How To Get Into Ketosis (Quickly)

Many people struggle get into ketosis but once you know the basics it’s possible to get into ketosis very quickly and easily.

23-Mar 2022, by Lee Sandwith

Getting Into Ketosis

If you’re following our articles and have been through our Keto 101 series on our YouTube channel you’ll now know pretty much all you need to know on the keto basics. But many people struggle get into ketosis so in this article we’re going to get back to basics and cover off some of the essentials.

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a metabolic state which we can think of ketosis as a secondary backup energy system that kicks in when glucose levels are depleted.

When there's no glucose available for fuel, the body accesses its fat stores and it breaks them down into fatty acids in the liver.

This process, technically referred to as “nutritional ketosis”, produces molecules called ketone bodies which are used for the body for fuel.

The three main ketone bodies are acetoacetate, acetone and beta-hydroxybutyrate.

From a metabolic standpoint, you're classed as being in the state of ketosis if your blood levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate are above 0.5 millimoles per litre.

The three main ketone bodies are acetoacetate, acetone and beta-hydroxybutyrate.

How to get into Ketosis

There are four ways that you can get into ketosis:

Fasting

Fasting is the most direct and usually the quickest way to get into ketosis and one of the reasons why fasting goes hand in hand with the keto lifestyle.

If you do intermittent fasting, or you do a longer fasts, you're guaranteed to get into ketosis.

If you’re struggling to kick start ketosis, fasting is a great option.

Important note! You shouldn’t take fasting too lightly as it doesn’t come without its dangers. If you need support from a coach, check out this page where you can book a free consultation.

Vigorous exercise

Doing vigorous exercise, and especially at endurance level, will almost guarantee that you get into ketosis.

This is especially true if you're also combining your exercise with fasting, but only if you’re not re-fuelling mid-workout with high carb foods, such as energy gels, which will most probably keep you out of ketosis.

Supplements

Taking ketone supplements will also temporarily get you into ketosis.

A good quality ketone supplement usually contains around 6-12g BhB per serving and it will give you a boost for a few hours.
I don’t recommend exogenous ketones for most people, though, as increasing ketone levels in your blood alone won’t help you lose weight.

Ketone supplements, however, do have their place and I have personally experimented with them extensively in the past.

They are specifically great as they:

  • Provide a mental boost
  • Curb appetite
  • Work as a great pre-work out

If you do intend to use them, make sure that you use them as a supplement to a high-quality diet. They are classed as a “supplement” for a reason.

Diet (Nutritional Ketosis)

Driving ketosis through diet is obviously what we're most interested in, i.e. a keto diet.

The process is called “nutritional ketosis” and it is achieved by keeping carbohydrates extremely low in the diet.

To achieve nutritional ketosis, the most basic requirement is to remove high carbohydrate foods from the diet.

This specifically pertains to things like bread, pasta, rice, anything that includes sugar, corn, milk.

This is a very common food pyramid that you might find on the Internet.

Designing Your Keto Diet

In its simplest form, a keto diet comprises lower carbohydrates, higher fat foods with an appropriate amount of protein depending on your body size and health goals.

A good, wholefoods based keto diet is typically based around keto staples such as meat and fish, cheese, dairy, nuts and high-quality fats like butter and oils and ghee.

These staples provide your main keto macronutrient foundations: fat and protein.

In terms of macronutrient targets, these vary from person to person but broadly you're looking for:

  • Around 5-10 per cent carbs
  • 20-25 per cent protein (I recommend 1g per kg body weight minimum)
  • And the rest coming from fat, which is usually about 70-80 per cent.

You can, and should, also include low carb vegetables like lettuce, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, eggplant, and lower carb berries such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.

These categories cover your body’s micronutrient requirements: vitamins and minerals.

If you’re more of a video learner, you might prefer to check out our video on it where we cover things off in a bit more detail.

About the Author

Lee Sandwith holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Nutrition and is a registered nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition. You can book a free 30 minute consultation with Lee here.

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Images courtesy of osmosis.org, and shutterstock.

Lee Sandwith

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