Alright, it’s time to get into shape, and to do so seriously, this time. We’ve all had our failed diets and exercise plans, but if you’re serious about keto, you’ve come to the right place.
The keto diet is known to be fairly strict, but if you plan your meals and prepare adequately, you should be smooth sailing. All that’s left now is to get into ketosis, which is the metabolic state in which your body begins to burn fat for energy instead of glucose. So, I’ll give you the rundown on how to enter ketosis fast and kickstart your weight loss journey.
How to Know You’re in Ketosis
So before we get into the ways to get into ketosis, we have to go over what it looks like so you can know when you’ve slipped out of it.
The first thing is what is known as the “keto flu”. This is a normal part of keto and happens for about a week or less, though some rare cases have reached a whole month. The symptoms include nausea, irritability, and confusion.
Another thing you’ll notice is the change in the smell of your breath. It’s going to have a fruity or acetone tinged scent to it. That is also completely normal. It’s a sign that there are ketones in your bloodstream, which are a byproduct of the keto diet.
If you have deep pockets, you could buy blood ketone meters, which will measure the amount of ketones in your body. They’re highly accurate, though.
What is a little less accurate, though, is urine strips. You may see some advertisements for urine stips to find out what your ketone levels are. My advice? Save your money. These aren’t very reliable, so you’re better off without them.
Overall, your best bet is to stick with the physical descriptors. Make sure you know the signs, and once you’re finally in ketosis, make sure you stay away from those carbs so you don’t fall back in.
Minimize the Carbs
This is the key to getting those ketones and what defines the keto diet. It’s all about cutting those carbs down, or else you’ll never get into ketosis.
A very relaxed keto is under 80 grams of carbs, under 50 is the normal keto diet, and under 20 is the very strict version. If you limit the carbs, your body will have nothing left to convert to glucose, which it burns for energy. Instead, it will turn towards your fat stores and start burning that instead. Once you limit carbs on the normal keto diet, it may take up to a week to actually reach ketosis.
It’s also extremely easy to fall out of ketosis. Exceeding your limit of carbs will knock you straight out and have you starting over again, so take “cheat day” to the barest sense of the word.
By the way! “Low carbs” does not mean “no carbs”. This can actually be bad for you. You should at least get a few fruits and veggies in. If not, make sure you pop a few vitamin supplements to get that nutrition in your body. Your body will appreciate it.
Load Up On the Healthy Unsaturated Fats
Everyone gets on about cutting the carbs, but those who don’t understand keto need to know that getting your fats in is also very important, and you need to load up on them. By taking in more healthy unsaturated fats, you’re promoting your body to burn fat instead of glucose.
If you’re following the keto diet, 75% of your caloric intake needs to be in fat, which is easy given that fats are already high in calories. In case you’re unfamiliar with the difference, saturated fats are mainly found in animal products, while unsaturated fats tend to come from plants. Both have a different bond structure, with unsaturated fats being particularly hard to digest.
So you’re going to want to load up on nuts, plant-based oils like olive oil, and your new best friend: the avocado.
Get Your Exercise In
It isn’t all about sitting down and waiting for the pounds to slip right off. It can be, but exercise helps you use up those glucose reserves, making it easier for you to get into ketosis. Once all that glucose is finally used up, your body makes the change to your fat stores.
Although exercise is not required for ketosis, it’s also just recommended in general. If you’re curious, 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes a week of high intensity exercise usually gets the job done, as is recommended by the CDC. Weight loss may be important, but so is your body’s overall health.
Limit the Proteins
This goes against what you hear some of the more misinformed “diet gurus” spouting. Those from an outside perspective really only hear of the “carnivore diet” where you just eat meat and stay away from carbs. You absolutely can do that, but you probably shouldn’t, because you aren’t helping your body much.
As I said earlier, healthy fats should be around 75% of your diet. The rest of that should be filled up with protein. If you decide to go all out on the protein, it will make it hard for some to maintain ketosis.
You see, when you eat too much protein, all that excess protein will actually be converted into glucose, which is the exact thing we’re trying to get rid of, if you remember correctly. If this happens to a large extent, you can practically kiss ketosis goodbye, because you’re going to have to work another 3 to 7 days before it returns.
If you’ve never fasted before, then this is your time to learn all about it. Fasting, specifically a 12 hour fast, has benefits, but it alone will not promote ketosis. When combined with other factors, such as exercise and the compound of proteins and unsaturated fats from before and after, can help keep the body moving towards gaining that ketosis status we’re all vying for.
Out of all of these tips, fasting is perhaps the least needed, so you wouldn’t be remiss if you skipped out on this one. The dietary bits are the most important.
If you have religious or cultural requirements for fasting, though, then keto will not keep you from abiding by that.
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