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_RAMONA's Photo _RAMONA Posts: 5,002
8/28/12 4:12 P

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"Is this the kind of thing you're talking about, being on a very low calorie diet for so long (for me it was WW) that the body refuses to lose any weight?"

(With all due respect, I don't agree with your nutritionist's assessment... it's too simplistic... and if eating too few calories caused people to stop losing weight, nobody would ever starve to death.)

No (I've never dieted or been significantly overweight until I joined SparkPeople at age 47), but while the causation is likely different, the results and how it impacts our bodies' ability to manage our weight is likely the same. Lots of different things can 'break' any component of your metabolism... and then it all snowballs from there.

Fat is a symptom of metabolic dysfunction in the body. Which came first... adrenal issues, general hormonal dysfunction (infertility), thyroid dysfunction, insulin resistance, leptin resistance, a damaged gut, fatty liver, leaky gut, bacterial overgrowth... doesn't really matter, but it all has to be addressed as part of the same problem. My issues likely began with undiagnosed gluten intolerance and adrenal dysfunction.

That's why Paleo works... it heals the gut, which improves hormonal response due to improved liver function, improved insulin and leptin receptivity, improving thyroid function, healing the adrenals... it's all a snowball effect. If a person stops losing weight, it's because something is once again out of balance, or they've reached stasis.

OOPS! Sorry I missed the 'vegetarian' reference the first time.... Vegetarian and Paleo does have some challenges!

Honestly, you can't be truly Paleo and vegetarian (you can borrow from Paleo, but I doubt you will get the same results)... getting all your nutrients in a way your body can best use is nearly impossible... the core premiss of 'Paleo' is eating fat for energy, and getting enough protein to spare lean mass from sources that don't harm the gut (NO grains, legumes, soy, or plant/seed oils... no amount of these is gut-sparing). Do you eat eggs? Seafood?

If you want some vegetarian 'Paleo' resources, I'd be happy to pass some on to you... I had a friend recently ask me how to do Paleo as a vegetarian, and I went looking. :)

Edited by: _RAMONA at: 8/28/2012 (19:11)

'An Apple A Day' keeps the doctor away...
www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-bluep
rint-101/#axzz28X8ooJ1H



NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2108522


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JENNIEBEAN's Photo JENNIEBEAN Posts: 1,516
8/28/12 2:35 P

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Thank you so much for all the resources, Ramona! I'd buy bacon but last time I checked it was meat ;). Vegetarian here. Hmmm, coconut oil does sound interesting to work with. But I imagine I can add it to my green beans, salsa, black beans, veggie burger dinner concoction as I would olive oil, since I cook that.

You mentioned healing your metabolism... I think I need to do the same. Saw a nutritionist for about 4 months who was adamant that I wasn't taking in enough calories to fuel my activity so I had bottomed my metabo out. I tried increasing for 4 months (though it wreaked havoc w/ my disordered eating and body dysmorphic tendencies) but only gained, never saw it level out. I was faced w/ a wedding coming up (married woman now, as of 8/5 :) ) and just didn't feel ready to really keep at this if that's what was needed. Is this the kind of thing you're talking about, being on a very low calorie diet for so long (for me it was WW) that the body refuses to lose any weight?

"Sweat cleanses from within. It comes from places a shower will never reach."
-Dr. George Sheehan

"Do, or do not. There is no 'try'."
-Yoda


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_RAMONA's Photo _RAMONA Posts: 5,002
8/28/12 12:10 P

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Here are the links to the articles that immediately came to mind:

Metabolism and Ketosis
www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ketones-
an
d-ketosis/metabolism-and-ketosis/

This article explains really well why/how healthy fat makes the transition to Paleo so much easier... and how coconut oil is a unique fat.

Guest Post by Modern Forager: The Tropical Oils
www.marksdailyapple.com/guest-post-b
y-
modern-forager-the-tropical-oils/#axR>zz24rEOr04v


Can You Be an Endurance Athlete and Primal?
www.marksdailyapple.com/jonas-coltin
g/
#axzz24r9qFQwU


How to Fuel Ultra-Distances: The World’s Toughest Mudder
www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-fuel-
ul
tra-distances-the-worlds-toughest-muR>dder/#axzz24r9QRSK4


Multi-Sport Athlete, Greg Parham Talks About
The Paleo Diet For Performance
www.livingpaleo.com/guest/Greg-Parha
m-
Talks-About-The-Paleo-Diet-For-PerfoR>rmance.html


...Coconut oil is really hard to sub for Olive Oil because it's solid at room temperature (don't put it in the fridge because you can't get it out of the jar, lol)... I cook with it exclusively (you shouldn't cook with olive oil), and I actually consume two tbsp. a day just by spoon, liberally sprinkled with Chipotle pepper and a bit of sea salt... I LOVE the taste. Coconut oil has literally changed my life, and is largely responsible for healing my metabolism... got a ways to go yet, but it's the only thing that has made any difference.

...buy some bacon while you're at it, too! It's not the villian it's been made out to be, LOL! Oh, and start your day with eggs... also a GREAT fat (the yolks)!

I suspect eatng this way will actually give you BETTER appetite management and ENERGY!

There's a Spark who is a distance runner, and completely Paleo... you may appreciate his blog (his transformation is mind-boggling)... I'll go get the link and add it to this comment!

Okay.. Here it is... Jennie, meet Adam:
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=AD
AM
M9







Edited by: _RAMONA at: 9/13/2012 (23:30)

'An Apple A Day' keeps the doctor away...
www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-bluep
rint-101/#axzz28X8ooJ1H



NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2108522


 current weight: 135.0 
 
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JENNIEBEAN's Photo JENNIEBEAN Posts: 1,516
8/28/12 12:02 P

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Ramona, you rock. Thank you thank you!!!!! This is a great team, so glad I joined! I will def pick up some coconut oil tonight. Do you guys sub it for olive oil liberally? I will also pick up some avocado, but that may need to wait till the weekend so I can get to whole foods for some hopefully organic stuff. :)

"Sweat cleanses from within. It comes from places a shower will never reach."
-Dr. George Sheehan

"Do, or do not. There is no 'try'."
-Yoda


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_RAMONA's Photo _RAMONA Posts: 5,002
8/28/12 11:42 A

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Hi, Jennie! WELCOME!

I think you're good to continue as you are. You are already functioning at a high activity level, and eating really clean and even relatively low-carb. The transition won't be so great for you. If you find yourself struggling for energy, simply up your fat intake in the form of coconut oil, avocadoes, and bump up your protein a little.

The biggest mistake people make in transitioning is in not taking the need for fat seriously.

Coconut oil is unique in that it is a medium-chain trigyceride, and it the fat it gives you CAN'T be stored... it has to be burned. Additionally, it is quickly converted to ketones (food for your brain as your body transitions and learns to unlock the energy stored in your body fat), and it immediately available for your body to use... it realigns all of your metabolic processes, and helps to spare your lean mass.

I ate very cleanly (no processed food, only low glycemic carbs) before going Paleo, and I had no adjustment (except for feeling better almost immediately) period at all. My husband (AKA the Carb Monster) had a small lack of energy but upped his fat for a week or two and had no issues, and my daughter... other than needing to eat constantly... no issues either. Not everyone gets 'carb flu'... there is just an obligation to warn people so they don't get discouraged.

I'm off to find a couple of articles you will likely appreciate!

Edited by: _RAMONA at: 8/30/2012 (16:50)

'An Apple A Day' keeps the doctor away...
www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-bluep
rint-101/#axzz28X8ooJ1H



NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2108522


 current weight: 135.0 
 
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192.5
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JENNIEBEAN's Photo JENNIEBEAN Posts: 1,516
8/28/12 11:11 A

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This thread is awesome!!! It's what had me decide to join the team (*waves*).

This is my current concern about fad adaptation:
"Reduce your workout intensity. Don’t try to get fat-adapted while you try to make the CrossFit games, start P90X, do a triathlon, or engage in anything that demands a ton of glucose. It will end badly. Instead, walk a bunch and occasionally lift heavy things. Once you’re fat-adapted, your desire to be active will likely spontaneously increase."

I'm a runner training for a marathon on 9/30, I do CrossFit 3-4 days/week (not trying for the games!! LOL), and I teach spinning at the gym 2-3x/week as well. I don't want to cut back on this stuff, although the long runs will DEFINITELY be reduced post-marathon. I'm looking forward to just working out because I like to, rather than 'having' to get a 18-22 mile training run every other weekend, and a 12-ish one on the other weekends.

Is it a bad idea for me to be transitioning to a Zone-with-Paleo-twist diet right now? I came to the Zone after trying Paleo and realizing that it doesn't really work well w/ my vegetarian diet. So I read up on the Zone and it touts its benefits to all athletes, from the weekend warrior to the Olympian or NFL superstar. When I'm eating "in the Zone" I have hardly any grains, maybe 1 block in the evening, in the form of 1/2 slice of sprouted grains bread, or 1.5 squares of graham cracker. So I'm as close to Paleo as I feel comfortable as a vegetarian fitness freak. I am going to follow the 80/20 rule, and allow 2 meals per week that are not Paleo/Zone friendly, one of which still falling within my calorie requirement range, and one particularly naughty one that doesn't.

Thoughts, anyone? Like I said, marathon training is done in a month. Am I good to continue, you think? So far, the weekends have turned into a free-for-all, largely because of the long run, which makes my appetite go nuts, and, subconsiously or otherwise, makes me feel that I can eat "whatever I want"... a feeling that I can't seem to rein in until Monday morning. It's a process, I guess, but I hope that eases off a bit when my runs go back to maxing out at 8 or 10.


"Sweat cleanses from within. It comes from places a shower will never reach."
-Dr. George Sheehan

"Do, or do not. There is no 'try'."
-Yoda


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_RAMONA's Photo _RAMONA Posts: 5,002
8/26/12 5:13 P

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KMART, your post has me doing a happy dance... sharing as you just did completley confirms my own experience... and it's the only way anyone is actually going to believe that just dumping toxic food allows you to eat and not count every bite. People also seem to be too impatient to allow their body to heal to get the results.

Anyway, THANK YOU for sharing!

I laughed at the 'pancakes' this weekend I made a quadruple batch of 'paleo' pancakes and froze 2.5 dozen for school breakfasts! We had them fresh with homemade blueberry syrup (fresh blueberries cooked down with chopped dates). SO yummy!

If anyone wants the recipe, and some other make/freeze/reheat breakfast recipes, I have them here:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
ur
nal_individual.asp?blog_id=5018597


Edited by: _RAMONA at: 8/26/2012 (17:21)

'An Apple A Day' keeps the doctor away...
www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-bluep
rint-101/#axzz28X8ooJ1H



NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2108522


 current weight: 135.0 
 
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KMART46320's Photo KMART46320 SparkPoints: (11,927)
Fitness Minutes: (13,626)
Posts: 33
8/26/12 12:16 P

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When I started paleo, I was hungry all the time. The first 2-3 weeks I started, I ignored calorie counts and just ate "good" foods. I took a ton of food with me to work and snacked anytime I felt hungry: celery/carrot sticks + almond butter/liver sausage (don't knock it liver sausage & celery it's excellent!), almonds, cashews, lunch meat, etc. I tried to drink lots of water & herbal tea. I ate eggs with veggie scrambles for breakfast, meat & veggies for lunch, meat, veggie & salad for dinner. I switched to cooking with coconut oil and put olive oil on my salads & veggies. If I "cheated" it was rice, beans or potatoes. Always as part of the meal. If I had a "sweet" craving, I grabbed fruit or dried fruit.

I made this change to get healthy. Hashimoto's, gut issues, anemia, vitamin D deficient, & more. I didn't really do it to lose weight. My gut is so much happier with me when I cut out: dairy, wheat, corn, soy (and I cut them in that order). I NEVER cheat with any of these, because I feel awful when I do.

If you are hungry, eat!!! But Think ahead of time, what are some "safe" craving satisfiers? NEVER grab wheat!!! It will just make you want to eat more. If it's sweet: dark chocolate or dried fruit, if it's salty - plain potato chips the small snack size or salted nuts is much "safer" than pretzels or cheetos, if it's creamy - experiment with coconut based foods, I was happy the day I discovered coconut yogurt who-hooo!!!,

What is your deal breaker? The only thing I really missed in my new life was.... pancakes. I missed a bread/carb breakfast on the weekend. I experimented until I had a great recipe for paleo pancakes. They make me happy, as stupid as that sounds. This is only going to work if you think about the great things you are currently eating (grilled steak, yum!!!!) instead of thinking about the stuff you have given up.

good luck (as a fellow pear, I'm feeling your pain)

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. - Lao-Tsu.

Who cares about what happened yesterday, what happens today matters more. - Me


YOSOYLINDA's Photo YOSOYLINDA Posts: 5,948
8/25/12 7:47 P

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Wow, who knew so much great info would appear in just one thread. Thanks to you for starting this, and for all the others who've sent all those links, etc.

I too have ruined my relationship with food, but long before you were born. I mess around with one "diet" and then another, but never seem to get much below 165 no matter what I do. And I'm 5/1" as well!

I'd love to go Paleo, and have thought about it for a long time, but I just never jump in and do it.

Congrats to you for getting this far!

Linda C
Oklahoma (CST)

"Food is essential to life; Therefore, make it good."
--S. Truett Cathy (Chick-Fil-A)

Come on 5%!!!!!

Member Since Nov 06!


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_RAMONA's Photo _RAMONA Posts: 5,002
8/25/12 12:49 A

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Some links that might help you discern for yourself if any of this makes any sense in your own situation:

The Physiology of Women’s Weight Loss
From: Paleo for Women

• Part I: Estrogen
www.paleoforwomen.com/the-physiology
-o
f-womens-weight-loss-part-i-estrogen/


• Part II: Appetite and Weight Regulation
www.paleoforwomen.com/the-physiology
-o
f-womens-weight-loss-part-ii-appetitR>e-and-weight-regulation/


• Women, Weight Loss, and Modern America: A World in Need of Revolution
www.paleoforwomen.com/women-weight-l
os
s-and-modern-america-a-world-in-needR>-of-an-evolution-revolution/


• The Healthiest, Happiest, Easiest Weight Loss in the World
www.paleoforwomen.com/the-healthiest
-h
appiest-easiest-way-to-lose-weight/





'An Apple A Day' keeps the doctor away...
www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-bluep
rint-101/#axzz28X8ooJ1H



NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2108522


 current weight: 135.0 
 
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221.25
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_RAMONA's Photo _RAMONA Posts: 5,002
8/25/12 12:14 A

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(the article in its original location has clickable links throughout)


What Does It Mean to Be Fat-Adapted? – Part 2: Q&A
www.marksdailyapple.com/what-does-it
-m
ean-to-be-fat-adapted-part-2-qa/#ixzR>z22KB3rF5T



As I figured it would, last week’s post on fat-adaptation generated a lot of comments and questions. I couldn’t answer all of them (maybe another time), so for today’s post, I tried to collate the most burning questions to arrive at a representative sample. That way I hit the major ones without making this one of those super long posts. If you feel I’ve missed any major ones, feel free to let me know in the comment section.

First up is the most basic of questions: how does one become fat-adapted? Some, probably most, of you have a good idea how to go about doing such a thing, but not everyone. And so, without further ado, let’s get to the questions:



How do I become fat-adapted?

Ramp up your fat intake. This will spur your body to increase fat-digesting enzymes that have likely laid rather dormant. Rather than consuming any old fat you can get your hands on, I’d stick to high-nutrient fat – from pastured animals, pastured egg yolks, butter from truly grass-fed cows, red palm oil, extra virgin olive oil – and fat with interesting properties, like MCT and coconut oil (which will ramp up ketone production). It will also “train” your mitochondria to start burning fat for fuel.

Reduce your daily carb intake to about 50 grams if sedentary, 100-150 if you are highly active. Basically, you want to reduce your carb intake relative to your body’s demands.

Avoid lean protein. Eat protein that has fat attached, as a focus on protein (rather than meat, which has both fat and protein) could lead to your body converting excess amino acids to glucose.

Reduce your workout intensity. Don’t try to get fat-adapted while you try to make the CrossFit games, start P90X, do a triathlon, or engage in anything that demands a ton of glucose. It will end badly. Instead, walk a bunch and occasionally lift heavy things. Once you’re fat-adapted, your desire to be active will likely spontaneously increase.

Be nutritionally replete. Make sure you’re not missing out on any of the common nutrient deficiencies, as shown here and here.

Aren’t ketones produced as a by-product of fat oxidation? Therefore, aren’t blood ketone levels the best way of measuring how good you are at burning fat?

To the first question, yes. It’s not an on-off switch. It’s not either-or. As biological systems, we are fluid things existing on continuums, and so we’re always using a mix of glucose, fatty acids, and ketone bodies.

Here’s a quick and dirty picture of how it works. In the liver during beta-oxidation, fatty acids are broken down into acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA is oxidized and its energy is shuttled toward the production of ATP, the body’s energy currency. If “too much” acetyl-CoA is produced or insufficient amounts of a necessary precursor called oxaloacetate are present, however, the “excess” acetyl-CoA is converted into ketone bodies. So, as you can see, you could be beta-oxidizing fatty acids for ATP and producing ketones at the same time.

As to the second question, yes, I think that’s a fair statement. However, higher blood ketones isn’t necessarily “better.” If you’re under a medical professional’s care, using deep ketosis as a therapeutic tool to treat a serious medical issue (epilepsy, brain cancer, neurodegeneration), then yeah, shoot for maximum fat and ketone burning. But if you’re just a regular person who wants to maintain good body fat levels, be reasonably active, do some intense exercise now and then, and enjoy edible plant life, merely becoming fat-adapted is probably sufficient and ideal. Dr. Richard Veech, an expert on therapeutic ketosis, suggests that “mild ketosis” is plenty. Mild ketosis describes the basic fat-burning state, the type that we typically wake up in after a night of “fasting.”

Once you are fat-adapted, how long does it take to become un-fat-adapted? If you go on vacation for a week and have a carbfest, do you have to start from square one?

Ideally, you’ll get to a place where you can have those days where things go off the rails and bounce back without much of an issue – because the fat-burning machinery is in place, the mitochondrial biogenesis has already occurred, the digestive enzymes are upregulated and established. That’s where I am nowadays. I can have some ice cream, some roasted potatoes with dinner, a heaping bowl of fruit (hey, hey, not all at once), and I don’t miss a beat. But, if your 80/20 becomes more like 60/40 (and be honest, you know the difference), or you spend weeks or months with your old eating habits, that’s when the work you’ve done begins to stall or really turn around.

Still, I’d imagine that if you stick to a Primal Blueprint eating plan and avoid refined carbs and junk, you can do carb refeeds after intense exercise and maintain stocked muscle glycogen stores without affecting your ability to burn fat.

I’m confused…if you are a sugar-burning type, does that mean you won’t lose the weight until you become a fat-adapted type?

Not exactly, but fat loss will become vastly easier once you’re fat-adapted. The primary reason why diets fail is adherence. When you calorie restrict as a sugar-burner, you’re often up against an immovable, unrelenting force of nature: hunger. The very thing that you’re trying to overcome – your overconsumption of calories – is caused by the thing that thwarts you at every turn – your hunger. The hunger is the real problem, and it must be addressed, unless you like fighting regenerating hydra heads.

As I said last week, sugar is a fleeting source of energy. Aside from the most superhuman of athletes, we simply don’t have a way to store large amounts of it in our bodies. Therefore, the sugar-burner needs to have a steady exogenous source on hand. Hunger is the body’s way of requesting energy when internal stores are depleted or inaccessible. If you’re constantly burning through glucose without ever really burning much fat, you’re going to be hungry, and you’re going to have trouble lowering the amount of energy you eat. If you’re able to access body fat for energy, you won’t get as insistent or frequent a hunger pang, because the required energy comes from within.

Since weight loss ultimately comes down to calories stored versus calories burned (more on this concept in a later post), and when you’re a fat-burner you’re both burning the stuff you want to get rid of (body fat) and taking in less energy and experiencing less hunger (because you’re eating body fat), being fat-adapted just makes losing unwanted weight easier.

When I lower my carb load to 50g (veggies and nuts) to kick-start fat burning I develop severe insomnia within a week. I produce no ketones, either. How can I break through this barrier? I know I’m not alone in this.

There are a couple ways to kickstart ketone production, if that’s what you’re after. You can increase your intake of medium chain triglycerides, as found in coconut products. Since MCTs don’t show up in cell membranes and never really appear in adipose tissue, they go directly to the liver to be converted into acetyl-CoA for energy. Remember how the acetyl-CoA-ATP pathway can be overwhelmed, thus spurring the creation of ketones? That’s what eating MCTs can do – increase ketone production. Use more coconut oil and fewer long-chain saturated fats (which do go into cell membranes, can show up in adipose tissue, and are less likely to overwhelm the liver’s ability to make ATP), like animals fats, while you get adjusted.

You could also incorporate ketogenic amino acids. Huh? Well, a bit like how certain amino acids are more likely to participate in glucogenesis, certain amino acids are more likely to participate in ketogenesis. Both lysine and leucine are readily converted into ketone bodies. As Paul Jaminet points out, high-leucine ketogenic diets have allowed researchers to treat epileptic patients without having to resort to the overly restrictive traditional ketogenic diets. Doing it this way gives you a little more leeway with your vegetable intake.

I would also make sure you’re getting enough minerals, especially sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Magnesium in particular can help with sleep.

When you do eat your carbs, eat them closer to bedtime. A lot of people find that this helps with sleep, perhaps because a bolus of carbs can increase tryptophan, and subsequently serotonin, availability. Low-carb isn’t no-carb.

Edited by: _RAMONA at: 11/20/2012 (12:32)

'An Apple A Day' keeps the doctor away...
www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-bluep
rint-101/#axzz28X8ooJ1H



NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2108522


 current weight: 135.0 
 
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_RAMONA's Photo _RAMONA Posts: 5,002
8/25/12 12:12 A

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(the article in its original location has clickable links throughout)

What Does It Mean to Be Fat-Adapted?
www.marksdailyapple.com/what-does-it
-m
ean-to-be-fat-adapted/#axzz22H0HXngl


When describing someone that has successfully made the transition to the Primal way of eating I often refer to them as 'fat-adapted' or as 'fat-burning beasts'. But what exactly does it mean to be 'fat-adapted'? How can you tell if you're fat-adapted or still a 'sugar-burner'? I get these and related questions fairly often, so I thought I'd take the time today to attempt to provide some definitions and bring some clarification to all of this. I'll try to keep today's post short and sweet, and not too complicated. Hopefully, med students and well-meaning but inquisitive lay family members alike will be able to take something from it.

As I've mentioned before, fat-adaptation is the normal, preferred metabolic state of the human animal. It's nothing special; it's just how we're meant to be. That's actually why we have all this fat on our bodies - turns out it's a pretty reliable source of energy! To understand what it means to be normal, it's useful examine what it means to be abnormal. And by that I mean, to understand what being a sugar-dependent person feels like.



A sugar-burner can't effectively access stored fat for energy. What that means is an inability for skeletal muscle to oxidize fat. Ha, not so bad, right? I mean, you could always just burn glucose for energy. Yeah, as long as you're walking around with an IV-glucose drip hooked up to your veins. What happens when a sugar-burner goes two, three, four hours without food, or - dare I say it - skips a whole entire meal (without that mythical IV sugar drip)? They get ravenously hungry. Heck, a sugar-burner's adipose tissue even releases a bunch of fatty acids 4-6 hours after eating and during fasting, because as far as it's concerned, your muscles should be able to oxidize them (PDF). After all, we evolved to rely on beta oxidation of fat for the bulk of our energy needs. But they can't, so they don't, and once the blood sugar is all used up (which happens really quickly), hunger sets in, and the hand reaches for yet another bag of chips.

A sugar-burner can't even effectively access dietary fat for energy. As a result, more dietary fat is stored than burned. Unfortunately for them, they're likely to end up gaining lots of body fat. As we know, a low ratio of fat to carbohydrate oxidation is a strong predictor of future weight gain.

A sugar-burner depends on a perpetually-fleeting source of energy. Glucose is nice to burn when you need it, but you can't really store very much of it on your person (unless you count snacks in pockets, or chipmunkesque cheek-stuffing). Even a 160 pound person who's visibly lean at 12% body fat still has 19.2 pounds of animal fat on hand for oxidation, while our ability to store glucose as muscle and liver glycogen are limited to about 500 grams (depending on the size of the liver and amount of muscle you're sporting). You require an exogenous source, and, if you're unable to effectively beta oxidize fat (as sugar-burners often are), you'd better have some candy on hand.

A sugar-burner will burn through glycogen fairly quickly during exercise. Depending on the nature of the physical activity, glycogen burning could be perfectly desirable and expected, but it's precious, valuable stuff. If you're able to power your efforts with fat for as long as possible, that gives you more glycogen - more rocket fuel for later, intenser efforts (like climbing a hill or grabbing that fourth quarter offensive rebound or running from a predator). Sugar-burners waste their glycogen on efforts that fat should be able to power.

Being fat-adapted, then, looks and feels a little bit like the opposite of all that:

A fat-burning beast can effectively burn stored fat for energy throughout the day. If you can handle missing meals and are able to go hours without getting ravenous and cranky (or craving carbs), you're likely fat-adapted.

A fat-burning beast is able to effectively oxidize dietary fat for energy. If you're adapted, your post-prandial fat oxidation will be increased, and less dietary fat will be stored in adipose tissue.

A fat-burning beast has plenty of accessible energy on hand, even if he or she is lean. If you're adapted, the genes associated with lipid metabolism will be upregulated in your skeletal muscles. You will essentially reprogram your body.

A fat-burning beast can rely more on fat for energy during exercise, sparing glycogen for when he or she really needs it. As I've discussed before, being able to mobilize and oxidize stored fat during exercise can reduce an athlete's reliance on glycogen. This is the classic 'train low, race high' phenomenon, and it can improve performance, save the glycogen for the truly intense segments of a session, and burn more body fat. If you can handle exercising without having to carb-load, you're probably fat-adapted. If you can workout effectively in a fasted state, you're definitely fat-adapted.

Furthermore, a fat-burning beast will be able to burn glucose when necessary and/or available, whereas the opposite cannot be said for a sugar-burner. Ultimately, fat-adaption means metabolic flexibility. It means that a fat-burning beast will be able to handle some carbs along with some fat. A fat-burning beast will be able to empty glycogen stores through intense exercise, refill those stores, burn whatever dietary fat isn't stored, and then easily access and oxidize the fat that is stored when it's needed. It's not that the fat-burning beast can't burn glucose - because glucose is toxic in the blood, we'll always preferentially burn it, store it, or otherwise 'handle' it - it's that he doesn't depend on it. I'd even suggest that true fat-adaptation will allow someone to eat a higher carb meal or day without derailing the train. Once the fat-burning machinery has been established and programmed, you should be able to effortlessly switch between fuel sources as needed.

There's really no 'fat-adaptation home test kit'. I suppose you could test your respiratory quotient, which is the ratio of carbon dioxide you produce to oxygen you consume. An RQ of 1+ indicates full glucose-burning; an RQ of 0.7 indicates full fat-burning. Somewhere around 0.8 would probably mean you're fairly well fat-adapted, while something closer to 1 probably means you're closer to a sugar-burner. The obese have higher RQs. Diabetics have higher RQs. Nighttime eaters have higher RQs (and lower lipid oxidation). What do these groups all have in common? Lower satiety, insistent hunger, impaired beta-oxidation of fat, increased carb cravings and intake - all hallmarks of the sugar-burner.

It'd be great if you could monitor the efficiency of your mitochondria, including the waste products produced by their ATP manufacturing, perhaps with a really, really powerful microscope, but you'd have to know what you were looking for. And besides, although I like to think our 'cellular power plants' resemble the power plant from the Simpsons, I'm pretty sure I'd be disappointed by reality.

No, there's no test to take, no simple thing to measure, no one number to track, no lab to order from your doctor. To find out if you're fat-adapted, the most effective way is to ask yourself a few basic questions:

"Can you go three hours without eating?"
"Is skipping a meal an exercise in futility and misery?"
"Do you enjoy steady, even energy throughout the day?"
"Are midday naps pleasurable indulgences, rather than necessary staples?"
"Can you exercise without carb-loading?"
"Have the headaches and brain fuzziness passed?"

Yes? Then you're probably fat-adapted. Welcome to normal human metabolism!

A quick note about ketosis:

Fat-adaption does not necessarily mean ketosis. Ketosis is ketosis. Fat-adaption describes the ability to burn both fat directly via beta-oxidation and glucose via glycolysis, while ketosis describes the use of fat-derived ketone bodies by tissues (like parts of the brain) that normally use glucose. A ketogenic diet 'tells' your body that no or very little glucose is available in the environment. The result? 'Impaired' glucose tolerance and 'physiological' insulin resistance, which sound like negatives but are actually necessary to spare what little glucose exists for use in the brain. On the other hand, a well-constructed, lower-carb (but not full-blown ketogenic) Primal way of eating that leads to weight loss generally improves insulin sensitivity.

Edited by: _RAMONA at: 9/12/2012 (22:29)

'An Apple A Day' keeps the doctor away...
www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-bluep
rint-101/#axzz28X8ooJ1H



NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2108522


 current weight: 135.0 
 
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_RAMONA's Photo _RAMONA Posts: 5,002
8/24/12 11:57 P

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Interesting/good blog MISSJCISRUNNING!

@HEALTHYLIFE92... here's a blog entry by another Spark that expands on what I am suggesting:

A Plea to Please Read Dietary Books Before Jumping In
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
ur
nal_individual.asp?blog_id=4974378


...based on your food tracker (*and on the fact that you've never had trouble with bingeing before most recently*), I really do not think your bingeing is in any way connected to non-hunger eating... and EGALITAIRE also has a really good point... wheat withdrawal can be a fierce force to reckon with because it does directly mess with hormone levels which can trigger binges. If your diet before switching to Paleo was carb-heavy, until you become a fat-burner for energy (rather than a carb burner), the backlash will be stronger, but if you think Paleo is still something you want to pursue, there are steps you can take to minimize this.

It's the transition from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat for fuel that gives people the most trouble and takes 3-4 weeks... which is possibly why you feel the need to binge around two weeks... if you can up your fat (coconut oil is best), and tough it out past three weeks, you will notice a distinct difference.

Unfortunately every time you binge (increase your carb levels), you are starting at square one, and the more depleted your glucose levels through lack of fuel/nutrients (eating enough protein gives your body what it needs to produce glucose independent of carb intake), the sooner you feel driven to binge.

Until you become 'fat-adapted' it is really important to be taking in enough nutrients so your body can make the transition.... And as long as you are a sugar burner, the harder it will be to burn off those last 10 very stubborn pounds. As long as you are burning carbs for fuel, your body has no reason to let go of the last bit of stored body fat.

Since bingeing can be a sign that you simply 'need' more fuel, it may just settle things if you change what you binge on... binge on fat rather than carbs.

Edited by: _RAMONA at: 10/6/2012 (14:29)

'An Apple A Day' keeps the doctor away...
www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-bluep
rint-101/#axzz28X8ooJ1H



NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2108522


 current weight: 135.0 
 
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LILY_SPARK's Photo LILY_SPARK SparkPoints: (91,383)
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8/24/12 10:16 P

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The Keyes study in the 1940s explains this phenomenon perfectly. We covered that in one of my Psych classes years ago but I'd forgotten about it til I got the audiobook by Josie Spinardi. I'm not crazy about the title but it's FULL of good stuff on why many of us get into NON hunger directed eating--then offers things to try to relearn hunger- directed eating.

The sooner you turn this around the better so GO YOU for reaching out!

I highly recommend 'have your cake & have your skinny jeans, too' by Spinardi.

You are NOT alone!

my SparkPage is friends-only: let's be friends!


Personal blog:
tinyurl.com/6uvddsj

LiveFitRevolution.org
MISSJCISRUNNING's Photo MISSJCISRUNNING Posts: 13,631
8/24/12 9:14 P

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This article really hit home for me...

balancedbites.com/2012/06/paleo-perf
ec
tionism.html


Jackie Chatman, MA, NC
Eating for Wellness Nutrition and Fitnness
Certified Holistic Nutritionist
Www.eatingforwellness.net
www.facebook.com/pages/Eating-for-We
llness/103022173087868


_RAMONA's Photo _RAMONA Posts: 5,002
8/24/12 9:05 P

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Hi! I'm glad you found Paleo.... now you just need to find some balance. :) I don' think your problem is your 'occasional' treats or choosing to eat Paleo, I think the problem is your body is driving you to provide nutrients... this is the root of bingeing when it hasn't typically been a problem 'before'.

I took a quick peek at your food tracker... have you filled it out completely? If so, overall your calories are way too low, and you are likely nutrient starved. This will drive you to eat. Also, if you're bingeing primarily on carbs, you likely aren't eating enough quality fat/protein, and while I don't see a problem with really low carbs, your carbs may be too low to get all the nutrients you need to keep your hormones in balance... eating Paleo means LOTS of colourful, fibre-rich, veggies!

Are you doing this on your own, or have you looked into a 'Paleo' type program so you can learn to do this in a healthy, sustainable way (because if you have upset your hormonal balance due to nutrient deficiencies, you will struggle a bit as you get back on track)?

Check these out:

Whole 30 (FREE on-line)
whole9life.com/2012/01/whole-30-v201
2/


The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Paleo
www.paleoplan.com/2012/04-03/the-com
pl
ete-idiots-guide-to-eating-paleo-ourR>-new-book/


Mark's Daily Apple (FREE on-line... subscribe to the newsletter) www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-bluep
ri
nt-101/#axzz24Ub7528j

Better yet, buy Primal BluePrint and follow the guidelines!



Here are a great list of resources as well (definitely check out the sites geared specifically to women *... we are more vulnerable to the hormonal impact of diet changes):

• Five (slightly different) flavours of the paleo diet
www.dansplan.com/blog/787-five-sligh
tl
y-different-flavors-of-the-paleo-diet



• 6 Years of MDA All Organized!!! (Mark Scisson)
www.marksdailyapple.com/archives/#ax
zz
1yXzW3XuS



• Beyond Paleo: from a Paleo diet to a Paleo template (Chris Kresser)
chriskresser.com/beyondpaleo


• Paleo for Women *
www.paleoforwomen.com/


• Paleo Archives: Evolutionary Ideas For Kickass Womanhood *
paleopepper.com/paleo-archives/intro
du
ctory-archives/



• Primal Girl in a Modern World *
www.primalgirl.com/


Don't worry about getting it perfect, just keep learning and refining as your body demands and as you are able... but make sure you eat enough NUTRIENTS.

If you want more information, I've compiled an extensive library of resources in the photo section of my Sparkpage... just click on a picture... in the comments section I've listed releveant links.

Good Luck! If you have specific questions, just holler! Don't be discouraged... you CAN do this!

Edited by: _RAMONA at: 8/25/2012 (00:22)

'An Apple A Day' keeps the doctor away...
www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-bluep
rint-101/#axzz28X8ooJ1H



NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2108522


 current weight: 135.0 
 
250
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192.5
163.75
135
EGALITAIRE's Photo EGALITAIRE SparkPoints: (30,785)
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8/24/12 8:51 P

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Sorry hear you're having a challenge with bingeing. Wondering what you are using as "treats". Wheat-based products can be highly addictive - read the book Wheat Belly if you want more information on that.

Allowing an occasional treat may not work for you. Some people do an 80 - 20 Paleo plan, some have one cheat day a week. Those plans just don't work for me.

You know the results from trying the "occasional treat" plan - maybe time to try the 100% Paleo plan. If you do it for 30 days you can then compare and contrast which worked better for you - the occasional treat plan or the full on plan.

Paleo is an experiment - doesn't work the same for everyone.


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HEALTHYLIFE92's Photo HEALTHYLIFE92 Posts: 148
8/24/12 8:41 P

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Hello! I haven't posted here in a while. But I really need help with a problem, and I think its time for me to get back and keep up with SP.

A little about me: I'm an almost 20 year old female who is 5'1 and currently about 140 pounds. Last year, I weighed about 156 pounds. I lost weight through eating low fat, lots of whole grain carbs, fruits, veggies, etc. I was able to get down to 135 pounds. I thought that at 135 pounds, I would be happy with my weight. But I wasn't. I'm a very short female and I carry almost all my weight in my stomach/lower half. I decided I wanted to lose about 10 more pounds to get down to 125. This was about January of this year.

But for some reason, the whole low fat thing was NOT working for me. I religiously counted calories and religiously ate low fat with lots of whole grain carbs. It just didn't work for me anymore. I did this for a couple months. I didn't lose a SINGLE pound. I eventually learned about Paleo, and decided to give it a go.

I've been "attempting" Paleo for about 4 months now. I do pretty well for about 1-2 weeks. Then, I binge. The binging is a relatively new problem. I've never had any sort of problem with food in the past. Lately(as in the past month), I have been binging several times a week. The past couple of days I have been binging almost every day.

I'm really sad. I've never had this problem. I honestly think that me trying to lose those last 10 pounds has really messed up my relationship with food. Everyone tells me that I need to allow myself to have an occasional treat. I completely agree with that. But I don't know how to have "just one". I end up having 10 treats.

I am trying to figure out why I have this problem. Maybe I need to direct my attention somewhere else? My mind is occupied with food almost ALL the time. Please, does anyone have any advice?

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