What Is the Keto Diet?
You’ve probably heard of the keto diet before – it’s been all over the in health magazines and in Instagram posts over the past few years. But what is it? And how do we even know how effective it is?
As the name suggests ‘The Keto Diet’ is a diet that is ketogenic and pushes your body into a state of ketosis which means the body starts to use its body fat as energy instead of waiting for you to eat carbs. This is called ketosis.
For example, if you don’t eat carbs for quite a long time, your body will quickly enter ketosis and start to eat your fat. This diet often takes three days to start working within your body. During this food regime you should consume most of your calories from fat, then some protein and absolutely almost none of it should be from carbs. You can also achieve a ketosis state from eating very few calories such as between 600-800.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing how you can get into ketosis as quickly as possible. So you’ll be looking great in your LBD by the weekend!
Why Use a Ketogenic Diet
This may sound like an amazing solution for those struggling to keep the weight off. This diet can sound even better when you consider the following other benefits, and the best part is there isn’t even that many risks to the keto diet.
Benefits of Keto
- Increased energy
- Reduced hunger
Risks of Keto
- Hinders people with health conditions already such as diabetes or heart conditions
- Is hard to maintain
The keto diet is meant to be amazingly beneficial for those with health conditions including metabolic syndrome, acne, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease, PCOS and even those will diabetes.
This diet can also help such illnesses due to its emphasis on healthy food intake as well as the reduction of carbs and weight. Of course, you should always seek medical advice if you have multiple health conditions, or are just worried about this diet change in general.
How to Get Into a Keto Diet
At its core, most experts suggest there are 7 effective ways to get into ketosis:
Firstly you should reduce your carb intake.
Then include more coconut oil.
You should also make sure you’re adding in more workouts – this isn’t an excuse to eat loads of fat and not work out.
Start including other healthy fats – like avocados.
Try fasting – this is completely dependent on the person, and you should always be careful when fasting.
Make sure you’re still taking in enough protein.
Now you’ll be able to test your ketone levels and adjust your diet from there.
A Typical Keto Meal Plan
To help you understand what you should be eating on a day to day basis with a keto diet read the following:
Breakfast: Bacon & eggs – no bread! You should also try and avoid sausages there are too many carbs in them.
You could also have cooked chicken or fish.
Lunch: Lettuce salad with a protein source – you should avoid dressings unless they’re sugar-free.
Dinner: Have a bulkier lettuce salad with another protein source.
What vegetables to avoid on Keto
It’s best to avoid starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn/sweetcorn and beets.
How Can You Start Ketosis
Experts and those who’ve tried this before recommend that it takes around three days to reach ketosis if you eat a keto diet. A keto diet is a mixture of keto style meals and a dedicated day to fasting. Although some people take to the diet quicker, we’d say it takes 1-3 days to get into ketosis.
What Do You Feel When You’re Going Through Ketosis
At first, when going through ketosis, you may feel somewhat fatigued. You’ll feel a lack of energy as this is your body getting used to making energy from your fat instead of from carbohydrates. Luckily, this fatigue is only short term, as once your body has adjusted to your new diet it will know how to give you a more sustained energy release. After this initial change in your energy pattern, you will find that there are 9 other obvious symptoms to a keto diet.
Firstly, the most obvious and sought after of the keto diet is weight-loss! If you’re cutting the carbs and losing weight you’ve definitely started ketosis.
As far as the energy element of ketosis goes, once you’re through the initial energy slump, many people going through ketosis reported increased focus and energy!
One of the obvious indicators of ketosis is insomnia – this is when you have trouble getting sleep or not being able to get enough quality sleep. As you adjust to your new diet of ketosis, you will find it hard to fall asleep. The reason this happens is that the initial reduction of carbs to your diet causes the production of more stress hormones. Fortunately, insomnia only occurs when you’re starting to go through ketosis, and it will disappear once your body is fine with its new eating schedule.
Next is the part we’d rather not talk about, but it’s really important to understanding how your body works during ketosis. You’ve guessed it – we mean your bowel movements. The early stages of ketosis can affect your bowel movements in the following ways (although there are reports from people whose bowl habits have stayed the same). Firstly, you may end up getting diarrhea – this is because of the lack of carbs, and the start of your body going through ketosis causes an excess of water in your intestines. Or you can end up with constipation because there isn’t enough fiber if your diet. You may need to take some extra supplements if this is the case.
Next is one of the reasons ketosis is so famous, and that’s not just for its weight-loss effect through fat burning, it’s through its effect on the body which leaves you with less of an appetite. Yes you heard us right, a ketogenic diet often leaves people with very little feelings of hunger – this means they eat fewer calories without any effort. You won’t lose your appetite altogether, but your body will be able to handle not eating 24/7.
Unfortunately, one of the downsides of ketosis is that you will end up needing to pee more. Due to the ketones natural diuretic nature during the start of your keto diet, you will end up going to the bathroom a lot more often than you would normally.
Let’s also hope you’re not planning on kissing anyone during the first few days of your ketosis either, as the initial transition period can leave you with terrible breath. This is because we excrete the ketone production through our cells and believe us it smells rather pungent. So keep this in mind if you’re planning a date anytime soon.
Alongside your new-found bad breath is its partner in crime: the dry mouth. Your body is producing ketones and therefore will be losing water quicker than usual, which makes your lips dry.
Another way you’ll know your body is starting to undergo ketosis is that your body will have a higher level of ketones within it. To check this you can use a ketone tracker you can do this through a urine stick or breath monitor, but the most effective is a blood ketone meter.
Important: Although it takes 1-3 days for ketosis to start it takes between 2 to 3 weeks for deep ketosis occur.
Is It Really Effective & Worth It?
Although ketosis will massively help weight loss, you don’t always need to be in ketosis in order to achieve weight loss. But it is massively proven to help your ongoing efforts. How is this possible, you might be asking yourself?
Ok, so we are not scientists, but other scientists have proven that ketosis works in certain ways. For example, Ketones create more mitochondria! And mitochondria are responsible for creating healthy cells and giving us more energy. Mitochondria are made in the cells when they’ve burnt ketones for fuel. There’s a bunch of other ways that ketosis is also proven to be one of the best ways to lose weight, including how:
> Ketosis can protect your nervous system by regenerating aging nerve cells.
> Ketones can help protect the body from diseases and damage thanks to a type of reactive oxygen species which is produced during the energy production from burning ketones.
> Ketones are great for losing weight, but they’re also great at preserving muscle. This means you don’t have to worry about burning or losing muscle mass while trying to lose weight.
> As we’ve already mentioned briefly, ketones are great for helping you reduce your food intake due to their ability to suppress your appetite.
> Ketones are even good for preventing cancer growth! Thanks to cancer’s inability to use ketones as fuel – the cancer cells eventually die.
How to Speed It Up
You may be wondering the following: if the Keto diet is so amazing, how do I get into a stage of ketosis as soon as possible? It can vary from person to person, some take 48 hours while other people can take two weeks. This is because every person’s daily habit, body, intake and exercise routine are completely different.
Well luckily for you, we’ve made a handy guide to get ketosis happening in your body pronto!
Number 1 – We’ve mentioned loads in this article already, but you need to dramatically cut your carbs if you want to trim that mid-riff!
The general rule for the keto diet is that 30 grams of carbs a day is more than enough. You can always try doing this more gradually if you don’t think you can cut carbs so quickly. But if you want to start ketosis as quickly as possible, you better stay away from the bread.
Number 2 – Stock up on those healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil, nut oil, cheese, and fish. YUMMY!
If you make sure the fat you take in is about 80-70% of your daily calorie intake, then you’re definitely on the road to quick ketosis.
Number 3 – You can always take extra ketone supplements that will aid with your keto weight-loss alongside all these other brilliant tips. However, they’re not very effective on their own.
Exogenous ketones are the most effective to take when it comes to helping you kick start your ketosis – this can be as quick as 24 hours.
Number 4 – Try intermittent fasting. Think about it – our ancestors never ate 3/5 times a day, they didn’t have a Taco Bell or a Wholefoods to stock up on grub at. They had to hunt, and when our ancestors didn’t win at hunting, they fasted which uses the fat stores as energy supplies for our body! The human body is amazing!
Number 5 – We know it’s the most boring tip of all – but we can’t stress enough how important exercise is for any diet, but especially the keto one.
The reason for exercising during ketosis is that the more depleted your body is, the more your body will turn to burn fat for energy as you require it to complete your work out.
Number 6 – Take some MCT Oil – This oil is great for your metabolism, and if you take it with some supplements you’ll be ready to go through ketosis in hours!
Number 7 – Stock up on your protein but never eat more protein than healthy fats. We recommend top quality protein like beef which will also provide you with a lot of natural, healthy fat at the same time.
Number 8 – Find your keto food staples, especially your protein source as they can really be the star of a tasty keto dish.
Number 9 – No snacking! Well, keep it to a minimum. If you’re going to snack make sure it’s healthy. Look for keto friendly nut butter or buy some nuts and seeds.
Number 10 – If you’re going to eat out – make sure you pick the healthy options. This means no dressings on salads and no tortillas with your tacos!
Going through ketosis as quickly as possible is super desirable, especially if you’ve got a special event coming up soon that demands some quick weight loss. But what is the quickest amount of time it takes?
A common question asked is if you can achieve ketosis in 24 hours?
It is possible, but it isn’t the easy or quickest option to take. Firstly, you’ll have to cut your carbohydrate intake dramatically, an amount so small you should never sustain your keto diet at this carb rate. You should always make sure you’re sticking to your workouts and staying active as much as you can. There’s practically no point to going through a keto diet if you’re not keeping active and moving your body as much as possible.
Drinking water is a must for any diet, but during this 24 hours ketosis, you should drink more than your regular amount. When it comes to what you’re eating you should make sure it’s a lot of high-quality protein, greens, and herbs and spices. For example, meat, cheese, fish, eggs, and poultry are all great for the keto diet. Ditch the condiments if you want to lose weight quicker. Remember, a 24-hour ketosis is not an easy option. If you’re not ready for it, no worries – just try and achieve it over a longer time span.
Why Hasn’t It Worked?
There are many reasons you may not have went through ketosis despite following all of our instructions, and that is probably because you’re eating excess hidden carbs. You can usually find hidden carbs in restaurant meals, in pre-made & store-bought snacks. Or, if you’re eating too many nuts you may also find you have this problem.
We think the Keto diet is a great way to lose weight effectively, but you’ve got to be committed and stick to your weight-loss plan!
The Take Away
When it comes to trying to go through ketosis as soon as possible for whatever reason, our main advice is as follows:
- Make sure you get enough sleep. If you don’t sleep enough, your body will not get a chance to repair, and it will make your blood sugars fluctuate more which means you won’t be able to properly go through ketosis.
- Drink that water! You can often get really thirsty during the first stages of ketosis, and sometimes people confuse dehydration with hunger. To avoid this, you must always make sure you’re drinking enough water.
- Make sure you’re getting enough electrolytes to help push all the nasty stuff away from your liver. Electrolytes help bring balance back to our body.
Well, that’s it for today! Now go out there and start winning.