Firstly what is intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting is almost a lifestyle, where you fast for a specific time period called the fasting window and eat as you normally would for the next few hours, called the eating window. It may sound scary if you have never tried fasting, but the human body is designed in a way where we do have fasting and eating windows.
The time between your last meal to the very first meal where you eat your breakfast is a type of intermittent fasting. For example, you eat your dinner at nine, and the next morning, you eat your breakfast at eight. The time between those two meals if you don’t eat anything is called intermittent fasting.
Circadian Rhythm Fasting:
Circadian rhythm fasting is practiced on a regular basis in every human being. The time you don’t eat between your dinner to the next day’s breakfast is basically a Circadian rhythm fasting without any sugary drinks. This type of fasting is how human beings are mechanized. You rest your body to take its time to break down the food you had for the whole night, not in-taking anything at all, so does tea break a fast?
This is like a human cycle where your body knows when you eat hence reacting accordingly. This particular fasting has the tendency to break, where you may eat an hour early or late, and still your body adapts to the changes.
Types of Fasting:
There are many types of intermittent fasting. 13:11, which can also be taken as Circadian rhythm fasting, where you fast for thirteen hours and eat for eleven hours. 13:11 hour intermittent fasting is suggested as the basic type of fasting. 16:8 is the most recommended intermittent fasting method where you fast for sixteen hours and then eat for eight hours. This method is followed by the Wolverine, Hugh Jackman, and Jennifer Aniston.
There are also 18:6 fasting methods, among many others, where you fast for eighteen hours and eat for the next six hours if you want to take fasting up a notch.
It may be difficult at first to restrict one’s self from eating for a specific time, so people always ask, what if I drink tea or coffee? Does tea break a fast? Before concluding the answer to that question, here is a little information you need to understand to know what you can and cannot do during intermittent fasting.
While intermittent fasting has many benefits, the main benefit that makes it so attractive is that it helps to lose weight. There are a lot of people who have achieved their weight loss goals just by intermittent fasting. It is the most recommended even by doctors, and some doctors practice intermittent fasting religiously and suggest trying it too.
If you have always found following a diet difficult, intermittent fasting is for you. You can be a vegan or keto or pescatarian or vegetarian, or just a normal omnivore, and you can still do intermittent fasting. Our human body is very adaptive and changes accordingly; even in the early stages of evolution, when humans had to go hungry for a while before hunting or gathering food to eat, we practiced intermittent fasting. And that is why it is such an effective method of weight loss.
Benefits of Fasting:
There are a lot of health benefits that come along with intermittent fasting. Digestion becomes smooth when you practice intermittent fasting because your body is not taking its usual food. You are giving your body time to absorb what you are eating, which leads to smooth digestion. When you are aware of the time you are going to eat, you become more intuitive.
Normally when you eat, your concentration is all over the place, but when you are fasting, you are looking forward to the first meal you will take, which cultivates intuitive eating. You concentrate on the food you are eating and how much you take, and because you are completely aware of it, this helps reduce bloating.
Bloating is so common when you “accidentally” overeat, which happens then and there, but intermittent fasting helps create awareness in your body about what you eat and how much you eat. It is like your body is a reminder of how you feel as to what you put in. And since you are eating during the specific time period, you can concentrate on doing other work and being completely productive because you are not stressed about what you will eat, promoting good mental health.
Normally, when you diet, you try to cut down your portions to see better results, but when you fast, you don’t necessarily have to do that. You can eat still eat whatever you want within your eating window. The benefits of fasting are not just that it helps in weight loss; studies also state that it helps in the longevity of life and an increase in metabolism, among others.
A Basic Guide to Intermittent Fasting:
A basic guide to intermittent fasting if you are a beginner is that extend the time you eat your breakfast, say, for example, if you normally eat at nine, then try eating your breakfast at eleven. If you eat your dinner at eight, try finishing your meal at seven, therefore starting your fasting period and not eating till the next morning at eleven. It is the little details that count and also consistency.
Does Tea Break a Fast?
Now that you know the basic information of intermittent fasting, the next question that often arises is, what if I get hungry? Or, what if I drink a beverage, like coffee or tea or juice? Will that break a fast? Does tea break a fast? It is normal to feel hungry at the early stages of intermittent fasting because, let’s face it, you are totally new to this whole fasting thing, and your stomach starts making hungry noises even before you finish your fasting period goal because you are past your eating time.
It is completely natural. One of the best things about intermittent fasting is that it is flexible. You have the power to navigate your fasting period according to how your day is or how you feel. It is flexible.
But, if you feel hungry and still want to achieve your goal for the day, you may ask this question: does tea break a fast? The answer varies but mostly slants toward no. If you can’t go on any longer and want to drink tea, then you can drink your tea but, here’s the catch, you have to drink it in a small amount, so only one cup of tea or maybe two. But do not overdo it. After all, you are in a fast state, and you want to achieve the goal, so it’s best to drink a cup of tea rather than many, which may, in fact, break your fast.
Any sugar intake is prohibited during your fasting window. Intermittent fasting is recommended, and why it is so helpful because, during your fasting period, your insulin level decreases. Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas that regulates blood sugar. So while eating, insulin is released into your bloodstream. This hormone is the reason you are aware when you are hungry and when you are full.
When you eat, insulin is released in your bloodstream, which causes your body to store energy as fat. Therefore, the more insulin is released, the more fat storage occurs. And while you fast, your insulin decreases, therefore less fat storage putting you in a catabolic state.
While you are fasting, you are put through two states, namely anabolic state and catabolic state. When you finish your last meal and start your fast, you are in an anabolic state. The anabolic state is the fed state where you are building energy blocks (carbohydrates, fat, protein), this state is where you gather energy, and the catabolic state is where you are breaking down your blocks (carbohydrates, fat, protein, sometimes even muscle) into energy or fuel that in turn promotes healthy weight loss.
It is safe to drink tea without any sugar during your fasting period, so a cup of black tea or herbal tea, or green tea does not break your fast. At the same time, green tea has caffeine and catechins. Catechins help you lower your appetite so that you don’t eat so much in one go, which normally happens when you break a fast, and caffeine helps raise your metabolism, which helps to keep your energy in check that you don’t feel tired.
So, does tea break a fast? Here’s the answer – Drinking tea does not break your fast, but only if it’s of low calorie, without any sugar (sugar is a no-go during intermittent fasting), it can be taken. Although it is said that taking black tea with cream or milk is optional, but it must not be of any high calorie because that may break the fast, so taking a low-calorie tea is optional because that may not affect the circadian rhythm clock of your body if taken in moderation.
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