How to Get Into Ketosis Fast 2019
How do I get into ketosis.. FAST?
This is the question we’re all here for.
I’m going to go ahead and assume you are really here for one of 4 reasons:
- You’ve heard about the Keto Diet, you’re interested, you’d like to try it…but you want results FAST. Thus, you want to get into ketosis FAST.
- You’ve already been on the keto diet for a while but you’ve recently knocked yourself out of ketosis via a cheat day, vacation or maybe even a planned splurge.
- Your planning on a Holiday or vacation cheat ahead of time and want to know how to come back from it correctly & quickly.
- You have no idea what you’re doing and happened to click this link. You’re slightly interested and have continued to read this far…so you might as well stick around.
No matter what reason you are here for, WELCOME. I hope you find this information helpful and useful when it comes to your future keto endeavours.
Let’s jump right in!
What is Ketosis anyways?
Ketosis is the state in-which your body begins to burn fats rather than glucose for fuel. This occurs when your body is almost entirely depleted of glucose.
Ketones are produced when fat stores are broken down and can be measured using various tests including a ketone strip urine test, breath test and ketone meter (we’ll talk more about these in up-coming posts).
What ketone level is optimal?
For most just looking to achieve weight-loss, a good range for nutritional ketosis is from 0.5 mmol/L-1.0 mmol/L
If you are looking for “optimal” ketosis” with all the snazzy benefits, you’ll be aiming more towards the 1.0 mmol/L-3.0mmol/L range.
(Your ketone level is typically best measured through the blood with a ketone meter)
So now we know what ketosis is and what level of ketones we are aiming for…
But HOW do we get there? And How do we get there FAST?
This can be achieved through three MAIN methods, I’ll go into each in detail below:
- Eat less than 20g NET carbs per day.
- Caffeine, MCT Oil, Exogenous Ketones (These are just bonus things you can choose to implement)
1. Eat Less than 20 NET carbs per day
If you’ve researched ketosis or been on a keto diet for any length of time, you’ve probably already heard this…but I’d like to go over some details you may be missing.
First off, to be in ketosis, everyone’s body is a bit different and can handle slightly different amounts of carbs while remaining in ketosis. Your activity level also comes into play here.
Highly Active = Can likely get away with higher amount of carbohydrates (~50g NET carbs)
Moderately Active = Can get away with a slightly higher level of carbohydrates (~35-40g NET carbs)
Sedentary Lifestyle= Stick to the golden rule (20g NET carbs)
There are even those who can get away with higher levels of carbohydrates but this requires planning your carbohydrates strategically around physical activity or fasting. But this is a topic for another post.
20g NET Carbs or less than 20g NET carbs per day is the best starting point. Keeping your carbs as low as possible is a surefire way to get into ketosis quickly.
I say 20g NET carbs per day. Some people use total carbs.
Net Carbs means: TOTAL CARBS – FIBRE & SUGAR ALCOHOLS= NET CARBS
I prefer to use NET carbs as I find the fibre helps keep you full and it offers you more variety with your food choices. It’s also more sustainable long-term.
If you choose to use Total Carbs, just be aware that you may initially have some issues with bowel movements if you consumed a slightly higher fibre diet prior. You will also have to be quite strict with your vegetable and fruit choices.
Back to NET carbs. If you consume <20g of NET carbs per day for at LEAST 3 days. You will likely find yourself measuring in at a LIGHT state of ketosis (~0.5mmol/L).
That’s not too bad for only 3 days of work.
And if you are finding Ketosis difficult right off the bat… SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY.
Don’t make a new lifestyle you’ve just jumped into or a lifestyle you’re trying to get back on after indulging for weeks on delicious carb laden foods, more difficult than it has to be.
…because trying to stick to your macros, count overall calories, think of meal ideas, drink the newest version of bulletproof coffee, check for hidden carbs and constantly wishing for weight loss, WHILE MAINTAINING YOUR SANITY is not an easy task.
My best experiences with ketosis have been the ones when I just eat. I eat what I know to be generally well-approved keto foods 80% of the time and 20% of the time..
If something has some sucralose or a couple extra grams of carbs..or heaven forbid A LITTLE BIT OF SUGAR I don’t freak out. I know I’m not going to melt or gain 50lbs over-night.
I accidentally drank 1/3 of a bottle of an extremely sugary energy drink the other day before I realized it wasn’t diet. And you know what happened?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. That’s right. I ate my bacon and eggs for dinner and moved on the next day. Actually dropped a pound.
As they say KEEP CALM AND KETO ON.
ALSO, when it comes to weight loss and calorie counting… STOP. At least for the first 2-3 weeks of starting to eat keto.
Keto is something that needs to be adapted to.
You may experience the keto flu (see my other post on this topic), you may be finding it hard to think of meals right away…you also may be ravenously hungry (completely normal when starting a keto diet by the way). So don’t go throwing in dieting on top of all this to make your life more difficult than it has to be.
If you adapt to keto properly, calorie counting will regulate itself.
LET ME REPEAT THIS
IF YOU ADAPT TO KETO PROPERLY, CALORIE COUNTING WILL REGULATE ITSELF.
I’m not saying don’t ever track your calories.. But if you can adapt to Keto and stay on the diet for at least 2-3 weeks, you’ll notice lowering your calorie intake becomes a LOT easier at this point… and 2-3 months in, it becomes EVEN EASIER.
So put weight loss on the back burner (not forever) just for a little while if you want to see amazing results.
Keto is a lifestyle. Don’t make it a fad diet.
Yup. We all either love it or hate it.
But we do it. Sometimes.
Exercise may be something you’ve already implemented but the kind I’m talking about today is HIIT training.
This form of exercise is ideal for burning through your glucose stores quickly as EPOC or Exercise Post Energy Consumption means you’ll be burning calories (glucose) at higher rate, even post-exercise.
HIIT aka High Intensity Interval Training requires little time to complete but offers fantastic benefits.
It requires you to work at your MAX effort for a very short period of time, rest for a period of time, then repeat.
A great example is Sprinters.
Run FAST for a short distance, then rest.
So what does this have to do with getting into ketosis?
Well, as mentioned above, it burns through your glucose stores at lightning speed. This means, your body will eventually have to switch over to another form of fuel burning for energy, FATS.
Now this isn’t going to happen if you’re consuming a bunch of carbs prior.
What you need to do is follow step one. EAT LESS THAN 20g NET Carbs per day.
Then add in your HIIT exercise.
This is a great example of a HIIT workout you can easily implement into your daily routine and complete in your own living room at home:
Yes, Sam. FAST that’s why I’m here. I want to get into ketosis as FAST as possible..
But, no. We are not talking about the relative term FAST.
We are talking about the FAST meaning; going without food for a period of time.
Fasting is probably the FASTEST (ironic really) method of getting into ketosis.
Well what’s the best way to eat the least amount of carbs?
Just don’t eat anything.
For those who haven’t fasted before this may sound scary but honestly, if you can get over the initial pangs of hunger..it gets better. I promise. Plus, there are a million and one benefits of fasting. Here’s a page that lists a few.
Fasting is the easiest way to increase your ketone levels quickly. This is because your body will run out of glucose and with no new incoming glucose..it has to find a new fuel source. Fats.
You know the exercise I mentioned earlier? Combine that with fasting and WATCH how FAST you can reach a state of ketosis. This is where we can see ketosis in <2 days.
Combining exercise of any kind can help you reach ketosis quickly. I just mention HIIT as it takes little time and you get the most bang for your buck..
But long hikes, walks, bike rides etc. can also do the trick when combined with fasting.
As mentioned before, you don’t have to fast, you can consume <20g NET carbs per day, combine it with exercise and STILL see ketone readings within just a couple days.
But fasting and exercise will always be the most optimal way to reach ketosis FAST.
Even after initial adaptation to a ketogenic diet, consider incorporating fasting on a regular basis as ketosis and fasting go hand-in-hand due to the appetite suppressing effects of both.
4. Caffeine & MCT Oil
Alright, so you have your plan.
You’re going to wake-up tomorrow:
Do the above HIIT workout
Eat a ketogenic meal <20g NET carbs for dinner… and BOOM easy-peasy, Ketosis and bacon, cheesy. (That was lame, but I tried)
But wait! At around 11:00am you find yourself longing for that morning toast with jam…that sugary cereal with milk…You think…maybe just one small thing, it’s only 10g of carbs for 1/4 cup.. you grab a handful of cereal.. you munch a bit.. maybe just a little more.. 10min later you’re eating half the box.
If fasting doesn’t work with you..
As I said before SIMPLICTY, SIMPLICITY, SIMPLICITY.
Eat a keto-friendly meal if you get hungry. Don’t force fasting if you feel it may hinder more-than help you.
If HIIT exercise sounds horrendous to you..go for a long walk, go shopping and walk around the mall, bike to work, go for a swim, go lift some heavy things… do whatever works for YOU.
You are creating a lifestyle. Not diet habits. If you hate it now, chances are, you’re probably going to hate it 10x more in the future when you see your weight loss stall.
If you are doing something you find easy and maintainable and you actually enjoy your exercise.. weight loss stalls and set-backs won’t de-motivate you so much in the future.
As for the above mentioned supplements, I included these as I find they are helpful aids when you are just beginning a ketogenic diet or even if you are a long-term ketoer.
MCT Oil is my FAVOURITE. I still to this day include 1/2 a tbsp in my coffee every morning.
MCT oil offers many benefits, one being..it can immediately within ~30min increase your ketone levels quite drastically. This is because MCT oil is readily digested and absorbed due to it’s medium-chain structure when compared to other long-chain fatty acids.
This makes it a great immediate energy source for those on a ketogenic diet.
Another great but different energy source..is the classic caffeine. Good old cup of joe.
If you choose to fast on a ketogenic diet, including caffeine helps with blunting hunger for a period of time.
It is allowed during your fasting window when served black.
Although, if you hate the taste of black coffee (OH HI that’s me!) then don’t overthink it too much.
I add about 2 tbsp of 18% cream and 1/2 tbsp MCT oil to my coffee during “fasting” windows and although it may not fit the exact definition of fasting..it works for me and keeps me from eating my first meal until much later in the day.
So as I’ve said, find what works for you.
Lastly, I just wanted to briefly touch on Exogenous Ketones..as if you’ve seen keto products being promoted..you’ve probably heard of them.
What I do want to make clear is that taking exogenous ketones and continuing to eat carbs DOES NOT make you keto.
If you take exogenous ketones and immediately expect weight loss without other diet changes then I’m sorry to say, you will be extremely disappointed.
Exogenous ketones may increase your ketone levels temporarily and you may notice some benefits, such as; improved cognitive function, energy levels & very slight reduction in hunger.. you are not in ketosis.
Exogenous ketones will never give you the same level of benefits that actually following a ketogenic diet correctly will.
(At least not with what’s on the market today, ketone esters are about as close as we’ve gotten but those are very hard to find and extremely expensive, mostly used by professional athletes).
On a ketogenic diet, if you do want to take exogenous ketones to enhance your current state of ketosis then by all means!
I’m not going to deny the fact that I sometimes enjoy taking the Perfect Keto Exogenous Ketones prior to my weight-lifting sessions as I find they give me an immediate boost in energy.
So they definitely do still have their place!
Just be weary of who you’re buying from. Exogenous Ketone supplements aren’t cheap and if they are, they are probably using some sort of filler or left-sided ketones(that’s another rant for another post, LOL) but basically ketones that your body cannot utilize the same way it does ketones it makes itself.
To Sum Everything Up:
To get into Ketosis FAST you should consider:
Eating <20g NET carbs per day
Not counting calories during the first couple weeks
Fasting + Exercise for maximum benefits
Supplementing with MCT Oil and Caffeine
Finding a version of ketosis that is sustainable for YOU
That last point is the one you should focus on most. I get that you want to lose weight NOW.
But if you want to keep it off, long-term. You have to make this diet sustainable. Trust me when I say, sustainability of a diet wins every time over the rate at which a diet can make you lose weight.
I hope these tips helped and I look forward to discussing more ketogenic diet-related topics in future posts!
Leave a comment below if you have any tips to sustaining a long-term, healthful ketogenic lifestyle!