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Fat Fast For A Few Days To Induce Weight Loss

Most people who start livin’ la vida low-carb and do it by the book have no trouble losing weight, especially if they have a lot to lose. But, there is a small percentage of people who no matter how hard they try to keep their carbohydrates down to 20g during that first two weeks of Induction, the scale simply refuses to move even one pound. This can be very frustrating.

If you are in that situation, then I’ve got some good news for you. There is something you can do as a temporary measure for just a few days to get your body into fat-burning mode: The Fat Fast!

Let me say up front that the Fat Fast is NOT for everyone who encounters a little weight loss stall after already experiencing weight loss on the low-carb lifestyle. Doing this plan when low-carb has already been shown to work for you is not recommended to get your weight loss going again. Believe me, I know the temptation to want to do something drastic when the scale stops moving for a few weeks, but the Fat Fast is not the way to do it.

In fact, the Fat Fast can be a dangerous way to lose weight for people who are already losing weight on conventional low-carb diets. If you lose weight well on low-carb, then your weight loss on the Fat Fast will happen much too quickly to be safe for your body. DON’T DO IT!

You may recall that my weight loss stalled for TEN WEEKS STRAIGHT in 2004 in the midst of my 180-pound weight loss on the Atkins diet. I had lost about 100 pounds at that point and the weight loss had happened very quickly. For the first couple of weeks it was no big deal when the scale had stopped. But after a month, those feelings of doubt started to creep in.

Was I tempted and desperate to do SOMETHING to get that scale moving downward again? You betcha! But I resisted the urge and just kept doing what I knew I was supposed to be doing without allowing myself to get discouraged. The Fat Flush was NOT the answer to my problem then and it’s not the answer to your weight loss stall problem now. Got it!

Okay, with that little diatribe out of the way, let me speak directly to you if you are the kind of person who can’t lose weight on ANY program. You’ve been on low-fat, low-calorie, portion control, and even low-carb, but NOTHING has worked for you to help shed the pounds. If that’s you, then you may want to try the Fat Fast.

This is an extreme diet plan intended only to get your body to start burning fat and is not meant to be done for more than a few days at the very most. It is ONLY for the most metabolically resistant people in this world. Dr. Robert C. Atkins often used this method in his personal practice with patients to help those few people who can’t seem to get their low-carb lifestyle going because it works extremely well.

So what is the Fat Fast? Here are the details:

- 1,000 calories per day
- 90 percent of calories come from dietary fat
- Eat five 200-calories “meals” every 3-4 hours

That’s it! Talk about your restrictive diet, the Fat Fast is certainly not for the faint of heart or stomach. That may not sound like a lot of food and it’s not. The point of it is to get your body to burn stored fat (a process known as lipolysis) in your body so when you start eating a controlled-carb diet you will continue losing weight.

How does the Fat Fast work?

It forces all of the excess carbohydrates and even some protein in your body to be burned up when you eat a diet consisting of nearly all fat. Especially for those people who have metabolisms that are as stubborn as a mule, eating as much fat as possible while limiting carbohydrates and protein seems to do the trick. That’s why you eat 90 percent fat during this diet.

Additionally, keeping calories at an extremely low 1,000 calories daily helps the body that much more speed up the process of fat-burning so lipolysis can do what it is supposed to do when you are livin’ la vida low-carb. Yes, Invisible Blogger, you actually COUNT CALORIES on this particular low-carb diet plan because you are purposefully limiting the kind and amount of food that enters your body. But, as I previously said, this is temporary.

One common question that people have about the Fat Fast is if they will be ravenously hungry since you aren’t consuming very many calories or food for that matter. Excellent question! The answer is that you probably will not be hungry since you are eating your high-fat “meals” very often. What may be difficult for people on this diet to handle is the fact that their “meals” will not be what they really want to eat. If you can get beyond this and stick with it for a few days, then you will reap the rewards.

What CAN you eat on the Fat Fast for your 200-calorie “meals”:

- 1 ounce macadamia nuts
- Macadamia nut butter with 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1 ounce of tuna or chicken with 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
- 2 ounces sour cream with 2 tablespoons black or red caviar
- Half ounce heavy whipping cream with DaVinci syrup
- 2 ounces pâté
- 2 egg yolks hard-boiled with one tablespoon of mayonnaise

Yummy! Don’t those “meals” just sound so appetizing! LOL! No, they don’t. But that’s not the point. Think of it as just a stepping stone towards getting your weight and health in order naturally without the use of any dangerous drugs. That sorta puts it all in pespective doesn’t it? :)

If weight loss begins happening while on the Fat Fast, then you may even progress to a high level of calories to see if you can continue sustaining the weight loss you are experiencing on the 1,000-calorie diet. This version consists of 1,200 calories which enables you to have four meals with 300 calories each.

It’s only 100 more calories, but look at what you can eat on this:

- 2 ounces of beef chuck cooked in two tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 scrambled eggs with two strips of nitrate-free bacon
- 2 tablespoons of full-fat sour cream with a tablespoon DaVinci syrup
- 1/4 cup chicken or tuna with two tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 3 ounces of pâté
- 1 1/2 ounces of macadamia nuts

See, doesn’t that look a LITTLE better? Yes, it does. You can stay on this plan for up to one week before beginning the Induction phase of 20g carbs daily. This method will almost always kickstart your weight loss when nothing else has worked. Don’t give up and throw in the towel on your weight loss. Just when you think you will never be able to get rid of that stored fat, along comes something like the Fat Fast to get you going.

Go ahead, give it a try! What do you have to lose? Weight maybe?

  • Rob

    It seems so obvious doesn’t it? Whenever stalls happen the inevitable answer is go back into induction and “fat fasts”. Reducing carbs to near zero always spurs the best weight loss because, duh, there’s no carbs, thus no insulin, to mess with the fat burning process.

    Why do people insist on eating even a 20g/per day diets to begin with? Do you all like hitting yourselves in the head with hammers purposefully? I don’t get it.

    It just seems so counterproductive when it’s laid out in front of you like this. The closer you get to zero carb the faster you burn fat. The longer you can stay on zero carb the more you like it.

    Oh, and if you restrict the “fat fast” just to meats only you won’t need to limit yourself to 1000 calories because dietary fat can’t be stored as fat. I can’t recommend doing that with nuts in the diet though. Ace the polys. They only mess with the furnace.

    The Zero Carb Daily

  • Newbirth

    So if I eat 10,000 calories a day of nothing but fat, where does it go?

  • Lowcarb_dave

    I’m pretty sure that macadamia nuts wouldn’t be on the fat fast??

  • Jimmy Moore

    Hey Dave,

    Actually, macadamia nuts are a STAPLE of the Fat Fast, my friend. If the purpose is to flood your body with a high percentage of fat, then these tasty nuts are the perfect choice. They are LOADED with fat!

    THANKS for writing!

    Jimmy

  • Jimmy Moore

    Huh?! Not following you Newbirth. :)

  • Rob

    Newbirth is responding to the contention that calories don’t count. There’s no way you can eat 10,000 calories. You would have to eat so much steak you would probably puke before you even reached that number.

  • Jimmy Moore

    Ah, the unlimited calories argument…the one implored by calorie restriction nazis often to prove their point.

    It’s a straw man argument because NOBODY is gorging themselves on that much food and calories. Even the late great Dr. Atkins warned against it.

    But I still don’t count calories and NEVER will.

  • Rob

    The beautiful irony in all of this is that if you’re eating a zero carb diet, and I mean zero carbs, then you virtually have no hunger because you’re blood sugar never fluctuates.

    I often go 24hrs without eating and have no problems. I’ve gone as long as 36hrs and probably could go 48hrs or more if need be. They naysayers may cry “calorie restriction” but ulitmately that is not the real reason you lose weight on a low to zero carb diet.

  • The Happy Low Carb Taco

    I will have to humbly agree with Rob on this one.

    I have personally tried Fat Fast, and it works like you wouldn’t believe.

  • Invisible Blogger

    “Yes, Invisible Blogger, you actually COUNT CALORIES on this particular low-carb diet plan because you are purposefully limiting the kind and amount of food that enters your body”

    hahaa, I just got around to reading the full post, didnt realize I had made the big page again! when did I become the poster boy for calorie couning anyway :D??

    For the record, I never actually count actual calories myself, I just make an effort to limit my portions to just enough to control my hunger, and I eliminated extra oils and butter and sauces and nuts and snacks, etc. For example, I eat 10 or so ounces (guessing here) instead of the entire 14oz ribeye, I may eat a half as much brocoli than before, without butter instead of smothered in butter.

  • Jimmy Moore

    LOL! I just like ribbing you, IB!

  • Bowulf

    I will just say this about the fat fast. It is or can be very effective method to stimulate weight loss for those metabolically resistant to weight loss. I have not seen many long term fat fasters be successful @ ADBB. I look at this for most people similar to carb cycling. It’s a method to lose weight not a long term way to eat IMHO (5 small 200 Cal meals or 4 also small 300 Cal meals).

  • Newbirth

    No, I was responding to the argument that no carbs means no weight gain, no matter how much you eat.

    Sorry, but I’m with Jonny Bowden on this one – calories DO count. If I stuffed myself with 100% fat all day long, I would gain weight if the calories outstripped my metabolism.

    You men have it so easy. You have no clue how hard it is the the average woman to lose weight, what with our lower metabolisms.

  • Newbirth

    Ah, the unlimited calories argument…the one implored by calorie restriction nazis often to prove their point.

    Color me “nazi” then. How nice of you.

  • Jimmy Moore

    I wasn’t referring to you, Newbirth.

    Instead, my comments were directed to all of those people in the “calories are all that counts” crowd that want others to starve on high-carb, low-fat meals that add up to 800 calories a day. You are NOT in that camp because you adhere to low-carb principles.

    While we may not agree about calories, but we most certainly agree livin’ la vida low-carb is the way to go. THANKS for your support as always, Newbirth!

  • Rob

    Then please tell us how dietary fat is stored in adipose tissue without the presence of insulin? Just a simple physiological explaination will do.

    Jonny Bowden’s response to my comments on the Bellevue Expirement and the calorie arguement was his “wiggle room” theory ;P

    The Zero Carb Daily

  • Kevin Dill

    Given Fatty acid translocase cd/36 and Fatty Acid Transport proteins 1-4 and the phospholipid bilayer of adipocytes, fat can store itself without insulin. Similarly, many other nutrients (creatine, amino acids, etc) can be stored without insulin because of various non-insulin dependant storage pathways. Still, in almost every situation, if you add insulin, you will increase acute nutrient storage; fatty acids are no exception. Short chain and medium chain fatty acids can readily diffuse across the cell membrane; however, long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) rely on facilitated diffusion or “active transport” in order to cross. The fatty acid transfer proteins FAT/CD36 and FATP1 (responsible for the transport of LCFAs across the cell membrane) are mainly located inside the cell, but under various metabloic conditions,including the presence of insulin, they are “translocated” to the cell membrane. This translocation has been shown to increase the uptake of LCFAs in the adipocyte. You did ask for a physiological reason, Simple?? :-)

  • Rob

    Exactly. Increase insulin, increase fat storage. Without carbs there’s no way for the body to store large amounts of fat into adipose tissue, even when caloric intake excedes the requirements.

    For people who are obese and diabetic the rate of storage in the presence of insulin is even worse.

  • Invisible Blogger

    wow, rob, did you read the same post I read? because the words “fat can store itself without insulin” seem pretty unambiguous.
    I have no idea of Kevin is a steely eyed man of science or a bs artist, but if he’s right, then your theory that the body does not store dietary fat into adipose tissue is shot to hell.
    I think K man was saying, yes, dietary fat can be converted to body fat without insulin, but it is converted much faster with insulin.
    anyway, the proof is in the waist line. Mine doesnt budge past a certain point unless I watch the calories.

  • Rob

    That small amounts of dietary fat may pass cell membranes via osmosis isn’t in question. Without the presence of insulin you can not store dietary fat in adipose tissue. My “theory” is still correct. The less insulin, the less fat storage, thus dietary fat can not be stored as fat.

  • Rob

    Oh, and on top of Stefansson’s Bellevue expirement we have this choice part from Dr. Richard Mackarness’ Eat Fat Grow Slim:

    Then in July 1956, in the Lancet, Professor Alan Kekwick and Dr. G. L. S. Pawan published the results of a scientific evaluation of Banting’s diet undertaken in their wards at the Middlesex Hospital in London. They proved that Banting was right. Here is their conclusion:

    “The composition of the diet can alter the expenditure of calories in obese persons, increasing it when fat and proteins are given and decreasing it when carbohydrates are given.”
    Today this work is being quoted in medical journals all over the world. Here is a quotation from the February 1957 number of the American journal, Antibiotic Medicine and Clinical Therapy:

    “Kekwick and Pawan, from the Middlesex Hospital, London, report some news for the obese. All of the obese subjects studied lost weight immediately after admission to hospital and therefore a period of stabilisation was required before commencing investigation.
    If the proportions of fat, carbohydrate and protein were kept constant, the rate of weight loss was then proportional to the calorie intake.

    If the calorie intake was kept constant, however, at 1,000 per day, the most rapid weight loss was noted with high fat diets . . . But when the calorie intake was raised to 2,600 daily in these patients, weight loss would still occur provided that this intake was given mainly in the form of fat and protein.

    It is concluded that from 30 to 50 per cent of weight loss is derived from the total body water and the remaining 50 to 70 per cent from the body fat.”

    In other words, doctors now have scientific justification for basing diets for obesity on reduction of carbohydrate rather than on reduction of calories and fat.

    Before going on it should be explained that Banting did in fact take some carbohydrate. Kekwick and Pawan and other investigators have shown that up to 6o grammes (just under 2 ounces) of carbohydrate a day are compatible with effective weight reduction on a high-fat, high-protein diet, although in some subjects even this amount will slow down the rate of weight loss. In such cases further restriction of carbohydrate with stricter adherence to the high-fat, high-protein foods results in satisfactory weight loss again.

  • Kevin Dill

    The real limiting fact in a high fat diet would be the amount of fat emulsified by bile salts, not the absense of insulin. Even in a zero carb diet insulin is still present, as your blood glucose never goes to zero. You would die long before it got to zero. Protein is also an insulin secretogue, and you have to eat that or die as well. The “hole” in the calorie theory, is that just because you put it in your mouth, doesn’t mean its absorbed. But in studies in which calories are counted for Both “input” and “output”, its a simple matter of additon and subtraction to calculate weight gain or loss.

  • Invisible Blogger

    “The less insulin, the less fat storage…”

    agreed!

    “…thus dietary fat can not be stored as fat…”

    ok, you lost me there!

    even if you’re Mick Jagger skinny, your body fat is coming from somewhere. If Mick was on a zero carb diet, his bf would have to come from fat or protein. or both.

  • Invisible Blogger

    the Kekwick and Pawan study doesn’t say anything about people reaching their ideal body weight by eating 2500 calories a day of fat and protein, does it? Sure, if you are overfat, you can lose weight eating that way. But you will stop losing well short of thin if you dont change something

    anyway, I think the best advice to give to anyone who wants to lose weight would be:

    1) Do a standard low carb diet until you stop losing weight for several months.

    2) IF you want to lose more, try a zero carb diet, until you stop losing weight for several months.

    3) IF you still want to lose more, time to cut down the portions.

    IF you want to lose wt. the fastest way possible, skip steps 1 and 2!

  • Rob

    It’s not a question of getting glucose to zero, it’s a question of eliminating all carbs so your glucose remains steady. Your body will make the glucose it needs, you don’t need to add any into your diet.

    I would venture to say that while I eat a lot of protein I probably eat less protein than most average low-carbers who tend to eat less fat.

  • LindaLCforLife

    The human body can only store excess glucose in the cells. The excess glucose is converted to glycogen and stored in cells in the liver and tissues.

    Of course cells use fat and protein, as they are necessary for proper bodily functiona. Without fat and protein we would die (one reason the fat fast is something temporary, it being so low in protein it would cause a protein deficiency) but the human body has no metabolic pathway for storage of fat or protein in the cells. I believe that was scientifically proven a long time ago.

  • The Boss

    JIMMY…I seen this diet years ago..and spoke to the guy who ‘made’ it..and used it and doccumented it ? so are you saying you ‘found’ or ‘made’ this diet ?because someone is lieing..

  • Jimmy Moore

    No, the boss, I didn’t make, create or find the Fat Fast. It’s a method for helping those who find it especially difficult to get into ketosis and lose weight on low-carb featured in Dr. Robert C. Atkins’ book DR. ATKINS’ NEW DIET REVOLUTION. I’ll refer you to that book for further details about it. THANKS!

  • DoctorCutie

    Ketogenic diets have been around for some time to treat other illness. There are skeptics for every treatment known to man.

    I do agree with Rob about zero carbs and lack of hunger. The same happens while a person is fasting.

    I think everything is ultimately left to what works best for each person.

    I wanted to post a question to find out if anyone knows the weight loss average on a zero-carb calorie restricted diet in non-obese subjects?

    Thanks,

    Sarah

  • Jimmy Moore

    Sarah, you probably won’t get many answers on your question since this is a VERY old post. But there is a whole group of people at my http://lowcarbdiscussion.com forum site doing a “zero carb” plan, so you might want to check it out.

  • DoctorCutie

    Just to update…

    I have answered my own question. I keep my carbs as close to zero as humanly possible, cut dairy, calculated my calories by taking my body weight X 11 and trying to eat that amount at max. I keep the fat good but high using MCT oils, avocado oil, and limited dairly related fats. Im losing weight alright and went into deep purple on the ketostix all day long by day three.

    Of course, I went into it with an overnight and fasted till noon before starting. I dont know if people have to do that or not. I just woke up late so it was by chance.

    I ate like 3500 calories the first 24, and kept it regulated to normal calories therafter. Ive lost bodyfat on my scale and caliper test and 4 lbs.

    Thanks guys I figured I would post for future reference in case someone like me comes along.

    I also find digestive problems go away if I keep the fat up there and protein steady but portion controlled. A stool softener is more helpful than a laxative but really, there is no need unless someone has IBS and isnt aware.

    Cheers,

    Sarah

  • Niki

    Hi Jimmy,
    I have a quick question about this :) I have been in a “stall” since October. I have not had a single “cheat” since I started in February 2007, so over a year now. I am not sure if the “stall” is fear or what as I have mentioned many, many times losing all this weight has been very bitter sweet for me. That’s a whole other story…lol. For the last 8 months I have maintained in an 5-10 pound range (very frustrating). I haven’t EVER gotten below 234. Now, can I do the fat fast since I have been stuck for so many months??? I have tried Induction for a week and NOTHING. I am staying low carb because it has saved my life and reversed my diabetes, but Oooooooh Jimmy, I would LOVE to stop seeing these 240-230′s. Can I do this for a week, then Induction again??? Blah, I’m so frustrated, but not giving up. It’s my life now :) Thanks for the help!!! *hugs*
    Niki a.k.a Oh.2.B.Fit

  • Jimmy Moore

    Hey Niki! THANKS for your GREAT question! And, if you’ve been reading my menus blog lately, then you’ll know the exact same thing has happened to me. I’ve been stuck on virtually one number for three months and it’s frustrating. I haven’t thought of doing the fat fast, but I am thinking of doing an intermittent fast again.

    Should you do the fat fast? I don’t think so since you have lost weight on low-carb. This is primarily for people who are trying low-carb for the first time and it’s not working for them initially. The fat fast can break their insulin resistance and get fat-burning to commence. If you do decide to try it, do it for no more than three days to see how your weight does.

    Hang in there! I know it’s frustrating, but you’ll get through this. Remember, even if the scale isn’t moving, your healthy is still improving. Hey, I should make that into a bumper sticker! :D SEE YA!

  • Jannine

    I’m glad there’s someone out here giving the seemingly crazy Fat Fast some credibility. I’m a 24-year-old female who occasionally (like once a year) turns to this diet for quick and easy weight loss. I typically lose 8-9 pounds when I Fat Fast for a week. I know I shouldn’t be using this diet because I’m already slim, but when your goal weight is only 10 pounds less than your natural weight, you really don’t want to spend a painstaking month watching everything you eat and slaving away on a Stairmaster, you know? And it’s so easy; I mean, you’re never hungry, the grocery bill is next to nothing, and making little bacon-and-cream-cheese rolls is just plain fun.

    Nothing else on Earth is gonna make me lose that much weight that quickly. I admit it, I’m a lazy biatch. LOL

  • barb

    Like the person who posted above me, I also use the fat fast once in a while. I am in my late thirties and I had a major weight problem in my teens and early twenties due to a medication I was taking. I have been relatively low-carb since then (though probably not as low carb as many on this site) and have kept my weight in check. If my weight begins to creep up after a vacation or the holidays, I do a fat fast. All this baloney about it being so dangerous is just that: baloney. If thin people can do it with no problem, then I don’t see why people with dozens of pounds to lose shouldn’t do it to break stalls. Of course Atkins removed it from his book. Talk about lawsuit city! If you have a serious illness, then obviously proceed with caution. If you are simply overweight, go for it.