Becoming fat-adapted is one of the most powerful health and performance goals to strive for. In this post, I 'll cover some of the basic steps, and provide links to an article and a podcost that feature high-level performance coaches discussing the importance of this concept.
When fat-adapted, your body's metabolic engine will work more like a fire burning logs instead of paper. Fueled by fat, your energy production system will run longer, stronger and cleaner. And every other system in your body will benefit from having a consistent, reliable source of energy that can be generated with a minimal amount of metabolic waste (like the ash created by burning paper). Less metabolic waste means lower levels of internal inflammation—the underlying cause of almost every modern, chronic disease.
When your body learns to recognize and utilize fat as its preferred source of fuel, you'll find that you won't always be hungry in the morning; you may even feel more energetic and focused when you wait a few hours to eat.
Becoming fat-adapted doesn't happen overnight. It takes a few weeks to a few months for your body to adjust the enzymatic and metabolic processes necessary for optimal, fat-burning efficiency.
How do you become fat-adapted?
By adhering to a healthy lifestyle and eating a nutrient-dense, metabolically-balanced diet. Download our free Seeds of Success and Food for Thought guides to get started.
Next, start paying attention to when and how often you eat, or need to eat. It will take some training and attention, but you'll soon begin to feel (and see) the benefits. Check out this previous post on why breakfast may not be "the most important meal of the day," and a short quiz that will help you determine whether or not you're a fat-burner.
Here's a summary of the basic steps to becoming fat adapted:
- Avoid simple sugars and reduce your total carbohydrate intake.
- Eat most of your carbohydrates within a few hours after physical activity, or during your last meal of the day.
- Eat quality calories from healthy fats such as coconut oil and avocados.
- Only eat when you're hungry.
- Practice intermittent fasting for 15 to 18 hours.
- Exercise once or twice weekly on an empty stomach.
- Get 8 hours of sleep each and every night.
- Prioritize the recovery phase of your workout program.
- Have a stress-outlet; stress is the foe of fat burning.
- Supplement your diet with an essential amino acid formula such as FundAminos by Core 4 Nutrition.
- Optimize your vitamin D3, omega 3 and micronutrient status.
Already a fat-burner? The it's time to take your physical (and mental) performance to the next level!
Begin with this blog by Graeme Turner, a triathlon coach from Adelaide, Australia. Find out how Graeme used a fat adaptation strategy to drop ten pounds of body-fat and successfully compete in a 70.3 triathlon without the need for any carbohydrates during his race.
Additional topics of interest include:
How focusing on your cycling cadence can speed your recovery and improve your run performance.
How training to recruit more slow twitch fibers can make your body more efficient at using fat to fuel performance.
How to use of apple cider vinegar, amino acids and carnitine to enhance fat-burning.
Then listen to this podcast where Barry Murray, a performance nutrition coach from Ireland, discusses his five, simple steps to becoming a fat burner.
Other topics he will cover include: