Includes 17 Atkins Fat Fast Recipes!
01/28/13 Recipes updated and modernized by Dana Carpender, now formatted for easy printing.
06/21/16 All recipe photographs updated.
Life In The Low Carb Lane
A Fat Fast (also called the Atkins Fat Fast), as outlined by Dr. Atkins in Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, is a tool that low carbers who are metabolically resistant can use to get themselves quickly into ketosis. Ketosis means that our bodies are using stored fat for energy. The fat fast is also used by many low carbers (myself among them) to break a weight loss plateau or as a means of forcing themselves to get back on track when they have gone off-plan. I’ve included 17 quick fat fast recipes near the end of this article.
Simply put, an Atkins Fat Fast consists of a 3 or 5-day cycle in which you consume just 1,000 calories a day. 90% of those calories should come from fat. (a Fat Fast should not be extended beyond 5 days because it is deficient in protein.)
Dr. Atkins states that eating 4 or 5 mini-meals is better for getting our bodies into ketosis than eating one large meal while doing a Fat Fast. During a Fat Fast you may consume either four 250-calorie mini-meals or five 200-calorie mini-meals. Consuming these small meals frequently throughout the day actually works better than complete fasting.
Dr. Atkins mentions cream cheese and macadamia nuts as the “perfect” Fat Fast foods. Ten ounces of cream cheese would be an entire day’s food allotment; divide the cream cheese into five 2-ounce servings. You could also opt for 5 ounces of macadamia nuts split into five 1-ounce servings and consumed throughout the day.
That’s not a lot of food. I find that when I do a Fat Fast I think about food constantly. I don’t obsess about food because I get hungry (surprisingly, I do not get hungry), but simply because I can’t have any – at least not any that I really want. A Fat Fast makes regular strict low carbing look absolutely luxurious.
I’m going to be completely honest here: I hate, loathe, and detest doing a Fat Fast. I get very grumpy because I get frustrated. My family says that I don’t, but that just makes me think that they don’t notice the difference because maybe, just maybe, I’m a pretty grumpy person all the time. It’s either that or the kids are ignoring me in the same way they do when I tell them to clean their rooms or do their homework. Or perhaps they simply value their lives and know when to keep their mouths shut. The survival instinct is very strong in my brood.
(***Note: “But I was doing the Fat Fast!” is not a legitimate legal defense for mayhem or murder. I know this is true. I’ve checked.)
OK, I know what you want to ask me: “If a Fat Fast is so incredibly awful to get through, why do you do it, you stupid woman?!?” (Well, you might not say the “stupid woman” part because you are ever so polite, but I know you’re thinking it.)
Why? Because it works for me. If I am not in ketosis when I start a Fat Fast, I am when it’s over. If I am having cravings to beat the band and hanging on by the skin of my teeth, when the Fat Fast is over the cravings are G – O – N – E and I’m perfectly happy to go back to munching on chicken legs and salads. If I’ve hit a plateau and stopped losing weight, my weight loss is jump started.
I’ve done a Fat Fast a half a dozen times in the last three years, and each time I have lost between 5 and 8 pounds during the three-day cycle. After I go back to eating normal low carb, I gain 2 to 4 of those pounds back, but have always ended up with a net loss for the 3-day period of between 2 to 4 pounds. (Your experience may be different from mine. The only way to find out for sure is to try it.)
Of course, a lot of people don’t even consider doing a Fat Fast to get into ketosis or to break a stall because they can’t stand the idea of subsisting on plain cream cheese and/or macadamia nuts for 3 days. I don’t know about you, but I would be more likely to be able to cut off my big toe with a dull paring knife than I would be able to gag down 10 ounces of plain cream cheese. My throat closes up at the very thought. And I don’t particularly like macadamia nuts, either.
Well, I don’t have to choke down plain cream cheese or eat macadamia nuts, thank goodness. You don’t, either. Dr. Atkins lists several alternatives in his chapter on a Fat Fast, and although caviar and avocados don’t appeal to me, you may very well like them.
I have also developed a list of alternative food choices for a Fat Fast, which I’ve listed below. Some of them don’t quite come up to the “90% of the calories from fat” parameter, but they come close enough and have worked for me.
Fat Fast Ideas And Recipes (Atkins Fat Fast Menu)
There is one further plus to a Fast Fast which I haven’t mentioned. There is very little food preparation involved. None of the ideas or recipes listed below will take you more than 5 minutes to prepare.
Do you have any favorite Fat Fast tips, tricks or recipes? Please let us know below or email comments@CarbSmart.com.
CarbSmart.com has set up partnerships with some of the best online stores to help you stay on your low carb lifestyle. The stores below are our most trusted partners and we know they will do a great job for you.
By clicking through to these stores, you will help us continue our mission of staying your trusted guide for the low carb lifestyle:
Netrition.com – Over 13 years as an online retailer specializing in low carb, gluten free, and sports nutrition.
Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world and carries hundreds of low carb items as well as just about anything else you could imagine.
Back to Life in the Low Carb Lane by Di Bauer – CarbSmart Magazine’s editor offers her view of low carbing and helpful tips to make low carbing easier and more productive.
Back to CarbSmart Magazine – the online resources for hundreds of articles supporting the low carb dieter, diabetics and people reducing their sugar intake.