Keto Induction Phase
A Complete Guide on How To Survive It

Keto Induction

Ketosis occurs when the body transitions from using carbohydrates for fuel to using fats for fuel. This is a natural process that anyone who has gone through a prolonged fast or who has been deprived of proper nourishment for extended periods of time has experienced. It’s our body’s backup system.

What is Keto Induction?

The low-carb diet forces the body to shift to this backup system by depriving it of carbohydrates. The process of shifting is known as keto induction. How long the process of keto induction takes will vary a bit from person to person. On average it takes about two weeks with time scales ranging from a few days to as much as a month or more. Typically, if a person is attempting to get back to a state of ketosis after carb binging for a short time induction will probably only take a few days. But if you are starting from scratch, you should expect it to make a couple of weeks. 

What to Expect During the Phase:

  • Day 1 - The average person setting off on the keto diet induction process is not likely to experience any particularly notable changes on the first day. That’s because they still have the last load of carbs they ate in their system as well as some carb reserves. The body will need to exhaust all these carb resources before you start to feel anything. So, day one typically amounts to the calm before the storm.
man enjoying eating
  • During this first day, you are also going to start replacing the carbs in your diet with fats. But not just any old fat will do. You want natural fats. The kind found in meat, nuts, butter, lard, and coconut oil. Just be careful from the get-go with protein because your body will convert excess protein into glucose (i.e., carbs) via gluconeogenesis. And keep in mind that you should still consume between 10 and 20 grams of carbs per day. But not more. This is in contrast to the 150+ grams that the average person consumes per day.
  • Day 2 - The second day of keto induction is when you are most likely to start feeling that something is up. Your body is now low on reserve carbs and is beginning to look for alternatives, although it has not yet started to burn fat. Before it does so, it sends you all kinds of unpleasant signals that it wants you to eat some carbs, now. You, however, eat the approved fats, drink plenty of water and stick to your guns.  
  • Day 3 - Day 3 is often the worst day of the keto induction phase calendar. You're out of carbs, and your body is feeling drained and powerless. It's screaming "How could you do this to me?!" You're going to feel like you're starving, but as long as you continue to eat your meat, nuts, coconut oil, hard cheeses and more, you're going to come out the other side in fine shape. And don't forget the water, lots of water. Day 3 is what the saying "It's always darkest before the dawn" is all about.
  • Day 4 - For the average person, day 4 is when they begin to emerge from the darkness into the dawn. By this time your body has thrown in the towel on waiting for a load of carbohydrates to come to the rescue and is turning to lipids, commonly known as fats, instead. Some people make the mistake of thinking everything's okay now and begin to increase their carb intake. If you do that you'll be right back where you started and all that discomfort you endured on days, 2 and three will have been for naught. Keep your carb intake under 20 grams and make that the new norm.
man in a hoody
  • 2 Weeks and Beyond - If you’ve been scrupulous in your adherence to a proper diet and have resisted the urge to splurge on carbs you should be feeling better than you have in years by the end of the second week of keto induction. You’ll feel lighter, mentally sharper, less bloated and more alert. There’s also a good chance your insulin levels have stabilized and everything from skin conditions to bowel inflammation is responding positively.

​​​​​​The keto induction phase is also an excellent time to think about supplementing your diet with one or more of the following:

taking a vitamin
  • Multivitamins - Any time you make a significant change in your food intake, you run the risk of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Taking a multivitamin can help smooth the keto induction process and ensure you don’t wind up malnourished in some fundamental way. You can check out our favorite one here.
  • L-Carnitine - L-carnitine is known to enhance your body’s ability to burn fat and will help you make the most of your new diet. There are many products out there today but this one stood out for us.
  • L-Glutamine - This is an amino acid that helps with protein synthesis. As such it’s essential to muscle building. That’s important for people who are using the low-carb diet not only to lose weight but to get in better all-around shape as well. 
  • Digestive enzymes - Some people find that when they transition to the low-carb diet (learn more), they have a hard time digesting all the fats. As a result, they experience stomach cramps or a gassy feeling as the excess fats sit in their gut rotting instead of being absorbed. An excellent L-glutamine supplement (we recommend) will often be enough to compensate for digestive inefficiencies.
  • Magnesium - Magnesium is another supplement (see our recommended product) that will help you break down food more efficiently. And that is an essential part of undergoing successful keto induction. When coupled with an L-glutamine supplement the two should keep a watchful eye on your digestive tract and head off potential complications before they arise.


The keto diet induction process is one you don’t want to have to go through repeatedly if you don’t have to. If you are careful about food intake during every keto induction phase, you should come out the other side in a matter of weeks feeling like a new person, or at least the same person with a considerably younger feeling, more vigorous body.

About the Author

Ryan is a personal trainer, athlete, health enthusiast, and entrepreneur. He is researching and expanding his knowledge about the ketogenic diet. He spends most of his time writing content about his new learnings of the ketogenic diet.