Life Experiment 13: Grass Fed Butter and coconut oil in my Coffee
I had been hearing reports of people swearing of the benefits of butter in their coffee and I was keen to test this on myself as I weaned myself back into testing what I eat and drink after the no bars hold Christmas period.
Despite drinking coffee with milk and 3 sugars at the age of 5, I slowly reduced the amount of sugar I consumed and for many years have had my coffee natural. It’s amazing when I put a teaspoon of sugar in my coffee how sickly sweet the taste is, how our tastes change.
Since seeing the benefits of my intermittent fasting experiment, I have not been having breakfast or consuming any calories until lunch (on weekends I tend to be easy on myself and allow myself to splurge, but normally on the weekend I would eat a late breakfast anyway, at around 11-12pm).
The idea of adding butter and oil to your diet is that it kick starts your body into a state of ketosis where, due to a lack of carbs your body starts processing the fat in your body. The increase in fat is also meant to suppress your appetite as well as making you more mentally alert. The benefits sounded almost too good to be true, so I went into the experiment a little bit sceptical.
Each morning I would pour my usual cup of coffee into my blender and, I would add two tablespoons of Kerrygold grass fed butter. Using grass fed butter is meant to have an enhanced effect on your cholesterol and increase focus and brain function. I prefer to eat organic/grass fed milk/eggs and meat anyway, so this was a bonus for me.
As well as the butter I added two tablespoons of Whole Foods organic coconut oil and allowed the blender to do it’s thing and mix away.
When I took my first sip I was blown away as to how the cream and buttery the coffee tasted. In addition to the rich flavor of the butter, the coconut added a tropical like taste. The cup was very rich, but it wasn’t difficult to drink, if anything it was a little bit too easy.
Despite the reports of butter coffee suppressing your appetite, I found the opposite. Maybe it was the fact that I was no longer intermittent fasting. Strangely I found that I was less hungry with my intermittent fasting. It was as if having breakfast would kickstart my body into starting the appetite clock.
(ii) Weight Loss
At the end of December after a wonderful festive period of eating whatever I wanted, my weight stood at a reasonable 159.5lbs, considering all that I had ate. With the start of the new year, and a disconcerted effort to make 2016 another year which I become the fittest and most healthy that I have ever been. I had set the expectations to lose some weight and gain muscle.
The prospect of losing weight during this experiment didn’t seem realistic as I would be consuming more calories and a hell of a lot more fat than normal. Despite this I managed to decrease from 159.5lbs to 154.9lbs a change of 4.5lbs in 30 days:
Now I should note that despite trying to skip breakfast during the previous months, during December, with the festive happening, this was harder than normal and my general diet was much more debortuarous, so this weight loss may be due to the overall change in diet that I saw. Ideally I would like to control for this by coming off the buttered coffee for at least a month and then going back to see the effect.
(iii) Brain Function/Productivity
January was an amazing month in terms of productivity. I managed to knock out a number of big goals for 2016 after only 30 days. Now again, I should note that after the start of a new year I am usually fully charged, having completed my yearly review and ready to achieve some big things for the year ahead.
I am not certain and it may be the placebo effect, but I would tentatively say that I felt more focused and charged to work on my various projects.
It is also interesting to write this in February, almost a month after I have finished the experiment and note that the last week or so has felt very unproductive in my work.
I am torn between the effects of this experiment. Part of me is still sceptical, resisting the results and not wanting to continue having butter in my coffee because it would mean that I would have to stop intermittent fasting, the efficiency of not making breakfast each morning and the benefit to my daily calories was enticing. The other part of my sees the results and wants to continue.
I am going to take a break from this experiment and in a few months try again. I am interested to see if I will see similar results, and if so it will be the clinch the deal.