What does keto adapted mean

keto adaptedWhat does it mean to be keto adapted?  Well, in a nutshell, being keto adapted means that your body is using fat as it’s primary fuel source.  This is a state in which your body has no dependence on sugar for energy and can efficiently run on fat.  This is also your natural, normal state.

15,000 years ago, sugar was something we got from fruit mostly, on occasion, and when we found it.  Keep in mind early man was a hunter and a gatherer.  We weren’t growing grains, farming corn and processing sugar.  We ate what we foraged and what we killed.

Mark Sisson has a great post on this at Mark’s Daily Apple where he points out that even a lean and mean human at 12% body fat is still walking around with almost 20 pounds of stored energy in the form of fat.  Whereas someone who uses sugar as their primary fuel source can only hold about 500 grams of glycogen (sugar) to access for energy which means you’re running out pretty quick and will need to add more from food sooner rather than later.  This is why you get famished, ravenous, have headaches, etc.  It’s your body letting you know you’re out of fuel.  Which leads to the ultimate question…

How does one become keto adapted

Or better yet, how do I get back to normal?  Well for starters, the body typically hordes what it’s not keto adaptedgetting enough of.  If it’s getting a steady supply of fat and it’s not getting a steady supply of sugar, what’s going to happen?  Fat for fuel!  Simple right?

Not always.  The body is not all that big on change.  So, what can you do to help that process along and ease the transition?  MCT Oil is great external energy source from fat and easily helps the body make ketones (a by-product of using fat for fuel).  Some, myself included, have started supplementing with exogenous ketones such as beta-hydroxybutyrate.  A true ketogenic diet is 75-80% fat.  If you’re athletic, that might not behoove muscle repair as you’ll be needing protein.  This is not a real program for most of us.  Wasn’t even real for the people 15,000 years ago.  Hunt, kill, eat, fast, find a pear, eat, fast, fast, hunt, find eggs, eat, fast, hunt, kill, etc.  So eat more good fat, keep carbs extremely low and have a moderate amount of protein that is also “fatty” like salmon or chicken thigh.  You don’t have to eat just the breasts anymore.  Need an extra edge?  That’s where supplementation comes in and also what I’ve been experimenting with.

You can get caught up on the keto adapted journey so far here:

I have completed my second week of daily supplementation with Keto//OS.  I’m having one serving every morning at the start of the day.  Also, tracking three key things.  Scale weight, body fat percentage and skin pinch at the abdomen.

Here are this week’s average numbers:

This week:

  • Scale Weight in pounds:  174.8
  • Body Fat % 10.9
  • Skin Pinch at belly button: 19mm

Last week:

  • Scale Weight in pounds:  174.8
  • Body Fat % 10.9
  • Skin Pinch at belly button: 21mm

Notice no real change in scale weight or body fat percentage, but the belly fat is mobilizing.  The purpose of this 4-week test drive is to gauge the minimal effective dose of supplemental ketones on body composition.  More specifically, my body composition.  Clearly something is happening.  There is an even greater and noticeable improvement in daily energy without having to get whacked on coffee.  I also have even more endurance in my workouts.  Yesterday I blasted through a PR that I thought for sure I was going to miss.  (See my #22Kill post for more on that.)

As a recap, I’m not really measuring my macros yet, just avoiding sugar and starch.  I’m consuming a lot more fat than protein and getting solid exercise in 4-5 times a week.  We are now at the halfway point in the experiment and the one thing I’ve noticed for sure and why I believe I’m keto adapted is that my keto sticks are at a consistent .5 to 1.5 on the little chart.  Not a lot of variation there like in the beginning.

I’ll be back next week with more on this trial run.  Thanks for sticking with me so far!  Let me know what you think or if you have any tips for the last two weeks!

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