One of THE most asked questions concerning the keto diet is “so how long does it take to enter ketosis?”
Good news bad news:
- bad news – It does NOT happen quickly, and it also differs for each person. UGH.
- good news – Entering ketosis DOES get easier once you’ve done it a few times before (and there are a few methods to enter quicker!)
So yeah, it can be frustrating!
It’s a hard diet on it’s own, so it can truly STINK to start the diet and “suffer” for up to a few weeks, and NOT see all the glorious benefits.!
But starting the keto diet IS worth it, and we’re going to help you enter ketosis faster below.
After truly understanding the benefits and side effects of ketosis, many people are left wondering, how long does it take to enter ketosis? Find out more about how ketosis works and how to get there faster.
Ok first–What is ketosis?
First, a little primer for those who DON’T know a lot about this diet.
Ketosis is a state that the body operates in after an individual follows a very LOW carbohydrate diet. Protein is also consumed in moderate quantities. As a result, the body is fueled primarily by fats, which allows the individual to lose weight.
- Carbs = bad
- Protein = good, but low quantities
- Fats = yuuuummmm! We eat a lot of these.
Most experts suggest that a “true” ketogenic diet means that at least 75% of your daily calorie intake come from fats. Protein should be under 25% of your calorie intake and carbohydrates should be under 5%.
When carbs are restricted, your blood sugar drops.
This spurs the body to produce ketones, which are evidence that your body has turned to fat as its alternative fuel source. By fueling itself with fat, your body will burn fat much more quickly.
Great. So how long does it take to enter ketosis?
It depends….I know that stinks to hear 🙂
Here’s what it can depend on…
- your health (current weight, current carb consumption, etc)
- your previous diet (did you eat tons of sugars/carbs? will take longer)
- ever done the keto diet before? (entering ketosis A SECOND time is almost always faster and easier than the first time).
Once a ketogenic diet has your sexy bod has adopted and adhered to by increasing fats, reducing proteins, heavily restricting carbs, and reducing snacking…you will enter ketosis.
For very healthy people, you may enter ketosis in as little as a few days or a week. For other individuals whose previous diets relied heavily on carbohydrates and sugars, it may take 2-6 weeks to enter ketosis.
(FYI, for me personally, it took about 12-14 days to even get CLOSE to ketosis the first time I tried)
Important: How can I tell if I’m in ketosis?
There are several ways to tell if you have reached ketosis.
There are laboratory tests that can be run using blood samples. Breath tests can also be conducted using breath ketone analyzers.
Some individuals also choose to buy ketone test strips like Ketostix for at-home use, which work by detecting the presence of ketones in urine.
Pro Tip: Just save some money and buy THESE. They’re exactly the same, and you can use Amazon Prime 🙂
In addition to tests and test strips, some individuals who follow ketogenic diets report feelings of euphoria as an indicator they have reached ketosis.
As the keytones in your blood increase, you’ll literally start to feel more focused, energetic (and these things usually increase happiness as well btw. win win win)
Also, there are other signs that you may learn to recognize when you are in a state of ketosis, including:
- Lack of appetite
- Rapid drop in weight
- Frequent urination
- Changes in breath or taste in mouth
- Changes in body odor or sweat
- Dry mouth
Check out Dr. Berg’s YouTube video on this subject as well. It’s helpful, and he’s pretty much an authority on this!
How can I enter ketosis faster?
So there are a few little tricks for this, including the fat fasting technique.
HUGE WARNING: Fat fasting is potentially dangerous, especially if used when you don’t absolutely need to, or used for an extended period of time (literally more than a few days even…).
You should only attempt a “fat fast” for a few days, and only when you’re really struggling. Click the link above to learn more:
Additional tips for speeding up the process of ketosis:
1 – Make sure you’re restricting carbs
Like, a lot. You probably already know that by now…but the ketogenic diet is very strict when it comes to this.
For most folks, hovering around the 20g of carbs a day is a great place to start.
2 – Introduce some coconut oil into your diet!
The link above is super delicious, and these are the PERFECT fats you want in your body. It’ll also help cravings.
3 – Go for a walk!
Seriously, ramp up your physicial activity and get your metabolism going! HOWEVER, don’t do extremely difficult workouts, as these could actually do TOO much as you’re starting to restrict carbs…and it can also make you “reward” yourself with sweets, etc 😉
4 – Take a partial fast
We’re not talking about a “fat fast” as mentioned above, we’re talking about starving yourself. This can kickstart your body to burning any remaining carbs.
(If you REALLY suck at fasting…it’s totally ok to grab some macadamia nuts from time to time! There’s no need to go water-only).
5 – NAIL your protein intake!
Too little, and you’ll lose muscle mass. Too much, and you could get kicked off the ketosis train.
To calculate your protein needs on a ketogenic diet, do this:
Multiply your ideal body weight in pounds by 0.55 to 0.77 (1.2 to 1.7 in kilograms). For example, if your ideal body weight is 130 pounds (59 kg), your protein intake should be 71–100 grams.
What are the advantages and benefits of this diet again??
Weight loss may be the first benefit people think of related to ketosis. Entering the state of ketosis can bring many other benefits as well.
Increased energy and focus. Many people in ketosis report states of increased mental clarity. Research also shows that keto diets help with brain function in individuals with neurodegeneration.
Lower blood pressure. Losing weight through ketosis can dramatically improve your blood pressure. Ketogenic diets also limit processed foods filled with sodium, which can also reduce blood pressure.
Increased good cholesterol. There are two types of cholesterol, HDL and LDL. HDL is the good cholesterol that is responsible for seeing that the liver either excretes or reduces cholesterol.
What are the symptoms and side effects?
People may experience unwanted side effects from ketosis. The good news is that many of these side effects can be remedied. As your body adjusts to ketosis, these side effects should taper if you even experience them in the first place.
If you are feeling tired, increasing B5 will help. You may also want to monitor your levels of calcium and magnesium if you are having trouble sleeping. Since the ketogenic diet can be a very abrupt departure from the typical diet, increasing your fat intake slowly can help prevent digestive discomfort.
If you experience cramping, you may also need to increase your potassium intake.
Can ketosis be dangerous?
There are people who may want to AVOID a ketogenic diet or at least seek the advise of a doctor or a dietician.
These people include individuals who
- have high blood pressure,
- have any issues with blood sugar or insulin, including diabetes,
- suffer from gallbladder disease, are prone to kidney stones,
- have conditions that impact metabolism,
- are pregnant.
Because ketosis can provide so many benefits, some ketogenic dieters report the need for lower doses of antidepressants or blood pressure medications. If you currently take medication, it is important to enter ketosis with doctor supervision.
Ketosis and ketogenic diets are becoming more and more popular as people realize these diets allow people to lose fat quickly while still consuming regular-size meals.
It can be sweet!
But the process of entering ketosis can be a huge pain.