There are a LOT of diets out there, and everyone spouts their way to be the best way so sometimes we need to take a step back, do a bit of research and really nail down the ins and outs of each diet.
You can put your body into ketosis quickly by depleting your glucose levels using carb restriction or fasting, as well as with cardio or other exercises.
What we do need to realize though is that coaches, friends, PT ’s, even your hairdresser will rave about the diet that worked for them, does that mean it will work for you? Not necessarily.
But this is where we can get frustrated and upset because the diet worked for them – and wonder why doesn’t it work for me.
When it comes down to a diet, we need to look at the one that:
A – you can sustain, to see results continuously.
B – suits your current lifestyle which means no drastic changes that are going to be challenging to stick to short term let alone long term.
Here we take a look at one of the popular diets known at ketosis or most commonly known as the Keto diet.
What is the Keto Diet?
It is basically a diet that is VERY low in carbs but high in fat (good fat), but here’s the thing it isn’t really a diet, just to confuse us!
You are putting your body into a ketosis state. Ketosis is a natural metabolic occurrence in which the body uses fats in the liver for energy rather than glucose.
When your body uses fats for energy more efficiently, this leads to more rapid weight loss, increased energy levels and improved brain health.
Starting this sort of lifestyle can feel pretty hard and can be really difficult in the beginning.
Over time though, as your body starts to get used to this sort of method, you will start burning fat.
Win-win right ?!
So let’s dig a little deeper into the pros, cons, ins, and outs.
How Long Does It Take for the Body to Go into Ketosis?
The thing to realize here is that everyone is different, just like which diet is better to work with and who it is suited to, you shouldn’t take any time scale as a norm.
Just because your friend did it in 3 days, it may take you slightly longer so, please don’t get worried if your process is somewhat elongated.
So it is impossible to judge how long it would take a specific individuals body to go into ketosis but I won’t lie to you – it will take time.
It mainly takes time for your body to adjust to this new way of dieting and it can take anywhere from 2 – 30 days to enter optimal ketosis state.
We need to stick to the plan religiously though – if we stick to it properly we will get into an optimal ketosis state quicker.
We as always look to speed up results because we are super impatient right?
You want results yesterday, don’t you?
You have a holiday coming up, so you need to slim down quickly?
But here’s the thing – we this type of lifestyle, especially in the first 30 days as your body gets used to it, we cant look to starve ourselves or overdo it on the exercise.
So maybe look to cut down those spin classes for a bit, because of the lack of carbs in your diet your body doesn’t have the fuel to use as energy.
As this is quite a drastic change to your lifestyle trying to alter your exercise routine as well is going to make it really hard to stick to.
The reason why the majority of people fall off the wagon on their diet or lifestyle change is that they make too many changes at once and its all too drastic.
We need to focus on getting our diet consistent and add in exercise once we have established good habits on the eating front.
A critical point we need to be wary of when starting this sort of lifestyle change is keeping on top of our water – it’s paramount we keep our liver functioning properly for optimal ketosis levels.
Measuring Your Ketones Level
This doesn’t come any simpler than using an electronic device, something that can give us an accurate reading as possible.
It’s a simple way to see how long our body takes to go into ketosis and to ensure ketones are at optimum levels.
We use inexpensive strips that we pee on to measure our ketone levels from our urine, and then the device will tell us through its color-coded scheme how close we are to optimal ketosis level.
Although, like with any electrical device in this industry the results are questionable and have been put into dispute by others.
Plus if just drank water or exercised recently, then this will have an effect on your results.
Just like if you were measuring your weight, doing this at different times or after and before eating or drinking, the results will vary, but using this type of machine is the most accurate way to measure our results.
So your best bet, instead of relying on machines and devices, would be to stick to your healthy fats and proteins diet and maintaining your exercise regime to order to stay in ketosis.
Adjusting Your Diet for Optimal Ketosis
What we have to realize, and it’s the same with any diet we choose, there are no shortcuts, and if we continue to look for them it will only hamper our results and delay the whole process, slow and steady wins the race remember.
Being quick and steady I suppose could be better 😉
But in this type of diet it is straightforward – we must keep high fat and low carb in our nutrition choices and everyday meals.
If we are struggling to lose weight, then we may look to adjust our diet by adding in some healthier fats to your daily meals.
Add some butter to your meals or supplementing your diet with coconut oil – healthy fats in your diet will also keep your body feeling fuller for longer and ultimately give you more energy for those workouts.
One thing that can have a detrimental effect on your keto lifestyle choice is too much meat – meaning your body will convert excess protein to glucose and your blood sugar levels will rise too much which and this counteracts all your effort of putting your body into ketosis.
All that no carbness will have been a waste of time – I for one would cry, so be careful!
We are looking to – as a rule of thumb – try not to consume more than four ounces of protein during a meal.
When it comes to your carb levels on this diet, we are looking at around 20 grams over the day, but if you still aren’t seeing results, we may seek to reduce your carbs even further (cue the tears).
So to put you back into a ketosis state we would need to try lowering our carb intake even lower to as low as 5% of your total diet.
You can also look to boost your body’s ketones level by taking supplements such as MCT oil, this is an excellent boost to your healthy fat intake.
How to Put Your Body into Ketosis Quickly with Exercise
Once your diet is on track, working out on a regular schedule is key to making those changes to the body that we so desire, toning up and changing shape can be started with your nutrition but to speed up those results and really smash them we need to get some sweat and hard work happening.
The ideal workout plan over the week, to really see optimal results is one hour of exercise, 6 days a week but again it comes down to small changes.
If you are a beginner and have not exercised regularly for a while, it will be challenging to stick to such a plan as intense as this.
So start with beginner exercises, make small changes, and the whole exercise thing won’t seem so daunting!
The type of exercises we want to be working on is cardio (slow and steady if a beginner) as cardio is best to burn fat.
If slightly more advanced and wanting to see those results speed up then HIIT (high-intensity interval training) can get your body into ketosis fast.
HIIT is something everyone has heard of, but we just assume it’s for super fit people who jump around, sweat a lot and do a gym load of burpees, but we can do some HIIT sessions in many different forms.
HIIT is basically short bursts of vigorous activity followed by a shorter period of rest, and this can be broken down into many different times depending on your experience and ability.
So, for example, we could work on the treadmill and do 30 seconds all out sprinting with 30 seconds rest repeated for 30 minutes, but if you were slightly more advanced, then you might be looking to do 45 seconds of all-out sprinting and 15 seconds rest.
HIIT workouts are not just efficient when it comes to your weight loss and increased fitness but they are also time effective, and a solid HIIT session can be done in half the time of a traditional workout.
To reach optimal ketosis faster, try a fasted workout, this means exercising as soon as you wake up and haven’t eaten yet.
This forces our body to use its stored fat sources as energy, now this can be tough to start with – not just because of the fact you are starving, but also because you need to set that alarm a couple of hours earlier.
It will take your body time to adjust, but if you power through the alarms and the hunger then you will be able to power through and start to see those results – this is something we will explain in more depth in the next section.
Implementing Fasting to Achieve Optimal Ketosis
Another way to quicken the ketosis process is by fasting, something we touched on earlier.
When fasting is done properly, then it persuades your body to tap into its fat stores to use for energy, but as you haven’t eaten, then your energy levels can take a bit of a hit during the fast period.
This procedure helps your body produce ketones and speeds up the ketosis state of the body.
The most common fasting technique is going without food for between 12 to 24 hours, but we must be careful when deciding to fast.
Due to the lack of food consumption our energy levels can drop, and if we suffer from any medical illnesses this can have a detrimental effect on blood pressure and glucose levels so before deciding on making a fast part of your diet you should consult your doctor or other medical professional – better to be safe then sorry 😉
Do not fast for longer than 24 hours – shoutout to anyone that could do that – I for one would have no chance!
But anything over that period of time can be dangerous and as mentioned, as your energy levels can drop low. You should avoid strenuous exercise as this decrease in energy could lead to dizziness and fainting.
Something that will help you get through the fasting period is consuming plenty of water, not only will this help with your sanity but liver function as well.
We can also alternate our fasting methods by including a low-calorie diet for a day or drinking plenty of juice.
If you find you are plateauing during ketosis then implementing a fasting period can be a great way to put your body back into ketosis so you can continue to see the results that your hard work is warranting.
As mentioned though, fasting isn’t for everyone, and if you do have some medical history, we are advised to check with a professional first. Not getting any food into your system means you’ll be lacking in energy which could lead to fainting and accidents.
You may get lucky, and there won’t be any injuries, but think of the embarrassment more than anything.
So ye, proceed with caution 🙂
Getting Back into Ketosis Fast After Carbing Up
Now there will get to a point where you may return to the dark side and get some carbs back into your diet, all the good foods have carbs anyway.
If this happens, then don’t get discouraged, don’t get demotivated and most importantly don’t throw in the towel – the fact you have decided to ‘carb up’ (introduce carbs back into your diet) makes you completely normal.
Some people (myself included) would struggle MASSIVELY when it comes to really restricting carbs, making energy levels low, plus the fact you are cutting out 90% of the food in your local store.
So if there is a time when you are doing a keto diet and have a day or so where you have added carbs back in, do not worry!
A day or two is not going to make a massive effect, and your body should return to a keto state within a day or two. Just be sure you are drinking enough water to help flush out your system plus you need to get back on your rigorous exercise regime.
The fact you have eaten carbs again should give you that extra energy boost to get those workouts smashed.
The first day or two after you have eaten carbs are absolutely vital as to whether you can keep your body there or thereabouts concerning its keto state or indeed returning to it quickly.
You need to exercise as much as possible and consider reducing your carb intake back down to zero to really make sure your body is at its previous fat burning state.
Is the Keto Diet Right for Me?
This whole keto process can seem really baffling but what we need to understand is –
1 – Our body is a powerful, adaptive machine and can quickly get used to the surroundings and process we are trying to achieve.
2 – It’s not always going to be perfect.
Sometimes we can get very caught up on things being perfect, and if the slightest thing goes wrong, we can entirely give up in and feel extremely discouraged in the process.
With the Keto diet, the biggest hurdle is going to be switching to an extremely low carb diet, which for many is going to be a massive change as our everyday diets can be very high carb.
But as mentioned above, the key is not to get discouraged when we may refuel on carbs here and there during the process – but the most consistent you are with the actual ketosis process then the quicker your body will return to keto after your carb fueled day.
The ultimate goal is to get your body into the optimal ketosis state making your body a fat burning machine, and that will aid massively to the rainbow dream of losing that stubborn weight and dropping those inches.
It will be difficult, but we can not get disheartened if we do ‘carb up,’ because for some this may not be the most sustainable way to lose weight.
It is beneficial when we get into that optimal state but getting there can be a bumpy road – and with the massive drop in carbs, it can have a detrimental effect on our health if we aren’t careful.
Not just with the decline in glucose levels but our blood pressure can have an effect and continuing with the strenuous workouts could lead to fainting and therefore significant injuries.
If you are thinking about introducing the keto diet to your lifestyle, I would look to cut your carbs down gradually – do this by tracking your food and monitoring what is going on day to day.
Start to cut this down slowly over the coming days and weeks as well as gradually upping your exercise, as this will be paramount when you follow the keto diet correctly.
Then when you have cut your carbs down, you can start to follow the keto lifestyle to the letter of the law with very minimal carbs over the process. The low amount of carbs you need to eat is probably lower than you think.
Doing it this way will help you stick to it for a longer time and make the whole process more sustainable plus you are less likely to slip up, get disheartened and fall off the diet altogether.
When it comes to losing weight and dropping the inches, we need to be sure we pick a plan that introduces small changes to your current lifestyle, this way it won’t be so drastic, and it’s easier to stick to.
Is Keto for Everyone?
It can be, but it all depends what your current lifestyle choice is and what your current food intake is like, and then we can make a decision on how quick you look to dive into the keto lifestyle.
My personal opinion is that the keto diet is not suitable for everyone. That is true for any diet you can find.
Just because the majority of people are on a high carb diet (without realizing), and a high percentage of their everyday food is made up of carbs.
So if we ask people to cut this out completely it can be challenging to stick to it for an extended period of time.
The #1 reasons diets fail is because they are too drastic, and there are too many sudden changes. The keto diet is no different and although gradually adjusting to the keto lifestyle doesn’t guarantee success, sticking to it will.
Saying this though the results a keto diet can give you are awesome so it is definitely not something I would rule out.
This diet can provide you with the most amazing results due to the lowering of carbohydrates from your current diet, it’s just a case of sticking at it and letting your body adapt.
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