When a person makes a transition in his diet from a regular one to a ketogenic one, his body undergoes a lot of changes. Fat-adaptation is an attempt to describe those changes that are a common and most desirable consequence of adapting the ketogenic style of eating. If you really want to experience the positive effects i.e. want to be fat-adapted, you need to promise yourself about minimum consumption of carbohydrates. You also need to know that this change is not going to be for a couple of days. If you are sincerely committed to achieving the wonderful result of being fat-adapted, you need to limit the intake of carbohydrates to 20-25 g per day or even less for at least a couple of weeks. Proteins and fat, in sufficient quantity, will substitute for the loss of carbs in your food. This is a huge change in itself. But the good news is that it leads to even better changes: gradual weight loss. It takes about 4-6 weeks for the process of fat adaptation to start, settle and show results. The obvious prerequisite is straight ketosis without any cheat meals.
Following are the symptoms, explained in detail, that indicates that your body has started getting the rhythm of fat-adaptation.
1. More Energy
In the preliminary or the induction phase of the ketogenic diet, your body is getting used to using fat for energy in place of glucose. Glucose is the ready source of energy when a person is taking standard, high carb diet. When the amount of carbohydrates is limited in the food intake, a process starts in the body whereby fats in the liver are broken down to produce ketones. This state is called ketosis. Initially, this process leads to a feeling of lethargy and tiredness. But as soon as your body adjusts to the change in diet regime, you will experience relatively lower and more balanced blood sugar levels. This is a sign that your body is being fat-adapted. This will result in stable energy levels which in turn lead to greater motivation. Stable sugar levels also make a person physically more active which is a latent benefit and also aids in weight loss.
2. Improved quality of sleep
Keto diet, although initially causes insomnia in some cases, actually improves the quality of sleep in the long term. It is widely reported by keto diet followers that they experience deeper and calmer sleep in the post-diet period as compared to before. This also means that they get up fresher in the morning. Another reason for better sleep is an intake of sufficient quantity of magnesium which is a must in all keto diet plans. So once you start getting peaceful night-sleep, you can be sure that your body has taken well to the change in diet regime.
3. Carb cravings drop to zero
It is quite normal to experience a craving for high-carb food when you start with the keto diet. This effect is more profound with people who had high sugar consumption levels prior to starting on a keto diet. But as your body starts adapting to the fat-adaptation process, the cravings will automatically drop over time.
There are two typical reasons of carb cravings.
- Because carbs used to provide quick and instant energy, reduced levels of carbs affect the metabolism of the body. Carb cravings reflect these metabolic changes.
- Carb cravings are definitely linked to a person’s past habits. If you used to be entertained by pizza, potato fries, bread sandwiches, and sweets, it is only natural for your body to miss that comfort food.
But there is nothing to be afraid of. These cravings learn to go away on their own. And in fact, the lesser incidents of such cravings show the response of your body to getting fat-adapted. And if they do not, there is a lot of variety available of mouth-watering yet keto-friendly recipes.
4. Better physical stamina
Keto diet is a major change for the human body and metabolism. It takes time to learn the new rules of the game. But when the body gets fat-adapted, i.e. it learns to use fat (and not the glucose) as a source of energy, it starts getting efficient at it. This means that accessing fat storage and using it to derive energy becomes easy for the body. Once this level of ketosis is achieved, a marked increase in physical stamina is observed. Also, once on this level, high-intensity activities become more rewarding. That is primarily because the body no longer relies on the glycogen stores to take energy. The glycogen stores are drained in approximately 90 minutes of high-intensity activity. When the body starts utilizing the body fat to extract energy physical stamina increases considerably. The crash related to glycogen depletion also does not happen because the fat keeps on burning.
This is another side benefit of a keto diet which increases its appeal to athletes like long-distance runners, hiker, cyclists, and swimmers. In fact, this advantage of ketosis makes it a plausible option for people who want to increase their stamina and endurance for physical activity.
5. Less appetite
A very clear signal that your body is being fat adapted is a marked decrease in appetite. The good part is that the feeling of being less hungry comes very naturally to you. There is actually a reason behind this miraculous feeling of being full. Because fat and protein provide a greater level of fullness as compared to carbs, the feeling of being hungry goes away. The time period between each meals increases because you are better able to manage your hunger. Rather, you will not feel the urge to grab some quick food. This also explains the slow dying down of carb cravings.
This does not exempt you from keeping track of calories though. If you have embarked on the journey of losing weight, the total calories consumed and total calories burned need to be counted and compared. The good thing is that the keto diet just makes it easier to eat less, and increase the time stretch between meals by giving you a feeling of fullness.
It is also worth mentioning that keto diet should not be thought of as an appetite suppressant. For people with high levels of physical activity, it is very critical that proportionate amount of energy is provided to their bodies. Starving does more harm than good especially in the long run.
Also, since every individual is different, these signs are felt and experienced differently by every person. Some people feel all of the signs m and some do not. Some get these hints from their body at different times and not all at once. But if you give your body ample time to become fat-adapted, all of the discussed benefits will be exhibited in addition to the utmost goal of losing weight. So keto diet is definitely a win-win in weight and health management and must be tried to reap the rewards.