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How Long Does It Take to Get Into Ketosis?

<article> <section> <p>Ketosis is the body’s “sweet spot” for burning fat as the primary fuel source, feeling energized, and losing weight quickly. For most people, the goal is to get into ketosis as quickly as possible. But achieving ketosis―and the time it takes to do so―comes down to several different things.</p> <p>For example, how long have you been following a low-carb nutritional approach like the keto diet? How many carbs are you eating per day? And are you exercising?</p> <p>It takes time for the body to switch from burning glycogen (sugars) to burning fat depending on these variables. And because everyone’s body is a little different, it might take you longer than someone else who eats the exact same foods.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" style="max-width:73%;" class="img-fluid" alt="sand-timer"> </picture> <p>In this guide, we’ll answer the question: <i>“How long does it take to go into ketosis?”</i></p> <p>This way, you’ll know what―and how long―it takes to become a fat-burning machine.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What is the Ketogenic Diet?</header> <p>Perhaps the most effective way to get into ketosis is by using the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet (keto diet) is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb eating approach. It recommends 5 percent or less of your daily calories come from carbs or less than fifty grams.</p> <p>When it comes to <i>what</i> you’ll eat on the ketogenic diet, there is actually a lot of variety. </p> <p>You’ll liberally consume fats like healthy oils (coconut, olive oil), full-fat dairy like butter or dairy, nuts and seeds like almonds or walnuts, and <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">keto superfoods</a> like avocado. Quality proteins like seafood, meat, and poultry are also staples of the diet. </p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="vegetables-in-square"> </picture> <p>While you can’t eat anything too high in carbohydrates or sugar, the keto diet promotes lots of green leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale, other veggies like cauliflower, zucchini, and cabbage, and, occasionally, low-glycemic fruit like blueberries.</p> <p>Combined with exercise or even a short fast, the easiest way to get into ketosis is to follow the keto diet.<sup>1</sup></p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>And Now, What <i>Exactly</i> is Ketosis?</header> <p>Ketosis is a normal metabolic process where your body switches to fat as its primary fuel source. When there aren’t enough stored carbohydrates, the body burns fat instead. To do this, it uses something called ketones<sup>2</sup>.</p> <p>Ketones are chemicals made in your liver. They are produced when your body notices there isn’t enough insulin in your blood to turn sugar into energy. </p> <p>If that’s confusing, just think of ketones as a natural response of your body to use fat as fuel because you don’t have enough stored glycogen. Your liver turns fat into ketones and sends that to your muscles and other tissues for fuel instead.</p> <p>When your body is running off ketones as a fuel source, this is called <i>ketosis</i>. Ketosis is a highly desirable state for anyone looking to lose weight as you don’t have to actually “do anything” additional such as exercise to burn off excess stores of fat. Your body becomes, quite literally, a fat-burning machine.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>How Long Does It Take to Get into Ketosis?</header> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" style="max-width:71%;" class="img-fluid" alt="timer-on-table"> </picture> <p>If you didn’t already know what ketosis was, you’re probably thinking, <i>“Whoa! How do I get me some of that?”</i> </p> <p>That’s a pretty common thought these days. As the results of being in a state of ketosis become more widely known in health and fitness communities, people are really becoming interested in achieving this state for themselves. Simply put, it’s proven to help people lose a lot of weight.</p> <p>But <i>how long</i> does it take to get in ketosis? And what does one have to do to get there, especially if they’ve never followed the keto diet before? Let’s take a look.</p> <div class="sub-head">The Short Answer</div> <p>For someone just starting out with the ketogenic diet, it can take between three to seven days before you start achieving ketosis. It might even take up to ten days. It depends on a few variables, which we’ll look at in the keys below.</p> <p>To accelerate the process of getting into ketosis, you may consider upping your fat intake, fasting, or exercising to deplete your body’s stores of glycogen quicker<sup>1</sup>.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>3 Tips to Get You Into Ketosis Faster</header> <div class="sub-head"># 1. Eat 20–50 grams of carbs per day </div> <p>If you’ve never used the keto diet before, this is the obvious first step. For at least your first few days on the diet, limit your carbohydrate intake to between twenty to fifty grams of carbs. This range seems to be especially efficient at helping people achieve ketosis faster<sup>4</sup>.</p> <div class="sub-head"># 2. Try Intermittent Fasting</div> <p>To get the blood ketones to start appearing faster, consider, well...<i>fasting</i>. </p> <p>Fasting means a predetermined or scheduled allotment of time where you simply don’t eat. If you’re aiming to achieve ketosis as fast as you can, this would obviously help deplete the body of stored glycogen.</p> <p>For a total beginner, a simple sixteen-hour fast is plenty. You don’t want to go a whole day without eating right away. And if sixteen hours seems like a long time, do it overnight. Stop eating at 8 p.m., then plan to have your next meal at noon the next day.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" style="max-width:71%;" class="img-fluid" alt="running-stairs"> </picture> <div class="sub-head"># 3. Exercise</div> <p>It stands to reason that some extra physical activity will help deplete the body of its stored energy quicker. A long walk, brisk run, or some other type of endurance activity is sure to offer a “boost” alongside your keto diet. </p> <p>If you’ve never been in ketosis before, you may want to stick with a few long walks instead of hitting the gym or running the hills. At first, it may feel strange to exercise as your body moves towards burning fat for energy, and you may notice a decrease in performance.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>How do you know when your body is in ketosis?</header> <p>In this section, we’ll talk about two ways you’ll know if you’re in ketosis. The truth is, you won’t ever actually <i>know</i> without testing your blood. But there are some signals your body gives off when the state is achieved.</p> <div class="sub-head">Testing Ketones</div> <p>Here’s the short version of testing for ketosis. Ketones are found in both blood and urine. There are plenty of home solutions available that allow you to actually test if the body is running off ketones. This ketone measuring guide<sup>6</sup> explains more.</p> <p>You can find ketone test strips, blood measuring kits, and more with a simple Google search. It can be a complicated topic depending on your current health and if you are dealing with something like Type 2 diabetes. </p> <p>Testing ketones in and of itself requires its own guide, so for now, we’ll keep it to that.</p> <div class="sub-head">Signs You’re in Ketosis</div> <p>Short of actual testing strips or a measurement tool, it can be tough to know you’re in ketosis. Nevertheless, there are some telltale signs and symptoms of being in ketosis<sup>5</sup>. </p> <p>Some of the signs you are in ketosis include increased focus or energy (because you’re no longer in a sugar crash), not feeling hungry, and weight loss.</p> <p>Unfortunately, not all of the signs are as rosy or amazing-sounding as “body fat is melting off of you.” There are some less exciting side effects, too.</p> <p>For example, bad breath is a very common symptom of being in a state of ketosis. So too are fatigue and decreased performance, though in the long-term, that tends to go away. Finally, if you experience digestive issues or can’t sleep, that’s also fairly common when your body is adjusting.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>The Bottom Line</header> <p>Just know that while everyone’s body is a little different, the keto diet combined with a little exercise can help you get into ketosis faster.</p> <p>For most people, it takes between three to seven days to achieve ketosis but could take up to ten days. To accelerate the process, you might consider fasting, limiting carbs to as low as twenty grams per day, and going for a few long walks.</p> <p>Remember that the ketogenic diet and ketosis is meant to be a lifestyle, not something you jump in and out of. Even if it takes the full ten days before you feel like a fat-burning machine, it’s better than getting there quickly and bouncing out of it within a day or two.</p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Increase Your Healthy Fat Intake</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="">What Are Ketones and Their Tests?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="">Ramp up Your Physical Activity</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="">Effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on appetite</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="">10 Signs and Symptoms That You're in Ketosis</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="">How to Test Your Blood With a Home Ketone Meter</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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