Today marks the end of the first week of my year-long goal test of being in ketosis all year. I was thinking that this the perfect opportunity to talk about achieving ketosis. A simple Google search or Facebook group comment might tell you to eat low carb or eat fewer than 20 grams of carbs per day. Sure, that is technically correct. If you get your carbs low enough, you can reach ketosis. But….There are many buts here. Nobody is in ketosis 100% of the time. Once in a while, we go over to mom's house for lasagna, or it's our birthday weekend in Vegas. So over your life, you'll have a lot of first weeks. The question is, how can you get through your first week as painless as possible. We each will have different experiences, but there are some common ones. One of the best side effects of being in ketosis is a loss of appetite. For those who have done a typical diet of cutting calories, you'll remember the constant hunger associated with that way of eating. It was only sheer willpower that kept you going. That's not the way it goes with keto. Keto helps you along the journey.
But not the first week. Nope, the first week, at least for me, is a craving filled week. It lasts for seven days. Not sure why. I know people who have said that this transition period only lasts for three days for them. You'll have to try yourself to figure out how your body works. The obvious question is, if you are hungry and craving all sorts of foods during the first week, how do you make it through? The answer: eat. Eat when you are hungry. Eat very low carb, keep it below 20 total grams for the day, but eat. Don't worry about calories, intermittent fasting, or anything else. My personal preference is the Flying Dutchman from In and Out. Just meat and cheese, it's salty and delicious. Your only goal is to get through this short phase where your body is pushing you to eat the carbs that spike your blood glucose. Don't worry about testing for ketones in the first couple of days.
You'll have to let your body have a chance to work through the stored up sugar before you'll reach ketosis. It might be enlightening to test your blood sugar. I test my fasted blood sugar upon waking every day. You want the number to be below 100 mg/dl. 100-130 is the range for prediabetes. Above 130, it is considered diabetic, so it is good to know. It's a good gauge to determine your insulin resistance, and until we have an at-home blood insulin test, that's the best we've got.
A shout out to a friend of mine, Dan Quibell, who talks about quickly getting back into ketosis on his website freeketochallenge.com; take a look. His method that he's done several times is to eat bacon. 1.5 pounds per day if you are female and 2 pounds per day if you are a male. You are 100% guaranteed to be in ketosis in just a few days. Dan runs a very successful keto coaching program. Check him out. He's got a ton of recipes and tips. He does Facebook live streams throughout the class so you can get some encouragement and get all your questions answered.
So, as I said, I've reached the end of my first week. So goodbye to cravings and goodbye to hunger. Now is the time to tweak the daily diet to get the results I'm shooting for. At this point, I started to intermittent fast. No breakfast for me. My eating window is 12-7 pm. The window is typically shorter than that, but I allow myself some wiggle room if I have a late dinner. I am testing blood glucose and blood ketones twice daily at this point. I've already had some exciting discoveries. I try to stay away from many processed keto foods, but I had some keto cereal leftover. I had a bowl with some unsweetened almond milk. The next morning my blood sugar was 25 points higher than it was any other day this week. So much for that keto treat. If I weren't testing blood sugar, I would never have known. Beware the hidden sugars! So the goal for this week is to get into a deeper level of ketosis. I'm shooting for 1.0 mmol or higher. I'll update you next week on how it goes. Thanks!