One of the terms that you will most likely encounter when going on a keto diet is “fat-adapted.” When you’re fat adapted, you’ll be able to burn your stored body fats into energy. This means that those annoying love handles that you have can be used to power you through your workout. Sounds interesting right? Read on to find out more about fat adaptation and how you can actually tell that you’re already in this metabolic state.
What is Fat-Adapted?
Although there is some controversy over what fat adapted means Leanne Vogel, Nutrition educator and keto enthusiast describes fat adapted as this:
When you first begin eating ketogenic, your glycogen stores drain, and ketones begin to generate. In this first period of transition on the keto diet, your body doesn’t quite understand that fat has the potential to be your primary fuel. Your body will be creating ketones, and you’ll test positive for them, but your body won’t be fully fat adapted.
Being fat adapted is state of pure fat-burning where your body has climatized to low-carb eating enough that it sees fat as its primary fuel source. This fat adaptation process can take two, three, sometimes four weeks to complete after beginning to eat keto.
If you are fat adapted, it simply means you have restricted your carb consumption enough to induce your body to burn fats for energy. Fat adaptation can occur at varying degrees across a spectrum depending upon the degree of one’s restriction of carbs.
Fat adapted is a term used in the ketogenic lifestyle to describe your body’s ability to change from being a sugar burner to fat burner. The time that it will take to become fat adapted will greatly vary depending upon the person.
When you are fat adapted, your body is capable of metabolic flexibility, which means that it could switch between using sugar or stored fats in performing its everyday functions.
In order to reach the level of fat adaptation, you need to go through these steps:
• Limit the number of carbs that you consume.
• Eat a good amount of healthy fats.
• Monitor your intake of high-quality protein.
By reducing your intake of carbs, your body will be able to immediately burn all the remaining carbs in your body including the stored glycogen. It will then tap into your excess fat storages in order to provide your body with the real boost that it needs in order to combat your day.
Related reading: 5 Top Tips for Getting Started on a Low Carb Diet
In fact, when you are fat adapted, you can go up to 4 to 6 hours in between meals without feeling hungry. According to Mark Sisson, the author of the book, The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever:
A fat-burning beast can effectively burn stored fat for energy throughout the day. If you can handle missing meals and are able to go hours without getting ravenous and cranky (or craving carbs), you’re likely fat-adapted.
How To Tell If I Am Fat-Adapted
Aside from being able to go through hours without feeling hungry, there are other ways to tell if you’re already fat-adapted. Here are some of them:
• Carb cravings disappear – the longer you are following a keto lifestyle, the less you’ll crave carbs and that’s a good sign that you’re already fat adapted. In this state, you can be with people eating cookies, cakes, and bread without going crazy for them. This is because you no longer have cravings for these foods.
• Feeling energized – when you’re fat adapted, you will feel more energized than before and your body will start to use your own fats to burn energy. It’s a constant energy that you’ll feel all throughout the day unlike before when you feel a bit lethargic and sleepy after eating mouthfuls of carbs!
• Better sleep – on the initial stage of your keto diet, you may have a difficulty sleeping. However, once your body becomes fat adapted, you’ll be able to enjoy better sleep. And unlike before when you feel tired upon waking up, you’ll feel more energized waking up if you’re already fat adapted.
It’s not easy getting into the fat-adapted state and getting started with the ketogenic lifestyle is definitely not a walk in the park. It takes a lot of hard work before you can start seeing success. But if you are really keen on the immense benefits of it and you seriously stick to the diet, you will surely be seeing major progress over time and enjoy the many benefits that come with the keto diet. In fact, becoming fat adapted is just a bonus of the keto lifestyle.