How to Get Into Ketosis Quickly
Fastest Way to Put Your Body Into The State
Patience is not one of my strongest points, and when I first switched to the keto lifestyle five years ago, not being able to tolerate the delays did become a little bit of a problem.
Picture a slightly overweight guy who couldn’t walk past Dunkin’ Donuts and only had the patience to wait for the elevator to his second-floor apartment. Fat and lazy is what I would call it now.
So when I started on keto, I simply couldn’t wait to see the results. I think I checked my ketone levels with a test strip 10 times a day and stepped on the scales just as often.
But rather than spend all that time on silly things, I could have taken more productive actions that would have helped me get to ketosis faster.
Over the years I have learned a lot of tricks and when I now get asked: "How do I get into ketosis quickly?" I can provide tips that actually work.
So, I decided to create this blog post to help you speed up the process with 10 easy to follow tricks.
1. Increase Your Consumption of Healthy Fat
It's a common misconception among those who are trying to lose weight that fat is dangerous, but this is not the case at all. You will need to rely on healthy sources of fat to reach ketosis, and this can be achieved by choosing the right type of food.
This doesn’t mean eating lots of greasy and deep-fried fast food, but rather loading up on oily fish, butter, olive, coconut, and avocado oil to name just a few.
You should also make sure that you add oils to your diet that have not been heavily processed. That means cold pressed options rather than hydrogenated ones that use extreme heat and chemicals.
This step alone will give you the energy boost needed during the keto flu days and will help speed up the ketone production process.
2. Take Supplements to Get to Ketosis Faster
One o the easiest ways to create a ketosis-like effect in your body is to load up on BHB salt supplements (find them here).
These produce an increased amount of ketones that then trigger your fat storage for energy.
It’s not strictly speaking the same as ketosis, but when you’re still in the induction phase, it’s a great way to reduce the negative symptoms and help you fast forward through the induction.
3. Decrease Your Carbohydrate Intake
This might seem like an obvious step for a keto diet, but I have encountered lots of people who weren’t counting all their carbs properly.
The result in these cases is that you still have too high levels of blood glucose.
You have to keep an accurate diary of all your food intake, and then work out on a daily basis how many carbs you’re actually taking in.
If you’re in doubt about how to work this out, then book some time with a dietician.
If you don’t get this step right, then you could end up in a constant state of induction. And that won’t be fun!
4. Increase Your Intake of MCTs
This is one of my favorite secret weapons, and even though I spend most of the year in ketosis, I still rely on Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) supplements. See the ones we reviewed here.
These types of fat are not the easiest to source from food in large enough quantities, which is why I recommend supplements (see here). But they are the easiest for your digestive system to metabolize.
Once they enter your bloodstream, they are converted to energy very quickly.
The boost in mental clarity and physical strength is why I keep going back to them.
If I had known about them when I first got started, I would definitely have made it easier on myself.
The most popular brand of MCTs out there is Onnit MCT Oil. Go ahead and check out our review of it.
5. Exercise More
Exercising (detailed article here) is undoubtedly important when it comes to losing weight.
An added bonus of being in a state of ketosis is the ability to improve your exercise performance, but you should also remember that entering ketosis for the first time can be a bit of a challenge for a lot of people.
The body is still adjusting to such a dramatic diet change, so exercising may prove to be difficult at first. The key here is to keep going.
Adding more workouts to your daily regimen might not be the quickest way to enter ketosis, but it can help you get there faster or stay there longer.
In the first few days, it’s important to take it easy with exercising, as you will struggle with energy levels and fatigue. But what the exercising will do is speed up the process of removing glucose and glycogen from your body.
Once these easy energy sources have been depleted the body will switch to full-on ketosis.
So, doing some light cardio in the first couple of days is an absolute must if you want to speed up the induction process.
6. Consume a Balanced Amount of Protein
This was one of the most surprising facts that my dietician Susan presented to me a few years ago when I couldn’t work out how I got kicked out of ketosis.
When your body breaks down protein, it creates amino acids (more here) which are vital to muscle repair and the overall functioning of many of your organs.
But the process also results in some leftover carbs which are then converted to glucose.
My mistake was that I was loading up on protein shakes (reviewed them here) to the extent that wasn’t justified by my exercise routine. As a result, my glucose levels spiked for too many days in a row, and gone was my ketosis.
7. Go Fasting
Going on a fast may actually offer major benefits for you. In a food-obsessed culture like ours, choosing to not consume anything for specific periods of time may have health benefits for your body.
Intermittent fasting is the buzzword these days because it allows the body to flush out toxins, which in turn increases metabolism.
Fasting can help your body get into the ketogenic state faster and make it stay there longer.
Gaining the mental power to "fast" is an altogether different story, however, that we will save for another day.
I wouldn’t recommend this for beginners, but if you alternate your diet throughout the year, then the fastest way to switch back to ketosis is through fasting.
It flushes out all glucose in as little as two days, and ketosis will then kick in. It’s not the most pleasant thing to go through, but it’s very effective.
I also recommend occasional fasting while in ketosis, especially if your weight loss stalls. This can happen when your body becomes too efficient at sourcing energy from dietary fat and stops breaking down fat storage.
A fast for a couple of days will solve that problem.
8. Respect Your Appetite
It's important to listen to your body when going through the ketogenic process. This means that you should only eat when you're hungry and not every single time you get a craving.
It's our obsession with food that causes us to stuff ourselves whenever we feel like it, and you should know by now that it's not healthy to do that.
When you make it a point to eat only when you're really hungry, you're diminishing any food intake that your body doesn't really need.
Most people confuse thirst for hunger, and it's crucial to not make that mistake when you're dieting. Try to drink water first before heading to the fridge to get some snacks.
Training yourself to spot the difference between hunger and thirst will help you induce ketosis faster.
9. Test Ketone Levels and Adjust Your Diet as Needed
Before you make any dietary adjustments, you need to check your ketone levels.
It’s not uncommon to actually be in ketosis and not know. It just doesn’t feel the way you imagined it would, and this can be confusing.
So, how do you test your ketone levels?
The easiest way is to use ketone urine testing strips. In less than a minute, these strips will give you an idea about the current ketone levels.
They aren’t going to give you a 100% exact reading, but most of the branded ones will give you a reading covering 5 ranges.
In the early days, I would recommend taking a reading twice a day and write down the result. Over a couple of days, you should see a gradual improvement along with the excitement of getting an official confirmation that you’ve achieved ketosis.
If the readings don’t improve enough, then you know you need to make some adjustments to your diet and maybe revisit step 3 above.
10. Swap Breakfast For A Run
Most people believe in the old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
However, this has resulted in people eating huge breakfasts, followed by a dinner-sized lunch, and another dinner in the evening.
By breaking with that belief, you can actually make some significant and fast improvements on your journey to ketosis.
Instead of having breakfast first thing in the morning, try going for a short run on an empty stomach.
This will fully remove any remaining glucose in your body and will kickstart ketogenic processes.
Personally, I don’t have a breakfast snack until about 9:30 am even though I get up at 7 am. It takes discipline, but the rewards are huge.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take For The Body To Go Into Ketosis?
It takes between 2 and 10 days for the body to go into ketosis.
This is all dependent on how strictly you implement the diet and your exercise routine. In my intermittent keto diet regime I have managed to get to ketosis in two days, but if you’re starting out, then expect it to take closer to a week.
How Long Does It Take To Go Into Ketosis When Fasting?
It can take as little as two days to get into ketosis when fasting, especially if you do some moderate exercising.
Fasting is definitely one of the quickest methods to get to the state, but it’s not the easiest way. I wouldn’t recommend this for beginners, but if you intermittently switch in and out of keto, then it’s my top recommendation.
How Can I Get Into Ketosis In 3 Days?
You can get into ketosis in three days by combining a fast with two or more moderate exercise routines per day.
This depletes your body of all glucose and glycogen in a short space of time. You can even break the fast slightly with some keto meal replacement shakes, just to make sure you keep your energy levels up.
Can You Go Into Ketosis In 24 Hours?
No, getting to true ketosis is not possible in 24 hours.
The reason is that it will take longer than 24 hours to remove all glucose and glycogen fully.
Many supplements claim that they will get you to ketosis within a day, but they really only create a temporary keto-like state.
How Do You Know If Your Body Is In Ketosis?
The only way to really know if your body is in ketosis is to measure your ketone levels.
This can be done with the help of urine test strips, but if you’re experienced with the diet, then you will notice the common signs like the lifting of brain fog and a sudden boost in physical energy.
Can I Get Into Ketosis By Fasting?
Yes, you can absolutely get into ketosis by fasting.
As a matter of fact, it’s my top recommendation for anyone that goes through intermittent keto throughout the year. It’s fast and limits all the side effects to a couple of days.
Is Dry Mouth A Sign Of Ketosis?
Yes, dry mouth can be a sign of ketosis due to the fact that dehydration can be common.
As you enter ketosis, your body will remove all glycogen storage which is 70% water. As a result, your body will dehydrate, and you’ll need to drink more.
How To Get Back Into Ketosis Quickly After Cheating?
The best way to get back into ketosis quickly after cheating is to do some high-intensity exercise along with fasting.
It’s happened to me many times, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it’s not something you should make a habit of. Some high-intensity training will help remove excess glucose, and fasting will further drain it.
I keep saying the following to newcomers to keto: it takes discipline and dedication to get to ketosis and just as much work to stay there.
But if you come up with a good meal, snack and exercise plan, then it’s not as difficult as it might seem.
With all the above tips you can make it a lot easier on yourself in the initial stages. They don’t take rocket science degrees to understand and implement, and if the impatient me can stick to them, then pretty much anyone can follow them too.