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Fat Adapted

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  • #16
    The thing to ask yourself is, while you were super low carb, were any negative symptoms improved for you? If not, then you probably don't have any carbohydrate intolerance or budding metabolic syndrome so probably don't need to go so low on carbs. Slower exercise may help you adjust to the reduced carbs, even the moderately reduced carbs.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


    • #17
      I suppose it's difficult to know when you're truly "fat adapted" or not. Honestly, I wouldn't have a clue. I seem to eat pretty low carb most days (some I'll be under 50g others probably 50-100g but I don't rigorously track). I haven't had any low carb flu... and I seem to do just fine low carb. On a day when I end up having too many carbs, I get through that okay and go back to low carb again without too many issues. I'm not sure what this means . Maybe it just means I'm metabolically flexible?! (When I do have a lot of carbs though, I seem to just want to eat and eat, however when I go back to lower carb and higher fat, I don't feel the desire to eat so much).

      I suppose the point is... do you need to lose weight? Is there something you think you can get out of being better fat adapted? I really don't have the answers. I'm in the process of losing weight, and low carb seems to work better for that (although the occasional high carb day doesn't seem to affect me too unduly as I can always get back on track again).

      I suppose I'm still trying to see the benefit of always being VLC... how will it ultimately help you? Unless you're struggling with something like being overweight despite eating quite low carbs... and wonder if going lower will help... I'm not sure I really, REALLY see a benefit to eating under 25g of carbs a day. Mark talks about being fat adapted, and yet he's not eating under 50g of carbs a day... so I don't think it's necessary.

      This all said, I'm totally not an expert . I'm still finding my way myself.


      • #18
        The benefit of being fat adapted or metabolically flexible is that if you are doing an activity that your body can use body fat for energy, it will use it and you'll have limitless energy available to you. If you aren't fat adapted, you'll have to fuel up with shot blocks or energy gels or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or whatever. Believe me, it sucks to not be fat adapted. I've been there. It was so bad I had to eat constantly. So long as I could eat and breathe at the same time, I'd be eating and I'd be hungry. When I wasn't eating, my stomach would be growling. That's probably worse than the normal athlete ever gets. The first time I ever experienced being fat adapted I was like, wow, I can just keep going and going and going! My buddy was the one who said Hey, let's stop and eat something, not me. What a difference!
        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


        • #19
          I agree sbhikes, it's nice to be able to think "ho hum, this looks like a lovely spot for a lunch break" and then sit and enjoy my apple and my jerky looking out at the view than to desperately fire down gels and sport drinks all the way up the mountain.

          I like being fat adapted, and it doesn't take living in ketosis all the time, but it does require not eating carbs beyond your glycogen requirements and making sure you use the fat-based and glucose-based metabolic pathways so they can both activate easily as needed.
          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

          Owly's Journal


          • #20
            Hi everyone,

            Thank you very much for your replies. I guess I should've included some more information when I posted! I'm not looking to lose weight (attached a photo below - no idea what my body fat is, but I'm 5 foot 5 inches and weighed 61.8kg this morning - if I go much lower I'd be worried about breaking my periods).

            The last two posts (Owly and sbhikes) basically sum up why I want to be fat adapted - to have energy and not be hindered by blood sugar crashes and the resulting grumpiness (there have been occasions when I've had to eat banana or face the fact I might stab people in the office ). I wanted to go keto for a time period (I thought a week would do it, but actually I think I might increase that to two) just to ensure that my body made the transition.

            I did 5 days last week but did a recarb on Saturday because I felt I needed it (I do high-intensty exercise but was also having some insomnia) which seems to have done the trick.

            Also I bought some Ketostix today. It showed a trace. I will test again tomorrow. I honestly don't expect it to show much more than that though as I think I am quite well adapted and I'm not sure my body would be excreting that many ketones - it's been a very long time since I ate what could be considered a high carb diet.

            I guess this whole area is quite complicated and very personal to the individual. I think after the end of this week I will move back to my normal diet (which is basically the same but with probably 50g less fat, 50g more tasty vegetables and 50g more protein) and consider the job done. In the last few weeks I have really noticed my tolerance for not eating all the time has gone way up. I used to be starving after training and have to eat straight away, but now I'm happy enough to leave it till a convenient time, or to actually spend the timing cooking something more complicated than tuna salad!

            It's been my first time in ketosis (never done Atkins or anything like that before - always thought it would be too hard - I can see now that was silly of me as eating all this fat is fantastic ) and it's been an interesting experience. I can see myself dipping back into it at time, especially as I do seem to have unintentionally leaned up a bit, which is cool for the end of summer!

            Anyhow, I am rambling so will stop now! Thanks again for your opinions and sorry to hijack this thread!

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