Keto-Adapted vs Ketosis
Why is it important to know the difference between ketosis and keto adapted? The truth is… You can be showing ketosis numbers in your glucometer but not losing any weight.
All across the web, you see so many people bragging about being in ketosis and it’s hilarious!
Okay… So you’re producing ketones but not “using” them… Whoopdy Doo!!!
Honestly, I’m not here to bash anyone because as long as you feel good about yourself, that’s all that matters. I just wanted to break down the differences between ketosis and keto adapted to clear the misconception that’s floating around in cyberspace…
Ketosis is when your body is producing ketones. It sounds pretty simple but it’s a little more complicated than that. There are three kinds of ketones that your body will produce. They’re acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate.
These three ketone bodies are the byproducts of fat oxidation that are produced in the liver. So when your liver starts to break down triglycerides or fat molecules, the side effect of that or the byproduct of that is the production of ketone bodies acetone acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate.
So simply saying that you’re in a state of ketosis just because you have ketones in your body is not exactly accurate.
Your liver is in a constant state of producing ketones because it’s in a constant state of breaking down different kinds of molecules so there should be some sort of definition as in terms of what actually is the threshold to be considered in ketosis.dr.
Dr. Steven Finney and Dr. Jeff Volek are two of my “go-to guys” when it comes to ketosis and all things ketones. They actually define the term nutritional ketosis.
Prior to their work, ketosis was a situation associated with one of two very dangerous situations. The first is diabetic ketoacidosis and the second is starvation. Neither one of those are good things of course.
Dr. Finney came along and redefined the term ketosis calling the term “nutritional ketosis”. He provided an upper and a lower level or limit in terms of what would be considered acceptable as a level of ketosis or ketone bodies in your in your bloodstream.
He defined the term nutritional ketosis to mean anything between point five millimoles per deciliter to 5.0 millimoles per deciliter.
Now when we’re talking about a diabetic ketoacidosis we’re talking about a situation where someone is producing several levels of magnitude higher than 10, 20 even 50 or higher millimoles per deciliter of ketones in their bloodstream.
So diabetic ketoacidosis is not anywhere similar to nutritional ketosis or just plain ketosis as we use the term.
If you check and you have a blood ketone level of point five millimoles per deciliter to 5.0 millimoles per deciliter then you are in nutritional ketosis.
So you’re thinking… “Great Julius! I’m producing ketones and I’m also in nutritional ketosis… Let the fat burning Begin!!!… Right?…” Umm… Not so fast my friend…
Umm… Not so fast my friend… Just because you’re in ketosis doesn’t mean you’re keto adapted.
What is Fat Adapted or (Keto Adapted)?
Keto-adapted means that your body is using fat as its primary fuel source. So a couple of things have to happen in order for that to take place.
- You have to remove or reduce the amount of glycogen to glucose that you have as your fuel source.
- You have to produce ketones in the nutritional ketosis range.
- You have to do those things for an extended period of time so that your body can switch from temporarily burning fat to “primarily burning fat”.
When those things happen then your keto adapted…
Ultimately you want to go from a state of nutritional ketosis into a state of being fat adapted. But it might take some time depending on the individual.
One of the reasons it can take a while for you to adapt is because of an interesting interplay that takes place between how your brain and how your muscles use the energy that you’ve got now.
If you remember I said ketones are the byproduct of fat oxidation… They are the result of your liver breaking down triglycerides or fat molecules.
When there’s a low number of ketones in your blood your muscles will prefer to burn ketones. When there’s a low number of ketones in your blood your brain will prefer to use triglycerides as its fuel source.
Now when those ketone levels increase, the reverse happens for your brain versus your muscles. What I mean by that is the higher your ketones get, the less ketones your muscles will burn and the more triglycerides your muscles will burn.
The same is true for your brain as well… The higher your ketone levels the more ketones your brain starts to burn and the less triglycerides your brain starts to burn.
So you’re fat adapted or your keto adapted when your muscles start using fat as its primary fuel source.
When your muscles start using fat as its primary fuel source, your brain starts using ketones as its primary fuel source
Ketosis: When you are producing in a range of .5 millimoles per deciliter – 5.0 millimoles per deciliter of ketones in your body.
Keto-adapted: When your muscles are burning fat and your brain is burning ketones.
If you have any questions or comments please post them below…
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Until next time… Stay focused and eat your fats!!!