How Many Calories Breaks a Fast?

I’m running Easy Strength for Fat Loss, which includes training early and fasted. I like to drink a coffee first/during. Would adding a splash of milk break my fast in any meaningful way?

I read somewhere like 15 years ago that its around 30kcals that break the fast.
A splash of low fat low kcal milk…if its really a splash, probably wouldnt break the fast, just as a slice of cucumber, for example.
But in the fasting community doing this is not considered TRUE FASTING. True fasting means you can only have water, coffee or tea. Not even sweetened 0 calorie drinks, etc.

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Thank you.

I’m fully aware it will techinically break my fast, and i no longer get my internet points for it, i was just wandering if it would have any meaningful impact on results. My instinct says no, but i am dumb.

As a big fasting lover myself, i do not use milk for my coffee as i just like it black but i believe that some years back i did take some milk, and i calculated that i added like 10kcals.
Same as cucumbers - since i have to take some medicine with food, if i will take it in the morning, i will just eat a bit of cucumber with it, and still “not break fast”.
I do also drink a fuckload of “zero” drinks if i fast for a longer period of time. I never noticed it would get in a way of the fasting benefits.

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I prefer the taste with milk, but there’s also a convenience thing. Adding a splash of milk means i can drink it quicker, which is useful for early starts.

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Wouldn’t an ice cube accomplish that too?

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Oat Milk has much lower caloric density and will cool it. Doesn’t make it quite as creamy as, you know, cream but works well enough, imo. Probably not worth it if you’re not going to use it for anything else though.

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@Voxel not a bad shout to be honest. I’d have to actually buy an ice tray, but i reckon i can manage that.

@heretolog also torally possible. Most of my shops stock 250ml containers of oat milk, which would probably last me a week, so thats also a possibility.

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At the risk of being yelled at on the internet, Intermittent Fasting has very little literature to support it’s effectiveness. It does seem to help a lot of people if they are predisposed to diabetes, due to slightly boosting insulin sensitivity though. Also helps people depending on personality and lifestyle, but beyond that - I haven’t found much to actually support it’s claims of working.
Still, its WAY harder to eat say 2,500 cals in 4 hours vs spread out over 16 hours. Not trying to poo-pooh IF here, I simple mean to say that I doubt it would have any meaningful impact on results.

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I honestly think it will make a difference if, and only if, you believe it makes a difference. So if you’re worried that you’re breaking your fast, it’s going to seep into your belief in the whole system.

I think you’re good to go, and your reasoning is practicality rather than to make the program easier, so just commit/ give yourself permission/ whatever word makes sense here and you’re off to the races!


I think whatever benefits you’re getting by doing the workout fasted as part of this program will not change enough from adding a splash of milk to your coffee for you to ever notice.

But the answer is 1 calorie.


@Andrewgen_Receptors [quote=“Andrewgen_Receptors, post:9, topic:276973”]
Still, its WAY harder to eat say 2,500 cals in 4 hours vs spread out over 16 hours
I like a challenge though.

In all seriousness, i’m not consciously practising IF, although i guess i’ll technically be doing an 16/8 fast, i’m just not eating before my early AM training. The main reason i was asking was because i’m so close to the prescribed protocol, i figured i’d go all the way and make sure i was 100%

@TrainForPain @flappinit thats more or less what i figured, but i am dumb with the finer points of nutrition. Thank you


FWIW, I internalised (but don’t have any sources for you at this time) some information regarding fasting back when I was interested in it which was that besides making it logistically harder to get X amount of calories in during any particular “day” or feeding-window the other boon that some people want is autophagy. Autophagy begins after 16 hours, and it takes even longer if some of those hours were spent sleeping, so it is more realistic to look at 20 hours as the starting point for autophagy.

The reason I share that if we assume that including that milk in your coffee doesn’t set you off on an eating spree then you are still getting the only “benefit” you’d get from a 16/8 eating schedule anyway, i.e. a time-restricted window in which to consume your calories.

I highly doubt that a splash of milk is adequate to trigger an insulin-response, nor an mTor-response so you’d still be in “fat-burning” mode (catabolism).

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A few long time advocates of fasted training
I can think of still included some form of nutrition. For example, Martin Berkham aka Leangains, used 5g BCAA, and Uri Hofmekler aka Warrior Diet, advises dark chocolate.

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I’ve always considered my morning workouts “fasted” despite coffee with skim or low fat milk. For one thing, I’m not diverting energy to digestion. For another, even if you grant a generous 30 or so calories for the milk, it’s not enough to fuel the workout. As I have been primarily a runner, my interest was in not feeling sluggish rather than anything to do with a diet plan or eating window, so it didn’t feel important to me.

It sounds like that may be the case for you as well, @dagill2 .


Pretty much, yeah. With a bit of a coffee flavoured kick up the arse, i can get the workouts done in about a third of the time, which means more sleep or more walking.