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What Does It Mean to be “Fat Adapted”?

Published June 06, 2019 Read Time: 4 minutes
Elisa Silva

Written By: Elisa Silva

Elisa has over 10 years of experience in recipe writing and has written multiple cookbooks over the last year

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<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@type":"BlogPosting", "headline":"What Does It Mean to be “Fat Adapted”?", "datePublished":"June 06, 2019", "description":"Your body can become fat adapted at any time. We break down what it means to tap into unlimited energy and weight loss benefits.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/06/healthy-young-woman-in-studio-thumbnail.jpg" }, } ] } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">What is “Fat Adapted”?</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">How Can I Become Fat Adapted?</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">How Do I Know if I am Fat Adapted?</a></li> <li><a href="#section4">I’m Fat Adapted, Now What?</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p align="justify">If you have been reading keto blogs or chatting in any keto communities, you may have come across the term “fat adapted.”</p> <p align="justify">But what does that even mean?</p> <p align="justify">Simply put, becoming fat adapted is the metabolic goal for those who follow a ketogenic diet. Once your body starts to burn up stored fat, this is when the real weight loss magic and appetite suppression benefits kick in.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section1"> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"What is “Fat Adapted”?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Being fat adapted means your body has learned to burn fat for energy as opposed to carbohydrates. Most of us, due to a higher carb Standard American Diets, rely almost exclusively on carbs for energy. This is a problem since the body isn’t able to store a huge amount of carbohydrates.\n\nBecause it has limited storage capacity, we constantly have to refuel.\n\nOnce you burn off the carbs from your last meal, your energy plummets. Your energy spikes and falls all day.\n\nBeing a “sugar or carb burner” as opposed to “fat adapted” leaves your body on a roller coaster of never feeling satisfied. Eventually this can lead to overeating and weight gain.\n\nAnd hey, it’s not your fault… It’s simply the way the body reacts when it relies on carbs for fuel.\n\nSo, what’s the key to avoiding constant energy swings, losing weight, and being able to control your cravings?\n\nBecome fat adapted and start using fat for energy, instead of carbs."}}]}</script> <h2>What is “Fat Adapted”?</h2> <p align="justify">Being fat adapted means your body has learned to burn fat for energy as opposed to carbohydrates. Most of us, due to a higher carb <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/the-ugly-truth-behind-the-standard-american-diet/" rel="noreferrer">Standard American Diets</a>, rely almost exclusively on carbs for energy. This is a problem since the body isn’t able to store a huge amount of carbohydrates.</p> <p align="justify">Because it has limited storage capacity, we constantly have to refuel.</p> <p align="justify">Once you burn off the carbs from your last meal, your energy plummets. Your energy spikes and falls all day.</p> <p align="justify">Being a “sugar or carb burner” as opposed to “fat adapted” leaves your body on a roller coaster of never feeling satisfied. Eventually this can lead to overeating and weight gain.</p> <p align="justify">And hey, it’s not your fault… It’s simply the way the body reacts when it relies on carbs for fuel.</p> <p align="justify">So, what’s the key to avoiding constant energy swings, losing weight, and being able to control your cravings?</p> <p align="justify">Become fat adapted and start using fat for energy, instead of carbs.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/avocados-olive-oil-guac-0183.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/avocados-olive-oil-guac-0183.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/avocados-olive-oil-guac-0183.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/avocados-olive-oil-guac-LR-0183.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="avocados-olive-oil"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section2"> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"How Can I Become Fat Adapted?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Body fat is almost an unlimited source of energy, when you are able to tap into it.\n\nYou can only store about 2,500 calories of carbohydrates at any given time, but over 80,000 calories worth of fat! If you are overweight, these are just calories you’re not using that are doing more harm than good.\n\nOkay.. so how do you become fat adapted?\n\nThe easiest way is to follow a low-carb or ketogenic diet that significantly limits the number of carbohydrates you eat. Most people can reach ketosis by eating less than 50 grams of carbs per day. It will depend on your current metabolic state.\n\nBut, eating low carb or being in ketosis is not enough to be “fat adapted.” Your metabolism will have to actually shift, which can take some time.\n\nDuring the adaptation time you also want to bump up your intake of healthy fats. These include foods like coconut oil, avocados, whole eggs, cheese, nuts, olive oil, and butter.\n\nAs far as protein goes, you want to eat enough to help maintain the muscle mass you have without overdoing it. Following a low-carb or ketogenic diet with moderate amounts of protein can help promote weight loss, maintain lean muscle and increase your metabolism.\n\nSo how much protein do you need?\n\nAbout 0.55 to 0.77 grams of protein per pound of ideal body weight. This means if your ideal body weight is 150 pounds, you will need to eat at least 82-115 grams of protein per day.\n\nRegular physical activity and intermittent fasting, can also help speed up the process of getting into ketosis—which will, in turn, lead to being fat adapted."}}]}</script> <h2>How Can I Become Fat Adapted?</h2> <p align="justify">Body fat is almost an unlimited source of energy, when you are able to tap into it.</p> <p align="justify">You can only store about 2,500 calories of carbohydrates at any given time, but over 80,000 calories worth of fat! If you are overweight, these are just calories you’re not using that are doing more harm than good.</p> <p align="justify">Okay.. so how do you become fat adapted?</p> <p align="justify">The easiest way is to follow a low-carb or ketogenic diet that significantly limits the number of carbohydrates you eat. Most people can reach ketosis by eating less than 50 grams of carbs per day. It will depend on your current metabolic state.</p> <p align="justify">But, eating low carb or being in ketosis is not enough to be “fat adapted.” Your metabolism will have to actually shift, which can take some time.</p> <p align="justify">During the adaptation time you also want to bump up your intake of healthy fats. These include foods like coconut oil, avocados, whole eggs, cheese, nuts, olive oil, and butter.</p> <p align="justify">As far as protein goes, you want to eat enough to help maintain the muscle mass you have without overdoing it. Following a low-carb or ketogenic diet with moderate amounts of protein can help promote weight loss, maintain lean muscle and increase your metabolism.<sup>1</sup></p> <p align="justify"><i>So how much protein do you need?</i></p> <p align="justify">About 0.55 to 0.77 grams of protein per pound of ideal body weight. This means if your ideal body weight is 150 pounds, you will need to eat at least 82-115 grams of protein per day.<sup>2</sup></p> <p align="justify">Regular physical activity and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/intermittent-fasting-and-keto-should-you-do-them/" rel="noreferrer">intermittent fasting</a>, can also help speed up the process of getting into ketosis—which will, in turn, lead to being fat adapted.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/coconut-oil-nuts-eggs-fats-0183.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/coconut-oil-nuts-eggs-fats-0183.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/coconut-oil-nuts-eggs-fats-0183.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/coconut-oil-nuts-eggs-fats-LR-0183.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="coconut-oil-nuts-eggs-fats"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section3"> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"How Do I Know if I am Fat Adapted?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Like we said above, restricting carbs is the #1 way to become fat adapted. But, that leaves us with the burning question: how do you know if you’ve become fat adapted?\n\nOver the course of about 6 to 8 weeks your body will be in transition mode. Keeping your carb count down will be important as your body changes where it’s getting its energy.\n\nHere are some ways to tell if you’re fat adapted:\n\nFeel full and satisfied after meals.\n\nHave stable energy, without highs and lows throughout the day.\n\nMake it through a tough workout without having to consume any carbs.\n\nFewer cravings for carbs.\n\nSleep better.\n\nStart shedding unwanted pounds.\n\nFat adaptation can occur to different degrees, so your symptoms may be different!"}}]}</script> <h2>How Do I Know if I am Fat Adapted?</h2> <p align="justify">Like we said above, restricting carbs is the #1 way to become fat adapted. But, that leaves us with the burning question: <i>how do you know if you’ve become fat adapted?</i> </p> <p align="justify">Over the course of about 6 to 8 weeks your body will be in transition mode. Keeping your carb count down will be important as your body changes where it’s getting its energy.</p> <p align="justify">Here are some ways to tell if you’re fat adapted:<sup>3,4</sup></p> <ul> <li>Feel full and satisfied after meals.</li> <li>Have stable energy, without highs and lows throughout the day.</li> <li>Make it through a tough workout without having to consume any carbs.</li> <li>Fewer cravings for carbs.</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/how-going-keto-can-improve-your-sleep-quality/" rel="noreferrer">Sleep better</a>.</li> <li>Start shedding <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/will-i-lose-weight-on-keto/" rel="noreferrer">unwanted pounds</a>.</li> </ul> <p align="justify">Fat adaptation can occur to different degrees, so your symptoms may be different!</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/fit-girls-working-out-0183.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/fit-girls-working-out-0183.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/fit-girls-working-out-0183.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/fit-girls-working-out-LR-0183.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="fit-girls-working-out"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section4"> <h2>I’m Fat Adapted, Now What?</h2> <p align="justify">Once you transition to being fat adapted, your body has learned that it is able to tap into fat stores at any time.</p> <p align="justify">Plus! Here’s some bonus news for you: Your cheat days will highly benefit from fat adaptation because once your body learns how to do this, it can repeat the process more quickly. <i>A fat adapted person can even go back to efficiently burning fat after only five days of a low-carb diet, according to one study!</i><sup>5</sup> This means that you don’t have to remain in ketosis forever to continue to be fat adapted.</p> <p align="justify">We all need some flexibility in our diets and also want to maintain our hard-earned success.</p> <p align="justify">A ketogenic diet is the most effective way to become fat adapted. We’ve made this process easier by giving you access to keto recipes, nutrition insight, and workouts. And if you want to tap in even more we’ve got meal plans, at home workouts and a ketocentric community for you to join. So get on that <i>low carb life</i> and jump into fat adaptation for good.</p> <h3>Resources</h3> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1373635/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">Very-low-carbohydrate diets and preservation of muscle mass</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC524027/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">Ketogenic diets and physical performance</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18175736" rel="nofollow noreferrer">Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17971178" rel="nofollow noreferrer">A low-carbohydrate diet is more effective in reducing body weight</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/77/2/313/4689668" rel="nofollow noreferrer">A short-term, high-fat diet up-regulates lipid metabolism</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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