Top 4 Tips: Fast Track Your Way to Ketosis

Did you have a weekend full of parties with yummy carbohydrate laden food you couldn't pass up?  Now that it's Monday, you may be feeling regret of the weekend indulgences.  You're wishing for the feeling of ketosis again, but you know it usually takes a few days (or more) to get back into ketosis.  You wish there was a fast track way to get into ketosis.

At some time or another, it happens to all of us on the keto diet.  Unless the hosts of the party were on keto too, you probably didn't have that many options of low-carb foods.  The high blood glucose has now made you feel sluggish, an upset stomach and a bloated or inflamed body.  If you were on the keto diet before the weekend, there's a low chance you're still in ketosis on Monday.  Now you're ready to get right back on the keto diet and into ketosis ASAP!

Remember when you started the diet, and it took 3-4 grueling days to get into ketosis and even longer to feeling good?  This would be the point past the keto flu.  What if there was a way to get into ketosis faster than the 3-4 day adaptation period.  It may be even more strict than your standard keto diet, but it if cuts the time in half or less, it's worth giving it a shot.

Here are our fast track tips to get into ketosis

(Some of these tips may also help quicken the keto adaptation period for keto diet beginners.)

Fast Track Ketosis Tip #1: Fasting

You will fast the first night/day that you want to get back into ketosis.  A 12 hour fast will deplete most of your liver glycogen.  This will force your body into the first stages of ketosis.

To do a fast, you will count 12 hours (or more) from the end of your last meal.  This means, if you ate Sunday night a 7:00pm and finished at 7:30pm, you will not eat breakfast the next day until 7:30am.  This overnight to morning fast will deplete your body of available blood glucose.

Fast Track Ketosis Tip #2: High Intensity Exercise*

The morning of your fast, do a HIIT workout.  For every person of various body types, ability and age, the activity level and type of high intensity exercise will be different.  A weight lifter may choose to do a heavy weight circuit; a fit athlete can do a high intensity cardio circuit (alternating sprints and jogging); or an older, overweight person can alternate a fast paced walk with a slow pace (or alternate walking up and down hills).  Don't think because you are older that you can't do high intensity exercise.*  It simply means getting your heart rate above 70-85% of your maximum heart rate.

*If you are older and/or have health conditions, only do this under the supervision and recommendation of your doctor.

We recommend the use of heart rate monitor for HIIT activities.  The goal for HIIT is to burn available muscle glycogen.  This will help your body fast track to ketosis.  In order to do that, you need to get your heart rate above 70% of its maximum.  The higher the intensity, the more muscle glycogen (instead of fat) that you burn for energy.  The more muscle glycogen you burn, the faster you rid your body of circulating glucose.  The faster that happens, and the faster your body has to rely on ketones for energy - thus returning your body to ketosis.

It is also beneficial to monitor your heart rate for health reasons.  If you haven't done high intensity exercise before and have health conditions, understanding your level of heart rate for certain types of exercise and not exceeding certain levels will give you more confidence that your body can handle the exercise.

This is the heart rate monitor we use:

Fast Track Ketosis Tip #3: Low Net Carbs

For the first day, we recommend as low of net carbs as you can allow.  As you know, for beginners we recommend less than 20 net carbs per day.  If you are trying to fast track your way back to ketosis, try for even less than that.  The less net carbs you give your body, the less your body can use for energy.  Remember, it's only for a day, so don't freak out that you won't be eating your normal amount of vegetables.

Fast Track Ketosis Tip #4: Supplements to Increase Ketones

If you have them available, you can supplement your fast track to ketosis day with MCT oil or exogenous ketones.  Both MCT oil and exogenous ketones have been shown to raise blood ketone levels and lower blood glucose levels.[i]  MCT oil may be more effective than exogenous ketones at lowering blood glucose levels.    If you don't have either available, the next best source of quickly getting ketones in the bloodstream is coconut oil - which has a decent amount of MCT's, but is not as concentrated as MCT oil alone.

MCT oil or coconut oil would go best mixed with coffee or tea - if you're brave, just swallow a tablespoon of the oil.  Exogenous ketones are usually available in a drink form, so you simply mix them with water and drink in the morning or throughout the day.  Be careful though, ingesting any of these supplements alone has been known to cause stomach effects like diarrhea.

For this fast-track day, eat MCT oil, coconut oil or exogenous ketones at least once in the morning, and once in the afternoon.




[i] "Effects of exogenous ketone supplementation on blood ketone, glucose, triglyceride, and lipoprotein levels in Sprague–Dawley rats."  Shannon L. Kesl, corresponding author Angela M. Poff, Nathan P. Ward, Tina N. Fiorelli, Csilla Ari, Ashley J. Van Putten, Jacob W. Sherwood, Patrick Arnold, and Dominic P. D’Agostino


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