During ketosis, your body converts fat into compounds known as ketones and begins using them as its main source of energy.
Studies have found that diets that promote ketosis are highly beneficial for weight loss, due in part to their appetite-suppressing effects.
Emerging research suggests that ketosis may also be helpful for type 2 diabetes and neurological disorders, among other conditions.
That being said, achieving a state of ketosis can take some work and planning. It’s not just as simple as cutting carbs.
Here are 3 effective tips to get into ketosis.
Minimize Your Carb Consumption
Eating a very low-carb diet is by far the most important factor in achieving ketosis.
Normally, your cells use glucose, or sugar, as their main source of fuel. However, most of your cells can also use other fuel sources. This includes fatty acids, as well as ketones, which are also known as ketone bodies.
Your body stores glucose in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen.
When carb intake is very low, glycogen stores are reduced and levels of the hormone insulin decline. This allows fatty acids to be released from fat stores in your body.
Your liver converts some of these fatty acids into the ketone bodies acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate. These ketones can be used as fuel by portions of the brain.
2. Ramp up Your Physical Activity
A growing number of studies have found that being in ketosis may be beneficial for some types of athletic performance, including endurance exercise.
In addition, being more active can help you get into ketosis.
When you exercise, you deplete your body of its glycogen stores. Normally, these are replenished when you eat carbs, which are broken down into glucose and then converted to glycogen.
However, if carb intake is minimized, glycogen stores remain low. In response, your liver increases its production of ketones, which can be used as an alternate fuel source for your muscles.
Increase Your Healthy Fat Intake
– Consuming plenty of healthy fat can boost your ketone levels and help you reach ketosis.
Indeed, a very low-carb ketogenic diet not only minimizes carbs, but is also high in fat.
Ketogenic diets for weight loss, metabolic health and exercise performance usually provide between 60–80% of calories from fat.
The classic ketogenic diet used for epilepsy is even higher in fat, with typically 85–90% of calories from fat.
However, extremely high fat intake doesn’t necessarily translate into higher ketone levels.