If you’re on the keto diet then your ultimate goal is to maintain a state of ketosis as much as possible. But did you know that there are various ways to get into ketosis and there are multiple ketosis benefits other than weight loss?
If you’re wondering how to achieve ketosis and does it always have to be through the keto diet, you’re in the right place. Let’s start at the beginning.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a process that the body goes through to use fat as an energy source instead of sugar from carbohydrates. It’s a metabolic state of being, which is completely normal and healthy.
Your muscles, brain, and heart can use fat as an energy source just fine, in fact, it loves the stuff. Your brain does need to go through the extra step of processing fat into ketones before it can be used as an energy source.
Ketones are made when you are in ketosis. So by putting your body in a state of ketosis, you’re essentially turning your body into a fat-burning machine instead of the fat-storing machine that most of us are used to being.
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How Long Does It Take to Get Into Ketosis?
I may have made the above process of getting into ketosis sound easy peasy. Not so fast.
You have been using sugar and carbs as an energy source all of your life. Your blood sugar levels are elevated and your glycogen stores are visible in your waist. Asking your body to switch over to using fat isn’t as easy as flipping a switch.
It can be a daunting process and takes a few days to take effect. In fact, while your body is reducing its carb intake and making this switch, you may even begin to experience flu-like symptoms lovingly known as the keto flu.
The bright side of all this is that your body loves using fat even more as an energy source than it does sugar.
Your energy levels and mental clarity will be through the roof and you’ll be losing weight quickly and naturally. Sounds too good to be true?
I know. They’ve been lying to us all these years.
So, how do you achieve ketosis?
How to Achieve Ketosis
There are three main ways to put your body in ketosis:
- Using Exogenous Ketones
- Through the Keto Diet
Let’s look at these individually.
Fasting to Get Into Ketosis
Fasting is the first way of achieving ketosis. If you completely stop eating altogether then your body will naturally start to use what it can for energy. Your fat stores will be the first thing to go and you will get into ketosis fast.
This happens after about 36-48 hours. Eventually however, unless you want to die, you’ll want to start eating again.
You can try to do a water fast for 3 days to put your body into ketosis and then ease into a ketogenic diet to sustain the state of ketosis. I don’t recommend this. Fasting becomes a much easier habit if you start off achieving ketosis first through the ketogenic diet. Otherwise, those hunger pangs and headaches are no joke.
Another method of ketosis fasting is consuming an egg diet for three days. If you can stomach eating eggs for every meal for the first three days of the keto diet, you will achieve ketosis quickly. Here’s a delicious egg fast recipe to try.
Intermittent Fasting for Ketosis
If the idea of going without food for 3 – 4 days doesn’t sound like too much fun, you can try intermittent fasting to get into ketosis.
Intermittent fasting commonly happens in two ways:
- Eating only within a certain window of time
- Skipping meals on 1 or two days a week
If you’re choosing to eat only within a specific window of time, the window is generally 8 hours. That means you’re eating between 12pm – 8pm each day, skipping breakfast or 8am – 4pm skipping dinner. You can also eat between 10am – 6pm for a more comfortable approach.
The 16 hours remaining is enough to get into ketosis and start burning fat for fuel.
This is also possible by skipping meals altogether for a day or two per week, or eating one meal a day.
The Ketogenic Diet for Ketosis
The keto diet is the best answer to how to go into ketosis fast. Remember, you’re teaching your body to use fat as a fuel source and not the sugar from carbs.
Therefore, if you starve yourself from carbohydrates and eat a high level of fat, you will also be inducing ketosis without actually feeling like you’re starving. This is because you’re still eating lots of calories, just not from carbs.
You can read more about how the body sheds weight without you feeling like you’re starving when you’re on a keto diet by clicking that link.
We’ve been told all our lives that fat is a bad thing but fat is only bad when it’s mixed with carb consumption. When you’re body is in a state of ketosis, there’s no storing of fat.
Excess fat is ushered out of the body along with a host of other benefits.
Exogenous Ketones for Getting into Ketosis
The third and final answer to your question of how to achieve ketosis is by using supplements known as exogenous ketones.
The research on these supplements is still in early phases and their effect on your body, if you’re on a regular diet that includes carbs, is not known.
They were developed to help patients with chronic illnesses who found it difficult to follow a keto diet.
I would suggest that you only use these supplements when just getting started with a keto diet or if you went off your diet and need to get back into ketosis quickly after a carby meal.
More Tips for Getting into Ketosis Quickly
Don’t slack on fat consumption. Remember, on the keto diet you’re not eating carbs. This means that you’re now using fat as a source of energy and so will need to consume lots of it.
As always, the quality of your ingredients matters. Choose healthy fats like lots of avocados, coconut oil, and all-natural grass-fed butter to consume.
Definitely pick up a bottle of MCT Oil aka Brain Oil to add to your morning coffee, tea or perhaps salad dressing. You can read about the benefits of this brain oil here and why it’s essential to your keto success.
Also, be sure to increase your activity levels. Whether that’s rigorous gym activity or introducing some yoga into your day, adding exercise to the keto diet speeds up the process of getting into ketosis and aids in weight loss.
You’ll also find that the ketosis diet supports physical activity well and your endurance for exercise will increase.