Are you wondering how long does it take to reach ketosis?
Want to know the fastest way to get into ketosis?
Or how to get back into ketosis?
We’ll discuss these common questions and more. Here’s what we’ll be discussing:
What is ketosis?
How do I get to ketosis?
How long does it take to get to ketosis?
What’s the Keto Flu?
How do you know when your body is in ketosis?
How do I stay in ketosis?
What’s the fastest way to get to ketosis?
How do I stay in ketosis?
You’ve decided to follow the ketogenic diet, or keto diet, to lose weight. It is a very popular diet plan for weight loss because so many people have seen major weight loss in a short period of time.
In order to accomplish this weight loss, it is necessary to enter into a type of metabolism called ketosis.
In ketosis, your body uses a different form of energy, called ketones that it gets from the breakdown of fat stored in your body.
You reach this metabolic state of ketosis by making specific diet changes, which then supercharges your weight loss!
First, What Is Ketosis and Why Do I Want To Get There?
Your body actually prefers to use sugar, which comes from carbs, aka carbohydrates. When you eat way too much bread, or candy, or anything else high in carbohydrates, your body uses as much as it needs, then stores the rest.
How do these extra carbs get stored? They get stored as fat.
So, say you get stuck on a deserted island. If no one comes to rescue you and you can’t find food, eventually you’ll get pretty skinny, because your body will eventually break down your fat for energy. Ketosis is sort of like that.
Ketosis is the metabolic state where you first make your body use up the extra carbs that you’ve eaten. Then your body will start using a different form of energy, called ketones.
Where do the ketones come from? That fat you have stored is broken down into ketones.
So the trick is to give your body a small number of carbs—less than your body needs—so you can burn off the fat.
Besides the obvious drop in weight, there are some other health benefits associated with following the keto diet.
Potential benefits of the Keto Diet
Increased HDL (the good form of cholesterol)
reduced blood sugar and insulin levels, which can improve diabetes control
Can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer
Helps preserve brain function
Possibly reduces seizures
Improves symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
Could make the heart healthier
How Do I Get To Ketosis?
To get your body to enter ketosis, you need to eat 20-50 grams of carbs a day.
The exact amount of carbs that get you to into ketosis depends on several factors, including how many carbs you eat on an average day, your age, and your activity level.
Just for comparison, according to the Mayo Clinic, a 2,000 calorie a day diet should have 45-65% carbohydrates. This works out to 900-1300 calories and (insert math) 225-325 grams of carbs a day for the average person. Read more about this here.
Download the free guide that I put together to show you foods that you can eat on the keto diet and their carb counts. I hope this will help you keep track of your daily carb intake.
How Long Does It Take To Enter Into Ketosis?
In order to get into ketosis, you have to significantly limit your carb intake.
Your body generally has about 2 days worth of carbohydrates stored, so it takes about 2 days to get into ketosis. Most will quote 2 to 4 days.
Some people take longer. How long you take to reach ketosis depends, again, on the number of carbs you usually ate before starting the ketogenic diet, as well as what your fat and protein intake is like.
How many days it takes to get into ketosis also depends on your age, metabolism, and how physically active you are.
What is the Keto Flu?
When your body enters into ketosis, you may experience a few side effects as your body uses up all of the carbohydrates that were stored. These symptoms are called the “keto flu.”
The symptoms you may experience when you reach ketosis (“keto flu) include:
Lack of motivation
How Do You Know For Sure When Your Body Is In Ketosis?
The best way to tell, however, is to test your body’s ketone levels.
Technically, your body has a few different kinds of ketones (acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate), and depending on what you’re testing (urine, blood, breath) will determine which one you’re checking for. Science.
Anyway, if you check your urine, you’ll use a ketone urine strip, and you’ll be testing the level of acetoacetate. The strip will turn colors based on the level in your urine. It’s not the most accurate, but it’s pretty good and cheap. Just grab an inexpensive set of test strips like these. They’re less than $10.
If you check the level of ketones in your breath, you’ll be checking for the level of acetone. A ketone breath meter either flashes a certain color when you’re in ketosis and many, like this one, can tell you what your level of the ketone is. It’s pretty accurate, but a little more expensive than the test strips.
The most accurate way to tell your level of ketones is to test your blood ketone level (that is, the level of beta-hydroxybutyrate). Anything over 0.5 mmol is considered entering ketosis.
This can be the most expensive option, but here’s an awesome blood ketone test set that is currently $10 off.
How Do I Stay In Ketosis?
You keep your body in ketosis by continuing to eat a low carb diet. You will have to continue to take in only 20-50 grams of carbs daily in order to keep your body in ketosis. Try some Keto-Friendly Low Carb Snacks like these to keep you in ketosis.
So make sure you’re avoiding foods rich in carbohydrates. You know—dairy, most fruits, grains, leafy veggies, legumes, and, of course, sweets.
Download this free guide showing you the foods that you can eat on the keto diet and their carb counts so that you keep track of your daily carb intake.
Be careful of your protein intake, too. This can cause you to take longer to enter ketosis or prevent you from staying in ketosis.
Your body has a way of breaking protein down to make more sugar (this process is called gluconeogenesis).
Remember that your body prefers to use sugar. Your body likes it because it’s just easier to use.
If presented with a lot of protein, your body will get it from the protein and ignore the fact that you’re trying to get to ketosis.
What Is the Fastest Way To Get Into Ketosis?
In order to get into ketosis as quickly as possible, you much only eat 20-50 grams of carbs a day.
Don’t forget to consider sneaky sources of carbs like condiments, sauces, and dressings!
Avoid eating out. Although there are a lot of keto-friendly restaurants, it can make it difficult to really keep good tabs on your carb intake. Try one of these Fat Melting Low Carb Keto Recipes to keep cravings at bay.
Exercise. This helps your body burn off the sugars it has sticking around (remember, it was saving those from when you ate all that pasta). Try these tips to help you Squeeze Exercise Into Your Packed Schedule.
Increase your intake of healthy fats. Eat more nuts, nut butters, avocados, avocado oil, coconut oil, meats, eggs, fatty fish like salmon, and extra virgin olive oil.
Try fasting. Something like intermittent fasting can help your body shift from using carbs as an energy source, to using fats instead.
Use supplements, like these medium-chain triglycerides. It’s a type of fat that is absorbed by your body and easily converted to ketones.
You can also use an MCT oil powder like this one, that comes in 4 options (chocolate, vanilla, caramel or unflavored) and can be added to any hot or cold beverage.
Do I Need to Stay In Ketosis?
You don’t have to stay in ketosis all day every day in order to get the benefits of the keto diet.
However, if you want to reach your goal, you probably want to plan to eat any extra carbs before you work out so that your body can burn them off.
Having cheat days when you are on the keto diet can potentially undo some of your work, but it’s also not that great for you. Some studies suggest that suddenly bombarding your body with a bunch of carbs can have an effect on your blood vessels.
So bottom line, commit to the process. Don’t cheat and go eat a whole cake one day.
How to Reach Ketosis Fast – Final Words
For most people, it should take 2-4 days to enter into ketosis. This depends on a few factors, like your age and level of activity.
You can speed up the process by keeping close tabs on your ketone level, either by urine, breath, or blood testing.
Exercise, fasting, and increasing your fat intake can all help to get you into ketosis faster.
If you’re struggling to get into ketosis, stay in ketosis, or just want to achieve ketosis as quickly as you can, try these tips, as well as these other basic Fitness Hacks.
How long did it take you to reach ketosis? What is the biggest challenge for you?
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