If you’ve had the chance to read our article which divulges the many health benefits of ketosis, you’re probably wondering what the best ways to get into ketosis are. You’ve come to just the right place as this article will give you six proven tips on how to get into ketosis (as well as methods to test for ketosis).
How to Verify You’re In Ketosis
Individuals who adopt a ketogenic frequently will make use of various test/specimens to determine if they’re in ketosis. In terms of quantitative values, ketosis is when your body has between roughly 1 to 3 millimoles per liter (mMol/L) of ketone bodies.
These approaches normally consist of urinalysis, blood testing, and breath exams. You may do these tests with the help of a clinic/lab, however it is quite practical to do them at home with store-bought gadgets.
Keep reading for quick rundowns of the various techniques for screening ketone values.
Ketosis Urine Testing (Urinalysis)
Urinalysis for ketosis can be done by making use of OTC ‘keto’ strips that you urinate lightly on and check for any color modifications that accompany the strip’s reagent. These are generally offered under the trademark name Ketostix at the majority of drug stores.
The resulting color change designates a specific quantity of ketone bodies present in your urine. For individuals who are newbies to a ketogenic diet plan, a urinalysis will be helpful in the short-term to verify ketosis.
Advantages: Urinalysis is the most basic and cost-effective way of screening for ketosis.
Disadvantages: Sadly, urine screening for ketosis is not very reliable in regards to precision. The longer you stay in ketosis, the more acclimated your body will be at making use of ketones (thus, less will be present in your urine). Consequently, urinalysis can have deceptive outcomes by suggesting your ketone body levels are lower than they actually are.
Blood Testing for Ketosis
Much like type-1 diabetics use blood sugar monitors, the same technique can be utilized for determining ketosis. Using a blood ketone monitor and lancet, you puncture your finger and put a drop of blood on the ketone analysis strip.
Advantages: This is the most precise methods of screening for ketosis, particularly BHB levels in your body; it’s rather easy, too.
Disadvantages: Ketone strips for blood testing are expensive, often upwards of $10 per strip.
Breath Examining for Ketosis
Breath analysis determines the levels of acetone in your breath.
Advantages: The upfront expense is a little high, however breath meters last long and pay off over time.
Disadvantages: Checking for acetone is not always a trustworthy method of evaluating ketosis; consider using this in combination with another ketone testing protocol.
Getting Into Ketosis: 6 Bulletproof Tips
1. Cut Your Carb Intake
Consuming an extremely low-carbohydrate diet is without a doubt the most crucial factor in attaining ketosis.
When you eat a carb-based diet, your cells utilize glucose (sugar) as their primary source of energy. Many of your cells can also utilize other energy sources, such as fats and ketone bodies.
Your body keeps glucose in muscle tissues and the liver in the form of glycogen as a source of long-term energy. When carbohydrate intake is extremely low, glycogen stores are depleted and plasma levels of insulin drop. As a result, fat can be liberated from your body fat tissue and used as fuel.
Your liver transforms a portion of these fats into ketone bodies. The resulting ketones can be used for energy by sections of the brain (and many tissues throughout your body).
How Long Does it Take to Get Into Ketosis?
The degree of carbohydrate limitation required to get into ketosis is somewhat individualized. Some individuals require restricting net carbohydrates (total carbohydrates less fiber) to 30 grams every day for at least one week, though others can reach ketosis while taking in double this amount or more.
After this time, small quantities of carbohydrates can be brought back into your diet progressively, provided that ketosis is sustained.
In a short-term clinical trial (lasting just seven days), overweight individuals with type-2 diabetes who restrained carbohydrate consumption to 20 grams or less each day had daily urinary ketone excretion values that were 27 times greater than their baseline values. This gives you an idea of how long it takes for your body to get into ketosis.
These carbohydrate and ketone ranges are recommended for individuals who want to get into ketosis to support weight loss, regulate blood glucose values, and/or decrease cardiovascular disease risk factors.
If you’re utilizing the keto diet plan for medical reasons (such as epilepsy treatment), we recommend doing so with the guidance of a health specialist.
2. Use Medium-Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oils
Medium-chain triglycerides are special class of dietary fats that are digested differently from other fats you consume. MCTs passively diffuse from your gastrointestinal tract (GI) via the portal vein to your liver, where they are used for energy or converted to ketone bodies.
In addition, MCTs do not require bile salts for digestion like long-chain fatty acids do (which are sent through the lymphatic system). Most MCT oils you find at grocery stores and supplement shops are rich in caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10). Research suggests that caprylic acid is the most efficient medium-chain fatty acid for synthesizing ketones and fast-acting energy (since it’s metabolized rapidly).
You can also find MCTs in natural food sources, primarily coconut. We recommend starting with a relatively modest one tablespoon of either MCT or coconut oil. You may work up to three or more tablespoons as you adjust to ketosis.
3. Hit the Gym
If you’re not actively exercising, getting into ketosis will take a little longer. Normally, exercise (especially intense training) will encourage your body to use up any glycogen that is available. After your glycogen is essentially depleted from exercise, your liver will compensate by producing more ketones for an alternative energy source. (The key is to follow tip #1 and minimize your carb intake in conjunction with exercise.)
In fact, one study found that your body naturally increases ketone production when you workout in a fasted state. Bear in mind, when you’re fasting your body exhibits similar physiology to being in ketosis since glycogen levels are generally low.
4. Make Use of Intermittent Fasts
Intermittent fasting has grown in popularity significantly over the past decade. If you’re not familiar with what intermittent fasting is, essentially it entails abstaining from any calorie consumption for about 14-18 hours; after the fast, you consume 2-4 meals in the remaining hours of the day.
For example, you might go to bed at 10PM, fast through the night (while you sleep), wake up at 6AM and then continue fasting until noon – at which point you would eat “breakfast.” That would be 14 hours of fasting, and you would eat your meals between noon and 10PM if you wanted to repeat the same intermittent fasting pattern the next day.
Fasting to get into ketosis is a superb option, especially when you combine them with exercise. Research shows that intermittent fasting helps your body increase ketone production and use body fat for energy. You don’t have to follow an intermittent fasting lifestyle every day to get into ketosis, but it certainly helps in the initial phases of a keto diet.
5. Eat More Healthy Fats
Dietary fat is ultimately what stimulates your body to produce ketones (and thus, get into ketosis). Ketogenic diets for longevity, weight loss, and performance enhancement typically range from 55-80% of total daily calories from dietary fat.
That being said, exorbitant fat consumption won’t necessarily translate to having higher ketone body levels.
In fact, a 21-day trial of 11 healthy adults analyzes the physiological effects of consuming varying amounts of fat while following a low-carb diet. The results showed that ketone values were nearly identical regardless whether subjects consumed roughly 80% or 90% of total daily calories from dietary fat. Overall, ketone levels were found to be similar in people consuming 79% or 90% of calories from fat.
Remember, eating the right dietary fat is key, especially to get into ketosis. This means consuming adequate amounts of foods like avocado, nuts, butter/ghee, fish, coconut, MCT oil, etc.
Lastly, keep in mind that fat is the most calorie-dense nutrient; if you’re trying to lose weight, be sure to monitor your fat/total calorie intake to ensure you’re in a calorie deficit. (Otherwise you might not see much weight loss.)
6. Don’t Skimp on Protein Consumption
While eating a large amount of protein will indeed induce a slight increase in gluconeogenesis on a ketogenic diet, the amount of protein needed to negate the effects of ketosis is rather unrealistic.
Gluconeogenesis is the process by which your body creates glucose from other substrates (such as amino acids from proteins); this typically occurs when both carbohydrate and energy provisions are greatly limited, which is not the case on a proper ketogenic diet.
If you’re eating a nominal amount of fat along with protein, there isn’t much gluconeogenesis going on since ketone bodies are being produced for energetic purposes. Your body doesn’t necessarily want to break down protein for energy, especially if there are other sources of energy it can utilize more efficiently.
Moreover, you would likely suffer many other side effects from having such exorbitant protein intake (e.g. gut distress, lethargy, flatulence, bloating, loss of appetite, etc.) before you induced so much gluconeogenesis that you impede ketosis.
When all is considered, you could eat upwards of 2-2.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight daily – which is still quite a large amount – on a ketogenic diet and not have anything to worry about in terms of staying in ketosis.
How to Get Back Into Ketosis After Cheating
If you’ve just spent a weekend indulging in all the sweet treats and pizza you could find, chances are you’re worried about how to get back into ketosis after cheating. If you’re primarily concerned about how to get into ketosis quickly, then your best best is fasting.
Fasting to get into ketosis will drastically speed the process, especially after you eat a cheat meal. It doesn’t need to be a very long fast either; generally, anywhere between 18-24 hours should suffice (assuming you didn’t eat more than 100 grams of carbs in your cheat meal).
If you really pounded the carbs at your cheat meal, then you should combine your fast with some high-intensity training (like sprints or weight lifting). This will help you deplete any glycogen you may have stored during the cheat. Compound that with being in the fasted state and you’ll quickly transition back to ketosis.
● Testing for ketosis is best done with a blood ketone monitor
● Typically, between 1-3 mMol/L of ketones means you’re in ketosis
● Eat adequate amounts of protein (no more than 2-2.5 g/lb of bodyweight per day)
● Most of your calories should come from fat while trying to get into ketosis (about 70-80% of total daily calories)
● Intermittent fasting is a good protocol to get back into ketosis after cheating (with carbs)
● Exercise and MCT oils will help accelerate your efforts to get into ketosis
If you still wanted more information, check out these ketogenic diet reviews!