My fat fasting experiment
You are probably wondering, “What the heck is a fat fast”. In a nutshell, it is a strategy for jump-starting weight loss. It works best for people who are already following a low carb diet but who are battling with the last few kilos or struggling to get off a weight loss plateau. For those of you who are still consuming bowls of pasta and sandwiches for lunch – then I don’t think this is the strategy for you. It would literally be a shock to your system. But low carbers, keep reading, as this approach is rather fascinating.
I became intrigued with this strategy after I read the Kindle version of a book titled, Fat Fast Cookbook by Dana Carpender. She very clearly outlines the why, what and how of this strategy and also provides 50 recipes to help you on your way to fat fasting.
Who should do a fat fast?
Anyone who has hit a stall in their weight loss journey and is determined to get it going again. If you are a diabetic on insulin or taking blood sugar lowering medication then please do NOT do this fast without medical supervision from your doctor.
Why do a fat fast?
- It can rapidly get your body into a fat-burning mode called nutritional ketosis (especially if you are one of those people who are metabolically quite resistant to weight loss).
- It will help you to lose a few kilos quickly (probably the best kept red carpet secret in Hollywood)
- A fat fast provides energy while sparing muscle tissue. Who wants to be flabby-thin right?
- Even though you will be restricting calories, ketones will suppress your appetite so you won’t be overly hungry. This makes it much easier to do over other calorie restricting protocols.
- It has a very positive impact on insulin and blood sugar levels which is good for weight loss and health.
- It also banishes any cravings you might still be having for carbs and sugar.
How do I do a fat fast?
You eat only 1 000 calories a day for 3 to 5 days. 90% of those calories are from healthy fat. Eat four 250-calories “meals” every 3-4 hours. Sounds quite simple hey? Well getting almost 900 of those 1000 calories as fat takes a bit of careful planning. Fat is very high in calories, so you won’t be eating a lot of food at all. Thank goodness for appetite suppressing ketones coursing through your veins!
You will need to use a tool like MyFitnessPal to track calories. Change your goal settings to reflect the 90% fat, 5 % protein and 5% carbs ratio.
How frequently should I fast?
You could do a 3-day fat fast once a month or more frequently depending on your goals. It is definitely a temporary strategy as the fat fast is too low in calories and protein to be sustainable on an ongoing basis. See it more as an intervention than an ongoing way of eating.
Once you have completed the 3 to 5 days of fat fasting, you can go back to a low carb diet and hopefully continued weight loss, provided you keep the carbs low enough.
What does a typical fat fast day look like?
- Meal 1: 1 egg with a 1 tbls of cream scrambled in 1 tbls of butter with a slice of diced ham and 1/8 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Meal 2: 10 to 12 raw macadamia nuts + coffee/tea with 2 tablespoons of cream
- Meal 3: 10 olives + bullet coffee (coffee with 1 tbls butter and 1 tbsp coconut oil emulsified in a blender)
- Meal 4: 85 grams of mushrooms fried in 1 tbls of coconut oil with 1 tbls of Philadelphia cream cheese/Boursin cheese melted on top.
Here is some more info and fat fasting recipes to try from the CarbSmart website.
My experience with fat fasting
I did it diligently for 4 days and lost close to 2 kilograms. I was hungry and felt a bit weird for the first couple of days as I wasn’t already in ketosis so my body had to adjust. After that it was reasonably effortless.
I exercised every day for an hour and had more than enough energy. I wasn’t obsessing over food although I did have to carefully plan and track my meals in order to do the fat fast properly.
It was a bit of a pain having to cook meals for my family and do something different for me but fortunately 4 days goes by reasonably quickly.
The big question now is, “Will the weight stay off ?” Time will tell and I will let you guys know. I plan to try and stay in ketosis by eating very low carb (under 20 grams a day) and will watch my protein intake as well.
What has been interesting for me to see is how easily one can over-consume calories by eating too much fat. That is something I must definitely consider from now on as it could be a factor to stalled weight loss on a LCHF diet.
Would I do a fat fast again?
Yes, definitely. It is the only thing I have tried lately that got the scale to budge. Two kilos down is nothing to be sniffed at. So if I have to fat fast once a month for 3 days to lose those last few kilos, then that is what I will do.