Ketosis is a metabolic process where the body fat is being converted into compounds known as ketones, which the body uses as a main energy source.
According to numerous researchers diets which lead to ketosis state are very beneficial because they subdue the appetite and thus lead to weight loss. This condition is very helpful in the treatment of various conditions such as type 2 diabetes and neurological disorders.
However, this state cannot get achieved only by removing the carbohydrates, but this diet requiresa lot of planning and great efforts.
Steps How to Enter a State of Ketosis:
Step 1 – Lower the intake of carbs
This is very important if you want to achieve this condition. In this case the cells use sugar or glucose as their key energy source. But, they can also use other fuel sources such as fatty acids and ketones, known as ketone bodies.
As a result of the low consumption of carbs the glucose that is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles is being reduced and as well as the insulin levels thus releasing the fatty acids from the fat stores. In this case, the liver turns some of these fatty acids into the ketone bodies like acetone, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetoacetate, which can be used as brain fuel.
Have in mind each body system is different, some people can achieve ketosis by lowering the net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to 20 grams on daily basis, and other people can consume significantly more and still achieve this body state.
For instance, the Atkins diet suggests reducing the intake to 20 or fewer grams on daily basis for 14 days in a row so that ketosis is achieved. After this period of time, the amounts of carbs are gradually getting higher.
Here are the findings of the studies on this issue:
In this study took participation overweight people with type 2 diabetes who lowered their carb intake to 21 or fewer grams on daily basis for 7 days in a row. Their results revealed that their daily urinary ketone excretion levels were 27 times higher than their baseline levels.
In the study which involved adults as subjects with type 2 diabetes,20 to 50 grams of digestible carbs were allowed on daily basis, depending on the number of grams that let them to keep blood ketone levels within a range of 0.5–3.0 mmol/L (8). Have in mind that these ranges of carbs and ketones are recommended for persons who want to enter ketosis state so that they lose weight, regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
When epilepsy or experimental cancer therapy are concerned these ketogenic diets limit the intake of carbs to fewer than 5% of calories or fewer than 15 grams daily to additionally drive up ketone levels.
Step 2 – Elevatethe intake of healthy fats
A low-carb ketogenic diet is low in carbs but high in fat as the intake of healthy fats elevates the levels of ketones and thus assisting in achieving ketosis. The implementation of ketogenic diets in the cases of weight loss, metabolic health, and exercise performance get between 60 to 80 percent of calories from fat. On the other hand, the classic ketogenic diet used in the treatment of epilepsy is even higher in fat; the range is 85 to 90 percent of calories from fat.
Bear in mind that high fat intake will not always lead to high ketone levels in all cases.
In a study where 11 healthyindividuals participated for three weeks were analyzed the effects of fasting with different amounts of fat intake on ketone levels. The ketone levels were similar in individuals that consumed 79 or 90 percent of calories from fat.
The ketogenic diet is largely based on the consumption of fat, and because of that the fat should always be of high quality sources such as coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, tallow, lard, and butter. But, successful weight loss is always based on the intake of fewer calories.
The ketone levels will get elevated if you take in at least 60% of calories from fat. Yet, these fats should be healthy fats from both plant and animal sources.
Step 3 – Introduce coconut oil in your daily diet
The coconut oil intake will assist in entering the state of ketosis because it shows a rich content of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easily absorbed and taken directly to the liver, where they are instantly used for energy or converted into ketones.
This oil is the best way of entering the ketosis in the case of Alzheimer’s disease and other nervous system disorders. Coconut oil has in its content 4 types of MCTs;however half of the fat comes from the highly beneficial lauric acid.
Namely, fat sources high in lauric acid may produce a more sustained level of ketosis because they are metabolized more gradually than the other MCT types.
Have in mind that the incorporation of the coconut oil in your diet should be gradual as if not it can trigger conditions like diarrhea and stomach cramping.
Start the intake with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil daily, and then slowly increase up to 2 to 3 tablespoons every day within a week.
Step 4 –An adequate protein consumption
The proper consumption of protein will lead to the state of ketosis. The body needs its proteins so that the liver gets the amino acids which are used for the production of new glucose or gluconeogenesis, which few cells and organs need as they cannot use ketones as fuel, including the red blood cells and some brain and kidney areas.
Plus, the proper protein intake is required for keeping muscle mass in the case of a reduced intake of carbs, particularly while weight loss. Namely, normally weight loss in most cases leads to loss of both fat and muscle. The muscle mass can be preserved if there is proper protein intake in a very low-carb ketogenic diet.
According to conducted studies the preservation of muscle mass and physical performance is at its optimal level when the protein intake is in the range of 0.55–0.77 grams per pound (1.2–1.7 grams per kilogram) of lean mass.
As per conducted studies on the effects of weight loss very low-carb diets with protein intake within this range lead to ketosis.
In a study where 17 overweight men took their participation by following a ketogenic diet for a month, which was based on 30% of calories from protein, showed that their blood ketone levels on average were 1.52 mmol/L, which is well within the 0.5–3.0 mmol/L range of nutritional ketosis.
Each body differs in the need of protein when following a ketogenic diet, in order to determine your proper levels you should multiply the ideal body weight in pounds by 0.55 to 0.77 (1.2 to 1.7 in kilograms).
However, in the case of epilepsy the kategonic diet is based on limited intake of both carbs and protein in order to maximize the levels of ketone bodies. This type of diet is also very beneficial in the treatment of cancer because it lowers the growth of tumors.
Step 5 – Fasting
Ketosis can be achieved if you stop taking in food for several hours. In fact, most of the people naturally enter into a mild ketosis between dinnertime and breakfast time.
Prior implementing the ketogenic diet, children suffering from epilepsy often fast for 24 to 48 hours so that the seizures are being lowered sooner as in that way they enter a state of ketosis swiftly.
Therefore, this beneficial state can be achieved by intermittent fasting involving regular short-term fasts.
Thisis another ketogenic method imitating the effects of fasting which allows the intake of around 1,000 calories on daily basis, and 85 to 90% come from fat and low calorie. This high intake of fat intake will lead to the state of ketosis.
This method should be followed only for 3 to 5 days as it is low in calories and protein, and if continued for longer period of time it can lead to excessive loss of muscle mass.
Nevertheless, as per the results of the 1965 study, the method of fat fast caused a substantial fat loss in overweight patients.
Methods like fasting, intermittent fasting and a “fat fast” aid the body to swiftly achieve the state of ketosis.
Step 6 – Physical Activity
According to studies ketosis is beneficial for some types of athletic performance such as endurance exercise.
Exercising depletes the glycogen stores, so following a physical activity will help the body to achieve ketosis. But, since the consumption of carbs is low, these stores of glycogen are also low, and in this case the liver boosts the ketone production.
According to another performed study exercisingboosts the production of ketones in the case of low blood ketone concentrations. However, if you already have high levels of ketones, it does not mean that they will get even higher, but in fact they can get lower for a short period.
Following some physical activity while fasting increases ketone levels. Exercising before and after the meal shows a difference in the ketone levels. The study on this issue involved 9 older women who exercised either before or after a meal. Their blood ketone levels were 137 to 314% higher when they exercised prior meal.
Conclusively, physical activity increases the levels of ketones when there is a limited consumption of carbs, and the effects are even enhanced in a fast state.
Step 7 – Test ketone levels
You should test your ketone levels as each person differently achieves and keeps the state of ketosis. There are three ketone types:acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate, which are evaluated through the blood, urine,and breath.
3 Methods How to Test Ketones
By dipping ketone urine strips into the urine,the acetoacetate is being evaluated. The obtained color of the strips determines the ketone levels. There are various shades of pink or purple, but the darker color suggests higher ketone levels.If you follow a ketogenic diet, then the urinary ketones are the highest in the early morning and after dinner.
Although you can easily find these strips, their long-term accuracy has been questioned.
There is another way to measure the ketone levels, but this one is more expensive. It is by using a blood ketone meter which works similarly to a glucose meter. In this measuring method, a small blood drop is put on a strip, and then it is inserted into the meter. The meter evaluates the ketosis levels, and also the levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate in blood.
The breath can show your acetone levels as it is found in the breath itself. By testing the acetone breath levels you will successfully monitor the state of ketosis when you are ona ketogenic diet.
For this measuring is used a ketonic meter to which a person needs to breath into, and then a color flashes and indicates whether the person is in ketosis and its ketone levels.