You are here because you want to learn how to get into ketosis or because you want to speed up the process of entering ketosis. Luckily, getting into ketosis is easy; it really boils down to cutting back on carbs and increasing fat intake. Getting into ketosis also takes only a couple of days when you follow the rules correctly.
Still, there are things you can do to make getting into ketosis easier and quicker. To help you with just that, below we explain the steps you need to take to enter ketosis and offer different ways to speed up transitioning. We also explain the science behind ketosis, including how long it takes your body to make the switch. But first, let us go over some quick facts about ketosis.
Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body burns fat instead of glucose for fuel. Glucose is a simple sugar derived from carbohydrates. Your body prefers using glucose to using fat and protein to make energy. This is because glucose is easy to burn, not requiring much energy or many steps. Besides that, your body prefers using fat and protein to build and repair tissue and make hormones.
But when you stop eating carbs, your body begins to use glycogen (glucose reserves) stored in the liver and muscles. After it spends all of its glycogen, it has no other option but to start burning fat. The body can burn either its own stores or the fat you eat. Because not all cells can use fat to produce energy, the body also converts some of this fat into an alternative fuel called ketones.
Ketones are three acidic molecules made in the liver. The liver produces these molecules mostly to fuel the brain but also the muscles and heart. Evolution created ketones to provide us with energy in times of starvation. Luckily, you don't have to starve to get your body to make ketones. Researchers in the 1920s discovered that a high-fat, low-carb diet also increases ketone production .
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 3 days straight. It's also the only way to stay in ketosis for longer than a few days. Cutting back on carbs also causes a gradual decline in blood glucose, which is safer for people with diabetes . The carbs you have to reduce are referred to as net carbs. You can calculate net carbs 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 stay moderate with protein. The fat you eat will keep you feeling energized and support ketone production. Protein is also important. However, if you go overboard with protein, your body will upregulate a process called gluconeogenesis. In gluconeogenesis, your body makes glucose from protein, which can potentially kick you out of ketosis.
To learn how much carbs, protein, and fat (keto macros) you need to eat for ketosis, use our Keto Calculator. It will calculate your personal keto macros and present them in grams based on the standard ketogenic diet.
It takes between 3 and 7 days to get into ketosis on a ketogenic diet. You can, however, get into ketosis quicker if you also add fasting and exercising to your keto diet. 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. These glucose reserves (glycogen) 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. Exogenous ketones simply increase your blood ketone levels. Ketosis involves glycogen depletion and upregulated fat oxidation, which isn't possible if you only take exogenous ketones.
6 Ways to Speed up Ketosis
If you don't want to wait too long to experience ketosis, there are things you can do to speed up the transition. Below are some science-backed ways to do that:
1. Eat Fewer Carbs
Eating around 20 grams of net carbs a day is a foolproof method to get you into ketosis a quickly as is humanly possible (around 48 hours). On the other hand, eating 50 grams of total carbs will get you into ketosis in three days . This amount of carbs is low enough to force the body to deplete glucose reserves quickly. It's also low enough to prevent fat being used to make glucose, which would prevent ketosis.
2. Work Out
Studies show that exercising depletes 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 wasting. Your body will break down proteins in your muscles if glycogen stores start running out during workouts.
3 Take MCT Oil
MCT Oil is a keto supplement that helps your body make ketones. This supplement 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 another 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 speed up ketosis. One study found that taking drinks with exogenous ketones lowers blood glucose, free fatty acid, and triglyceride levels . 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 quickly enough, chances are you're not eating enough fat. Eating plenty of healthy fat is essential for 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 simple and natural. 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 other ketosis benefits, then you will need to get into ketosis with the help of a ketogenic diet.
Getting into ketosis takes only 3 to 7 days on a keto diet. Still, some people want to speed up the process so they can reap keto benefits sooner and spend less time suffering the keto flu. 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 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!