While you are in a state of ketosis, the body will convert fat into compounds called ketones and use them, rather than the carbs you eat, as your main source of daily energy levels.
For some people, simply cutting carbs isn’t enough to put them into a state of ketosis.
If you want to get into ketosis faster and increase your ketones, keep the following tips in mind.
When your carb intake is very, very low, the glycogen stored in your body is vastly reduced, as well as your insulin levels. This will allow the fatty acids in the body to release the stored fat in the body.
The carb restriction level that someone needs varies as everyone is different, but in general, most people do will do well on anything under 40 grams of carbs per day, but for others, they must go down to 20 grams of carbs per day. If you want to increase ketones, then it makes sense to lower your carb intake by at least 10 more grams than what you are eating now.
One of the things that takes getting used to, when you first start your diet, is eating fat. We have heard from government and health officials tout the “benefits’ of a low-fat diet, that it is now a difficult habit to break. Don’t be afraid to eat healthy, natural sources of fat. While most keto plans call for 60-80 percent of your calories to come from fat, a higher fat intake can increase ketones.
Try increasing your fat levels to 85 or even 90 percent of your calories from fat. Healthy fats include foods like butter, lard, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados. Don’t forget to watch your calories, though!
One great way to increase ketones is to do intermittent fasting. This type of fasting simply means skipping a meal or delaying a meal for a few hours. Most people find that waiting 16 hours between dinner and breakfast will increase ketones and is easy to do. You could also simply skip dinner or breakfast and then eat as you normally would. This doesn’t mean you get to pig out when you do eat again, you simply start eating a normal meal, as if you weren’t skipping meals.
Many people start off eating way too much protein when they first start the keto diet. The strange thing about protein is that you want to eat enough that it’s adequate, but not so much that it’s excessive. Eating enough protein will supply your liver with the protein it needs to function well, and maintain your muscle mass. To calculate your protein needs, you can use our keto calculator here.
Whenever you exercise, you deplete your body of glycogen. These are usually put back when you consume carbs, but if carbs are not available to the body, your liver will increase its production of ketones. Just a note here; studies have found that exercising while you are fasting really boost up ketone levels.
Adding coconut oil into your diet will really help increase ketones. Coconut oil contains something called Medium Chain Triglycerides or MCTs. Unlike other types of fat, the MCTs in coconut oil are rapidly absorbed by the liver, where they can be used immediately, either for energy or converted as ketones. Do avoid stomach upset or diarrhea, add it slowly to your diet. Try starting with one teaspoon each day and work up to three tablespoons.
Eating fatty fish is perhaps one of the best ways to stay in ketosis, but if you want to increase ketone levels, you might want to increase your levels of omega-3 fatty acids. To do this, avoid highly processed vegetable oils and use olive oil or coconut oil instead. Then, add plenty of fish or take fish oil supplements each day. How much fish oil? Well, there are no studies to help guide us, but it’s safe to say that 6 to 10 supplements (at 600-800 mgs per soft gel) would not be too much.
Real food is what humans have been consisting on for thousands, maybe even millions, of years. This means you should focus on real food, such as fresh eggs, meat, organic vegetables, etc. Do NOT rely on those “low carb” foods, such as cookies, chips, or frozen meals. Don’t be fooled by these foods. Give your body what it needs – REAL FOOD.
Too many people think that they can consume alcohol because spirits are low in carbs, or that they can drink low-carb beer. While a shot or two of hard liquor every week might not hurt you, low-carb beer or wine coolers will. Enjoy 5 ounces of red or white wine with dinner each day if you must, but if at all possible, skip the alcohol for the best results from your keto eating plan.
If you only have 5 or 10 pounds to lose, do not think that you are going to lose that weight in two weeks. No matter how much weight you have to lose, it will take time. If you follow the guidelines and count calories, as well as carbs, you will find out where you might be missing something and derailing your weight loss efforts.