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  1. #1
    Registered User MrLL's Avatar
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    How many calories is considered "breaking the fast"?

    Currently on an IF diet, except every morning I like to have 8 to 12 oz of milk mixed with instant coffee for caffeine and appetite suppression. Is the 110 to 160 calories from the milk considered "breaking the fast"? And will this negatively affect my IF results?

    Thank you.
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  2. #2
    Still Just An Anagram maltanarchy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MrLL View Post
    Currently on an IF diet, except every morning I like to have 8 to 12 oz of milk mixed with instant coffee for caffeine and appetite suppression. Is the 110 to 160 calories from the milk considered "breaking the fast"? And will this negatively affect my IF results?

    Thank you.
    http://www.leangains.com/2009/07/questions-answers.html
    Originally Posted by Leangains.com
    The fasted state is not an on/off switch

    I often encounter questions that goes a little something like this

    "...can I use milk/cream in my coffee during the fast?"

    "...will I break the fat if I have a 1/2 cucumber during the fast?"

    "...I accidentally drank a mouthful of regular Pepsi during the fast, is this considered a fast breaker?"

    A: The fasted state is not an on/off switch that immediately gets turned off once you have a tiny amount of calories, like a lot of people seem to believe. The research is not clear on exactly what it is with fasting that causes the positive effects seen in the clinical trials, but some of the hypotheses revolve around

    a) letting insulin levels drop below a certain threshold, rather than a semi-elevated state (which would be the case with a higher meal frequency approach)

    b) creating an acute energy deficit (which you enter during the fast)

    Note that I'm really dumbing this down to get my point across.

    So, it's a question of a dose-response effect. Can you have some milk in your coffee? Sure, I wouldn't worry about it and I have it myself. Life would just be too damn boring with only black coffee, especially if you're used to having some milk with it. How much milk/cream? I would put the limit at 50 kcal total used throughout the fast. That's about 1 deciliter or 1/2 cup 2% milk.

    Can you eat half a cucumber during the fast? Sure, I wouldn't worry about it, though I don't see the reason as to why you would do so. A cucumber won't fill you up, and eating something, anything, may actually stimulate hunger during the fast in some people. Not to mention the fairly strong hunger suppressive effects of fasting, which makes the need for eating something quite pointless.

    In conclusion, use common sense and understand that the fasted state and the positive effects that may result from it isn't an on/off switch, or an 'all-or-nothing' kind of deal.
    Hopes this helps... Keep it low. Martin Berkhan says he USED to say 50 kcal, which is what you hear most often. Maybe shoot for 4 oz of milk, or maybe even less.
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  3. #3
    From Spain DaniSP's Avatar
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    I think yes, thats not fasting at all.

    The exception is taking some grams of aminoacids or pure protein, and other supplements or 0-calories drinks like water or tea.

    Anything with carbs or fats should be avoided.
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  4. #4
    Merry Christmas, Bob. cnh57811's Avatar
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    Fast schmast.

    Think about this objectively for a minute. If people can successfully cut on 6 meals per day, exactly 300 cals each ... OR ... eating 2 meals per day at 900 cals each that probably means that the number of meals and frequency is irrelevant. It is overall cals and macros that make the difference.

    If you enjoy instant coffee with a glass of milk in the morning, just fit it in your days cals and macros. Enjoy guilt free
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  5. #5
    Still Just An Anagram maltanarchy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cnh57811 View Post
    Fast schmast.

    Think about this objectively for a minute. If people can successfully cut on 6 meals per day, exactly 300 cals each ... OR ... eating 2 meals per day at 900 cals each that probably means that the number of meals and frequency is irrelevant. It is overall cals and macros that make the difference.

    If you enjoy instant coffee with a glass of milk in the morning, just fit it in your days cals and macros. Enjoy guilt free
    Interesting take.

    Honestly, I was just answering the question... But lately I have been feeling that the rules for IF are a bit of micro-managing... Similar to, but not quite as strict as, the "you must eat every three hours and at least six meals a day".

    IMO The most important part of "not breaking the fast" is that you keep calories low enough to not activate your appetite / digestion process. For me I really don't feel hungry until the very end of my fast.

    As for the effects of the fast - the GH boost and/or metabolism boost - It is so minute that it isn't worth taking into consideration.

    For me IF is all about appetite control & not eating tiny meals.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by cnh57811 View Post
    Fast schmast.

    Think about this objectively for a minute. If people can successfully cut on 6 meals per day, exactly 300 cals each ... OR ... eating 2 meals per day at 900 cals each that probably means that the number of meals and frequency is irrelevant. It is overall cals and macros that make the difference.

    If you enjoy instant coffee with a glass of milk in the morning, just fit it in your days cals and macros. Enjoy guilt free
    That pretty much sums it up. No need to take IF overboard. I'm sure it was created for people that need to stick by a plan. But seriously, doesn't matter if you drink a glass of milk at 8am, or if you wait until 12 to have it. Just eat your right macros.

    Regardless, I always try to wait as long as I can before I eat anything..like today, I didn't eat until 430pm. But that's extreme for me; usually I wait until 1230-130 before I eat anything. I usually just have a banana and coffee in the morning..but sometimes I'll drink milk..

    I dunno it's not really a big deal in my opinion
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  7. #7
    Merry Christmas, Bob. cnh57811's Avatar
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    I started IF with a 16 hour fast. I realized after a couple weeks that i would much rather have something small for brek. rather than waiting till lunch to break the fast. So now i have a piece of fruit usually in the am.

    Looking back, i dont see any difference in my fat loss rate or performance with and without the 16 hour fast.

    My 'take away' from that experience was to keep cals and macros in check and eat at a frequency and size that i enjoy without sacrificing performance or fat loss rate. My .02c
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  8. #8
    Registered User Cohaku's Avatar
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    I'd say that, as a rule, anything - be it diet, exercise programme, whatever - is very much individual, and following something to the letter will more often than not lead to more problems than not.

    In my case, I NEED to eat early. I wake up, prepare a large bag full of school books, electronics (speakers/charging plugs for my MP3 player, USB drives, occasionally a hard drive), my gym clothes and shoes, and some shower items (varies). I'm not sure, but it feels about 30~ lbs. on average. Then it's a 1.5~ mile walk to school, uphill most of the way, followed by a 1-2 hour weight lifting regimin. If I don't get something in my before that, I'd probably be collapsed on the sidewalk XD

    So, I'll either break my timing into 4 hours after walking up, and 4 hours before going to bed, OR (I like this idea best), just keeping track of WHEN I eat my first meal, and just keeping a timer on that until I hit the 8 hour mark.
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  9. #9
    Registered User cote82's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cnh57811 View Post
    Fast schmast.

    Think about this objectively for a minute. If people can successfully cut on 6 meals per day, exactly 300 cals each ... OR ... eating 2 meals per day at 900 cals each that probably means that the number of meals and frequency is irrelevant. It is overall cals and macros that make the difference.

    If you enjoy instant coffee with a glass of milk in the morning, just fit it in your days cals and macros. Enjoy guilt free
    Well you are right it is about the calories in versus calories out, however research shows that using an Intermittent fasting protocol increases your HGH levels by 1500% among many other benefits check out youtube and search intermittent fasting HGH or something like that.
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    most unhelpful poster ITT KobiDC's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cote82 View Post
    Well you are right it is about the calories in versus calories out, however research shows that using an Intermittent fasting protocol increases your HGH levels by 1500% among many other benefits check out youtube and search intermittent fasting HGH or something like that.
    this is an old thread

    and no, there is nothing magical about fasting from a physiological standpoint (assuming calorie count at the end of the day is the same). it doesn't matter if you break your fast or not - arguably the only reason you would attempt to maintain it is due to the psychological aspect of 'not wanting to break the fast' which (may) prevent overeating in some individuals.
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