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Intermittent Fasting

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Can You Drink Coffee While Doing Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting

Can You Drink Coffee While Doing Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a popular diet pattern that involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting. Research suggests that intermittent fasting may promote weight loss and reduce risk factors for certain chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

If you’re new to intermittent fasting, you may wonder whether you’re allowed to drink coffee during a fast. This article explains whether intermittent fasting allows coffee during fasting periods.

Black coffee won’t break your fast Drinking moderate amounts of very low- or zero-calorie beverages during a fasting window is unlikely to compromise your fast in any significant way.

This includes drinks like black coffee.

One cup (240 ml) of black coffee contains about 3 calories and very small amounts of protein, fat, and trace minerals. For most people, the nutrients in 1–2 cups (240–470 ml) of black coffee aren’t enough to initiate a significant metabolic change that would break a fast.

Some people say that coffee suppresses your appetite, making it easier to stick with your fast in the long term. However, this claim remains scientifically unproven. Overall, drinking coffee moderately won’t significantly disrupt your intermittent fast. Just be sure to keep it black, without any added ingredients.

IN SUMMARY

Black coffee is unlikely to hinder the benefits of intermittent fasting. It’s generally fine to drink it during fasting windows.

Coffee may bolster the benefits of fasting Surprisingly, coffee may enhance many of the benefits of fasting. These include improved brain function, as well as reduced inflammation, blood sugar, and heart disease risk.

Metabolic benefits Chronic inflammation is a root cause of many illnesses. Research suggests that both intermittent fasting and coffee intake may help reduce inflammation.

Some research suggests that higher coffee intake is associated with a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome, which is an inflammatory condition characterized by high blood pressure, excess body fat, high cholesterol, and elevated blood sugar levels.

Studies also link coffee intake to a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.

What’s more, up to 3 cups (710 ml) of coffee per day is associated with a 19% reduced risk of death from heart disease. Brain health One of the major reasons intermittent fasting has surged in popularity is its potential to promote brain health and protect against age-related neurological diseases.

Interestingly, coffee shares and complements many of these benefits. Like intermittent fasting, regular coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of mental decline, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

In a fasted state, your body produces energy from fat in the form of ketones, a process linked to improved brain function. Early research indicates that the caffeine in coffee may likewise promote ketone production.

Intermittent fasting may also support brain health through increased autophagy.

Autophagy is your body’s way of replacing damaged cells with healthy ones.

Research suggests that it may safeguard against age-related mental decline. Furthermore, a study in mice tied coffee to significantly increased autophagy. Thus, it may be especially beneficial to include moderate amounts of coffee in your intermittent fasting regimen.

IN SUMMARY

Coffee shares many of the same benefits as fasting, including reduced inflammation and improved brain health.

Added ingredients could reduce fasting benefits. Although coffee alone isn’t likely to break your fast, added ingredients could. Loading up your cup with high-calorie additives like milk and sugar can disrupt intermittent fasting, limiting the benefits of this dietary pattern.

Many popular health and media outlets claim that you won’t break your fast as long as you stay under 50–75 calories during each fasting window. However, no scientific evidence backs these claims.

Instead, you should consume as few calories as possible while fasting. For instance, lattés, cappuccinos, and other high-calorie or sweetened coffee drinks should be off-limits during your fasting windows. While black coffee is the best choice, if you have to add something, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of heavy cream or coconut oil would be good options, as they’re unlikely to significantly alter your blood sugar levels or total calorie intake.

Other considerations

A single cup (240 ml) of coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine (2). Consuming too much caffeine from coffee could lead to side effects, including heart palpitations and temporary increases in blood pressure.

One study found that high coffee intake — up to 13 cups (3.1 liters) per day — resulted in increased fasting insulin levels, suggesting a short-term decrease in insulin sensitivity. If you’re using intermittent fasting to improve your fasting insulin levels or increase your insulin sensitivity, you’ll want to moderate your coffee intake.

Moreover, excessive caffeine intake could harm your sleep quality. Poor sleep can harm your metabolic health over time, which could negate the benefits of intermittent fasting. Most research indicates that up to 400 mg of caffeine per day is likely safe for most people. This equates to about 3–4 cups (710–945 ml) of regular coffee per day. SUMMARY If you drink coffee during your fasting periods, avoid high-calorie, high-sugar additives, as they may break your fast.

6 Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

6 Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has been very trendy in recent years. It is claimed to cause weight loss, improve metabolic health and perhaps even extend lifespan.

Not surprisingly given the popularity, several different types/methods of intermittent fasting have been devised. All of them can be effective, but which one fits best will depend on the individual.

Here are 6 popular ways to do intermittent fasting.

1. The 16/8 Method: Fast for 16 hours each day. The 16/8 Method involves fasting every day for 14-16 hours, and restricting your daily "eating window" to 8-10 hours. Within the eating window, you can fit in 2, 3 or more meals. This method is also known as the Leangains protocol, and was popularized by fitness expert Martin Berkhan.

Doing this method of fasting can actually be as simple as not eating anything after dinner, and skipping breakfast. For example, if you finish your last meal at 8 pm and then don't eat until 12 noon the next day, then you are technically fasting for 16 hours between meals.

It is generally recommended that women only fast 14-15 hours, because they seem to do better with slightly shorter fasts. For people who get hungry in the morning and like to eat breakfast, then this can be hard to get used to at first. However, many breakfast skippers actually instinctively eat this way. You can drink water, coffee and other non-caloric beverages during the fast, and this can help reduce hunger levels.

It is very important to eat mostly healthy foods during your eating window. This won't work if you eat lots of junk food or excessive amounts of calories. I personally find this to be the most "natural" way to do intermittent fasting.

I eat this way myself and find it to be 100% effortless. I eat a low-carb diet, so my appetite is blunted somewhat. I simply do not feel hungry until around 12 am in the afternoon. Then I eat my last meal around 6pm, so I end up fasting for 16-19 hours.

BOTTOM LINE: The 16/8 method involves daily fasts of 16 hours for men, and 14-15 hours for women. On each day, you restrict your eating to an 8-10 hour “eating window” where you can fit in 2-3 or more meals.

2. The 5:2 Diet: Fast for 2 days per week. The 5:2 diet involves eating normally 5 days of the week, while restricting calories to 500-600 on two days of the week. This diet is also called the Fast diet, and was popularized by British journalist and doctor Michael Mosley.

On the fasting days, it is recommended that women eat 500 calories, and men 600 calories. For example, you might eat normally on all days except Mondays and Thursdays, where you eat two small meals (250 calories per meal for women, and 300 for men). As critics correctly point out, there are no studies testing the 5:2 diet itself, but there are plenty of studies on the benefits of intermittent fasting. BOTTOM LINE: The 5:2 diet, or the Fast diet, involves eating 500-600 calories for two days of the week, but eating normally the other 5 days.

3. Eat-Stop-Eat: Do a 24-hour fast, once or twice a week. Eat-Stop-Eat involves a 24-hour fast, either once or twice per week. This method was popularized by fitness expert Brad Pilon, and has been quite popular for a few years. By fasting from dinner one day, to dinner the next, this amounts to a 24-hour fast.

For example, if you finish dinner on Monday at 7 pm, and don't eat until dinner the next day at 7 pm, then you've just done a full 24-hour fast. You can also fast from breakfast to breakfast, or lunch to lunch. The end result is the same. Water, coffee and other non-caloric beverages are allowed during the fast, but no solid food.

If you are doing this to lose weight, then it is very important that you eat normally during the eating periods. As in, eat the same amount of food as if you hadn't been fasting at all. The problem with this method is that a full 24-hour fast can be fairly difficult for many people. However, you don't need to go all-in right away, starting with 14-16 hours and then moving upwards from there is fine. I've personally done this a few times. I found the first part of the fast very easy, but in the last few hours I did become ravenously hungry. I needed to apply some serious self-discipline to finish the full 24-hours and often found myself giving up and eating dinner a bit earlier.

BOTTOM LINE: Eat-Stop-Eat is an intermittent fasting program with one or two 24-hour fasts per week.

4. Alternate-Day Fasting: Fast every other day. Alternate-Day fasting means fasting every other day. There are several different versions of this. Some of them allow about 500 calories during the fasting days. Many of the lab studies showing health benefits of intermittent fasting used some version of this.

A full fast every other day seems rather extreme, so I do not recommend this for beginners. With this method, you will be going to bed very hungry several times per week, which is not very pleasant and probably unsustainable in the long-term.

BOTTOM LINE: Alternate-day fasting means fasting every other day, either by not eating anything or only eating a few hundred calories.

5. The Warrior Diet: Fast during the day, eat a huge meal at night. The Warrior Diet was popularized by fitness expert Ori Hofmekler. It involves eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables during the day, then eating one huge meal at night. Basically, you "fast" all day and "feast" at night within a 4 hour eating window. The Warrior Diet was one of the first popular "diets" to include a form of intermittent fasting. This diet also emphasizes food choices that are quite similar to a paleo diet - whole, unprocessed foods that resemble what they looked like in nature. BOTTOM LINE:

The Warrior Diet is about eating only small amounts of vegetables and fruits during the day, then eating one huge meal at night.

6. Spontaneous Meal Skipping: Skip meals when convenient. You don't actually need to follow a structured intermittent fasting plan to reap some of the benefits. Another option is to simply skip meals from time to time, when you don't feel hungry or are too busy to cook and eat. It is a myth that people need to eat every few hours or they will hit "starvation mode" or lose muscle. The human body is well equipped to handle long periods of famine, let alone missing one or two meals from time to time.

So if you're really not hungry one day, skip breakfast and just eat a healthy lunch and dinner. Or if you're travelling somewhere and can't find anything you want to eat, do a short fast. Skipping 1 or 2 meals when you feel so inclined is basically a spontaneous intermittent fast. Just make sure to eat healthy foods at the other meals.

BOTTOM LINE: Another more "natural" way to do intermittent fasting is to simply skip 1 or 2 meals when you don't feel hungry or don't have time to eat. Take Home Message There are a lot of people getting great results with some of these methods.

That being said, if you're already happy with your health and don't see much room for improvement, then feel free to safely ignore all of this.

Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. It is not something that anyone needs to do, it is just another tool in the toolbox that can be useful for some people. Some also believe that it may not be as beneficial for women as men, and it may also be a poor choice for people who are prone to eating disorders.

If you decide to try this out, then keep in mind that you need to eat healthy as well. It is not possible to binge on junk foods during the eating periods and expect to lose weight and improve health. Calories still count, and food quality is still absolutely crucial.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

It is a way to structure your eating schedule where you abstain from eating for a given amount of time and then eat during a certain feeding window.

You can fast 14 to 16 hours (usually overnight and then into the next day) and eat for 8-10. Others do 16 hour fast and a 8 hour feeding window. Find what is best for your lifestyle. The current body of scientific research does not demonstrate that IF is better for fat loss.

 

It is a way to structure your eating schedule where you abstain from eating for a given amount of time and then eat during a certain feeding window.

You can fast 14 to 16 hours (usually overnight and then into the next day) and eat for 8-10.

Others do 16 hour fast and a 8 hour feeding window. Find what is best for your lifestyle.

The current body of scientific research does not demonstrate that IF is better for fat loss, insulin, autophagy, or anything else compared to eating the same amount of food in any other timing.

Also please note we are advocates of being very active, working out, and general long term healthy habits.

We are NOT advocates and do not support holier than thou comments or passive aggressive/aggressive tones regarding food/meal choices or being “perfect” with eating.

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