How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis?
If you are familiar with the keto diet, you will know that weight loss happens only when you are in the ‘ketosis’ mode.
The minute your body stops producing ketones, you will notice a visible flattening in your weight loss curve.
What is ketosis mode and how does it help the body shed weight so rapidly? For the diet to work perfectly, you should know the science behind it.
Let’s start with some basics.
What constitutes a keto diet?
You are successfully following a keto diet if your everyday food is grouped into the below macros or macronutrients.
- 70-75% of fats
- 20-25% of proteins
- <5% of carbohydrates
A majority of your energy from food should come from the good fats you eat (cheese, butter, avocadoes, full-fat meat, yogurt and so on). About 1/4th of the energy source is derived from proteins and you try staying away from carbohydrates.
This is also called the Low Carbohydrate High Fat (LCHF) diet.
What happens when you eat LCHF meals every day?
Traditionally, your body uses the glucose absorbed from the carbohydrates you eat for energy. Here are some proven problems with excess glucose in the bloodstream.
- Your body develops insulin resistance
- Higher chances of developing type II diabetes
- Your LDL cholesterol level increases
- Weight gain is rapid
- Your body gets addicted to the glucose
By eating an LCHF diet, your body is deprived of the usual amounts of glucose got from carbohydrates. This gets the body confused and you go through initial glucose withdrawal symptoms.
Your smart body then decides to adjust with whatever is available and starts using the fat you are eating for energy.
To convert fat into energy, the liver produces the chemical called ketones. Ketones start burning the fat you consume for your body’s energy needs and also burns the stored fat in the body, resulting in rapid weight loss.
As long as your body is producing ketones, you are said to be in ketosis mode.
How long does it take for you to get into ketosis?
You can take anywhere from 2-7 days to get into ketosis and this depends on a lot of factors like these.
- Your overall health
- Your age
- The amount of fat you manage to eat a day
- How controlled your carbs intake is
- Your activity level
Here are two scenarios that will help you understand the idea better.
You are about 40 years of age and most of your day is spent in front of the computer. Activity levels are low. You do manage to meet your macros, but indulge in a biscuit or a sweet once a day.
You are definitely consuming lesser carbohydrates than usual. However, this is not low enough for the body to kick start ketones production. This means you will end up feeling tired and food-deprived by the end of the day but will probably take forever to get into ketosis.
You are 40 years of age and play badminton every day. Your day is spent in front of the computer but you are generally walking around the office and are active. You completely restrict your carbs intake to <5% of your overall calories. You choose healthy fats for every meal and snack.
Your body is burning more calories, thanks to your active lifestyle and is not finding a source of glucose at all. It gets into a panic mode and jumpstarts ketone production in just a few days.
For people who follow the diet right and are active, ketosis happens quite quickly. The better you stick to your macros, the faster will the change happen.
Factors delaying your body from getting into ketosis
Here is a precise list of reasons why you might not be getting into ketosis.
- Consuming more carbs than recommended.
- Consuming lesser fat than recommended.
- Consuming more proteins (the body converts amino acids to energy).
- Lack of physical exercise to burn stored carbs in the body.
- Not being aware of hidden carbs in vegetables and sauces.
How to jumpstart ketones production?
If you are struggling to get into ketosis or if you had one cheat day and want to get back to ketosis fast, here are smart tips you can use.
Temporary high fat-fasting
Instead of experimenting with different types of keto foods, pick up one high-fat ingredient and stick to it for a couple of days. One of the most favorite choices for a short high-fat fast is eggs. Eggs have no carbs at all and are high in fats. These also give your body enough proteins to not lose muscle mass.
Eat eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a few days and you will notice your body quickly getting into ketosis.
This is also an amazing way to push your body to enter ketosis faster. Intermittent fasting is having a short window of time where you eat all your meals and you fast for the rest of the day. Some people restrict their eating window to 8-hours and do not eat anything for the next 16 hours.
If that sounds difficult, choose a 12-hour eating window. Intermittent fasting helps the body get rid of all the stored glucose sources effectively and thereby pushes the body into ketosis quicker.
You can try alternate days of intermittent fasting to see a tremendous increase in your health levels.
How to know if you are in ketosis
There are telltale signs in the body like the keto flu, keto breath, and increased energy levels that you can look for.. If you want definite proof of ketosis, you can get the urine test strips that analyze the ketone levels in your urine and use that. It shows the ketone levels in your urine.
You can also get blood test meters that look for ketones in your blood or a breath analyzer to check for acetone levels in your breath to confirm ketosis.
You will take 2-7 days to get into ketosis if you follow all the rules of the diet right. If you are, however, struggling to get into ketosis for weeks, then there is a problem with what you eat. Look out for hidden carbs you have missed counting and try temporary fasting to kick start ketones production.
As long as you follow your macros right, you will stay in ketosis and will keep losing weight.