T Nation


I was wondering what you think of the “Fat Fast” diet?
What modifications would you make to a program like this?

That program/article is BS! You can not maintain strength & muscle without carbs for 4 weeks!
Fat Fast=SCAM

I’ve done two cycles of Fat Fast and I retained all my lbm and lost 21 pounds of fat altogether. Nope, not a “scam” from someone whose done it. As far as “modifications,” you can replace the protein shakes/flax oil with solid foods. I occassionally took in 20 or 30 carbs for variety but mostly stuck to a 50/50 fat-protein ratio.

baines-How many calories per day did you take in? Also what type of training regimine were you on and how long were your cycles? Did you use any supplements? Anything else you can think of to help us. I’m starting a fat fast diet tomorrow and going to do it for two weeks, hoping to lose about 6-10 lbs. in two weeks or so. I’ve bodyopused before and lost 5 lbs in two weeks (after the water returned) and I think I could lose even more with the FF diet.

I have done the Fat Fast numerous times, even before T-mag published it. It is actually called a Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF). Doctors use it to get morbidly obese patients to drop weight fast, usually for an upcoming operation where there is great risk because of the weight or due to the patient’s health problems. The diet is dangerous if you do not know what you are doing or have health problems. I foolishly attempted the diet without seeing a doctor first and suffered from a drastic drop in blood pressure, dropped from 115/55 to 90/40. If I stood up to fast I would pass out. Luckily this was my only problem besides the fact I lost muscle too. The Fat Fast adds more fat (EFA’s) into the diet, which I think is a better idea than pure protein. Last time I used Androsol with it and found 70 sprays once each morning was enough to maintain muscle mass. A few recommendations I would make are:

  1. Take 1,000 mg/day of ALA. Divide this between your meals, I have found this helps maintain muscle mass as well. Some literature suggests that ALA inhibits gluconeogenesis and therefore spares protein.
  2. Use 60-70% casein and 30-40% whey as your main source of protein. Casein is a good source of glutamine, which you definitely need on this diet, and digests slowly.
  3. EFA’s should be your only source of fat.
  4. Glutamine (you knew it was coming). Take it with a meal 30 minutes before a workout and with a meal immediately after.
  5. When training DO NOT use any eccentric reps; keep the negative portion on all movements to an absolute minimum. Heavy concentric movements burn enough calories (you are already in an extreme calorie deficit) and help maintain your strength.

    Other than that make sure you take in 150-200 grams of protein and a good thermogenic. More protein is not necessarily better as most (>150g) is converted to glucose and used by the brain.

Also get the book “The Ketogenic Diet” by Lyle McDonald. It has great references, a bit repetitive at times, but thorough. Everything a ketogenic dieter would need to know plus more. Covers some biochemistry if anyone is interested.

Fat fast works, I lost 9.5 lbs of fat, in 2 weeks, and didn’t lose any muscle or strength…Definitely not a scam…

Never tried it myself and hadn’t recommended anything similar to any clients, so I don’t
have any data on that plan precisely. However,
it’s absolutely true that with a good dose
of androgens, you can do for 2 weeks JUST
ABOUT ANYTHING in terms of low calories, even
starvation, and come out pretty much okay in
terms of LBM while shedding fat at a very
impressive rate.

I would not recommmend Fat Fast to an athlete
not using androgens.

john, what were your energy levels like while on the fat fast?

I would assume then you are saying you would be ok for 2 weeks but you would want to go back up to 12 cals per lb for a week before doing it again?

I’m not saying you can’t push it past
2 weeks while also using androgens…
just that I know that 2 weeks is fine.
But it’s not the way to diet down over
the long term. A lot of bodybuilders dieted
that way back in the 70s and 80s and the
result was always severe smallness relative
to how much muscle mass they had before the

Personally, I like going back up to 15
cal/lb as the alternating phase when
cycling dieting – dieting for 2-3 weeks,
then maintenance calories for 1-3 weeks,
the ratio depending on your needs with
regard to LBM and with regard to rate of
fat loss.

I’ve usually advocated 12 cal/lb while
dieting while on the juice and that does
work well, but in
retrospect, comparing a lot of cases, it’s
clear that 10 cal/lb gives faster results
with not much more LBM loss. I don’t
recommend that for the natural dieter though.

Energy levels are low on the Fat Fast as would be expected on any low calorie diet. The first 2-3 days are probably the worst though as the body is still making adjustments to ketosis. ALA helps with this and I can get into ketosis in less than 24 hours using 3,000mg ALA on day one. I agree with Bill that dieting this way should be kept to a minimal amount of time. I also use the same dieting strategy with 2-3 weeks PSMF/Fat Fast and follow up with a maintenance ketogenic diet for 1-2 weeks. I strongly suggest not going over 3 weeks on the Fat Fast. I have not found the ratio of fat to protein loss decreases past this and you will end up losing muscle. This is probably caused by a decrease in thyroid production. Also, do not carb up after the diet. Use a ketogenic diet at maintenance calories for a short period of time and gradually add carbs back in, preferably after a workout. This will help prevent the rebound effect. The Androsol dosing schedule seems to works well with this dieting scheme. Fat Fast for 2 weeks while on Androsol then maintenance calories for 2-4 weeks. Repeat. For the maintenance period a good approximation is that a person should consume 1-1.15 g/lb of protein AND fat each. Protein mass should equal fat mass. This will equal out to 13-15 cal/lb.

For my part, I agree you should limit it to three weeks. In my first, four-week cycle, my fat loss slowed on the fourth week. I believe my body began fighting against the diet. So I kept it to three weeks in my second cycle. Also, I generally lose one pound per week on “normal” diets but lose 3 to 3.5 pounds of fat on Fat Fast. (Others, I believe, would have better results.) I generally followed a 900 to 1000 calorie diet w/ an occassional but very modest cheat days once every one or two weeks. Workouts: variation of the German Body Comp three days pers week w/ cycling on the other days. John U obviously knows what he’s talking about but speaking for myself, additional supplements such as glutamine weren’t neccesary for me because the Androsol (35 sprays, 2x day) protected my muscle protein just fine. The only supplement I took was standard vitamin supplemntation which I always take anyways.

Ok so basically we are saying a good dose of androgens will help you spare muscle for about 3 weeks of really low cals (as long as protein is sufficent)

1.)What if you were to have some post workout carbs (like 50g) and carbed up on say Sundays? Think you could "starve" longer?

2.) What about going real low cal with an isocaloric diet? You will still lose LOTS of fat but how much faster do you think keto is?

I'm thinking a low cal diet like the fat fast with the extra post workout carbs (not the carb day!) may be the best?

Good thread gys!

I don’t think a post-workout drink is neccesary on Fat Fast because muscle growth isn’t what you’re encouraging and, once again, Androsol already protects your muscle protein. You could eat some modest carbs on Sunday if you feel you need a break on the diet but not too much. In my first cycle I carbed up before Day 1 but this delayed my fat burning because my body only consumed my glycogen reserves the first two or three days. So in my first week, I “only” lost 2 pounds of fat. (I would encourage you to go on a low-carb diet three days before Fat Fast.) Don’t worry about looking flat for now, just drop the fat. When you safely carb up later, you’re going to look much better.

I am sorry but you are saying you maintain strength for 3 weeks with no carbs! THAT IS NOT POSIBLE without glycosgen you will lose 10lbs a week on your bench!

How effective is ALA in getting me into ketosis faster. If I am going buy it in bulk I want to know it works. Has there been any studies done on it. It has worked for John U, anyone else. Any info. would be appreciated