5 Signs You’re Fat-Adapted (No Ketone Meter Required)

 

There are many ketone testers available on the market to identify whether you're in a state of metabolic ketosis. Here at Konscious Keto, we have tried them all. But what did people do before  the advent of urine stick or breathalizer-style testers?

If you're on a budget and still want to determine whether you're running on fat for fuel, you're in luck! The body speaks volumes in various ways to indicate when we are fat-adapted and relying on ketones and fat for fuel.

Read on for more on intuitive, meter-free ways to tell whether you're fat adapted below.

5 Signs You’re Fat-Adapted 

The ability to fast for more extended periods with ease, increased mental sharpness and stamina, and rapid and significant loss of excess body fat, are some characteristics you may experience during fat-adaptation.

Especially when presented together—these may indicate that you've achieved the optimal metabolic state of nutritional ketosis and are also fat-adapted, effectively using fat and ketones, rather than glucose for fuel.

Becoming fat-fueled is important because fat-adaptation enables us to function in an optimal mental and physical state for more extended periods, without replenishment.

We’re able to live off our fat stores instead, if needed, in times of famine or planned therapeutic fasting.

In addition to offering us an ideal and sustainable form of energy with ketones, fat-adaptation primes our system to engage in periods of fasting with ease—with lengthier fasts becoming more feasible over time.

While we can discern our level of ketosis and potential fat-adaptation with the aid of urine strips or blood testers, there are also mental and physical signs of fat-adaptation that we can use to conclude the fat-reliant degree of our metabolic state.

What is Fat-Adaptation?

The majority of people eat what's considered a Standard American Diet (SAD), comprised mostly of highly-processed, sugar-laden foods that spike blood sugar levels and also situate the body so it's reliant upon glucose for fuel.

Those following a ketogenic style of eating are instead powered by an alternative, optimal, fuel source: fat. Dietary fat and the ketones it produces, in the absence of glucose in the diet, as is the ideal situation when on a ketogenic diet, are an excellent source of fuel and also help with improved mental clarity and cognition.

Once the body is well-adjusted and accustomed to relying on fat for fuel, you'll easily go extended periods without ingesting food, while not experiencing drastic dips in energy as would be the case if relying on sugar for fuel.

Also, fat-adaptation is a highly beneficial state for those interested in incorporating intermittent fasting into their keto protocol.

As the body becomes increasingly efficient at suppressing hunger while remaining nimble in its ability to access sustenance via stored fat and ketones, we’re able to achieve maximum metabolic flexibility.

The Benefits of Using Fat for Fuel

You may be familiar with the many benefits of following a ketogenic diet but unclear about the benefits of fueling the body with fat, as opposed to sugar, for fuel.

Well, our body handles and processes fat and ketones, versus sugars, quite differently—with glucose ideal in times when we need bursts of short-lived energy, and ketones or fat more suitable for periods when we require a high-level of sustained power and performance.

The Difference Between Fat-Adaptation and Metabolic Ketosis

We can enter a state of metabolic ketosis, where we've depleted our glycogen stores by removing sugar and carbs from our diet, without our bodies being well seasoned in using fat and ketones as a primary source of fuel (a.k.a. becoming fat-adapted).

Many who transition into a ketogenic diet are moving away from an eating style filled with highly-processed and packaged foods. As a result, the body needs time to maximize its efficiency in burning fat and producing increased levels of ketones for fuel.

As you may realize by now, there are many physical and mental benefits associated with living in a fat-adapted state. So, just in case you're looking to gauge your status on the fuel-burner spectrum, here are five signs that you're likely fat-adapted—no testing equipment necessary:

5 Signs You’re Fat-Adapted

#1. More Stabilized Energy

You may be aware that using fat for fuel causes feelings of increased energy. But in addition to the same boost provided by increased levels of ketones, fat-based fuel also produces a more stable form of energy. This energy is unlike glucose-based fuel, which leads to drastic spikes and crashes in energy throughout the day.

Once the body is accustomed to using fat for fuel, your system will start to tolerate having feeding periods spaced farther apart, sustaining on stored energy to maintain optimum performance, even during periods of fasting.

#2. Reduced Cravings

Eating high-glycemic carbohydrates creates an unstable metabolic state in the body, one given to wild swings and dips in energy, hunger and cravings, which can make it seem like all you do all day is pine over foods you crave but don't wish to eat per your health goals.

However, once we eliminate refined sugars and carbs from our diet, our bodies return to a balanced metabolic state with regulated hunger and satiety signaling, with virtually no food cravings—a life-changing breakthrough for many new to keto!

Fat is super satiating, of course, and a ketogenic diet encourages eating increased amounts of healthy fats, but an exciting thing also happens when we enter a ketotic state—our appetite is naturally and effortlessly suppressed, and we eat less without trying while feeling fuller, longer.

#3. A Sharp and Clear Mind

From busy single moms to other titans of industry, the mental sharpness and clarity experienced by those on a ketogenic diet are quite significant.

From the budding of innovative ideas, to the stamina to tackle all the tasks on your lengthy to-do list, increased ketones—whether endogenous or a quality exogenous ketone supplement, like Keto Activate—provide added support to facilitate heightened cognitive function.

#4. Improved Endurance

Carbs may be a useful source of fast-acting fuel when bursts of strength and performance are required, think a 100-meter dash, but fat is boss for those more interested in maintaining a steady state of premium energy and enhanced long-distance endurance.

So, while sprinters may want to slam a sweet and ripe banana before an intense dash, those who engage in endurance running and other long-distance activities are better served by fat and ketones for fuel—with increased duration of activity a hallmark of operating in a fat-adapted state.

#5. You're Releasing Body Fat

All the before-and-after pictures you see circulating online are not Photoshop trickery: there are legions of people sharing their keto success stories with anyone who will listen, pretty much everywhere you look.

Face it, keto has hit the mainstream, and even weight-loss giants are cashing in on the craze, adding keto-friendly fare to their food offerings to remain competitive and relevant in a marketplace dominated by those committed to the low-carb, high-fat lifestyle.

The bottom line, eating healthy fat in the absence of insulin-spiking sugars and carbohydrates promotes accelerated fat loss, and there’s a trail of remarkable ‘afters’ to prove it!

So if your go-to and usually snug jeans are a bit roomy and even rings require repositioning to prevent them from sliding off, there’s a good reason to rejoice, you may be fat-adapted and burning tons of fat and calories, even during states of rest!

How To Know if You’re Fat-Adapted

We can benefit significantly from ketosis and a ketogenic diet without being fully fat-adapted.

However, there are some elements of metabolic flexibility that are exclusive to those who have achieved the metabolic state that make it a goal worth working to achieve.

Fat-adaptation is a process and following a ketogenic diet sets the perfect stage for anyone looking to banish their bond with sugar-based fuel and upgrade to a cleaner and more sustainable option in the form of fats and ketones.

Also, as levels of adaptation deepen, increased metabolic flexibility can prove especially helpful to those who are very active or professional athletes.

The body's ability to draw upon either glucose-derived or fat-based fuel whenever needed can even serve as a reliable indicator that one is well fat-adapted, and likely also in a thermogenic state of ketosis that's ideal for fat loss—the ketogenic metabolic holy grail!

Signs Your Fat Adapted 

A significant dip on the scale, a body brimming with increased energy, and laser-beam-like mental focus are all welcomed benefits of ketosis and also a pretty strong indication that one is fat-adapted when experienced in concert.

Becoming fully fat-adapted is a process, and there's no need to rush—keto is a lifestyle and not a fad. Think of transitioning to fat-adaptation and ketosis as a complete mindset change rather than a 'quick fix'.

It's important to be patient with our bodies as they adjust to effectively using an alternate source of fuel. Most of us have run on sugar the majority of our lives; so, it's important to transition into a ketogenic lifestyle at the pace our bodies permit.

We share seven valuable tips related to starting a ketogenic diet and ways to avoid the commonly-made mistakes that set people back to help jumpstart your efforts on keto, especially if you're new to the diet, here.

Keep the carbs low and the consumption of fatty foods like avocado and grass-fed beef high. Take a brisk walk to give your body and brain a nice boost of endorphins and super-charge your weight-loss efforts throughout the week, to stay on track.

Most importantly, trust the process, and positive changes will follow.

Essentially, ketosis is a more immediate result on a ketogenic diet that over time recalibrates our metabolic baseline, making ketosis our new normal and fat our favored facet of fuel.

Enjoy the delicious journey to fat-adaptation and remain in tune with the changes you experience along the way to gauge when you become a legitimate fat-burner.

Equipped with the information shared above, you'll be well able to determine when your body has become a full-fledged fat-burning machine with little other aid than your own fine-tuned level of self-awareness.

Cheers to you! You're now your very own, personal, bonafide fat-adaptation expert—go forth in search of delicious fatty fare and conquer!

Sources

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Houten, S. M., & Wanders, R. J. (2010). A general introduction to the biochemistry of mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation. Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease,33(5), 469-477. doi:10.1007/s10545-010-9061-2

Ota, M., Matsuo, J., Ishida, I., Hattori, K., Teraishi, T., Tonouchi, H., . . . Kunugi, H. (2016). Effect of a ketogenic meal on cognitive function in elderly adults: Potential for cognitive enhancement. Psychopharmacology,233(21-22), 3797-3802. doi:10.1007/s00213-016-4414-7

Paoli, A., Bosco, G., Camporesi, E. M., & Mangar, D. (2015). Ketosis, ketogenic diet and food intake control: A complex relationship. Frontiers in Psychology,6. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00027

     

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