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As intermittent fasting explodes with popularity, more and more people are doing the conversion from fasting to fat fasting. Fat fasting involves consuming pure fat during the fasting portion of the day.
The most notable strategy is to add a few tablespoons of butter and MCT oil in your coffee. This protocol has been popularized by a good number of people in the fitness industry and I see more and more people jumping in the fat fast bandwagon.
There are some problems with fat fasting. On the one hand, this completely defeats the purpose of intermittent fasting and in more ways than one. First, one of the great benefits with intermittent fasting is that it allows you to eat more calories later in the day.
This is what makes getting and staying lean with fasting effortless. You do not have to deprive yourself of reducing portions of your meals.
Fat Fasting Makes Creating A Challenging Calorie Deficit
Well, so long as you're throwing a few hundred calories of pure fat in your coffee, you'll have less room to work with your actual meals. What is worse, butter / oil, by itself, does little to promote fullness.
So those calories are going to make you keep a calorie deficit harder than ever. Not to mention the fact that butter and oils are extremely low in vitamins and minerals, making them a terrible source of nutrition.
Butter / Oil is fine to supplement a meal and to enhance the taste, but should not be a large part of your calorie intake. If you are going to consume calories in the morning, then go with a 4 egg tortilla. You are looking at about the same amount of calories, but the tortilla is going to be much more filling and nutritious. That being said, your best bet would be really fast.
Another problem with fat fasting is that if you are taking in a few hundred calories with your coffee then you are losing the power of black coffee in tarnishing your appetite. Let the coffee do its job and save the calories for when you really want them, with your meals.
Fasting of fat and insulin and growth hormone
One of the great benefits with intermittent fasting is the massive increase in growth hormone that is experienced. Growth hormone is required to transfer the fat cells into the bloodstream allowing it to take advantage of stored body fat for fuel. In addition, growth hormone helps retain muscle proteins, ensuring that you do not burn muscle tissue during your fasts and during exercise.
Well, here's the thing, fat in the diet blocks the secretion of growth hormone. This is because fat increases somatostatin, which is a growth hormone inhibitory hormone. So by consuming too much fat during your fasts, you are actually denying one of the main benefits of intermittent fasting, massive increase in growth hormone secretion.
So with a fat-only meal, you will in fact have low insulin levels (fat does not increase insulin – protein and carbohydrates), but this does not mean that you will be able to burn body fat. To maximize fat burning you need to have low levels of insulin and high growth hormone.
Fat fasting only covers one side of the equation, intermittent fasting handles both sides and creates the perfect storm to mobilize and burn stored fat cells.
What to do instead?
If you want to use fasting to maximize health and get leaner and stronger than ever, you must learn to really fast! That means water, black coffee and tea only. Do not add butter, MCT oil, or coconut oil to your coffee. It will sabotage many of the positive effects of intermittent fasting.
Video credits to Kinobody YouTube channel