What is The Difference Between Being in Ketosis and Being Fat Adapted?

This was a question that came up in my Facebook group a while ago and I knew I wanted to write about the answer here.  I think this is an important question because the terms often get used interchangeably and they aren’t.  They each have a specific definition that we should be familiar with.

What is Ketosis

Being “in Ketosis” simply means that you are producing ketones.  You have not eaten carbs or fasted to the point where your body used up enough of its store of blood sugar that it needed to convert fatty acids to ketones to supply the brain and red blood cells with a source of energy besides sugar.  The nice thing about being in ketosis is it is something measurable.  In other words, you can use a ketone testing strip or blood or breath meter to measure the amount of ketones being produced.  If ketones show up at any level on the test, you are in ketosis.

Here is more information about how to get into ketosis and my personal journey with the Ketogenic diet.

What is Fat Adapted

Being “fat adapted” is a little more nebulous.  It just means that you have the ability to burn fat for fuel, not necessarily that you are currently burning fat for fuel.  Think of it as a hybrid car that can switch between regular gas and diesel.  Once you are fat adapted, your mitochondria can easily switch between sugar and fat for fuel.  There’s no easy test to determine if you are fat adapted but one thing you can do to get an idea is after eating a few carbs, see how long it takes for you to begin producing ketones again.  The faster you get back into ketosis, to more fat adapted you probably are.

What is the difference

The big takeaway here is ketosis is a bit more ephemeral than you would think.  Sometimes you are producing ketones, sometimes you aren’t and that can be affected by almost anything from stress, to sleep, to the last thing you ate.  Being fat adapted is a much more permanent state and should be the goal of your diet and lifestyle choices, especially when it comes to weight loss.  Being capable of pulling energy out of fat stores and burning it for energy instead of relying on constant infusions of blood glucose for energy is the secret to losing weight with stable moods and no hunger.

I am certainly not saying you shouldn’t try to be in ketosis, that is the natural result of cutting your carbs and upping your fat.  But I am saying that you shouldn’t stress about ketone levels on a pee stick.  You should get yourself into a fat burning state and stay there.  If you have a cheat day or a high-stress day and the ketones aren’t there, that’s fine.  Get back on the horse, get back to the point where you are burning fat for fuel instead of sugar and keep going.

What are some of the ways you know you are burning fat for fuel?  Let me know in the comments below!

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This Week in Low Carb News: Guess What Graham Crackers Were Invented For and Statins Don’t Work

Every week I come across a bunch of articles I want to tweet about and comment on and every week I run out of time to do it.  This is my attempt to clear out the open tabs on my browser by putting them all in one place.  Enjoy!

‘No evidence’ having high levels of bad cholesterol causes heart disease, claim 17 cardiologists as they call on doctors to ‘abandon’ statins – I love that The Daily Mail doesn’t care about short pithy headlines.  Just put all the words in the title, who cares!?  But this is a great look at how the word about statins is getting out!

The graham cracker was invented to stop you from masturbating – An old article but it just shows how crazy Vegans are and have been since the beginning of Veganism.

Carbs, Good for You? Fat Chance! – Here are the rules.  If Nina Teicholz writes something, I read and like it.  Nice takedown of the crazy idea that carbs are good for you.

Medicine’s Financial Contamination – Money corrupts everything and medical research is no different.  You need to be aware that no medical or dietary research comes from a vacuum.  And to put a finer point on it, don’t ever trust Nutritional studies coming out of Harvard or have anything to do with Walter Willett.

Daily aspirin may be harmful for healthy older adults, large study finds – Oh look, something else medical science has been wrong about for decades.

Gates Foundation Buys Cochrane Integrity for $1.15 Million: The Death of Scientific Integrity – Calling it the Death of Scientific Integrity might be a bit of an oversell but this is how money infects science.

Physical activity does not influence obesity risk: time to clarify the public health message – Again, a older article but it goes to the idea that eating less and moving more doesn’t work.

Here’s what’s going on inside your veins after you drink a soft drink – Soda makes you sick!  NO duh, right?  I would love to see something like this happen for diet sodas though.  I desperately want to know if my Coke Zero makes me produce insulin.

Low carb diet ‘should be first line of approach to tackle type 2 diabetes’ and prolong lifespan – YES!!  We need more articles like this!

Prevention of type 2 diabetes—success story that is waiting for next steps – Note, this is NOT from VirtaHealth.  This is a different study from Finland that shows the same results.

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The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast – Episode 99: Ethan Weiss

In this week’s My Sugar Free Journey Podcast, we are talking to Dr Ethan Weiss.

Remember that you can follow us on iTunes and I would really appreciate a review there on iTunes.  Thanks!

Podcast Shownotes

You can follow Ethan on Twitter here and see his UCSF profile here.  One note, he is an advisor for VirtaHealth and does not work for them despite what my picture says.  Sorry about that.

Low Carb in the News: Different People Can Tolerate Different Levels of Fat and Glucose

9/12 Weightloss Wednesday: Moving Forward

My Kroger Health Insurance Fund is $17M in Debt. What This Means For the Future

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My Kroger Health Insurance Fund is $17M in Debt. What This Means For the Future

It has been an interesting week at work.  I have worked at Kroger for the last few years and have enjoyed my time there.  I have had several different positions, obtained 3 pay raises in less than 2 years and enjoy pretty good benefits as an employee.  I am also a member of UFCW 1000, a union that works on behalf of Kroger employees and for the most part has done a good job protecting me and my benefits.

That may be starting to change.  Let me walk you through what has happened this week and then let me tell you my opinion on what this means.  I promise by the end of it you will see the connections to the overall theme of this blog.

What Happened So Far

It all started on Monday when the union sent out 2 mass texts warning all the members of the union that Kroger was attacking my healthcare and demanding millions of dollars in cuts and asking me to call my HR dept and demand that Kroger “do the right thing”.   On Tuesday , we had a meeting at Kroger telling us their side of the story which was the fund that both Kroger and the union pay into to cover healthcare costs for employees was $17M in debt.  Both Kroger and the union are contractually obligated to cover half the shortfall, Kroger paid their half of $6.8M and the union has not yet paid their half.  Plus, according to the union’s timeline of events you can see at  the bottom of this page, they don’t seem to feel obligated to pay their half.  So at this point, our health coverage is a bit in the air with both sides threatening either an increase in fees, cut backs in benefits like dental and vision, or both.  Oh, and it seems the union blocked an attempt to have the fund audited by an independent third party, never a good sign.

This is Going to Happen More and More Often

Here is my opinion of what happened.  I don’t think there was any malfeasance or embezzlement of funds on either side. (I could be wrong about that but Hanlon’s Razor will probably apply here)  I think Kroger accrued millions of dollars of medical bills from its employees than it anticipated and everyone was caught off-guard.  Why do I think that?  Because this is the trend we have been seeing across the nation.  We are a country that has done nothing but get sicker and fatter as the years go by and we are being served by a medical establishment that is far too comfortable prescribing pills that mask symptoms instead of educating lifestyle and dietary changes that will actually cure disease.  The costs for those pills and other medicines have been borne by insurance companies and insurance companies are faced with the prospect of either going broke or pushing more of the cost back on to the public.

Our Country Will Break Under the Weight of its Own Weight

We have already seen cases of people DYING because they can’t afford something as basic as insulin.  What is going to happen as T2D instances continue to rise at astronomical rates?  The cost of insulin will continue to rise to the point where insurance will be unable to cover a substantial portion of the cost.  Then what happens?  Nothing good.  Medicine becomes more expensive as demand rises and the poorest will be the first to go without.  And that’s just insulin.  The same market forces will also apply to heart medications, blood pressure medications, and virtually any other life saving drug.  How many people over the age of 40 do you know that don’t have a regular daily medication they have to take?  Multiply that across a nation of 300 million people and growing and the numbers start to look VERY scary.

It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

I have seen first hand this week the panic that can set in on hard-working middle class Americans when their health benefits are threatened.  I sat at a table yesterday as a mother who was newly made single this year after her husband passed away from cancer worried about how to afford the dentist visit her son needed.   Another started making plans to get her eyes checked before her vision insurance was cancelled.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  There are simple lifestyle changes you can make that drastically reduce your need for medications.  Let’s walk through them.

  1. Don’t Eat Anything that Didn’t Exist 100 Years Ago. If it comes in a box or package, don’t eat it.  If it sits on the middle aisles of your grocery store, don’t buy it.  No Sugar, No Processed Grains, No Polyunsaturated Fat.  Eat Meat, Veggies and possibly full fat dairy if you can tolerate it.  That’s it.  Shop the perimeter of your grocery store and call it a day.  Buy ingredients and make your own meals.
  2. Your Body Was Meant to Be Moved.  Go for a walk, pick up heavy things, break a sweat.  It doesn’t really matter what you do, just do something.
  3. Get Sunshine on Your Skin.  You are probably Vitamin D deficient because none of us get enough sun.  Go outside and get some sun.
  4. Love Your Family.  Believe it or not, personal family ties have a huge effect on our health.  Spend time with loved ones, talk, hug, whatever.  Just be close to the people you love.

I know these things seem really simple and rudimentary but they work.  You can read my story here but this is essentially how I lost 200 lbs, got rid of my Metabolic Syndrome and cured my wife’s Type 2 Diabetes.  Diet is by far the most important aspect to this, just stop eating crap!

If anyone of you have had similar experiences with your insurance being changed or healthcare costs increasing, I would love to hear your story in the comments below.  Thanks!

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