As the body breaks fat down, acids called ketones begin to build up in the blood. These ketones then leave the body in the urine. The presence of ketones in the blood and urine indicates that a person has entered ketosis.
Ketosis can help a person lose unwanted fat, as the body starts to break down their fat stores instead of relying on carbohydrates for energy. In addition, some research suggests that ketosis can help suppress a person's appetite, which can also promote weight loss.
Achieving a state of ketosis is not always easy. Many people wishing to reach ketosis adhere to the ketogenic diet. In this article, we look at seven ways to get into ketosis fast. We also look at the possible risks of putting the body into this metabolic state.
7 tips to get into ketosis
Ways to get the body into ketosis include:
1. Increasing physical activity
A person can get into ketosis by increasing physical activity.
The more energy that a person uses during the day, the more food they need to eat for fuel.
Exercise helps a person deplete the glycogen stores in their body. In most cases, the glycogen stores become replenished when a person eats carbs. If a person is on a low-carb diet, they will not be replenishing their glycogen stores.
It can take some time for the body to learn to use fat stores instead of glycogen. A person may experience fatigue as their body adjusts.
2. Significantly reducing carbohydrate intake
Ketosis occurs when a lack of carbohydrate forces the body to use fat as its primary energy source instead of sugar.
A person looking to reach ketosis, whether for weight loss, to reduce the risk of heart disease, or to maintain and control blood sugar levels, should aim to reduce their carb consumption to 20 grams (g) per day or less.
However, this is not a set number. Some people may be able to eat more carbohydrate and still get into a state of ketosis, while others will need to eat less.
3. Fasting for short periods
Fasting, or going without food, can help a person achieve a state of ketosis. Many people can actually go into ketosis between meals.
In some controlled cases, a doctor may recommend a longer fasting period of between 24 and 48 hours. A person should speak to their doctor before deciding to fast for longer than a few hours at a time.
Fat fasting is an alternative form of fasting. Fat fasting involves significantly reducing calorie intake and eating a diet consisting almost entirely of fat for no more than 2 or 3 days.
Early research indicated that this might have a positive effect on weight loss. However, fat fasting is difficult to maintain and may not be the best option for most people.
Very small sample sizes and the lack of more robust evidence mean that people should be cautious about taking this approach.
4. Increasing healthful fat intake
As carbohydrate intake decreases, most people replace the loss of carbohydrates with an increase in healthful fats. Some fats that a person can eat include:
- coconut oil
- olive oil
- avocados and avocado oil
- flaxseed oil
However, for people looking to lose weight, it is important to keep the total calorie count in mind as well. Eating too many calories in a day can make it harder to lose weight.
5. Testing ketone levels
One method that can help a person achieve a state of ketosis is monitoring the levels of ketones in the body. There are several tests available for this, including:
Using one or more of these tests can help a person track their progress, allowing them to make educated adjustments to their diet.
Ketone test strips are available to purchase online.
6. Maintaining a high protein intake
A high protein intake can help achieve ketosis.
It is vital to eat adequate amounts of protein throughout the day when trying to achieve ketosis. Protein provides two essential health benefits when a person is trying to lose weight:
- helping maintain muscle mass
- providing amino acids to the liver so that it can continue normal functioning
If protein intake is not adequate, a person may experience a loss in muscle mass.
7. Consuming more coconut oil
Coconut oil may help a person reach or maintain a state of ketosis.
Coconut oil contains fats called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. The body can absorb MCTs quickly and easily. It then sends these fats directly to the liver, which turns them into either ketones or energy.
Ketosis is a naturally occurring metabolic state that can often occur inadvertently between meals.
There are several potential reasons why a person may wish to enter a state of ketosis, some of the most common being weight loss or fat reduction, managing type 2 diabetes, and promoting heart health.
However, ketosis is not safe for everyone. A person should not remain in a state of ketosis for prolonged periods as they could experience adverse effects. People with type 1 diabetes should avoid being in ketosis because they have a higher risk of developing ketoacidosis, which is a potentially life-threatening situation.
Anyone considering adopting a ketogenic diet should speak to a doctor first.
Ketosis is a natural state for the body to be in from time to time. When it occurs, the body burns its fat reserves as energy.
Maintaining a state of ketosis for short periods involves minimal risk. However, people with type 1 diabetes should avoid ketosis due to an increased risk of complications.
People should also avoid being in ketosis long-term, as they may experience fatigue and nutritional deficiencies.
Making several dietary and lifestyle changes, including eating more healthful fats and measuring ketone levels, can help a person get into ketosis faster.