Our bodies normally take anywhere around 2-7 days to get into ketosis. Depending on your metabolic rate, level of activity, and eating habits, you could be one of the unlucky ones on the waiting list for the whole seven days.
You can simply follow the tips listed in this article, and get into ketosis in the minimum amount of time possible. Also, if you messed up with your ketogenic diet and have been thrown out of nutritional ketosis, this article is exactly for you!
How do you get into ketosis in 24 hours? This is one of the commonest questions people have in their minds when they start following a ketogenic diet. The first hack is to fat-fast. Fasting is generally the quickest way to get into nutritional ketosis and it’s pretty understandable why. Increasing the number of healthy fats in your body and keeping your protein intake levels at low to moderate amounts are some other ways to get into ketosis fast. Other tips include performing high levels of activity so that your body can use excess carbs and glycogen in your body, and using lots of exogenous ketones to rev up ketosis.
So now we’ll cut to the chase and get right to the points where you can learn how to efficiently get into ketosis within 24 hours. Not only this, but you’ll also get to know what to consume to make yourself more ketogenic. Additionally, this article will also have a quick word about testing for ketones so that you know exactly where you stand in terms of ketosis. So let’s dive into the science and the fun ways to get into ketosis fast!
How to Get Into Ketosis in 24 Hours?
Ketosis is a state in which your body is making use of triglycerides and fatty acids to produce more calories. This state can be achieved when carbohydrates are taken in lesser amounts than fats. Contrary to the previous beliefs, carbs are not the only source 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 simply shift its method of producing calories towards 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 carb worth of glycogen. This means that a person wishing to get into ketosis should only consume about 300-400 calories worth 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 up 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 presents in the blood will help glucose transfer into the cells. Consequently, its amount in blood 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 the glycogen stores.
This is where the liver has to make an important decision and start the breakdown of fat stores to compensate for reduced blood sugar level. By burning fats, the liver will make sure the body gets uninterrupted supply of calories to sustain health and proper functioning.
In summary, reducing your carbs to zero will make your body run out of its glycogen stores, eventually diverting its energy supply to fat breakdown. This will make sure that you get into ketosis at a much faster rate that no other solution can guarantee.
Ketosis in 24 Hours: Is it Safe?
Before getting to the safety of getting into ketosis in 24 hours, it is important to remind yourself what ketosis actually is. Ketosis is actually a metabolic state that occurs when you stop eating carbs. During this state, your body starts burning fat to produce ketones which act as an alternative to glucose.
In other words, ketosis is merely a metabolic adaptation according to the nutrient availability and has been deemed as safe by extensive research.
But is getting into ketosis in 24 hours safe? It depends.
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.
So, getting into ketosis in 24 hours is generally safe. If you are unable to bear the discomforting 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. Aiming your intake lower than 20 net carbohydrates per day- as used in most of the ketogenic plans- will ensure a fast transition into ketosis.
You’ll have to indulge in more activities, take loads of water, maintain a good eating schedule, and watch your electrolyte intake closely. Here are some practical tips to help you with these goals and enable you to get into ketosis within 24 hours (or even less):
#1: Start with a Low-Carb Diet
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 quicker. But what kind of low-carb diet should you follow to get into ketosis without compromising on your health?
A low-carb diet is genuinely a meat and vegetable diet. If you cut down the frills and eat only the fundamental substances, you’ll get into nutritional ketosis way faster. The basics of such a diet include focusing on:
- 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, so make sure to avoid that.
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
- Avoid sausages at all cost
- You can replace ham or bacon with any meat of your choice
- 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 any more than 1-2 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.
#2 Remain Active
Glycogen is primarily present in both liver and the muscles. While the liver glycogen stores are useful for maintaining glucose levels, the ones in your muscles help maintain activity.
Even when glycogen levels in the liver gets 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 fall in the glycogen stores in muscles signals 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. This means the more you remain active and get indulged in physical activities, the more glycogen you liver will break 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; instead of the food you’ve put in your stomach prior to exercise.
Weight training and strength training, which engage the bigger muscles of your body (e.g., 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 an exercise on empty stomach. However, if you don’t feel like doing it, or have never done it before, there’s always an option to snack on a keto-friendly food whenever you desire or when you feel faint.
#4 Drink Lots of Water
Water is vital for life. It helps in digestion, elimination, and transport of toxins and other substances. It is water that aids the liver in the metabolism of fats, and your 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. So when you are drinking less water, your liver is forgetting about the breakdown of fats and is focusing more on sharing kidney functions and removing toxins from the body. Due to this, fewer fats are being mobilized and lesser body fat is being burnt. The liver would also be unable to produce enough ketones since they are the byproduct of fat breakdown.
What’s more, 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 one-half ounces 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 necessarily have to take in all the water at one time. Space out your drinking times as you deem it fit.
Fill your 20-ounce drinking cup with water. Take one glassful as you wake up, one during noon, one in the evening, and the last one as you go to sleep. This comes out to be exact 80 ounces of water. You can make water tastier by adding a few drops of lemon juice. It is advised to take diet soda if water isn’t your thing. Soda is better in the sense that it helps the liver to work faster and burn more fat.
#5 Load Up on Coffee
To get into ketosis in less than a day, it is important to control your appetite. And what is the best way to do it? 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 controlling your hunger. So by decreasing its levels in the body, coffee can actually help you maintain a diet of less than 20 grams of carbs per day which, as mentioned above, will lead to ketosis as soon as 24 hours.
Not a fan of coffee? Get yourself some caffeine pills or make yourself tons 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.
#6 Avoid Snacking for a Day
If you are serious about getting into ketosis faster, you’ll have to give up on snacks. It is crucial to make sure that you don’t eat anything unless you are really hungry. Nutritional ketosis can only be obtained if you consume extremely little 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 for a snack, there are many keto-friendly snacks out there to help you. The best snack can be a few pieces of tune dipped in mayonnaise. If fish is not your preference, or you are in a hurry, you can always cook some cheese sticks.
But if you are someone looking forward to getting into ketosis within a day, it is recommended to avoid snacking, even if its keto snacks you are craving for.
# 7 Try Fasting
In order to fasten the state of ketosis, try intermittent fasting by skipping lunch and breakfast.
The ketogenic diet coupled with intermittent fasting is a 1-2 punch for getting into ketosis and losing weight. When both of them are coupled together, no one can stop you from becoming a fat-burning machine. All other factors excluded, an average person can get into ketosis in anywhere between 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 no food from outside. 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, but if you are feeling drained or fatigued, make sure to take a keto-friendly snack. You can also try different variations of intermittent fastings, such as 5:2, 16/8, Eat-stop-eat, to see which one suits you better.
#8 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. However, 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.
So 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 the days where most of the people are busy with personal errands, family obligations, or other self-interests, it is a perfect day to start.
If you have to go work in a state of fasting, you will find yourself fighting all the cravings while people around you eat anything and everything they want. So it is better to do fasting when you are home, away from all the cravings.
The best day to do this is Friday as it gives you 2 extra days to stay home and keep the momentum going.
#9 Don’t Forget that MCT Oil
Medium chain triglycerides (abbreviated as MCT) oil aids in the production of ketone. It can be an instant source of energy as its absorption rate is way 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
#10 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 in this regard. It kills your cravings and works like magic.
Hacks for Getting into Ketosis Fast
You can always make use of the following items to get into ketosis fast.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping enough not only aids in the production of growth hormone, but also plays an important role in starting and maintaining ketogenesis. If you are following intermittent fasting to attain ketosis, getting adequate sleep is crucial.
At least 6-10 hours of sleep every day will not only maintain your health but would also help you by reducing the total hours of fast.
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 affects the insulin level and elevates it. High insulin means you are more prone to getting high blood sugar spikes. To reduce all of this mess, make you sleep enough so that your cortisol level remains in check.
Watch What you Eat
Adding certain foods to your daily diet will ensure that you get into ketosis fast. Some of them include:
Green tea also possesses similar characteristics as that of coffee but it primarily works with the help of certain substances such as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). EGCG is a polyphenol which effectively works to reduce inflammation and induce fat metabolism. You can always take help from green tea to induce ketosis, keep brain fog out, and keep ketones in check after a cheat meal.
Pick Rock Salt
Pink rock salt is a great way to keep your electrolytes balanced. It is especially useful in balancing electrolytes when you are kick-starting on a ketogenic diet. Furthermore, it keeps the adrenal stress out and reduces the chances of encountering the keto flu.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is like a one-stop 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 also helps in balancing your electrolytes. This is true 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.
Ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and turmeric are some amazing products that reduce the bloating produced after a well-formed ketogenic diet. These products also contain anti-inflammatory compounds that make sure your body is in optimum conditions to maintain nutritional ketosis.
Exogenous ketones can also prove to be effective means for giving yourself a ketogenic feel. They elevate the levels of ketones in blood in the same way as the liver. 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 product 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 liver start to run low, forcing the liver to ramp up the ketone production and 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 a lot lesser 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 and scheduled, 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. But remember that it 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.
This shows that every testing method has its own limitations and does not have the ability to actually determine how much ketones your body is producing. As the times passes, the body starts making lesser acetoacetate and converts these chemicals into beta-hydroxybutyrate- the type loved by the brain. Also, as you become a chronic ketogenic dieter, the levels of acetone become way less.
Within 3 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 description is if you are a professional athlete. This is because these people 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 (like red blood cells), as 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 brain and which ones for other organs.
The better you get at burning fat and ketones, the fewer ketones will appear in your urine. So you don’t have to get demotivated or worried if ketones are not showing up on your urine ketone sampling stick. Simply remember, 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 much time is normally required to get into ketosis?
On average, getting into ketosis requires 2 to 7 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 finding it difficult to get back in, it is important to recheck if you are fulfilling certain conditions. One of the reasons why people find it difficult to enter ketosis again is that they are not staying under the daily carb limit of 20 grams. Most of the people simply assume that they are fulfilling this criterion without actually tracking or measuring what they eat.
Observing your daily portion sizes and estimating the calories in it is not enough sometimes. This is especially true for foods that have hidden sugar or carbs in them. To keep a good track of your carbs and get back into ketosis, you can rely on different food tracking apps.
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 definitely drop it faster than those who are leaner with hardly 10 to 20 lbs of extra weight to get rid of!
Will exogenous ketones help me get into ketosis?
Exogenous ketones are external supplements used to obtain high levels of ketones in your body. Consuming these supplements will 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 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 definitely use them to make your transition easier but these supplements must never be your primary way of acquiring the state of ketosis.
Getting into ketosis within 24 hours is not a 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 the one which acts like a fad. Therefore, you don’t have to worry if you cannot achieve ketosis within a day- or even two days- as it’s not necessary.
What’s necessary is you complete your goal of getting into ketosis. However, if you are someone who has fallen off from ketosis, or rather 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.