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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Fat Fast - for those struggling to lose even on ketogenic diets

My new friend, Sylvia, from the Netherlands who visits my blog frequently pointed out that if I have so much trouble losing weight on even induction, then perhaps I should try the Fat Fast. I only have 7 lbs to lose, but I can't seem to do it on induction.

She is right though - the fat fast is an alternative! I have for whatever reason been metabolically resistant to weight loss for many years now. I'm not sure exactly why that is, but even on the Fat Fast, I will lose weight very slowly. There are some theories. My doctor thinks I have a hormonal imbalance with too much estrogen running around in my peri-menopausal body (I'm resisting hormone replacement therapy). I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (however, I am treated optimally) and I do wonder sometimes, if I have Candida under control properly (I think so). I once went on Metformin (a diabetic drug) for a month and lost 5 lbs effortlessly! However, I developed severe paresthesia (numbness and tingling of the extremeties) and have decided I will never do something so foolish again! It took months for the paresthesia to disappear. There was an article in Times Magazine that said if one wanted to stave off diabetes, then one of the ways was to take Metformin in low doses, the other was to lose weight and the other was to exercise regularly. It has also been stated that Metformin will help obese teenagers lose weight or people like myself who struggle to lose on any program. Those are some of the reasons I decided to do that foolish thing. It's never a good idea to turn to drugs if one can help it. There are almost always side effects.

Fat Fast:

Benoit discovered that the Fat Fast out-performed the total fast by 88%!!! The Benoit Study: For 10 days, 7 overweight guys did the fat fast. The guys that fasted lost an average of 21 pounds with 7.5 pounds of that being body fat. The guys that did the fat fast lost an average of 14.5 pounds and 14 pounds of that was body fat! The fat fast guys lost almost twice as much fat while the regular fasters lost 27 times more muscle!

I provided recipes and sample menus for the Fat Fast in More Splendid Low-Carbing and really it can be a whole lot nicer and tastier and doable than what Dr. Atkins outlined in his book. His food options sounded less than very appetizing to me - no disrespect meant! My menus are simply meant as guidelines.

10 Pearls of wisdom re the Fat Fast:

1) First, it is very important to read about severe metabolic resistance to weight loss and the Fat Fast in Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution book. Try to ascertain what might be at the root cause of your difficulty in losing weight, for example, Hypothyroidism, Candida, hormone therapy, medications, etc. Consult with your doctor to rule out some of these.

2) Keep tabs on what you are eating. Estimating is doomed to failure. Induction percentages look a bit like this: 60-65% fat, 30-35% protein and 5-10% carbs. The Fat Fast looks like this: 75-90% fat, 15-20% protein and 1-7% carbs.

3) The Fat Fast should not be continued longer than 5 days at a time. Keep calories between 900 to 1000 and fat between 75-90%. It is recommended to have 4 or 5 small meals, however, to be honest, I would sometimes divide my day into 3 meals, having a protein/high fat option with a veggie/high fat side dish for the main meal of the day.

4) Because of the high fat content of this fast, the calories add up extremely quickly and, therefore, 1000 calories is not a whole of food. Fitday.com should help with the calculations and make sure you don't go over the limits. Be warned, I lose weight at 1000 calories, but I put on weight at 1200 calories. Not everyone will have this problem, but my point is that higher calories and high fat can actually have the reverse effect, if one is not careful with the calorie limit.

5) Drink your water and take 1 tbsp Pysillium husks in water before bedtime if needed. Supplements are also available and easier to take. Unsweetened coconut is also great fiber.

6) Take your supplements and especially potassium. A potassium supplement is ultra-important to prevent muscle cramps and to keep the body from depleting. Potassium is contra-indicated for some blood pressure medications. Check with your doctor before supplementing.

7) It is more effective to enter a Fat Fast already in ketosis with appetite suppression in full swing.

8) Moderate exercise and/or weight training can speed fat loss.

9) Remember if the recipe is suitable for the Fat Fast, it most likely will also be suitable for Induction and other levels of low-carbing.

10) Scales are not a very accurate way to measure body fat. Calculate body fat percentage to get a better idea. Take body measurements as well.

It is common to experience headaches at first, however, if you feel bad on the Fat Fast, stop doing it and seek medical advice. Dr. Atkins does not recommend the Fat Fast other than for severe metabolic resistance. Some people have used it to break a prolonged stall, but I would not be the one to recommend it.

For those of you reading this, who feel concerned about eating all that fat, remember in the absence of lots of starchy carbohydrates, it's okay. Trans fats are never healthy. The Fat Fast is not a lifetime approach to eating, but simply a temporary or occasional tool to get metabolically resistant people on the road to burning fat, before switching to a more normal low-carb diet.

The Fat Fast is not recommended for a person who can get into ketosis easily and lose weight (even if slowly) on the Atkins diet, or any other diet for that matter, because that person could lose weight too rapidly and that can be dangerous.

4 comments:

Mind Body Shop said...

Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

Jennifer said...

I hear you and I agree. What a wise statement. :-) I think this comment belongs with the previous post? No problem though.

sylvia said...

Wow! I'm mentioned on your blog!
Very happy! :)
Thanks for these great ideas....not that I will do the fat fast...however, I'm sure people will enjoy them! :p

Jennifer said...

Hi Sylvia, :)

Hope induction is still going well. You are soon going to have people asking you what you are doing, when they see the changes in you.

Take care!
Jennifer