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Thread: how do you know if you're fat-adapted? page

  1. #1
    secondclass's Avatar
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    how do you know if you're fat-adapted?

    Primal Fuel
    What is fat-adapted, really? I don't understand anything about it except that "your body burns fat as a primary fuel instead of glucose" It's not just another word for ketosis? I know I'm not in ketosis.

    For example today I ate @70 grams of carbs; not nearly enough calories to fuel an entire day, so glucose can't possibly be my primary fuel? But people say you have to 'become' fat-adapted; which sounds like there's more to it simply getting more calories from fat than from carbs.

    And they say it's difficult to become fat-adapted; I switched to Primal eating 2 weeks ago and there's been nothing difficult about it.

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    you actually understand this far better than many people! you are running on fat, and you're not in ketosis. it works precisely as you've surmised. 70 grams of carbs gave you 280 calories - ergo you're running on something other than sugar.

    your body runs on whatever you feed it. feed it more fat, it burns more fat. feed it more sugar, it burns more sugar. feed it fewer calories than you expend, and it burns stored fat.

    keto-adaptation sucks and is completely unecessary. you're doing well!

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    You dont find being low-carb a struggle any more. Your body is using other things for energy (fat!)
    www.healthfreakrevolution.com

    No more diets. No more stress. Health made easy. Living made incredible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sihana View Post
    A good way to tell if you are fat adapted is to be able to fast for longer periods of time without the repercussions usually associated by sugar burning, such as lightheadedness and mental fog.
    This. Plus if you did some kind of aerobic activity before and can reach the same or better performance than you could before, then you are fat adapted. For me this took significantly more than 3 days. More like a couple of months. Nowadays I can switch faster, but that first time was a bitch.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

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    I've been IFing leangains-style (14-18 hours a day) for about 9 months, perhaps that helped. I've noticed after eating a Primal meal I feel energized instead of sluggish and tired, as with a carb-heavy meal. Primal is cool.

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    "Fat adapted" doesn't mean anything in and of itself. I cringe every time he writes the phrase "fat burning beast" because it gives people the impression that there is some metabolic advantage to a low carb/high fat diet, which is a total lie. Your caloric intake is going to predominantly determine whether or not you gain or lose weight, not whether or not your body is running on dietary fat or glucose. You need to take in less fuel than your body requires so you burn STORED FAT, so it doesn't matter if you're topping yourself off with dietary fat or dietary carbs. You're not going to burn stored fat until you run out of either of them.

    What it means is that you have stable blood glucose - you don't have to eat carbs in 3 hour intervals to keep hypoglycemia at bay. If you can wake up at 6am for work, skip breakfast and fast until lunch without getting lightheaded or irritable, that means you probably have reasonably stable blood glucose and can efficiently burn fat as fuel. If you bottom out, feel light-headed and cranky, you probably have issues with blood glucose. The majority of us are "fat adapted" even on the SAD since metabolic dysfunction is still the exception and not the norm. Mark is simply stating that if you keep carbs low enough (he claims <150g/day), you aren't getting sufficient calories from glucose, meaning for the majority of the day you're burning dietary (or hopefully stored) fat as fuel.
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 06-14-2012 at 11:27 AM.
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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by secondclass View Post
    What is fat-adapted, really?
    Here you go -- Mark's editorial on the topic:

    Why Fat, Not Carbs, Are the Preferred Fuel for the Human Body | Mark's Daily Apple


    (As a matter of fact, he linked it from today's post:

    How to Fuel Ultra-Distances: The World’s Toughest Mudder | Mark's Daily Apple )


    It's not just another word for ketosis?
    No.

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    I've beeneating this way for about 4 months now,
    1st month was 3 meals/day with lots of snacks (fruit & nuts) in between, no counting of anything
    2nd month snacks & cravings eased up and basically just the three meals
    3rd month no breakfast, IF 16/8, starting to look at carb intake, probably still over 150g
    4th month 1 meal/day in evening and carbs probably just under 150g
    During this time have also been ramping up exercise program and improving in overall fitness markers and have lost about 6kg (12lb), so am working my way up to a weekly 40hr fast and looking to push carbs under 100g by eliminating starchy tubers and reducing fruit intake a bit.

    I thought I was doing reasonably well in the fat adaptation stakes, but had an interesting experience the other day, decided to drop the coffee for a while, detox a bit as I have been going over the top somewhat, well the first thing I noticed is I got hungry by lunch time and decided to eat, bacon & eggs, yet the fat didn't totally apease me, so added a few bits of fruit & nuts and was set for the rest of the day.
    I can only assume that I still have a way to go with the fat adaptation and the coffee was artificially stimulating fatty acid release, hence staving off the hunger, but without it I was feeling the effects of low blood sugar (hunger) and assume this means my fasting Insulin is still too high for the seamless transition from glucose to fat burning.
    So my goal now is to get through the 24 hour fast without any coffee and with a workout included in the fasted state.
    Just not sure how easy it will be to resist the coffee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    "Your caloric intake is going to predominantly determine whether or not you gain or lose weight, not whether or not your body is running on dietary fat or glucose. You need to take in less fuel than your body requires so you burn STORED FAT, so it doesn't matter if you're topping yourself off with dietary fat or dietary carbs. You're not going to burn stored fat until you run out of either of them.
    It's not as simple as 'calories in, calories out'. For some people that works, but for some of us it doesn't. I've proven this in the past when I was monitoring calories and cycling them - ie my BMR was for example 2500 calories and I was doing one day 1800 calories, then I'd do a couple of days on 1200, on on 1500, one on 1000 then back to a day on 1800 (I can't remember the exact numbers). It made no difference to my weight. At the time I was running or walking 6 days a week in the morning and doing a 1 hour of resistance at the gym 5 or 6 days a week.

    Body chemistry, hormones, thyroid, food allergies and other things all can play a part in preventing the weight loss. It's not uncommon to see overweight women in particular who actually eat very little food, however for many just removing grains from their diet will make a difference - not because of the reduction in calories but because of the change in body chemistry and hormones.

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    I can tell that I am fat adapted because I can intermittent fast for 16 to 24 hours without getting hungry. If you can do that then you know you are fat adapted.

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