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The Dreaded Plateau
For the whole month of April, my scale would not budge. It felt like the universe was telling me, “Hey Al. Three months of weight loss is enough for now.” But you know what? F**k that. After a pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome diagnosis, plus an intolerance to metformin—which had me spending a little too much quality time with my toilet—a plateau was not an option. Keto was helping me kick my weight loss goal in the butt, but I still had weight to lose; the visceral fat giggling around my midsection was proof enough. The tummy fat doesn’t lie, universe!
My Solution: A Fat Fast
So, I started my research. How have others who hit plateaus during keto kick-started their metabolisms again? While there is a long list of potential solutions, I settled on something called a fat fast. (Why it is called a “fast” is beyond me since you’re technically still eating, but hey, semantics). Over the course of three-to-five days, you consume 1,000 – 1,200 calories of which 80 – 90 percent are from fat.
*I would NOT recommend a fat fast to anyone who has not been eating keto. Not being fat-adapted and trying a fat fast will cause you to experience symptoms of the keto flu, making your fast not only mentally trying, but physically trying as well. Even if you have been eating keto, you shouldn’t break this big gun out until you’ve plateaued for at least a month. Fat fasting too often can cause it to be less effective… And then what will you do when you plateau?*
As someone who is already fat-adapted and had plateaued for a full month, the fat fast sounded like a viable option; yet, there was not a ton of variety in the meal plans I found online. Many sites advocated eating a block of cream cheese over the course of a day… Sounded like a one-way ticket to vomit city, and for me, it was. Then there were the bacon, bacon and more bacon menus. Don’t get me wrong, everyone loves bacon, but three-to-five days straight might be my limit. I tried the cream-cheese-and-bacon-heavy fasts, in the case my initial doubts were unfounded, but I lost my nerve around day two when my stomach expelled everything I had eaten the day prior.
This is where Ruled.me came in. They provided a fat fast meal plan with enough variety to help me crush my fat fast. I even decided it was enough variety to keep me on the fast for five days.
My Tools for Fat Fasting Battle
Sure, a normal scale will help you track your weight, but it was important to me to know if I was losing actual fat or if I was losing water or precious muscle that keeps my metabolism running. The Yunmai scale and app for your smartphone help track BMI, body fat percentage and your body composition, which includes muscle, water, protein, visceral fat and bone mass percentages, as well as BMR and body age. I did my research on body scales and I have not been disappointed with my Yunmai. I’m a sucker for great Amazon reviews and this scale has got them.
Again, Ruled.me has been vital to my keto journey, so I should have known they’d also have the solution to my plateau. (Craig’s recipes have gotten me through six months of keto. If you’re interested in checking out collections of his recipes, see his digital books Cooking by the RULED Book and Keto-fied!). I’ve outlined the meals I decided to stick to on my fast below:
- I’ve found the key to this coffee is using the right coconut oil. I made the mistake of picking up a generic brand off the supermarket shelf that made my coffee taste like I had lobbed a tub of tasteless Crisco into it. Trader Joe’s has a great coconut oil that made days two through five WAY more enjoyable. The actual hint of coconut taste, for a non-coffee drinker, was crucial. (I modified the recipe a bit by day five, adding PB2 Powder to my coffee for a bit more flavor and protein).
Spiced bacon deviled eggs (1 serving, or 3 1/3 egg halves)
- No gripes here. I’m a fan of hard-boiled eggs, plus the cayenne gave it a mild kick that satisfied my taste buds.
Savory pizza fat bombs (2 servings, or 2 bombs)
- Way better than eating a solid block of cream cheese! I used Barilla’s sundried tomato pesto, which was not as oily as some of the pestos I’ve seen, so the consistency of the bombs were great.
Cheesy creamed spinach (1 serving, or 1/3 of the recipe)
- Um, yes! Where has this recipe been all my life? I am an avid ruled.me user and had come across another creamed spinach recipe with frozen spinach (sacrilege!), but this recipe is TEN TIMES BETTER. This was definitely added to my normal rotation of recipes when I went back to regular keto. Very creamy, very satisfying… Almost made me forget I was on a fat fast.
How I Felt
Days one through three were a cinch despite a minor speed bump. (My aunt went out of her way to make me a keto-friendly dinner the end of day three, not knowing I was on the fast. I HAD TO EAT IT!). Even with the “cheat,” I weighed in 5.4 pounds lighter. BOOM! Then… Day four hit. My will power began to weaken. A few peanut butter M&Ms snuck their way into my mouth. The M&Ms asked some chicken breast and Velveeta cheese to join the party, and I thought for sure my fat fast was a total loss. I continued on through day five, crossing my fingers that the scale would give me some good news after my missteps.
Fat Fast Results
…And the scale DID give me great news. I lost 6.5 pounds over the course of my five-day fat fast. [Cue my tears of joy]. It was the first time my body had seen the 170s since I was in college almost 10 years ago. Plus, according to my Yunmai and weight loss doctor, I lost fat!
Starting weight: 182.6 lbs
- 43 percent body fat
- 15 lbs of visceral fat
- 41.4 percent water
Ending weight: 176.1 lbs (down 6.5 lbs)
- 40.5 percent body fat (down 2.5 percent)
- 13 lbs of visceral fat (down 2 lbs)
- 43.2 percent water (up 1.8 percent)
Have you fat fasted before? Share your results in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.