So you want to get into keto fast? Well, you’re in luck. This guide will tell you exactly how to get there as fast as possible. But not everyone will see the same results. Everyone has a different metabolism. It’s impossible to know how long it takes to get into ketosis with any accuracy.
But don’t be discouraged! Keep reading because I’ll tell you some of the secrets to getting into ketosis quickly.
First, it wouldn’t be keto without the ketosis part. It’s what the diet is all about. Ketosis happens when you increase the ketone levels in your bloodstream. Ketosis supercharges your body and forces it to derive energy from your fat cells instead of your stored sugar.
Health Benefits of Ketosis
Being on the keto diet and using fats as fuel comes with a whole host of health benefits on top of losing weight.
Research has shown that ketosis lowers bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol. In this study, you can read all about it, ‘Long term effects of ketogenic diet in obese subjects with high cholesterol level.’
Ketosis is not only good for losing weight; research has been done that suggests it can help reduce heart disease.
“The new research indicates that a ketogenic diet promotes the breakdown of fatty acids in heart muscle cells. This process produces an alternative fuel called acetyl-CoA, which the mitochondria can use as an energy source instead of pyruvate.”
“Thus, these studies suggest that consumption of higher fat and lower carbohydrate diets may be a nutritional therapeutic intervention to treat heart failure,” says McCommis (resource)
I could go on for days talking about the health benefits. But I’ll save you the trouble. If you want to know, here is a list of each benefit and the studies that prove why you should be getting into ketosis after this article!
- Critique of Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Weight Reduction Regimens – A Review of Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution (Council on Foods and Nutrition, 1973)
- Popular Diets: A Scientific Review (Freedman et al., 2001)
- Atkins and other low-carbohydrate diets: hoax or an effective tool for weight loss? (Astrup et al., 2004)
- Reduced Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Diets Do Not Increase the Effects of Energy Restriction on Weight Loss and Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Men and Women (Raatz et al., 2005)
- Very-low-carbohydrate diets and preservation of muscle mass (Manninen, 2006)
- Fat loss depends on energy deficit only, independently of the method for weight loss (Strasser et al., 2007)
- Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat/low-calorie diets in the management of obesity and its comorbidities (Hession et al., 2008)
- Low-Carbohydrate Diets Promote a More Favorable Body Composition Than Low-Fat Diets (Volek et al., 2010)
- Systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials of the effects of low carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk factors (Santos et al., 2012)
- Effects of Low-Carbohydrate Diets Versus Low-Fat Diets on Metabolic Risk Factors: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials (Hu et al., 2012)
- Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. (Bueno et al., 2013)
- Low carbohydrate versus isoenergetic balanced diets for reducing weight and cardiovascular risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis (Naude et al., 2014)
- Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe? (Paoli, 2014)
- Ketosis, ketogenic diet and food intake control: a complex relationship (Paoli et al., 2015)
- Dietary Intervention for Overweight and Obese Adults: Comparison of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets. A Meta-Analysis (Sackner- Bernstein et al., 2015)
- Effect of low-fat diet interventions versus other diet interventions on long-term weight change in adults: a systematic review and meta- analysis (Tobias et al., 2015)
- Effects of low-carbohydrate diets v. low-fat diets on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (Mansoor et al., 2015)
- Effect of low-fat diet interventions versus other diet interventions on long-term weight change in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis (Tobias et al., 2015)
- Fat-Free Mass Changes During Ketogenic Diets and the Potential Role of Resistance Training (Tinsley and Willoughby, 2016)
- Evidence that supports the prescription of low-carbohydrate high-fat diets: a narrative review (Noakes and Windt, 2016)
- Effects of low-carbohydrate diets v. low-fat diets on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (Mansoor et al., 2016)
- Weight loss diet studies: we need help not hype (Freedhoff and Hall, 2016)
- International society of sports nutrition position stand: diets and body composition (Aragon et al., 2017)
- Obesity Energetics: Body Weight Regulation and the Effects of Diet Composition (Hall and Guo, 2017)
- A review of the carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity (Hall, 2017)
- Effects of diets on adipose tissue (Ezquerro et al., 2017)
- Systematic review and meta-analysis of dietary carbohydrate restriction in patients with type 2 diabetes (Snorgaard et al., 2017)
If you’re not in ketosis, you’re in the right spot because I’m about to tell you the best way to achieve ketosis.
Why is it taking longer?
The main reason why it could be taking longer for you to get into ketosis is that we all have unique metabolisms. Insulin resistance and previous diet dictate how our bodies metabolize glucose. This has a significant effect on how quickly we can get into ketosis.
You can get into ketosis much quicker by looking at what you’re eating, your timing, and your supplements.
Changing some of or tweaking these three things could give you faster results.
Optimizing Your Diet
The most critical step in getting to ketosis is your diet. You may be doing everything right, but you’re not there yet. That’s where optimization comes in. Yeah, it’s tedious, but oh, is it worth it.
Let’s start by talking about carbohydrates. If you’ve done keto for any time, you’ll know that switching back to eating carbohydrates can be suffering. The body prefers to use carbohydrates and immediately changes to using that sweet, sweet cheap energy.
As a rule of thumb, if you want to avoid the sick feeling that comes with accidentally eating too many carbs, keep your intake below 30g of carbs. To boost yourself into ketosis, it’s recommended to lower that but just a bit more. This small optimization will have huge compounding effects on the rate you achieve ketosis.
What level should you set your carbs to?
For best results, you should be setting your carbs down to 20g. You don’t want to go much lower because your body does need carbs for some essential functions.
Consuming too few carbs can have some adverse side effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, such side effects may include dizziness, headaches, weakness, fatigue, nutrient deficiencies, nausea, diarrhea, mental fatigue, and even bad breath.
If you’re experiencing any of these side effects for more than a few days, it’s time to bump your carbs a bit. Before going too extreme with any diet, you MUST consult a doctor. We are all about proper health here, and we don’t want you to harm yourself.
Also, remember that the long-term effects of low-carb diets can be detrimental to your health. That’s why it is vital to have carb refuel days. I’m not talking about going ham on the chips, cakes, and pies. I’m talking about a proper clean carb fill—foods such as sweet potatoes, vegetables, long grain rice, etc.
Your carbs should be coming from green leafy, cruciferous vegetables for the fastest ketosis results.
What about Fats?
Fats are the most crucial nutrient in the keto diet. Good fats can lower your cholesterol levels, boost brain functions, and support satiety. You will be less likely to want to reach for those unhealthy foods.
When optimizing carbs and reducing your carb intake, replace those calories with a healthy fat. You should be eating about 70% of your calories in just Fat. You could safely bump your fat intake from 70% to 75%.
When I say bump up your fat intake, I don’t mean reach into that fridge and start guzzling the mayo. I mean, work some good healthy fats into your meals.
The fats for the fastest ketosis are going to be the fats coming from healthy sources. Healthy fat sources, not in any particular order, include:
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats and are vital to help raise your good LDL cholesterol levels while lowering the terrible HDL cholesterol. Avocados are also packed with vitamin E, which helps fight free radical damage, boost immunity, and even act as an anti-aging agent.
- Butter & Ghee
I’m not talking about that butter that litters the store shelves. I’m talking about raw stuff from grass-fed and organic sources. This butter’s omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids will help with proper brain functioning. Omega-6 and omega-3s are essential in your diet because your body can’t produce them.
Another benefit of raw natural butter is selenium. Selenium acts as a powerful antioxidant. And if you’re as much of a nutrition facts reader as I am, you’ll find that selenium is hard to find in other foods.
- Coconut Oil
Rich in medium-chain fatty acids, this is top-tier stuff. Great for cooking, but be warned, it does have an overpowering flavor. The great thing about coconut oil is that it can also be used on your skin and hair, although that wouldn’t count towards your diet or speed up ketosis.
When choosing what kind of coconut oil to consume, it’s best to use the extra virgin varieties. The refined or processed coconut oils eliminate many of the health benefits.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Are you worried about your heart health? Extra-virgin olive oil has proven to benefit lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol levels, and improved blood vessel function. It also has an impressively high antioxidant level that protects your cells from damage. This is also another of those brain-boosting foods.
Beware, though, not all extra-virgin olive oil is the same. It’s not as easy as just grabbing the first one you see off the shelf. You have to look for the International Olive Oil Council seal and check the harvesting date on the label. If it’s labeled as “light,” “pure,” or a “blend,” it isn’t virgin-quality. You’ll also want to look for darker bottles as it protects from oxidation.
And on and on we go.
I could go on listing a ton of other healthy fats, but at this point, I think you got the gist. If you want to know more, check out other articles here. I don’t have one written, but I will have a complete list shortly.
Last but not least, protein!
Protein is essential for retaining muscle. Can overeating protein cause problems when trying to achieve ketosis? This macronutrient is probably the harder of the three to nail down. Mainly because of the conflicting information about it.
Protein is the building block for healthy brain function, skin, bone, and muscle health, muscle building mass, workout recovery, and body fat cutting. The benefits of protein are immense. Unfortunately, many people have spread the myth that too much protein causes gluconeogenesis.
Gluconeogenesis, or GNG, is when your liver and kidneys make glucose from non-carbohydrate sources. Perhaps you’ve seen this term thrown around a lot in online forums *cough* BodyBuilding.com *cough*
They’re not wrong, though; your body does do this. Your body will take compounds like lactate, amino acids, and glycerol and create glucose with no carbs.
OH NO! Not carbs! But we don’t want that, right? This whole thing is about achieving ketosis quickly, which will harm that, right? Well, no, not exactly.
Gluconeogenesis has a fundamental purpose – and no, it doesn’t harm ketosis. Your body still needs carbs. Remember when I was talking about how the Mayo Clinic said you might get some side effects if you don’t eat enough carbs? Well, this is your body doing its thing. Your body still needs carbs to survive.
Not everything in your body can run off of ketones. Gluconeogenesis provides the necessary energy for cells that don’t run on ketones. Your brain can only run on about 70% ketones. It NEEDS the glucose produced from gluconeogenesis for the other 30%.
So, how much protein do you need for quick ketosis?
The general rule is that about 25% of your calories should be protein. You could reduce that to about 20% to get there faster. Again, don’t go too drastic on your diet, and always consult your doctor before doing anything crazy.
The fastest way to reach ketosis through your diet is to tweak your macros. I can’t tell you if this will help you, because everyone is different. You’ll have to experiment and see what’s best for you. The ending macro split comes out to be 5% Carbs, 75% Fats, and 20% Protein.
Remember that your food choice matters here to optimize your diet. Carbs should be from green veggies, fats should come from all-natural, unprocessed sources, and your protein should be from natural, grass-fed fatty red meats, fish, chicken thighs, etc. And don’t worry about gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is good.
Does timing work?
Timing is another thing you’ll have to experiment with. What do I mean when I say timing? In general, what I’m talking about is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has been boasted about in just about every corner of the internet. Does it help? Can you achieve quicker ketosis by just timing out your meals?
To answer those questions, let’s look at what intermittent fasting is. Intermittent fasting involves eating within a certain period of the day. For example, you can only eat between 10 am and 4 pm every day. This gives you a 6-hour feeding window.
During this window, you would eat all your calories for the day. This means you’d essentially be fasting for the remaining 18 hours of the day.
What does this all mean, and how can it help with ketosis?
The most obvious result of this way of eating is that it will reduce your carbohydrate consumption further. There are fewer chances to go over your 5% limit. You’ll also have to plan out all your meals ahead of time which ensures that you’ll be more methodical in your food choices.
Spreading your meals like this will also improve the efficiency at which your body starts to digest your food. More extended periods between meals help the body flush out toxins and repair damage.
A large amount of energy is spent on your digestive system. When you’re not constantly filling up, it frees that energy to work in other areas of your body.
Other benefits of combining intermittent fasting and ketosis
If you’ve ever attempted to go into ketosis, you’ll know of the dreaded keto flu. Intermittent fasting can reduce the upset stomach and keto flu side effects.
Your body will have more energy as less energy is consumed from digesting foods and therefore can be redistributed to other areas, giving you the feeling that you have more fuel.
Your body will no longer have to switch between burning glucose and fat for energy, increasing your sense of well-being.
- Improved ability to burn fat
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Saved time and money
- Improved metabolic rate
- Improved muscle gain
- Cell renewal through autophagy
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved cognition
- Improved gut health
- Increased weight loss
Since both intermittent fasting and ketosis use ketones for energy, they work incredibly well together. Combining these two diet methods will surely improve the speed at which you achieve ketosis.
Experiment around a little, try the beginner intermittent fasting of 8/16, and move around the eating window to see which best suits you. You can gradually move to the 6/18 (6-hour eating window) and see if you get better results.
Because every person is different, dieting is all about experimentation. As always, remember to be safe with what you’re doing. If something doesn’t feel right or you have long-lasting side effects, consult with a medical professional.
The last step that will help you get into ketosis quickly is supplements. There are many different supplements on the market. Many of them claim a lot of things and deliver very little. The truth is that supplements are just that. They are supplemental. They won’t work by themselves. The people who get them thinking they are some type of magic pill are just wasting money.
So why supplements? Well, the reason we supplement is to get that slight little advantage. If you’re already doing all the above to the max, you’d want to check out some supplements.
These supplements will kick start your body into burning ketones. Again like I said above in the intro to this section. These will not be some miracle pill. These just help jump-start what you’re already working on. Exogenous supplements are synthetic ketones. They are made of calcium, potassium, sodium, and beta-hydroxybutyrate.
Whether you’re just working your 9 to 5 and need that extra energy boost for your after-work workout, you’re an athlete who needs that energy boost for better performance. Exogenous ketone supplements can help supplement a busy lifestyle that needs that extra lift.
So what are some brands?
Here are some of the top brands recommended by some of their users. Before taking any supplements, make sure to read everything in them. Also, consult a doctor before you take something you’re unsure of. And remember, everyone is a bit different. Some supplements will work better for you than others.
BPI Sports Keto Weight Loss Sold By GNC
This supplement comes as capsules and has 25 servings per bottle. They are reasonably priced and are available in numerous stores.
The drawback, this supplement is missing calcium, potassium, and sodium. The product can only be returned if unused and unopened, but that’s expected. Most supplements are like this.
The reviews of this product are pretty good. Many users have seen benefits from this product.
Core BHB by BioKeto
The Core BHB has all the ingredients that it should contain. Calcium, potassium, sodium, and beta-hydroxybutyrate. Reviews have said that they see pretty quick results. Some claim that they have reached ketosis within 30 minutes. I can’t stress enough that those are the results that some people experience but not everyone.
The best part of this supplement is its generous 60-day empty bottle guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with this supplement, you can get a full refund even if you’ve used it all.
Some of the drawbacks of this product are its high price tag, and it’s only available to buy on their official website.
Designed with athletes in mind, this supplement will also work for your everyday joe. It comes in various flavors and doesn’t contain any filler ingredients. Many other accessories have these fillers that leave a pretty nasty after-taste. You won’t find that taste in these supplements.
The drawback of this supplement is missing potassium from the ingredients list. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee only if the bottle is unopened. The bottle also only contains a 15-day supply. You’ll be spending quite a bit on this because of that.
If you’re serious about achieving ketosis quickly, I highly recommend the Core BHB. It will be the best bet for your money, and it also contains all the ingredients that an Exogenous Ketones supplement should with a pretty much a no-risk trial.
If you can’t tell already, I’m not a huge fan of supplements, mainly because they don’t work for me. Or at least I haven’t felt like they have worked. Perhaps they have, but I haven’t seen many benefits other than a good multivitamin. I’ll talk about multivitamins later in another article.
Some people swear by supplements, and they enjoy them. That’s another reason I like to say that everybody’s different, and they metabolize things differently.
There you have it. A pretty decent start to your journey into the vast world of obtaining ketosis the quickest way you can. A side note is that weight loss and healthy living are not a race. I know it can be agonizing at first to see how slow it goes, but it’s not something that you should solely focus on. Instead, think of it as an investment. Each action will compound, and soon, in time, you’ll be a good-looking, healthy individual.
I’ll leave you with one last thing. Don’t beat yourself up about it if you fall off the horse. Just get right back on and keep riding. Farewell, traveler.