Intermittent Fasting: Coffee

One of the most salient benefits of intermittent fasting (IF) is its ability to provide positive physiological and psychological effects, such as increased energy and improved mood. Plus, you won’t have to spend your Sunday afternoons doing meal prep. IF also increases insulin sensitivity, which can boost mental and physical health when combined with mindful training. 

When you decide to try IF, your overall caloric intake for the day will stay the same. In other words, if you consume 2200 calories per day, you will still consume that many calories—it simply will be in one or two meals. This is an important fact to remember! If you’re someone who loves breakfast, you can still enjoy your bacon, eggs, toast and juice--just eat breakfast as your evening meal. Don't forget the coffee! 

Can I Drink Coffee?
If you’ve chosen IF in order to lose weight, plain black coffee, which has zero calories, is a good choice. In addition, coffee has an appetite suppressing effect, so it can help in your fasting efforts. As long as you drink black coffee, or unsweetened tea, you will not break your fast. As a general rule, most experts agree you will remain in a fasted state as long as you consume a drink with fewer than 50 calories. 

Anti-aging benefits
If you’ve chosen IF for its anti-aging benefits, black coffee is not recommended. Intermittent fasting instigates autophagy, a process in which damaged proteins and components are broken down and recycled by the body’s cells. It’s like your body’s own self-cleaning system. Black coffee disrupts autophagy, however, so you might choose to avoid coffee and drink water. 

Weight management
If you’ve chosen IF for its weight management benefits, coffee can be a great help. If you skip breakfast, for example, you can drink coffee throughout the morning and wait to eat your first meal during the lunch hour. Not only does coffee supress the appetite, it also helps metabolize fat when you are fasting. According to steadfast fasters, over time, coffee will become more of a meal and less of a beverage for you. Think of the money you will save buying a coffee instead of a meal! And if you want a zero-calorie flavor in your coffee, add cinnamon and/or nutmeg. 

IF is a process
When you fast for a long period of time, and finally eat a meal, you will gain an appreciation for food you may not have had before. After you overcome the initial hunger pangs and internal complaints of “I’m starving,” you will find you’re more alert, full of energy, and ready to tackle the day. Your brain will start to focus more on getting things done and less on your rumbling belly. Fasting will become your productive period, rather than a time of being unable to focus. Conversely, after consuming a large meal, you may find yourself feeling less energetic. So, fasting will become your most productive time. Best of all, you don't have to give up your coffee!