In my never ending quest to lose fat and lead a healthier lifestyle free of high medical bills, pill popping, and lower risk of poor health related illnesses, I have been trying to find ways to combine my efforts without over complicating my life. Particularly, I have been looking at intermittent fasting and coffee as one of those gut busters.
I have been reading on various sites about combining intermittent fasting and coffee as a way to increase fat burning, reduce appetite, and increase energy availability. What I found was remarkable and something I wanted to share with the community here.
Let’s first look at the elements involved in intermittent fasting, a brief overview of the methods of intermittent fasting, ways to get the metabolism moving, effects of coffee, and wrap it all up with some suggestions for combining the two as one of the gut busting methods we can employ to shed those unwanted pounds.
Why Intermittent Fast?
Intermittent fasting is, in my opinion, an excellent way to lose weight as it allows the body to target and eliminate fat stores in order to provide the body energy while in the fasted state. I have, over the course of my life, stored a vast array of these fat stores and just like a long term investment, I now want to start cashing in on my investment.
With intermittent fasting, much of the day is spent in a fasted stated. This means that you will simply have not eaten for a long time. There are different ways to do an intermittent fasting and there are a variety of reason to do this type of diet. I won’t go into all the reasons here, but please do visit my other posts where I have explained intermittent fasting in much more detail.
Methods of Intermittent Fasting
As stated earlier, there are many ways to perform an intermittent fasting and I will give you a brief idea of some more popular methods but all require that you spend many hours intermittent fasting. By spending many hours intermittent fasting you can force the body to use stored fat, give your organs a chance to recover and prepare them for better future processing, and if you do some form of exercise or workout while fasting, you can really propel you loses.
So without more discussion, let’s talk about the methods of intermittent fasting.
- 12 hour intermittent fasting – This method involves dividing your day in half and only allowing yourself to eat during that period. This is generally the easiest by simply not eating two hours before and two hours after an 8 hours of sleep. Easily achievable for most people, in my opinion.
- 16 hour intermittent fasting – A little more difficult than the 12 hour diet, but you are effectively giving yourself two meals during the day and skipping one. An example might be eating between 8am and 4pm (breakfast and lunch) and then not eating after 4pm, thus giving yourself 16 hours until you break your fast at breakfast the next morning.
- 20 hour intermittent fasting – More difficult still, but potentially more rewarding is the 20 hour fast. In this fasting plan, you will skip two meals a day and only eat during a narrow 4 hour window. This is the plan I most enjoy and find not as difficult as the other methods. I will further discuss this method in another post.
- 24 hour intermittent fasting – The most difficult of the methods is the 24 hour intermittent fasting. I do have to say, though, that from my 20 hour fast, it wouldn’t be that much more difficult to do a full day fasting. The reason I don’t do this plan as a regular plan is simple math. How can I spend 24 hours a day in a fasted state and repeat that every day? It can’t work unless I am constantly changing the time I allow myself to eat and I am someone who needs to have my meal times planned out or I easily get off track or end up further missing meals and then quit my plan.
Now those methods are by themselves great at getting the body going in removing unwanted fat, but how can we get things moving more quickly and give ourselves a boost to see the results we want?
We need to get our metabolism moving. Our metabolism is the process of taking what we eat and drink and turning it into energy for our body to use as energy. There are many ways to increase your metabolism such as:
- Standing more often. When you stand you force your body to work harder as it is a more complex body position than sitting. Try before sitting, stand and work, stand on the bus, stand on the subway, stand, stand, stand
- Every intermittent fasting menu plan should include drinking plenty of cold water. Cold water forces the body to work harder to overcome the coldness and thus uses more calories and raises metabolism
- Doing high intensity workouts and lifting heavy things can boost metabolism and keep it elevated for a long time
- Eating a good amount of protein during your feeding times can help to raise your metabolism because protein is more complex for the body to break down and nutrient dense so it will raise metabolism for a few hours while the body breaks it down.
Drinking coffee also can increase the metabolism and give you a boost to all other efforts of weight loss. This is good news for people like me who loves to drink coffee all throughout the day. I have read conflicting information on how much of a boost it can give, but it seems that it could boost metabolism by up to 10-13%. That’s quite a bit!
This boost is due to the caffeine in coffee that causes a reaction in the body to speed up metabolic functions and thus cause you to burn more calories. To be fair, green tea can also cause this effect in the body and if you prefer, go the tea route. For me, though its coffee I crave.
One caveat here, however, is that over time your body may build up a resistance to the daily caffeine and it can become less effective so, try to give your body a rest at least 2 days a week. You will still be losing from your intermittent fasting and other efforts, this break from caffeine will be necessary to keep your secret weapon available in the future.
The Gut Busting Combo Punch
Great title, right? It’s straight from my head! Anyhow, what’s this combo punch?
Intermittent fasting – At least doing a 12 hour fast every day of the week as a matter of lifestyle. This is your base program for enjoying a longer and more slim life. It will allow you to trigger your body to effectively use the energy from the food you eat and use some stored energy (fat) in the process. This will allow you to become slowly slimmer.
Coffee – Drinking coffee or green tea will increase your metabolic rate to burn an extra ~10% calories during the day. For us, in the fasted state, this mean more fat will be removed from our body and we can see results faster so, you should include this, if you can tolerate the caffeine.
Exercise – Doing exercise, even something as walking for an hour will greatly show efforts over time combined with the other parts to the combo punch. Maybe set a 10,000 step per day personal challenge to yourself. I love that goal!! It makes you aware of just how much you sit around during the day and might give you motivation to get up and move a little.
These things combined with other metabolic boosting techniques of cold water, adequate protein intake, simply standing more will help you to see results.
As always, remember this is marathon, not a sprint. Sprinters have an immediate result and then they are off to McDonald’s to celebrate. We want to change our lifestyle to something maintainable and that will lead us to our final goal of being slimmer, healthier, and able to live a longer life.
As always, if you need help with anything or have any questions, please comment below and I will be happy to work with you or give you an answer if I have it.