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How Long Does It Take To Go Into Ketosis?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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How long does it take to go into ketosis? If you are eating less than 50 grams of carbs per day, it takes about 2 to 4 days entering ketosis. The Keto diet is one of the most popular diets in the world. And so many people claim they have lost lots of weight off the keto diet. The main goal of keto diet is minimizing your carbohydrates intake, while increasing your fats intake. And while maintaining a moderate amount of protein in your diet.

When you replace your carbs intake with fats you are using fats intake as your primary energy source. It is a case-by-case situation when your body goes into ketosis. The outlier cases can take up to a week or longer to get to ketosis as opposed to the average 2 to 4 days range. It changes from person to person depending on your body going into that metabolic state. Your metabolism, age, physical activity level, carbs, fat, protein intake will affect how quick you can get into ketosis state.

How Long Does It Take To Go Into Ketosis? Photo credit: iStock-ThitareeSarmkasato

What is Ketones? It is when your body converts fat into molecules. You cannot reach ketosis without drastically reduce your carbs to less than 50 grams per day.

Some of the benefits that fans of the keto diet it has done for them is weight loss, reduced blood sugar and insulin levels and increased levels of good cholesterol.

Some of the negative symptoms of ketosis are bad breath, nausea, headaches, increased thirst.

On a keto diet people should aim for 55 to 60% of their calories to come from fat. 30 to 35% of their calories to come from protein and 5 to 10% of their calories to come from fat.

The Two Things That Can Stop You From Going to Ketosis

  • Eating too much protein makes it harder to go into ketosis and influences your body to use gluconeogenesis. And that happens when amino acids are converted from protein into sugar.
  • If you consume too much sugar that can prevent your body to go into ketosis metabolic mode.

The rapid weight loss that you would lose in keto is most of the time due to water loss then actually fat loss. Keto is not for everybody as most people cannot be on a diet that is extremely low in carbs for too long. Because a low carb diet affects your energy levels and would affect your basic to day-to-day functionality.

 The best analogy is that it is the equivalent of taking out all your gasoline out of your car and then trying to drive the car. Your car will not go anywhere if you do that. Just like you will have extreme energy issues if you rid your body of all carbs from your diet. It is just not sustainable from a long-term day to day perspective.

The long-term health issues with the keto diet are vitamin deficiency issues, fat buildup around the liver, kidney stones, potential of oxidative stress in the body and inflammation in the body.

“The outlier cases can take up to a week or longer to get to ketosis as opposed to the average 2 to 4 days range. It changes from person to person depending on your body going into that metabolic state. Your metabolism, age, physical activity level, carbs, fat, protein intake will affect how quick you can get into ketosis state.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is the keto diet does take on an average of 2 to 4 days to get into ketosis if you are consuming less than 50 grams of carbs per day. You can lose weight on the keto diet, but again it is not for everybody.

The reason why anybody would lose weight on a keto diet because you are in caloric deficit.

It has nothing to do with being on a low carbs diet. So, if you are on conventional low-calorie diet that is balanced with carbs, protein, and fats.

And it puts you in caloric deficit you will lose weight that way too. If you do the keto diet, it is not a good long-term weight-loss approach because it is sustainable. Most people cannot function energy wise at 20 grams of carbs per day.

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References

  1. Bruci A, Tuccinardi D, Tozzi R, Balena A, Santucci S, Frontani R, Mariani S, Basciani S, Spera G, Gnessi L, Lubrano C, Watanabe M. Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet: A Safe and Effective Tool for Weight Loss in Patients With Obesity and Mild Kidney Failure. Nutrients. 2020 Jan 27;12(2):333. doi: 10.3390/nu12020333. PMID: 32012661; PMCID: PMC7071259.
  2. Giugliano D, Maiorino MI, Bellastella G, Esposito K. More sugar? No, thank you! The elusive nature of low carbohydrate diets. Endocrine. 2018 Sep;61(3):383-387. doi: 10.1007/s12020-018-1580-x. Epub 2018 Mar 19. PMID: 29556949.
  3. Batch JT, Lamsal SP, Adkins M, Sultan S, Ramirez MN. Advantages and Disadvantages of the Ketogenic Diet: A Review Article. Cureus. 2020 Aug 10;12(8):e9639. doi: 10.7759/cureus.9639. PMID: 32923239; PMCID: PMC7480775.
  4. Masood W, Annamaraju P, Uppaluri KR. Ketogenic Diet. [Updated 2021 Nov 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/
  5. Dhillon KK, Gupta S. Biochemistry, Ketogenesis. [Updated 2022 Feb 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493179/
  6. Antonio Paoli A, Mancin L, Caprio M, Monti E, Narici MV, Cenci L, Piccini F, Pincella M, Grigoletto D, Marcolin G. Effects of 30 days of ketogenic diet on body composition, muscle strength, muscle area, metabolism, and performance in semi-professional soccer players. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021 Sep 16;18(1):62. doi: 10.1186/s12970-021-00459-9. PMID: 34530857; PMCID: PMC8447662.
  7. Bruci A, Tuccinardi D, Tozzi R, Balena A, Santucci S, Frontani R, Mariani S, Basciani S, Spera G, Gnessi L, Lubrano C, Watanabe M. Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet: A Safe and Effective Tool for Weight Loss in Patients With Obesity and Mild Kidney Failure. Nutrients. 2020 Jan 27;12(2):333. doi: 10.3390/nu12020333. PMID: 32012661; PMCID: PMC7071259.
  8. Scott JM, Deuster PA. Ketones and Human Performance. J Spec Oper Med. 2017 Summer;17(2):112-116. doi: 10.55460/PGWG-H55J. PMID: 28599043.
  9. D C Harvey CJ, Schofield GM, Williden M, McQuillan JA. The Effect of Medium Chain Triglycerides on Time to Nutritional Ketosis and Symptoms of Keto-Induction in Healthy Adults: A Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial. J Nutr Metab. 2018 May 22;2018:2630565. doi: 10.1155/2018/2630565. PMID: 29951312; PMCID: PMC5987302.
  10. Harvey CJDC, Schofield GM, Williden M. The use of nutritional supplements to induce ketosis and reduce symptoms associated with keto-induction: a narrative review. PeerJ. 2018 Mar 16;6:e4488. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4488. PMID: 29576959; PMCID: PMC5858534.

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