Becoming fat adapted is the ultimate goal of the keto diet. When you have been in ketosis long enough for your body to transition from burning carbs and sugars to burning fat for energy, you become fat adapted. If you aren’t sure if you’ve reached this stage, check out this list of signs you are fat-adapted on a ketogenic diet.
SIGNS YOU ARE FAT-ADAPTED
The Keto journey may seem confusing at first as it is the opposite of what most of us have been taught. However, once you have a clear understanding and get started, it’s not hard to understand and maintain. Fat adapted is a term used in the Keto diet to describe changing from burning primarily glucose to burning fat instead.
To experience the full-fat adaption experience, it is essential to stay in a constant state of ketosis, meaning you don’t want to switch back and forth between high carb and low carb diets. The time it takes to become fat-adapted can vary from individual to individual. I have read that the average is about a month, but it took me closer to 6-8 weeks before I started noticing a difference. Here are four signs you’re fat adapted.
FAT ADAPTED VS KETOSIS
Ketosis is a metabolic state when your body starts to use fat for energy instead of glucose (carbs). When this happens, glucose and insulin levels drop as ketones are released in the body, and the body uses fat for energy. Ketosis does not mean you are fat-adapted, as one can be in a state of ketosis after a fast or a few days into a low-carb or keto diet. In short, ketosis is the production of ketones.
Fat adapted is when our bodies have been using ketones for several weeks as an energy source instead of carbs. It is more of a long-term benefit of a keto or low carb diet as it indicates that our body has adjusted to a completely different energy source and is using ketones effectively. There are benefits to being fat-adapted that are listed below.
FOUR SIGNS YOUR KETO DIET PLAN IS HELPING YOU BECOME FAT-ADAPTED
Sign 1: The Carb Cravings Disappear
Most people crave carbs because it’s what we have always fed our bodies. The carb cravings disappear when you’re in ketosis over time. It’s wonderful not to experience the cravings for carbs. The longer you follow a Ketogenic lifestyle, the less you crave carbs. Fewer carb cravings are also a sign of being fat adapted. Now, I can be around people eating bread, cookies, and cakes without feeling like I will lose my mind. Also, I don’t crave the same foods I used to eat. It has been over a year since I’ve eaten a burger with a bun or a taco with tortillas. At this point, I don’t even miss them anymore, which is something I never thought I’d say.
Sign 2: More Energy in Your Day
Let’s be honest; carbs make us sleepy! When you’re fat-adapted, you will start experiencing more energy in your day. Your body will even begin using its body fat to burn energy. This type of energy is hard to explain. Many of us have never experienced this type of energy because of the past foods we put into our bodies. I would describe it as constant energy that doesn’t crash after meals throughout the day. It isn’t hyper energy, but it feels like focused energy.
Sign 3: Less Hungry Over Time
Another reason people want to experience being fat-adapted is because they feel less hungry. The longer someone follows a ketogenic diet, the less likely they will scarf down food and go crazy with carb intake. Because you’re feeling less hungry, you will eat less, which will also help you lose weight faster. Now, I can go hours without eating, and I don’t feel a sense of panic over when I’ll eat again. It is just really no big deal. Of course, everyone has moments in which you may feel hungrier. This is okay! It is a good sign you’re fat-adapted when your hunger becomes managed.
Sign 4: Better Sleep
Who doesn’t want to sleep better? Those who are on the Keto diet report they sleep better than ever. Some deal with insomnia at first, but that changes for most once you become fat adapted. Because you’re getting better sleep, you may even wake up with more energy than ever. Throughout the day, I feel great and have a ton of energy; however, when 9:30 pm rolls around, every bit of that energy is gone, and this momma is ready to crash. When I finally lay down for bed, I’m often asleep before my head even hits the pillow good, and I sleep well all night. Having struggled with insomnia before, this is a welcome bonus.
ARE THERE ANY BENEFITS TO BEING FAT-ADAPTED?
Yes! There are lots of benefits to reaching a state of being fat adapted. Here are the top five benefits:
- Fewer food cravings because you feel fuller longer.
- Better energy and longer capacity for endurance during exercise.
- Improved mental performance and clarity.
- More fat loss.
- Balanced blood sugar levels.
WHAT CAN I DO TO BECOME FAT-ADAPTED?
It’s not complicated to become fat adapted. The most important thing is to continue observing a keto diet plan by eating low carbs. This means eating fewer carbs and more fats. When you restrict the number of carbs you eat, it keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels down. When your insulin level is lower, your liver will burn fat and make ketones. To help, you can also try these:
- Longevity is the key: To be fat-adapted means you have to be in ketosis for an extended period. Going in and out of ketosis while our bodies adapt hinders this process.
- Eat More Fat: While this feels very counterintuitive to most diets we all have tried, eating more fat is the name of the game with nutritional ketosis.
- Fasting: When you don’t eat, your body still requires energy. When you follow a keto diet plan, the body shifts from burning carbs to burning fats, and intermittent fasting encourages the body to burn more fat.
- Exercise: Exercise by itself doesn’t help you become fat adapted. It does make the process a lot easier, though. Try different types of exercises to find what works for you. HIIT, strength training, running, Crossfit, sports, or martial arts are all worth trying.
The Keto diet is not a magic way to lose weight because it takes work to see success. However, if you stick with it, you will see significant progress over time. Being fat adapted is a fantastic bonus to losing weight and becoming healthy.
Other Helpful Links:
- 5 Signs You’re In Ketosis
- Best Keto Resources for Newbies
- What Making my Bed Taught me About Losing Weight
- Five Benefits of a Low Carb or Keto Diet (Besides Weight Loss)
- Top 5 Benefits of the Keto Diet