Fat Adaptation

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  • #38024

    Just a question. I have started doing fasted training in the morning as part of the 24 week mountaineering program. My question is about fat adaptation, and more specifically about maintaining it once it is achieved. I am curious to know does the body “forget” this adaptation if you stop training it and if so how long that takes. I have been reading through the forum posts and articles on the subject but could not find anything that specifically called this out.
    I have previously been on a LCHF (ketogenic) diet and seen how fat adaptation can work so I am working to get back to a state where it is optimal without the severe carb restriction of that diet.


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    Anonymous on #38114


    Thanks for writing in with your question. I doubt there’s much scientific literature about this. The reason for that might be that it comes down to the usually answer to rather complex questions: “It depends”.

    There are many factors that impact both the rate at which fat adaptation occurs and declines.

    If you were to cease all aerobic training and sit on the couch eating cookies I’m sure you could reveres the effects of several months of fat adaptation in a few days to a week. After all we are talking about an enzymatic change in the cells which occur on the time frame of hours to days.

    If, on the other hand, you stay very actively doing aerobic activity you can even eat more carbs than your normal diet and maintain fat adaptation indefinitely. I coach a number of very high level athletes training in the 18-25 hours/week. They can eat a high carb diet and be very highly fat adapted. On the other end of the spectrum we have quite a few coached athletes who come to us with poor fat utilization and who are only able to train a few hours/week. For them some form of carb restriction is needed to help jump start and speed the fat adaptation process.

    For a more in depth dive into mitochondrial function and fat adaptation I highly recommend listening to this podcast

    I hope this helps,

    Steve on #38414

    HI Scott,

    Thanks for the reply. Always appreciate your time and expertise. Interesting podcast too. I can never get enough of this stuff!!!


    mzkarim on #42549

    What podcast is this? I couldn’t see one in the posts.

    Shashi on #44255

    Scott – thank you for sharing the podcast link.

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