My Experience That Taught Me How To Get Into Ketosis Faster
All of us who eat a low carbohydrate, high fat diet, want to get into a state of ketosis faster. Going from running on sugar-to-fat and getting into ketosis can be a real bummer and difficult. The side effects have broken me many times but has given me a wealth of information in order to cross that bridge.
For instance, you may feel extra tired, moody, and have intense cravings for carb-rich foods like muffins and pancakes (trust me when I say intense!). During the sugar-ketosis transition you may not even lose much weight. When done properly, you may also experience headaches and dizziness. Many, like my wife, also feel lightheaded.
This transition phase doesn’t have to take weeks or months and be an energy sapping pain. In fact, it’s possible to feel energized, and not crave or be overly preoccupied with pancakes and pizza…not too much anyway.
The 5 tips in this article are the best ways I’ve found to eliminate or at least diminish these side effects significantly. They will also help you get into ketosis as fast as possible! Instead of taking 14-30 days, it may only take you 2-4. Give them a try and see for yourself that they can really promote and support your transformation towards using your excess body fat for energy to your brain and body.
I’ve tried and tested all five tips in this article, including many others! The experience has allowed me to isolate those things that work and separated them from those that don’t work so well. Struggling to get into ketosis has broken me many times, in the past. Keyword here is, ‘past!’ So now I’m sharing the wisdom I’ve gained, wisdom that has also been shared with me and worked!
As with any diet, workout, or nutritional supplements, always consult your doctor before trying any of the information in this article.
The 5 Best Ways To Get Into Ketosis Faster
1. Cut Out Carbohydrates To Get Into Ketosis Faster
Until your body is fully adapted to burning fat for energy, you need to really limit the amount of carbohydrates ingested every day to about 20-30 grams total. This means cutting out every type of carbohydrate rich food(bread, pasta, fruit, etc.) and instead eat plenty of fat and moderate amounts of protein.
During this phase, feel free to eat vegetables if you like along with fats from foods like red meat, avocados, olives, coconut oil, butter, and bacon. Don’t worry about how many calories you’re eating. The focus is to get your body into a fat burning state.
Fatty foods are your friend! Getting 70-85% of your daily calories from foods packed with healthy fats like avocados, grass fed butter, ribeye steaks, eggs, and olive oil will get your body into ketosis fast. Eating more fat makes cutting carbs from your diet easier since it keeps you feeling full and diminishes cravings.
2. Take MCT Oil To Get Into Ketosis Faster
This special type of fat almost instantly helps you get into ketosis faster. MCTs – short for medium chain triglycerides – are digested and function differently than the other fats we eat.
Instead of being digested normally, MCTs skip the process, bypass your stomach and are instead sent from your small intestine, to the liver. Here, they help make the ketones that will get you into nutritional ketosis faster.
MCTs are found in many foods. Coconut oil is about 60% medium chain triglycerides. The fats in grass-fed butter, cheese, and milk are each about 7% MCTs.
I prefer to supplement my low carb diet with MCT Oil since it is 100% medium chain triglycerides. They are much better at switching your body from burning sugar to fat because the ingredients in MCT Oil have ingredients that contain only those fats that produce ketones in your liver. So getting into ketosis, is accelerated.
You only need to take 1 tablespoon to kickstart ketosis. You should notice a decrease in your appetite and maybe even an increase in energy after 30 or so minutes. You can take it with or without food.
I take a tablespoon 2-3 times a day. It’s become a habit and have been doing it consistently for a couple of months. It’s made staying in nutritional ketosis easy.
My wife, consistently experiences nausea if she takes MCT Oil without food. She adds 2-3 tablespoons of full fat coconut milk into her coffee with one tablespoon of MCT Oil. It looks like a latte (after being blended) and tastes great. It puts an end to her stomach issues! She uses it everyday before starting work to help with focus.
MCT Oil is tasteless and odorless, and can be consumed right off a spoon, or mixed into a coffee, shake, or smoothie. You can also cook with it or drizzle it onto your favorite foods. Sushi and roasted vegetables are my personal favorites.
Which ever way you decided to supplement with MCT Oil, start with a small serving. It’s rapid digestion may upset your stomach if you take 1 tablespoon initially.
I recommend starting with ½-1 teaspoon a day and slowly increase over a period of days or weeks. This way you get the benefits without having stomach problems.
My wife and I use our own product, MCT Edge. It’s made from 100% pure, pharmaceutical grade medium chain triglycerides from sustainably sourced raw materials.
3. Exercise To Get Into Ketosis Faster
Depending on your customary intake of carbs, your current fitness level, and a few other factors, depleting the stores of all your bodies carbohydrates, can take a little while. The longer it takes to expend the carbs, the longer it is until you’re body relies on fat to function.
A great way to get into ketosis faster is to work out. Doing something every day for 30-60 minutes, can provide a jump start to your metabolism. You can then burn the carbs you’re storing and switch on the fat burning process.
If you find doing your normal crossfit workout difficult or struggling with other intense exercises at this time, you may want to try taking BCAAs and MCT Oil before you start. They both will give you that boost of energy, without interrupting the progression towards getting into ketosis faster.
Creatine monohydrate is also helpful since it gives your muscles an energy supply, while performing short but intense sets, like squats, sprints, and chin ups.
In addition to doing Crossfit or other strength training, taking long walks can be helpful to promote ketosis. The workouts don’t necessarily need to be intense, but getting your heart rate moving is what matters.
I experimented with long walks to get into ketosis faster after hearing low carb and ketogenic diet expert Domnic D’Agastino, PhD recommend it on a podcast. Personally, I enjoy taking a long 2-3 hour walk, especially on days that I may consume large amounts of carbs. It helps me get into, and stay, in nutritional ketosis.
The best part is that it doesn’t add to exhaustion, fatigue, or wear you out the way some workouts can. Plus it’s super convenient, enjoyable and simple to do. Get your headphones,a good podcast, comfortable sneakers, sunglasses and go!
4. Eat Less Protein And More Fat To Get Into Ketosis Faster
A common mistake many of us make, when trying to get our bodies into fat burning mode, is replacing the carbs we’re eating with more protein. Even if you’re eating zero carbohydrates, too much protein can prevent you from getting into nutritional ketosis.
The reason being that our body can make glucose (sugar) from protein through a process called gluconeogenesis. Eating more protein than your body requires, facilitates this process. Be particularly cautious if you’re not exercising, or possibly sitting all day while at work. Instead, maybe reach for some avocado or cheese.
How Much Protein Do I need?
A good rule of thumb is to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of your lean body (muscle) mass. Don’t spend you time calculating every piece of protein you consume. To estimate, use your palm as a reference guide. One palm sized portion of protein (meat, eggs, cheese, fish, etc.) is about 28 grams. This is your approximate daily requirement.
Again, try not to hyper focus on this either. You won’t lose muscle if you eat a little less occasionally. Here’s another benefit of nutritional ketosis: while running on fat, your body doesn’t break down muscle to be used for energy.
5. Try Fasting To Get Into Nutritional Ketosis Faster
Perhaps the best way to turn on your bodies fat burning process, is to fast. It couldn’t be any easier. Just don’t eat, and make sure you drink lots of water. You can take MCTs with grass-fed butter, but otherwise don’t eat for a set period of time.
After about 8 hours, your body begins to enter ketosis. The longer you go between meals, the quicker you become ketogenic.
Don’t worry, you won’t starve to death or lose every pound of muscle you’ve worked to gain. You won’t feel weak or tired either.
Sure, there will be a few uncomfortable moments, but after approximately 12-16 hours or so, you begin to get that second wind of energy. Welcome to the world of being in nutritional ketosis and your body using fat for fuel.
My wife and I use ‘Intermittent fasting’, the official name of this method, to get into and stay in nutritional ketosis. It took some time to adapt to, but we now only eat one meal every day. Consequentially, we fast for about 20 hours between meals. A few times a week we’ll skip our dinner and go 36-40 hours before eating again. It’s like your body getting a reboot … and it feels great!
We stick to our daily Crossfit workouts and work schedules during our fast. Often, I find that my best workouts and most productive work days are during this period. My mental and physical energy are high, focus is crystal clear, anxiety, minimal so that I can go all day, without any mid-day energy crashes.
Here’s another payoff: you get lean much faster and stay that way more easily if you do some type of fasting regularly!
If you currently eat 3 meals a day begin by skipping breakfast or dinner a few days a week. As you become more comfortable increase the amount of time you’re fasting between meals. Aiming for a 16-18 hour fast per day, or doing a couple of 24 hour fasts weekly, are good goals and recommended by many experts like Dr. Jason Fung.
Don’t worry about ending a fast early. Any signs that you are not feeling well, (lightheaded, really low energy, etc.) then end your fast and have something to eat. Keep trying until you feel energized during this period.
Since it helps your body make more ketones, taking MCT oil when you fast will help you get into ketosis faster. It also helps decrease hunger pains and cravings often occuring.
Whether you are an experienced low carb dieter or just getting started, anyone of these tips can help you get into ketosis faster. Following them all consistently will keep you get into a fat burning state and achieve your goals faster!