Our bodies usually take around two to seven days to get into ketosis. Depending on your metabolic rate, level of activity, and eating habits, you could be one of the unlucky ones who has to wait seven whole days.
You can follow the tips listed in this article and get into ketosis in the quickest time possible.
If you are just starting out on the keto diet, or you have gotten off track and have been thrown out of nutritional ketosis, this article will help you get back on track fast!
Along with learning how to get into ketosis fast, you'll get to know what to consume to make yourself more ketogenic.
This article will also talk about testing for ketones so you will know exactly where you stand in terms of ketosis.
Let’s dive into the science and the talk how to get into ketosis fast, or use our quick navigation below to jump to your preferred section:
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.
The first hack is to fat-fast. 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.
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.
Ketosis in 24 Hours: Is it Safe?
Ketosis is merely a metabolic adaptation according to nutrient availability and has been deemed safe by extensive research.
But is getting into ketosis in 24 hours safe?
While some people are able to get into ketosis in such a short time, others may suffer from side effects like the keto flu. However, remember these side effects mainly occur due to carbohydrate restriction and go away once your body gets adapted to the new metabolic state.
Getting into ketosis in 24 hours is generally safe. If you are unable to bear the uncomfortable symptoms, it is advised to increase your carb consumption to 50 grams per day.
Hacks to Get Into Ketosis in 24 Hours
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 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.
Here are some practical tips to help you get into ketosis within 24 hours (or less):
Extreme Carb Cutting
To make sure you are in ketosis within 24 hours, your carb intake must be less than 50 grams. If it is possible to go below 20 grams, it will get you into ketosis even faster. But what kind of low-carb diet should you follow to get into ketosis without compromising on your health?
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. The basics of such a diet include:
- Fatty meat or fish
- Low-carb vegetables
- Herbs and spices with no sugar
- Plain Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese.
If you are aiming to get into ketosis within 24 hours, you will have to forget about the calories. Plan your meals in such a way that they promote satiety and keep hunger away. Most people eat out of habit, rather than hunger; be sure to avoid this.
Your aim should be to deplete your glycogen stores at a faster rate. To make that happen, you can follow this simple meal plan:
- Relish ham and eggs or bacon for breakfast
- You can replace ham or bacon with any meat of your choice, but make sure you avoid sausages
- Chicken and fish are equally effective
- Make a nice lettuce salad, add your protein source, and top it with your favorite sugar-free salad dressing
- Make sure that the salad dressing does not contain more than one to two carbs per serving
- Keep your salad light. Loading unnecessary vegetables can prove harmful
- Try to use lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, and celery as much as possible
Enjoy your dinner with your favorite protein source along with a bowl of salad.
Here are some great recipes:
Glycogen is primarily present in muscles and the liver. While glycogen stores in the liver are useful for maintaining glucose levels, the ones in your muscles help maintain activity.
Even when glycogen levels in the liver get extremely low, the muscles don’t share their glycogen, the very reason their glycogen stores are referred to as the closed system.
In fact, a drop in the glycogen stores in muscles signals to the body to pull in all the glucose from the bloodstream, leading to a reduction in blood glucose and insulin levels.
As a consequence, the liver receives the signal of low blood glucose, and it starts breaking down its glycogen to glucose. This glucose is then dumped into the bloodstream in an effort to raise glucose levels.
The more you remain active and engage in physical activities, the more glycogen your liver will breakdown and the more easily you’ll get into ketosis.
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.
Drink Lots of 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.
Load Up on 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.
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 plan is essential to get into ketosis fast. Once your body has successfully reached ketosis, you can slowly cut the amount of caffeine consumption.
Avoid Snacking for a Day
If you are serious about getting into ketosis faster, you’ll have to give up snacks. 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. A good snack can be a few pieces of tuna dipped in mayonnaise. If fish is not your preference or if you are in a hurry, you can always eat some cheese sticks.
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.
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 24-48 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. 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.
Start On a Weekend
Using intermittent fasting to get into ketosis within 24 hours is not something new. A lot of people have been using it for some time now.
Certain tips and tricks are needed to make it less stressful and more comfortable, especially if you are someone who eats to balance your emotional state.
If you are planning to get into ketosis in 24 hours, choose to do it on a weekend. It can either be on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday–the exact day does not matter.
The idea behind this tip is to make it easy for you to fast by providing enough distractions. Because weekends are days where most people are busy with personal errands, family obligations, or other activities, it is a perfect time to start.
If you have to go to work in a state of fasting, you will find yourself fighting your cravings while people around you eat anything and everything they want. It is better to fast when you are home and away from all the cravings.
The best day to do this is Friday as it gives you two extra days to stay home and to keep the momentum going.
Don’t Forget MCT Oil
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 other exogenous ketones.
MCT oil can be found in coconut oil and, to some extent, in animal fats like butter. However, MCT oil can also be bought directly from the market. It can be consumed in either liquid or powder form.
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/or 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.
Our Fav MCT Oils:
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.
More Hacks for Getting into Ketosis Fast
The following hints will help you get into ketosis fast:
Get Enough 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.
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.
Exogenous ketones can also prove to be an effective means for giving yourself a ketogenic feel. They 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.
Test Your Ketones
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.
Testing strips for ketones might be a good method to keep you motivated, but they are not accurate. The strip only shows those ketones which are present in excess and are useless for the body.
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.
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 is not child’s play. 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.
Last update on 2020-04-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API