Ketosis is a natural metabolic state in which the body primarily burns stored fat, instead of glucose, for fuel.
The body normally uses glucose, or sugar, as energy. When glucose is in short supply, the body burns fat for this purpose. In this case, acids called ketones can start to build up in the blood. The body can also use ketones for energy, but they can be excreted through the urine.
The presence of ketones in the blood and urine indicates that a person has entered ketosis.
Some people enter ketosis because they want to lose body fat. In ketosis, the body breaks down its fat stores instead of relying on carbohydrates like glucose for energy. As noted in a 2021 review, ketosis may also have this effect because it suppresses appetite.
Achieving ketosis can be difficult. Below, we explore seven ways to speed up the process. We also look at the risks involved and who can’t benefit.
7 Tips for Reaching Ketosis Faster
Strategies for encouraging the body to enter ketosis include:
1. Significantly Reducing the Carbohydrate Intake
Ketosis occurs when a lack of carbohydrates forces the body to use fat rather than glucose as its primary source of energy.
A person who wants to reach ketosis should reduce their carbohydrate consumption to 50 grams or less per day. However, the correct carbohydrate limit may vary from person to person.
2. Increasing Physical Activity
The more energy a person uses in a day, the more fuel they need.
Exercise helps reduce the body’s storage of a form of glucose called glycogen. In general, glycogen levels are restored by eating a trusted source, carbohydrates. But a person on a low-carb diet is not replenishing their glycogen stores sufficiently. It encourages the body to turn to fat as a fuel source.
Adjustment may take some time, and during this period, a person may experience fatigue.
3. Fasting for Short Periods
Intermittent fasting (IF) can help a person reach a state of ketosis.
In some controlled cases, a doctor may recommend fasting for 24-48 hours, but most people do not need to fast that long to reach ketosis.
IF may also help manage obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, and it may also protect against certain cancers and neurological disorders.
However, more research is needed to confirm these benefits and the long-term safety and efficacy of IF.
Anyone interested in trying IF should talk to a doctor first, as it is not suitable for everyone.
4. Increasing Healthful Fat Intake
Most people who aim for ketosis replace the lost carbs with an increase in healthy fats. Some sources include:
- Olive Oil
- Avocados and avocado oil
- Linseed oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Fatty fish, such as salmon
Although some people on the ketogenic diet include any fat in their diet, it is generally advised to limit saturated and trans fats, such as from fried foods.
5. Testing Ketone Levels
A test can check ketone levels in the:
Testing can help a person track their progress and make strategic adjustments to their diet. They can further limit foods that cause spikes in glucose levels, for example.
Simple ketone tests, such as strips and monitors, are available for purchase online.
6. Checking Protein Intake
A person following a keto diet usually eats more dietary fat than protein.
Although recommended amounts of protein vary, a standard recommendation is to consume about 1 gram (g) of protein for every pound (lb) of body weight per day. People who exercise a lot may need 1.5 grams/lb.
Some believe that a low protein intake is necessary, although the evidence on this point is mixed.
7. Consuming More MCT Oil
Trusted Source Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which one can purchase as an oil, can help with ketosis.
In particular, MCT oil can help a person reach ketosis even when eating less fat and more protein and carbohydrates than a typical keto diet would.