Fat adaptation limbo?

(Miss E) #1

Is there a limbo between transition and fat adaption? I feel like I have some signs of being fat adapted but don’t have copious amounts of energy and still feel a bit foggy or tired sometimes but I also have adhd so I’m not sure how much of a role that’s playing. I don’t get hungry very often and can do IF.

(Jay AM) #2

Yes. You go from being in ketosis and then, in about 6-8 weeks (the average time) you go into fat adaptation. Ketosis happens fast. As long as the ketosis is maintained and you are providing proper nutrition and such, you will hit fat adaptation. Be aware that your fat adaptation might look different than everyone else’s based on your unique self. But, it will happen in it’s own time. KCKO

(Miss E) #3

I guess that’s what I’m wondering, how to tell if you are far adapted if your fat adaption doesn’t look like everyone elses :confused:

(Jay AM) #4

It’s hard to say. One of the markers is energy for most people. Other markers can range dramatically. Things like fidgeting more, the desire to move, the desire to clean or some other movement related home task, a sense of improved well-being, less depressed thoughts (for those with depression), less mood swings, a reduction in symptoms for a range of medical or psychological issues, not feeling starving between good meals, the ability to fast without thinking too much about it, skin clarity, not feeling mood swings related to hunger, more patience, better overall mood, faster reaction, clear mind, motivation to complete mental tasks, better reflexes, a healthy glow.

This is just the short list and these don’t all apply to everyone. If you’ve been strict 20g of net carbs or less keto for 6-8 weeks and are doing all the other keto stuff (moderate protein, high fat, not restricting, drinking water, getting electrolytes.) You’re probably close if not there already. Is there a reason it’s concerning you into trying to find a way to track it?

(Miss E) #5

I guess the concern is to know whether it’s working for me. I have cheated a couple of times so have decided to be more strict for minimum of 2 months to be more confident in fat adaption.

I guess I’m not quite sure what the difference is either. Before adaption but in ketosis we are still burning fat for energy yes? :stuck_out_tongue:

(Jay AM) #6

Nutritional ketosis is phase one. Your body begins to produce and uptake some ketones while dumping the rest. It will still search for glucose to use as fuel. In this phase it’s not an efficient process. It has to work actively to get rid of stored glycogen, clean up excess blood sugar, and turn on the ability to use ketones.

Fat adaptation is phase two. Your body is efficiently producing ketones from intake and stored body fat and is also using them efficiently for energy.

Basically, the whole point of doing the ketosis is to reach the fat adaptation. People who stop short won’t ever experience the true reason for the work they and their body has put into this metabolic shift.

(Allan L) #7

Fat adaption is a sliding scale. Every single cell in the body has to adapt, its not an on / off switch.

Some early signs are very possible then one day you are more fat adapted than not and the rest is history. 6-8 weeks, the harder you exercise the quicker the process.

If you start gym after thinking you are 100% fat adapted you soon realise that is not the case. :wink:

(Chris W) #8

When you are in ketosis your liver is breaking down the fat and turning it into the keytones and glucose. In a rather simple sense as your body adapts your tissue will start take the fat in directly and use it as well with a few exceptions the brain being the biggest. This often why people see a drop in excess keytones in the urine, the fat is acting in a more direct fashion. If you have spikes in your insulin you will hinder this process, so yes keeping strict is a good idea.

For me I was ramping up exercise while keto adapted from an injury that got much better during that phase. At that point I could only ride my exercise bike about 10-15 minutes and just die. Then a about a month later I realized I was riding for 30 minutes at the highest setting and I still had more to give. It was not a light switch moment but I would say it also including IF ramping up somewhat accidentally since i was just not hungry as much.


This is a nice, clear explanation of the process. I’m 40 days into keto, and while it’s going well, I find I still don’t have a good enough mental model of everything to talk about it with non-ketoers. So thanks for helping that along.


I’m wondering about me, too. I’m in ketosis daily, no matter what time I test for about 3 weeks now. What I came to keto for, I’m not getting (APPETITE CONTROL) but I have gotten so many other benefits. I can work out longer and harder, my mental state (clarity and outlook) are both vastly improved. My knee no longer hurts, nor does my head or stomach and my skin is amazingly more clear and lovely. I have more energy. Periods are lighter, All of it other than the hunger that still plagues me.
I will know I’m truly and fully fat adapted when that goes away. I have experienced before, so I know I can again.

Some days I do seem less hungry than others, but the majority of the time I’m quite hungry for all 3 meals but it’s a less demanding hunger than on a carb heavy diet, so that’s good.

Wanna know what I’m NOT about to do? Quit now. I wanna feel the amazing benefits of a fat adapted metabolism and I’ve put up with a lot (keto flu, sucky workouts, tanked energy) to get this far and while those are gone, I’m not yet there. The patience this way of life requires is unparalleled


Dr. Phinney points out that full fat-adaptation may take up to a year or more in some metabolically deranged folks! I think for many folks who are relatively healthy but in their 30s or older, it may well take months.

What was the Atkins induction period of the initial two weeks has become generally misnomered as ‘fat adaptation’ - which is incorrect and which Atkins himself clearly talked about as being a much longer process for many people (esp midlife and older and/or IR folks). 25 year old non-obese, not-prediabetic male athletes have vastly different metabolisms than 35 year old prediabetic male athletes, etc. And females have biological differences with hormonal cycles and water fluctuations. And anyone who’s on any medications will have additional factors!

I know for myself as a 52 y.o. non-obese and physiologically pre-climacteric female - I experienced the dimensional shift into 100% full fat adaptation between month 6 and 7 on keto.

This shift, though it only involved maybe a 5% surge to the 100% point (who knows, maybe it was just the last 1% but carried an exponential impact) - included emotional realignment/healing crisis, an incredible new ease with 20-24 hour IF, a dramatic new resilience related to minerals balance/salted hydration/general energy, and a natural desire to eat less protein. Then I started supplementing with Ginger capsules which further enhanced things.


I believe I’m in the midst of fat adaptation. I used to be hungry all the time and needed snacks between meals, and impatiently watched the clock to see when I could eat. The past few weeks have been different however. I first dropped snacking - which was not difficult at all. Then recently I’m challenging myself to eat later in the morning. And the past few days, challenging myself to not eat breakfast. And I’m not ‘starving’ or uncomfortable at all.

I do however suffer from a life-time of mal-adapted eating cues which conjure up strong feelings of hunger/wanting to eat, that are strikingly similar to true physical hunger. If it’s morning, for example, I’m supposed to eat and I’ll feel something like hunger (desire to eat) every morning. However I can distract myself without discomfort from it by doing something non food related. Gardening, shopping, etc.

[These hunger cues I do not consider ‘emotional eating’. Emotional eating (to me) is using food to distract oneself from difficult things in one’s life in the same way an alcoholic or shopping addict does not want to feel emotional pain and seeks a dysfunctional distraction.]

This morning upon rising, and ‘feeling hungry’, I decided to test my relatively new fat adaptation by going to the store. And so I did. Even grocery shopping I did not feel hungry. I ended up not having lunch at home until 1pm – which is extremely, extremely late for my first meal of the day. And I did not suffer at all. I still am amazed that this is happening.

Am I fully fat adapted? Probably not. But I’m getting there.

I am a 73 yo female, over 200 pounds, losing at a snail’s pace, but in relatively good physical shape. I did lazy keto all last year and was nowhere near a place like this. Been doing serious keto since Jan. 10 - just under 3 months.


Agreed on many points. I too took quite awhile to become fat-adapted, but when I got there, I absolutely knew it. I suggest the following articles to help explain the process:


(Miss E) #14

Thanks so much for the contributions everyone. Really helps keep me motivated.


Im right there with you. Wondering how it worked out for you?


I’m still doing keto, but have evolved to a version that works better for me (less fat, more protein, more carbs) I’m still in ketosis and surely fat adapted by now as I’ve been in it for over 3 months. But I still eat three meals a day and am hungry for all of them. I’ve noticed delaying meals due to obligations isn’t as hard as it was pre-keto, but I’ll still hungry when I eat and eat when I’m hungry.
How about you?


I just started strict keto 26 days ago. Looking forward to when I am fat adapted as Im not sure im there yet. Just trying to make sense of the plethora of information thrown at me!

(Omar) #18

I would say energy gradually increase.


May I ask the purpose of the ginger capsules? Is this for digestive regulation?


Well, it’s a superfood adaptogen, so it’s for a lot things - depending on what you need: cortisol reduction/belly fat anti-storage help, digestive/pro-enzyme power, fibrin clearing/vasodilation/circulation, pain relief (two Ginger caps are the equivalent of a prescription-strength NSAID w/o the side effects for the liver), and general anti-inflammation - and there are unproven indications it also helps reduce insulin spikes.