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how long does it take to get into ketosis

how long does it take to get into ketosis

How long does it take to get into ketosis? After all getting into ketosis is what makes the diet, “keto” in the first place.

Note: Always consult a medical professional (in person) before embarking on drastic dietary changes or trying to achieve ketosis.

Getting into Ketosis fast supercharges your body to be in an optimal fat-burning zone but not only that.

Being in ketosis gives you lasting, sustained energy, enhanced cognition, improved focus and other neuroprotective benefits. As well as the coveted weight loss benefits.

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Table of contents

The Advantages of Ketosis don’t end there

Being on a Ketogenic Diet and having your body rely on fats as its fuel comes with cardiovascular benefits as well.

Research shows that ketosis lowers bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol.

Thus decreasing a person’s risk of heart disease yet at the same time improving insulin resistance.

There are also studies into the ketogenic diet’s effects on Alzheimers Disease and Bipolar Disorder (among others) that have shown promising results.

The Ketogenic Diet itself was used in the early 1900’s to control epileptic seizures. It is still used today for those resistant to seizure medication. But we won’t dive deeply into all of that today.

Today we’re going to answer the question. How long does it take to get into ketosis?

How long does it take to get into Ketosis?

To give a timeframe for getting into ketosis. It would be safe to say that typically you can expect to get into ketosis within 2-10 days.

Nobody can tell you with pinpoint accuracy how long it will take you to get into ketosis. The time it takes for your body to start creating ketone bodies varies between individuals.

We all have unique metabolisms, varying resistance to insulin and previous diet. Biological factors that differentiate us from one another.

There are certain methods, through restriction and keto supplements that are proven to fasten up the process to ketosis.

That is if you stick to the recommended macronutrients (use our keto calculator ).

For some getting into ketosis may not take very long at all. I’ve experienced ketosis myself in as little as one day. However, that was after a day of bad eating for which my diet was ketogenic for a long time prior.

(that sudden flooding of carbohydrates made me quite sick by the way, shaky and agitated. It’s times like that you realize the havoc a high carbohydrate diet plays on your system).

For others, it may take a little longer to get into ketosis. As a general rule ketosis will not happen as long as you’re consuming more than 30 gm of carbohydrate per day. (sure some individual may squeeze more in, but why?).

If you’re worried about busting out read our article on preparing for the ketogenic diet.

Again some people will not get into ketosis, or it will take much longer unless their carbohydrate intake is much less than that.

How To Get Into Ketosis Fast

Initially, to induce ketosis in the shortest period, it is recommended to stay under 5% of carbohydrate per day.

The keto diet is a high-fat diet so you should be getting 70% of your macros from healthy fats to get into ketosis.

All of your carbohydrates should come from green leafy, cruciferous vegetables.

Your protein should not exceed 25% of your daily calorie intake.

Fastest Way To Get Into Ketosis

  1. Very Low Carb: Keep your carbohydrates under 20gram per day is the main tip on how to get into ketosis fast.
  2. Green Vegetables: All carbohydrates should come from green, leafy, cruciferous vegetables. (Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, etc.)..
  3. Moderate Protein: Keep protein to 25% maximum of your Fat/Protein/Carb Macros. Protein is required for muscle retention, but too much protein is bad for ketosis. We use low carb protein powders in fat bomb recipes where most of the ingredient is from fats. We now prefer Collagen Protein with MCT’s for its ketone inducing properties. Collagen protein with not only gives you energy it also supports healthy skin, ligaments, hair, and nails.
  4. Fat 75%: Ensure the good majority of your calorie intake comes from fat. Your body burning fat is how you get into ketosis.
  5. Eat a variety of fat from butter, coconut oil, fish oil MCT oil (and MCT Powder ) and nut oils, the ideal high-temperature cooking oils being lard and tallow.
  6. Eliminate milk: (Skim milk is worse). Replace milk in your coffee with heavy, full cream instead (MCT Powder makes an excellent crema), milk has too many carbs and will prevent you from getting into ketosis.
  7. Natural Sugar Substitutes: If you must sweeten, use artificial “natural” sweeteners such as Stevia or Xylitol. We find Xylitol to be the closest thing to sugar, just be aware that too much xylitol can give some people stomach upsets, alternatively, Stevia has its place in cooking but has an aftertaste that is evident in tea or coffee.
  8. Light cardiovascular exercise, only walking for those not used to exercise. Resistance training can come later if you feel the urge. Just a slight change in activity will have a tremendous effect on burning off those last remnants of glucose. Getting you into ketosis faster by switching to fat as an energy source.
  9. Intermittent Fasting can make a significant difference in achieving ketosis fast. Intermittent fasting helps your body turn to fat for fuel and get into ketosis at a rapid rate. Read our article on intermittent fasting and ketosis here.
  10. Using Exogenous Ketones aka BHB Salts. These supplements are readily available and will help you get into ketosis fast. After taking BHB salts, you will notice an increase in energy and focus. Other than ketone esters, ketone salts are the only other direct way of taking ketones. (Oils are converted to ketones). Athletes and dieters use them with great success.
  11. MCT oil or Coconut Oil consumed at 1-3 tablespoons, three times a day has been shown to bring about ketosis quicker. Due to the way Medium Chain Triglycerides process in our bodies. High-quality MCT oil (use C8 MCT Oil for more efficient absorption and higher ketone levels) is made from Coconut Oil. Coconut oil also has hunger blunting effects.

We use Extra Virgin, Cold Pressed Coconut Oil as it has a broader spectrum of fatty acids and other health benefits. Coconut oil contains Lauric Acid which is helpful fight infections, colds, flu and other nasties.

Coconut oil also has many uses in the kitchen as it has a high smoke point for frying.

Not only does coconut oil help you get into ketosis fast, but it also has a tonne of uses as a beauty product for hair and skin.

Keep coconut oil on hand for frying and fat bomb recipes and use MCT Oil for fast ketone production.

Products Help Get Into Ketosis Faster

Some products that help you get into ketosis faster.

There is no doubt the lower your carbohydrate consumption, the sooner your body stops relying on glucose as fuel. When that happens, your body turns to fat as fuel through ketosis.

Can Exercise Affect Ketosis?

Yes, exercise helps you deplete the glycogen in your body from the conversion of carbohydrates. Once your glycogen stores are depleted, your body will turn to fat for energy and begin the process of ketosis. 

Your body will always use carbohydrates as a source of energy first when exercising and only turns to fat when carbs deplete.

This is due to that fact that your body does not have to work as hard to burn carbohydrates.

Be careful your body can also convert protein to glucose for energy. This is why we eat a moderate (not too much) amount of protein for muscle sparing only. Too much protein will prevent ketosis!

The best type of exercise for fat burning and achieving ketosis is slow and lengthy. A long brisk walk will serve you much better than a sprint!

A Healthy Tip: Nobody is asking or wanting you to be sweating and puffing like a maniac. Don’t go running up sand dunes or piggybacking your husband to work. If you’re not accustomed to exercising just walk! Get a Fitbit to track your progress and start with small goals, slowly increase as it becomes easier.

This is very important. If you don’t usually exercise, start with baby steps. Just get moving, walk a little, then walk a little further or a little faster as you become accustomed to it.

If you get into exercise this way you will learn to love it and it will stoke your metabolism nicely reducing the time to get into ketosis.

On the other hand, if you get into exercising like a bull at a gate. As seen on some TV shows or by novice personal trainers. 

You will not only put yourself at serious health risks; you will learn to associate exercise with pain. You’ll know why you hated exercising in the first place.

I have seen personal trainers with clients in their first session train them harder than athletes. Those clients never return, and they wonder why.

Learn to love exercise one step at a time! It is as much psychological as it is physical.

How To Know If You’re In Ketosis

You can tell whether or not you are in ketosis by monitoring your blood ketones levels with a ketone meter with various devices.

The most common method people use to know if they’re in ketosis is by way of Ketostix. But Ketostix are very inaccurate.

Ketostix are thin strips of paper that have an indicator in them. The indicator changes color when entered into a person’s urine. Indicating ketone bodies which tell you when you’re in ketosis.

One point I want to make about Ketostix is that a lot of people use them because they seem cheap (initially). People get very disappointed with them when they don’t indicate that they’re in ketosis (even when they are).

Ketonix Breath Acetone Analyser is by far a better option and more recently the Keto Mojo Blood Ketone and Glucose Meter has been getting rave reviews.

For your sake. If you’re doing everything right and Ketostix are only showing trace elements, just accept that you are in ketosis.
best ketone meters monitor ketosis

Keto Mojo is one the more popular & better ketone monitors

Ketostix only detects one type of acid and a lot of other factors can affect how light ketone bodies become in urine.

The amount of water that you should be drinking can have a great impact on them, so don’t get hung up on it.

Another blood ketone meter is theprecision extra.

Another way of measuring ketone bodies in the blood is via a blood glucose and ketone meter. Commonly used by people with diabetes, these have the added benefit of storing and tracking your progress from day to day as well.

Symptoms of Ketosis

There are also symptoms of Ketosis that will indicate your body is now using fats as its primary source of energy without having to use Ketostix or Ketone Meters:

  • Keto Breath: You (or others) may notice a fruity acetone type smelling breath. Easily combated with;sugar-free mints, sugar-free gum, etc. if you’re someone that is concerned with artificial sweeteners. The best-tasting gum that we’ve found with no sugar and sweetened with natural Xylitol is Trident Sugar-Free Gum. Ps Xylitol has also been used successfully in treating and preventing middle ear infection. Just go easy as it does upset some peoples stomachs in large amounts. Treat Keto Breath as a good sign as the smell is easily dealt with.
  • Frequent urination as your body expels the excess fluid that it was hanging onto due to the number of carbohydrates that you previously consumed.
  • Possible fatigue or what is known as keto flu which can be tackled by consuming sugar-free electrolyte drinks, or high mineral containing broths.
  • And the most exciting part. A rapid drop in weight! Just be aware that the fast weight loss you notice in the first few weeks of your keto diet is mostly fluid. Fat loss will be steady yet still very noticeable.

Getting Into Ketosis and Keto Weight Loss Issues

When you get to 3 or 4 weeks, your actual weight (if you insist on using scales) may not be as significant as compared to someone who starves themselves on a calorie restricted diet.

The reason for this is that you are retaining lean muscle mass due to keeping up your high fat and moderate protein intake.

Those on a calorie restricted diet, due to limiting everything have no such nutrients to maintain valuable muscle.

This is why you see people who partake in such harmful nutrient restricting diets become weak, gaunt and unhealthy looking. While those that stay healthy, through ketosis, are lean and muscular.

It is also why I highly recommend that you ditch the scales for measurements with much cheaper measuring tapes and weekly progress photos. Muscle is heavy people, the kind of heavy you want.  

For the Ladies: You shouldn’t fear turning masculine, you’ll simply be retaining the lean mass you have. It will give you shape as the fat melts rather than the deflated look many achieve on extreme calorie restricted diets.

This won’t pack on massive forearms or biceps. Though being in ketosis can be worked into a bodybuilding routine. For which you’ll tweak protein and calorie intake “if you choose”. But only once you’ve removed the excess fat from your frame.

Products to Help You Get Into Ketosis Fast

  • BHB Salts – Will get your ketone levels high fast.
  • MCT Powder – Also boosts ketone levels rapidly and makes an excellent Crema for Coffee (supercharging your coffee).
  • Ketone Meter – Know your blood ketone levels in real time! We are big fans of monitoring and tracking.
  • MCT Oil – Works faster than MCT powder but not as convenient, keep it in the fridge and start with a tablespoon when in need of some energy. Or, when your ketone monitor says you’re low on ketones.

The Ketogenic Diet isn’t hard and getting into Ketosis won’t take long when you learn to read nutrition labels. Follow the keto food pyramid, calculate your macros and you certainly won’t starve. Enjoy!

Resources:

  1. On the metabolism of Exogenous Ketones in Humans – Oxford University.
  2. Effects of exogenous ketone supplementation on blood ketone, glucose, triglyceride and lipoprotein levels on Sprague- Dawley rats.
  3. The use of nutritional supplements to induce ketosis and reduce symptoms associated with keto-induction: a narrative review.

How long does it take to get into ketosis? That’s up to you mostly!