During ketosis, your body converts fat into compounds known as ketones and begins using them as its main source of energy.
That being said, achieving a state of ketosis can take some work and planning. It’s not just as simple as cutting carbs.
Here are 7 effective tips to get into ketosis.
1. Minimize Your Carb Consumption
Eating a very low-carb diet is by far the most important factor in achieving ketosis.
Normally, your cells use glucose, or sugar, as their main source of fuel. However, most of your cells can also use other fuel sources. This includes fatty acids, as well as ketones, which are also known as ketone bodies.
Your body stores glucose in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen.
When carb intake is very low, glycogen stores are reduced and levels of the hormone insulin decline. This allows fatty acids to be released from fat stores in your body.
The level of carb restriction needed to induce ketosis is somewhat individualized. Some people need to limit net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to 20 grams per day, while others can achieve ketosis while eating twice this amount or more.
For this reason, the Atkins diet specifies that carbs be restricted to 20 or fewer grams per day for two weeks to guarantee that ketosis is achieved.
After this point, small amounts of carbs can be added back to your diet very gradually, as long as ketosis is maintained.
In a one-week study, overweight people with type 2 diabetes who limited carb intake to 21 or fewer grams per day experienced daily urinary ketone excretion levels that were 27 times higher than their baseline levels (7).
In another study, adults with type 2 diabetes were allowed 20–50 grams of digestible carbs per day, depending on the number of grams that allowed them to maintain blood ketone levels within a target range of 0.5–3.0 mmol/L (8).
These carb and ketone ranges are advised for people who want to get into ketosis to promote weight loss, control blood sugar levels or reduce heart disease risk factors.
In contrast, therapeutic ketogenic diets used for epilepsy or as experimental cancer therapy often restrict carbs to fewer than 5% of calories or fewer than 15 grams per day to further drive up ketone levels (9, 10).
However, anyone using the diet for therapeutic purposes should only do so under the supervision of a medical professional.
Bottom Line: Limiting your carb intake to 20–50 net grams per day lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to the release of stored fatty acids that your liver converts into ketones.
2. Include Coconut Oil in Your Diet
Eating coconut oil can help you get into ketosis.
It contains fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
Unlike most fats, MCTs are rapidly absorbed and taken directly to the liver, where they can be used immediately for energy or converted into ketones.
Although coconut oil contains four types of MCTs, 50% of its fat comes from the kind known as lauric acid.
Some research suggests that fat sources with a higher percentage of lauric acid may produce a more sustained level of ketosis. This is because it’s metabolized more gradually than other MCTs (12, 13).
MCTs have been used to induce ketosis in epileptic children without restricting carbs as drastically as the classic ketogenic diet.
In fact, several studies have found that a high-MCT diet containing 20% of calories from carbs produces effects similar to the classic ketogenic diet, which provides fewer than 5% of calories from carbs (14, 15, 16).
When adding coconut oil to your diet, it’s a good idea to do so slowly to minimize digestive side effects like stomach cramping or diarrhea.
Start with one teaspoon per day and work up to two to three tablespoons daily over the course of a week.
Bottom Line: Consuming coconut oil provides your body with MCTs, which are quickly absorbed and converted into ketone bodies by your liver.
3. Ramp up Your Physical Activity
In addition, being more active can help you get into ketosis.
When you exercise, you deplete your body of its glycogen stores. Normally, these are replenished when you eat carbs, which are broken down into glucose and then converted to glycogen.
However, if carb intake is minimized, glycogen stores remain low. In response, your liver increases its production of ketones, which can be used as an alternate fuel source for your muscles.
One study found that at low blood ketone concentrations, exercise increases the rate at which ketones are produced. However, when blood ketones are already elevated, they do not rise with exercise and may actually decrease for a short period (21).
In a small study, nine older women exercised either before or after a meal. Their blood ketone levels were 137–314% higher when they exercised before a meal than when they exercised after a meal (23).
Keep in mind that although exercise increases ketone production, it may take one to four weeks for your body to adapt to using ketones and fatty acids as primary fuels. During this time, physical performance may be reduced temporarily (20).
Bottom Line: Engaging in physical activity can increase ketone levels during carb restriction. This effect may be enhanced by working out in a fasted state.
4. Increase Your Healthy Fat Intake
Consuming plenty of healthy fat can boost your ketone levels and help you reach ketosis.
Indeed, a very low-carb ketogenic diet not only minimizes carbs, but is also high in fat.
Ketogenic diets for weight loss, metabolic health and exercise performance usually provide between 60–80% of calories from fat.
The classic ketogenic diet used for epilepsy is even higher in fat, with typically 85–90% of calories from fat (24).
However, extremely high fat intake doesn’t necessarily translate into higher ketone levels.
A three-week study of 11 healthy people compared the effects of fasting with different amounts of fat intake on breath ketone levels.
Overall, ketone levels were found to be similar in people consuming 79% or 90% of calories from fat (25).
Furthermore, because fat makes up such a large percentage of a ketogenic diet, it’s important to choose high-quality sources.
However, if your goal is weight loss, it’s important to make sure you’re not consuming too many calories in total, as this can cause your weight loss to stall.
Bottom Line: Consuming at least 60% of calories from fat will help boost your ketone levels. Choose a variety of healthy fats from both plant and animal sources
5. Try a Short Fast or a Fat Fast
Another way to get into ketosis is to go without eating for several hours.
In fact, many people go into mild ketosis between dinner and breakfast.
Moreover, “fat fasting” is another ketone-boosting approach that mimics the effects of fasting.
A 1965 study reported significant fat loss in overweight patients who followed a fat fast. However, other researchers have pointed out that these results appear to have been highly exaggerated (30).
Because a fat fast is so low in protein and calories, it should be followed for a maximum of three to five days to prevent an excessive loss of muscle mass. It may also be difficult to adhere to for more than a couple of days.
Here are some tips and ideas for doing a fat fast to get into ketosis.
Bottom Line: Fasting, intermittent fasting and a “fat fast” can all help you get into ketosis relatively quickly.
6. Maintain Adequate Protein Intake
Achieving ketosis requires a protein intake that is adequate but not excessive.
The classic ketogenic diet used in epilepsy patients is restricted in both carbs and protein to maximize ketone levels.
However, for most people, cutting back on protein to increase ketone production isn’t a healthy practice.
First, it’s important to consume enough protein to supply the liver with amino acids that can be used for gluconeogenesis, which translates to “making new glucose.”
In this process, your liver provides glucose for the few cells and organs in your body that can’t use ketones as fuel, such as your red blood cells and portions of the kidneys and brain.
Second, protein intake should be high enough to maintain muscle mass when carb intake is low, especially during weight loss.
Several studies have shown that the preservation of muscle mass and physical performance is maximized when protein intake is in the range of 0.55–0.77 grams per pound (1.2–1.7 grams per kilogram) of lean mass (20).
In one study of 17 obese men, following a ketogenic diet providing 30% of calories from protein for four weeks led to blood ketone levels of 1.52 mmol/L, on average. This is well within the 0.5–3.0 mmol/L range of nutritional ketosis (34).
To calculate your protein needs on a ketogenic diet, multiply your ideal body weight in pounds by 0.55 to 0.77 (1.2 to 1.7 in kilograms). For example, if your ideal body weight is 130 pounds (59 kg), your protein intake should be 71–100 grams.
Bottom Line: Consuming too little protein can lead to muscle mass loss, whereas excessive protein intake may suppress ketone production.
7. Test Ketone Levels and Adjust Your Diet As Needed
Like many things in nutrition, achieving and maintaining a state of ketosis is highly individualized.
Therefore, it can be helpful to test your ketone levels to ensure you’re achieving your goals.
The three types of ketones — acetone, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate — can be measured in your breath, blood or urine.
The Ketonix meter measures acetone in breath. After breathing into the meter, a color flashes to indicate whether you are in ketosis and how high your levels are.
Ketones can also be measured with a blood ketone meter. Similar to the way a glucose meter works, a small drop of blood is placed on a strip that’s inserted into the meter.
It measures the amount of beta-hydroxybutyrate in your blood, and it has also been found to be a valid indicator of ketosis levels (37).
The disadvantage of measuring blood ketones is that the strips are very expensive.
Lastly, the ketone measured in urine is acetoacetate. Ketone urine strips are dipped into urine and turn various shades of pink or purple depending on the level of ketones present. A darker color reflects higher ketone levels.
Ketone urine strips are easy to use and fairly inexpensive. Although their accuracy in long-term use has been questioned, they should initially provide confirmation that you are in ketosis.
A recent study found that urinary ketones tend to be highest in the early morning and after dinner on a ketogenic diet (38).
Using one or more of these methods to test ketones can help you determine whether you need to make any adjustments to get into ketosis.
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.
Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.