Becoming More Fat Adapted

One of the more subtle goals of the BellyProof program is to help you become more fat adapted.

What are the benefits of becoming more fat-adapted

  • Higher capacity to burn fat (assuming it was broken first). As your body becomes more efficient at using the fat for fuel., you can burn fat more… efficiently.
  • Easier to keep your weight down and stay lean after finishing a weight loss process.
  • More stamina, less energy fluctuations and your energy feels more clear (almost like an adrenaline buzz).
  • Less carbohydrate and sugar cravings. You are more likely to crave fatty foods such as bacon, eggs and avocado, over carby-sugary food such as bread, oatmeal or cornflakes.
  • Being able to go without food for longer, no more feeling hangry (as in hungry and angry) every few hours.
  • Less likelihood of blood sugar drops and feeling shaky.
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What happens on the cellular level, stays on the cellular level:

Think of a fat-adapted state as the option most of us don’t have, and you will. Most people are so inefficient at burning fat that their body’s only other option is to burn glucose. That makes them depend on carbs, sugar and everything in between. They can’t efficiently sustain a fasted state without going crazy, they can’t rip the benefits of better weight loss and better energy and they can’t allow for deeper restoration of the body which happens primarily in fasted state.

This leaves more people with bad options: Eating constantly, getting hungry constantly, burning more food (and less body fat) and developing a chain reaction of bad hormonal balance, which affects us in different ways.

But, there is a way out…

Becoming fat adapted is a process that happens on the cellular level as you help your body utilize fats better. As you do, your mitochondria (a cellular organ which acts as a power house in every cell in your body) makes internal changes so it’s able to utilize fat. Since most of us are addicted to sugar and carbs, we are very good at metabolizing glucose, as we become better at metabolizing (and using) fat as a source of energy, we become more metabolically flexible. 

More options is always better than restrictions.

At some point down the line, we become so good at this cellular switch that we start burning more fat than we do glucose. At this point we’ve created a long-lasting change that we can easily keep. We call this state “fat adapted”. And we’re talking on the cellular level.

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How do you become fat adapted?

Dietary changes are not about calories

From a macro-nutrient ratio point of view, you will want to reduce carbs in favor of fats. So called “good fats” are better, such as flax-seed, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil etc… Since fat is 9 calories per gram (vs 4 calories per gram with carbs), this step may spike your calorie intake significantly but who cares… calories don’t matter as much as we used to think.

While Keto and low carb diets do help here, it would be a mistake to claim there’s nothing more to it.

Your body needs fasted states

Intermittent fasting comes in many shapes and forms and can be an efficient tool to re-program the hormonal response in our bodies. It’s not just about the nutrient supply. The lack of food in the system all together can help with hormonal response such as adrenaline and HGH, which is partly responsible for the breaking of fat (in order for us to burn them), as well as the famous “buzzed” feeling you get from adrenaline. The special format we use in the BellyProof program, takes advantage of that but also allows us to benefit from increased blood circulation and inhibition of receptors that are found on belly fat and love handles. WIN WIN.

Educate yourself about cellular fat breaking

Learn how to enhance lipolytic responses (lipolysis = fat breaking) in the body and encourage maximal oxidation (fat oxidation = burning of the broken fat). This is a big subject and the more you learn about it, the more fat you will be able to break down. Once the fat is broken, you can burn it and lose fat (instead of just glycogen and water). As you get better at the fat adaption, you will burn more body fat for your given efforts. We have extensive information on the website to help you learn this, feel free to browse.

Plenty of water. Your body needs it.

Drink plenty of water. Body fat is one way the body clears away toxins. When you start messing with fat cells, you may be losing fat but you are also releasing those “locked away” toxins back into the system. The worst thing in that regards is attempting to burn fat without adequeate water. That’s just flooding the system with toxins without giving the body a way to flush them out. Drinking plenty of water (4.. 5… 6 liters – even more) through out the day, will help you do this and enhance other functions as well.

How Long Does it Take to Become Fat Adapted

The simple answer is: we don’t know, but not that long. This is a process that even if done efficiently, can take different amount of time for different people. On average if you do everything right, you can expect to become fat adapted in 5-6 weeks.

This generally depends on how well you keep a low carb – high fat diet, how well you maintain your fasted states, how you structure your exercise and finally how well adapted on the hormonal level you are when starting out.

Someone that has a sugar addiction, might find it harder to break that cycle. Not just mentally, also the physical dependency and how your hormones, enzymes and everything else reacting to the change. But be confident in the process, follow it and it will happen for you like it does for everyone else that did it before you. You are not that special snowflake, everyone goes through it and some people find it easier than others, but it happens regardless.

On the same note, we should also be asking: How sustainable is the adaption?

fat adapted time

Are you going to become sugar-dependent the moment you go on holiday and binge eat for one day? The answer is no.

But in a similar way you become adapted to fat, you could reverse that and become more efficient at burning sugar if you change your lifestyle. Bodybuilders are a good example, some of them start lean and fairly fat adapted. As many of them are worried about starving muscles, they end up eating carbs 6-8 times a day (not uncommon). This may seem like a good idea but everything comes at a price, and their body does adapt to that way of living. It’s not to say they are stuck with it, but regardless of where they have started, many of them discover that leaning down is not simply a question of how much “active muscle tissue” you have (in order to burn more calories blah blah blah). A lot of it has to do with how far they have drifted from their fat-adapted state and into carb and sugar dependency. For some of them, it might be wise to factor in an adjustment time where they can re-do this all too necessary adaptation.

Fat adapted should have been the body’s default

Contrary to what you may think, this is our normal metabolic state. Many experts believe strongly that we developed to become good fat burners which would suit the hunters – gathers lifestyle our ancestors led. After all, the convenience of having food anytime we want, including fast highly processed (and available) food, wasn’t always something we had.

Our ancestors had to go through long days of work (or even hunt), doing physical activity on minimal food. If they wanted to survive well, they couldn’t afford being constantly hangry (hungry and angry), thinking about the next meal and feeling wiped out if they skipped one.

The same is true for animals in nature. You don’t see animals “hunting” (physical activity) when they are full. They are always doing it when they are hungry, primed for action. As soon as your Insulin levels drop, you can achieve a better adrenaline response, meaning you are better primed for a fight or flight situation. This is a survival mechanism we have heard lots about, but most of us have completely forgotten how to use it to our advantage. Not just in a real fight, but also for health, fitness and hormonal balance.

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