Fastest Way to Get Into Ketosis. How do I enter ketosis? Wow! That trend has exploded and I have encountered many questions.
Because there are so many, I have answered many in the Frequently Asked Questions section below. But here is a QUICK GUIDE if you can’t wait to get started. It takes your metabolism between 7-14 days to enter ketosis.
A quick guide on how to enter ketosis
- Start by monitoring your carbohydrates (CHO).
- Once you have a baseline, cut your carbohydrate intake to less than 30g / day. Try to avoid any of those carbohydrates after the afternoon.
- Replace those calories with sources of quality protein, such as whole eggs, meats, whey protein, or similar options.
- Introduction healthy fats into your diet like as avocados, coconut oil, butter from grass-fed cows, etc.
I have had clients (who have proven themselves) that have entered ketosis in less than a week. But they were already following a very clean and moderate carbohydrate diet.
If you feel very anxious and want to get into ketosis quickly, try fasting for a day. Immediately after, follow step 2 above.
Fastest Way to Get Into Ketosis
This is the safest way to quickly enter ketosis. Ketone supplements are unnecessary. Do not waste your money.
The ketosis trend
Now, if you have also entered the latest wave of fitness and want to know how to get into ketosis quickly, read on. You’re not alone.
Ketosis is what everyone is talking about today. I often hear it so much that it seems to be a domestic term. But when I ask people if they know what it means, they almost always look at me like saying “hmmm, not really.”
Well, if you’re going to take this ketosis seriously, let me first explain what it is …
Then I’ll tell you how to get in there quickly … and SAFE!
So what is ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which our liver produces ketone bodies as a result of the breakdown of fatty acids. Eh … what does that mean?
Actually, it is a system designed to prevent protein breakdown in an effort to save it for important tasks, such as creating antibodies to fight infections, enzymes and hemoglobin.
Where does this protein come from that ketone bodies are saving if you are not consuming enough protein in your diet?
Correct, muscle tissue!
So, let’s go back to what ketone bodies do for us …
Almost all body tissues, except liver tissue and red blood cells, can use ketone bodies as an efficient source of fuel. The tissue that cannot do so depends on gluconeogenesis. This is a mechanism that converts the amino acids of proteins into glucose. It is a great skill. We will talk more about this later.
Ways in which your body goes into ketosis
There are several different routes that we can take to enter a state of ketosis:
If a person suffers from severe diabetes and does not produce enough insulin or their cells do not respond to insulin, glucose (blood sugar) builds up in the blood, but cannot be used. These individuals will enter a state of ketosis as if there were no glucose present. In other words, your cells will be blind to glucose.
This is a dangerous situation. Not because of ketone bodies, but because of dangerously high blood glucose levels. A ketogenic diet has the ability to keep diabetic individuals without medication. However, in a society in which CHOs are part of the basic diet, this is a difficult scenario for most people to follow.
Starvation is the next cause of ketosis that very few of us will have to deal with (hopefully). It is a method of conservation to prevent excessive spending but, in the end, it fails after a while and death occur.
A very low carbohydrate diet, with adequate levels of protein and fat, will produce a state of ketosis. This is where you want to get if you are eliminating carbohydrates from your diet. Easier said than done.
How Period Does it Take to Get Into Ketosis
I don’t want to be redundant, but 7-14 days is really how long it takes to get into ketosis.
Chemical reactions may happen instantly. But your metabolism really does take some time to make global changes. Which will come in four stages:
- After dropping carbohydrates below 30g / day, you’ll use up our stored blood, muscle and liver glucose. That takes about 1-2 days.
- You’ll start to produce glycogen via gluconeogenesis from your eaten and stored protein. That gets you to about 3-4 days into the changes.
- You start to produce ketone bodies as a predominant fuel source. At this point, all systems are using ketone bodies as fuel except for the brain, liver and red blood cells (RBC’s).
- Lastly, after about 10-14 days, your brain start to utilize ketone bodies as an effort to spare protein. The same protein that’s being converted in glycogen for the liver and RBC’s.
So, I suggest being patient during this period. Being in a hurry will not produce success. But, let’s look at the positive here. During this transition, the number on the scale will go down. And you’ll start to feel better from the elimination of sugar from your diet.
How does it take to enter ketosis?
I don’t want to sound redundant, but between 7-14 days in what it really takes to go into ketosis.
Chemical reactions can occur instantly. But it really takes a while for your metabolism to start making general changes, which will come in four stages:
- After cutting your carbohydrate intake to less than 30g / day, you will use your glucose stored in the blood, muscles and liver. This takes between 1 and 2 days.
- You will start producing glycogen through the gluconeogenesis of the proteins you ate and stored. This takes about 3-4 days of the changes.
- You start producing ketone bodies as a predominant fuel source. At this point, all systems are using ketone bodies as fuel, except the brain, liver and red blood cells (GR).
- Finally, after about 10-14 days, your brain starts using ketone bodies in an effort to save protein. The same protein that is being converted into glycogen by the liver and GR.
- So, I suggest being patient during this period. Walking in a hurry will not lead you to success. But let’s see the positive side. During this transition, the numbers on your scale will go down, and you will begin to feel better about eliminating sugar from your diet.
While it takes a while to get into ketosis, you’ll see some results right away.
7 mistakes you will make when you try to enter ketosis
- Not having a menu planned for each day
- Do not prepare your meals in advance
- You do not thoroughly review the nutritional composition of the food you eat
- You do not monitor your blood chemistry while watching your food intake
- You don’t drink enough water
- You often make exceptions to eat carbohydrates on social occasions
- You follow the plan for a day, then you break it one day and then take it back
How many carbohydrates can I eat and still go into ketosis?
Research indicates that a diet of between 0 and 30 grams, approximately, of carbohydrates consumed per day, will cause ketosis. This number is affected by several factors:
- Body composition
- Activity level
- Composition of the intestinal flora
- Your safest option is to try to keep your carbohydrates at a midpoint of the established range. Then, after two weeks, adjust them up or down depending on your results.
How will you know you are in ketosis?
There are some signs that point to being in ketosis:
- Your mouth may be a little drier (yes, you should raise your water consumption during ketosis).
- Your breath may have a “rotting fruit” smell (harmless and will disappear)
- Energy levels stabilize during the day
Is it dangerous to be in ketosis?
If you have diabetes … yes. Otherwise not.
with severe diabetes may end up in ketosis. When that happens, it is a dangerous scenario due to high blood glucose levels.
So what happens if there are too few carbohydrates in the diet of an individual without diabetes?
Well, it can disturb the acid-base balance of the body. However, as far as I know, this is not a problem.
So, in the absence of carbohydrates, ketosis is the lesser of two evils. This is because the liver is great for making ketone bodies and glucose through gluconeogenesis, and then sending them to the brain and peripheral tissues.
In fact, I would not consider ketosis as a bad situation, but a wonderful ability to adapt to our environment and what we have available as a food source.
Why the keto diet is bad
As I just said, ketosis itself is not bad.
However, the ketogenic diet (keto diet) could be a bad option for you. Any meal or diet plan works only if it suits you and your lifestyle. The keto diet is bad if you are someone in any of these situations:
- You are someone who often deviates from diets. The ketogenic diet requires a lot of planning and preparation. If you deviate often, this can have a detrimental effect on your blood chemistry.
- If you are a big carb fan you will feel that this plan is very restrictive.
- Finally, if you are a vegetarian, this is not a valid option.
As I said, I have had many clients who do extremely well with moderate carbohydrate diets. It affects each one of us differently, so we must try and see what makes us feel better.
So if the keto diet is bad for you and your lifestyle, don’t worry; there are many options you can try.
And what about the long-term effects of a low carb keto diet?
The latest research indicates that the jury is still undecided as to the long-term effects of a low-carb ketogenic diet. The concern seems to be the accumulation of fat at the liver level.
But the controls for this result are not strict enough to take as a reference. If you are considering this option in the long term and have doubts, I suggest an annual review of your blood chemistry. Anyway, that’s something you should do every year.
I reviewed a recent epidemiological study published in 2018. I suggested that a diet low in CHO, as well as a diet high in CHO, reduces life expectancy.
This is my concern with that study. He considered that talking about low CHO is less than 40%. That leaves room for individuals who consume a lot of saturated fats and who continue to consume a lot of sugar. This raises triglyceride and LDL levels and is a harmful situation. A better figure would be 10% or less of CHO to get an accurate result.
Do I have to eat carbohydrates to survive?
The recommendation of the United States Department of Health to eat carbohydrates is due to two reasons: prevent ketosis and provide glucose beyond our minimum needs. But we have already established that ketosis is not a bad thing when it is not due to diabetes.
In this country, there are many aspects that contribute to nutritional recommendations apart from research. One of these influences is big business (the grain and cereal industry), so you must keep your skepticism about the “recommended” fees.
I am not a conspiracy enthusiast, but that is how the system has evolved. see at the big picture and follow the money.
But, in conclusion, we do not need to consume carbohydrates to survive.
May I have a rest meal in the keto diet?
Yes, but only if you stop eating carbohydrates immediately after the rest meal. I am not aware of any valid research that proves the ability to remain in ketosis after a short-term glucose consumption, followed immediately by a carbohydrate-free plan.
My reasoned assumption is that it would not take long to return to a state of ketosis. But, surely, individuals will not feel very well after consuming a lot of sugar after their bodies have been functioning based on protein and fat.
How will my body use fats and proteins during ketosis?
- Our hormones adjust to better use the fats and proteins that are stored and obtained from our diets.Some of the most predominant hormones that fit this are insulin glucagon. On a very low carbohydrate diet, insulin levels decrease and glucagon levels rise. Think of insulin as a bulldozer that pushes nutrients into cells. Glucagon promotes glucose production and stops the breakdown of glucose.These hormonal changes prepare for gluconeogenesis (the production of glucose using alternative sources).
Why do we need to make our own glucose if we can use ketone bodies as an energy source?
Well, our brain prefers glucose. But it will be changed to ketone bodies after approximately two weeks of starvation.
A valid question that needs an answer is:
Does our brain depend on glucose produced by gluconeogenesis instead of ketone bodies in a fed state (low carb diet)?
Any graduate student out there who needs to do research?
Not all amino acids in proteins can go through the gluconeogenesis process to produce glucose.
It turns out that 1.6g of the appropriate amino acids are required to produce 1g of glucose.
A person would need an average of 190g of protein a day to produce the daily dose of glucose that is needed for the brain. Fortunately, our metabolism limits your use of glucose to conserve muscle tissue.
Red blood cells and liver tissue cannot use ketone bodies, so they must depend on gluconeogenesis.
But, I repeat, our body limits its use of glucose to reduce the need for gluconeogenesis, saving all the glucose produced for use by red blood cells and the liver.
After two weeks without carbohydrates, we began to change ketone bodies as a large percentage of fuel source, and towards more fatty acids during a resting state.
Despite this (final note), the blood concentration of the ketone bodies continues to increase and reaches a stable rate after about three weeks without carbohydrates. These ketone bodies are then used by our brain as a source of fuel. This decreases gluconeogenesis.
It seems that high levels of ketone bodies have a conservation effect on the muscle. They help reduce the catabolic rate (tissue breakdown).
In short, we change our systems to burn ketone bodies and fatty acids. This is to conserve muscle tissue and continue to survive.
What are the symptoms of ketosis?
The symptoms of ketosis are caused by changes in the body as it adapts to using ketones instead of carbohydrates.
Symptoms may appear in two stages. Some are short-term initial effects of the change, while others appear later, after your body has adapted.
Now, not all ketosis symptoms are bad. Some are quite good.
For example, over time your energy levels will be more stable during the day. It diminishes that feeling that you are “running out of fuel”, since you don’t have those highs and lows of glucose levels dictating your energy levels.
This is an answer that I have seen in many of the people I have helped with a keto diet, and I have also experienced this same result.
7 symptoms of ketosis to watch
- Breath with a sweet or weird smell
- Low energy at the beginning. This is because during the first few days your metabolism is changing to a different fuel system.
- A potential headache on the first day of the transition
- Energy levels should stabilize in 3-4 days
- That feeling of anger is minimized when your blood sugar levels are low because of hunger
- Constant weight loss from fat (if you are consuming enough protein and fat
healthy), after approximately seven days
- Your skin and mouth may feel dry if you are not consuming enough water. This will disappear.
Why is bad breath a symptom of ketosis?
Bad breath (or a sweet smell) is a common first symptom of ketosis, although it may only be slightly noticeable up close. It is due to the presence of acetone in the blood.
Acetone is one of the volatile ketone bodies. It is soluble in both lipids and water.
If you do not suffer from diabetes this is not a problem. This is something that will disappear after a while.
How will my physical appearance change if I stay in ketosis?
One becomes very competent in burning fat deposits during ketosis, so it is a solid method for fat loss.
In addition, with adequate amounts of protein and strength training, one should maintain or add lean muscle tissue.
This all sounds wonderful to me!
What about moderate-intensity endurance athletes? And with high-intensity athletes?
A ketogenic diet is advantageous for athletes of moderate intensity, such as marathoners or cyclists.
However, it does not have the same advantages for high-intensity athletes. A person’s ability to maintain “fast energy” decreases. This is due to the lack of glycogen stores and the low activity of glycolytic enzymes.
The conclusions about ketosis
I cannot think of any negative aspects associated with a ketogenic diet, regardless of whether the goal is to maintain adequate energy levels or be thin, maintain a healthy metabolism or manage diabetes.
However, if you are trying to increase lean muscle tissue, you will have faster results if you incorporate good quality carbohydrates.
On a separate note, low-carb diets that are not ketogenic have a similar effect on many individuals, especially if sugar is eliminated from the diet. I must believe that a person’s response to a particular type of diet has a lot to do with his composition of the intestinal flora. But that is a debate for another time.
A ketogenic diet also has benefits for lipid profiles. The triglyceride rate at HDL decreases. This happens when you replace carbohydrates with good quality protein and fat sources.
So if you’ve ever considered making a ketogenic diet, try it. Definitely worth trying since you won’t be hurting yourself. But try it for at least three weeks before drawing your conclusions.
I have experimented with myself and with clients following super low to moderate carbohydrate diets. I’ve noticed similar results in both, but it definitely feels better with the super low carb plan.