Ketosis is a normal bodily process where fat is converted into compounds called ketones to be used as the body’s main source of energy. This process comes with lots of health benefits, and studies show that diets that promotes ketosis aids weight loss by suppressing appetite and burning fat. This is the idea behind ketogenic diet.
Also, newer studies show ketosis’ benefits for managing type 2 diabetes, neurological conditions, and more. With that said, how can one get to a state of ketosis? Simply cutting out carbs will not get you there. You will also need to use ketone test strips to ensure you can measure your ketosis level. Let‘s breakdown all the steps.
Minimize Carb Consumption
Cutting out carbohydrates is the first step to ketosis. In a normal condition, the body uses sugar (glucose) from carbs to convert into a source of energy. Glucose (in the form of glycogen) is stored in the liver and muscles. However, the human body contains cells that can also use other sources of fuel, like fatty acids (ketone bodies). In nutritional ketosis, you are allowing your liver to convert fatty acids into ketone bodies to be used as fuel.
The carb restriction differs from one person to another. Some may need to limit their net carbs (total number of carbs minus fiber) to 20g per day. Others may get to ketosis state even by eating twice as much. To get the right measurement, it is best to use a ketone test strip so you can closely monitor it.
A form of ketogenic diet called Atkins Diet suggests carbs restriction of 20g or lower per day for a span of 2 weeks can guarantee ketosis. After which, small amounts of carbohydrates can be gradually reintroduced to the body while maintaining ketosis.
Add Coconut Oil
Adding coconut oil while doing a keto diet can boost ketosis. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides a form of fat that is rapidly absorbed by the body and taken straight to the liver to be converted as ketones (for energy).
Also, coconut oil contains lauric acid. Some research shows lauric acid produce sustained ketosis levels as the body metabolizes them more slowly than other types of MCT.
When using coconut oil as part of your ketogenic diet, it is best to include them gradually. This is to minimize digestive side effects like diarrhea and stomach cramps. 1 teaspoon per day is the ideal way to start. Work up your way to 2 to 3 teaspoons a day for a week.
You can easily find coconut oil in local grocery stores or online.
Increase physical activity
More and more research shows the benefits of ketosis for athletic performance, especially for endurance exercises. Also, being more active helps the body get into ketosis state faster. This is because the body uses up stored glycogen. Normally, you replenish it by eating carbs and the body breaks it down and converts it to glycogen. When minimizing carbs intake however, your glycogen storage low. This triggers the liver to produce ketones as an alternative fuel for the muscles.
Ramp up your fat intake and eat ample amount of protein
Since the body needs fat as alternative to carbs, you need to supply your body with fat. The idea is to eat 60 to 80% of the calories from fat.
To maximize ketosis, you need to supply your body with protein. The liver needs amino acid (building blocks of protein) for gluconeogenesis (the process of making new glucose). The keyword is ample, excessive protein can be counterproductive for ketosis.
When in doubt, make sure to use ketone test strips so that you can ensure that your body maintains the state of ketosis.