Not to say that this advice will totally eliminate all sugar withdrawals, BUT it will sure ’nuff make sugar withdrawals less of a pain in the arsh by getting you fat-adapted BEFORE getting into a fat-burning routine.
A lot of times, the reason why people give up on a low-carb diet, or any diet for that matter, is because they go in thinking willpower will get them through.
Or they think all they need is willpower and self-discipline.
They find that their willpower is no match to the hunger headaches, hunger pains, intense cravings, mood swings, and symptoms that happen when your body is getting less carbs and adjusting your blood sugar.
While willpower and self-discipline do have their places in implementing healthier eating habits, I’ve learned there is a much better, and less torturous way than.
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What is being fat adapted?
The words “fat adapted” have been around for a while now, hasn’t it?
But I’ll give you the quick “tea” (so to speak) here just in case you haven’t heard the term before. (I’ll also link some oldies, but goodies on fat adaptation below.)
Being fat adapted is when your body gets back to it’s natural function of primarily burning fat as opposed to primarily burning sugar.
It is natural for humans to gain weight and put on fat. Evolutionarily, it is how we survived famine, winters, animal migrations, and times without refrigeration and In-N-Out.
Our bodies, intelligently, gain fat that it can later burn because it has evolved to understand it will need that fat when there’s not much food around.
In today’s time, being fat adapted still means the same thing, BUT we are in environments and consuming foods that support the fat accumulation and storage, but not the fat burning.
Many of us consume foods that signal to our “ancient” bodies that we need to eat more and store fat. But we don’t experience famine so we continue to gain fat.
And we become sugar burners. Our bodies like sugar too because of how easily accessible it is as energy. We get hungry quicker on sugar, however, because it is not as sustainable an energy as fat.
To become fat adapted, you have to get the body to make the switch from sugar to fat. To effectively tap into your fat stores without torturing yourself, you have to train your body to make the switch.
Why become fat-adapted before dieting for fat loss
Before you start going super duper low-carb, cutting back on calories, and hopping into an intense intermittent fasting schedule, (or if you already have and notice how real that struggle is) let me hip you to some game “real quick.”
Becoming fat-adapted helps you rely less on willpower and self-discipline during dieting for fat loss and more on your body’s natural ability to burn fat.
When you jump into these relatively intense diets like low-carb, keto, and keto intermittent fasting, coming right off of the Standard American diet, you’re essentially asking your body to burn fat it’s not yet prepared to burn because it’s been primarily relying upon sugar.
That’s when you’ll need a sh!t ton of willpower and self-discipline to stick to your routine despite the intense hunger pains and sugar withdrawals you’re highly likely experiencing.
But when you first get adapted, eating less and skipping meals is easy to do. So easy in fact that even I forget to eat sometimes. And I used to be one of those “cuss out inanimate objects” types of hungry people.
Secondly, when you become fat-adapted first you increase your chances of sticking with your fat loss routine.
You get your body on the same page as opposed to fighting it into fat loss submission. When you’re not fighting your body, you’re more likely to find your fat loss routine more doable and less of a pain in the ass.
When you’re routine is less of a pain, it’s much easier to stick to.
Lastly, becoming fat adapted first also helps you deal with cravings and get your appetite in check BEFORE you try to force it to be in check on a low-carb, or caloric restricted diet.
Getting my cravings and appetite in check before I start tweaking the routine for fat loss is, I truly believe, what made me finally successful at fat loss.
I have tried all types of diets to lose weight, but when I went paleo 6 years ago, my appetite and cravings changed big time. Weight was much easier to lose because I found it easier to stick to my routine.
And I KNOW it wasn’t because the willpower and self-discipline gods gave me a double shot of both one day.
It was because I spent time adjusting from being a sugar burner to being a fat burner.
Step One: Eliminate all highly processed foods from your diet. All. Of. Them.
Baby, I am SO not an everything in moderation type of gal.
I DO NOT find the value in cheat days and “treating” yourself with junk food because you’ve been a good girl all week.
That “treat” can actually throw off your progress and make sticking to your routine much more challenging than it might already be so why?
I just can’t.
Perhaps I’m saying this as someone that practices a goal of complete abstinence due to food addiction and a binge eating disorder.
But then again I’m also saying this as someone that knows DETOX is such a powerful tool in getting the body back to it’s a natural state of primarily burning fat.
If you’re routinely dosing yourself with high carbs and sugars, although you’re on a low-carb, fat loss routine, you’re not really allowing your body to regulate and “chill” from what those foods have done.
Yea, you’re eating less of those foods if you went from eating highly processed foods every day to eating them once a week, but even that once a week can be enough to not allow your body to regulate blood sugar, cravings and appetite.
Spending at least 30 days with NO CHEATS will show you how much of a difference it is to your appetite and body when you go without highly processed foods.
You’ll see. You’ll see.
Step Two: Eat real foods from the rooter to the tooter
Have you ever heard that expression? From the rooter to the tooter?
Well, what I mean by that is eat all real foods including animal protein from the tongues to the rump roasts if you can.
Get creative and explore. There is PLENTY to eat in the whelm of real foods. Plenty.
There are all types of vegetables, root vegetables, cuts of meats, ways to cook eggs, fats, and fruits to stack your plate with.
Focusing on eating real foods at first will help your body detox from highly processed foods easier than if you were to jump into a low-carb or keto intermittent fasting routine.
When putting together your plates, think of eating protein, veggies, starch, and a fat.
For me, that looked like a baked chicken thigh, steamed broccoli, and a sweet potato topped with butter.
And I still lost a significant amount of weight without worrying about cutting calories or eating a keto diet.
Step Three: Stick to three meals a day
While eating real foods, you’ll begin to notice your cravings and appetite will change.
You’ll begin to feel less hungry and perhaps even not need to snack between meals.
Don’t be alarmed when this happens. This is a good thing and a sign you’re on your way to effortless intermittent fasting and low-carb living for fat loss.
When you do notice yourself needing less food, cut back to sticking to three meals a day. That’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Or however, you’d like to call those three meals.
Going with three meals a day will help your body become fat-adapted by slowly implementing mini fasting sessions. Fasting is when fat burning increases.
Getting your body to mini fast between dinner and breakfast will help lower insulin for longer periods of time and condition your body to be able to handle that state.
It’ll help your body begin to increase it’s fat-burning abilities and it’ll be much easier to then lower your carbs, implement intermittent fasting, and cut back on calories.
Step four: Include high-quality, healthy fats into the mix
Eating enough protein and fat is key to transitioning from sugar burner to fat burner.
Especially since you will be dealing with some sugar withdrawals that can make you feel hungry when you really aren’t and craving a cookie when lord knows that is not the answer.
Remedy that by eating to be satiated.
I want you to think of that word each time you prepare to make yourself a plate and remember that you want to feel fed. You want to be satisfied.
You do that by getting enough healthy fats and proteins.
NOT by eating white chicken breasts, low-fat blah, blah yogurt, and throwing away precious egg yolks for egg white omelets.
Eat the yolk, eat REAL butter, and eat animal fats.
Here is a list of healthy fats:
- Egg yolks
- Avocado oil mayonnaise
- Avocado oil
- Raw dairy (while transitioning to lower-carb diets)
- Duck fat
- Beef tallow
- Chicken fat
A note on animal fats: It is important to purchase animal fats from as healthy an animal as possible if you can afford to.
If not, skip the animal fats, cook them off the meat, and toss them. Toxins from the ill practices of conventional meat industries are mostly in the fat.
Healthy, humanely raised animals have fat that is nutrient dense and contains what we humans most definitely need.
A good website to check out for animal fats is Fatworks where they work with farmers that raise animals “in the most sustainable, humane, and environmentally friendly way possible.” – Fatworksfoods.com
- Free Range Chicken Fat
- Pasture Raised Leaf Lard
- Pasture Raised Duck Fat
- Cage Free Duck Fat
- Pasture Raised Goos Fat
- Grass Fed Beef Tallow
- Wild Boar Lard
- Grass-fed Ghee
- And these cool combos and sampler-size packages
Check out Fatworks for their fat store of goodies.
Conclusion: Don’t torture yourself starting out, get fat adapted instead
Getting fat adapted means getting your body on the same page as your goals instead of you having to fight your body with willpower and self-discipline to lose fat while you suffer with sugar withdrawal symptoms.
I’ve been there and done that. Fighting my body instead of getting it prepared for fat burning by getting fat adapted was whack, torturous, and hella unnecessary.
Instead, get fat adapted before implementing a fat loss/weight loss routine by eliminating all highly processed foods (including sugary juices and sodas), eating all types of real foods, and then naturally cutting back to three meals a day.
This method will allow for your body to better manage the switch from sugar burner to fat burner and will help you better stick to your routine.
- How I lost 45 pounds in 4 months on effortless intermittent fasting
- How to choose the best intermittent fasting method for you
- How to simply lose weight if you weigh 200 lbs or more
- What does it mean to be fat-adapted
- What does it mean to be fat-adapted – Part 2: Q&A
- Becoming fat-adapted has been the key to my success!
- A metabolic paradigm shift, or why fat is the preferred fuel for human metabolism
- Getting fat-adapted? What does that even mean?