You are here because you're wondering how to get into ketosis or maybe even want to speed up the process of entering ketosis. Getting into ketosis is easy; it all boils down to cutting out carbs and increasing fat intake. However, you will have to be patient because your body can't just switch to a completely different metabolic state overnight.
There are things you can do to get into ketosis faster. We explain how to get into ketosis and ways to make transitioning into ketosis easier. But first, we go over some facts about ketosis you need to understand before you start your keto journey. We will also explain the science behind ketosis, including how long it realistically takes for your body to make the switch.
Ketosis is a unique metabolic state where your body burns fat instead of glucose for fuel. Glucose is a simple sugar molecule derived from carbohydrates. Your body prefers using glucose to using fat and protein to make energy. This is because glucose it is easy to burn as it doesn't require much energy. On the other hand, your body uses fat and protein to build and repair tissue and make hormones.
If you stop eating carbs, your body first uses up glucose reserves stored in the liver and muscles. After it burns all that's left of glucose, it has no other options but to start burning fat. It can burn either your body's fat stores or the fat you eat. However, not all cells in your body can use fat to make energy and this is where ketones come into play.
Ketones are three molecules your liver makes when carb intake is low. It makes these molecules mostly to fuel the brain. Ketones serve to protect us in times of starvation. But you don't really have to starve for your body to make ketones. Researchers in the 1920s discovered that a high-fat, low-carb diet also puts people in ketosis .
To get into ketosis, you can do two things:
1. Eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day
2. Fast for up to 3 days.
Obviously, cutting carbs is much easier than not eating anything at all for days on end. It's also safer for people with diabetes as it leads to a gradual decline in blood glucose . The carbs you have to reduce are known as net carbs. Those are the carbs that your body uses to make glucose. You calculate them by subtracting the grams of fiber from total carbs in a food item.
Besides cutting carbs, it's important to increase your fat intake, and be moderate with protein. The fat you eat will keep you feeling energized and support ketone production. Protein is also important but if you go overboard with it, your body could enter into a process called gluconeogenesis. In gluconeogenesis, your body makes glucose from protein, and you want to avoid that.
To know how much exactly of carbs, protein, and fat (keto macros) you need to eat to enter ketosis, use our Keto Calculator. Our calculator gives you your personal keto macros in grams and percentages based on the standard ketogenic diet.
It takes between 3 and 7 days to get into ketosis when following a ketogenic diet. You can, however, get into ketosis even quicker if you include fasting and exercising. But don't think you can enter ketosis instantly despite claims that certain supplements or methods can put you in ketosis in less than 24 hours; this is simply not possible.
Your body is always anticipating food scarcity and has lots of glucose reserves to give you energy when food is not available. This is the main reason why you can't get into ketosis overnight. The glucose reserves called glycogen your body stores are enough to give your body fuel for around 24 hours.
When glycogen is almost depleted, your body breaks down fat into glycerol and free fatty acids. It uses glycerol to make glucose. But your body can't keep making glycerol without carbs, so it begins producing ketone bodies and this happens on day 3 of fasting or carb restriction.
And as far as exogenous ketones go, they don't really put you into ketosis instantly. Exogenous ketones simply make transitioning into ketosis easier. Taking them increases ketone levels in the blood but it does not make your body switch into ketosis. For ketosis to happen, glycogen first needs to be depleted.
6 Ways to Speed up Ketosis
If you don't want to wait too long to start burning fat, there are things you can do to get into ketosis as fast as possible. Here are some science-backed ways to do that:
1 Eat Fewer Carbs
Eating around 20 grams of net carbs a day is as a foolproof way to get you into ketosis a quickly as is humanly possible. However, having 50 grams of total carbs will also get you into ketosis within three days . This amount of carbs is enough to deplete glucose reserves. It's also low enough to prevent fat being used to make glucose and, instead, the body is forced to make ketones.
2 Work Out
Studies show that exercising depletes both liver and muscle glycogen faster than fasting . For example, swimming for an hour and a half depletes the same amount of glycogen as a 24-hour fast. However, it's a good idea to eat a tiny amount of carbs and protein before and after a workout to prevent muscle damage. Your body can break down proteins in your muscles if glycogen stores get depleted during workouts.
3 Take MCT Oil
MCT Oil is a keto supplement that helps your body make ketones. The oil contains pure medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are types of fatty acids that your body prefers using for immediate energy. Unlike long-chain fatty acids, MCTs don't require enzymes and bile for digestion and they go straight to the liver where they are used for making free fatty acids or ketones. Studies on MCTs show that they promote weight loss .
4 Skip Breakfast
Skipping breakfast on a keto diet is a popular way to boost ketone levels. Despite the age-old myth that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, research shows that breakfast skipping is not only safe but beneficial. Skipping breakfast causes intermittent ketosis and also suppresses appetite . Make sure your next meal of the day isn't too late in the evening as studies show that eating meals late at night causes weight gain and impairs fat metabolism .
5 Take Exogenous Ketones
Keto dieters love exogenous ketones because they help fight the keto flu and get you quickly into ketosis. One study found that taking drinks with exogenous ketones lowers blood levels of glucose, free fatty acid, and triglycerides . The study concluded that exogenous ketones are a practical and effective way to achieve ketosis. Taking exogenous ketones longer will also speed up the process of keto-adaptation.
6 Eat More Fat
If you noticed that you're not getting into ketosis quick enough, chances are you're not eating enough fat. Eating plenty of healthy fat is essential in inducing ketosis. One reason why this is so is that your body makes ketones from fat. The other reason being that fat is highly satiating, so your body won't slow down or start breaking down muscle for fuel.
If you ever wondered how to get into ketosis, know that getting into ketosis is easy and completely natural for your body. All you need to do is follow the ketogenic diet which involves cutting down on carbs and eating lots of fat. You can also get into ketosis through fasting. But if your goal is weight-loss and reaping all the benefits of ketosis, the ketogenic diet is a must.
Getting into ketosis takes from 3 to 7 days. Some people want to speed up the process of entering ketosis to reap keto benefits sooner. Getting into ketosis faster also means you won't have to experience the side effects of going keto for too long.
Follow our simple tips to get into ketosis and speed up the process. Our tips are scientifically-proven to work and are completely safe for everyone. If you need more guidance to achieve ketosis safely and effectively, enroll in our free Ketocademy course. The course will teach you everything there is to know about entering ketosis in less than 3 hours. Try it out today!