New Year, same program! Last January I jumped on the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program with my friend and coach, Deanna Pizitz. I’m so happy she introduced me to this new lifestyle that incorporates intermittent fasting, whole nutrition, carb cycling, and fitness. In 6 weeks, she was able to teach me so much about how the body digests food, stores fat and HOW to turn your body into a fat-burning machine. One of the major components of the FASTer Way Program is implementing an eating schedule called “Intermittent Fasting.”
What is intermittent fasting?
It is not a diet. It is a time-restricted eating schedule. Fasting has been shown to help to support weight loss and improve blood sugar, brain function and longevity.
How Intermittent Fasting Works to Lose Weight and Burn Fat
Here are the sciencey facts:
Your body is always in one of two states: fed or fasted.
In the fed state (anytime your body is digesting food), your body’s insulin levels make burning fat a challenge.
However, in the fasted state (8-12 hours after your body finishes digesting), your insulin levels are lower and better able to reach into your fat stores.
People rarely go into a fasted state throughout the day because most of us have been taught to eat breakfast as soon as we wake up. In fact, the traditional theory of several small meals per day keeps us from ever reaching the fasted state. In addition, that type of eating schedule regularly spikes our insulin levels which also hinders fat loss.
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 don’t 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 you’re an avid coffee drinker like me. HOWEVER, if you’re wanting your body to stay in that fasted state, you might have to change your coffee order up a little bit…
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 you’re not accidentally consuming anything that could break your fast.
How to NOT Break Your Fast
- In order to maintain your “fasted” and fat-burning state, your body cannot consume anything that it could use for energy (i.e. carbs, sugars).
- Low calorie or zero calorie drinks while fasting include: black coffee, water, tea, bone broth, and apple cider vinegar.
Does Coffee Creamer Break Your Intermittent Fasting?
The answer to this question is a highly debated one.
Can you add creamer to your coffee while doing intermittent fasting? Yes and no.
Adding a little dose of creamer to your coffee is acceptable and will not completely break your fast, but rather might just slow down your fat-burning state.
Do I personally use creamer in my coffee? No.
Because there is so much information out there about what will and will not break your fast, I simply do not fool with using creamer in my coffee anymore. Problem solved! But I do understand that some people need a way to get creamer in their coffee or wean themselves off slowly.
Here are some of my favorite FASTer Way to Fat Loss approved creamers that won’t completely break your fast. *Remember to read the label to determine what the serving size is so you don’t go over 50 calories or have any fiber.
- Nut Pods
- Califia Creamers
- Coconut Creamer from Trader Joe’s
- Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Almond or Coconut Creamer
I know that’s a ton of information to digest, but the rewards of intermittent fasting really are so beneficial. I’ve been practicing intermittent fasting for over a year now and it has helped me stay regulated, reduced acid reflux, and has lessened my stomach/digestion pain. I used to have frequent and excessive sweating at night and those have completely subsided because Intermittent fasting is said to help regulate and stabilize hormone levels. Another amazing result from incorporating intermittent fasting into my lifestyle is the reduction in belly bloat! Read how IF worked for me see my before and after photos in just two weeks.
Tips for Successful Intermittent Fasting
- Drink water plenty of water. Soda water (no juice or fruit) could help make you feel fuller
- Stay busy.
- Drink coffee or tea. Both of these natural drinks are supposed to help curb hunger. Just remember no sweeteners. Mostly black coffee is recommended for intermittent fasting and keto lifestyles.
- Ride out the hunger waves. Sometimes you’re really just thirsty!
- Give yourself one month to see if intermittent fasting (such as 16:8) is a good fit for you. I try and fast every day of the week, but sometimes I’ll give myself the weekends off to enjoy a fun Starbucks drink in the morning or brunch with family and friends.
- Follow a whole nutrition diet between fasting periods. See below how I break my fast and space out my eating periods.