Intermittent Fasting Coffee With Milk [Does It Break a Fast?]
Updated: Jan 19
If you're new to Intermittent Fasting and you're looking to achieve a weight loss goal, you're probably wondering if you can have coffee with milk during your fast. The answer... depends. Today, we're diving into the specifics of Intermittent Fasting and whether or not you can have coffee with milk during the fast.
Can You Drink Milk During Intermittent Fasting?
Just one ounce of whole milk contains around .9 grams of protein, 1.4 grams carbs and .9 grams of fat. The amount of protein and carbs will remain roughly the same as you get into the 2% and skim milk options, however the fat grams will start to go down. When it comes to assessing whether or not milk will break a fast, it comes down to two considerations:
the type of fasting you're using
the amount of carbs and protein in milk
If you're following a "clean" fast, then anything other than water and unsweetened tea or black coffee will break a fast. This type of fasting is best for autophagy maximization and boosting the gut cleaning process called the Migrating Motor Complex.
The other type of fasting is called "fasting mimicking". During this type of fast, the goal is to keep insulin low. Insulin is our storing hormone, so while it remains low, the fat burning process called lipolysis can stay turned on. However when insulin spikes, this fat burning process turns off. So if weight loss is your goal, you can opt for either the fasting mimicking or clean fast approach. (You can get the additional details of fasting mimicking vs. a clean fast with THIS blog post.)
The next thing to consider is how many grams of carbohydrates and protein are in milk. If you're following the fasting mimicking approach, then you may be able to add some ingredients into your morning coffee. However, whatever you add in must not spike insulin in order to remain "mimicking" the fast. Carbohydrates have the biggest impact on the storing hormone insulin. Protein to some extent can cause insulin to be released, but not nearly at the same rate as carbohydrates.
A good rule of thumb that I personally follow is to keep both carbohydrates AND protein at a COMBINED less than 1 gram. For example, this means staying at less than .5 grams of carbs and .5 grams of protein (equaling 1 gram) during the "fast". Depending on your carbohydrate sensitivity, you may even want to just stick to pure fat sources during the "fast", as pure fat sources (such as coconut oil or grass-fed butter) don't cause insulin to spike.
Taking a look at milk, just one ounce contains over the combined 1 gram of carbs/protein. This means drinking milk during a fast will break the fast.
Pssst - wondering what type of fasting is best for your goals? Click below for my free Intermittent Fasting Schedule quiz to find out!
Does Coffee With Milk Break a Fast?
This also depends on the amount of milk that you're using. As noted, just one ounce of milk contains 1.4 grams carbohydrates and .9 grams of fat. To stay under this 1 gram total threshold, you would need to use no more than .75 Tbsp. of milk with your coffee. Ideally, opting for heavy whipping cream, which is lower in both protein and carbohydrates, would be a better option. You can also experiment with using pure fat sources in your coffee by making Keto Coffee. You can grab 5 free Keto Coffee recipes with THIS blog post.
What Can You Add To Your Coffee While Intermittent Fasting?
It's first important to determine what type of fasting that you're using. With a "clean" fast, anything added to coffee will break a fast. In fact, depending on who you talk to, even coffee can break a fast. However, if your main goal with Intermittent Fasting is to tap into fat burning mechanisms, lower body fat percentage and achieve a weight loss goal, then a dirty fast (aka fasting mimicking) is perfectly acceptable. This means items that don't contain protein or carbs (up to 1 gram of each) is fine in your coffee.
You can checkout my complete list of what you can add into your coffee while Intermittent Fasting HERE.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition