A quick internet search on methods of eating that help you lose weight will reveal an endless supply of information and hundreds of different diets. There’s vegetarian, vegan, paleo, pescatarian, raw food, the blood type diet, the list goes on.
One of the most popular among the sea of diets is keto or the ketogenic diet. Thousands of people have used keto to improve their health and drop excess weight. And it can work for you too!
But to find success, there are a few things you need to know. For example, how long does it take to get into ketosis, what foods you should eat to get there, and what happens when you do.
And we’re here to help you do that! To learn everything you need to know to get started on the ketogenic diet, just keep reading.
What is Ketosis?
The keto diet is unique in that it works by changing the way your body uses energy. In its typical state, your body processes glucose (sugar) to create energy. When in ketosis, your body will use fat for energy instead.
This is because, on the ketogenic diet, you’ll dramatically decrease the number of carbohydrates you consume, forcing your body into this fat-burning state. Now, this isn’t an instant occurrence. It takes time and dedication, but there are things you can do to speed up the process.
How Long Does It Take to Get Into Ketosis?
On average, it takes between two and seven days for your body to begin using fat stores for energy rather than glucose. Remember, in order to do this, you need to eat as few carbs as possible.
Aim for less than 50 grams per day. For reference, 50 grams of carbohydrates is about the amount in three white potatoes, two apples, a cup of rice, or three slices of bread.
As we mentioned above, there are a few things you can do to reach ketosis faster. These include fasting, exercising, and diet changes.
As fasting is going completely without food, it should only be done for short periods of time. That said, it’s possible to go into ketosis between meals! To jumpstart ketosis in your body, try fasting for 24 to 48 hours.
If you’re worried about cutting out all foods, you can give fat fasting a try instead. When fat fasting, you should eat a diet based on nothing but fat. Like traditional fasting, it should only be done or a day or two to avoid negative consequences.
To maintain optimal health, you should be participating in at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. But to help your body speed up the ketosis timeline, consider exercising more. Exercise depletes the glycogen supply in your body, which is typically replenished by eating carbs afterward.
By eating a ketogenic diet, your body will be unable to replenish its glycogen stores, meaning it will begin to use fat to power itself. If you choose to increase your exercise to reach ketosis, you’ll likely experience fatigue because your body needs time to learn to use its fat stores instead of glycogen.
It’s true that minimizing your carbohydrate intake is all you need to do to reach ketosis over time. However, to go into ketosis in the least amount of time, you’ll need to make a couple of other changes as well.
Along with carbs, you need to watch your protein intake as well. Try to limit protein to 20% of your daily calories. In addition, you shouldn’t eat just any fats, but rather an abundance of healthy fats.
If you don’t watch the types of fats you’re eating, you’ll struggle to lose weight. Some healthy fats include coconut oil, avocados, and olive oil.
How Do You Know You’ve Reached Ketosis?
Unfortunately, many people experience what’s known as a “keto flu” when they first reach ketosis. Because it takes time for your body to adjust to this new state, it will go into a sort of panic mode when its glycogen stores are depleted.
Common symptoms of keto flu include:
- Brain fog
- Feeling faint
The keto flu can last up to six weeks but don’t worry, your body will adjust and any symptoms you develop will subside.
What Foods Are Included in the Keto Diet?
Now that you know how long it takes to enter ketosis, let’s talk about some foods you can eat to get there. The ketogenic diet is, at its core, a low-carb, high-fat method of eating.
When eating keto, include plenty of fish and shellfish in your meals. Fish is an excellent source of vitamins and healthy fats while being carb-free.
Cheese is another great choice for those on a keto diet. It’s another low-carb food packed with nutrients like calcium and linoleic acid.
As with any healthy diet, you should be eating plenty of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and berries. And if you’re worried that you’ll have to give up snacks, don’t be! There are tons of keto-friendly snacks available – find delicious keto snacks here!
Try the Keto Diet to Lose Weight and Improve Your Health
The keto diet is an effective weight-loss method for people all over the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for you and your body. Always consult your physician before beginning any major lifestyle change. They can help you determine whether or not keto is right for you.
You already have the answer to how long does it take to get into ketosis, but your doctor can give you a more personalized recommendation to get the most out of your new lifestyle.
For more tips on improving your health through diet and exercise, be sure to take a look at our blog!