If you’re planning to cut on carb consumption, you’re on your way to becoming fat-adapted. But what does it really mean to be fat-adapted?
Simply put, being fat-adapted is the metabolic state one achieves once their body transitions from burning carbs or sugars for energy to burning fats for energy. This happens after your body has stayed in ketosis for some time.
It all starts with a keto diet and reduced carb intake. At this point, your body starts to burn off the carbs left and glycogen stores.
Once all the carbs are cleared, the body starts burning fat reserves from within, and gradually becomes dependent on fats for energy. In other words, you become fully fat-adapted
How to Become Fat-Adapted
You must go through ketosis to become fully fat-adapted. The first step is to get on a high-fat ketogenic diet and minimize your carb intake. It’s important to note that we aren’t doing away with carb consumption completely, but rather controlling the intake amount.
Switching to a diet low in carbs but high in fats transitions your body into a ketosis state after a few days. During this time, your daily carb intake shouldn’t exceed 50 grams. After some time, the amount could even go as low as 20 grams per day. But reduce the amounts slowly to give your body time to adjust.
Dropping your carb intake amount from 100 grams to 20 grams in a single day can affect your body metabolism and consequently affect you negatively. You may experience nausea, headaches, and other symptoms commonly known as keto flu. It literary makes you feel sick.
For a smooth transition, reduce the amounts little by little as you include more protein and healthy fats in your diet. This is to ensure your body gets sufficient calories during the transition period.
As you work on reducing your carb and sugar intake, be sure to stick to foods rich in dietary fiber. These foods help your body to control blood sugar levels, and since they’re not digested by the body, they don’t spike carb levels in the body. Therefore, it’s easier for the body to fully transition to ketosis.
Other foods that make the ketogenic diet include healthy fats, such as coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, and MCT oil. We also have high-quality proteins, such as eggs, chicken, beef, and dairy products.
How Long Does It Take to Become Fully Fat-Adapted?
It takes discipline and determination to stick to a keto diet, keeping in mind that only after ketosis can you become fat-adapted.
It might take one between four and twelve weeks while on a keto diet to start transitioning to a fat-adapted state. Even so, it all depends on how strictly you adhere to the low-carb, high-fat diet. For some, it could take longer to become fat-adapted after entering ketosis.
Transitioning into a fat-burning state happens in two phases: the initial and the second phases. The initial phase lasts between four and fourteen days, depending on your body’s metabolism. During this phase, the body burns the body-stored carbs in the form of glucose or glycogen. You may experience keto flu or carb withdrawal symptoms, indicating that your body needs some replacements for the carbs lost.
This phase is quite challenging, and one may quit at this point. However, it’s advisable to drink plenty of water and eat more fats to get over the symptoms and transition to the next phase smoothly.
The second phase lasts for about six to eight weeks. At this point, your body is already adjusting to the fat-burning state, so it isn’t as challenging as the initial state. Here, your body has cleared most of the carbs stored in it, and now it’s burning stored fats and fats from the foods consumed. You can remain in this phase for many weeks until your body achieves a fat-burning state – known as the maintenance mode.
It’s important to note that fat-adaptation is a gradual process. While endurance athletes on a strict keto diet may start seeing results as soon as two weeks, the body needs time to fully adjust to a fat-adapted state.
The good thing is that, once you reach a fat-adapted state, a high carb intake in a single day won’t double your ketone and blood-glucose numbers as it would do while you were transitioning to a keto diet.
What Shows You’re Fat-Adapted?
If you’ve been on a low-carb, high-fat diet for some time, you should experience the following symptoms.
- Reduced Cravings And Hunger: When you stick to a keto diet, after some time, you’ll be able to go longer without eating between meals. Usually, you can go without food for up to six hours or even more. However, there’s no scientific evidence to prove how long one can remain in this state.
- Consistent Energy Flow: If your body is in the fat-adapted state, you should only experience a few energy dips during the day. Since your body has fully adjusted to a fat-burning state, the fats available meet your body’s energy demands.
- No More Carbs For Energy: To know that you’ve achieved the fat-adapted state, you should be able to endure heavy workouts without adding carbs to your diet. At this point, your body has sufficient facts to support your body’s metabolism.
Is Being Fat-Adapted Healthy?
The low-carb, high-fat diet is good in that high-fat intake helps you to stay without feeling hungry for a longer time. That’s good news for those on a journey to lose weight.
On the flip side, low-carb intake is associated with atrial fibrillation. Therefore, it’s not a favorable diet for those with heart conditions.
Nevertheless, there’s no scientific evidence to prove the long-term effects of the keto diet.
Since fat-adaption begins with ketosis, it’s important to strictly adhere to the low-carb, high-fat diet. Just like any other diet, it takes discipline and determination to achieve your goal – to become fat-adapted. Even as you focus on the benefits, don’t forget the health effects that come with it.