Even though the Ketogenic diet has become a trendy lifestyle choice today, many people still fail to acknowledge the basics of these diets.
Understanding how the Ketogenic diet works and the physiology behind this type of lifestyle are essential to ensure you can initiate the right steps for the Keto diet to offer you the benefits you expect from this diet.
This will also make the process of putting your body into ketosis easier.
Obesity, diabetes, heart ailments, mental fatigue, and physical fatigue – these are all conditions that are related to each other in many ways.
I was obese at a young age and realized just how much of an adverse impact the excess weight can have on a person’s health. I developed insulin resistance, I experienced problems with my heart, and I frequently found myself feeling tired and weak.
The switch to a Ketogenic lifestyle saved me from this misery – I started to burn fat faster than ever before, my glucose levels became more stable, and I felt healthier than I have ever felt.
I experienced more benefits from my Ketogenic diet than I expected.
The Initiation Phase
Getting started with the Ketogenic diet means putting your body into a state referred to as Ketosis.
This state is when your body stops converting carbohydrates to glucose and using the glucose as fuel to ensure all cells in your body has enough energy to get you through the day, as well as to supply your body’s cells with energy.
When your body hits Ketosis, it means your body will start to transfer fats to your liver, which is then converted into ketones by the liver.
The ketones then take the place of glucose, which means your body will start to rely on these ketones as fuel for energy and not glucose anymore.
During this phase, you may experience some adverse reactions.
It is important to remember that your body has become used to gaining energy from the carbohydrates that you consume.
When you switch to a Ketogenic diet, it means you are no longer supplying your body with glucose.
Your body starts to look for an alternative way to fuel itself and produce energy.
This is why one of the most common complaints in people who are in the initiation phase of a Ketogenic diet is fatigue and tiredness.
Luckily, once your body goes into ketosis, these symptoms usually go away relatively quickly, and you will start to experience the surge of energy that a Ketogenic lifestyle has to offer.
How Do You Know If Your Body Is In Ketosis?
Before I provide you with a step-by-step overview of how you can get your body into Ketosis quickly and more effectively, I first want to point out how you can know when you are in a state of Ketosis.
Being able to recognize this “mode” is important – this is when you are officially living a Ketogenic lifestyle, and your body is starting to adapt to the changes in your life.
The following is a list of signs to look for – when they start to develop, it is usually a sign that your body is beginning to enter what is known as the Ketosis phase.
This is when your body has found fat as an alternative energy source and started to produce ketones to utilize the fat stores for fuel.
- The first symptom is usually some fatigue.
This happens when your body stops using glucose for energy and starts to look for an alternative option that it can use to produce energy.
Fatigue is usually short-term and tends to go away once ketones are being produced.
Once you experience fatigue, know that your process is working effectively.
- As your body starts to turn to fat for energy, you will start to notice that your bodyweight is reducing.
You may also find that your cravings for food during the day and in-between meals become less severe.
- As your body goes into the Ketosis phase, you may start to notice your breath does not smell too fresh and you may also have to go to the toilet rather frequently. This is considered a normal part of the Ketogenic diet’s initiation phase and will also pass relatively quickly once your body gets used to relying on fat for energy.
- Once you are officially in a Ketosis mode, then the fatigue will start to go away, and you will experience an impressive surge in your daily energy levels.
In addition to the improvements in your energy levels, you should also find that you are able to focus and concentrate much better.
Here’s a tip: If you find the fatigue especially unpleasant during the initiation phase when you transition to a Ketogenic diet, then consider taking vitamin B5 supplements.
These supplements can be helpful as it can help your adrenal glands function correctly and, in turn, help to boost your overall metabolism.
This can help you experience a higher level of energy and reduce the risk of experiencing fatigue during the initial phase.
If you are totally new to Ketosis I suggest you take a look at our beginner’s guide.
A Guide To Ketosis Activation
Now that you know the basics of what the Ketogenic diet consists of and, of course, you also know how you can recognize the signs that you are doing things right and that your body is entering a Ketosis phase – we should proceed to the steps that you can follow to help you activate Ketosis mode and get started with a Ketogenic lifestyle.
I will guide you through a simple five-step process that I have personally found useful when adapting to a Keto diet – follow all of these steps in order, and you will notice that entering Ketosis can be easier than you might think (and easier than some people make it seem to be).
Reduced Carbohydrate Consumption
The goal of the Ketogenic diet is to adopt a diet that consists of few carbs and mostly fats – healthy fats, of course.
For this reason, you first need to learn how to reduce your carbohydrate intake effectively.
This is usually the most difficult part of the Ketogenic diet.
Most people become so used to primarily relying on carbohydrates in their daily diet – this often means you have to completely change the way you think of food and the way you prepare your meals.
Foods that are especially high in carbohydrates that you will need to eliminate from your daily diet include:
- Bread, buns, bagels, and doughnuts
- French fries
- Dates, Apples, and Bananas
- Pizza and hamburgers
- Candy and milk chocolate
These are only a few examples of foods that are known to be very high in carbohydrates.
In most cases, it is advised to limit your daily carbohydrate intake to 25 to 30 grams per day.
If it seems difficult to cut your daily carb intake so drastically, then you may consider gradually entering the Ketogenic diet.
Take a week or two to introduce this new style of eating into your life.
For some, however, making a more sudden change gives them the ability to go through the initial adverse effects of a Ketogenic diet quickly so that they can enter Ketosis and kickstart their weight loss journey.
Increase Your Intake Of Healthy Fats
As you cut back on your carb intake, you need to increase your daily intake of healthy fats – with an emphasis on the healthy part.
With a Ketogenic diet, you need to ensure that the majority of your daily energy comes from fats and not carbohydrates, so your fat intake needs to surpass your carb intake on a daily basis greatly.
Most people aim for a daily calorie intake that consists of around 80% fat.
When increasing your fat intake, it is vital that you understand some fats are healthy and other fats are harmful.
Keep away from polyunsaturated fats and trans fats that have been heavily processed.
These fats have been associated with cancer, heart disease, systematic inflammation, and an unhealthy digestive system.
Margarine, fast foods, sunflower oil, canola oil, safflower oil, and soybean oil are a few examples of fats that you do not want to include in your Ketogenic diet.
Instead, opt for healthier fats.
Certain types of saturated fats, such as those found in coconut oil, are beneficial for you.
These fats have been associated with a stronger immune system, improved bone density levels, and a better balance in cholesterol levels.
Eggs, cocoa butter, cream, butter, and red meat also offers healthy saturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats, natural polyunsaturated fats, and natural trans fats are also considered very much appropriate on the Keto diet.
Modify Your Intake Of Proteins
Protein is another important part of a Ketogenic diet and sits in the middle of carbohydrates and fats.
You need to moderate your consumption of protein – you should avoid eating too much protein, but also ensure you do not gain too little protein.
Protein is important for muscle growth and overall muscle health, as well as other functions in the body.
Approximately 25% of the calories you consume daily can consist of protein.
It is a good idea to opt for protein sources that are high in healthy fats, such as red meat, as this would provide you with high-quality proteins and essential fats simultaneously.
Take Care Of Your Hydration Levels
When you are switching to a Ketogenic diet, it is essential that you maintain proper hydration levels.
Dehydration is bad for your body, and you should already know this.
On the Ketogenic diet, hydration becomes even more important. You also need to ensure that you healthily hydrate your body.
Avoid opting for coffee and soda. Instead, drink a lot of water.
If you are not particularly keen on water, then consider flavored water, carbonated flavored water, or have some tea.
The broth is a great way to increase your nutrient intake and hydrate your body at the same time.
Consider Ketone Supplements
Often called Exogenous Ketones, these supplements have been proven useful in people who wish to enter a Ketosis phase faster when they are adopting a Ketogenic diet into their life.
Exogenous Ketones can be made from different ingredients, with the most potent option being beta-hydroxybutyrate, sometimes referred to as BHB Ketones.
The body already produces this type of ketone naturally, and it is considered to be one of the best ketones when it comes to providing a source of energy for the body – as an alternative to glucose, of course.
In addition to helping your body go into a state of Ketosis faster as compared to following a Ketogenic diet without the use of such a supplement, Exogenous Ketone supplements are also known to significantly reduce the severity and duration of side-effects, including fatigue, that people often experience when they start out with a Ketogenic lifestyle.
Increase Exercise Frequency And Intensity
Lastly, you need to realize that after you reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase your fat intake, your body still has a reserve of glucose that needs to be used up before you will start to enter the Ketosis phase.
To speed up the process of depleting the storage of excess glucose, which is stored as glycogen in the body, you should consider exercising more during the first few days.
Try to participate in physical activity each day and also try to increase the intensity of the exercises you participate in. This will help you burn the excess glucose still present in your body faster.
Once these reserves have been depleted, your body will start to turn to fat and the production of ketones for energy.
While things may seem a little difficult when you initiate a Ketogenic lifestyle, such as possible fatigue, pushing through will present you with a lot of benefits.
It is important to know the basics of the Ketogenic diet and to ensure that you implement the right techniques and methods to ensure your body can enter Ketosis as quick as possible.
You may find that you’re in ketosis but not losing weight. This can happen and there can be a number of reasons for this which I have written about in a separate blog post. There are also some different ways to test if you are actually in ketosis and to what level. This post here will help you out.
This leads to you experiencing the many benefits of this lifestyle faster, ensuring the initiation phase will have only a minimal impact on your life.
If you are looking for great information on the Ketogenic diet, more quickstart tips and some useful recipes that will help you get started quickly, then consider taking a look at The Ketosis Cookbook and The Essential Keto Snacks Cookbook – both of these offer a lot of delicious recipes, as well as additional meal plans, that will make the process of living the Ketogenic lifestyle easier and more convenient.