Dietary ketogenic is among the most popular low-carb diets around the globe. Despite its recent ubiquity, the fact is that it has been in existence for more than 100 years.
In the beginning, it was intended to be medicinal. Before the advent of anti-epileptic drugs, it was first introduced as a nutritional plan for therapeutic use to treat children who have epilepsy.
Today, this low-carb diet is utilized to help lose weight and to control blood sugar levels. The objective of ketogenic diets is nutrition ketosis. It is achieved by limiting carbohydrate consumption, reducing protein consumption, and increasing calories via fat ( 1Trusted Source).
Eliminating carbohydrates from your body and increasing the calories from fat can help your body change its primary fuel source of glucose sugar type that is converted into ketones or compounds created by breaking down fat, which is a different fuel ( 2Trusted Source). This results in a metabolic state in which the body favors fat as its fuel source ( 1Trusted Source).
The keto diet tends to praise its health benefits, such as weight loss, higher amounts of HDL (good) cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels and insulin, and triglyceride levels. However, there are some drawbacks to this diet to be considered before deciding to try it ( 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source). The time required to enter ketosis, the state of metabolism that results from the body’s use of ketone bodies to fuel itself, can differ from person to person.
Additionally, many people struggle to enter ketosis from the beginning. This article will explain how long it takes to reach ketosis and why you might not be there yet.
What is the time it will be to get into ketosis?
To benefit from the ketogenic diet, your body has to go into a state of ketosis. It’s a metabolic process that allows your body to convert ketones into molecules it utilizes as the primary energy source when glucose, a form of sugar, is in short supply ( 1Trusted Source).
The most effective way to achieve ketosis is to reduce your carbs consumption drastically.
In your body’s digestive tract, carbohydrates are broken into sugar molecules, including glucose, and can then move through the bloodstream and use them to generate energy. If your body is overloaded with glucose, it could remain stored within your muscles and your liver in the form of stored glycogen.
If you are dramatically cutting down your intake of carbs to less than 50 grams daily, the body is forced to draw down glycogen reserves for energy — and then change to ketones for fuel ( 5Trusted Source). The time it takes to reach ketosis varies between individuals ( 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
It generally could take 2-4 days if you consume 20-50 grams of carbohydrates daily. Some people might experience a delay of several weeks or more to attain this state. ( 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).
For instance, people who usually consume a high-carb diet before starting a keto-based diet might be slower to reach ketosis than people who typically eat a low to moderate carbohydrate diet. This is because the body has to eliminate glycogen reserves before reaching the ketosis stage ( 9Trusted Source).
It generally takes approximately 2-4 days for ketosis to kick in for those who consume less than 50g of carbohydrates daily. But, certain people might require longer, based on variables such as physical activity levels, age, metabolism, fat, carbs, or protein intake.
How do you tell if the ketosis state is present?
As your body enters ketosis, it can be afflicted by myriad symptoms — often referred to as ” keto flu.” They include headaches, nausea, fatigue, bad breath, and increased thirst ( 3Trusted Source). Although these signs may be a sign of your body changing, The best method to determine if the body’s in ketosis or not is to check the levels of ketone in your body.
Methods of determining the levels of ketone
Monitoring your body’s ketone levels is the most reliable method to confirm whether you’re currently in ketosis. There are three kinds of ketones: Acetoacetate (acetone), acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate, which you can test by examining your breath, urine, and blood, respectively.
Acetoacetate levels are measured by urination using a ketone urine strip which can turn various shades of purple or pink by the ketone concentration in your urine. The darker colors usually indicate the presence of more levels of acetoacetate ( 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source). Urine testing strips are a low-cost and quick way to know when you’re experiencing ketosis. However, they’re not the same as other methods.
Levels of Acetone are assessed by a breath ketone gauge, like a Ketonix. This meter emits light to inform you if you’re in ketosis and your level of ketones. Research suggests that ketone breath meters are precise ( 12Trusted Source).Beta-hydroxybutyrate levels can be measured with the blood ketone meter that functions similarly to a glucometer – an instrument to measure blood glucose levels in the home ( 13Trusted Source).
If you want to use a blood ketone tester, use the attached pin to poke your finger, draw blood, and let the edge part of the strip get in touch with your blood. A blood ketosis range of 1.5-3.0 mg/liter is ideal for ketosis maintenance ( 9Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).Although blood ketone meters can be effective in measuring ketones, these strips, as opposed to urine testing strips, can be costly.
The tools that measure ketone levels can provide a clear picture of whether you’re currently in ketosis. This will let you know if you’ll need to adjust your diet to get into or remain in the state.
It is possible to determine whether you are in ketosis by watching for signs or by looking at your ketone levels using the breath tester, urine sticks, or a blood ketone tester.