Just about everyone starting a Ketogenic Diet asks, 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 a longer, sustained energy, enhanced cognition, improved focus and other neuroprotective benefits. As well as the coveted weight loss benefits.
Table of contents
- The Advantages Of Ketosis
- How Long Does It Take To get Into Ketosis
- How To Get Into Ketosis Fast<
- Fastest Way To Get Into Ketosis
- How To Know If You’re In Ketosis
- Getting Into Ketosis and Keto Weight Loss Issues
Being on a Ketogenic Diet and having your body rely on fats as its fuel comes with cardiovascular benefits as well.
It has been shown 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?
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.
To give a timeframe on getting into ketosis. It would be safe to say that typically you can expect your body to get into ketosis within a period of 2-10 days.
That is if you stick to the recommended macronutrients (use our keto calculator ).
For some to get 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 these that you’re shown what 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.
Initially, to induce ketosis in the shortest period of time it is recommended to stay under 5% of carbohydrate per day.
All of your carbohydrates should come from green leafy, cruciferous vegetables. Your protein should not exceed 25% of your daily calorie intake.
- Very Low Carb: Keep your carbohydrates under 20gram per day is the main tip in how to get into ketosis fast.
- Green Vegetables: All carbohydrates should come from green, leafy, cruciferous vegetables. (Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, etc.)..
- Moderate Protein: Keep protein moderate to 25% maximum of your Fat/Protein/Carb Macros. Protein is needed 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 fat.
- Fat 75%: Ensure the good majority of your calorie intake comes from fat. Your body burning fat is how you get into ketosis.
- Eat a variety of fat from butter, coconut oil, fish oil and nut oils, the ideal high-temperature cooking oils being lard and tallow.
- Eliminate milk (Skim milk is worse). Replace milk in your coffee with heavy full cream instead, milk has too many carbs and will prevent you getting in ketosis.
- 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.
- 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.
Tip: Nobody is asking or wanting you to be sweating and puffing like a maniac. Don’t go running up sand dunes or piggy backing 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 normally 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 reducising the time to get into ketosis.
On the other hand, if you get into exercising like a bull at a gate. As we’ve see 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.
- Intermittent Fasting can greatly aid in achieving ketosis fast. Intermittent fasting helps your body turn to fat and get into ketosis at a rapid rate. Read our article on intermittent fasting and ketosis here.
- 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. Athletes and dieters use them with great success.
- MCT oil or Coconut Oil taken at 1-3 tablespoons three times a day has been shown to bring about ketosis quicker. Due to the way Medium Chain Triglycerides are processed in our bodies. High-quality MCT oil 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, it has a tonne of uses as a beauty product for hair and skin.
We are a big fan of Coconut Oil; Here is an article we dedicated to it: Coconut Oil for Ketosis.
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.
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 of how to know if you’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).
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 diabetics, 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 amount 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.
When you get to 3 or 4 weeks your actual weight (if you insist on using scales) may not be as great compared to someone who starves themselves on a dramatic 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 restricting 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.
The Ketogenic Diet and getting into Ketosis won’t take long and isn’t at all hard when you learn to read nutritional labels. Follow the keto food pyramid and calculate your macros you certainly won’t starve. Enjoy!
- On the metabolism of Exogenous Ketones in Humans – Oxford University.
- Effects of exogenous ketone supplementation on blood ketone, glucose, triglyceride and lipoprotein levels on Sprague- Dawley rats.
- 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!