Our bodies usually take around two to seven days to get into nutritional ketosis.
We know how hard this initial process can be. Along with learning how to get into ketosis fast, you'll get to know what to consume to stay in ketosis.
You'll find all the help you need to get into ketosis fast, kickstart your metabolism and start living the ketogenic lifestyle.
Let's get started:
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a state in which your body uses triglycerides and fatty acids to produce more calories.
This state is achieved when carbohydrates are taken in lesser amounts than fats. Contrary to previous beliefs, carbs are not the only source of energy to keep us alive.
Your brain does not solely depend upon the energy extracted from these carbohydrates; therefore, their intake can be reduced to extremely low levels.
As you decrease your daily carbohydrate consumption, your body will shift its method of producing calories to fat burning, eventually moving you into the state of ketosis. This is where fat burning will be more predominant.
Your body is programmed to start ketosis as soon as your glycogen, the storage for carbs, start to reduce.
In the majority of the people, the liver can store up to 80-100 carbs worth of glycogen. This means that a person wishing to get into ketosis should only consume about 300-400 calories of glucose.
This will make sure that nutritional ketosis starts as soon as possible.
As the carbohydrate intake gets lower, the liver will focus on breaking the glycogen reserves to cover for the glucose deficiency. This glucose will be used by the body to maintain sugar levels in the blood at an optimum level.
Increased blood glucose will ensure that the brain cells, skeletal cells, muscle cells, and all other body cells get the required energy for proper functioning.
The insulin hormone already present in the blood will help glucose transfer into the cells. Consequently, the amount of blood glucose will gradually start falling. The liver will respond to this state by breaking down more glycogen.
The cycle will continue to the point where your liver runs out of glycogen stores.
The liver then has to start the breakdown of fat stores to compensate for the reduced blood sugar level.
By burning fats, the liver will make sure the body gets an uninterrupted supply of calories to sustain health and proper functioning.
In summary, reducing your carbs significantly will cause your body to run out of its glycogen stores, eventually diverting its energy supply to fat breakdown.
This will ensure that you get into ketosis at a much faster rate than any other method.
How Do You Get into Ketosis in 24 Hours?
This is one of the most common questions people have when they start a ketogenic diet. There are a few tips to get into ketosis quickly, we'll take a look at each one below:
The first hack is to fat-fast.
Fat fasting is generally the quickest way to get into nutritional ketosis.
Increasing the number of healthy fats in your body and keeping your protein intake levels at low to moderate amounts help you quickly get into ketosis.
It also helps to perform high levels of activity so your body uses excess carbs and glycogen, using lots of exogenous ketones to rev up ketosis.
Eat Zero Carb Foods
If you are aiming to get into ketosis faster, you must cut your carb intake to an extremely low level.
Lowering your intake to less than 20 net carbohydrates per day – as in most ketogenic diet plans – will ensure a fast transition into ketosis.
You’ll also have to indulge in more activities, drink lots of water, maintain a good eating schedule, and watch your electrolyte intake closely.
A low-carb diet is generally a meat and vegetable diet. If you cut down the frills and eat only the fundamental substances, you’ll get into nutritional ketosis faster.
Drink Low Carb Coffee
To get into ketosis in less than a day, it is important to control your appetite. The best way to curb your appetite is with coffee.
Make sure you are drinking coffee, especially in the morning, in order to curb your hunger pangs and unwanted cravings.
This doesn't mean however, you can skip down to the cafe and order a latte. Low carb coffee has no added sugar and no cow's milk.
You can combine fat fasting and low carb coffee by drinking bulletproof coffee. Take a look at our article on low carb coffee, including how to make low carb coffee and the benefits of coffee for the keto diet.
Coffee works by reducing the amounts of a blood hormone known as ghrelin. Ghrelin is a chemical agent that controls your hunger.
By decreasing its levels in the body, coffee can help you maintain a diet of less than 20 grams of carbs per day which will help lead to ketosis in as soon as 24 hours.
Not a fan of coffee? Get yourself some caffeine pills or make yourself a lot of tea.
Whatever mode of caffeine you prefer, including it in your ketogenic diet plan is essential to get into ketosis fast.
Once your body has successfully reached ketosis, you can slowly cut the amount of caffeine consumption.
Exercise on an Empty Stomach
Exercising on an empty stomach has proven to be extremely useful. This allows your body to use up the stored glycogen in the muscles and then the fat rather than to use up the food you’ve eaten just before exercising.
Weight training and strength training which engage the bigger muscles of your body (gluteus, quadriceps, hamstrings, pectorals, lats, deltoids, trapezius, etc.) are quite beneficial if you are looking for quick depletion of glycogen stores.
Most people are able to tolerate exercise on an empty stomach. However, there’s always an option to snack on a keto-friendly food whenever you desire if you feel you cannot exercise on an empty stomach.
Supplements for Ketosis
Exogenous ketones can also prove to be an effective means for boosting ketones. Exogenous ketone supplements elevate the levels of ketones in blood just like the liver does.
Chemically, there is no difference between a ketone taken from outside (exogenous) and a ketone produced in the liver (endogenous.)
Some exogenous ketones contain added electrolytes to make sure you don’t have to take any extra products to replenish their stores in your body.
This can be particularly helpful to avoid the side effects of getting into ketosis quickly such as sugar and carbohydrate withdrawals, otherwise known as the keto flu.
Keto and Water
Water is vital for life. It helps with digestion, elimination, and the transport of toxins and other substances. Water helps the liver to metabolize fats and the kidneys to function properly.
When your body is dehydrated, the liver halts every activity that requires water (such as fat breakdown) and starts backing up the kidney to support its functions.
When you are drinking less water, your liver is neglecting the breakdown of fats and is focusing on sharing kidney functions and removing toxins from the body.
Due to this, fewer fats are being mobilized and less body fat is being burned. The liver is then unable to produce enough ketones since they are the byproduct of fat breakdown.
A typical low-carb high-fat diet is dehydrating by default. You’ll need to drink more water than any other low-calorie diet to keep up with your losses.
A general rule is to drink the number of ounces equal to half of your current body weight. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink at least 80 ounces of water every day.
You don’t have to drink the water all at once. Hydrate throughout the day as you feel necessary.
Fill a 20-ounce drinking cup with water. Drink one glass when you wake up, one around noon, one in the evening, and the last one before you go to sleep. This comes out to be exactly 80 ounces of water.
You can make water tastier by adding a few drops of lemon juice.
Stop Snacking - Even Keto Snacks!
If you are serious about getting into ketosis faster, you’ll have to give up snacks - just until you reach ketosis.
It is crucial to make sure you don’t eat anything unless you are really hungry.
Nutritional ketosis can only be obtained if you consume an extremely low amount of carbs.
If you are snacking throughout the day, your insulin levels will never drop, and your blood will always contain glucose.
Don’t mind the calories while you are speeding your way into ketosis. Your hunger will eventually go down on its own.
However, if you are really craving a snack, there are many keto-friendly snacks out there to help you.
However, if you are trying to get into ketosis within one day, it is recommended to completely avoid snacking. This includes skipping the keto-friendly snacks as well.
When you're ready to add keto snacks back into your diet however, take a look at these bars from Kiss My Keto. Our review post on all available keto bar flavors will be posted in June 2020 - stay tuned!
Fasting to Induce Ketosis
In order to achieve the state of ketosis quickly, try intermittent fasting by skipping breakfast and lunch.
The ketogenic diet coupled with intermittent fasting is a one-two punch for getting into ketosis and losing weight.
When coupled together, you can quickly become a fat-burning machine. An average person can usually get into ketosis within 24 hours with this magical combination.
Intermittent fasting will enable your body to use up the glycogen at a much faster pace, forcing your body to live on its own as there would be no food from any outside sources.
If you are new to intermittent fasting, you can start off by delaying your time of breakfast or by skipping it altogether.
Many people tolerate intermittent fasting very well; however, if you are feeling drained or fatigued, make sure to eat a keto-friendly snack, or a bulletproof coffee.
You can also try different variations of intermittent fasting, such as 5:2, 16/8, and eat-stop-eat, to see which one suits you best.
Learn how to combine the keto diet and intermittent fasting, using our complete guide to intermittent fasting.. Stay tuned!
Break Your Fast with a Zero-Carb Diet
Skipping two meals followed by a zero-carb diet is the best way to get into ketosis in less than a day.
It is always a good idea to break your fast with a carb-free meal so that you are fully fed when you start transitioning into a normal low-carb diet.
Choose a protein food of your choice and add some eggs to get a perfect zero-carb diet.
Tuna salad is one of the best recommendations. It kills your cravings and works like magic.
MCT Oil for Ketosis
Medium chain triglycerides (abbreviated as MCT) oil aids in the production of ketones.
It can be an instant source of energy as its absorption rate is much higher than exogenous ketones.
MCT oil can be found in coconut oil and, to some extent, in animal fats like butter.
We much prefer however to buy good quality MCT oils. Preferably C8 Oil, or a combination of C8 and C10 MCT oils.
MCTs, unlike long-chain fatty acids, do not require enzymes or bile for their digestion. Being smaller in size, they go straight into the liver where they are used up to produce fatty acids and ketones.
MCT oil can also be used as a pre-workout booster, especially when you are working out on an empty stomach. This can be your perfect ticket to get into ketosis within 24 hours.
What is the Best MCT Oil for Keto?
100% C8 MCT Oil from Perfect Keto. We love Perfect Keto MCT Oil as it tastes great, is pure C8 oil and is reasonably priced.
Kiss My Keto
Kiss My Keto C8 MCT Oil is another top choice for a quality MCT Oil that is clean and flavorless. Kiss My Keto also have a C8 and C10 MCT Oil blend. Our preference is always the C8 on its own.
Sports Research MCT Oil
Another excellent choice for a superior quality C8 MCT Oil is Sports Research. We like the squirty cap on this MCT oil too.
Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil
Bulletproof C8 MCT Oil, otherwise known as Brain Octane Oil is a top seller in the MCT oil market and another great choice as a daily MCT oil. Completely flavorless - definitely worth buying if you struggle with the slight taste of other MCT Oils!
An Important Note on Sleep
Getting adequate sleep not only aids in the production of growth hormones, but it also plays an important role in starting and maintaining ketogenesis.
If you are following intermittent fasting to attain ketosis, getting enough sleep is crucial.
Getting at least six to ten hours of sleep every day will not only maintain your health but will also help you by reducing the total hours of fasting.
Sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in the levels of body stress. High levels of stress, in turn, increase the production of cortisol which directly elevates your insulin level.
High insulin makes you more prone to getting high blood sugar spikes. To reduce all of this, make sure you sleep enough to keep your cortisol level in check.
If sleep is an issue for you, take a look at Bulletproof Sleep Mode supplements below:
Foods to Help Get Into Ketosis Fast
Adding these foods to your daily diet will help you get into ketosis fast:
Green tea possesses similar characteristics to coffee, but it also has EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). EGCG is a polyphenol which effectively works to reduce inflammation and induce fat metabolism.
You can always use green tea to help induce ketosis, avoid brain fog, and keep ketones in check after a cheat meal.
Pink Rock Salt
Pink rock salt is a great way to keep your electrolytes balanced especially when you are kick-starting a ketogenic diet.
It also helps keep the adrenal stress out and reduce the chances of the keto flu.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has many stellar health benefits. It lowers your blood sugar levels, enhances fat assimilation and digestion, and promotes every activity that induces ketosis.
ACV is also rich in potassium and other minerals so it helps to balance your electrolytes–even if you are not consuming an adequate amount of water. Lastly, ACV is a perfect drink to keep your keto flu away or to reduce its severity and duration if it has already hit you.
Herbs and Spices for Keto
Ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and turmeric are some amazing products that help reduce loading in the body.
These products also contain anti-inflammatory compounds that make sure your body is in optimum condition to maintain nutritional ketosis.
How to Tell if You're in Ketosis
A state of ketosis is defined as a condition in which the glycogen reserves of the liver start to run low which forces the liver to ramp up the ketone production to make up for the energy deficiency.
Your body starts releasing ketones in the blood shortly after you cut down your carb intake. But it takes time for ketones to appear in the urine as this can only happen when your blood has a very high concentration of ketones.
Getting into ketosis actually takes less time than this. This means that by the time your ketone testing strip changes its color, your body has already become ketogenic.
During the early stages of ketosis, the keto strip test is usually negative. This does not necessarily mean that your liver is not producing any ketones.
Additionally, every ketone testing strip is meant for only one type of ketone:
- Ketone sticks that check urine only consider acetoacetate ketones.
- Ketone sticks that check blood consider only beta-hydroxybutyrate ketones.
The third type of ketone acetone is thrown away from the body in urine, breath, and even sweat. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine how much acetone is being excreted from your body.
Every testing method has its own limitations and does not have the ability to actually determine how many ketones your body is producing.
As times passes, the body starts making less acetoacetate and converts these chemicals into beta-hydroxybutyrate, the ketone loved by the brain.
Also, as you become a chronic ketogenic dieter, the levels of acetone become much lower.
Within three weeks, your muscles no longer respond to insulin, stop drawing in glucose, and start burning fatty acids instead of ketones and glucose.
At this time, the muscles use ketones only when ketones are present in higher quantities in the bloodstream.
One exception to this is if you are a professional athlete. These athletes are more dependent on ketones and their metabolism differs from an average individual.
Resistance to insulin is beneficial for the brain and the cells lacking mitochondria (such as red blood cells) because the little amount of glucose left in the blood is made available to these cells.
As the body gets adapted to ketones, the homeostatic measures get better at determining which ketones to produce for the brain and which ones for the other organs.
The better you get at burning fat and ketones, the fewer ketones will appear in your urine. If ketones are not showing up on your urine ketone sampling stick, do not worry or lose motivation.
It’s the reduced amount of glucose in your blood that should determine ketosis, not the number of ketones in your blood or urine.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Ketosis Take?
On average, getting into ketosis requires two to seven days depending on your level of activity and dietary habits.
Why is it difficult to get back into ketosis?
If you have been thrown out of the nutritional ketosis and are finding it difficult to get back in, it is important to check your daily routine.
One of the reasons people find it difficult to enter ketosis again is that they are not staying under the daily carb limit of 20 grams.
Most people simply assume that they are under this limit without actually tracking or measuring what they eat.
Observing your daily portion sizes and estimating the calories is not enough sometimes.
This is especially true for foods that have hidden sugar or carbs in them. There are many different food tracking apps that can help get you back on track with counting your carbs.
How much weight can I lose during ketosis?
The answer to this question varies widely. Once you get to know about your macros and start following the keto diet strictly, the weight loss will eventually begin.
If you naturally have more weight to lose, you will drop it faster than those who are leaner.
Will exogenous ketones help me get into ketosis?
Yes. Exogenous ketones are external supplements used to obtain high levels of ketones in your body.
Consuming these supplements can boost the levels of ketones in your blood. If you take a strip test after consuming them, it will be positive for the presence of ketones in only 30 minutes.
However, it is important to remember that the presence of ketones in the blood does not always indicate a state of ketosis.
Exogenous ketones can, however, help you get into ketosis without suffering from the keto flu.
You can use them to make your transition easier, but these supplements should not be your primary way of acquiring the state of ketosis.
Getting into ketosis within 24 hours can be tough, but it is possible. You should have a proper diet routine and a good regimen that you can stick to for a long duration before you take a big leap into ketosis.
A ketogenic journey should feel more like a lifestyle than a fad. Therefore, you don’t have to worry if you cannot achieve ketosis within a day or two; you will have many days on your keto journey.
What is necessary is that you complete your goal of getting into ketosis. However, if you are someone who has fallen off from ketosis or someone who is finding it hard to attain nutritional ketosis, the tips mentioned in this article will genuinely work for you.
You will be amazed to see how a good diet plan perfectly timed with intermittent fasting, exercising, adequate sleep, and suitable supplements can boost your ketogenic plan to amazingly higher levels.