If traditional deprivation diets aren’t helping you achieve the weight loss you desire, you might be wondering if it’s time for a change. The ketogenic diet, or keto, involves drastically cutting carbs to bring about a state in which the body burns fat rather than sugar as its principle energy source. When the body starts producing ketones (energy molecules in the blood), it results in a wide range of health benefits. Along with aiding in weight loss, ketosis can lead to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, among other perks. However, reaching ketosis is easier said than done. Here are five tips to reach ketosis—and your health and fitness goals—faster.
1. Eat More Healthy Fat
We’re used to hearing that fat is the enemy. However, the truth is that healthy fats are friends, not foes when you’re on the keto diet. Avoid unhealthy trans fats like processed vegetable oils in favor of better options such as olive oil and avocado oil when cooking. Other keto-friendly fats include red meat, cream, eggs, and avocado.
If you’re thinking of trying the keto diet, then you probably already know cutting carbs is an essential part of the process. Years of “normal” eating have conditioned your body to rely on glucose as its primary energy source, and it takes time to train your body to burn fat instead. Eliminating carbs from your diet is the best way to expedite the process of reaching ketosis.
Naturally, you will have to alter your diet to remove bread, pasta, and desserts like cookies and cakes. However, many people don’t realize that fruits and vegetables also contain carbohydrates. Reach ketosis faster by bypassing carb-heavy produce in favor of more healthful options like broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, and spinach. If you love to start your day with a serving of fruit, opt for blackberries, strawberries, or grapefruit over higher-carb options.
3. Hit the Gym
Of course, even the best diet doesn’t excuse you from working out to burn off the pounds. If you want to reach ketosis and your weight loss goals faster, be sure to schedule in plenty of gym time. Not only does exercise aid in weight loss, but it also depletes the body of its glucose stores. As a result, the body is forced to start burning fat reserves to maintain energy levels. Cycling and interval training deplete glycogen systems in muscles quickly, so the body goes into ketosis faster.
4. Keep Protein Consumption in Check
Just because you’re cutting carbs and boosting fat and protein consumption doesn’t mean you can eat as many steaks as you want and still reach ketosis. When you overindulge in protein, the body uses this fuel to make more glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis. If you want to increase ketones quickly, try to avoid filling the carb dearth with too many proteins. For best results, aim to consume about a gram of protein per pound of muscle mass and keep protein portions to the size of a palm.
5. Think About Supplements
Even if you maintain the best and most rigorous eating habits, achieving ketosis on your own can be a challenge. If you’re truly committed to the keto way of life, you may want to consider supplements as a way of expediting your journey to health and weight loss. Some supplements, like MCT, even purport to get you into ketosis in just 24 hours.
Found in numerous foods, including butter and milk, MCTs go straight to the liver rather than being digested like other foods. There they aid the liver in producing ketones. By taking an MCT supplement, you may be able to reach ketosis more readily.
BHB supplements feature the exogenous ketone beta-hydroxybutyrate, so you’re providing your body with extra ketones for enhanced fat burning. These healthy oils increase ketone levels, boost exercise performance and recovery, and can provide sustained carbohydrate-free energy.
Follow the above tips to maximize the speed with which you reach ketosis faster and start enjoying the health benefits of this state faster.