If you’re familiar with the keto diet, you’ve likely heard something about being keto adapted too. Here are the facts about keto adaptation, why it’s great, and how to know when you are keto adapted.
What Does Being “Keto Adapted” Mean?
Keto adaptation happens when the body switches from burning glucose for energy to using fat for energy.
When you eat a standard diet, your body will turn to carbohydrates first for fuel. But on a proper ketogenic diet—where carbs are severely limited—your body will start to use fat as its energy source. This is known as ketosis.
Over time, your body will learn to primarily use and prefer fat for fuel. This is being keto adapted.
Keto Adaptation Vs Ketosis
While ketosis and keto adaptation often go hand-in-hand, they’re not the same thing.
You can get into ketosis within a couple days (or even sooner with the help of Instant Ketones!) and is the induction phase of the ketogenic diet.
But full keto adaptation takes about 1-2 months (sometimes less) of making ketones and eating a very-low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet.
Being keto adapted also means you’re able to eat carbs occasionally—such as for a special occasion or on vacation—without having to “reset” back to the transitional phase into ketosis all over again.
So while you can be in ketosis but not keto adapted yet, you do have to be in a state of ketosis for a long enough time to become keto adapted.
How to Know if You’re Keto Adapted
There are some keys signs to help you know whether you’re keto adapted or not.
Signs You’re Not Keto Adapted
- Uncontrollable cravings for carbohydrate- and sugar-rich foods.
- Feeling “hangry” and irritable in between meals.
- Having keto flu symptoms (meaning your body is still getting into ketosis).
Signs You Are Keto Adapted
- No more cravings for carbs or sugars and a suppressed appetite.
- Burning body fat because your cells are now using fat for fuel—including belly fat!
- Ketone readings in the 0.5 and 1.5 mmol/L range—the “nutritional ketosis” range. You can measure this with ketosis strips in the beginning.
- More steady mood and overall emotional state.
- High energy levels all throughout the day.
These are the same signs you’re in the Keto Zone!
How to Become Keto Adapted ASAP
Wanting to get keto adapted now? Here’s the bad news and the good news:
- Bad news: There’s no sure-fire way to speed up keto adaptation; it takes time! Although the 1-2 month range is typical, each body is different.
- Good news: There are a few factors in keto adaptation you can improve that may help.
Use these tips to increase your chances of getting keto adapted:
- Getting enough sleep each night: Too little sleep can inhibit ketosis.
- Eating lots of healthy fats and keeping carbs at 20 grams or less per day: You’ll likely need more fats when you start your keto diet. This will help your body learn to use them faster. And a very small amount of carbs will prevent it from using them for your primary energy.
- Exercise: Low to moderate exercise like walking, yoga, or swimming can help reduce stress and keep you healthy as you become keto adapted. However, it’s best to avoid intense or strenuous exercise during this time.
- Reducing stress: Stress increases your cortisol levels, which can increase blood sugar levels and impede ketosis. Give yourself time to rest and de-stress.
If you’re not yet keto adapted, don’t get discouraged. Stick with it, make sure you’re adhering to the Keto Zone diet plan, and you’ll get there in time!