5 Signs You Are Fat Adapted
“Fat-adaptation” is a somewhat vague term describing the profound changes that happen after switching from a standard diet to a ketogenic one.
In order to experience these changes, you need to commit to consuming a very limited amount of carbohydrates (20-25 g per day or less) and to stick to that limit at least for a couple of weeks, while at the same time eating sufficient fat and protein.
Once you commit to this way of eating you’ll notice some subtle, yet amazing transformations that your body will go through, in addition to the stable weight loss. The fat adaptation process can take anywhere between 4-6 weeks or more of straight ketosis without cheating.
If you are just starting out on this diet and this is your first week, you might also want to check these signs that you are in ketosis.
In this article, we’ll shed some light on the different signs that you will notice once you start getting fat-adapted, and explain each one of them in detail.
#1. Improved Energy
In the initial phase of the ketogenic diet (also sometimes referred to as induction phase), your body will be learning how to use fat for fuel instead of glucose.
While at first, this might make you feel tired and lethargic, this will only last until your body adapts to the changes in your diet.
Once you switch to a fat-burning metabolism and your body adjusts to it, you’ll experience blood sugar levels that are lower and more balanced, and, as a consequence, your energy levels will remain stable through the day.
As a result, a lot of people report an increased motivation to exercise and be more physically active, which, in turn, is an excellent addition to your weight-loss arsenal.
#2. Better Sleep
While you might struggle with some insomnia at first, this will improve with time and you might find that you sleep much better compared to before starting the keto diet.
Many people experience a deeper, calmer sleep, and waking up feeling more refreshed. An adequate magnesium intake (which is necessary on a keto diet) will also help you sleep better.
Since you have a better sleep every night, you will wake up refreshed and energised every morning.
#3. Practically Non-existent Carb Cravings
In the beginning of the adaptation process, and especially if your sugar consumption was high before starting keto, you might experience some carb cravings, however, you will notice them disappear with time.
Carb cravings, in the beginning, are related to two things: first off, it is a reflection of the metabolic change that your body is undergoing, as carbs are a quick and easy energy source, and secondly, it is related to your past habits. If your typical comfort foods were pizza, sweets, potatoes, bread and the like, you might miss them at first.
Fear not, the carb cravings will subside and disappear with time, and there’s a lot of marvelous recipes out there that will help you enjoy your diet to the fullest, and even make a keto version of many popular dishes. For inspiration, check out our recipes section!
#4. Increased Physical Endurance
Once your body learns how to use fat for fuel, it will be able to access your fat storages much easier than before.
During activities where a high level of endurance is necessary, you will no longer depend on your glycogen stores (which deplete in about 90 minutes of a high-intensity activity), but will, instead, use your own body fat for energy.
You’ll not experience the crash related to glycogen depletion and will be able to maintain a stable performance.
If you’re a long-distance runner, hiker or cyclist, or if you are just interested in improving your endurance, this is definitely something to consider.
#5. Decreased Appetite (Less Hunger)
As fat and protein provide a higher level of satiety than carbs, you’ll notice that you feel naturally less hungry than before. You will no longer feel ravenous when not eating for a bit longer than usual, and will be able to manage your hunger much better.
Calorie counting is still necessary for most people even on the keto diet because in order to lose weight you still need to eat less than what you burn. However, you will notice that eating less is much easier, even for extended periods of time (a couple of months or more).
The keto diet is not some sort of a magical appetite suppressant, though, and if you are very active, make sure to provide your body with enough energy. Starving yourself will hardly lead to good results in the long run, and will make it more difficult to stick to your goals.
Keep in mind that everybody is different, so you might experience these signs to a varying degree, or not experience all of them (or not all of them at once).
If you give yourself enough time to become fat-adapted, you will be able to reap many of the amazing health benefits of the ketogenic diet, together with losing the weight you have previously struggled with. Incredible, isn’t it?