I Ate Just Fat (No Protein, No Carbs) For 2 Weeks And Lost 5 Kilos
Too caught up to read the story? Listen to it instead.
Way back in March 2013, I lost more than 5 kilos of weight in 2-3 weeks by eating ONLY fat. I didn’t step inside a gym for a single day of those three weeks, but I SHREDDED fat.
Disclaimer: This is NOT about the conventional ketogenic diet. What I’m going to tell you sounds extremely counter-intuitive, but bear with me.
Have You Heard of a Fat Fast?
A fat fast doesn’t mean, “if you’re fat, you should fast.”(Although you probably should get on some weight management plan)
During a fat fast, you eat ONLY FAT. No protein, no carbohydrates. ONLY FAT. The science behind it, is that since fat is so satiating, it’s hard to overeat it.
I did my research on fat fasting from multiple online resources. You should too, before you decide to embark on one. And, you should do it under medical supervision and for a short duration.
I tried to stick to relatively clean, natural sources of fat like coconut oil, ghee, butter, cream, and animal fat, and if you’re eating healthy, you should already be working with these as your fats of choice, rather than vegetable oils and other processed, refined fats.
My Fat Fast: What I Ate
I started around the 3rd or 4th of March, 2013, and broke my “fast” on the 19th of March. I spent a little over two weeks, eating ONLY fat, and I SHREDDED fat.
This was during my exams in law school. I didn’t mentally plan for a fat fast, but what had happened was I’d hit a plateau, and my weight was hovering at 86-87 kilograms. So, I went shopping, with my parents who were visiting, and stocked up. Here’s what I picked up:
- Two cans of whipped cream - If you can find the unsweetened kind, that’s the best
- Coconut Oil
- Butter - from a farm, not the pasteurised, brand name one
- Dark chocolate (72% cocoa) – This isn’t on a typical fast, but I was having trace amounts of it anyway
- Black Coffee
That was more or less it.
My Fat Fast: What I Did
So for the first week or so, this is what I’d do: Wake up, drink black coffee(I used to make fresh, French press coffee back then, sigh those were the days), study, if I got incredibly hungry, I’d take some whipped cream and eat it. Straight from the can to my mouth.
I’d cycle eating whipped cream, butter, coconut oil, and black coffee, with an occasional bite of dark chocolate(I never went full-indulge because that would push me well over my permissible intake of carbohydrates).
If you want to do this yourself, you could even pick just ONE fat you really like, perhaps butter, coconut oil, or whipped cream, and eat just that through the day.
As a result, I felt FULL often, but I’d actually eaten little to nothing that required heavy digestion, or went beyond 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day.
Here’s the chain of what happens:
Was I Working out During the Fat Fast?
I wasn’t working out much, obviously, during this period. I couldn’t afford to expend any more energy than I needed to, because I was already eating a much lower calorie intake. I’d do, maybe twenty push-ups a day, once in 2-3 days.
I found it VERY tough to overeat fat. I’d been eating healthy regularly before doing this, so I’d end up feeling too full, way before I could overeat fat. The black coffee also helped with suppressing my appetite, and keeping me on my fast.
I was hoping for two things with the push-ups. One, that I’d try to stimulate my muscles a bit, and two, to ensure I didn’t lose too much muscle during my fast.
I didn’t really think about it too much. I slept when I was sleepy, drank coffee, whipped cream, and coconut oil when I was hungry, and worked out when I thought I could. I listened to my body, and went with the flow.
So, I hadn’t checked my weight at the end of the first week. As the days continued, I was feeling quite fine, but of course I’d feel occasional hunger.
Throwing in an iced espresso or two didn’t hurt either.
So, by cycling my food in the same pattern I continued this eating pattern. (yes, children, the secret to sticking to a healthy eating pattern, is to pick 3-5 simple and healthy foods that you like, and cycling them.)
Breaking the Fast
My law school exams continued, and I continued eating this way as the weeks went on. I never FELT overwhelming hunger, till perhaps 18 March, a day before one of my last exams.
By this point, people were starting to ask me, with quite some concern, whether I was unwell, because I’d LOST SO MUCH WEIGHT in such a short span of time. I remember my friend asking me if I had a serious disease. The C word came up a couple of times.
It tasted SO GOOD. I finished my food, and I don’t remember what else I ate that day, or whether I went overboard indulging in good food (of course I did). But, I’d broken my, unplanned but fairly well executed fat fast.
My weight was hovering between 80 and 81 kilos at the end of the fast.
What Did I Learn?
- First, I’d hit a plateau with my weight loss, and was struggling to lose more. A fat fast was a great way to DEMOLISH that plateau and bulldoze my way through it.
- Second, a fat fast is ABSOLUTELY not a state I would stay in for prolonged periods of time, because while losing fat, I also lost a little muscle. I feel like I’d lose too much muscle along with fat if I continued it for extended periods.
- Third, a fat fast really helped me understand my hunger better, and get in touch with my body, and develop a much better love and understanding for food.
- Fourth, fat is REALLY SATISFYING! I never understood the importance of fat completely, till I realized I’d just survived a near two-week period eating primarily fat.
- Fifth, Water is LIFE! My water intake, and yours if you ever decided to do this, would go up. I drank a lot of water, but never forced myself to drink water to feel full. That’s just unwise, and if you overdo it, could lead to water poisoning (another story on this later, I promise.)
This fat fast worked for me for a period of two weeks. Purely for the intent of weight loss, it worked brilliantly.
It worked because I was eating no sugar, but also because I was eating very few calories, WAY below my daily requirement, which meant I was using a lot of my own fat stores to continue functioning.
However, this isn’t advisable for longer than a certain point, because your body downregulates the amount of calories it needs for weight loss if you eat a diet that’s low enough on the calories for a long period of time.
This would work best if you have been eating a diet that’s devoid of sugars and rich in healthy fat and protein for long enough BEFORE you embark on a fat fast, and if you’re trying to break a weight loss plateau.
(Vishnu Gopinath is a journalist with The Quint. He tweets at @VishnuSaysWhat. This blog is based on his personal experiences with weight loss and diet. FIT recommends you to consult your doctor/nutritionist before embarking on any diet)
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