10 Effective Tips to Get Into Ketosis Quickly
10 Effective Tips to Get Into Ketosis Quickly
The keto diet has gained tremendous popularity for its weight loss and numerous other health benefits. So it's no surprise that you are ready to jump on this bandwagon too. But getting into ketosis is no walk in the park.
To achieve your health goals on a keto diet, you need to activate ketosis, the metabolic state in which your body shifts to burning fats for energy. Transitioning from a world dominated by carbs to one where fats take the spotlight is quite a challenge, physically
Kickstarting ketosis requires both dietary and lifestyle changes. Some people can get into ketosis in a couple of days while others may need a week or more.
Thankfully, there are some strategies to make this transition faster and smoother. Here are 10 actionable tips to get into ketosis and on the fast track to burning body fat.
1. Stock Low-Carb Foods
Ketosis is all about running your body on fat for fuel, instead of glucose. This translates to cutting down on your carb intake as drastically as possible. The recommended amount of carbs in a keto diet is about 20-50 grams/day. The lower, the better.
Sadly, this is no easy task. Traditionally, carbohydrate-rich foods such as rice, bread, buns, pasta, and even potatoes form a major part of our daily meals. Taking these out of your diet or finding suitable keto alternatives may be challenging in the initial days of your keto journey.
So do your research and stock your pantry with keto-friendly foods, snacks, and drinks. Make sure you have them handy when those hunger pangs or cravings strike.
Read more: Keto Diet Food List: 20 Foods You Can Eat on Keto
2. Check for Hidden Carbs
Carbs are everywhere. They hide in the nooks and corners of the most unexpected foods - condiments, sauces, salad dressings, etc. It's these hidden carbs you need to watch out for.
For, example, you may have ordered fried chicken thinking it's pure keto - but maybe its crumb-fried coating is probably carb-loaded.
Most processed foods contain carbs in various forms. Sausages and hot dogs may contain carbs as fillers. ‘Diet-friendly’ low-fat or fat-free foods are usually full of added sugar as the diet industry portrayed fat as the villain, not the sugar. Read the food label when buying processed and packaged foods.
It is always better to opt for whole, organic, and unprocessed foods. Cook your meals at home so you know what goes into it. If you don’t have the time to shop for groceries and cook from scratch, try out keto meal delivery services.
Keto meal delivery kits usually come pre-portioned, prepped, and ready for cooking. Frozen sets of such meals are very convenient as you can just pop them into the microwave or oven to thaw quickly and whip up a gourmet meal in no time at all.
Read more: Keto Made Easy: x benefits of keto meal delivery
3. Butter Up with Healthy Fats
We have all been taught to fear the fat. Despite new research telling us otherwise, many of us still hesitate when it comes to adding more fat to our meals. So a change in mindset is the first thing to work on when it comes to dietary fat.
If you started keto with the aim of weight loss, then you need to shift your body into a fat-burning machine. Add plenty of healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, butter, avocados, and nuts, to your daily meals. Avoid unhealthy trans fat. Have saturated fats in moderation.
Our bodies first use glucose from the foods we eat before turning to glucose stored as glycogen. Replacing carbs with fat in your diet forces your body to use the fat for fuel, once the glycogen reserves are used up.
After you enter ketosis and become fat-adapted - meaning your body has turned into a fat-burning furnace - you can cut back on the fat in your diet. At this point, your body starts burning up stored body fat for energy! And that’s our target.
It’s important to remember that the high fat intake helps kickstart ketosis. If you eat more fat than you burn, you will gain weight. Once you are in ketosis, it's important to cut back on the fat intake so that the stored body fat gets mobilized as fuel.
Read more: Top 10 Healthy Keto Fats
4. MCT Oil Power Boost
This is a powerful strategy for jump-starting ketosis. MCT oil is different from the fat sources mentioned before.
MCT oil, as the name suggests, is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are quickly absorbed and metabolized by the liver. It is converted directly into ketones and helps accelerate ketosis (1).
If MCT oil is not available, then you can use coconut oil. MCTs form about 13 to 14% of coconut oil. It contains 4 different types of MCTs including lauric acid (2). On the other hand, MCT oil is a much more concentrated source of MCTs. You’ll have to consume a lot more coconut oil to get the same quantity of MCTs. This means more fat calories, which can sabotage your weight loss efforts. So make sure to strike a balance there.
Read more: MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil: What's the Difference?
5. Moderate Protein Intake:
Protein is vital for building and maintaining muscle, especially during a weight loss program. Your body requires various amino acids for numerous functions. Your muscles can get sacrificed if your protein intake is too low.
However excessive intake of protein can kick you out of ketosis. The extra protein gets converted into glucose via a process known as gluconeogenesis (3). So you need to be extra cautious when it comes to your protein consumption. Choose organic, high-quality protein sources such as eggs, chicken, meat, cottage cheese, lentils, nuts, etc.
Read more: Top 13 Keto Nuts and Seeds to Try Today
6. Stay Hydrated
Ketosis puts an increased load on your kidneys as it now has to eliminate the byproducts of fat metabolism. To promote your renal health and efficiently eliminate these substances, you need to drink plenty of fluids.
Adequate hydration, especially in the initial stages of ketosis, supports kidney function and helps flush out toxins.
Read more: Hydration and Electrolyte Balance on Keto
7. Intermittent Fasting:
Even if you completely stop carbs, ketosis does not start till the glycogen stores are depleted. Intermittent fasting helps deplete your glycogen stores faster, thus helping your body enter ketosis sooner.
You can fast for 16 to 20 hours and eat your keto-friendly meals within a restricted time window. The longer the fast, the better the effect. Fasting for 24 to 48 hours is most effective for kick-starting ketosis. Fasting also offers you numerous health benefits (4).
Read more: What Is Fat Fasting, And Is It Good For You?
8. Exercise Regularly
Physical activity is another way to deplete your glycogen stores. You can do both aerobic and resistance training exercises.
However, once you use up your glycogen stores, you may experience fatigue. Till you get fat adapted and learn to use fat as a fuel efficiently, you may feel tired and sluggish. The adjustment will take a bit of time. Stay on track and you’ll get there.
Read more: Incorporating Exercise into Your Ketogenic Lifestyle
9. Monitor Ketone Levels
To stay on the right track and keep moving forward to achieve your goal, you need to track your progress and make adjustments accordingly. Considering that your aim is getting into ketosis, you can check your ketone levels for feedback on your keto progress.
Different types of ketone testers check the levels of ketones in your urine, blood, and even your breath. These are easily available online in the form of strips and monitors.
Read more: How to Use Keto Strips to Measure Ketosis
10. Get Enough Sleep:
Sleep directly influences your metabolic and hormonal processes. If you have trouble achieving ketosis despite following all of the above steps, the problem may be your lack of quality sleep.
Sleep deprivation can impact insulin sensitivity and inhibit your transition to ketosis. It’s best if you can sleep well for about 7 to 8 hours every night.
Read more: Optimizing Keto for Metabolic Health
Reducing your carb intake drastically, adding healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein to your diet, and exercising regularly, help your body transition efficiently to using fat as fuel. Fasting can help use up stored glucose and speed up ketosis. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated and get adequate sleep. Monitor your ketone levels to stay on track and make necessary adjustments.
As you transition into ketosis, you may experience some side effects such as keto flu or keto rashes. Do not panic and get off the keto diet. These symptoms will eventually subside as your body adapts to ketosis.
Read more: Keto Diet Side Effects and How to Minimize Them
Individual responses to a ketogenic diet can vary. Some people can get into ketosis in a few days while others take much longer. If you have underlying health conditions, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making significant dietary changes.