Ketogenic diets involve eating very little carbohydrate – 20-50 grams per day in general.
That means no bread, rice, pasta, or potatoes and no sugar.
Instead you eat plenty of healthy fats, protein, and a slew of non-starchy and leafy green vegetables.
Ketogenic diets prime your body for faster fat burning, period.
Eating very little carbohydrate forces your body to look for alternative sources of energy.
In normal circumstances, that alternative is fat but your brain cannot use fat for energy so it needs something else.
Instead, your body has to convert fat into substances called ketone bodies for your brain to use.
This is a laborious process that wastes a lot of energy.
Your body uses more fat than normal and you lose weight faster.
Once your body is happily burning ketones, you are said to be in ketosis.
However, your body has an abundant supply of carbohydrate in the form of blood glucose, and muscle and liver glycogen.
It takes a while to deplete these stores and until you do, your body will not make ketones.
The sooner you can achieve ketosis the better.
It can take anywhere from three to seven or more days to achieve ketosis, depending on activity levels, dietary adherence, and the size of your initial glycogen stores.
The longer it takes, the longer it will be until you flip that fat burning switch in your body.
In addition, the process of getting into ketosis can be uncomfortable for some people; cravings, fatigue, headaches and lethargy are all common side effects.
Getting into ketosis means fewer side effects (they pass once you reach ketosis) and you’ll start burning fat faster and sooner.
Use these three tricks to speed up your descent into ketosis…
Exercise will deplete your muscle glycogen stores which, in turn, will deplete your liver glycogen stores.
Muscle glycogen stores are localized which simply means the glycogen in your leg muscles is for your legs and the glycogen in your arm muscles is for your arms.
To efficiently deplete your body of as much glycogen as possible, you need to perform whole body workouts a couple of days in a row.
While potentially tiring, this is an effective way to kick-start ketosis.
A full body circuit training workout is arguably the most effective and time-efficient way to deplete muscle glycogen.
- Leg press
- Chest press
- Chest supported rows
- Dumbbell shoulder press
- Lat pull down
- Leg extensions
- Leg curls
- Dumbbell biceps curls
- Cable triceps push downs
Repeat the circuit three to five times doing 12-20 reps of each exercise and only resting at the end of each circuit.
As the days pass and your glycogen levels decline, you can expect to feel more fatigued and may even need to perform fewer reps or use lighter weights.
That’s perfectly okay and simply indicates that you are achieving your goal.
Needless to say, avoid carb-based sports drinks and do not consume more than the recommended 20-50 grams of carbs per day otherwise you will delay the process of getting into ketosis.
2. Skip a Meal or Two
Brief fasts can help you get into ketosis more quickly.
Skipping a meal will cause your blood glucose levels to drop.
When blood glucose levels fall, your liver converts glycogen to glucose to restore your blood glucose.
The sooner you can deplete liver glycogen, the better.
You only need to skip a couple of meals to lower your blood glucose.
For convenience and to avoid nighttime hunger, skip breakfast and your mid-morning snack and then break your fast with a low-carb lunch such as a large tuna salad with an olive oil dressing.
Eat normally (but low carb) for the rest of the day.
Do the same thing for another one or two days to get into ketosis more quickly.
Once you reach ketosis you should reinstate breakfast.
3. Go No Carb
Ketogenic diets are very low carb, but if you want to get into ketosis faster, consider going no carb.
That means you will eat nothing but protein, healthy fats and other carb-free foods.
Needless to say, this will require some food analysis on your part, but your efforts will be rewarded by a faster descent into ketosis.
Some people may be worried about the lack of vegetables, vitamins, minerals and fiber but remember; you are only going to do this for 1-3 days.
You can take a multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement and a fiber supplement if you are anxious about the short-term nutritional deficit.
Once in ketosis, you can reintroduce non-starchy vegetables and low-carb fruits such as berries in abundance.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The faster you get into ketosis, the sooner you can enjoy the fat burning benefits of the ketogenic diet and get past any side effects.
Getting into ketosis faster requires a dedicated and determined effort but you’ll feel better for it and lose more weight if you do so.Remember, this month’s choices are next month’s body.