So how long does it take to get into ketosis and what can you do to accelerate the transition? When you enter a state of ketosis, your body switches from using glucose to using mainly ketones for fuel. For someone to experience the benefits and see a result really varies from person to person and also depends on how strict you are being in the process! It won’t happen overnight our body has been burning sugar for fuel its entire life. It will need time to adapt to burning ketones for fuel.
So how long does it take to get into ketosis? This transition could take anywhere from 48 hours to one week. The length in time will vary depending upon your activity level, lifestyle, body type, and carb intake. There are several ways you can speed up this process, like intermittent fasting and drastically decreasing your carb intake or removing them all together. Once you get into ketosis, there is no guarantee you will remain in ketosis. If you eat a carb-laden meal, practice carb cycling, or increase your carb intake for athletic performance, your body may start burning glucose. To get back into a fat-burning state, follow the same methods you did to get into ketosis initially
- Cut your carbs drastically- If you are used to eating carbs this can be really challenging and can take some time to get your head around. This will feel hard at first and may feel the opposite of your normal but it’s an essential step in achieving ketosis. This means root veggies, bread, pasta, potatoes, grains, cereals, starchy fruits- even control your legume intake I recommend just 1 serving per week of beans, lentils etc. I’d also watch your nut intake while they are a fantastic source of fat they can also be quite high in carbs.
- Keep your protein levels up- Protein is crucial so please don’t skimp here. It provides many of the nutrients you need to be healthy, helps satisfy you, and helps prevent muscle breakdown. Go for things like organic free range eggs, salmon, nuts, seeds and organic full fat yoghurt.
- Try intermittent fasting- Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool and is often used in conjunction with the keto diet. When used on its own is has a number of health benefits, including improved concentration, faster weight loss, and reduced blood sugar levels. It has also been associated with decreasing symptoms of various chronic diseases. When used in combination with a ketogenic diet, it can help you get into ketosis faster, and aids weight and fat loss. To ease you in try fasting from 6pm in the evening until 10am the next morning drinking just water and herbal teas.
- Increase your high quality good fats- Healthy fats make up the large proportion of a keto meal plan and it can definitely take some getting used to make that initial transition. Your body needs to use fat as its primary fuel source so make sure 70-80% of your daily calories are from fats. This will help your body transition, although if your goal is to lose weight, it’s preferred to decrease your fat intake slightly to allow your cells to burn fat stores instead of dietary fat. An example of what 70% fat looks like in a day may be this: 1 avocado with breakfast, a scoop of full fat greek yoghurt, a handful of walnuts, 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil drizzled on dinner.
- Introduce MCT oil- More so than any other oil like coconut oil, organic grass fed butter, or any other fat, MCT oil can boost your blood ketone levels significantly. MCT oil can do this because the medium-chain triglycerides in it are quickly metabolized and used for energy by your cells, unlike long-chain fatty acids which take longer to be broken down. Try adding it to your morning coffee or smoothie.
- Watch your snacks and keep keto when out- Stay keto on the go and be prepared. Don’t be afraid to ask for swaps in restaurants nearly all will be able to accommodate some simple swaps for you. Some good keto snacks are homemade nut bars, hard boiled eggs, unsalted nuts and seeds. It’s always best to prepare your own snacks as most, even those considered low carb, have cheap ingredients and sweet syrups that raise your blood sugar and kick you out of ketosis.
- Keep moving– Exercise and daily movement helps deplete the body of glycogen stores (stored glucose). When glycogen reserves are low, and not being refilled with carbohydrates, the body turns to burning fat for energy. Therefore, increasing your exercise intensity can help you enter ketosis faster.