Foods that get you into ketosis fast: The ketogenic diet has become one of the most popular low-carb diets for weight loss and overall health. This diet is centered around getting your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
Ketosis occurs when your body switches from burning carbohydrates as its main source of fuel to burning fats. This produces ketones, which become the new primary energy source for your cells.
Getting into ketosis is important on a ketogenic diet because it’s the state where you experience heightened fat burning, increased energy, and other health benefits.
But how do you get into ketosis quickly?
The key is to restrict carbs to very low levels so your body depletes its glycogen stores. This forces your body to turn to fat for fuel, resulting in ketone production.
Consuming the right ketogenic foods can help speed up the process and get you into ketosis faster.
So let’s get right to it!
What is Ketosis and How Does it Work?
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state where the body switches from using glucose derived from carbohydrates as its main fuel source to using ketones derived from fat breakdown.
During ketosis, the liver breaks down fat into fatty acids and glycerol. The fatty acids are then converted into ketones through a process called ketogenesis. The three main ketones produced are:
These ketone bodies enter the bloodstream and travel to other tissues where they can be used for fuel. The brain is a major consumer of ketones when carb intake is very low.
Being in ketosis allows your body to become highly efficient at burning fat for energy. It turns fat into ketones in the liver, providing an alternative fuel source for the brain and other tissues.
Ketosis occurs naturally during periods of low carb intake, fasting, starvation, or intense exercise. It can also be induced deliberately on a ketogenic diet by restricting carbs to 20-50 grams per day. This depletion of glycogen forces your body to produce ketones.
Here are some signs you may be in ketosis:
- Bad breath or metallic taste in the mouth
- Increased thirst and frequency of urination
- Fatigue during the initial adaptation phase
- Reduced appetite and fewer cravings
- Weight loss
- Improved mental focus and clarity
Monitoring your blood or breath ketone levels with testing devices can confirm you’re in ketosis. Blood ketone levels of 0.5-3.0 mmol/L indicate you’re in ketosis.
Now let’s discuss the best foods for getting into ketosis quickly.
Read also: 10 Best Low Carb Fast Food
Foods That Get You Into Ketosis Fast
When transitioning into a ketogenic diet, you want to choose foods that are very low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and high in healthy fats.
This macronutrient ratio will help deplete glycogen stores while keeping you feeling full and energized.
Here are the best keto foods to speed up the process of getting into ketosis:
Meat, Poultry, and Eggs
Meats and eggs contain no carbs and are rich in B vitamins, selenium, potassium, and other nutrients. Choose fattier cuts of beef and poultry whenever possible. Processed meats like bacon and sausage can also be enjoyed in moderation on keto.
- Leafy greens – spinach, kale, lettuce
- Bell peppers
Non-starchy veggies are very low in digestible carbs, high in fiber, and packed with antioxidants. They are essential for gut health and provide bulk to meals without spiking blood sugar. Load up on green veggies, cauliflower, asparagus, and other keto-friendly options.
- Full-fat milk
- Full-fat plain Greek yogurt
- Heavy cream
Choose full-fat dairy whenever possible, as these contain very little carbs. Opt for plain unsweetened yogurt and high fat cheeses like cheddar, goat, cream cheese, and feta. Butter, heavy cream, and full-fat milk can be used liberally.
Fats and Oils
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Nut oils
Healthy fats should be the main source of calories in your ketogenic diet. Prioritize oils like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, nut oils, and fats like ghee and tallow from grass-fed animals. Mayonnaise and butter are also great options.
Nuts and Seeds
- Macadamia nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Chia seeds
Nuts and seeds are great for snacking and adding texture to meals. Stick to options lower in carbs like macadamias, pecans, walnuts, and seeds. Limit high carb nuts like cashews and pistachios.
Fruits are generally limited on keto due to natural sugars. The ones listed above can be enjoyed in moderation, but portion sizes still need to be controlled. Lemon, lime, and avocado add flavor without the high carb content.
- Unsweetened tea
- Black coffee
- Bone broth
- Sparkling water
Stay hydrated with water, herbal tea, or coffee. You can add small amounts of heavy cream or nut milk. Bone broth provides electrolytes. Avoid soda, fruit juice, energy drinks, and other sugary beverages.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Hot sauce
- Soy sauce
- Salad dressings (watch added sugars)
Use salt, herbs, and spices generously to add flavor to meals without carbs. Apple cider vinegar, mustard, hot sauce, and soy sauce can also be used sparingly. Check labels on salad dressings and condiments for added sugars.
Foods to Avoid on Keto
It’s equally important to avoid foods that are high in carbohydrates. This will help induce ketosis more quickly:
- Grains – wheat, rice, oats, corn, pasta, cereal
- Starchy vegetables – potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas
- Legumes – lentils, beans, chickpeas
- Fruit – bananas, apples, grapes, mangoes
- Sugary foods – soda, juice, candy, ice cream, cakes
- Alcohol – beer, flavored liquors, wine
- Processed low-fat foods – fat-free salad dressings, low-fat muffins
- High-carb sauces and condiments – barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, ketchup
Also limit overly processed and packaged keto snacks and desserts, as these can have added sugars and unhealthy fats. Strictly avoid grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes, as well as all forms of added sugar.
Sample Ketogenic Meal Plan
Here is a sample one-day meal plan to help you get into ketosis quickly:
Breakfast: Eggs fried in olive oil with sauteed spinach, avocado, bacon
Lunch: Bunless grass-fed beef burger topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mustard. Side salad with olive oil dressing.
Dinner: Chicken thighs roasted with lemon and herbs. Steamed broccoli with butter. Side salad with avocado.
Snacks: Celery with nut butter. Berries with whipped cream. Macadamia nuts. Cucumber slices. Hard boiled eggs.
Beverages: Water, unsweetened tea, black coffee
Make sure to drink plenty of water and supplement electrolytes with salt, magnesium, and potassium. This will help alleviate any ketosis symptoms.
Tips for Transitioning into Ketosis
Switching your body over to fat burning and ketone production can take some adjustment. Here are tips to make the transition smoother:
- Significantly reduce carbs to 20g net carbs or less per day
- Increase healthy fats – cook with oils, add avocado, nuts, seeds, cheese, etc.
- Moderate protein – too much can interfere with ketosis
- Drink plenty of water and electrolytes
- Reduce exercise intensity initially
- Expect some fatigue, cravings, and irritability – this passes!
- Monitor ketones and adapt if not reaching optimal levels
- Avoid snacking and sweet treats – even if labeled “keto-friendly”
- Read ingredient labels – check for added sugars
- Meal plan and meal prep – take the guesswork out
Give your body about 2-3 weeks to fully adapt. The ketogenic flu symptoms should subside and you will begin feeling an increase in energy and mental clarity once in deep ketosis.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to get into ketosis?
It typically takes 2-4 days to enter ketosis when restricting carbs to under 20-30 grams per day. Lowering carbs further and moderately increasing activity levels can accelerate the process. Those already adapted to a low carb diet may enter ketosis faster.
What are the quickest ways to get into ketosis?
Eating under 20 g net carbs, fasting intermittently, exercising regularly, consuming MCT oil or exogenous ketones, and reducing stress can help induce ketosis more quickly. strictly limiting carb intake is the most critical factor.
Can you get into ketosis in 24 hours?
It’s unlikely, but possible to get into ketosis within 24 hours. You would need to nearly eliminate carbs, exercise for prolonged periods, and be diligent about testing blood ketone levels. For most people, it takes 3-5 days of strict low-carb dieting.
What should you not eat on keto?
Avoid grains, starchy vegetables, legumes, fruits, sweeteners, processed low-fat foods, sugary condiments, unhealthy fats, and alcohol. Limit dairy and nuts to small portions. Focus on meats, non-starchy veggies, healthy fats, herbs, and high-fat dairy.
What happens if you fall out of ketosis?
It’s normal for ketone levels to fluctuate slightly. If you go over 50 grams of carbs or eat very high protein for multiple days, you may fall out of ketosis. Test ketones, restrict carbs again, and increase activity to re-enter ketosis. Stay hydrated and manage electrolytes.
How can you tell if you’re in ketosis?
Signs include increased thirst/urination, dry mouth, reduced appetite, oily skin, fatigue, and smelling acetone breath. Use a ketone blood meter or urine strips to test levels. Optimal ketosis = blood ketones 0.5-3.0 mmol/L.
What should ketone levels be to lose weight?
Weight loss can occur with lower ketone levels between 0.5-1.5 mmol/L. However, optimal fat burning occurs with deeper ketosis between 1.5-3.0 mmol/L. Ketone levels above 3.0 mmol/L indicate excessive ketone production.
Can the keto flu be avoided?
It’s difficult to avoid entirely. However, drinking enough water, getting electrolytes from food/supplements, eating enough calories, and slowly easing into very low-carb can help minimize symptoms like headaches, cramps, irritability, and fatigue.
Achieving a state of ketosis is crucial for experiencing the many health, cognitive, and fat loss benefits of the ketogenic diet. Restricting carbs to 20-50g net carbs daily while emphasizing foods like meat, eggs, dairy, oily fish, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats will help get you into ketosis quickly and optimize ketone production. Give your body 2-3 weeks to fully adapt to burning fat for fuel once in ketosis.