Ketosis can be defined as a natural diet or a metabolic state characterized by the body’s ability to produce ketone bodies from a fatty diet.
Your body then uses fats for energy purposes instead of carbohydrates. To achieve it, first, you need to start on a keto diet. A ketogenic diet has many benefits, including weight loss and a reduction of seizures in children with epilepsy.
When most people hear about it, they ask themselves, does it really work? And if it does, how can I get into it?
How Long Does it Take to get into Ketosis?
Most people expect to see results as soon as they get into the Keto lifestyle. That, however, isn’t always the case. You might have to wait for some time before you start noticing any changes. There is no exact timeline as to when these changes begin to happen because everybody reacts differently to it.
The first step into ketosis is retraining your body. On average, it takes about 2-7 days for the body to get into Ketosis. The duration your body takes to adapt to this new type of metabolism is affected by various factors, including your health, diet, activity level, and the uniqueness of your body.
It takes so long because you are retraining your body. Taking it from something it has known since you were born and introducing a new process to it.
Getting into the keto lifestyle requires you to deprive your body of its usual energy source, carbohydrates, and adding a new one, fat. For this to work, you have to give your body and liver some time to adapt to changing fats into ketones, the energy sources in a ketogenic diet.
Getting into the ketosis has everything to do with what you eat. The general guidelines for a ketogenic diet in terms of calorie intake are:
- 70% to 80% from fats
- 20% to 25% from proteins
- 5% to 10% from carbohydrates
Rather than pushing yourself too hard to see the results, just live the journey, you will see the results sooner than you know it.
Steps to Get Your Body into Ketosis
Getting into the keto lifestyle is all about simple changes to what you eat. Here are seven steps to help you adjust to it.
Minimizing your Carb consumption
The most critical factor in getting into ketosis is eating a very low-carb diet. The primary source of energy for your body cells is glucose or sugar. However, they can use other sources, too, like ketones and fatty acids.
Glucose is stored in the form of glycogen in your muscles and liver. When you get into a very low-carb diet, your glycogen and insulin levels reduce significantly. That allows the release of fatty acids from fat stores in your body.
Once released, the liver converts some of them into ketone bodies, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetoacetate. Various sections of your brain utilize ketones for energy.
The level of carbs you need to cut down on depends on your body and is different for everybody. It is, therefore, advisable to reduce your carbs intake to 20 grams or less for about two weeks. That ensures that ketosis is achieved. After that point, you can gradually add small amounts of carbs into your diet, as long as you maintain ketosis.
If you are using Keto for therapeutic purposes, you may need to reduce your carb intake to less than 15 grams per day. Before using the Keto Diet for therapeutic purposes, you should consult your physician.
Include coconut oil in your diet
It contains fats known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are absorbed rapidly by the body and taken to the liver, where they are used immediately or converted into ketones. In fact, for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders of the nervous system, taking coconut oil is the best way to increase ketone levels.
Various studies have shown that doing the keto diet offers some great benefits for some types of athletic performance, including exercise endurance.
Exercise depletes your body’s glycogen stores. These stores are replenished when you eat carbs, but since a ketogenic diet involves a low-carb diet, your glycogen levels remain low. In response to that, your liver increases ketone production, which is then used as an alternative source of energy in your muscles.
Increasing your intake of healthy fats
Increasing your intake of healthy fats increases ketone levels on your body, thus helping you reach ketosis. However, a very high-fat diet doesn’t necessarily lead to higher ketone levels.
But, since fats make up the largest percentage of a ketogenic diet, it is essential to get them from high-quality sources. The best dietary sources of healthy fats include Avocado oil, olive oil, tallow, lard, coconut oil, and butter. If you are aiming at reducing your weight, you should keep your calorie intake in check. Taking too much might cause your weight loss to stall.
It might sound crazy, but going without eating for several hours can help you achieve Keto. In fact, many people go into a state of mild ketosis between dinner and breakfast.
There are two different approaches to attaining ketosis by fasting. The first one is intermittent fasting. This involves fasting in short regular intervals. The second is “fast fasting.” This involves taking about 1000 calories daily, most of which are from fat. The combination of very high fat and low-calorie intake can help you achieve ketosis faster.
Maintaining an adequate protein intake
You should be very careful with your level of protein intake. Ketosis requires only an adequate amount of proteins. However, consuming a meager amount of proteins could be very unhealthy. This is because your liver requires an adequate supply of amino acids for glycogenesis. Glycogenesis is the process of making new glucose from amino acids.
The glucose produced by your liver is essential for the proper functioning of the few organs in your body that can’t use ketones for energy. The organs include portions of the brain and kidneys and your red blood cells.
The protein level should also be kept high enough to maintain muscle mass, especially when you are using the ketogenic diet for weight loss.
Test Your Ketone Levels
Achieving is only the first step; you still have to maintain it. Testing your ketone levels is the best way to ensure that you achieve your goals.
There are three types of ketones- acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate. They can be measured from your blood, urine, and breath. Acetone can be measured in your breath using a ketone meter. Similarly, ketone levels in your blood can be measured using a blood ketone meter; it is, however, quite expensive.
If you are looking for an affordable way to measure your ketone levels, then you can consider getting ketone urine strips. These, however, are not as accurate as a blood ketone meter.
How do you know when you are in Ketosis?
After doing all that, you will start to experience some changes in your body. These changes are as a result of your body adapting to the keto lifestyle.
Some of the changes that you should look out for include:
- Keto-breathe – keto breath is a fruity, metallic, or acetone smell of your breath.
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- A decrease in energy for exercise
- Digestive issues
- Increased cognitive performance
- Muscle cramps
- Increased levels of ketones in your blood
If you just can’t seem to lose weight on the Keto Diet, check out our article on why you may not be losing weight on the keto diet.
Possible Side Effects of Ketosis
When taking a ketogenic diet, you may experience a few side effects. However, most of these side effects are short-lived and disappear once your body properly adjusts to it. The side effects include:
- Bad breath (Keto breath)
- Kidney stones – this mostly affects epileptic children.
- Keto Flu
It is, therefore, preferable to seek medical advice before starting on a ketogenic diet, especially if you have any medical condition that could be directly affected by your diet.
Although not known by many people, ketosis is a very effective way of losing weight, improving your cognitive functions, and even managing various conditions like hypertension and Alzheimer’s disease.
In the article, we have discussed some of the benefits of keto, steps to take to achieve it, and how to know once you get there.
When starting, it is advisable to seek a medical opinion and even have a few tests performed on you to ensure that it does not affect you negatively. Otherwise, it is a pretty cool and impressive way to live a long, healthy life.
Remember, our bodies react differently to ketosis; hence you should not be in a rush to see the results. Some people may start noticing the changes up to two weeks later. Instead of getting overly excited about the results, live the lifestyle, its benefits will catch up to you sooner than you know it.