One of the most common concern that those starting ketogenic diet usually have is the amount of time it will take them to get their bodies into ketosis. This is so because it is only when the body is in the state of ketosis that the diet really become ketogenic. If you were expecting a definite answer with a precise number of days or weeks as to the length of time you will need to get into ketosis, then you will be slightly disappointed to learn that this is not the case. No one can pinpoint accurately the amount of time it will take every individual to get their bodies in ketosis.
The amount of time taken for the body to start creating ketones varies greatly from one person to another and it is dependent on a number of factors. Everyone has a unique metabolism, as well as varying resistance to insulin, and these, when added to other factors, makes it impossible to tell just how long it will take to get into ketosis.
However, based on all the factors involved, the majority of people do get into ketosis with a period of between two days and ten days. As a general rule, you should forget about ketosis if you are taking in more than 30 grams of net carbs every day, especially if you are just starting out.
Factors that affect how long you will take before you get your body into ketosis
Here is a brief look at some of the factors that will determine how long you take before your body adapts to full ketosis-:
You carb intake
The whole concept of ketosis relies on you reducing your carb intake so that your body can begin relying on the stored fats as the main source of energy for the cells. Before the process of ketosis can commence, all the glycogen stored in the body will first have to be utilized so that there are no more sugars the body can rely on for energy production. It is at such a point when now the body will turn to the stored fats for energy production. It implies that the more carbs you take, the longer it will take for the body to deplete the glycogen reserves and allow for the commencement of ketosis. One of the best ways to get your body into ketosis, therefore, would be to drastically reduce your uptake of carbs.
The rate of metabolism
In as much as everyone has the ability to burn fats, the process of keto adaptation will be largely dependent on the number and activity of mitochondria. Mitochondria is the energy powerhouse of the cells and in most cases, they will not be very efficient at the onset of ketosis. With time, however, they increase in efficiency and start to replicate themselves so that they can produce more energy needed by the cells for the normal body functions. The rate of replication as well as the activity of the mitochondria varies from one person to another, and this ultimately affects how long one may take to get their bodies into ketosis.
The rate and nature of physical activity can boost or dampen ketosis. With the right exercise performed at the right time, one can easily and quickly get into ketosis. For example, if you desire to achieve ketosis quickly, you may get the results you want by getting involved in high intensity training exercises as these will lead to faster depletion of glycogen and give way to the use of fats as the source of energy. Once you achieve ketosis, then you can consider low intensity exercises for effective ketone and fat burning.
On the other hand, if you engage in a lot of physical activities and end up overwhelming your body, stress may set in and this may work against the body getting into ketosis. This is because stress shuts down the production of ketones as discussed below.
Suppose you took a ketone breath meter and detected ketones before and after you are stressed, you will find completely different readings, even if they were taken on the same day. This is because stress increases the levels of hormone cortisol in the blood and the presence of this hormone will increase the activities of gluconeogenesis, leading to increased blood sugar levels. Such an action will avail more blood sugar to the body, and this will ultimately inhibit the production of ketones.
But it should be noted that the problem does not lie with the production of cortisol as it is needed by the body every day for a number of functions. The problem comes when the mind is stressing about something, leading to the increased production of cortisol in the blood stream.
Protein intake also has the ability to determine how long it will take before your body gets into ketosis. High protein intake will make the blood stream to be flooded with a lot of amino acids and as a response to this influx of amino acids, there will be increased production of insulin. With increased production of insulin, the cells will know that there is a lot of energy available, hence, there is no need to burn fat and produce ketones. Therefore, if you are keen on getting your body into ketosis and you have been constantly checking for the presence of ketones using a keto breathalyzer, you must also ensure that you reduce your intake of proteins as this may potentially work against you.
How to know you are in ketosis
For those following ketogenic diets, there will always be the desire to know if they are already in ketosis, and this is why most of them will opt for gadgets such as ketone breath analyzer to help them detect the presence of ketones in their system. There are primarily three ways you can use to tell whether or not you are in ketosis.
The first method is the urine testing where you use a urine strip to indicate the presence of ketones using colors. Blood testing is the other method you can use to tell if you are in ketosis where you use glucose meters to detect ketones in the blood stream. Finally, you can use breath testing and this is where you detect the presence of ketones on the breath using a ketone breath analyzer.