancerous cells. Your body does this as a way to clean out all the old dangerous cells and make way for new cells .
Coffee was also once thought to be very bad for you and I remember as a kid it was right up there with smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol.
Your metabolic health will also get a boost as studies have found no evidence of heart disease that comes with drinking coffee .
How Does Coffee Affect The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Plain black coffee is more than just okay for your fast. It can actually add to the benefits of intermittent fasting.
First and foremost, coffee helps you feel like youre consuming something. For many people, this is really important to make fasting a sustainable habit. Even if its not providing calories, having something to sip is helpful to stay satisfied during a fast.
Here are some other ways coffee supports the benefits of intermittent fasting:
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The Basics Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is more than just not eating. The goal isn’t calorie restriction it’s giving your body a break from food so that it can focus its energy on cleansing, rather than digesting.
Your body contains proteins and other structures that constantly become dysfunctional or die, according to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research . This isn’t a bad thing it’s a necessary process for optimal health.
Enter a process called autophagy. Autophagy is a form of cellular cleansing where the body marks damaged parts of cells and unused proteins as potentially harmful. Once your body gets this message, the damaged parts are cleared out, according to February 2018 research in Obesity.
However, if autophagy is never initiated, dead or dysfunctional cells can accumulate in the body, which can lead to diseases like lupus, type 1 diabetes and cancer, per the WEHI. Fortunately, fasting can trigger the cleansing process, per the Obesity research.
There are many different fasting patterns to pick from, but all of them involve eating during specific windows of the day and then abstaining from food otherwise, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. For instance, the popular 16:8 diet provides an eight-hour eating period followed by 16 hours of fasting.
Can I Drink Coffee With Coconut Oil During Intermittent Fasting
Technically speaking, coconut oil is a type of pure fat, and pure fat is never found to affect your blood glucose, insulin, or any other indicators of a broken fast. As you consume coconut oil mixed in coffee, your body will still be burning fat but as a lesser speed.
Some people are also of the opinion that consuming coconut oil during intermittent fasting helps you fast for a longer period of time. It also makes fasting a lot more tolerable. For example, if you are able to go on a 12-hour-long fast with plain black coffee, adding a few teaspoons of coconut oil in it can help stretch your fasting to 24 hours.
Moreover, coconut oil has also been found to spare the process of autophagy. Ideally speaking, it may not affect intermittent fasting in any way.
Despite all the points discussed above, there are many experts who still dont approve of consuming coffee with coconut oil during intermittent fasting as it breaks a fast. Coconut oil is not calorie-free when you are consuming it, you are ingesting calories. These calories, in turn, break your fast.
If you drink coffee with coconut oil in it during the day, you must be mentally prepared to eliminate 120 calories and 12 grams of fat when you break your fast. This is because your body has already taken in these macronutrients in the form of coconut oil earlier. Therefore, you must account for them when you enter your eating window.
What Does Fasting Teach Your Mind And Body
Intermittent fasting teaches you how to persevere through challenges and develop a strong work ethic and discipline.
Because you are restricted from eating food only during specific hours of the day you can no longer take your food eating for granted.
You must learn to value and obtain the highest amount of nutritional value in a short time frame. Check out the video below for more info on what this can do for your longevity
What Else Can You Drink While Fasting
While fasting, you should only consume 0-calorie drinks. Therefore, this excludes all foods.
I cover this in-depth, including the best ways to break your fast, inside my eBook, Intermittent Fasting For Women.
Inside youll find a complete guide to intermittent fasting, food lists, and a meal plan to jumpstart your fasting journey.
Intermittent Fasting for Women
If you want to dive deeper, Ive created a book with everything you need to know about intermittent fasting & a 1-week meal plan so you know exactly what to eat during your eating windows. Check out my Intermittent Fasting Guide here.
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Coffee And Insulin Sensitivity
In the long run, fasting is one oft he most effective methods to improve insulin sensitivity and, thus, glucose metabolism. Therefore, intermittent fasting helps to prevent diabetes.
Nevertheless, fasting can reduce insulin sensitivity in the short term. Since this reaction has an excellent reason, it is harmless.
Because the body ensures that the majority of glucose available is delivered to the brain, some other cells become acutely insulin-resistant. For this reason, those parts of the brain that cannot run on ketones and need glucose can get enough of it.
But dont panic as the liver synthesizes sufficient glucose from amino and fatty acids during fasting .
Coffee has a similar effect. Acutely, coffee reduces insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Therefore, you should never add sugar to coffee or eat cake with it.
However, coffee improves insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism in the long term. For this reason, recent studies show that coffee reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes .
Half & Half And Heavy Cream
Heavy whipping cream, just like butter and ghee, is nearly pure fat. Half & Half is fairly similar, but is essentially a more watered-down version of heavy cream. However, the carbohydrate and protein count can start to add up with these two ingredients. These are best limited to 1 Tbsp. in coffee while fasting. You can grab the science-y deets for why this is with my article HERE.
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The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
One of the most obvious benefits of intermittent fasting is weight loss. When you spend the majority of your day in a fasted state, it’s no wonder weight gain is prevented! Though this is often the main selling point for intermittent fasting, it’s certainly not the only one. Intermittent fasting has been found to:
- Speed up fat burning as evidenced and made popular by the keto community. Fasting is extremely common with those following the low-carb, high-fat keto diet. The keto diet maximizes the body’s ability to use body fat for fuel by entering ketosis. Ketosis is triggered when the body has depleted its carb stores and starts to burn fat for energy instead. Similarly, during an intermittent fast, the body runs through its carb stores first then moves to fat for energy. Thus, intermittent fasting, especially when paired with the keto diet in eating windows, is a popular fat loss method.
- by reducing insulin levels and thus decreasing blood glucose levels.
- Protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure, blood sugar levels, blood triglycerides, total cholesterol, and inflammation.
- Induce cellular repair
- May help prevent Alzheimers disease
Other Safe Liquids To Drink
During a fasting period, it is essential to monitor your liquid intake. You can make sure you stay hydrated throughout your day by drinking:
Water is the most important liquid you need to make sure you drink enough of. Water keeps you hydrated and mentally and physically able to function.
To change the flavor of your water if you grow bored with its same flavor, you can safely add a lemon or lime to your water.
Adding lemons or limes to your water does not break your fast.
It can make your fast work better by speeding up your metabolism, which helps during long periods of no food.
Lemons and limes also help maintain your fullness feeling throughout the day, which eliminates any boredom hunger, or cravings.
Green tea is also a safe alternative to water, that does contain minimal amounts of caffeine, but is healthy for your circulatory system.
As for carbonated drinks, you can drink them as long as they have no calories. Do not be confused with diet soda, even though it is carbonated it does increase hunger cravings and it is not recommended during a fast.
Apple cider vinegar is a recommended drink to have during a fast because it also helps maintain the feeling of being full.
Hunger cravings make it challenging to continue working throughout the day.
Apple cider vinegar helps you absorb the necessary nutrients you ate earlier, which keeps you healthy and functioning throughout the day.
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Can I Have Cream In Coffee When Fasting
My husband and I tested our blood glucose and ketones after drinking coffee with cream to see if we could get closer to answering the question: Can I have cream in my coffee while I am fasting?
Weve concluded that yes, it is ok, but there are five important things that you need to keep in mind for optimal health and weight loss benefits.
Intermittent Fasting Coffee Recipes
Did you know that you can drink coffee all day long while youre intermittent fasting? There is a catch though, you need to make the right intermittent fasting coffee recipes. Drinking coffee is a common strategy to make intermittent fasting easier and to extend fasting periods.
These intermittent fasting coffee recipes, when combined with drinking tea and water, will help you achieve the intermittent fasting results you want. There are a few rules you must follow while intermittent fasting. First, you need to choose which hour plan you want to use.
The most popular plan is the 16/8 plan. This plan gives you 8 hours of eating time and 16 hours of fasting time. People usually choose this plan because 8 of those 16 fasting hours could be sleeping hours as well. There is an intermittent fasting rule that is meant to help you make it through those 16 hours of fasting time.
You are allowed to drink water, tea, and even coffee during those fasting hours. But you should be careful with what you drink. You can only drink coffee black during fasting hours. The same rule applies to tea and water. No sugar or additives are allowed if youre drinking water, tea, or coffee during fasting hours.
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