If you're following Intermittent Fasting, you're not stuck to plain old black coffee during the fast. In fact, there are 10 things you can add to your coffee that won't break your fast. This helps to provide flexibility with your Intermittent Fast and make your experience a lot more enjoyable.
Let's dive into the list.
Heavy Cream or Half and Half
This is what I personally enjoy adding into my coffee (specifically heavy whipping cream). And I know this is controversial because it's technically a food, so you'll get a lot of people on the internet telling you that you can't have it.
If you're Intermittent Fasting for religious purposes or to maximize autophagy, then yes, these items will break a fast. But if you're looking to achieve a weight loss goal and minimize the insulin (the fat storing hormone) spike, then you have some flexibility with your coffee add-ons.
In fact, you're in the clear with up to one tablespoon of heavy cream or just under one tablespoon of half and half during the fast. This is because at one tablespoon, both heavy cream and half and half are nearly pure fat sources. Pure fat sources do not spike the storing hormone insulin and therefore does not shift the body out of using fat as fuel.
Cheers to that.
Psssst... curious how long YOUR Intermittent Fast should be? Take my FREE Intermittent Fasting Schedule Quiz by clicking the button below!
If you aren't familiar with L-Theanine, it's an amino acid extracted from green tea that has been studied to help reduce anxiety.(1) In fact, if you've been following my blog and YouTube channel for a while, you might have seen me use this quite a bit in the past to help manage my anxiety levels. Specifically with coffee, some people have reported that l-theanine helps to balance out the energy spike they get with caffeine without the possible jitters. In the amounts that are typically used to achieve these results, l-theanine will not break a fast.
To use l-theanine in coffee, you would pop open one of the supplement capsules and stir (or blend) the powder into your coffee.
Stevia or Monk Fruit
Stevia and monk fruit extract are both natural zero sugar sweeteners. If you're used to adding sugar to your coffee (which will break a fast), then switching over to stevia or monk fruit is a great swap to fit your Intermittent Fast.
Keep in mind, this is pure stevia or monk fruit extract. There are a lot of products on the market that cut stevia or monk fruit with maltodextrin, sugar alcohols or other sugars. On their own, stevia or monk fruit extract won't break a fast. However, when you start to add in other sugars, it will break a fast.
Cinnamon and coffee go so well together anyway, so this is a huge win. But the devil is in the details when it comes to cinnamon during the fast. The grams of carbohydrates and protein can start to add up when you add more and more cinnamon to your coffee and therefore could have the potential to break a fast. As long as you stick to one teaspoon in your coffee, then cinnamon will not break your fast.
I know this sounds odd as a coffee add-on, but salt helps to naturally enhance flavors. I have a client who blends his coffee with salt (nothing else) and absolutely swears by the flavor. Give it a try and let me know if you love it, too! Plus, it contains zero grams of protein or carbs so it won't break a fast. Salt also helps to provide electrolytes that are often lost during the fast. Win, win!
Again, the devil is in the details with this one. You need to account for two things when it comes to adding almond milk into your coffee:
Whether or not it's unsweetened
How much you're using in your coffee
If the almond milk is sweetened, it will break your fast. However, if you'r sticking to unsweetened almond milk, you can use up to 1/3 cup of almond milk without it breaking your fast.
Pssst - this doesn't apply to oat milk. Oat milk WILL break your fast regardless of the amount used.
This is a good option if you're plant-based and can't use heavy cream or half and half. Just make sure to stick to no more than one tablespoon in your coffee so that the carbohydrates don't add up and break a fast. And, of course, make sure it's unsweetened.
This is such a sneaky hack. I absolutely love it. Especially if you combine the vanilla extract with heavy cream -- the results are like a vanilla latte. It's amazing. Just make sure to keep vanilla extract to one teaspoon or less so that it won't break a fast.
In fact, you NEED to try out my zero sugar vanilla latte coffee recipe during your next fast. Test it out with the video below.
There are a few different types of coconut milk. In this list, I'm referring to the type you get in a carton (not a can). If you're using unsweetened coconut milk from a carton, then you can use up to 8 oz. of coconut milk in your coffee without it breaking a fast.
Some Coffee Creamers
Take this with a grain of salt (pun intended). Because there are some coffee creamers that don't contain any grams of carbs or protein, like Nutpods, that won't break a fast. However, there are other common coffee creamers, like Coffee Mate, that contain either sugar or artificial sweeteners that will break a fast.
Bonus: Keto Coffee
This is one of the coffee recommendations for beginners to Intermittent Fasting in my Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle. This is a particularly useful coffee when you're brand new to Intermittent Fasting to help prevent hunger during the fast. It uses a combination of grass-fed butter (or cacao butter for my plant-based peeps) and coconut oil to provide pure fat sources to keep you satiated without the insulin spike. When blended up in a blender (NOT stirred. seriously, don't stir it.), Keto Coffee is light, fluffy and delicious to sip on during the fast.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition