So after all that reviewed in the last few posts, we decided to try a fat fast. Why? We wondered whether Juliana was actually getting more carbs than she could tolerate just from the vegetables she eats.
A “fat fast” is a very last ditch technique described by Dr. Atkins in his original books (and not retained in the updated version by Phinney and Volek). In this eating plan, you attempt to attain 90% of your daily calories from fat. The theory is that such an eating plan will move the most resistant body into ketosis, where it is burning fat, rather than carbohydrates, for fuel. Dr. Atkins emphasized that such an eating plan was dangerous to a non-resistant individual because the rate of weight loss was too fast to be safe. More than a pound a day was an unsafe rate.
Here’s the thing about the fat fast–it’s high fat, but it is also ultra low carb–less than 10 grams of carb per day, depending on what you eat.
Juliana had been eating essentially what she is eating today on the fat fast, except including large portions of low carb vegetables. So 3 ounces of protein/fat at a meal, with several cups of roasted cauliflower. 3 eggs with 2 cups of sauteed broccoli. And so forth. Now we’ve eliminated the vegetables. And what have we found? She is more satiated on a high-fat, relatively low-calorie regimen with minimal fiber than she was on a high-fat, high-fiber (from vegetables), and relatively low calorie regimen. But fiber is supposed to fill you up, right? Well, maybe not if it has a significant positive carb value.
The vegetables she is now NOT eating had negligible calories–two cups of broccoli; three cups of cauliflower? Who cares? BUT they had a high carb count for someone who can’t tolerate more than 10-15 grams of carbs per day. On the “fat fast” regimen–about 1000 calories per day, fewer than 10 grams of carbohydrate, she did lose a few pounds, without hunger.
Let me emphasize again: WITHOUT HUNGER. A 1000 calorie per day eating plan consisting of a “balance” of fats, protein and carbohydrate would be a starvation diet. The Atkins fat fast of 1000 calories per day with 90% of calories coming from fat is a satiation diet. The five small meals per day can be a little strange: two ounces of cream cheese, for example, but there is NO HUNGER.
Books I like a lot, like Jonny Bowden’s, emphasize eating fiber to help “feel full.” But if that fiber contains carbohydrates, it may not have that effect in very sensitive individuals. Instead, the carbohydrates in the fiber foods may make them feel “more hungry.” Since Juliana has exhibited symptoms of carbohydrate intolerance almost from the time she started eating solid food as a toddler, I think we can safely say that she is very sensitive.
However, she isn’t supposed to stay on the fat fast for more than a few days. Weight loss stopped when she resumed a low carb eating plan with vegetables. Since she’s not going to stop eating vegetables for the rest of her life, there must be another solution.