When you’re first starting out on your keto journey, you’ve probably heard the term ketosis which plays a huge role when you’re on the keto diet.
It’s the state of your body which makes the keto diet effective in helping you lose weight.
The keto diet is all about decreasing your carbs intake and increasing your fats consumption. However, your body has been fuelling itself with a high-carb diet for your whole life. It will need some time to adjust itself to using fats as its energy source.
For a more detailed explanation on how the keto diet works, check out our simple guide for keto beginners before you continue reading.
How long does it take to go into ketosis?
Generally, a healthy individual who has just started the ketogenic diet will take about 2-4 days to get into ketosis.
However, some people may take a week or longer to achieve ketosis.
Each person has a different capacity of stored carbs.
For example, a person who consumes more carbs per day and has more muscle mass tends to have higher carbs storage.
Plus the more physically active you are, the faster your body will deplete its glycogen stores, which increases your ketone levels.
As a result, everyone enters ketosis at different times.
Despite that, there are a few ways that can help you get into ketosis faster, so you can start shedding that extra pound!
1. Lower Carbs Intake
The lower the carb intake, the more and faster it forces the body to deplete glucose reserves.
On the other hand, you also need to prevent your fats from being used to make glucose which would then prevent your body from going into ketosis. Hence you need your carbs intake to be low enough to prevent this situation.
The rule of thumb here is to eat approximately 20 grams of net carbs each day. It’s an effective method of getting your body into ketosis within 48 hours. That’s as fast and as humanly possible as you can get!
In comparison, it will take your body 3 days to adjust into ketosis if you eat 50 grams of total carbs. See the difference of consuming lower carbs intake?
2. Time to Get Physical
Let’s get physical… physical!
Well, Madonna was right about one thing. And by physical, we mean exercising more!
The more active your body is, the easier it is for your body to get into ketosis.
Because exercising helps to deplete your glycogen stores, which is what you should be aiming for when you’re on a keto diet.
Generally, your body replenishes its glycogen stores by eating more carbs. The carbs are firstly broken down into glucose and converted into glycogen when it is not used.
As the keto diet emphasizes low carbs intake, the glycogen stores in your body will become low. Hence your liver will increase the production of ketones to fuel your muscles in replacement.
Now here’s the thing. Although exercising helps to increase ketone production, your body still requires 1- 4 weeks to adapt from using glycogen to using ketones as the main source of fuel. As a result, your body may not be performing at its best temporarily when it comes to physical activities.
3. Skip Breakfast
This may sound contradictory to the old saying of, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
But… for the love of keto diet and ketosis, skipping breakfast while being on a ketogenic diet is one way of increasing your ketone levels.
Skipping breakfast suppresses appetite as well as causes intermittent ketosis. Plus, research suggests that skipping breakfasts can be safe and beneficial.
With that being said, keep in mind that you don’t have your next meal too late in the evening. By doing so, your plan of skipping breakfast is going to backfire on you because eating late meals impairs fat metabolism and causes weight gain.
4. Higher Intake of Healthy Fats
The keto diet is considered to be a low carb diet. For this reason, it is important for you to compensate for the calorie difference by increasing your fats intake, particularly healthy fats.
Sure, you’ll lose weight if you don’t consume fats. But the downside is, the weights you lost can also be easily gained back once you start your regular diet again.
By choosing to consume healthy fats, you are helping your body to increase your ketone levels and make them more sustainable, which helps to reach ketosis faster.
Here are some of the healthy fats from which you can choose from:
- Coconut oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Grass-fed butter
Say YES to Coconut Oil!
The great thing about coconut oil is that it contains a healthy fat called MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) which helps to trigger your body into ketosis.
It is easily and quickly absorbed into your body which is then instantly used for energy. Other than that, your liver also uses MCTs to produce ketones.
So start saying yes to coconut oil! Add it into your diet, drizzle it over anything, and make it your best friend.
However, remember to take it slow when introducing coconut oil to your diet. Adding too much in one go may cause some digestive problems.
So, the best way to do it is to go slow and steady. Let your body ease into the change, and you’ll be reaching ketosis in no time.
5. Have Adequate Protein Intake
The keto diet may be a high fats intake diet, but it still remains a moderate protein intake diet.
Proteins still maintain as a very important nutrient source for your body. It helps to satisfy you and prevents your muscles from breaking down. Other than that, high-quality proteins such as grass-fed beef is also a source of healthy fats for your keto diet.
Generally, your body should consume at least 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.
6. Intermittent Fasting
Research has shown that intermittent fasting or fasting for shorter windows helps to get the body into ketosis state quicker.
It’s a great way to keep yourself in check of your diet intake. For example, you may control your calories intake which helps to promote a calorie deficit in your diet. For this period of time, you may even be pickier in choosing more nutritious and quality foods that are low in sugar.
However, it’s important to note that fasting long term may not be sustainable. Despite that fasting may help to reduce glycogen store and increase fat utilization, maintaining your ketosis state still boils down to your overall dietary intake.
And remember, just because you’ve fasted for 3 days doesn’t mean you get to eat whatever you want during your break from fasting. Your efforts of getting into ketosis will be wasted!
7. Test Your Ketone Levels
As none of our bodies are the same, achieving the state of ketosis is very much based individually. There is no set formula to achieve ketosis that works equally well for all. Therefore, testing your ketone levels can help to determine whether any adjustments are required for your body to achieve the state of ketosis.
Here are the 3 types of ketones and how to measure them:
Acetone: It is found in breath and is measured with the Ketonix meter.
Beta-hydroxybutyrate: It is measured with a blood ketone meter. However, these strips are costly.
Acetoacetate: It is measured with ketone urine strips. Although these strips are affordable and easy to use, its accuracy for long-term use is questionable.
Testing your ketone levels with these methods is a great way to track and ensure you are achieving your ketosis goals.
8. Take MCT Oil
One of the supplements that can aid you in your keto diet journey is taking MCT Oil.
It’s a keto supplement that contains pure medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Unlike long-chain fatty acids, MCTs are fatty acids which your body uses for immediate energy.
They do not need enzymes and bile for digestion. Instead, they are sent to the liver to produce ketones or free fatty acids.
Other than helping your body to increase ketones, studies also show that MCTs promotes weight loss.
9. Find Keto Staples
The most challenging part of your keto journey is sticking to the keto diet when you’re on the go.
So here’s what you can do:
- Find easy keto-friendly recipes
- Choose on-the-go keto snacks
- Go shopping for keto-approved foods
- Switch from high-carb desserts to keto desserts
Whether you’re at home, at work, or on the road, you need to have easy keto recipes and portable keto snacks ready whenever you get hungry or need energy.
It’s the convenience of it that will keep you keto-motivated!
10. Making healthy Keto Choices
After some time during your keto diet, you may feel like eating out becomes challenging. Some menus in restaurants just aren’t suitable for your keto diet.
However, you can still make some healthy keto choices when you’re not eating at home. For example, you may choose to have unsweetened beverages or eat your burger without the bun.
It may look weird to be eating your burger without the bun in public but hey…. If you’re already working hard staying on your keto diet at home, it’s worth to keep your efforts up even when you’re eating out.
Don’t Give Up!
Yes, sometimes it’s hard to know whether you’ve achieved ketosis. But don’t worry, stay focused and committed on your keto journey. Sometimes you might achieve ketosis without even knowing it.
The faster you get your body adjusted to ketosis, the quicker you lose those weights.
Finally, the rest of it is maintaining the state of ketosis by practicing ketogenic habits daily.