Our major source of energy is glucose. All thanks to glucose, we can carry on with our daily activities. But there are times that our body would use ketones as the source of energy. There’s a diet that people follow that’s known as a ketogenic diet. The goal of this diet plan is to switch completely from glucose as a source of energy to ketone. One question that people on this diet ask is how long does it take to get to ketosis. Just keep reading if you want to find out the answer to that question.
A ketogenic diet is a popular low-carb diet we have now. This diet would help you lose weight and helps increase the amount of HDL and reduces the risk of diabetes. One issue though, is that entering ketosis differ in different people. Some people find it hard to enter ketosis. We will have a look at possible reasons later on.
How long does it take to enter ketosis?
The purpose of a ketogenic diet is for your body to enter into ketosis. It is a process where fat molecules are converted to ketones. So when your body is into ketosis, your main source of energy will no longer be glucose but instead ketones.
So whenever we eat, we’re consuming a lot of glucose, and what we call a fed state. The excess glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen. That’s why even though you’ve not eaten for hours, you still have a bit of energy.
But there’s a state you call the fasting state. In this state, there is no glucose intake. So the glycogen stored will now be the source of energy. If this fasting state persists for a long time, then your body would switch to ketosis. The source of energy would now be ketone.
A ketogenic diet aims to set your body in the fasting state even though you’re eating. That’s because your glucose consumption is very little. With that, your body would switch to ketosis.
It would take 2-4 days if you consume about 20-50 grams of carbs each day. But for some people, it could take a week, or even a month before the body switches. There are many reasons why this could be the case. It could be a result of previous diet, exercise, age, and even metabolism.
For instance, some people consumed a very high carb diet before. And because of this, they have abundant glycogen in the liver. So even when the switch to a low carb diet, the body would still use the glycogen store. While for some, it could just be as a result of metabolism.
Another reason is eating so much protein. Taking a lot of protein when you’re on a ketogenic diet would make entering ketosis a lot harder. That’s because there’s a process called gluconeogenesis. In this process, glucose is produced from non-carbohydrate carbon sources. And one example of that is amino acids, which are gotten from the break down of proteins.
Lifestyle is another factor that could cause a delay in your body entering ketosis. For instance, exercise consumes a lot of glucose in the body. So if you exercise more entering ketosis would be faster.
How can you know when you enter ketosis?
Usually, when your body starts the transitioning process, you would experience some symptoms. It’s referred to as keto flu. The symptoms are nausea, increased thirst, headaches, bad breath, and also fatigue.
With these symptoms, it’s a clue that you’re entering ketosis. But the best way to know is to measure your ketone levels directly.
There are three types of ketones. They are:
- Acetone. You can measure any of these three through your urine, blood, or breath.
You can measure the level of acetoacetate using a ketone urine strip. The strip color would be between pink to purple. If the color is darker, that means the level of acetoacetate is high.
You can also use a ketone breath meter to measure the amount of acetone in your breath. The meter would show you a color. With that, you can know just how high your ketone level is.
Tips on how to enter ketosis faster
As mentioned earlier some people find it hard to enter ketosis. And we’ve already answered that golden question “how long does it take to enter ketosis?” So the next question is what can you do? We have a list of a few things you can do.
- Eat 20-50 grams of carbs a day: Do not go beyond this amount for carbohydrates. That’s because the more carbs you consume, the lesser the chances of entering ketosis.
- Exercise more: Exercise, as you know, consumes a lot of glucose. So if you exercise well enough, your body would consume all the stored glucose faster. And with that, you can enter ketosis faster.
- Try fasting: Short term fasts would do so that our body would be able to switch to using ketones as a source of energy.
- Increase fat intake: When we say, this we mean high-quality fats. Take more of nuts, eggs, avocado, meat, coconut oil, and even fatty fish.
A ketogenic diet is a good way to lose weight and stay healthy. Following the diet is not enough, you also need to fully understand how it works. Thankfully, you have an answer to your question “how long does it take to get to ketosis”.