Your experience getting fatadapted?

(Erik) #1


I’m been doing keto now 58 days and I have had a couple of cheat days. Birthdays, New year’s etc.

And from what I understand it will set my fat adaption back. I still feel like my energy levels are low so I guess that I’m not fully adapted yet.

What’s your experience (timewise) getting fat adapted while cheating?

Will it set you back at 0, so I have to wait 2-3 months from last cheat?

(Richard Hanson) #2

Good Morning Erik,

“Fat Adapted” is not a light switch, that is you are not either fat adapted or not fat adapted, rather a body uses a mix of energy sources continuously. The balance of that mix will change based on what you eat as your body adapts to the diet you are consuming. Even when someone has been eating keto for years, the body will still utilize a mix of fuels. What changes over time is the balance, how well adjusted the body is to each type of fuel.

We are metabolically flexible.

At some point in time, we might think of ourselves as fat adapted, meaning that the body had adjusted to a diet high in fat rather then one high in sugar but perhaps a better way to think of it is that the body becomes adjusted to whatever your sustained diet might be. Every time you change your diet, your body will adapt, it just takes some time for that adaptation to take place.

I don’t think you have much of anything to be concerned about.

Keto for Life,

(Scott) #3

It took me about three months. How did I know? I could once again run several miles without needing to walk. A cheat day is a blip on the radar but going off the rails will be a setback or delay things . The longer the cheat the greater the setback. Me, I don’t cheat because I never feel the need to other than a craft beer(s) on occasion. Even then I never get the mentality of “oh screw it, if drank a beer I might as well eat the french fries.” However everyone at the table will try to get you to eat them.


I began during the last week of November, and boy was I having a ball. I ate so well!! I tried out all sorts of recipes I found on youtube. But I never really cheated. I would make myself “keto desserts” because I just craved sweets still. If I did anything that looks like cheating, then it was to go way over my calorie recommendation, or my carbs were 25g instead of 20g for that day and these things only happened 2-3 times in 2 months. I was also losing weight but very slowly in comparison to others. In 2 months I lost about 4 kilos. Still, I was content with that. Anything that made the scale go down instead of up was fine by me- especially while eating so richly.
Then I had a scare because despite following the rules, my keto sticks were getting more pale. Somebody had to explain to me that when we start to actually USE those ketones for energy, there is less of a surplus in the urine.
And just now- in the past week or so- I am noticing such a big change. I thought I would never ever be able to do any kind of fasting. Man- did I love my eggs and bacon for breakfast. But very slowly, I lost my appetite. I just wasn’t so hungry when I got up in the morning as before. My craving for sweets is practically gone. And with this new feeling, I kind of slid into IF. I dont eat breakfast anymore because I have just lost interest. ( I know the eggs and bacon are there if I want them but I simply dont.) I now eat between 12 and 6 PM - so I am doing 18/6 without even any effort. But the voracious hunger is gone, and this is why I think I am finally getting fat adapted. Also my thighs dont burn as much when I climb the stairs. Do you know that feeling of standing at the bottom of the stairs and thinking “Ugh”? Thats gone too. As of today I am down 6 kilos.
All I know is that if people stick it out and get fat adapted- the whole world changes. The hunger that plagued me for decades disappeared. If it ever comes back I will take it in stride, because I now know what it is like to not be hungry, and I know this will keep returning. Things are not as they used to be. And I am amazed. But as it is I dont want many carbs because I am afraid they will take away this marvellous feeling of freedom.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #5

As noted, fat adaptation is not an on/off switch. It’s a gradual process wherein your utilization of fatty acids and ketones becomes more in synch with lipolsysis and ketogenesis. Many folks will cite all sorts of subjective criteria that they ‘knew they were fat adapted’. The problem is that not everyone experiences the same things. Subjective criteria involve a lot of wishful expectations and wish fulfillment. For instance, I’ve been keto for 3+ years and I never experienced what I would define as a noticeable increase in energy. I’ve been fairly active all my life and that did not change when I went keto. I have no idea what people mean when they claim ‘brain fog’ was replaced by ‘mental clarity’. I have never experienced what I would define as ‘brain fog’ and have been all my life and remain ‘mentally clear’. So what exactly do those things mean? They mean nothing to me. They might mean nothing to you.

A more serious problem, I think, is that newbies read other peoples’ descriptions of what they claim to have experienced, don’t experience anything like it and conclude, erroneously, that there’s something wrong. We get repeated pleas of ‘what’s wrong with me?’ or ‘keto doesn’t work?’ or ‘what am I doing wrong?’ or ‘why has my weight loss stalled?’. These not only from newbies who have been keto for a few days, a couple weeks or a couple months, but even from folks who have been at it for 6 months or longer and are still awaiting the metabolic light switch to flip on.

My advice is simply this. Eat sub-20 grams of carbs per day, the fewer the better. Stay in ketosis consistently for at least the first year. No ‘cheat meals’ or ‘cheat days’ or ‘days off’. No alcohol. Eliminate all sweeteners. You don’t need ‘sweet’ and the sooner you lose it the better. If you do that, you are 99.9% sure to be utilizing fatty acids and ketones efficiently. Will you get ‘better fat adapted’ after that. Yes, you will. But the first year will result in the biggest gains in efficiency.

One other thing. Keto is a normalization process, not a crash diet. Every one of us had at least some metabolic damage prior to keto. The more damage the longer it takes to repair and attain the normal range of metabolic function. SAD has damaged some so badly they will never attain complete normality, but they will get better and have a much healthier life for it. Unless you are severely overweight, or have had medical tests done for one or another reason, you don’t know how damaged your metabolism is and how long keto is going to take fixing it. So don’t compare yourself to others.

Do the best you can in the assurance that doing so will enable you to live healthier, live longer and live a more satisfying life. :richard: :carl: Say thank you to these guys for giving us a forum to discuss it.

(Scott) #6

This is what I was getting at. The moment was not fat adaptation like a switch. It was the realization that something difficult had become easy but it was so gradual I almost missed it. I guess it is like suddenly being aware someone shaved off a mustache and having no idea when they did it but now it s so obvious.


As far as I know, breaking keto slows things down but you don’t start at zero.
I admit I have no experience as no matter how totally undisciplined I was, I took it seriously so I stuck to keto until I “got fat adapted”, i.e. had drastic changes regarding my hunger and appetite. It’s personal. Being in ketosis was almost just how I felt before keto, the big change happened 7 weeks later and I love it since though I managed to bring back strong hunger but it’s still nothing like the old one and it doesn’t happen in a well-fasted state.

Keto isn’t so hard or if it is, do it gradually, I did low-carb and I still needed a generous carb limit on keto. Now it’s easy to go below 10g if I want, I just don’t do it often yet because of reasons. In the beginning there is novelty and the chance to do things better for yourself, many great keto food to eat and try…
If breaking it now and then is what you are able to do, do that, it’s probably still way better than not doing keto at all. But I doubt anyone can say surely what will happen with your fat adaptation. I don’t even know what it is exactly. I had a sudden change but maybe things change a lot later. And these changes are very individual. I never got much energy, no idea what is the mind clarity ketoers and intermittent fasters talk so much about, euphoria didn’t happen either and I always felt healthy and my immune system was pretty good, I didn’t get a 2 days cold every decade on high-carb either… And I got what many others get just being in ketosis. It’s surely different for someone else who did HCHF or HCLF before keto, I did LCHF. It matters how we eat on keto too… It’s very complex, it’s not like fat adaptation happens at some point for everyone with similar effects and around the same time if they stick to keto…

Try to do keto without cheating and you probably will experience some changes… I can’t say much more, you will see.

(back and doublin' down) #8

This in spades! Because we are all n=1 at the end of the day and we all respond a little differently. For instance, Michael is staunch “no sweeteners” and I’ve had ongoing success continuing to use Splenda in my hot teas and either Splenda or Swerve in some cooking/baking. Figure out what works for you, and in what measure.

It’s not a “cheat” - it’s a choice. And only you can determine what the consequences are for that choice. We can choose, we just are never free from the consequences.