Starting out, you are probably wondering how long it takes to lose weight with the keto diet and if it is possible to speed up ketosis.
With the following tips and tricks, you can reach ketosis quickly and reliably while minimizing the negative effects of the changes all at the same time!
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body alternatively gets energy from fatty acids instead of carbohydrates or glucose. For this purpose, the fatty acids are converted into ketone bodies. These serve as the main energy source for our cells during ketosis after the glycogen stores have been emptied.
The body stores glucose in muscles and in the liver in the form of glycogen. For example, if a few carbohydrates are added and the glycogen stores are emptied after a hard training session, the body is forced to find an alternative source of energy: it begins to tap fat stores and produces energy.
How Long Does It Take to Get Into Ketosis?
A ketogenic diet has a number of health benefits, including
Weight loss: With ketosis, you will have less hunger and cravings, while you will be full longer.
Reduced risk of disease: Ketogenic nutrition reduces the risk of diseases such as heart disease, type II diabetes and even cancer
More energy: During ketosis you have less blood sugar fluctuations and overall more energy and increased thinking power
But how long does it take to experience these benefits of ketosis?
You do not reach the state of ketosis immediately after 24 hours.
Your body has been burning sugar and carbohydrates as fuel all its life. Therefore, it takes some time to adapt to burning ketones and fat as a new energy source.
How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight with the Keto Diet?
The results vary between individuals due to various factors such as unique body composition and insulin resistance. Nonetheless, in a variety of situations, the keto diet has consistently reduced body fat and therefore, weight.
A study from 2017 examined the effects of a ketogenic diet in combination with crossfit training on body composition and performance during 6 weeks. The study found that people on a low-carbohydrate (LCKD) ketogenic diet significantly reduced body weight, body fat, and fat mass compared to the control group.
Results of people tested after participating in the ketogenic diet for 6 weeks:
- On average, they lost 2.6% body fat, while those in the control group lost no body fat.
- They lost an average of 3.45 kg of weight compared to the control group, in which no weight loss was achieved.
- On average, they lost 2.83 kg of fat mass (the body part consisted exclusively of fat) compared to the control group that did not lose any fat mass.
- The muscle mass was preserved to the same extent as in the control group.
So, results can definitely be seen within the first 6 weeks!
Below you will find our best tips to speed up ketosis so that you can get results faster!
How to Speed up Ketosis
Reduce Carbohydrate Intake
This is the most important step to get into ketosis as quickly as possible.
As a rule, you should limit your carbohydrate intake to 20-50g per day so that your body begins to use fatty acids or ketone bodies as its main source of energy more quickly.
Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, quality meat, nuts, eggs, dairy products and berries. Also, concentrate on natural foods and change your diet step-by-step. Your diet should consist of 45-50% fat, 45-50% protein and <5% carbohydrates (without chronic illness).
Intermittent fasting is a kind of part-time fasting. Over longer periods of the day, little or no food is eaten. This process is repeated weekly. The goal: By omitting meals, the body is tempted to make greater use of existing fat reserves and convert them into energy. So the fat metabolism is trained. Intermittent fasting can therefore be the ideal introduction to ketosis.
How do you go about intermittent fasting? You can fast once a week for a full day or set up daily, smaller periods of fasting (16, 18 or 20 hours). There will be two moderate meals for eight, six or four hours each. Example: a late breakfast, an early dinner.
Check out my post here to read more about intermittent fasting, which also features a free 3-day fasting plan that complements your keto-diet and jump-starts ketosis.
Empty glycogen storage faster by endurance sports
When you exercise, your glycogen stores, i.e. your stored carbohydrates, are used up. Since you no longer provide your body with carbohydrates and the glycogen stores can no longer be replenished, the body is forced to use an alternative energy source. The liver starts producing ketones and you get into ketosis faster.
So you can either do a longer and less intensive training session, such as a one-hour casual walk, or try High Intensity Training. HIT training sessions are “short and crisp” and very effective.
Tip: Exercise on an empty stomach can increase the effect so that you get into ketosis even faster.
Consume more quality fats
You should eat at least 60% of high quality fats of animals and vegetable origin, so that ketosis is reached faster. Ketone bodies are produced from fat, therefore, eating fats is an important part of getting into ketosis.
Some good sources of fat are: olive oil, butter, avocado, coconut oil, pork fat, etc.
The quality and storage of food is always important. Only buy oils in dark bottles, keep the bottles tightly closed and make sure they are cold pressed and of organic quality.
Most oils are sensitive to light and oxygen, and therefore must be stored accordingly and consumed relatively quickly. Not so good quality oils and rancid oils will not benefit you, and may even harm you.
Coconut oil and MCT oils
Coconut oil contains something called medium-chain Triglycerides (MCTs). These are absorbed by the body faster and reach the liver, where they are rapidly converted into ketone bodies. Therefore, coconut oil is even used to increase the ketone levels of Alzheimer’s patients and patients with other medical conditions.
Usage and dosage of coconut oil
Coconut oil can be used for frying, baking, and even in coffee. It is important that you first only take about a teaspoon of coconut oil in the beginning, and slowly increase the daily intake to a maximum of 3-4 teaspoons. Too much at once can affect your digestion at the beginning, so you should allow your body to get used to the oil.
When Is the Body in Ketosis?
It usually takes about 10-30 days for the body to be completely ketogen-adapted.
You can measure to check if you are in ketosis by capturing the concentration levels of ketones in your blood, urine, or breath, to control your results and further adjust your diet if necessary to optimize ketosis.
There are three types of ketone bodies that can be measured:
- Acetone in breath
- 3-Hydroxybutanoic acid, similar to a blood glucose test
- Acetoacetic acid in urine, with special test strips
You can check out this post to learn more about measuring ketone levels.
Every person has different needs and therefore reaches ketosis at different times. It usually takes 10-30 days until the metabolism is changed or the peak of ketosis is reached.
The most important tips to achieve ketosis quickly, again at a glance:
- Avoid carbohydrates if possible, 50g/day
- Exercise to empty glycogen stores
- Consume high quality fats, and MCT oils, to stimulate ketone body formation
- Check ketone levels to adjust diet if necessary to optimize results
At the beginning of the keto diet, the body must “learn” to use the ketone bodies optimally–this is a lengthy process but the results are worthwhile. Once fat burning is optimized and the mitochondria of the cell and the cardiovascular system are adjusted, you will feel the many health benefits and the energy boost of the ketogenic diet–ketones provide the brain with faster energy than glucose! Your discipline will definitely be rewarded.