So, you’ve started the ketogenic diet. What next? Going through the abundance of material available on ketogenic diet may have introduced to the word ‘ketosis’. When it comes to ketogenic diet, ketosis is like a magic charm that opens the gateway to your weight loss journey. In the world of keto, ketosis is the hero.And there are three main things you need to know about this hero:
What is ketosis?
How to achieve ketosis?
How to get into ketosis faster?
What Is Ketosis?Ketosis refers to a metabolic state wherein the body uses fat and ketones (chemicals made in the liver by conversion of fat) rather than glucose (sugar) as its main source of fuel.
When you lower your carb intake during ketogenic diet, it takes 1-2 days for the glucose stores become depleted. Your liver uses amino acids, from the protein you eat, to make glucose via a process called gluconeogenesis. But these amino acids are not enough to meet the needs of your brain, since the brain requires a constant supply of fuel.
Fortunately, ketosis gives the body another source of energy – Ketones
Ketone production is not exclusive to a keto diet. The liver produces ketones regularly even while eating a high-carb diet. This mainly happens overnight while you are sleeping but usually only in tiny amounts.
However, when glucose and insulin levels goes down during a carb-restricted diet, the liver gears up its production of ketones to be able to provide energy for your brain.In ketosis, the body produces ketones at an accelerated rate. The liver makes ketones by using the fat that you eat as well as your own body fat. Once the ketone levels in the blood reaches a certain threshold, you are considered to be in nutritional ketosis. According to research, the best time to test if you’ve reached ketosis is by performing early morning and post-dinner urine tests.
Although fasting and keto diet both can help you achieve ketosis, only a keto diet is the more sustainable option of the two.
How To Achieve Ketosis?Any one of the below listed methods can help in achieving ketosis. Although, you must always be careful to not overstress your body. Ketogenic diet is more than just a diet, it’s a change in lifestyle. So make sure whatever routine you follow, it’s something you could easily sustain for a longer term.
Increasing physical activity While beginning a ketogenic diet, the best advice is to not put too much strain on your body through physical exercise. Keto diet by itself can be quite stressful during the early days since you’re eliminating an entire food group (carbs and sugar) so a lower intensity workout is recommended. After a while however, you can increase it to moderate intensity workout. Increasing physical activity depletes glycogen which in turn kicks the body into ketosis.
*Only increase your workout intensity when you’re sure that you are not under eating and are eating enough fats to supply energy to the body.Fasting for short periods
After an overnight fast, ketone body concentrations reaches about 0.1 – 0.5mM — just below the official “threshold of ketosis”. However, fasting for around 48 hours elevates circulating ketones to around 1 – 2mM.
If you’re looking to embark on a long-term fast—for ketosis or otherwise — always consult your doctor or trusted health professional to help advise you through the fast for ensuring safety. Before trying anything extreme, check how your body tolerates a restricted daily feeding window or a more moderate 24 hour fast.
How To Achieve Ketosis Faster?
Coconut, MCT, and C8 oils
Coconut oil is a special type of saturated fat composed of long and medium chain triglycerides that the body converts into ketones. Other fats of this type are:
● Palm oil
● Goats milk
● Breast milk For the purposes of this blog, we’ll be focusing on coconut oil.
So, including coconut oil in your diet can help you get into ketosis because your body breaks it down into ketones.
But, since coconut oil contains mostly longer chain triglycerides and lauric acid, it takes a long time to get converted into ketones. Shorter, medium chain triglycerides, on the other hand, break down into ketones much faster.
So, let’s take a look at MCT oil next:
What is MCT Oil?
MCT oil is a liquid refined from coconut oil. MCTs absorbs faster in comparison to most other fats. It bypasses digestion, and many other processes normally required by long chain fatty acids. In fact, small intestines absorb the MCT’s, before shuttling directly to the liver for conversion into ketones or energy. Due to this, MCT oil gets you into ketosis faster than plain coconut oil or any other fats.
How Much MCT Oil to Take?
For raising your ketone levels enough to reach ketosis, start slowly and work your way up to about 6 tsp. per day.
C(8) Oil is the fastest absorbing MCT oil.
MCT or C(8)oil helps in increasing MCT intake, as well as counteracting
the fatigue caused by starting a Keto diet. It is a concentrated drink full of medium-chain triglycerides that can be mixed with your morning coffee. If you are increasing your exercise intensity, MCT oil is a good source of the energy boost you need to fuel your workouts and deplete your glycogen stores even further.
Some additional benefits of MCT oil are:
1. Better digestion and improvement in blood sugar levels
2. Reduction of carbohydrate cravings
3. Increase in satiety
4. Cognitive boost
The Final Word…
In general, the length of time it takes to enter ketosis is around 2-4 days. However, for some people, it may take a week or longer. The time it takes is dependent on many factors, such as age, metabolism, physical activity, and current fat, protein, and carb intake. The best way to check if you’re in ketosis is by measuring your ketone levels using either a urine, blood, or breath ketone measuring tool. If you struggle to enter ketosis, try tracking your carb intake, or following any one of the above-mentioned tips. Happy dieting!!