3

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Butter in coffee.. and intermittent fast

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 13, 2011 at 6:18 PM

So I know there has been a lot of talk about coffee and intermittent fasting, and the fact that black coffee doesn't interrupt a fast. I do the leangains approach and enjoy my cup of joe in the morning. However, recently, I have been doing a bulletproof coffee (http://www.bulletproofexec.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/) which is essentially coffee with a good amount of grass fed butter melted/blended in. I also take a vitamin k2/d3 supplement at this time since I figure I am getting quite a bit of fat so it is a good time to take fat soluble vitamins. I actually enjoy the taste of the bulletproof coffee and it gives me good energy. I feel like my "fast" can last longer and I don't really get hungry until well into the afternoon.

However, I am wondering if by adding butter to my coffee, I am ruining the effects of the fast... and if it is actually a "fast" anymore, since I am taking in a few hundred calories of fat. I emailed Martin Berkhan (leangains) and he said: "if you want to lose fat, dont put some fucking oil or butter in your coffee, it's bullshit."

He didn't really provide any actual scientific reasoning though so I was left unsatisfied. I figured I would ask you guys. How would adding grass fed butter to my coffee affect the intermittent fast?

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:24 AM

just DO the IF. or don't, take your coffee and have a spoon of butter, see the results. maybe it won't kill your efforts. let's not get anal about small deets.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on November 14, 2011
at 06:05 PM

There probably aren't any studies a out butter in coffee and effects on fat loss. However, there are many, many befor-after IF body recoup/transformation photos and stories available. Each is N=1. But that's a he'll of a lot of "n." Empiricism takes many forms. "A few hundred calories of fat" is not negligible.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 13, 2011
at 08:51 PM

Here's a nearly identical question: http://paleohacks.com/questions/61790/if-i-add-coconut-oil-and-coconut-milk-to-my-morning-coffee-does-it-negate-the-be

67f3387f0308b570c61944addedd183e

(112)

on November 13, 2011
at 07:04 PM

No difference? None? None at all? How about the fact that autophagy is a protein scrounging function and butter has essentially no protein. Yes you are turning on digestion, minorly, you'd still get a benefit from an all fat or fat and carb breakfast. It's just a matter of degrees. Plus you block cortisol spikes which are a real issue.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 13, 2011
at 07:03 PM

All I know is that when I'm fasting and I pass the 16-hour-mark or so, my appetite changes and I'm not really hungry any longer. I'm with you on your observations.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:51 PM

AnonC, you said it just fine. I can't scientifically prove that what I'm feeling is indeed fat-burning, except that I do in fact lose body fat when I'm feeling it and when I don't achieve that feeling for most days in a week I usually don't lose body fat that week. Also, I remember reading that sweet liquids aren't recognized by the brain as food--could that be why I get away with drinking cream?

7c2a558ab6fed8f886120f7763b67ad4

(45)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:44 PM

I totally agree with your sentiment of getting away from dogmas in favor of what works for us individually. I felt the OP was asking about Martin's personal thinking behind the email response.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 13, 2011
at 06:39 PM

Good comment. I am curious as to how we can know we're still in the mode that IF is supposed to put us in. You can sense it, which I don't doubt, but is this something that is measureable? I do indeed understand the shrinking appetite that occurs during IF, but is that evidence of an enhanced fat-burning mode or something else? Maybe I'm not saying this correctly (as usual!), but I'm really curious about this as it gets to the core of IF for me: what does it accomplish, how does it do so, is it working and so forth.

7c2a558ab6fed8f886120f7763b67ad4

(45)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:30 PM

I don't understand why his response would leave you unsatisfied. I imagine black coffee has virtually no calories while butter is 100cals per T IIRC. In this case there is no difference between your coffee with butter and a couple bites of meat, it's breaking your fast.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 13, 2011
at 06:20 PM

+1 for Martin's no-nonsense approach

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8 Answers

8
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:29 PM

With due respect to Martin and Anonymous Chump, the whole point of IF is that it puts your body into a desired state of fat-burning between meals.

As with everything else, we're all different and you may not be able to maintain the IF state if you use butter--but I can. I put cream in my coffee every morning and my body doesn't shift at all but keeps happily burning fat, a sensation I've learned I can feel (very faint tingling in my limbs, GI tract feels very quiet and I'm not interested in food.) My grandson feels it too, exactly that way.

Now, I'm talking a little bit of cream in coffee that's slowly sipped rather than steadily drunk. Let's just say my coffee is room temp long before I finish it. So, drinking it steadily might be different.

On the other hand, one bite of solid food, even protein/fat, and I shift immediately to a GI tract that's wide awake and clamoring for food.

As with all other n=1s, you have to try it both ways and see how you react. I am enjoying all the promised benefits of IF and having my cream too. :-))

7c2a558ab6fed8f886120f7763b67ad4

(45)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:44 PM

I totally agree with your sentiment of getting away from dogmas in favor of what works for us individually. I felt the OP was asking about Martin's personal thinking behind the email response.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 13, 2011
at 06:39 PM

Good comment. I am curious as to how we can know we're still in the mode that IF is supposed to put us in. You can sense it, which I don't doubt, but is this something that is measureable? I do indeed understand the shrinking appetite that occurs during IF, but is that evidence of an enhanced fat-burning mode or something else? Maybe I'm not saying this correctly (as usual!), but I'm really curious about this as it gets to the core of IF for me: what does it accomplish, how does it do so, is it working and so forth.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 13, 2011
at 07:03 PM

All I know is that when I'm fasting and I pass the 16-hour-mark or so, my appetite changes and I'm not really hungry any longer. I'm with you on your observations.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:51 PM

AnonC, you said it just fine. I can't scientifically prove that what I'm feeling is indeed fat-burning, except that I do in fact lose body fat when I'm feeling it and when I don't achieve that feeling for most days in a week I usually don't lose body fat that week. Also, I remember reading that sweet liquids aren't recognized by the brain as food--could that be why I get away with drinking cream?

3
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on November 27, 2011
at 07:42 PM

I doubt it would make any more difference than coconut oil. But that's a thought. Never tried butter. Well, I don't have butter, but I do have grassfed ghee.

My only worry would be if there's an insulin response to it (to butter, not likely there's any response in ghee since the milk solids have been removed), but it's such a small amount, it probably has no effect.

Also since MCT, other fats, fructose, other sugars, and proteins all have different pathways, you're still in a fast. The sugar and protein pathways get no input, you should be just fine.

The little bit of fat from butter wouldn't be something to worry over, and there's zero insulin response to the fat, though you might want to go with ghee instead just to be sure. (The calories from it will be less than the calories released from your own fat stores.)

2
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on November 13, 2011
at 07:32 PM

It's a fast. Taking almost 12 g of fat per tablespoon IMO is breaking a fast:

Nutrition Facts: Serv Size 1 tbsp (14g), Serving/ Container: Approx. 18 Calories 100, Fat Cal. 100, Total Fat 12g (18% DV), Sat Fat 7g (35%), Tran Fat 0g,Cholest 31mg 10%, Sodium 0mg (0%DV), Total Carb. 0g (0% DV), Fiber 0g (0% DV), Sugars 0g, Protein 0g, Vitamin A 7%, Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on 2,000 calorie diet. Ingredients: Fresh sweet cream, contains milk.

1
D1d9b0d839144b72b5f5dae893a686d3

(602)

on March 18, 2013
at 04:13 PM

There is more information on the Bulletproof executive's site, but the basic theory behind it is that consuming fat only does not take you out of the fat burning/ketogenic state, however carbs or protein would. MCT oil can also increase ketosis, and coffee also helps. Whether this is technically "breaking the fast" is an irrelevant argument about terminology, not results. True, some of the fat that you are burning comes from the drink, but there aren't THAT many calories in it, so some of that burned fat still comes from your ass. If drinking it helps you with mental focus and keeps you from feeling hunger during your fast then it has done its job. That might be a worthwhile tradeoff for a couple hundred calories of burned fat, assuming you'd burn the same amount with or without the drink.

0
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on March 18, 2013
at 07:23 PM

Well, I officially have no interest in leangains after reading that. Bulletproof coffee has been productive beyond my expectations. So, in his own vernacular... Fuck him.

It works. Period.

0
8a8129d053df7365c6529b0c2ac95efb

(284)

on March 18, 2013
at 07:22 PM

i started the bulletproof coffee thingy last week. i do one tbsp of ghee and one tbsp of coconut oil....it lasts me till about midday...then i will eat for the first time in the day...it is an amazing feeling to drink the coffee! my mind feels super sharp and my eye sight seems even better!

0
50a0d7c6613dc373a853f3c2cd4a7676

on March 18, 2013
at 12:57 PM

Also remember the creator if this bulletproof coffee fast a minimum of 24hours at a time. He says he drinks the coffee and doesn't even think about eating for 12 to 18 hours later. I wouldn't have that in the morning if you're only doin an 8 to 12 hour fast.

0
E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 13, 2011
at 07:40 PM

Filed under non issue _ as long as it helps you keep the IF habit_ personally, i just drink water if needed. but i don't even like coffee :)

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