What if I told you that you can easily ditch calorie counting while embracing fat and losing weight at the same time? Too good to be true?
You see, my life changed when I starting consuming up to a quarter cup of fat first thing in the morning. I lost weight, balanced my hormones, found a healthy relationship with food, and started to love and appreciate my body. Admittedly, it wasn’t simply the inclusion of fats in my breakfast (in the form of a delicious cup of Butter Coffee) that triggered these incredible changes to my body and health. Nope, Butter Coffee itself it’s entirely a magical elixir. Instead, it just happened to be a method for me to incorporate intermittent fasting into my daily routine.
Intermittent fasting is a bit of a hot topic, and rightfully so being that it’s often confused with starving yourself. Let me clear the air: if you’re doing it right, you won’t be starving yourself by choosing to incorporate intermittent fasting strategies into your lifestyle. Now that I’ve cleared that up, let’s start with the basics.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting a form of fasting that involves shortening the time during the day that you’re physically eating food, specifically protein and carbohydrate-containing foods (I’ll explain this later). By limiting the time frame in which you’re consuming foods, you’re essentially limiting the time you engage the digestive system.
This might look like finishing dinner on a Monday night at 7 pm., drinking this Butter Coffee recipe on Tuesday for breakfast, and then eating a large, high-calorie meal around 12 pm, followed by another large meal at 6 pm. In this situation, you’ve basically completed an intermittent fast of nearly 17 hours.
Now when I say a large, high-calorie meal, I mean it. The intent of intermittent fasting is not at all to consume fewer calories throughout the day, but instead, shorten the time frame in which you consume an entire day’s worth of calories. This means a moderately active person would need to consume upwards of 1000+ calories in each of their two daily meals. This can be hard to do, especially if you’re eating whole foods and a moderately low amount of carbs. That’s where this Butter Coffee recipe comes in.
Why is Butter Coffee Beneficial to Intermittent Fasting?
Butter Coffee has the ability to be a highly beneficial breakfast substitute for a myriad of reasons.
1. Improved blood sugar control
Most modern breakfast foods consist primarily of carbohydrates & sugar. Think about it, even “healthier” breakfasts such as Greek yogurt are filled with sugar to make them palatable, and often times are topped with granola or cereal.
2. Healthier skin
The combination of grass-fed butter, MCT oil, and collagen protein powder (optional addition to the Butter Coffee) is a skin rejuvenating trifecta.
3. A healthier heart
Vitamin K2, a fat-soluble vitamin (meaning it requires dietary fat consumption in order to be absorbed), is found in grass fed butter. So why is this important in regards to supporting heart health? Vitamin K2 ferries calcium out of the arteries, and into the bones… where we want it to be… While we’ve spent years blaming cholesterol and saturated fats for heart disease, our finger pointing would have been more appropriately directed at a deficiency of this vitamin, along with, of course, diets low in healthy fats, and high in sugar.
The method of choosing to include Butter Coffee into your intermittent fasting schedule also aids in keeping you satiated throughout the morning.
Why Should You Include Intermittent Fasting?
The potential benefits of intermittent fasting are actually really incredible. It’s can be a very comfortable and simple practice. I personally love it because it takes the work out of my morning meal. I have blending butter coffee down to a science. Every evening before bed, I’ll portion out the ingredients for my Butter Coffee in a mug. In the morning, just add hot coffee or tea and blend with an immersion blender to make it nice and frothy. Breakfast in less than 5 minutes!
Intermittent fasting can support weight loss efforts, and energy levels. It improves blood lipid profiles (that is, your LDL, HDL, and total cholesterol), triglycerides levels, chronic infectious states, digestive disorders, and so much more.
There are several ways in which intermittent fasting can help you operate at maximum efficiency. It can:
- support insulin & leptin sensitivity;
- give the digestive system a rest, allowing the body to utilize that energy for other purposes;
- have significant anti-aging effects by promoting growth hormone (this typically happens you’ve been fasting 16+ hours);
- support detoxification;
- encourage fat burning by helping to speed up the “fat adaptation” process. Also, the process of utilizing stored fat for energy vs. glucose;
- allow you to be more mindful of your appetite, as well as your macronutrient and caloric needs.
To be fair, there are also reasons you might want to avoid intermittent fasting. If you’re suffering from adrenal insufficiency or cortisol dysregulation, battling a chronic illness, or dealing with blood sugar issues, then your strategies should first focus on dealing with those prior to incorporating intermittent fasting.
Read more about why you may want to avoid intermittent fasting (with or without butter coffee) in this post here.
How to Incorporate Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can be done by completely skipping breakfast, or by drinking a Butter Coffee. By adding in a high-fat drink first thing in the morning, and avoiding carbs and protein, your body won’t “break the fast”. This means, you can consume calories during breakfast, while still intermittent fasting.
Not only that, but most of our bodies are actually starving for that good fat that fuels our brains, regulates our hormones, and improves our metabolism.
If you choose to intermittent fast, start out by incorporating Butter Coffee as your breakfast, and waiting until 12 or 1 to eat lunch. Consume plenty of calories the rest of the day, and close your eating window around 7 pm. The times can fluctuate. I recommend aiming for a 16-17 hour fasting window since the 16-hour point is when human growth hormone surges. This growth hormone helps to keep you lean, and promotes muscle repair and recovery. It also decreases fat accumulation, strengthens bones, improves circulation, and decreases signs and symptoms of aging.
It’s completely normal to feel a little hungry in between meals when you first start out – a large part of this is due to a change in your routine. You feel like you should be eating, even if you aren’t hungry.
If you’re wondering if your hunger is valid, ask yourself a few questions:
- Am I emotional or bored?
- Have I eaten enough protein lately?
- Did I have too many carbs, sugars, or grains today or yesterday?
- Am I eating enough green veggies and fiber?
- Do I feel thirsty?
- Am I fasting too much?
I’m ending on that last one since it’s very common. Once we shift into a fat adapted state, it’s easy to intermittent fast! With all the incredible benefits, we think, why not do it more frequently? I recommend no more than 4 days a week of fasting. This way you can prevent the body from feeling stressed and to keep your sex hormones functioning properly.
Wanna experience first hand how eating fat can actually help you to lose fat and gain energy? Give my Fat Focused Detox (featuring my famous Butter Coffee) a week and you’ll never go back. Bonus: it’s free! Sign up for the 7 days detox here.
Anne Marie Garland is a Certified Integrative Health Coach with a focus on incorporating the wisdom and functionality of ancestral diets into modern day nutrition. As co-founder of Grass Fed Salsa, a health coaching business and blog catered to clients looking to lose weight as well as to manage autoimmune conditions, Anne Marie’s passion for food, balance, & wellness drives her on her quest to help her clients achieve their health and fitness goals.