Ketosis & Fat Adapted


Are you in ketosis? Are you fat adapted? Is there a difference? There is a big difference!

Firstly, it so depends on you as a person when you can expect to be in ketosis. Fetuses in the womb are naturally in ketosis (unless mum is gorging on sugar and carbs). When baby is born it stays in ketosis whilst it's being breast fed. As soon as man made formula is introduced, the baby learns to adapt to carbohydrates - and the spiral starts.

Young children can get into ketosis in just a day or two. When you start coming of age, and your body has become carb adapted, it takes a little longer. A young person under the age of 30 should be able to become keto adapted within a week to ten days.

As you reach your 40's your body starts aging a lot quicker. If you have abused your body with a huge intake of sugars and carbs, it can take anything from 2 weeks to 3 months to become keto adapted. The best way to become keto adapted is to fast for 3 days. For an older person whose autoimmune disease has advanced we recommend using exogenous ketones and/ or MCT oil to fast track keto adaptation. Fasting will also build your gut bacteria up with force, this is fantastic for your immune system. If you are on chemotherapy for cancer treatment for example, it is a MUST in order to give your body a chance to survive and become better. This is because chemotherapy kills all your good bacteria as well as good cells which need to be reproduced.

What is keto adapted? It is when your body has understood that the energy source is now from ketones which the liver produces from fatty acids. This is very much the preferred energy source by the body and especially the brain, it's a clean fuel and easily accessed by all organs in the body. Yes some parts of your body still need carbs, some 3% of the brain, retina and red blood cells. Whenever these carbs are needed the body will either get its need from vegetables you've eaten or through a process called gluconeogenesis.

What is fat adapted? It is when your body hasn't got enough carbs for energy so it uses fatty acids instead as a source of energy. All organs in your body can get sufficient energy from fatty acids EXCEPT your brain. Fatty acids are FAT. It cannot penetrate the BBB (Brain Blood Barrier). You can probably understand this is not such a good idea. Your brain needs energy, in fact it uses 25% of all energy you are producing. The only time your brain gets the energy it needs is at night. And why? If there is presence of insulin in your body the liver CANNOT produce ketones. And the presence of insulin will disappear in your body overnight, hence the fact that ketones can be produced.

Ketones are water soluble (not a fat) and CAN penetrate BBB.

But I eat a really low carb, moderate protein, high fat - why aren't I in ketosis? It has all got to do with insulin. Insulin is the MASTER hormone and it rules the roost in your body. No ifs or buts.

Every time you eat you are probably including protein in your diet. Protein unfortunately triggers insulin to be released by the beta cells in your pancreas, see insulin index. Moderate amounts of protein will not trigger blood glucose to be released. But you see the MASTER is at work. It will take some 2-8 hours before the insulin is at a low enough level now encouraging the liver to produce ketones. Fat does not really trigger insulin release.

So if you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and indeed a couple of snacks during the day (likely to be protein) you will never be in a position to become keto adapted during the day. Only fat adapted. This is sufficient if you just want to lose weight. But if you have an autoimmune disease you need to really take this into account.

Here at the Clinic we recommend you eat twice a day - both meals within an 8 hour period - no snacking (for now obvious reasons). Eat plenty to make sure you don't get hungry, especially in the beginning. Once you are keto adapted you will not actually get hungry. At this stage you'll find your urge for sweet "foods" have also diminished. Then leave the body to repair itself. This is particularly important if you have an autoimmune disease.

Once your body is keto adapted it will only produce enough ketones for its energy needs. If you use a keto stix to measure ketones (acetoacetate) from your urine it will not show up. The body doesn't waste its resources. The body is not stupid, it has been designed by nature and nature is very powerful.

At the Clinic we offer a test by measuring the ketones in your blood. These ketones are Beta HydroxyButyrate - BHB for short.

CONCLUSION You don't need as much food as you have tricked your body into thinking it needs. Food is of course a pleasure, and most certainly a keto diet is very tasty, but adapting to keto is a lifestyle change, rejuvenation of your body and a much happier inner self.