Plenty of people don’t seem to have a hard time with the idea of not eating when they’re doing intermittent fastingthe trendy diet in which you eat only during certain time-restricted windows. Popular variations of intermittent fasting include the 16:8 fast (eat all your meals in an 8-hour time period daily) and the 5:2 fast (fast for two days each week, eat normally the other days).
Sounds simple enoughwhich is part of the appealbut questions inevitably arise about what technically constitutes a fast: Can I have water? (Absolutely.) Protein? (No.) Twinkies? (Its a fast, okay?).
But what aboutgasp, twitch, shuddercan I have coffee while doing intermittent fasting? Surely you can have a cup of Joe without breaking your fastc-cant you?
Relax: Theres no caloric load in black coffee, says Angelo Poli, ISSN, creator of the MetPro training and nutrition app. So it doesnt break your fast.
If youre fasting to purify the body, or as part of a religious practice, then coffee might not be allowed, says Poli. But it wont stop you from losing weight.
It should go without sayingthough for fasters who are looking for a loophole, it often doesntthat sweeteners like sugar and honey, dairy products like milk and cream, and other delicious treats that coffee-drinkers often add to their daily cups do have calories, and are therefore officially verboten when youre fasting.
The effect isnt hugeat most youre talking about a hundred calories or sobut if youre trying to burn as much fat as possible, that little bit will set you back a little. More importantly, part of the challengeand thus, the rewardof fasting is to practice discipline and overcome habits, at least for a limited time. So if youre serious about getting your fast onand theres no reason to do it if you arentits OK to keep that morning coffee black.