Dr. Group’s Ketogenic Fast for Rapid Weight Loss

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on

The Ketogenic fast consists of consuming fat, protein, and a limited amount of carbs.Maintaining a healthy body weight is one of the best ways to support your overall health. Excess body fat increases your susceptibility to serious conditions like type II diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, sleep apnea, fatty liver, cancer, and joint problems.[1] Many fat-loss fads, diets, and pills come and go, and very few yield lasting results. Adopting a ketogenic diet is one strategy for losing fat that’s tried, tested, and proven effective.

Knowing this, I began my research into improving the typical ketogenic diet. People who are familiar with my work know that I’m always trying new cleanses, detox programs, and diet plans in my ongoing quest to discover new ways to improve my health. I kept coming across the many benefits of fasting, and I thought, “Why not combine principles of fasting with the best elements of a ketogenic diet and enjoy the best of both?”

What Is a Ketogenic Diet?

A ketogenic diet is a diet that provides fat and protein, but few or no carbohydrates. The body prefers glucose and glycogen, both derived from carbohydrates, as its primary source of fuel and it generally operates in a sugar-burning state known as glycolysis. Depriving the body of carbohydrates, however, forces it to use stored fat for energy. This special fat-burning mode, known as ketosis, quickly burns through fat reserves. It takes about 24-36 hours to completely burn through the glycogen stored in the muscles and liver. The catch? The body tells the brain to refuel on carbohydrates when blood sugar dips. In other words, your appetite kicks in and you feel hungry. This physiological response makes it a challenge for many people to adhere to a ketogenic diet long enough to enter ketosis.

What Is Fasting?

Fasting means avoiding food for longer stretches of time than usual, generally 12 or more hours. You may do this inadvertently if you ever skip breakfast or can’t fit lunch into your schedule. Fasting may support a healthy metabolism, encourage stable blood sugar, promote normal blood sugar, and offer other benefits for overall wellness.[2] There are many ways to fast. True, or absolute, fasting means completely abstaining from eating and drinking for a set period. Water or juice fasting allows for the consumption of certain fluids during the fast. Some people have the misconception that fasting is total starvation, but fasting is not starving—it’s simply committing to eating in accordance with a more regimented schedule.

Dr. Group’s Ketogenic Fast: The Best of Both

Both fasting and following a ketogenic diet prompt the breakdown of fat and encourage the body to detoxify itself. Many of the worst toxins are stored in fat cells. When the body burns through fat reserves, toxins are released and expelled. And, not only does a ketogenic fast encourage the body to enter fat-burning mode, it discourages the body from storing new fat. This understanding prompted me to combine principles of fasting with a ketogenic diet to develop my 5-day, vegan ketogenic fast.

Many ketogenic diets advocate the consumption of animal-based fat and protein. But, that sort of diet increases your risk of kidney stones, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.[3, 4] Conversely, a low-carb, plant-based diet is incredibly beneficial for overall health and wellness.[2] I constructed this ketogenic diet to be vegan and based it around nuts and fatty fruits like olives, coconut, and avocados—all of which provide fatty acids, fiber, micronutrients, and phytonutrients.

A ketogenic diet can boost overall wellness. Studies have found that people who follow a ketogenic diet experience better, more stable moods.[5] Some individuals report feeling profoundly happy, peaceful, and at ease.[6] There’s also evidence to suggest that fasting promotes good physical health at the cellular level.[7, 8]

The following is an account of my personal experience with the 5-day, vegan ketogenic fast.

Day 1

I began the day around 6:30 AM with 1 ounce of nuts and my standard supplement routine. Around noon, I had one tablespoon of coconut oil for lunch. Between 2-3 PM, I felt hunger pangs, which I expected. At that point, my body was still running on glycogen stores and telling me to eat carbohydrates. For dinner, I ate an avocado and six olives.

 

Day 2

When I awoke, I weighed myself and was astounded to discover I was nearly 9 pounds lighter! I know this was mostly water weight, but it’s remarkable to see such an incredible drop in just 24 hours. Overall, I felt more energetic than I did yesterday, and I was decidedly less hungry than day 1. My morning workout was great—I felt like I had the energy to continue for another hour.

I kept the same diet schedule as day 1. I was still hungry after the tablespoon of coconut oil for lunch, but the sensation was less intense. I had some water with a shot of apple cider vinegar to ease the hunger pangs. Later in the evening, I tried my first ketone test strip, and I was indeed in ketosis—the fat-burning state.

 

Day 3

This was my worst morning yet. My morning workout did not go as well as I hoped. I felt disoriented and disconnected. I noticed my thinking wasn’t as clear or sharp as normal. I stuck with the same diet; I didn’t experience any hunger, but I did feel somewhat shaky.

I felt better as the day went on. I experienced minor hunger pangs around 2:30 PM that lingered until dinner. As evening approached, I found myself in a much better state and mood.

 

Day 4

The morning of day 4 was like waking up from a dream. I felt incredibly energized and alert. The brain fog and weakness from day 3 was entirely gone. The real breakthrough was the mental clarity. So many people experience this incredible effect, and it’s reason enough to try fasting. I felt focused and optimistic. The ketone test strip revealed I was still in fat-burning mode and my noticeably looser pants confirmed it.

I didn’t experience any hunger, but I switched up the diet and had avocado and olives for lunch. It felt like the right decision. My body needed the larger meal to remain sustained through the rest of the work day.

 

Day 5

I felt even better on day 5. My energy levels were high and I didn’t experience any hunger pants. My mood was elevated and my mind was focused. I felt like I could sustain this diet for longer.

 

Getting Started with Dr. Group’s 5-Day Vegan Ketogenic Fast

It’s easy to get started with my 5-day, vegan ketogenic fast. It requires just a few supplies. First, you need ketone test strips. Ketone test strips are dipped into urine to measure how many millimoles of ketones are present (which will require you to catch your urine in a cup). They are readily available online and they’re easy to use. The average reading should be about 4-6 millimoles (mM), but you may see readings as high as 8 mM. If they’re color coded, and most are, darker readings indicate you’re burning more fat. You’ll need enough strips to test your urine twice a day for the duration of the fast.

You’ll also need the nuts described in the diet below. I recommend dividing them into 1-ounce servings before beginning to remove the guesswork and reduce temptation. For the olives, I recommend whole (not pitted) kalamata olives because they’re brimming with antioxidants. Make sure everything is organic and minimally processed.

Daily Supplies

  • 2 Ketone Test Strips
  • Pecans: 1 ounce (about 19 halves) = 196 calories
  • Walnuts: 1 ounce (14 halves) = 184 calories
  • Macadamia Nuts: 1 ounce (12 kernels) = 204 calories
  • Pine Nuts: 1 ounce (about 167 kernels) = 191 calories
  • 6 Organic Non-pitted Olives = 24 calories
  • Organic Medium Avocado = 322 calories
  • Organic Raw Coconut Oil: 1 tablespoon = 120 calories
  • Average Daily Calorie Intake = 700-1240 calories

Dr. Group’s 5-Day Vegan Ketogenic Fast Daily Protocol

I’ve outlined the diet according to my preference but you can adjust the meal order to suit your needs. You’ll only eat over the course of 12 hours. I recommend starting at 6 AM and finishing your last meal around 6 PM. Use a ketone strip when you first wake up and just before you go to bed.

Breakfast

1 ounce of nuts, either a mix or just one kind

Lunch

6 Organic Non-pitted Olives: 24 calories
1 Organic Medium Avocado: 322 calories

Dinner

1 Tablespoon Organic Raw Coconut Oil: 120 calories

Drink Options

Water with Apple Cider Vinegar
Kombucha (low sugar)
Herbal Tea
Black Coffee

Supplements of Your Choice

Continue your supplement routine to provide important nutrients while you’re fasting. I continued taking VeganSafe™ B-12, Floratrex™, IntraMAX®, Detoxadine®, Cell Fuzion™, and Livatrex®.

Even though you’re not consuming a lot of food, a half serving of Oxy-Powder® every other day will support the detoxification process.

Tips and Things To Know

The trick is sticking to it long enough to reap the benefits. Most people find it extremely difficult to fast for extended periods, so I included enough food to make this plan accessible to more people.

It’s a strict diet, and you must follow it to the letter to achieve your weight loss goals.

Only those who are overweight by 15 lbs or more should adopt this fast. It’s not intended for children, people with type 1 diabetes, or breastfeeding or pregnant women. Always consult your trusted healthcare professional before starting a new diet.

If you feel your energy lagging, take vitamin B-12 for a boost. I also recommend drinking plenty of water and taking 1-2 capsules of Oxy-Powder every other day while on the fast to help flush your system.

To settle a sour stomach, drink 8 ounces of water with apple cider vinegar. If it doesn’t help, drink 4 oz of unsweetened organic almond milk.

Continuing to fast after five days can produce varied results. For some, they feel incredible and continue on an upward trend toward euphoria. Others feel a strong desire to break the fast. Listen to your body. If your body is telling you to stop fasting, stop.

For regular maintenance, perform this fast a few times a year.

Maintaining Your Progress

One of best ways to maintain your progress is to cultivate a healthy microbiome. Health begins in the gut, and a chaotic microbiome that doesn’t work with you works against you. The overall shift toward a carb-heavy, fiber-deprived diet has fundamentally altered the microbiome of most people. An investigation into the microbiome of obese individuals revealed that they have less microbial diversity in their microbiota. Bad gut bacteria repress fast-induced adipose factor (FIAF), an essential protein that regulates the use of fat stores, while fiber-loving bacteria upregulate FIAF.[8, 9]

Don’t switch back to a carb-heavy diet immediately after your fast ends. If you make it to at least day 5, you shouldn’t feel this impulse, but if you do, resist it. Gently adjust your macronutrient ratios, reduce yourself from a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet to one that’s healthy and easy to maintain.

Does Fasting Cause Muscle Loss?

Glycogen is stored in the muscles so depleting glycogen reserves can cause muscles to appear smaller. However, while some muscle may be lost during a low-calorie diet, it should be a negligible amount (especially compared to the fat loss). This diet, even though it’s a vegan diet, it provides all nine essential amino acids to support muscle mass maintenance. Regardless, the human body needs a lot less protein than most protein powder manufacturers and fitness websites would have you believe. Not only do most Americans eat several times the amount of protein that they need, most of the protein the body needs is dedicated to enzymatic activity, not the maintenance of muscle mass.

Do you have experience with fasting or ketogenic diets? Report back to the community and share your experience!

References (9)
  1. “Health Risks of Being Overweight.” NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 29 July 2016. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
  2. Mattson, Mark P., and Ruiqian Wan. “Beneficial Effects of Intermittent Fasting and Caloric Restriction on the Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Systems.” The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 16.3 (2005): 129–137. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
  3. Christensen, Damaris. “Dietary Dilemmas: Is the Pendulum Swinging Away from Low Fat?” Nutrition. Science News, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
  4. Fung, Teresa T., et al. “Low-Carbohydrate Diets and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality: Two Cohort Studies.” Annals of Internal Medicine 153.5 (2010): 289–298. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
  5. El-Mallakh, RS, and ME Paskitti. “The Ketogenic Diet May Have Mood-Stabilizing Properties.” Medical Hypotheses 57.6 (2002): 724–6. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
  6. Fond, Guillaume, et al. “Fasting in Mood Disorders: Neurobiology and Effectiveness. A Review of the Literature.” Psychiatry Research 209.3 (2011): 253–258. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
  7. “Fasting kills cancer cells of most common type of childhood leukemia.” University of Texas Southwestern. 12 Dec. 2016. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
  8. Grootaert, Charlotte, et al. “Bacterial Monocultures, Propionate, Butyrate and H2O2 Modulate the Expression, Secretion and Structure of the Fasting-Induced Adipose Factor in Gut Epithelial Cell Linesemi_2482 1778..1789.” Environmental Biology 13.7 (2011): 1778–1789. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
  9. Kersten, Sander, et al. “Characterization of the Fasting-Induced Adipose Factor FIAF, a Novel Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Target Gene.” Journal of Biological Chemistry 275.37 (2000): 28488–28493. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Jo

    Dr. Group,
    I really enjoyed watching the videos and reading about your experience. What is your opinion of using the KD when there is a diagnosis of breast cancer.
    JD

  • Rawstagirl

    Dr. G, Someone as healthy as you should be able to consume double that amount of food and stay in ketosis because your liver and supportive organs are in good shape. Those that aren’t would likely gain weight at first until they did enough Livatrex flush protocols to support the liver point. They could supplement with reishi mushroom, dandelion greens and turmeric to support that detoxification. But if they have low thyroid and a toxic liver they won’t be able to get into ketosis as easily as you did. Thanks for sharing your experience, been an advocate of your Protocols for over 8 years.

  • JD

    When fasting would it be a good idea to incorporate enemas?

  • JD

    Is it ok to take all supplements on an empty stomach while following such a restrictive diet?

  • Erick Bacod

    Interesting input. I’m following this fast verbatim with the instructions. Tomorrow is day 2. I’m curious how I’ll feel by the end of day 4.

  • Well any form of calorie restriction is going to drop weight..the proof in the pudding is when you can consume lots of calories on keto and still either lose if you need to or maintain your weight. I have a friend who can consume 5,000 calories on keto and not gain any weight. But he is a jedi…his health is beyond the masses and he has taken the years to strengthen his organs like the liver in order to process healthy fats and burn ketones for the long slow clean burn of energy and radiance that it offers.

  • tonibark

    I utilize a plant based keto diet for all my cancer patients. It is a way of starving cancer cells from fuel and reducing cancer burden

  • GHC Support

    Thank you for contacting us. Although we do not have extensive research for this situation, the fasting process may reactivate the body’s internal healing mechanisms, and encourage healthy cell cycles. However, in these delicate cases, it is recommended to consult your doctor or naturopathic doctor for personal guidance.

  • azzguard

    On day 3 now. I have felt really good mood, very good stability in my overall feeling. But the worst day so far is day 3. This morning I had lost 2.6 kg.

    Very exciting and I thank you very much for sharing your information freely on your website ❤️❤️❤️

  • R. R.

    How are the results with cachexic patients? What advice can you give to keep weight ON or even GAIN weight while on Keto diet?
    Thank you for any advice!!

  • Cathy Robi

    Feel great on day one. On day one- the good part is I went from negative ketones to moderate by end of night. The bad part is that I noticed my alkaline level went way down too (in the am was 6.5 down to a 5.5) . Is that supposed to happen when plan involves good fats?

  • Cathy Robi

    On day one- the good part is I went from negative ketones to moderate by end of night. The bad part is that I noticed my alkaline level went way down too (in the am was 6.5 down to a 5.5) . Is that supposed to happen when plan involves good fats?

  • Mike Augeris

    What happens if you do your Keto Diet but add vegetables?

  • How did it go?

  • Erick Bacod

    8 lbs down so far. My head is much clearer after I wake up. Still waiting on my ketone strips. I kinda drifted from Dr Group’s diet plan, but I’m staying with the ketogenic diet plan. Everything is working out so far! Are you doing the keto diet?

  • JeeHoo?

    I see you have not received a reply. Your post made me notice a link on the page below. “Understanding the Alkaline Diet Benifits.” has a picture of a head of Broccoli above it. I read it and think you may find some useful info in it about PH . Are you drinking enough water? How about the Apple Cider Vinegar shots? Electrolyte loss and other things are mentioned in the article( Link) that will affect PH

  • Cathy Robi

    I will look- thank you for taking the time to answer me

  • ankacyganka

    Why is black coffee permitted but I don’t see black or green tea? They all have caffeine but tea also has other dietary benefits.

  • Geri Williams

    I would like to know that also. I have not been diagnosed as positive, but my report That I read says highly probable. I’m choosing not to believe that report!

  • Geri Williams

    Thank you for that info.

  • Ann Ann

    What can I substitute avocados for, since they are not available in my area?

  • GHC Support

    Hi, Cathy. We apologize for the delay, but hopefully
    we can still be of help. Jeehoo, great observation. As touched upon in the article, carbohydrate deprivation will encourage a stage of ketosis where the liver is forced to produce ketones to encourage your body to use fat as fuel. As the liver produces more ketones, this may momentarily effect your pH levels. This is considered normal and does not effect your health long-term. Of course, if you feel unwell, then we
    suggest discontinuing the ketogenic fast or consulting your
    naturopathic doctor for advice. However, as mentioned by Jeehoo, increasing your water intake and taking in alkalizing foods like apple cider vinegar, almonds, and ginseng herbal tea may help balance everything out. After completing the ketogenic fast, we also encourage you to follow the principles in our Body Cleansing Diet as seen here: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/cleansing/body-cleansing-diet.html.

  • Ann

    The point is to not have sugar and veggies will have sugar.

  • LynnAG

    Not so about reducing calories will result in weight loss. I put on 30 pounds from taking Lexapro for 2-3 months. That was about 13 years ago and diet and exercise hasn’t little to no impact in weight loss. Going on line I find I’m not alone in this. Highly frustrating. I believe the Lexapro remains in the body as a problem I was having pre Lexapro stopped happening when I was in the drug and has remained mostly gone since going off the medication. I thought it was perhaps stuck like a plaque in my lymph system. From this article I’m now thinking it’s stuck in the fat – if so unless all fat is removed from the body the Lexapro will be forever present and forever blocking weight loss. Not sure it will ever go away now. BTW men and women gain weight on Lexapro but men seem to be able to lose it. Not so with women. It sucks.

  • ThriveLiving

    I would love more details on the diet you’re using with your patients. I’ve been on a ketogenic diet for over a month now, but switched to vegan ketogenic about a week ago after my naturopath recommended I drop the meat and dairy, because of an ongoing Epstein-Barr infection. I feel so much better since I’ve made this change, but having a hard time coming up with interesting and balanced meal ideas. I also wonder if a vegan ketogenic diet is something that can be maintained over the long-term without developing deficiencies.

  • ThriveLiving

    Low-carb vegetables are great on a ketogenic diet (leafy greens, zucchini (technically a fruit), etc.)

  • ThriveLiving

    I wonder if a vegan ketogenic diet is something that can be maintained over the long-term without developing deficiencies? Would love to see Dr. Group do an article on vegan ketogenic diets for the long-haul.

  • If there is metabolic damage or pharmaceutical drug use involved yes it could hinder weight loss goals. Toxins from drugs, heavy metals and pesticides, herbicides, fungicides do indeed hide out in the fat storage. It is a way to protect your bodies organs from harm. The body needs a healthy fat supply so it feels safe to release the unwanted fat and toxins from these pharamaceutical drugs. But with that comes die off and often detox symptoms if you go too fast. The thyroid also needs support and time to heal in order to lose weight. The thyroid is the main regulator for proper weight and when that tests weak it needs to be addressed either thru clearing the trauma, detoxification or nutritional support. Weight loss from a ketogenic lifestyle doesn’t happen over night, one has to commit to work to heal the organs first, then weight loss happens naturally.

  • That is great news. I do follow a ketogenic lifestyle yes. It is a potent longevity strategy to keep the viral load down. Each person has low grade infections, this lifestyle clears them from the system when done powerfully! Keep up the great work. Cheers.

  • Traci Green

    Is there anything else I can eat besides olives? I don’t like them at all.

  • GHC Support

    Great question. We anticipate that the cleanse can successfully go beyond the 5 days, especially if you continue taking your daily supplements or a multi-vitamin. It would be interesting to look into the long-term benefits. We’ll refer your inquiry to Dr. Group, and hopefully we can provide an article with that information in the future.

  • Cathy Robi

    Thank you for the tips!

  • Danielle Ostrander

    Is there anything you can sub for the avocado? I am alllergic and really want to try this fast.

  • desiree madden

    Hi, may I ask how long you’ve had E-B infection and what the symptoms are and why the meat/dairy are effecting it? Thanks,I’m asking because a loved one has EB too and is doing the Keto ( non vegan) I don’t think they know about tit.I’d like to share thanks again

  • ThriveLiving

    As far as how long I’ve had the infection, I suspect many years — since childhood. Migraines beginning when I was seven were the first symptom, followed by cycles of chronic fatigue, tinnitus, brain fog, food sensitivities, poor immunity, rashes, weight gain and inflammation. I had no idea it was EBV until about a year ago when the pieces finally fell into place.

  • Squidday

    Is less than 20g of carbs classed as no carbs? Is it even possible to eat 0 carbs?

  • MEL

    You both should get Anthony Williams Medical Medium books, he goes into great detail about EBV and healing it naturally. Excellent info that is priceless. It’s well worth it, you can get it on Amazon. He also has a book with tons of great healing recipes. Just google him.
    Best wishes to you.

  • ThriveLiving

    Thanks MEL! I love Anthony Williams and have both of his books, plus follow him on Facebook. You’re right, he has amazing information, much of which I found surprising, but tried anyway. It does make an enormous difference in healing EBV, but it also takes time.

    It’s funny because when my naturopath recommended I drop meat and dairy to heal the EBV, it was due to direct advice from Anthony Williams for a couple of her patients about a decade ago, who were also struggling with EBV.

    It wasn’t until I read his first book last year that the pieces fell into place and I realized it was EBV.

  • ThriveLiving

    I had posted the following about a month ago, but just realized it was marked as spam by Disqus (I think because it contained a link) and never published.

    “My naturopath had worked with a couple of patients many years ago that weren’t responding to the treatment for EBV (vitamin A, monolaurin and turkey tail mushroom) and was able to arrange for them to have a consultation with Anthony Williams (aka. the Medical Medium). He said that both dairy and meat actually feed EBV. If you aren’t familiar with Anthony’s work, I highly recommend you read his book — it challenges many of our assumptions in the medical and alternative medicine fields. I was extremely skeptical at first, but was so desperate for relief, I gave his protocol a try. It’s the only thing that has worked for me.”

  • Floridajan

    I started with the keto genicdiet. Day 3 afternoon.survived so far. Today is a bit difficult but will manage. I last 5 pounds so far in 3 days. I started at 155.6. This morning I was 150.6. Feeling good.Today I am feeling a bit starved but I am having my herbal tea now.

  • Patrick Henry

    This keto diet/fast has been working great for me. I started at 245 and lost 9 pounds the first week using Dr. Group’s keto fast. After that, I came off the fast, but was still sticking to keto friendly foods, but mainly chicken breast and hard boiled eggs and lost another 2 pounds before I came off keto only foods. The weight stayed off, mainly because I was not eating huge meals, but I was hitting the gym almost daily during weekdays. My physique is definitely showing improvement. I went back on Dr. Group’s fast about 2 weeks after, and am now down 17 pounds. I would suggest going on the fast to get you into ketosis quick, and once you are there, take advantage and hit up cardio as much as you can while sticking to keto friendly foods. I was making sure I burned at least 400 cals on the Eliptical machine or treadmill every day, which translates to roughly 30-40 minutes. I get a good sweat, my core is rocked, and the pounds are coming off. Best of luck to everyone!

  • Guest

    But as soon as you go back to even plant based diet, don’t you put the weight back on?


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