How to Become Fat Adapted
The only way to get fat off your body is to use it for fuel.
There are two ways your body can use fuel:
- It uses glycogen.
- It accesses fat.
I’ll explain how to become fat adapted below, but before I do, click the box below to get exclusive access to my free video training and worksheet, which will help you put this information into action right away.
When constant sugar (glycogen) is available, your body will use that first. Your body only uses fat as a secondary source.
Your body prefers sugar because it’s much more readily available.
Take diet expert Dr. Fung’s analogy of your refrigerator. When you have food in the refrigerator, you’re always going to get it from there instead of the food that you have stored away in a freezer out in the garage. But once the fridge is completely empty you’ll go out to the freezer. You’ll make the effort when you have to. This is what it’s like to use up your glycogen and then have your body access the fat for fuel.
If you constantly have sugar available, your body won’t ever access the fat.
This means your body is not fat adapted.
The way you lose weight is by burning the fat off your body.
You don’t lose weight from reducing calories.
We’ve been told the lie that you lose weight by accounting for “calories in versus calories out.”
This isn’t true.
How do we know?
Look at the medical research on insulin. Someone who has excess insulin in their blood will gain weight rapidly regardless of the calories they eat. The opposite is also true. Someone who doesn’t have enough insulin (for example, Type 1 diabetics) will lose weight regardless of the number of calories they eat.
Balance has to be insulin balance—not calorie balance. What this means is that you eat food, you store it as fat, you access the fat, then you repeat. This is a normal process, but most of us don’t realize it.
For example, you eat a meal and you’re not able to use all the energy right away. The food goes through your digestive process and it’s stored as fat and glycogen. As you go through your day, your body uses the glycogen, then uses the fat.
When you are fat adapted, your body uses the fat that’s stored.
The problem is when the food doesn’t get accessed.
When you eat food, store fat, eat more food, store more fat, and your body doesn’t access the fat stored, you gain weight. This also happens when there is an insulin imbalance.
The way that an insulin imbalance happens in your body is through one of three ways:
- Eating sugar
- Eating flour
- Eating often
When you eat sugar, your insulin goes up. As soon as insulin goes up, you’re in storage mode. The same thing with flour—when you eat flour, your insulin goes up, and you store it. When you overeat, you constantly store fat without accessing it.
The question, then, is when and why did this happen? We didn’t start out this way, after all.
This goes back to the way our brain evolved through the motivational triad.
The Motivational Triad
The brain evolved to be motivated to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and be efficient.
This wasn’t a problem historically when we needed to fight off tigers, kill our food, and procreate to maintain our species. When we were in the cave, we needed these motivations to start fires, eat food, procreate, and so on. This motivation helped us evolve.
Now, we’re in the modern world where this same motivation is a huge problem.
Sugar and flour are now manmade substances that are super concentrated and give us a huge spark of pleasure.
Take an apple, for example. This gives your body a slow release of sugar, which is a small dopamine hit that triggers your brain to believe the food is good and you should do that again.
But then we took that apple and concentrated it into things like apple juice and apple pie. We can now get the hit of 25 apples all at once. Instead of getting a subtle dopamine hit, we get a huge surge of pleasure that tells the brain to eat more of it.
The same is true for flour. Take wheat, for example. If you ate it as a naturally occurring food, you would have the same small dopamine experience you have with sugar. However, when we grind it down and concentrate it, we have a bunch of it at once and take a huge dopamine hit. This is what happens when we have bread.
The dopamine hit is super concentrated and exaggerated.
We have the comfort of everything.
We have heat, air conditioning, a grocery store, cars, blankets, medicine, and so on.
Every discomfort we have, we’re able to avoid by moving around and getting comfortable.
Very rarely do we have to experience real pain.
We typically don’t have to experience real hunger, for example.
Sugar as a source of food is very efficient. Unfortunately, it’s also very fattening.
So, the motivational triad has set us up to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and be efficient, which are the exact things that are going to make us fat.
Sugar Adapted vs. Fat Adapted
Sugar adapted means your body is accessing the glycogen you’ve stored—not the fat.
When you’re sugar adapted, your body prefers glycogen as the fuel source. Your body will demand it. This is why you get hangry.
Have you ever eaten something for breakfast, like cereal, then a few hours later your body tells you that you need to eat right away? I hear this from my students in my monthly coaching program, Self Coaching Scholars, all the time. This is what it’s like to be sugar adapted.
You eat more often. You eat a lot of sugar and flour. You don’t access fat for fuel because it’s not as efficient and because you’re raising your insulin level.
Fat adapted means your body is accessing the fat it stored from the food you ate. Your body knows it’s not getting sugar and flour, so it defaults to fat.
When you’re fat adapted, you can go a long time without eating because your body doesn’t crave flour and sugar.
The Problems With Eating Sugar and Flour
There are seven problems with eating sugar and flour:
- Sugar and flour are concentrated in ways your body isn’t used to.
- Eating sugar and flour causes a surge of sugar in the blood.
- The surge of sugar in the blood is compensated for by a huge surge of insulin from the pancreas.
- The insulin increase prevents fat access.
- Too much insulin creates insulin resistance.
- Blood sugar surge drops create cravings.
- Sugar and flour are extremely fattening.
You need to be fat adapted if you want to lose weight.
How to Become Fat Adapted
Knowing all this, the question then becomes this: How do we become fat adapted?
Here’s the four-step process to become fat adapted:
- Eliminate sugar and flour and replace them with healthy fats.
- Stop snacking.
- Skip meals without hunger (to allow your body to use fat for the meal instead of new food).
- Use intermittent fasting (from the time you stop eating at night until the time you start eating again at breakfast, where you “break the fast”).
What about getting enough calories?
You don’t need calories from new food. The food you’re accessing on your body is counted as calories.
Counting calories is outdated. Focus on hormones and insulin.
You don’t need to freak out about calories. As long as you have fat on your body, you have enough calories. Don’t get caught up in the calorie count.
What about starvation mode and my metabolism?
You only go into starvation mode when you’re a sugar burner and you don’t get enough calories. Your body is craving the sugar. Your body is constantly eating and not accessing fat.
This is what happens when you go on crazy diets like keto. You never lose weight and keep it off.
Your metabolism goes up when you’re in fat adaptation and you use intermittent fasting. Your adrenaline goes up. Your metabolism then goes up.
Eating to balance hormones creates an efficient metabolism. You create a system where your body is efficiently accessing fat.
The Problems With Eating All the Time
There are six problems with eating all the time:
- Insulin resistance
- Perpetuating sugar adaptation
- You become better at storing vs. accessing fat
- Always thinking about food
- Inconsistent blood sugar
- Cravings, overhunger, overdesire
So, now that you know why it’s so bad to eat all the time and be addicted to sugar and flour, what can you do about it?
Give up sugar. Give up flour. Stop snacking.
It’s simple—but it’s not easy.
How to Successfully Live a Fat Adapted Life
- Give up flour, sugar, and snacking cold turkey. You will feel terrible and have cravings for two to six weeks. You’ll have cravings and go through withdrawal. The transition is hard.
- Become aware of your body. Become aware of hunger and your emotions. You start feeling sensations more acutely during this process.
- Manage your mental health. Your cravings will go away. Your hunger will change. However, your emotions will stay. You have to learn how to experience those emotions without resisting, reacting, or avoiding them.
How Do You Know If You’re Fat Adapted?
You’ll know if you’re fat adapted if …
- It’s easy to go hours without eating.
- You feel even energy through the day.
- You eat fuel in large quantities less often.
- Cravings are gone.
Benefits of Fat Adaptation
There are enormous benefits of fat adaptation:
- Your body was designed for it.
- Your body becomes efficient at burning fat, not storing it.
- It makes you insulin sensitive. (You need very little insulin to store fat, which means your body will access the fat easily.)
- It’s more convenient to not have to eat all the time.
- You’ll have steady energy all day.
- You’ll have a lean body effortlessly.
How to Apply This to Your Life
Join me right now in this training video, where you can download your free worksheet and learn how to become fat adapted.
To learn more about my monthly coaching program, visit TheLifeCoachSchool.com/Join/.