Is It Wise To Go On A 4-Week Low-Carb Fat Fast?

Filed under: Low-carb Tips — @ December 15, 2008

One of the most controversial and misunderstood components of the Atkins diet over the years has been the use of what Dr. Robert C. Atkins described in his books as the “fat fast.” The traditional Atkins fat fast includes 1000-1200 calories daily with upwards of 90% of the caloric intake from dietary fat sources. The “meals” are broken up into 200-250 calorie increments to be consumed every 3-4 hours.

Unlike Atkins Induction where you get 20g carbohydrate mostly from green, leafy and non-starchy veggies and you don’t need to worry yourself with counting calories, the fat fast is for those people who are especially insulin resistant and are having trouble losing weight following Induction. Dr. Atkins recognized that some people needed a little extra boost to get their body into fat-burning mode and the fat fast generally did the trick. However, it was not meant to be stayed on for long than a few days.

But last month I interviewed a physician named Dr. John Salerno who worked with Dr. Atkins for a few years and was a willing disciple of the low-carb way of eating. During that podcast, Dr. Salerno mentioned that he put his patients on his own “fat fast” for upwards of four weeks which immediately caught my attention. His reasoning for it was that it produced quick weight loss so you can transition to eating a regular low-carb plan again and that he didn’t see anything especially dangerous or wrong with utilizing such an approach (in fact, he said during our discussion that he himself has used this to shed a quick 15 pounds).

When I inquired about the details of the Salerno Fat Fast, he was willing to send it to me in a nutshell so I could share it with you. And here it is. See my concerns with being on a “fat fast” for this long and why it may not necessarily be wise to go on as a long-term weight loss solution.


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