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Thread: Is it ok to use coffee as an IF tool?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Is it ok to use coffee as an IF tool?

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    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. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    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. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    North Carolina
    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. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Colorado Springs, CO
    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. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Central Ohio
    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. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Northern California
    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. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    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. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Canberra, Australia
    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. #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. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Calgary, AB
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    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.

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