Is Fasting Legit?
The beef and butter fast. The egg fast. Exogenous ketones you drink, and break the bank to buy. Gimmicks. Quick fixes. Snake oil sales. People are still believing nonsense. But if you are legitimately slowing down on your weight loss, breaking a keto stall may be in order. Now there IS such a thing as a fast in which you consume mostly fat to jumpstart ketosis, but only in combination with a lack of protein and carbs, so the beef, egg deals are bunk, because there’s nothing magical about beef or eggs that can jumpstart your loss, but these concepts are very low carb, which may be the structure you need to get get started on breaking a stall. More on the Fat Fast later.
Keto Is Not A Fad
For now, these goofy myths give the ketogenic way of eating a bad name. But I get it. We are more obese than ever. We’ve tried everything. And we listened when they said to avoid eating fat. What happened when we obeyed? We got fatter. And sicker. Diagnosed with disease younger and younger, because the food industry took the fat and fiber out of food, and replaced it with sugar. Sugar that feeds cancer cells. Sugar that sends us on insulin rages and creates type 2 diabetes in our wee ones, not to mention more and more adults. Sugar that snares us in a dopamine pleasure response addictive cycle of needing more to get that high, a condition we euphemize as having a sweet tooth. But this whole time, there was a way of eating that didn’t require gimmicks or potions or miraculous promises, a way that focused on food in its natural state that could prevent the plethora of food-borne ills our society is facing today, and it was developed by the Mayo Clinic in the 1920s to reduce seizures for people with epilepsy. Turns out that Keto was incredibly effective at fat loss. And the benefits don’t stop there. Keto has been shown to increase energy and mental clarity, improve gut health and reduce pain from inflammation, and for many people, reduce severity of brain conditions including Alzheimer’s, depression, autism spectrum disorders, and more. I’ll have what she’s having! Why? Because ketone bodies are a cleaner burning fuel, if you will, than the energy we get by consuming an over abundance of carbohydrates, and our brains need fat to function properly.
But back to breaking a stall on keto. If you follow the macronutrient ratio recommendation (macros) of 70% fat, 25% protein, 5% net carbs, you WILL naturally get into a state of burning stored fat for energy, called nutritional ketosis. And it doesn’t take weeks to get there. Depending on your activity level and your own unique body chemistry, you could be in ketosis in a few days. And if you go off plan, you can get back into ketosis pretty easily because your body prefers this cleaner burning fuel. But it IS unrealistic to expect the rapid rate of fat loss to continue month after month that is so common early on with keto. I see people on forums upset because they lost only 12 pounds their 3rd month in. Are you kidding? That is still amazing. And that is not a stall. But if you are sticking to plan and do not see results either in inches or pounds after a couple weeks, there are fasting methods that can break a stall.
Intermittent Fasting Can Break A Keto Stall
Intermittent fasting. Also known as IF. Also known as time-restricted eating, in which we eat all our macros in a short window, and fast the rest of the time. IF should not be done until you are fat-adapted, meaning your body has become accustomed to using stored fat for energy. IF works this way: when your body senses an intermittent lapse in calories, it surmises that you must be out of food and needing to go hunt and gather yourself some grub. It’s how cavemen survived. The body knew we needed energy to chase down the next wooly mammoth, so it found a built-in energy source in stored fat that it could convert to fuel. It allowed our ancestors, on empty bellies but fueled by fat stores, to run down the beast and drag it home for dinner. And they feasted. In a relatively short window. Then ran out of food, fasted and hunted again. So the intermittent fast mimics this scenario and seeks our stored fat for energy. It’s why people on Keto experience a reduction in appetite and hunger, because our bodies use stored fat to keep us going when we are not shoving endless sugar down the piehole pipes. For more detailed info on why IF has so many health benefits, read this.
Beginning fasters find success with intermittent fasting in ratios of 16:8, fasting for 16 hours (for example from 8pm till noon the next day), then consuming all their macros in the time restricted window of noon to 8. So 16 hours fasting and 8 hours eating. A 16-hour fast can be as simple as skipping breakfast. As people get better at Keto, maybe they go to an 18:6 ratio, eating all their macros in a 6-hour window. Experienced folks do 24-hour fasts or more. The health benefits can be extraordinary.
Another type of fast is a fat fast, in which you restrict calories to about 1200 a day and 90% of those come from fat. It is to be done for a few days only, because otherwise, the body would sense long-term calorie restriction (not an intermittent lapse in calories) and surmise that slow starvation was in play and turn to muscle instead of fat. NOT the goal, ever. For a thorough explanation of the fat fast, I send you to a source I trust. Ruled.me.
Try A Fatty Spinach Dip For A Fat Fast
I am giving this a go. This is a spinach type dip, 1/4 cup in each bowl. Spinach, turkey, cream cheese, kerrygold butter, sour cream, wee bit of asiago. Macros for each bowl are 110 calories / 8 g protein / 8 g fat / 1 net carb. If I do about 3 of these meals throughout the day along with a couple others that are lower in protein, plus bulletproof coffee, I believe I am on the right path. Still experimenting. On day 2. Feeling pretty clear-headed and not hungry. Had foggy brain all last week.
Keto has saved my bacon. I no longer sleep entire weekends away in a fatigued depression fog. I take only one anti-depressant med instead of four. I want people to know about Keto’s amazing healing properties through food, not some quick fix nonsense that people sell in a bottle. Research. Read. Ask questions. And Keto on, warriors!