Getting Back on Track with a Fat Fast
by Dan Gleason, DC
At this time of year, one of the greatest challenges people face can be getting back on track after eating everything too much over the holidays. There are benefits to following a Low Carb/Healthy Fat (LCHF) diet, which include:
- Weight loss
- More energy
- Improved mental clarity
- Less pain and stiffness
- Better attitude and sleep
Over-indulgence can lead to a state of extreme cravings where the body thinks it needs to eat every two hours. This can create feelings of being out of control and incapable of resisting the urge to eat.
A Fat Fast can be used after a period of overindulgence or to get started on fasting. The idea is that people eat only fatty foods for several days until they feel totally satisfied. This allows the body to reach a fat-burning state without side effects such as headaches and extreme hunger. In addition to using this method following a period of eating too many carbs, this technique can also be used during periods of stress when fasting seems impossible.
More than 40 years ago, cardiologist Robert C. Atkins, MD, recommended the Fat Fast for patients who had initial weight loss success with his LCHF diet but hit a plateau where the scale wouldn’t budge. More recently, Canadian nephrologist Jason Fung, MD, has found the Fat Fast helps his patients get back on track. Fung has created renewed interest in fasting and LCHF diets to reverse kidney disease and diabetes.
This is what a Fat Fast looks like:
- Drink lots of water, twice as much as coffee or tea
- Eat whenever hungry
- Eat only foods from the allowed list
- Avoid dairy and nuts
- Up to 3 Tbsp of heavy cream is allowed for coffee or tea
- Salmon, Sardines
- Olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia or MCT oil
- Mayo from the above healthy oils
- Butter or Ghee
- Leafy greens cooked in healthy oils
- Bone broth
The Fat Fast first gives a feeling of being satisfied because one can eat as much of the comfort foods as wanted. These foods are filling and eating them reduces hunger for many hours. Many people initially experience water-weight loss and associated increased urination for a few days. This is a natural byproduct of lower insulin levels. Other signs that it is working will be less puffiness in the face, less swelling in the legs and looser fitting clothes.
After a few days, hunger decreases significantly. This makes the transition to a more permanent LCHF way of eating much easier.
For more information, Fung’s books can help: The Diabetes Code and The Complete Guide to Fasting.
Dr. Dan Gleason is the owner of The Gleason Center located at 19084 North Fruitport Road in Spring Lake. For more info: go to TheGleasonCenter.com or call 616-846-5410. See ad page 6.