One of the most well-known low-carb diet plans is the ketogenic diet. Despite its recent popularity, it has been around for over a century. Its original intent was medical. The ketogenic diet was developed as a therapeutic dietary program to assist in treating children with epilepsy before anti-epileptic medications were available.
These days, the main goals of this deficient carbohydrate diet are weight loss and blood sugar control. This article will examine what keto is, how long it takes to get into ketosis, and how long can you do keto.
What is the Keto Diet?
A low-carb diet is “ketogenic” (like the Atkins diet). It will help if you take fewer calories from carbs and more from protein and fat. The easiest-to-digest carbohydrates, such as sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread, should be reduced the most.
Low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, vitamin shortages, and an increased risk of heart disease are all potential side effects of the keto diet.
Strict diets like keto might also lead to disordered eating or social isolation. Anyone with a disorder affecting their pancreas, liver, thyroid, or gallbladder should avoid the ketogenic diet.
How Does the Keto Diet Works?
When you start taking less than 50 grams of carbohydrates daily, your body eventually runs out of quick-acting fuel (blood sugar). Usually, this takes three to four days. After then, you’ll begin converting protein and fat into energy, which may cause you to lose weight. This is the ketosis state. It’s essential to keep in mind that the ketogenic diet is a temporary eating plan that prioritizes weight loss over the quest for health advantages.
Nutritional ketosis is the intended result of ketogenic diets, which is attained by limiting carbohydrate intake, protein intake, and increasing fat calories (1Trusted Source). Your body may transition from using glucose, a form of sugar, as its primary fuel source to using ketones, or molecules generated by breaking down fat, as an alternate fuel source, by consuming fewer carbs and more calories from fat.
As a result, the body’s metabolism gets changed such that fat is preferred as the body’s primary fuel source. In contrast, supporters of the keto diet are eager to highlight its health advantages, such as weight reduction, higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and lower blood sugar, insulin, and triglyceride levels. There are also disadvantages to this diet to take into account.
How Long Does It Take to Enter the State of Ketosis?
Your body must reach the metabolic state of ketosis to benefit from a ketogenic diet.
When glucose, a form of sugar, is scarce, your body enters this metabolic state by turning fat into molecules known as ketones, which it uses as its primary energy source.
The best strategy to enter ketosis is to cut your carbohydrate consumption significantly. Carbohydrates are converted into sugar molecules like glucose in your digestive system, so they may go through circulation and be utilized as fuel. If your body contains more glucose than it needs, it can be stored as the storage compound glycogen in your muscles and liver.
By dramatically lowering your daily carbohydrate consumption to less than 50 grams, your body is pushed to burn up its glycogen reserves before switching to using ketones as fuel. Getting into ketosis takes different amounts of time for different people. Consuming 20–50 grams of carbohydrates each day typically takes 2-4 days.
However, attaining this state may take a week or more extended for some people. For instance, those who ordinarily consume a high-carb diet may require longer to enter ketosis than those who ordinarily follow a low to moderate-carb diet. This is so your body can exhaust its glycogen reserves before entering ketosis.
Why Does Going Into Ketosis Take Longer for Certain People?
There are a variety of causes for why some people develop ketosis more slowly than others. How long it takes to reach ketosis might depend on various factors, including your age, metabolism, amount of activity, and current carb, protein, and fat intake.
Most of the time, consuming more carbohydrates than is advised on a ketogenic diet accidentally results in longer times to reach ketosis. Your body may cease manufacturing ketones if you consume too many carbohydrates.
Additionally, consuming too much protein when following a ketogenic diet, may hinder your ability to enter ketosis. It may tempt your body to employ gluconeogenesis, which turns the amino acids in protein into sugar.
Sugar overconsumption might prevent your body from creating ketones. In addition to nutrition, lifestyle elements including exercise, sleep, and stress may influence how quickly the body enters ketosis.
How Long Should You Do Keto?
As with any diet, you should only start following it if you can commit to changing your lifestyle. It just takes 28 days to notice a significant improvement. You must eat healthy food if you want to keep the weight off. You cannot return to your previous behavior. Diets have goals, and that’s the issue. A lifestyle has no beginning or finish. It will help if you put forth the effort.
The same is true of Salter, who adds that there is no end to the number of carbohydrates one can consume.
As long as someone knows how to properly navigate carb-infested situations like social gatherings, vacations, and holidays, or [they] are OK with the consequences if they do rapidly introduce carbohydrates in a short period. Any diet must be something you can follow and stick to for a very long time.
How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight on Keto?
When the body is in ketosis, it switches from using carbohydrates as fuel to using fat as fuel. According to proponents of the keto diet, ketosis is essential for rapid weight reduction. Although the rate of weight loss depends on several variables, including:
- Your metabolism
- Carb-protein-fat consumption
- Degree of exercise
- How rigidly you adhere to the diet
It can take 2-4 days or more to start losing weight in ketosis.
Even while you could first lose weight rapidly, this weight reduction is only water. As your body becomes used to the keto diet, weight loss decreases after the first two weeks. Aiming to lose more than 2 pounds each week is not advised because doing so too quickly might cause dehydration, mood fluctuations, irritation, tiredness, and exhaustion.