The keto diet is one of the most popular diet plans in the world and has been gaining more participants every year as people worldwide see incredible results like never before.
Although many people have heard about it, not nearly as many know what the keto diet is and why it’s called the keto diet in the first place.
It isn’t just some clever name like many other diet fads. It refers to a metabolic state in the body known as ketosis.
That’s where it gets its name and helps to explain what’s going on while you’re on the keto diet.
If you’re a beginner or want to learn more about ketosis, how long to get into ketosis, and the benefits and drawbacks of the keto diet, we have the answers for you.
What Ketosis Is
Ketosis is especially important for those either already on the keto diet or thinking about going on the keto diet.
If this includes you, you must understand what you’re body is going through while you are on the diet.
You don’t want to be doing anything to your body that you don’t fully understand.
So what is ketosis? Ketosis is a natural state of the metabolism in which the body uses fat for energy rather than carbohydrates.
Carbs are what provide glucose or sugar that your body typically uses for energy.
Once your body starts to run low on this glucose, it will seek the liver’s help to make more glucose from amino acids.
The liver, though, won’t make nearly enough to provide sufficient energy to the brain.
Since the brain needs a constant supply of energy to continue running, the body turns to the fat, both from the food you eat and your body fat, as a secondary source of energy.
Your liver uses the fat in your body to go into hyperdrive in terms of producing ketones.
Ketones are produced during normal diets, but not nearly at the same rate as when your body is short on glucose levels.
After a while of your body producing all of these extra ketones, it will eventually get to a point where your body has officially entered ketosis.
Here are some of the top benefits of the keto diet and ketosis:
- Weight Loss
- Good for Sedentary Lives
- Energy Storage
Losing weight is the main reason people want to enter ketosis, as it promotes weight loss. Since while in ketosis, the body uses fat as its main source of energy, you will be burning your body fat considerably more than when you aren’t in ketosis.
It’s just a fact. Most people lead lives that involve spending a lot of time sitting at a desk in the office, sitting while driving a vehicle, or sitting down and relaxing in the evening; not moving much.
It’s good not to have excess carbs in the body during these times, which ketosis helps to limit.
While on a keto diet, you feel full longer than when you’re not in ketosis, which is good since it keeps you from overeating in between meals.
Your body can store more energy in fat than in carbs. While in ketosis, you can have more energy stored, which can potentially increase exercise performance.
Some of the things to keep in mind when planning to go into ketosis are:
- Low Sugar Level
When you start getting into ketosis, you may feel sluggish or like you’re in a fog.
That is because your brain is unable to get the sugar it needs from the carbs, so it can be negatively affected.
This occurs commonly when cycling in and out of ketosis since your body goes back and forth between regular operation and ketosis as the carb levels spike and crash over and over.
This may occur while on any diet, but especially one with such strict eating requirements.
As you starve your body of excess carbs, it may crave the very thing that you want it to get rid of: carbs.
How Long to Get Into Ketosis
Answering the question of how long it takes for your body to enter into the state of ketosis, it depends on how you’re entering ketosis, to begin with.
There are multiple ways to safely and effectively enter ketosis, so let’s take a look at the following five methods:
1. Carb Reduction
The most common way that people will work on entering ketosis is to cut back on the number of carbs that they eat daily.
Since ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when your body runs out of carbs to extract energy from, it only makes sense that fewer carbs will lead to entering ketosis.
You must eat less than 50 grams of carbs per day, but often, many people will need to eat less than 20 grams of carbs daily so that their bodies will enter ketosis.
It will generally take from two to four days to enter ketosis once the body is starved of excess carbs.
2. Increased Fat Intake
Similar to the reasons why eating fewer carbs helps to enter ketosis, you also need to eat more fat.
It may seem counterintuitive to eat more fat when you’re trying to begin a healthy diet, but your body needs more fat during ketosis, so it’s necessary to eat more.
The kicker is eating healthy fat with every meal, not just eating whatever you want that’s high in fat.
3. Intermittent Fasting
Fasting is another quick way to get your body to enter into ketosis quickly.
Intermittent fasting in this sense means to fast between 16 and 18 hours, which will urge your body to enter into ketosis to start consuming the fat.
This can easily be done by skipping breakfast or skipping dinner and letting your body do what it needs to do.
Keep in mind that while you’re in the process of transitioning into ketosis, you will likely have far less energy than you normally do, so you may not want to exercise.
Don’t think that you need to run a marathon or lift as much as you can; just go for a leisurely bike ride or take the dog on a walk.
It will help your body enter ketosis more quickly as you use up the rest of the excess carbs during energy production.
5. Using Coconut Oil
Anytime you’re cooking and want to make your meal healthier, you should use coconut oil instead of regular cooking oil.
Coconut oil is a natural fat that stays together at high heat, making it perfect for cooking.
It also contains fatty acids that boost the production of ketones in your body and helps trigger your body into entering ketosis more quickly.
As you can see, there are quite a few ways to help your body get into ketosis more quickly and effectively.
With any of the methods above, especially when used effectively in conjunction with one another, you should be able to enter ketosis rather quickly in a few days.
Getting Out of Ketosis
As you may expect, getting out of ketosis is a simpler process than getting in.
All you really need to do is start eating more than 50 grams of carbs per day, and your body will naturally start using the glucose from the carbs to produce energy rather than the fat.
That is because producing glucose from energy is the natural and preferred method of producing energy in the human body.
Quickly after you start eating more carbs again, you will no longer be in the state of ketosis; hence, it’s harder to remain in ketosis than it is to get out of ketosis.
So if you have a cheat day and have a bunch of carbs, you may need to work a little harder to get back into ketosis the next day.
The good thing is getting right back into ketosis is easier than the first time, and should only take about 24 hours or so once you start starving the body of the excess carbohydrates it uses to produce energy once again.
A Summary on the Basics of Ketosis
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body derives energy from fat rather than from carbohydrates.
It is where the popular “keto diet” is derived from, in which participants eat fewer carbs and more fats.
In terms of how long to get into ketosis, after spending about two to four days of eating less than 50 grams of carbs, your body will transition into a state of ketosis.
Keto has many benefits, including weight loss, feeling full, and the potential for storing more energy in fat when compared to carbs.
However, it isn’t free of negative effects. You may feel tired, your cognitive function may suffer, and you will undoubtedly have cravings for some of the foods you miss.
The good thing is that there are keto-friendly comfort foods that you can consume to satisfy your cravings.
It’s a difficult diet to stay disciplined on, and it’s often harder to keep your body in ketosis than it is for your body to leave ketosis. But keep up the hard work, and you’ll reach your goals!