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1-2 weeks for reasonable adaptation. This based on how long the carb-flu symptoms last. You probably can't intermittent fast at this point.
4-6 weeks for full adaptation. This is based on how long the "leptin reset" takes to work, aka ketogenic diet with some specific rules. You can definitely intermittent fast at this point. You can fully utilize fats for energy.
I've been wondering about this myself. I am right at the 4 week mark and I'm still weaker than I was, get light headed and tired more easily lifting things at work. It's gotten a lot better...was feeling like ass two weeks ago. Still, everyone else claims they have more energy, feel stronger now. Is there anything to be done or not done in order to become fat adapted quicker? Will simply eating more fats and less carbs speed up the adaption? I want to gain weight so I don't want to have carbs under 100, but I do want to become fat adapted quicker.
It looks like there are a couple of things going on here.
1) keto-adapted. You are doing low-carb and your body is producing ketones, aka breaking down fat for energy.
In this case, all you need to do is stop eating carbs. You'll go into ketosis after around 24 hours. At this point, you'll break down fat into ketones to fuel your brain. As I understand it, when you can adequately fuel your brain from just protein and fat, then you're keto adapted. While you're adapting to using ketones, you feel mentally sluggish and crappy. That's carb-flu. When you're keto adapted, you don't feel crappy when you restrict carbohydrates from your diet.
2) Using fat as a primary fuel.
This has to due with circulating insulin levels. I'm sure leptin ties into here too. When insulin levels are high, your body stores fat and uses glucose. What happens if you're insulin resistant and eating low-carb? You can't get fuel to your cells even though there is adequate fat being released from your fat cells. You can't use the fat because insulin is signalling your cells to use glucose first. So then you get hypoglycemic and hungry. If you can get rid of the insulin resistance (and presumably leptin resistance too) you can then start using the fat from your diet instead of storing it. This process can take a while.
What can speed it up? I'm going to go with eating low carb, high saturated fat, moderate protein, eating 2-3 times a day with no snacking, and lifting heavy things. Aka "leptin reset," but I don't think there's anything magical or awesome about the leptin reset program. It's a calorie restricted program that promotes insulin sensitivity, fat burning and ketone usage. Along with getting good sleep, I think those are the pertinent factors for rapidly become a fat burner/keto-adapted individual.
Hmm, so if one consumes 100-150 g of carbs a day with a moderate protein, high fat diet, will that amount of carbs cause one to not adjust to using fats because sugar levels are almost high enough to fuel off of, but not so high that you have much energy, putting one into an awkward in between? I'm guessing fat adaption must happen even at these levels of carbs, or Mark or Robb, or any of the other paleo/primal advocates would stress this more. Or maybe I missed it!
Yes, I think the Mark and Rob are correct. You'll become fat adapted. It might take longer than if you do some hardcore VLC program or whatever, but it will definitely get you there. If you find that you aren't where you want to be within a few months, then maybe look into the more strict programs. A lot of people have had great success with the PB and Paleo Solution.