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Is it ok to use coffee as an IF tool?

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  • Is it ok to use coffee as an IF tool?

    I like the idea of IFing, and I think it could work for me. Not a full 24-hour fast (at least, not yet), but a 14-hour everyday fast. Problem is, I DO still get hungry for breakfast. The only way of tamping down my appetite seems to be drinking lots of coffee (black, no sugar, of course).

    This kind of "appetite suppressant" doesn't exactly strike me as natural or very Grok-like, although it doesn't seem to go against the "rules" of primal living.

    So... is it ok to use coffee as an IF tool? Or if I'm using coffee as a crutch, does it mean I'm not ready for IFing yet?
    Female, 40 yrs old, 5', 120 lbs (post-pregnancy)
    Went Primal January 2, 2012!

    Paleo Cooking for Cavekids cookbook

  • #2
    I'm drinking a cup of crutch right this minute.

    If you don't put anything in it, and it's calorie free, then how could it be wrong
    in the IF-ing scheme of things?

    I *do* put 15g of heavy cream in mine, so technically I'm not really "fasting"
    until my 3pm time - but after I drop my kids at school I'll walk 6 or more miles
    or go to the gym, so, to myself about IF, I say, "bite me and my 50 calories".

    Coffee and other zero calorie beverages are fine to help you through, just don't
    go balls out on pots and pots of coffee......



    • #3
      I think it's ok. Yeah it violates the "listen to your body/eat when hungry" guideline, but once you get used to skipping breakfast, you probably won't need it as much. Your hormones (mostly ghrelin) will adjust to your new eating schedule after a week or two and you won't get hungry till your new meal times. I'd say go for it as long as it's not like a whole pot or something. 3-4 cups should be fine.


      • #4
        I drink either coffee or tea (usually 2-3 cups) every morning. I fast between 18 and 20 hours. It does help and I don't think it hurts.
        People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.


        • #5
          I drink unsweetened black tea... delish!
          March 1st 2010: 308lbs | CW: 219lbs / 18.5%BF | New Goal: 16% BF
          Male. 28. 6'4''. Currently working on them muscles and strength!

          "My chest hair caught fire when I was fighting a bear with a flamethrower, how do I get my hair back? - Rivvin


          • #6
            Depends on why you're fasting.
            If it's to give your body a break, drinking caffeine in large amounts on a regular basis is bad for your adrenals. Boosting your adrenaline is not giving your body a break.

            I'm not going to eat, but I'll just snort this little line of coke instead. . . . ok, a little over dramatic - but same idea lol


            • #7
              I use coffee as an appetite suppresant. Black, no sweetener but I'm really picky about the coffee I drink. Swill, like Dunkin Donuts dishwater coffee, is hard to drink black. Home-brewed french press deliciousness is easy to drink rich and flavorful.
              If I was IFing, I'd probably do 1/2 caf, 1/2 decaf to reduce the dehydrating effect of the caffeine.

              If coffee is wrong, I don't want to be right.


              • #8
                I'm another doing the same thing, I'm IF from 6pm the previous day until midday the next, with two mugs of black coffee in the morning. It's working nicely for me so far!
                Come visit my blog about life, my journey and seizing the day:
                Read my Journal of Awesomeness!
                Follow me on Twitter: @Buzz_71 and @the_CarpeDiem
                My Primal slow movement challenge: 208.29km of 1000km completed in 2012!


                • #9
                  Depends on what you mean by "lots." Too much caffeine can overstimulate adrenals, causing them to function poorly - and you will start to rely on the coffee more and more. I've been there and cut back to 1 cup a day. I IF 16-18 hours a day, some days 20 - I just go by how I feel. Since IFing I've upped coffee to 2 cups a day. I try to drink tons of water as well as coffee. And after 2 cups I switch to green tea and have another 1-2 cups. That gets me through till early afternoon when I break my fast. I just know I have to be really careful with caffeine, so that's how I have worked it.


                  • #10
                    I chose to drop coffee rather than IF daily. Normally, if I eat supper by 7 pm, I still manage to IF for 14 hours, but I find it hard to hold off past 9 am. With coffee, I could go till 11 am-1 pm no problems. I was starting to need more and more coffee, up to 2 cups in the morning (for someone who had none for ~36 years that's a lot), to keep going, my sleep pattern got disturbed and my energy levels fluctuated. If coffee doesn't cause adverse effects, and you are not worried about the load on your glands, go for it.
                    My Journal:
                    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


                    • #11
                      Are there any recommended standards for caffeine intake? I generally go by no more than 2 cups a day (admittedly large cups), and none after midday. I'm sure this is a widely disputed topic though.
                      Come visit my blog about life, my journey and seizing the day:
                      Read my Journal of Awesomeness!
                      Follow me on Twitter: @Buzz_71 and @the_CarpeDiem
                      My Primal slow movement challenge: 208.29km of 1000km completed in 2012!


                      • #12
                        Coffee is Primal, but arguably not Paleo. Granted, you've got tribes that were addicted to all manner of local intoxicating plants, but was that a healthy, good thing?

                        Try convincing a person with many complicated issues to solve them all at once, and it's an OVERLOAD followed by backlashes, binging, guilt and possible criticism about the plan they tried. When you reshape someone's life, you do it one piece at a time. Getting off industrialized food/food substitutes is far more relevant to overall health than dropping caffeine. It's also strategically better to fully nourish the body before trying to curb an addiction like coffee, to reduce craving intensity.

                        I just quit drinking coffee for the most part. Not even sure how I did it. I just noticed yesterday that I haven't had a cup of coffee in many days. A little green tea, but nothing like before. My body is just happy. Doesn't cry out for magic like it used to.
                        Crohn's, doing SCD


                        • #13
                          As long as the caffeine isn't making you hyper and wearing out your adrenals it's OK.

                          I've had to cut back to 2 units of black coffee a day. I was drinking around 5 and getting too hyper. I find coffee useful as an anti-histamine.

                          Still feel positive about coffee as it's an integral part of the mediterranean diet, full of powerful antioxidants. It's had a bad press because it can cause high blood glucose in sugar/carb junkies... but if you're doing primal properly sugar/carbs will be under control... so caffeine shouldn't be a problem in moderation - indeed it is useful as an appetite suppressant, and much more importantly it is an excellent source of calorie-free antioxidants when you want to avoid snacking between meals.
                          Last edited by paleo-bunny; 01-10-2012, 05:10 PM. Reason: typo
                          F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.