Fasting, MCT Oils & Keto Coffee
Intermittent fasting has a lot of bodily benefits, as you may already know, but today you’ll learn how having a “why” impacts your resolve, your parasympathetic state, autophagy, and makes it easier to continue keto. How IF and your circadian rhythm helps to relax digestion. And WHEN to use the quicker converting MCT types, what those are, and the best methods for consuming them (not just for coffee drinkers!). Do NOT miss this episode!
Key takeaways/reflections from this episode:
- What’s the longest time you’ve intermittently fasted? What was the first bodily benefit you felt after a duration of fasting?
- What benefits are you looking for in fasting? What’s your “why” for doing so?
- What have you noticed by adding MCTs to your morning coffee/tea? What's your favorite food/drink to add MCTs to?
- What type of MCTs have you used and why? Do you personally prefer MCT powder or oil?
- What's your favorite keto-approved flavoring for your morning coffee or tea?
Episode 6 Show Notes
How Often Should I Intermittent Fast? And Why?
There’s a couple of ‘timing’ ways to do intermittent fasting (IF). The 1st one is to do whatever comes naturally while in ketosis. Ketosis helps us get in touch with our hunger signaling, satiety signaling, and intermittent fasting needs. For a lot of us that have been in ketosis for a long time, this just becomes something that happens naturally. Do what feels natural.
Intermittent fasting also helps with circadian rhythms. The body has different clocks, sleeping, digestion, and for women, their cycle is one of those clocks. Intermittent fasting helps line up these different bodily rhythms and compliments them in a really nice way. It also allows the body to more often exist in a parasympathetic state which is a good thing - parasympathetic is "rest and digest". We don't want to be in the sympathetic (aka "fight or flight") state all the time... cortisol levels are really high and we feel stressed out. The parasympathetic state helps our bodies to relax and digest a little bit more.
Dietary recommendations to eat small meals every 2-3 hours creates constant digestive stimulation. Living this way allows NO time for our bodies to rest and digest. Two hours... the digestion's probably just finishing. Bodies digest at a little bit of a different rate for each individual, but when you're feeding yourself every 2 hours your body never gets to be in a truly fasted state, except for when you're sleeping and for some people that may only be a short break. There's so much other stuff that's happening during sleep that there's really not enough time for your body to get the break from food that it needs. Tip: One way to extend your intermittent fasting time is to make sure you've got 3 hours between your last meal of the day and when you close your eyes to go to sleep. 3 + 8 hours of sleeping... and now all you've gotta do is delay breakfast a little. Ta-da! You've just completed one day of IF. 😉
Now let's talk about "why" intermittent fasting. The parasympathetic state is one. This is also a great way to increase some of the autophagy in your body. Another way to increase autophagy is exercise, but if you're not big into exercise (I do encourage you to be), you can intermittent fast to help get more autophagy, again being in that parasympathetic state where your body's getting the chance to do some of those necessary clean up activities. Also, be aware of the signals your body is sending you... Deep down you know what's a "desire" and what's a "need". Don't stress yourself out by TRYING to intermittent fast when it's not feeling natural to you on a particular day. Be body smart.
Does Cream In Coffee Break My Fast?
We get all sorts of questions... Does cream break a fast? Does MCT break a fast? Does bone broth break a fast? If you want to be strict about it, any calorie will break a fast. Some people would even argue that coffee could break a fast. Technically the answer to these is "yes", however, there's this thing called "fat-fasting". Fat-fasting simply means only having fat sources in minimal amounts. This is a modified form of fasting that works very, very well for many people!
There are all kinds of fasting out there that include some kind of calories, so what does that mean for you? Are you fasting from a particular type of food or from a certain behavior? This also is "fasting", so don't stress too much about the word. This goes back to "do what's right for you". Figure out your "why" for fasting. Increased autophagy, psychological enhancement, or a religious recharge are just a few great "whys". Your decision will fuel your resolve. Decide WHY you want to fast and what benefits you're personally looking to experience. Start small and remember, it's your fast... personal to you, it IS what you say it is.
What Are The Benefits of MCT Oil?
MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil benefits our life and our goals in a beautiful, supportive way… especially on a ketogenic diet. What makes MCT oil better than any other oil is that there are fewer carbons making it easier for the body to use and digest, quickly creating ketones in the body. MCT is different from a long-chain fatty acid in that it's absorbed directly through the portal vein so it doesn't need digestive enzymes to be broken down and converted to ketones.
With MCTs, your body doesn't have to go through the whole break down process to get converted to ketones. MCT oils absorb directly to your liver, making it a great and fast source of energy for people. And because MCTs boost ketone production, you reap the benefits of higher ketone levels like mental clarity and other features of being in ketosis. "Bathroom adventures" can happen at the beginning of MCT usage so start with just a small amount and work up from there.
MCT Powder vs. MCT Oil - Which is better?
There are multiple methods of consuming MCTs. Traditionally, the oil comes bottled (great for cooking, baking, and anything you'd use another oil for), as a soft gel (great for traveling as it's super convenient), and then there are oil powders.
It's kind of impossible to make MCT oil into a powder format by itself, so companies have to "plate" it to something. Be careful with what your MCT oil powder has been plated to. We recommend looking for one that's been plated to acacia fiber or acacia gum. Looking at the grams in a serving on the product will tell you what percentage is MCT oil and what percentage is whatever they plated it to. You could very easily look at the fat content for this... so if it says (for example) 10g and 5 of those is fat, you know that 50% of that is whatever they plated the MCTs to. 50% is not very good. You want to get as high a percentage as you can (ideally 70% or higher).
Your lifestyle may dictate what type works best for you. MCTs are not just for coffee drinkers!! Fast converting MCTs also have a great place in baking because it holds a higher smoke point. Start experimenting with utilizing MCTs in teas and foods.
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