Achieving Ketosis

You are ready, primed and about to take the next step into getting into ketosis.

Now, I previously mentioned that you can get into ketosis between a few days to a few weeks, this all depends on you and your body.

How to Quickly Achieve Ketosis?

Here are five steps you can take to speed up the process.

  1. Cut carbs slowly.
    The recommended amount of carbs to consume while on a keto diet is 30 grams a day. So, try and aim for at least that. Some may argue that you need to do this gradually to make life easier. But if your goal is to get into ketosis right away then start limiting the carbs you eat today.
  2. Increase your fat intake
    There are healthy fats and unhealthy fats; you need to consume around 75% of healthy fats as calories. Foods such as MCT oil or powder, avocado oil, avocados and coconut butter all contribute to healthy fat intake.
  3. Intermittent fasting
    Fasting is used by a lot of people for a variety of health and religious reasons. It has a range of benefits such as increased energy, low blood sugar levels, faster weight loss and more focus. If the thought of intermittent fasting scares you, then you may want to try eating around 1200 calories with 80% coming from the fats we talked about above.
  4. Exercise
    Let’s be real here. You need to exercise. Your body requires exercise for it to be healthy and function optimally. The benefits of regular exercise are so extensive that you just can’t be healthy without exercise. Yes, the keto diet WILL help you to lose weight… but weight loss is not the be-all and end-all of good health. Exercise will strengthen your bones, prevent cardiovascular disease, lower your cholesterol levels, keep you mobile well into your senior years and much more. Combine your keto diet with regular exercise and not only will you accelerate your weight loss, but you’ll be fitter, stronger and have a body that looks fantastic.
  5. Make healthy swaps
    Starting the keto diet doesn’t mean you have to put life on hold, you don’t have to stop going out with friends and family.
    You can simply make healthy swaps such as:
    – No sugar beverages
    – Removing dressing from salads
    – Having burgers without the bun

These pointers in this chapter will see you into ketosis much faster. It may be hard at first but stick with it and you will start to see and feel the benefits in no time at all.

Foods to Avoid

You may think that you know everything there is about what foods you can and cannot eat. However, there are several foods that pass the keto test, but are not quite there yet. They look good, but in reality, they’re not in alignment with the keto diet.

Let’s look at these ‘suspicious’ foods and why you should avoid them.

  1. Mayonnaise – This contains vegetable oil which contains a lot of unhealthy fats.
  2. Chicken – It just doesn’t contain enough fat because it is a lean meat. If you are going to eat chicken, then eat chicken wings as they contain some fat.
  3. Sugar free sweets – Are they really? When you read the ingredients, you may notice that they may contain maltitol that increases your blood sugar levels. AVOID at all cost!
  4. Salad dressings – Any dressing that needs contains canola oil, soybean oil, or sunflower oil needs to be avoided.
  5. Vegetables – For years everyone from your parents to the media have been preaching that veggies are important. That is true, but not all vegetables are suited for the keto diet.A void root grown vegetables, white potatoes, etc. that contain starch. These will just make you feel bloated.
  6. Nuts – Nuts are high in omega-6 which is what we don’t want in our diet so try and stick to macadamia and pecan nuts.

Exercising While on the Keto Diet

When you are in ketosis, you’ll be restricting your carb intake. This will stop your muscles from accessing sugar which your body heavily relies on.

When your muscles don’t have enough fuel (glucose in this case) the ability for them to handle high intensity exercise is limited.

Any high intensity exercise over 10 seconds should be avoided. You do not need hard exercise to lose weight. The keto diet is so powerful that the fat will still melt off.

You may engage in activities such as walking, swimming, cycling, etc. As long as you maintain a moderate pace, you’ll not be taxing your body. Weight training is great too. Just don’t overdo it.

Low intensity aerobic exercises are great. So are yoga and Pilates sessions. Stability exercises are good too.

Once you’re fully keto-adapted, you can progress on to higher-intensity training. It’s always during the initial stages when you have to be most careful.

As mentioned earlier, Tyson Fury who was prepping for his fight in December 2018 was consuming 5500 calories a day but exercising non-stop. He still lost 140 pounds and became fighting fit.

The keto diet and exercising can really drop the weight off. If you feel dizzy or something is not right, stop and assess your situation. If needed, seek professional medical advice.

What to Expect When Going into Ketosis?

The ketogenic diet is without a doubt the most popular way to lose weight and when followed correctly, your ketone levels will rise, and your insulin levels will drop.

However, it is still hard to tell when you are in ketosis.

Here are common positive and negative signs that can help you identify if you are in ketosis.

  1. Weight loss
    You will almost immediately drop a lot of weight due to water being flushed out your system and then gradually your weight will decrease.
  2. Bad breath
    This is a good sign as once you have bad breath you would have nearly reached full ketosis. If this is affecting your social life, then you may want to chew on some sugar free gum – just be sure to check the labels for carbohydrates as they do digest into sugar.
  3. Increased ketone levels
    As you continue the keto diet, you’ll have an increase in ketone levels and the best way to measure this is via a test kit. You want to be in a range of 0.5–3.0 mmol/L.
  4. Low Appetite
    Not feeling as hungry and sometimes skipping meals is a good sign as ketones are sending signals to your brain to reduce your appetite.
  5. Focus and Energy
    When you start the keto diet, you will feel weak but as you start to get more energy and focus, you know you are on the right track.
  6. Digestive issues
    For the first few days at the start of your diet you may experience constipation and diarrhea. Eating low carb vegetables that are high in fiber will help ease your stomach.
  7. Insomnia
    When you change your diet, you may find it difficult to sleep as your body is adapting to the changes and craving for carbohydrates or it is hungry. This problem will gradually disappear in a week or two.

These are signs and symptoms you can keep an eye on but if you are losing weight gradually then there is no need to monitor your ketone levels every single day.

Dealing with Keto Flu

You may have experienced the flu at some time in your life and the keto flu is no different. These similar symptoms are caused by reducing the intake of carbohydrates.

By reducing the amount of carbohydrates your body will start to burn ketones for energy.

This quick change in your body will come a shock to the system and cause withdrawal symptoms.

Switching to the keto diet is a big change and your body will need time to adapt to this way of eating.

Symptoms will be different from person to person and some may not experience anything at all, but here are some common issues you may face:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Constipation and Diarrhea
  • Poor concentration
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle soreness
  • Insomnia
  • Cravings
  • Headaches

Keto-flu is temporary, however there are a few things you can do to limit or even completely get rid of symptoms.

  1. Drink plenty of water
    When you begin your diet, you’ll lose a lot of water so drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated. Drink often and drink throughout the day.
  2. Replenish electrolytes
    Your electrolytes will be out of balance and you can restore balance by increasing your salt intake and eating foods high in potassium such as salmon, avocados and nuts. Some people have a tin of sardines as it is high in calcium.
  3. Exercise
    In the beginning stages of keto flu, you may not feel like doing the exercise you were used to doing. So, keep it low-key for the first few weeks with light exercise twice a week.
  4. Increase fats
    Your body is now on a very low-carb diet. So, increasing the good fats as a fuel source is must. Add a little MCT oil in your coffee which will bump up the amount of fat you are allowed.
  5. Take exogenous ketones
    Adding more ketones to your body will help you overcome ketosis more quickly. Exogenous ketones come in the form of supplements.

By using the tips above, you’ll be available to avoid most of these symptoms all together.