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Alisonlcarver

Becoming Fat Adapted--Why is eating fruit and high carb veggies ok??

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I understand the principle of fat adaptation this way: your body burns the fat and protein (instead of carbs) you eat, as well as the stored fat in your body, since there is not an abundance of carbs and starches available for fuel. Because carbs are not messing up insulin-glucose (blood sugar) levels, this creates an even blood sugar and therefore, fat stores are able to be released as glycogen from the liver to be burned as fuel. (On the other hand, a high carb diet yields a rocky insulin-glucose level, and high insulin levels prevent the use of body fat as fuel so fat stores are never burned as fuel. Bummer.)

Is this correct?

Also, since fat burning metabolism is the goal, why are we allowed to eat fruits and starchy vegetables like potatoes, squash, etc. when these wreak havoc on our blood sugar levels, potentially leading to elevated insulin levels, roller coaster metabolism with highs and lows in blood sugar and hunger, and the increased potential with cravings??

I have done whole30 in the past, and am looking into Atkins now, and the whole low-carb, high-fat principle of Atkins makes a lot of sense, since fat adaptation is the goal.

Thanks for clearing up my confusion. :)

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The bottom line is that the Whole 30 is not necessarily a low-carb plan, and there is a lot of room for people to figure out which amount of carbs works best for their goals.

I personally do MUCH better without the fruit & starchy carbs -- for all the reasons you described, and then some. Others seem to be happy with more... Although I do think in some cases it keeps the sugar dragon alive and well instead of squashing it. Ultimately, it is up to us as individuals to experiment and decide how we feel best overall.

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I understand that the whole30 is not a low carb plan, but I just don't understand how eating non-low-carb can lead to fat adaptation. Sure, the carbs eaten on whole30 are high quality, but they are still carbs.

I need for someone to explain the science and physiology to me.

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Thanks Shannon. That article from MDA was super helpful. It did bring about one further question. In the article he states "Once the fat-burning machinery has been established and programmed, you should be able to effortlessly switch between fuel sources as needed."

How do I become fat-adapted--Simply by eating that way for about 2 weeks or so??

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Yes, if you do a Whole30 and follow the template, at some point you will be fat adapted. I'm not sure exactly how long it will take, but two weeks is probably a reasonable amount of time, give or take a little.

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Human bodies are a lot more complex than most explanations of them. :) 

 

It Starts With Food explains how human bodies and food interact really well and you owe it to yourself to study the book carefully.

 

Many explanations of fat adaptation and blood insulin levels would suggest you should never eat starchy veggies or fruit because these explanations take into account too few variables, ignore context, and rely on testimonials of a limited number of people whose bodies are in a different place than many other bodies. The reality is that I ate as many as two large sweet potatoes per day and became fat-adapted roughly two weeks into beginning to eat Whole30-compliant. I no longer eat two large sweet potatoes per day because I create more varied meals now than I did then, but my eating lots of starchy veggies did not stop me from becoming fat adapted quickly. I would not recommend that anyone follow my specific example unless they are engaging in a very high volume of physical training, but even though I was not following what we now consider best practices, my body still adapted.

 

Any time an explanation assumes that the body is at risk if you don't follow a very narrow eating plan, the explanation is wrong. Now by narrow eating plan, I do not mean the Whole30 because the Whole30 allows you to eat every veggie on the planet and all animal, bird, and fish protein. By narrow plan, I mean one that says you will suffer terrible blood sugar issues if you eat a banana. It just is not true because the human body is very well designed to deal with eating a banana and a sweet potato and a parsnip, etc. The human body is not very well designed to deal with a dozen donuts per week and a dozen bagels and a constant stream of pizza, but those things don't grow in a field. :)

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 ... a dozen donuts per week and a dozen bagels and a constant stream of pizza, but those things don't grow in a field. :)

 

*cry* Why must you remind me of such depressing things, Tom?

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Love it! Thank you MeadowLily!

It's so easy to get bombarded by information, and very recently I have experienced the 'paralysis by analysis' since there are so many conflicting pieces of information about diet! Atkins vs. Paleo vs. Whole 30 vs. Conventional 'healthy' eating vs. Moderation. It's maddening!

I know this forum is a little biased, but would everyone agree that Whole30 is the best, most healthy way to eat and get/stay lean?

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I think it's a healthy way to find overall health and well being but as the authors say, it's not intended to be a Whole 365.  You'll find many articles and posts written about not standing at the door and creating your own plan after 30 days.    I think that's the best way to go.

 

Can you imagine following rules for the rest of your life?  You wouldn't want to and for some that would stir up food disorders or obsession.   A Whole 30 is about food freedom.  

 

There's an enormous difference between entertaining ourselves with play foods (highly engineered to be craved) and real foods.  Real foods don't make you sick or disordered or crazytown.   

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Hi Alison,

 

To give you yet another perspective on this is that I am a person that seemingly needs starchy veg - not a ton (think maybe a 1/2 cup with every meal) - but varied amounts throughout the day.  Why?  Because I have issues with mood swings and depression.  The starchy carbs keep the depression at bay.  I went low carb for about a month - I was uncomfortable, miserable and I gained 6lbs. Depression was running pretty high too.  I discovered through trial and error that I need a minimum of a fist sized portion of carbs daily. I don't really measure but I estimate it's somewhere between 60g and 125g daily (depends on my choice of starchy veg for the day). My body feels safe with this.

 

Is it ideal for loosing weight?  maybe not - but I am not losing my mind - so therefore I am happy.

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