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FAT ADAPTED VS. KETOSIS: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

fat-adapted-vs-ketosis-whats-the-difference
<article> <section> <p>You know, or have heard, that ketosis is this magical state where your body burns a ton of fat. But in your research about the keto diet, perhaps you came across another term: <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/what-does-it-mean-to-be-fat-adapted/" rel="noreferrer"><i>fat adapted</i></a>.</p> <p>They <i>sound</i> like the same thing. And in ketosis your body is able to burn fat, which is also true if you’re fat adapted.</p> <p><i>So what’s the difference? Is there one? What do you need to know?</i></p> <p>The two <i>are </i> different, and understanding how they differ is important for making informed choices about <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/" rel="noreferrer">your nutrition</a>.</p> <p>In this article, we’ll break down what being fat adapted means, what being in ketosis means, and the differences between the two. You’re about to become a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/what-does-it-mean-to-be-fat-adapted/" rel="noreferrer">fat adapted</a> keto expert!</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-egg-avocado-blueberries-almonds-0214.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-egg-avocado-blueberries-almonds-0214.jp2" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-egg-avocado-blueberries-almonds-0214.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-egg-avocado-blueberries-almonds-LR-0214.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="keto-egg-avocado-blueberries-almonds-0214"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What Does It Mean To Be Fat Adapted?</header> <p>Being <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/what-does-it-mean-to-be-fat-adapted/" rel="noreferrer"><i>fat adapted</i></a> means your body is able to use fat as a fuel source instead of carbs. Most people rely primarily on carbs for energy. The way to change that is to eat fewer carbs and force your body to adjust to burning fat instead.</p> <p>Fat adaption takes time, and varies <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-into-ketosis/" rel="noreferrer">depending on the individual</a>. It could take only a few days, but up to 10 days is totally normal <sup>1</sup>.</p> <div class="sub-head">Fastest Way To Get Fat Adapted</div> <p>To speed up fat adaption, eat fewer carbs, up your fat and protein intake, and exercise. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/a-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting-women/" rel="noreferrer">Intermittent fasting</a> can also speed up the process.</p> <p>And to <i>ease</i> your adaptation (and avoid the symptoms of keto flu, which are common <sup>2</sup>), up your salt and water intake. You’ll lose a bunch of electrolytes while switching over, which may deplete energy levels.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What Does Being In Ketosis Mean?</header> <p>Whether or not you’re in ketosis, or <b><i>keto-adapted</i></b>, has to do with actual measurements. We’ll keep the science simple here, then lay it out in practical terms in the next few sections.</p> <p>Ketosis means there are between .5 and 3.0 millimoles of ketone bodies per liter of blood <sup>3</sup>.</p> <p>Between .5 and 1.0 mmol/l is considered “light nutritional ketosis,” while the “sweet spot” for weight loss is between 1.5 and 3.0 mmol/l.</p> <p>We know what you’re thinking: <i>Milli-what? How many liters of moles</i>?</p> <p>Don’t worry, you don’t need to memorize these numbers to lose weight. And once you get used to being in <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/ketosis-and-brain-function/" rel="noreferrer">ketosis</a>, you’ll know what it feels like.</p> <p>These numbers are most applicable for people using ketosis to treat type II diabetes. Most commonly, people using home test strips which measure ketone bodies in your urine or blood.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Keto Adapted vs. Fat Adapted—What’s The Difference?</header> <p>Both keto and fat adaption require you to restrict carbs. Both mean you’re burning fat as a fuel source.</p> <p>The difference is this: being fat adapted works on a spectrum. You’ve restricted carbs and are likely decreasing dependency on them. But, depending on how fat adapted you are, your body may still be getting energy from small amounts of glucose <sup>4</sup>.</p> <p>On the other hand, being in ketosis means <i>physiological systems in your body have changed</i>. You’ve depleted your body of carbs to the point that your liver is now producing ketone bodies<sup>5</sup>.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/couple-cooking-healthy-kitchen-0214.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/couple-cooking-healthy-kitchen-0214.jp2" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/couple-cooking-healthy-kitchen-0214.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/couple-cooking-healthy-kitchen-LR-0214.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="couple-cooking-healthy-kitchen-0214"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Quick Review…</header> <p>We know: that was a lot of info.</p> <p>Science is great, but our guess is you’re interested in using keto to lose weight or get healthy.</p> <p>Put that white lab coat back on the shelf, and try to remember these four things:</p> <ol> <li>Becoming fat adapted takes time, but exercise, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/how-to-use-intermittent-fasting-to-accelerate-your/" rel="noreferrer">intermittent fasting</a> and depleting carbs speed the process up.</li> <li>It also takes time to get into ketosis. Consider other factors like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/water-fasting-what-it-is-and-how-to-do-it-right/" rel="noreferrer">drinking enough water</a> and taking in enough electrolytes to help you.</li> <li>Fat adapted runs on a spectrum. Depending on how fat adapted you are, you might still be burning trace amounts of carbs.</li> <li>Being in ketosis means physiological changes have taken place. Your liver is now producing ketones and you’re running solely on fat storages.</li> </ol> <p>Now, let’s wrap up by answering two questions you might have about being fat and keto adapted.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>How Do I Go Deeper Into Ketosis?</header> <p>Pop quiz: <i>How many millimoles per liter of ketones do you need to be in ketosis</i>?</p> <p>Just kidding. But the answer is .5mmol/l. And the weight loss “sweet spot” is between 1.5 mmol/l and 3.0 mmol/l.</p> <p>Now, you may be wondering: can you go beyond 3.0 mmol/l? And will that help you lose weight even faster?</p> <p>You can, in fact, go further into ketosis. The range goes up to 8.0 mmol/L. That’s typically achieved through fasting and increasing the fat-to-protein ratio in your diet <sup>6</sup>.</p> <p>But there’s a reason we call 1.5 to 3.0 mmol/L the “sweet spot.” Anything beyond 3.0 is really only useful for people with diseases like metabolic syndrome <sup>7</sup>.</p> <p>You won’t lose weight faster or feel as good. Worse still, you’ll miss out on the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-energy-how-the-keto-diet-combats-fatigue/" rel="noreferrer">high levels of energy</a> most people describe once they’re keto adapted.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>How Often Should You Carb Up On Keto?</header> <p>You may also wonder if periodically carbing up on keto is normal. Since you may still burn carbs even when you’re fat adapted, does it matter? And are there any benefits to eating carbs?</p> <p>For starters, if you eat too many carbs, you won’t stay fat adapted.</p> <p>But intentionally eating carbs <i>sometimes</i> is actually a popular—and effective—approach for keto. It’s called the <i>cyclical ketogenic diet</i>, meaning you eat very few carbs for several days in a row, then go back to burning glucose temporarily <sup>8</sup>. Then, you repeat the cycle.</p> <p>Warrior Made’s <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/keto/14-day-diet-upgrade/" rel="noreferrer">14-Day Diet</a> plan is a perfect example.</p> <p>After 12 days of limiting carbs, you “earn” a full cheat day on day 13. Carbs and other indulgences are welcomed. On day 14, you kick-start your fat-burning efforts by fasting and hitting a killer workout. Because your muscles are full of glucose, you’re able to really push yourself.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-avocado-breakfast-sandwich-0214.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-avocado-breakfast-sandwich-0214.jp2" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-avocado-breakfast-sandwich-0214.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-avocado-breakfast-sandwich-LR-0214.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="keto-avocado-breakfast-sandwich-0214"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Fat Adapted Vs. Ketosis—Wrapping Up</header> <p>You made it! Fat adapted and keto adapted are similar, but now you know the difference, which is good for <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-set-realistic-fitness-goals-you-can-achieve/" rel="noreferrer">setting goals</a> and the initial adjustments your body must make for a high-fat diet.</p> <p>Use this information to inform your eating choices. Tools like the cyclical ketogenic diet (our <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/keto/14-day-diet-upgrade/" rel="noreferrer">14-Day Diet</a> is a good example) allow you to come in and out of ketosis and maximize carbs when you do eat them.</p> <p>If you made it to the end, pat yourself on the back. You’re clearly serious about your health and weight loss goals. Good luck with your journey!</p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-into-ketosis" rel="noreferrer">How Long Does It Take to Enter Ketosis?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-signs-and-symptoms-of-ketosis" rel="noreferrer">10 Signs and Symptoms That You're in Ketosis</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.diabetes.co.uk/keto/measuring-ketosis-on-a-keto-diet.html" rel="noreferrer">Measuring ketosis on a ketogenic diet</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-does-it-mean-to-be-fat-adapted/" rel="noreferrer">What Does It Mean to Be Fat-Adapted?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-ketosis" rel="noreferrer">What Is Ketosis, and Is It Healthy?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://keto-mojo.com/pages/what-should-your-ketone-levels-be" rel="noreferrer">WHAT SHOULD YOUR KETONE LEVELS BE?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://keto-mojo.com/pages/what-should-your-ketone-levels-be" rel="noreferrer">WHAT SHOULD YOUR KETONE LEVELS BE?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cyclical-ketogenic-diet" rel="noreferrer">What Is the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet? </a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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