IF Drinks: What to Sip When You Can’t Eat
When you are on an intermittent fasting (IF) program, it does not mean that you absolutely cannot take anything by mouth. While you cannot eat solids for lengths of time, you certainly can have some amount of fluid to drink. Of course, you cannot have any and all types of beverages. There are limitations on what to drink when you are fasting if your are to fully benefit from the program.
It is important to realize that a seemingly ‘innocent’ choice of drink could affect your results. What you might think is a safe beverage could actually be holding you back from reaching your goals. Your body reacts differently to what’s in your drink. The effect of drinking coffee, for instance, would vary depending if you’re drinking it black or with cream, caffeine or decaffeinated, sweetened or unsweetened, or any other combinations of these. The only ‘innocent’ drink that you can have lots of is plain water.
It is not recommended to not drink at all for long periods of time. Health experts cite how people go without water for about 8 hours a day while they are sleep and wake up feeling mildly dehydrated. Proper hydration is important as water is an essential nutrient for all of the body’s internal processes.
Your IF Drink List
Admittedly, water can be quite boring for some and could make it more difficult to ignore cravings and hunger pangs. It’s all in the mind, experts would often say. You can train your mind to respond differently. But, it’s good to know that there are actually other beverages that you can drink while doing intermittent fasting for weight loss.
Infused water — if you just want to put a little flavor in your water, you can try infusing them with fruits and herbs. Popular infusion ingredients are lemon, orange, watermelon, cucumber, and mint. Lemon water is known to have other health benefits as well. Be sure to stick to only water for your infusion as opposed to seltzer water or soda water.
Black coffee — if you must have your caffeine fix, make sure you drink your cup of Joe without sugar and cream. Some would say that a little bit of milk won’t hurt. But, the little bit of ‘extra’ with every cup could add up to extra calories too.
Tea — tea is also another popular drink option for those who are doing IF. Again, your tea should not have sugar, cream, or milk. Herbal teas are recommended as they have anti-oxidant benefits as well. Black, green, and oolong are the usual tea varieties available.
Apple Cider Vinegar — some choose to drink a water and apple cider vinegar mix during fasting period. This drink has the added benefit of lowering your blood sugar levels and fighting cholesterol. These benefits make your fast more effective.
Almond Milk — this is also a drink that will not break your fast and throw you out of ketosis. This drink, however, has some amount of carbs and calories. Take note of your figures and stay within the allowable limit of 50 calories to keep your body in a fasted state. You’re safe with about 100ml serving of almond milk. Check that what you are drinking is unsweetened or sugar-free.
Bone Broth — more people on IF have found this to be effective in staving off hunger pangs during intermittent fasting. Some call it ‘liquid gold’ because of its rich nutritional value and health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory properties and anti-aging effects due to the collagen it contains. This is not a zero calorie drink, so you have to watch your intake.
Rule of Thumb
One of the key points of intermittent fasting is the creation of a caloric deficit. Even if you control your calorie intake by going long periods without food intake, you might still be consuming succeed in going long periods without food intake, a high calorie drink can throw you off track and break your ketosis. A 50-calorie limit is safe enough for you to stay in a fasted state.
Sugar is not a good thing to have in what to drink when you are fasting – or in anything else while you are on IF. Even drinks that contain artificial sweeteners are best avoided when you are fasting. If you are used to having these drinks, try cutting down a bit. This means you have to stay away from soda and fizzy drinks, artificial juices, chocolate, alcoholic drinks, etc.
Succeeding in IF
Sticking to the drinks above will help you succeed in getting through your fasting periods. During your eating window, there are also guidelines to follow to achieve results. To start with, you have to remember not to binge eat after your period of fasting. There are generally no restrictions during your eating window, but it’s still best to make healthy choices so you do not cancel out the benefits of your fast.
Whole and single ingredient foods are recommended. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, tofu, nuts, and fish are good choices to include in your meal plan. These are not difficult to find and buy. They are also quite easy to prepare and eat. There are healthy recipes that you can find online if you are looking for new and creative ways to include these foods in your diet.
A Healthy You
People get into IF mostly for health and weight management reasons. There are some who are not believers of long term fasts, but there are also people who swear by the benefits that they have experienced first-hand from intermittent fasting. The key is to do it right and not without consulting a physician and a nutritionist or a dietitian.
Intermittent fasting has been found to be a healthy way to lose weight. But, it only works if you are careful in choosing what to eat and what to drink when you are fasting. You have to make the right choices and you have to be consistent in your activities. Reduce your calorie intake and include strength training to your exercise regimen.