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Science-y questions for the mods


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So...I have a couple of questions regarding the fat adaptation.

How do you know if you are fat adapted at the end of your W30?

Assuming that you have become fat adapted, what happens to the fat adaptation process once you are done the W30 and start adding back in some foods? If you are fat adapted and throw back in some things like grains, will that make your body revert back to preferring glucose as fuel?

Coming from a low-fat background, when I resume dairy, I assume I should be buying high fat and no sugar versions (i.e. Greek yogurt)? Can you even get such a thing?

I don't plan on making a lot of changes once I am done because I prefer this way of eating, but I am sure there will be some additions at some point.

Thanks for answering my questions. I have this "need" to know things.

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Fage is the only mainstream brand I've found that has full fat greek yogurt. I'm sure Whole foods and Trader Joe's has others, I just don't pay their prices often. If you're going to reintroduce dairy, make sure it's full fat.

In regards to the fat adaptation question, I think you're confusing a bunch of different terminology. Contrary to mainstream sources, this elusive and mysterious "fat burning zone?" Basically a load of crap, and not really what we're talking about here in W30-land.

In short, when you stop using metabolic pathways, your body downregulates the enzymes and other co-factors involved in that pathway, because it's a waste of energy and resources to your body to have stuff floating around that you aren't utilizing. Folks that are eating a very carb heavy, low fat, SAD, have lost the ability to use fat as fuel. Rather, it's very good at burning cheap, readily available glucose/carbohydrate.

The fat adaptation that Whole9 talks about is regaining that metabolic flexibility, and being able to use fat for fuel. That doesn't mean you're burning away your fat stores exclusively, or that you're in extended bouts of ketosis (burning ketones for fuel), or anything like that. Rather, it's just about your body regaining the capacity to use whatever fuel it has readily available. For folks eating a SAD, regaining that capacity can take time...but once you've upregulated the cofactors etc, you can't get "kicked out" of it.

oh, and if you can go 4+ hours without eating and don't get sugar crashes? You're fat adapted.

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Renee nailed the whole "fat adapted" thing, so I'm not going to add to that, unless you have follow-up questions. Studies show that your mitochondria (the cellular energy "powerhouses" in the body) start to become fat adapted (better at using fat as fuel) within just a few days of a dietary intervention like a Whole30, but the process itself can take anywhere from 3 - 8 weeks to fully turn around. Most folks feel substantially better by the middle of their Whole30, energy-wise, which is a good sign that the process is moving along nicely.

So yeah, I guess I did want to add something there.

I'll also say that if you're going to reintroduce yogurt on a regular-ish basis, provided you do well with it, we'd recommend full-fat AND pastured AND organic over high-protein 100% of the time. I have yet to find a high-quality Greek yogurt in all my health store wanderings, but there are plenty of full-fat, pastured, organic cow's milk or sheep's milk yogurts (plain flavor - no added sugars) that are a much healthier choice than full-fat Fage. (More probiotics too - we're suspect that something like Fage has any left at all.)


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Thanks, Renee, for the fat adaptation explanation.

Melissa, thanks to you too. I will look to see what alternatives my health food store has for yogurt. I haven't decided if I am going to add it back in yet, but honestly...I never thought about looking for something other than Greek yogurt. I guess I am still learning!

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