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  • Becoming "fat adapted".

    Becoming a fat burning beast, being fat adapted, your body preferring fat for fuel. People throw around these terms around here all the time but what does this actually mean? Its it just sceudo/bro-science or is thee actually anything to it?

    When i think of being fat adapted, the only thing that it could mean is being in full ketosis. But even if you eat a tiny meal of carbs your body will automatically use those for fuel first. So your body never actually prefers burning fat and you never actually become better at burning it. Only if your starve your body of a carb source will it dip into fat stores more often. Also it will just use dietary protein or lean mass to make up the carbs to balance the carb/fat burning ratio.

    So is there actually anything to these sayings or are they just catch phrases used to sell books?

  • #2
    Have you read Marks book or any other paleo book?
    Have you bothered to read any part of this forum?
    Seriously, do you have nothing better to do than try to cause arguments?

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    • #4
      Fat adaptation doesn't necessarily mean being carb-free or in ketosis all the time (although that's certainly one way to go about it). Fat adaptation is primarilly being in a state where carb intake matches activity level. When this is the case, you can effectively burn through your carbs and once you have, you begin to utilize fats for your primary fuel source.

      Being able to utilize fats as a fuel source is the key to being "adapted." it can take a little bit of time for your body to adjust to utilizing fat for fuel, but this is normal when you make any sort of change to your diet, your body has to get used to it. Even positive changes. As for the accusation that your body will "catabolize protein" to make glucose, the answer is, technically, yes. But this does not have to come from your muscles as long as you are consuming adequate amounts of dietary protein on a daily basis. In addition, the body needs very LITTLE glucose for proper functioning, so it makes what it needs, easily burns through it, and returns to fat burning once these needs have been fulfilled.

      Above all, the body needs "calories" to fuel it's metabolic processes and does not really care if these are from carbs or fat beyond the little amount of glucose needed for certain very specific processes. It will use what you feed the body. Feed it carbs, it burns carbs. Feed it fat, it burns fat.
      "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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      • #5
        Yes, it's "catch phrases" and mistaken science as well, because the burning of fat or free fatty acids in your blood is something that the body does most of the time. If you are resting or do low intensity work, then the body will burn fatty acids and the brain will get glucose from the liver. More intensity and the body will burn mostly glucose. So everything depends of activity level that's the main determinant of what fuel the body uses...
        "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

        - Schopenhauer

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        • #6
          In my experience there is a gradient. If I eat a lot of high-carb foods, then I have to keep eating a lot of high-carb foods, and easily gain weight and stay hungry. When I eat more high-fat foods, not only do I stay full longer because fat digests slower, I also lose body fat easily. Protein is the real deal-breaker, though. Low protein will keep me hungry no matter what else I do.
          Crohn's, doing SCD

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          • #7
            The way i understand it and feel it it is adapting your body to use a blend of both fuels, rather than running on glucose alone and storing the dietary fat.

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            • #8
              And Zach, weren't you low carb for a while?
              If so you did this without understanding any of that??

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              • #9
                Originally posted by Drumroll View Post
                Fat adaptation doesn't necessarily mean being carb-free or in ketosis all the time (although that's certainly one way to go about it). Fat adaptation is primarilly being in a state where carb intake matches activity level. When this is the case, you can effectively burn through your carbs and once you have, you begin to utilize fats for your primary fuel source.

                Your body is always in a state of carb and fat burning. The only time this might not be true is if you severely overeat carbs and then its would be storing fat but im unsure if there is ever a time where the body wont choose one or the other for certain things.

                Being able to utilize fats as a fuel source is the key to being "adapted." it can take a little bit of time for your body to adjust to utilizing fat for fuel, but this is normal when you make any sort of change to your diet, your body has to get used to it. Even positive changes. As for the accusation that your body will "catabolize protein" to make glucose, the answer is, technically, yes. But this does not have to come from your muscles as long as you are consuming adequate amounts of dietary protein on a daily basis. In addition, the body needs very LITTLE glucose for proper functioning, so it makes what it needs, easily burns through it, and returns to fat burning once these needs have been fulfilled.

                Only when you are in a deficit of calories would your body want to dip into your fat stores or use ingested fast for more energy. I have seen people who are not trying to lose fat still be told to eat high fat to become a "fat burner", this just seems wrong.

                It wasnt an accusation, more of a fact and i did say that it will come from dietary protein as well. As for your assumption that the body needs very little glucose, i highly doubt that unless one is in a state of deep ketosis, almost all here are not. The brain alone needs anywhere from 30-120g of glucose a day. Then think about how much the body needs to keep blood sugar at normal ranges and anything else.

                Also i do not believe the body will ever burn through its glycogen stores, there will always need ot be glycogen in the liver for blood glucose levels and some in muscles for anything strenuous.


                Above all, the body needs "calories" to fuel it's metabolic processes and does not really care if these are from carbs or fat beyond the little amount of glucose needed for certain very specific processes. It will use what you feed the body. Feed it carbs, it burns carbs. Feed it fat, it burns fat.

                I dont think this is correct either. Yes your body will use what you feed it but it will use different macros by different mechanisms so its not as simple as eat fat = burn fat.

                My responses in bold.

                Ayla, yes i ate low carb. Mark and Robb can be very convincing, that does not meant they are correct.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by Graycat View Post
                  The way i understand it and feel it it is adapting your body to use a blend of both fuels, rather than running on glucose alone and storing the dietary fat.
                  But then how could you lose fat on a high carb diet? This is why im questioning if there is such thing as a more efficient fat burner.

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                  • #11
                    And what they are the only 2 who have ever said anything about being fat adapted?

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Ayla2010 View Post
                      And what they are the only 2 who have ever said anything about being fat adapted?
                      Find me anyone credible who talks about it and i will read.

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                      • #13
                        If you're burning through all of your carbs, then from that point on you are still burning fat even if you're not in a caloric deficit. You're just burning dietary fats rather than body fat. And in that case your body still stores the excess calories as fat on the body. Calories in, calories out still matters, even if you are a certified "fat burning machine" to quote Mark.

                        The body is constantly burning carbs, yes. The key is to feed it only what it needs based on your relative activity level so that the bulk of the calories you are burning would still be fat. The problem a lot of people run into with becoming "fat adapted" is either they are eating too many carbs and then complain why they aren't adapted yet, but their activity levels don't support the amount of carbs they are eating, or conversely you get the people who go TOO low on carbs that they feel like shit. Different strokes for different folks. You can make a full on ketogenic diet work great for you, or you can adapt to your activity level. And frankly, most people seem to be doing the latter these days. This is fine, but experimenting to find your appropriate level of carbs is essential. You can't just pick some arbitrary number. It takes work and fine-tuning to find out what level you feel best at.

                        Your body can never truly 100% deplete your glycogen. It does need to preserve a little for emergency situations (think if you had to escape from a predator in the wild), but it can become low enough that the body prefers to use fat EXCEPT in case of emergency. I think the body is smart enough to realize when glycogen is that low and knows that it should be preserved except in dire need. And if you're doing your best to stay healthy, live a stress-free life, and get plenty of sleep, then you hopefully aren't having to dip into these "emergency" stores of glycogen too often and are hopefully maintaining a largely fat-burning state. The body says basically "I am in no need of glycogen right now and it is very low so I'll use fat instead, to preserve as much of that glycogen as I can."
                        "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Drumroll View Post
                          If you're burning through all of your carbs, then from that point on you are still burning fat even if you're not in a caloric deficit. You're just burning dietary fats rather than body fat. And in that case your body still stores the excess calories as fat on the body. Calories in, calories out still matters, even if you are a certified "fat burning machine" to quote Mark.

                          The body is constantly burning carbs, yes. The key is to feed it only what it needs based on your relative activity level so that the bulk of the calories you are burning would still be fat. The problem a lot of people run into with becoming "fat adapted" is either they are eating too many carbs and then complain why they aren't adapted yet, but their activity levels don't support the amount of carbs they are eating, or conversely you get the people who go TOO low on carbs that they feel like shit. Different strokes for different folks. You can make a full on ketogenic diet work great for you, or you can adapt to your activity level. And frankly, most people seem to be doing the latter these days. This is fine, but experimenting to find your appropriate level of carbs is essential. You can't just pick some arbitrary number. It takes work and fine-tuning to find out what level you feel best at.

                          Your body can never truly 100% deplete your glycogen. It does need to preserve a little for emergency situations (think if you had to escape from a predator in the wild), but it can become low enough that the body prefers to use fat EXCEPT in case of emergency. I think the body is smart enough to realize when glycogen is that low and knows that it should be preserved except in dire need. And if you're doing your best to stay healthy, live a stress-free life, and get plenty of sleep, then you hopefully aren't having to dip into these "emergency" stores of glycogen too often and are hopefully maintaining a largely fat-burning state. The body says basically "I am in no need of glycogen right now and it is very low so I'll use fat instead, to preserve as much of that glycogen as I can."
                          What if instead of your theory that the body will just slow down its glucose burning and use more fat, it just uses more protein to refill glycogen stores? The body has tons of amino acids stored as well as getting it from diet so wouldnt it notice that it is low on glycogen and start gluconeogenesis.

                          And so what if there is no such thing as being a fat burning beast? Is your body always going to be getting the same amount of fuel from glucose and fat no matter what the macro ratio, it will just get it via different pathways?

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Zach View Post
                            And so what if there is no such thing as being a fat burning beast? Is your body always going to be getting the same amount of fuel from glucose and fat no matter what the macro ratio, it will just get it via different pathways?
                            Humans are fat burning beast by default and everybody are perfectly adapted to it already. Most of the day and night you burn fat and some glucose, and occasionally ketone bodies, thats how human physiology works...
                            "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                            - Schopenhauer

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