By Summer Banks on Sep 06, 2017

Define Ketosis. “Cut the carbs and lose the weight.” Not exactly, but that’s the marketing plan of the newest Keto foods, drinks and supplements. But, is it truthful?

The Keto Diet has been popular for decade and you’ve heard successful weight loss stories. But, many people don’t know how long does it take to get into ketosis?

Want to learn how does ketosis work? Let’s find out!

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is the metabolic state where the body uses fat instead of carbohydrates for fuel. When the body lacks enough carbs, typically glucose, it burns stored fat. The byproducts of the burned fat are  leading to the formation of by-products of fatty acids known as ketones.

What is Ketosis

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

What does a ketogenic diet do? A ketogenic diet is similar to a low-carb diet or even a very low carb diet. You’ll balance your keto macros by eating more fat verses carbs or protein. If followed correctly, following a ketogenic diet put the body into ketosis.

Reducing carbs allows your body to use fat as fuel. A ketogenic diet is similar to the Atkins Diet; one of the leading low carb diet plans. One of the main similarities is reducing the amount of carbs eaten for a given day.

what is ketosis

How to Get into Ketosis?

How long does it take to get into ketosis? There’s no research showing the exact amount of time it takes to get your body into ketosis. However, you can get your body into ketosis by following a ketogenic diet. While challenging, it’s one of the easier ways to put your body into ketosis.

When one follows a ketogenic diet, there’s a chance you’ll see a reduction in glucose and insulin levels. Cells depend on glucose or sugars for energy. Though the body can utilize fat as energy, it preferentially uses glucose as it is more efficient. Whereas, fat is most efficient only in the absence of glucose.

Other ways of how to get into ketosis include increasing physical activities, eating keto approved foods or by taking exogenous ketones supplements such as Keto OS.

What is Keto Induction?

ketosis induction

Keto induction depends on a variety of factors – keto diet foods from Perfect Keto, type of exogenous ketones supplements used such as Keto Kreme, exercise and commitment.

Some following a keto diet state getting into ketosis happens within seven days. However, the process of getting your body into ketosis could take more than two weeks.

How Many Carbs For Ketosis?

The amount of carbs for ketosis varies. Some research shows keto diet plans tell you to eat fewer than 20 g of carbs per day. Other keto meal plans state to eat fewer than 50 g of carbs per day.

However, research concluded that restricting to less than 50g carbs/day is unnecessary though more studies would are needed to delineate the minimum levels of ketosis and appropriate level of carb restriction. [1]

Is Ketosis Healthy?

A Keto diet plan resulting in ketosis is a healthy alternative to traditional eating habits, including ones containing high carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. Another benefit of ketosis is the inclusion of healthy fats from nuts, coconuts or avocados.

Some dieters claim they reduce cholesterol levels, improve overall health and wellness. There are people stating that they experience appetite suppression. However, the research doesn’t fully support the claims. [2] [3]

It seems counter intuitive however as complex carbs are more filling than fats, given an equal serving size. For example 100 calories is roughly 25 strawberries or an entire 16oz pack of spinach, vs less than 1 tbsp of olive oil.

Increasing portion of fat to take up the same amount of space as 25 strawberries or a bag of spinach would be associated with a huge increase in calories, which would like mean weight gain.

Ketosis weight loss

What are the Benefits of Ketosis?

One of the most important benefits of ketosis  is weight loss. Some research shows that dieters improve cholesterol levels, include weight loss, improved energy levels. A ketogenic lifestyle is adopted by abandoning your daily eating routine and adopting a ketogenic diet.

Why ketogenic diet is considered a lifestyle is because some people make ketosis a long-term change. They find it realistic and healthy as it involves enjoying good food without feeling starved. A ketogenic diet is also easier to follow both in the short and long term for some dieters.

ketosis lifestyle

The Difference Between Ketosis and Ketoacidosis

Ketosis is when the body is making ketone bodies. However, ketoacidosis is when ketone levels are higher than normal. Ketoacidosis is also known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It’s characterized as a complication of type 1 diabetes. The condition is potentially life threatening. [5]

Keto Weight Loss

Ketosis and weight loss are friends, for sure. When the body no longer has carbohydrates for fuel, it turns to fat. That’s great for weight loss, but why does this happen? Well, it takes more calories to convert fat to fuel, so you not only use those extra pounds for energy, but it takes more calories to do it. Win-win every time!

Keto Fasting

ketosis and fasting

Keto fasting is similar to intermittent fasting, such as the 5-2 Diet. During a given time, you’re “starving” your body of something. Typically, it’s carbohydrates. By doing keto fasting, you’ll put your body into nutritional ketosis. But, there are several factors to consider when keto fasting:

  • Metabolism
  • Rate of calorie burn
  • Type of exercise
  • Foods you eat before and after keto fasting

Ketosis and the Body

Ketosis has a profound affect on your body. Below are a few instances of what happens when you get into ketosis.

Exercise

Once your body is in ketosis, adding exercise if beneficial to keeping you in ketosis. But, what is the best exercise for ketosis?

There’s actually four:

  • Aerobic exercise – low-intensity exercises
  • Anaerobic exercise – weight training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • Flexibility exercises – stretching and mobility exercises
  • Stability exercise – core training and balance exercises

When your body is in ketosis, your body uses fat as fuel (low intensity). Since high intensity exercises tend to use carbs first, you may need to adjust your diet accordingly.

There are health benefits of exercise when your body is in ketosis:

 

  • Increased fat burning [13]
  • Replenished muscle glycogen [14]
  • Blood glucose maintenance during exercise [15]

Kidneys

ketosis kidneys

Experts once thought ketosis was hard on the body, especially the kidneys. But, ketosis can occur naturally and there’s a chance that your urine could contain trace amounts of ketones, even if you’re not following a keto diet.

Brain Function

When your body goes into ketosis, it releases fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6. Both show promise in improving cognitive function.

Epilepsy

A keto diet is used as a treatment for children with epilepsy. There’s research show positive results in adults. [4]

Is Ketosis Dangerous? Is Ketosis Safe?

ketosis diet dangers

The dangers of ketosis is tricky. Every person is different and some people respond well to a keto diet and ketosis. However, others feel the side effects are too strong. Medical conditions and medications can also play a part in whether ketosis is dangerous or not.

There is no simple answer to the question, “Is ketosis safe?” All should consult a physician when considering major dietary changes, including starting a ketogenic diet.

Testing Blood Ketone Levels

You’ll use ketone sticks to check to see if your ketone levels are within acceptable levels. If your ketone levels are low, your body isn’t in ketosis. If your ketone levels are high, you may be experiencing symptoms of ketoacidosis. [6]

What are Ketosis Side Effects?

The side effects of ketosis are relative to individuals. However, some of the most noticeable side effects include: [7] [8]

  • Ketosis breath
  • Keto flu
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

Ketosis Breath

One of the rarely talked about side effect of ketosis is bad breath, also known ketosis breath. The three ketones responsible are acetone, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate. This is a good indicator that your body is in ketosis. [9]

Ketosis Flu

Ketosis flu or keto flu are symptoms experienced when you start the ketogenic diet. Although not contagious, there’s a chance you’ll experience symptoms similar to the flu. It can last from days to weeks and characterized by fatigue, cough, headache and nausea. The flu happens due to carb wthdrawl. [10]

Low Carb Headache

When the body is adapting to ketosis, there’s a chance you’ll experience a low carb headache. This is a symptom of the keto flu.

Ketosis Insomnia

When levels of insulin and serotonin are low during a ketogenic diet, some people experience sleep problems. This is referred to as ketosis insomnia. [11]

Keto Diet Plan

ketosis macros

A keto diet plan uses keto approved foods. Specifically, keto macros. Keto macros are the ratio of fats to protein to carbs. The three keto macros or macronutrients include:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Proteins

The keto macros in some popular low carb and ketogenic diets include:

  • Atkins 20 – 20g of net carbs per day.
  • Atkins 40 –  40g of net carbs per day.
  • Keto Diet – 60-75 percent from fat, 15-30 percent from protein and 5-10 percent from carbohydrates.

Tips and Tricks for the Ketosis Diet

It’s always nice to have some helpful tips and tricks while following the ketosis diet. Some beneficial tools include:

  • Ketone sticks – test urine to determine how your body is responding the keto diet or if you have achieved ketosis.
  • Drinks – Keto drinks such as Ketone.io, it supplies dietary ketones to help your body stay in ketosis.
  • Recipes – Keto recipes contain a mix of protein, low carbohydrate and healthy fat foods.

Ketosis Vs Paleo

Ketosis focuses on following the ketogenic diet and keeping keto macros inline. However, Paleo incorporates a balanced approach to macronutrients.

Ketosis vs Keto Diet

Ketosis is a process where the body utilizes fats as a source of energy. However, the keto diet uses keto approved foods helping put your body into ketosis.

Ketosis Diet Results

Ketosis diet results vary from person to person. While some research shows people losing weight, there’s no guarantee. [12]

The Bottom Line on Ketosis

Putting your body into ketosis is a challenge for some. But, when you into ketosis, there’s a chance you’ll see weight loss.

But, there are some important facts to remember.

  • Pay close attention to keto macros and keep percentage of fat higher than protein and carbs.
  • Use healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil instead of highly saturated oils.
  • Drink more water because water improves overall health and wellness.

For some, getting your body into ketosis is the secret to weight loss. For others, it is a fad that never quite works. The debate will likely go on for years to come.

About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.