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ATB BB Series 8: The Low Fat Diet / Zero Oil Cooking Technique

In my quest to lose weight, I tried a number of different diets, one of which was the "Zero Oil" cooking technique. The premise of this diet is simple - All oil / fat is bad for your health, and fruits, vegetables, grains etc contain all the fat you need. There is no need to add anymore oil / fat to the diet and therefore all cooking should be done without any oil.

Food cooked as per this method, simply replaced the oil used in cooking with water. So instead of a spoonful of butter, you'll add a spoonful of water to your kadai and then proceed to cook pretending that the water is oil. You also don't add butter / fat / oil or anything in high fat to your food - like cheese spreads or cream. One drinks double toned skim milk in very small quantities. You cannot eat fried food and vegetables that need oil for cooking like bitter gourd cannot be consumed.

I was on this diet for 6 freaking months, and during this period I ate home cooked food only. I stopped eating outside, began gymming close to 3 times a week and the result - I must have lost around a measly 5 kgs.

The diet seems, on the surface, highly effective as it cuts down on fat - which we have come to think of as the root of all evil. If followed as suggested, your diet will contain less than 10% fat. Sounds awesome? It isn't because now on the flipside, your diet is heavily carbohydrate based - close to 70%. The reason is that in nature, high quality protein is never or rather rarely found without fat. Think of eggs - the fat rich yolk, meat has fat, milk has fat. Carbohydrates, as we know, activate the secretion of Insulin, which is one of the principle hormones of fattening. On this zero-oil almost vegetarian diet, as a result one hardly loses any weight.

Fat in food plays another very important function - satiety  That feeling of fullness. Eliminate it and you will soon discover that your stomach starts acting like a bottomless pit. The absence of fat means that you need to eat more to feel full and also eat more frequently - like every two hours. If you resist, trying to control your calories, you will be assailed with intense hunger. On this Zero Oil / Low Fat diet, you are essentially starving to obesity.

It is difficult to subsist on boiled food (which is essentially what zero oil food becomes over time), in order to introduce some interest in your diet, you will soon turn to sugar in the form of fruits & fruit juices. Fruits are healthy but in moderation, which means not more than two servings a week. On the zero oil diet, one tends to eat a lot more fruit or sweet food for two reasons - first it is oil free, secondly you will be so hungry all the time that you will end up snacking on fruits in order to limit your caloric intake.

This is how I eat now :)

After about 4 months of the diet and gymming I had barely lost 3-4 kgs. The next two months were relatively gym-less because of a intense work schedule, and my weight loss platued out. At the end of 6 months I had just 5 kgs of loss, and soon the reverse happened. I not only regained all the weight back, and put on some more. All on this low fat / zero oil diet.

I am sure there will be some people for whom the Low Fat / Zero Oil diet would have worked beautifully. That only underlines the differences in our body metabolism. Everything may not work for everyone. This post was just to recount my experience with the diet & some possible reasons it went so wrong.

Have you tried the Low Fat / Zero Oil diet? What has been your experience? 


  1. I am the only "gool gool" in my family and for me no oil is next to impossible ...

    when i go to my mom's house i alwayssss fight with her ... see how girls get special attention when they go to their mayka .. but my mom says .... see yourself first .... you have already being attended overly :( :( :(

  2. I haven't tried going on a complete 'zero-fat' diet, but yes, I do have some good recipes I some times make and those include meat. If you like, I might come up with recipes and photos as well :P

  3. Hi Tanveer, I have been a silent reader of your blog and I am amazed with your weight loss. I am around 5 kgs overweight but no matter what I do , I am unable to reduce. I am a strict vegetarian, I don't eat eggs too. Do you have any vegetarian recipes for this diet plan? If so, please do share.

  4. hey, its been over 2 weeks i am following your diet...aka atkins like'.I have eliminated wheat completely, i tried going zero grains- couldn't so i eat little of bajra/jowar rotla,and mostly replace it with whole mong and chana. i snack on peanuts dry fruits and cheeses.Have started eating fish and chicken lot more.No breads,no biscuits, no pastries/cakes or any indian sweets. i eat fruits prolly 3-4 times a week.

    I have lost only 1 kg as yet but i feel less hungry main problem is when i go out to eat...our community and meeting people is around food.Th religious meets are also about food.The food is largely rice based with little nonveg and lot of sweets. so i have to figure out what to eat outside.This is also a reason i couldn't cut out grains completely.

    Keep sharing your experiences and perspectives.

  5. Hey tanveer!
    Thanks for this post!I just wanted to ask you, how should we cook all these vegetables. Like in order to increase fat intake would it be feasible to cook in ghee instead of oil. I was going through atkins, and i read that food should not be cooked in much oil.
    So like making vegetables/egg in ghee/butter would affect negatively kya?

  6. nicee post :)i haven't tried a complete zero-fat diet...

  7. Zero fat diet really works. It works for me. But don't restrict you fat intake too much because there health risk too. Health risk like depression, health cancer risk, and a lot more. Our body need fats too for some reason.



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