Thank you to everyone who covertly sent me members-only content from Faster Way, from the entire book to the manual and everything in between. I couldn’t have done this Faster Way to Fat Loss review without you.
Faster Way to Fat Loss is a virtual weight loss and health program that has become very popular.
All I have to say about that is, people will always find a new way to punish themselves for what they’ve eaten and how they look, even if it means layering different diets one on top of the other in a sort of fad diet fusion. Or maybe it’s con-fusion.
The funny thing is that Faster Way to Fat Loss does what a lot of diet programs do: it takes a kernel of nutrition truth, and adds a crazy diet (or diets) on of unproven claims and non-science to round it all out.
It’s tough to find a Faster Way to Fat Loss review online that’s not completely biased. As always, I’ve tried to be as objective as possible here.
What is Faster Way to Fat Loss?
As I always say, every diet will work for someone, but no diet works for everyone.
And let’s get one thing straight here: Faster Way to Fat Loss is a diet. So all of those ‘influencers’ who claim that it’s not actually a diet, are wrong.
Faster Way was developed by Amanda Tress, a ‘certified nutrition coach’ and personal trainer. Her scientific advisory board is in my opinion, decidedly non-scientific, with a naturopath, a microbiologist, and a former Mr. Universe who ‘holds a PhD in nutritional counselling,’ a credential which actually doesn’t exist in real life.
At least, not from a highly regarded, accredited institution.
Faster Way to Fat Loss is not an MLM, but it does use ‘coaches’ to sell their product.
The crazy thing is that coaches have completed the program themselves, then pay between $3000-$5000 to the company to get the ‘coach’ designation, which comes with a non-accredited certification. THREE TO FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!
These people are then entitled to ‘help’ Faster Way clients with their nutrition and weight loss goals. Coaches also earn money for each client they recruit, and extra money for each coach they recruit.
What sort of company allows individuals to buy their way into being responsible for other peoples’ health? Oh, wait! They all do!
MLM coaches (even though FWTFL isn’t technically an MLM) are dangerous AF and one of the worst parts of these programs (read my post about it here)
How does Faster Way to Fat Loss Work?
The 6-week long program combines three diets: intermittent fasting, macro counting, and carb cycling.
There is actually some good science around IF, weight loss, and humans. That being said, it hasn’t ever been proven to be more effective in the long-term for weight loss than basic calorie restriction. IF can be easier for some people to stick to, that’s all.
Macro counting is another way to make sure you’re getting a certain pre-determined percentage of your calories from carbs, fat, and protein. Faster Way to Fat Loss includes logging everything you eat into MyFitnessPal for macros.
FWTFL bases your personal macros on height, weight, health history, and activity level.
Most of my issue with macro counting is that aside from being crazy-making for most people, it implies that all calories are created equal, which they aren’t. Faster Way to Fat Loss does encourage whole foods though, so although macro counting is part of this diet, diet quality is something that FWTFL focuses on.
This is a good thing, even if macro counting isn’t for everyone.
Carb cycling essentially means rotating low-carb and higher-carb days to maximize the benefit of carbs for weight loss and training purposes.
For example, on days that you’d have a tough workout, you’d eat more carbs to replenish glycogen and give you energy for activity. On days where you’re more sedentary, you’d eat fewer carbs.
This theoretically helps your body burn fat as fuel, although if you’re not eating a low enough level of carbs for long enough, this is probably not happening.
There is no credible evidence in humans that supports carb cycling for weight loss or health.
A week of FWTFL includes two low-carb days (under 50 grams a day), three regular macro days, and two low-macro days (25% less of each macro).
‘Feast days,’ which bump up calories by around 400, are maybe twice a month.
Each day also includes a, 8:16 fast, although the program says that you can work up to that if you need to.There are 24 hour fasts as well, around once a month. No thanks.
Everything seems very controlled. I feel like there is nothing intuitive about this program – it’s all laid out for you in precise numbers, which some people prefer. A Faster Way follower I spoke to said that it is in fact intuitive, but you first have to ‘nail the macros and numbers.’
She did tell me that her coach encouraged non-scale wins and a focus on mental state and attitude. So, that’s a positive thing.
I could go on forever about the claims are made about this diet, but I’m going to try to boil this down to her best ones.
FWTFL cites a lot of mouse studies to ‘prove’ its claims, especially about intermittent fasting. ‘Fasting affects the hypothalamus, which then causes fat loss benefits’ Tress has said, while not explaining how this all works, and also citing a mouse study to back her claim up. What?
FWTFL claims that intermittent fasting causes weight loss even when calories aren’t restricted, then again, cites a mouse study to back the claim up. Rodent studies are preliminary research, and in most cases should not be used to support theoretical human outcomes.
Intermittent fasting isn’t magical – it simply causes a calorie deficit. However, if you fast then binge repeatedly, you’re not going to lose weight.
FWTFL claims that intermittent fasting may lengthen our lifespan, then once again, cites a rat study to back that up. That’s because we have no human studies to back up this often-made assertion. I think it’s extremely disingenuous and misleading when people make claims as if they’re fact, when they aren’t.
Especially if these people have something to sell.
Some things that Tress says about the diet are true. Intermittent fasting is associated with decreased insulin levels. It does seem to decrease inflammation, although we don’t know if either of those effects are from the fasting or the resulting weight loss. Intermittent fasting also may preserve muscle mass while causing weight loss.
She does preach against cutting calories too low, and against cutting out carbs altogether. She effectively talks about the harm of overexercising and under eating, and promotes a whole food diet. I was happy that she addressed all of this.
How about the Faster Way to Fat Loss Diet?
Aside from recommending what is essentially a low-carb, whole food diet, FWTFL gets into some garbage blanket nutrition recommendations.
First, it predictably vilifies gluten and dairy:
“At the FASTer Way, we focus on clean eating. We reduce inflammatory foods like dairy, gluten, and foods that don’t make us feel good…during the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program, I encourage clients to eat mostly gluten-free because of the way gluten products are genetically modified, which often leads to inflammation, stomach discomfort, aches and pains, breakouts, and fatigue.”
Except, GMOs have never been proven to have such effects on humans. Why are they telling people that? There is absolutely no evidence behind that claim.
There’s some trash talk about dairy:
“Let’s get one thing straight: cow’s milk is for baby cows.
Cows produce milk for the same reason humans do—to feed their young. The nutrients in a cow’s milk are the perfect nutrition for a calf, just as a human mother’s milk is perfect nutrition for her child. However, humans do not have the same nutritional needs as calves. The exact balance of a cow’s milk is not the same as a human’s.”
The ‘milk is only for baby cows’ statement is often used by anti-dairy groups, and it has no evidence behind it whatsoever. The fact that it’s used to convince followers here to eschew dairy, is a huge red flag.
FWTFL continues with the most ridiculous fear-mongering information ever, from how milk is full of antibiotics and hormones, to how it causes osteoporosis and hip fractures.
None of this is even remotely true, but again, is common rhetoric for anti-dairy enthusiasts.
There is zero..I mean, ZERO – reason to remove dairy from your diet. And while some Faster Way to Fat Loss followers do choose to include dairy and gluten in their program, the fear mongering around them has to stop.
Faster Way Flushes Toxins?
A couple of pages of the Faster Way to Fat Loss book are dedicated to ‘adrenal fatigue,’ along with her little story of how she gave herself the ‘condition.’ Adrenal fatigue is not a real thing, and anyone who believes that it is, doesn’t science too well.
After it lists all of the incredibly vague symptoms of adrenal fatigue, the program suggests that if you think you have it, to reach out to a naturopathic or functional medicine physician. I’m sure, because actual medical doctors know that adrenal fatigue is BS.
“The FASTer Way methodology does incorporate the occasional 24-hour fast because it allows your body to be at complete digestive rest. When the body isn’t focused on digesting food, delivering/storing nutrients, or burning it for fuel, it can then focus on other important bodily processes like cellular repair.”
This is total nonsense. Your body doesn’t need rest from food for cellular repair. That’s insane.
“(Fasting is) natural detoxing. It’s important to drink a lot of water if you’re fasting because our body is detoxing. Water gives it the opportunity to continue to flush out all the toxins that we acquire, whether it’s through food, pollution, water, or other means. ”
Nope. We aren’t toilets. No need to ‘flush’ toxins.
“Don’t drink diet! Artificial sweeteners (even wine on a consistent basis) is telling your body not to burn fat.”
Untrue. None of this is true.
And the crowning jewel of the entire Faster Way to Fat Loss franchise?
They encourage pregnant and postpartum/breastfeeding women to follow the program. FWTFL also highly recommends a gluten and dairy-free diet through the entire process for breastfeeding women. But just in case they’re concerned that hey, maybe they shouldn’t be DIETING that early after giving birth, the program talks about how the diet won’t hurt their milk supply.
I just can’t.
Having birthed two babies myself and counselled hundreds of postpartum women, I’ll say this:
It’s not only about milk supply, although that’s very important to consider, too. It’s about being kind to your body instead of forcing it to get rid of the weight you put on over the last 10 months. It’s about spending your time with your baby instead of trying to fit into your jeans 5 weeks after you produced a human being. It’s about normalizing postpartum bodies instead of teaching women that they’re gross and need to be shrunk ASAP.
FWTFL also gives us this gem: “Teenagers can safely participate in the program (with a parent) and with doctor approval. ”
OMFG. I think my soul just threw up a little. NEVER put your child on a diet. EVER.
Will I lose weight on Faster Way to Fat Loss?
Probably, but not because any or all of these diets are magical unicorn weight removers. You’ll lose because you’re inevitably eating fewer calories than you did before you started. You’re probably eating differently, too – especially if you were consuming a ton of ultra-processed food beforehand. It’s not science, it’s common sense.
The Faster Way to Fat Loss works because it cuts calories moderately while improving diet quality…and because you’re on THREE DIETS AT ONE TIME!! WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!
Listen: if I felt the need to oppress myself with a trio of concurrent diets and all of this tracking and counting, I’d question whether my goals were realistic and worth the effort and cost benefit of this messed-up situation.
Some people like the rigour of it. I personally wouldn’t recommend it.
Listen. If you want to obsess yourself with losing weight by counting everything, then Faster Way to Fat Loss might be for you. But I caution you to consider what a program like this can do to your relationship with food.
Drilling everything down to numbers can dissociate you from your internal cues and also be extremely restrictive. Counting – especially this much of it – can be triggering for people who are at risk of disordered eating. And even though you can ignore her pseudoscientific claims, Tress’s science can be extremely off.
The layperson might not recognize that.
All in all, I would not recommend this program simply because it’s intense AF and probably not sustainable for the average person, for the long-term.