Updated: May 27, 2020
Obviously, I love my frothy cup of Keto Coffee. You can see me sipping on it every morning on my Instagram. You can also see thousands of AENpeeps around the world Keto Coffee cheers-ing with the hashtag #AENpeeps. It's a fantastic tool to use if you're new to Intermittent Fasting and experience hunger during your fasting window. The fats in the Keto Coffee shut off hunger (via a hormone called CCK) and help keep you in fat burning mode by not stimulating the fat storing hormone insulin.
But just because Keto Coffee is an amazing staple for some does NOT mean it needs to be a staple for you. In fact, depending on these three situations, you might be better off using a Keto Coffee alternative or making some adjustments to your Keto Coffee.
Today, I'm diving into the three times you should reconsider your typical Keto Coffee and what to do instead!
Pssst - concerned about the health effects of saturated fat in Keto Coffee? Check out THIS video for the (possibly surprising) deets.
1. If You Get Queasy...
It's fairly common to feel queasy if you're new to Keto Coffee and you're using the full 1 Tbsp. grass-fed butter/ghee and 1 Tbsp. unrefined coconut oil. Typically this is due to not being used to consuming higher levels of fat. Your body may be more used to processing various carbohydrates and proteins and the enzymes that go along with it, but not higher levels of the enzymes needed to break down fats. These include lipase and bile salts which are both needed to emulsify and breakdown fats.
Most of the time, the body will adjust to higher levels of fat by starting to secrete more lipase and bile salts and the queasy sensation fades. However, it is NOT comfortable to feel queasy, so here's what you can do in the meantime as your body adjusts:
Cut the fats in half (or in quarter). For example, use 1/2 Tbsp. grass-fed butter/ghee and 1/2 Tbsp. unrefined coconut oil OR even drop it down to 1 tsp. or 1/2 tsp. of each. Find the amount of fat that works for your body.
Swap out the butter and coconut oil for up to 1 Tbsp. grass-fed heavy whipping cream or half and half (pure, unsweetened). This can sometimes be a little easier on the stomach and provide a better transition to utilizing fat as fuel. However, these options will not provide the same level of satiety and decreased hunger as Keto Coffee.
2. If Weight Loss Has Halted...
A weight loss plateau can be the result of a variety of concerns: too little protein, too many starches, sneaky sugars, poor sleep and high stress, to name a few. However, if you're following the guidelines from the Advanced Weight Loss Strategies in the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle and you're still experiencing a plateau in your weight loss, then taking a look at your Keto Coffee can be beneficial.
This explanation will mean that we need to take a little detour into how our body actually uses fat as fuel. Prepare for some of the nerdy deets. You can, of course, skip this part - but I advise against it. It's important to understand the WHY before you dive into the WHAT and HOW.
Your body doesn't really differentiate between the fat you consume and the fat that is stored. It will use either as an energy source (as long as insulin is low). When insulin is low, our fat cells are essentially an open gate to our body and blood supply, allowing fatty acids to flow in and out and to be used as an energy source. If you consume a non-insulin stimulating drink, like Keto Coffee, this merely adds a few more fatty acid to the mix of those that are flowing in and out of the cells.
As long as you have less fatty acids in your blood supply than is in your fat cells (which should be the case for most of us), your body will continue to allow those fatty acids to flow out of the fat cell and to be used as an energy source, regardless of if you have eaten fat or not.
If you're finding that your weight loss is plateauing (and you've addressed the other factors I've listed above), then you may want to experiment with decreasing the amount of fats that you're adding in to the mix. This may be particularly useful if you are starting to get within 10 pounds of your weight loss goal, and therefore the amount of fat leaving the fat cell is much lower. This is where you can first experiment with reducing the fats by 1/2 or 1/4 the original amount, or perhaps using up to 1 Tbsp. half and half or heavy whipping cream, or even black coffee itself.
However, this can be a bit of a slippery slope, so there are some things to consider when using this approach:
1. Be wary of reducing ALL fats:
This is a common mistake I see and it typically is paired with counting calories to try and get rid of that last few pounds. This reduction in whole food fats in your meals, such as avocado, olives, nuts and seeds, can lead to a suppression of the hormone CCK which tells your brain that it's full. This suppression will inevitably lead to increased hunger and sugar cravings - which are much more detrimental to your goals.
2. Be cautious of your hunger level:
If you were using Keto Coffee to suppress hunger during your window, you might notice that you're starting to feel a little bit more hungry now with the reduction in fats in your coffee. Increased hunger over time typically leads to increased consumption of the insulin stimulating starches and sugars that will actively work against your goals. Instead of stopping the fats full stop, try to reduce the fats by 1/2 or 1/4 so that you can have some appetite suppression that will prevent these cravings.
If You're Focusing On MMC Stimulation...
The migrating motor complex (MMC) is something we discuss a LOT in the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle and on my YouTube channel. It's a key process in your body that sweeps out left behind food and bacteria in order to heal your GI tract, reduce inflammation and prevent bloating. However, it's ONLY stimulated by NOT eating. This means any type of Keto Coffee (or even black coffee and tea) will prevent it.
This doesn't mean you have to stop your Keto Coffee completely if you're aiming for maximum MMC stimulation. However, you may want to consider the TIMING of it. For example, if your eating window is 11am-7pm, try waiting to have your Keto Coffee until 9:30am or 10am. This will allow you to have a longer true fasting period before your Keto Coffee and therefore maximize your MMC.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition