Ketosis – How Long It Takes & How To Know You Got There!
Ketosis is a metabolic state of the body when it burns fat instead of the usual carbs. You can help your body reach this state with the help of many methods including following a ketogenic diet (low carb diet).
Thanks to ketosis, you can experience quick weight loss. It does so by burning fats, not letting carbs get stored as fats, and reducing your appetite.
Apart from obesity, ketosis also fights other health issues and can help you improve heart, brain, and even skin health.
The only obstacle between you and fantastic fitness through ketosis is that following a keto diet isn’t easy. What’s easy is getting your body out of ketosis by consuming some carbs by mistake.
That’s why, to be conscious about that, you need to know exactly how long it would take your body to reach ketosis and how you will know when it does. That’s what we are discussing in this article. So stay tuned till the end for all your answers.
How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis?
There’s no precise time that someone can tell you to answer this question the right way.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-3″ align=”none” author=””]It can take anywhere between 30 minutes to a week for your body to reach the state of ketosis.[/penci_blockquote]
Why such a big range? That’s because it depends on many factors like your genetics, age, insulin sensitivity levels, and activity levels. Also, the carbs you consume.
Plus, it’s not just one method that can help your body use the process of ketosis.
Ketosis happens when your body has no more carbs (glucose) to use for energy, and it starts using fats (lipids) instead. There are many ways this can happen.
- You can follow a ketogenic diet plan.
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that consists of approximately 55% to 60% fat, 30% to 35% protein, and 5% to 10% carbohydrates.
In 2017, research revealed that a diet high in lipids and low in carbohydrates for about four days induces nutritional ketosis.
- You can try fasting.
Fasting is when you constrict your calorie consumption based on time.
Fasting can be intermittent, wherein you consume food during a feeding period of 4 to 8 hours and fast for the remaining 16 to 20 hours of the day.
You can also try monk fasting, in which you don’t consume any calories for 36 hours.
With no carbs for so long periods, the body’s glucose stores become scarce, and it starts depending on fats.
How long does it take to get into ketosis when fasting? About 12 hours. So, if you are looking for how to get into ketosis in 24 hours – that’s your answer!
But how is fasting so fast (no pun intended)? Unlike the keto diet, during fasting, you are not just avoiding carbs, but any calories whatsoever.
You can increase the effectiveness of fasting through fasted training. Your body can use the help to burn more fat when you exercise. Make sure not to overdo it or it can stress you out or harm your muscles.
There’s a catch with fasting, though!
You see, you can follow the keto diet for days and even months at a stretch if you have the willpower. That means you get the benefits of ketosis for that long. But with fasting, you break your fast after the 20 or 36 hours period and stop the process of ketosis.
Intermittent fasting ketosis, therefore, is not effective for long-term results. Yet it’s great for people who wish to make their bodywork in sprints to lose fat, rather than a marathon (the keto diet) for the same.
- You can consume Ketones drinks.
Want to know another way to get into ketosis quickly? Use ketone drinks!
What are those, you ask? A ketones drink contains man-made ketones. Ketones are essentially the compounds your body produces in the liver when it burns fat for energy due to the absence of carbs.
As we learned above, producing ketones (ketosis) in the body may take anywhere between 12 hours to 4 days by fasting or following a low-carb diet.
But with a supplement ketones drink, you can get the benefits of ketosis without doing any of that.
- How fast can you get into ketosis with ketone drinks?
According to research published in Frontiers of Physiology, ketosis begins within 30 minutes. It has high effects if the ketone type used in your drinks is ketone ester, and low effects if it is ketone salt. Have a look at the graph below for more details.
How To Know When You Are In Ketosis?
To know when you are in ketosis, the first and the easiest thing to do is look out for keto flu symptoms. These include frequent headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, ingestion, and fatigue.
Now, these symptoms may not appear when you get into ketosis with the help of ketone drinks.
For that purpose, and to ascertain that you are indeed in ketosis (if you are not sure about keto flu), you can check your ketone levels. Here’s how!
- Use ketone meters:
Like glucometers that check glucose readings from your blood, ketone meters measure the blood ketone levels. Simply pick one finger with the small pin that comes with the meter, draw blood, and place the strip over that.
Beta-hydroxybutyrate is the ketone that’s in your blood. When its level is higher than 0.5 mmol L−1, the body is in ketosis.
- Use urine strips at home:
Ketone urine strips can help to measure acetoacetate levels (another type of ketone).
When acetoacetate is present, the urine strips turn pink or purple, depending on the levels of this ketone in your urine. If your urine is darker, it usually contains higher ketone levels, which can harm your health.
- Use breath meters:
Breath meters are not just a thing cops use to check cases of Drink and Drive. It can help you see if the levels of acetone (the last ketone type you need to measure) are fine or not.
You can see color flash on such a meter if you’re in ketosis and what your ketone levels are.
How Long Can You Stay In Ketosis?
Now that you know how many days does it take to get into ketosis, it’s time for the other question. How long do you stay in ketosis safely?
The answer is 12 months.
Now there are a few studies -some on humans, some on mice, suggesting the keto diet can work for about 24 months, as well.
For example, there was a 2 year-long experiment in which the muscle mitochondrial volume got increased (a positive result).
However, experts believe that human studies are not enough. In fact, there have been instances of side effects with long-term ketosis.
Symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headaches, lethargy, dizziness, sleeplessness, trouble exercising, and constipation, frequently referred to as the “keto flu,” are among the most typical and moderate short-term side effects of the ketogenic diet.
It may take somewhere between a couple of days to a couple of weeks for these symptoms to go away.
Yet, for some people, the short-term side effects can turn long-term depending on their health condition.
So, anyone following the keto diet must beware of Hepatic steatosis, kidney stones, vitamin and mineral shortages, and hypoproteinemia, as these can be hard to get rid of.
Also, currently, it is difficult to comprehend the therapeutic effects of this diet as well as its safety, tolerability, effectiveness, duration of treatment, and prognosis after the diet is stopped. Especially if the Ketosis state is long-term.
To fully grasp the disease-specific processes, more research is necessary.
So, how long can you stay in ketosis? Until more research comes to light, ketogenic diets are safe for at least 2 to 3 weeks and up to 6 to 12 months.
Ketosis Weight Loss
For many of us trying to get into ketosis, no matter how long it takes – the ultimate prize is weight loss. Fortunately, you can get it much more quickly and effectively with ketosis compared to exercise or fasting.
An initial quick weight reduction of up to 10 pounds in two weeks or less is common for those on a ketogenic diet. Now a lot of this is water weight due to the diuretic effects of this diet. But it is then followed by a loss of fat.
Fascinatingly, lean body muscle is largely unaffected by this diet strategy. So, you don’t have to worry about muscle mass reduction. This is usually the worry with fasting and some other diets.
Eventually, as the body remains in a nutritional ketosis state, hunger symptoms decrease, and a reduction in caloric intake as a whole aids in weight loss.
If there’s any other method through which you may get better weight loss, it is probably keto and intermittent fasting combined.
We hope you have your answers to what ketosis is and how long does it take to get into ketosis. We also shared how you can check your ketone levels to see if you have reached the metabolic state of ketosis or not.
These answers should help you handle the anxiety that comes with long hours of fasting or the numerous days you need to wait with keto dieting.
An analysis of your ketone levels will help you see how effective your efforts are. It will also help you decide whether you should continue with what you are doing or venture into other diets or practices like the paleo diet.
If that’s what’s going on in your mind you can check out our comparison between keto and paleo diets.
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