Today is the start of your keto journey. You’ve read the books, listened to the podcasts, and embraced the science. And now, you’re ready to elevate your health (and ketones) through the power of a ketogenic diet. But unlike everyone else…
You want to reach ketosis FAST!
In fact, you want to go from normal to ketosis in just 24 hours. It might seem crazy (like, really crazy), but you’d be shocked at how often we’re asked this question. So...can you reach ketosis in 24 hours?
The answer is yes - and for the brave and willing, we’ll tell you exactly how to do it. But before we do that, we need to start with the basics...
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state defined by your body using significant amounts of ketones for energy. When your glucose stores are low, your body converts fat into ketones - and those ketones can be used for energy. Which means...
To reach a state of ketosis, you need to deplete your glucose.
Most people reach ketosis gradually by eating a standard ketogenic diet: high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate. Carbs must be limited to keep your glucose stores low and prevent your body from preferentially using glucose for energy. Protein can’t be too high on a ketogenic diet because your body can easily convert protein to glucose. And fat makes up most of your diet because…
A. Fat converts directly to ketones; and
B. You need calories to live. And you can’t get the majority of your calories from carbs or protein without decimating your ketone levels.
How long does it take to reach ketosis?
If you stick to this kind of “standard” ketogenic diet (as outlined above), you can expect to reach ketosis in a matter of days. In fact, most people will register significant ketones (>0.5) in just 2-4 days! From there, you can increase your ketones by upping your fat percentage or simply through a combination of exercise and sticking to a baseline ketogenic diet.
That’s the right strategy for entering ketosis. But for some people, 2-4 days is just too slow.
If you want to reach ketosis in 24 hours, you need a different approach. It’s gonna be painful, and we don’t recommend it at all. But if you’re curious as to how this would work, keep reading - because here it is...
Your step-by-step guide to reach ketosis in just 24 hours.
How to Test Ketone Levels - the RIGHT Way
To determine if you're successful (or not), you’ll need to measure blood ketone and glucose values.
If you do a quick search on how to measure ketones, you’ll find 2 options: blood ketone meters and urine sticks. While it may seem tempting to just pee on a stick, we highly discourage the use of a urine stick.
First off, urine sticks do NOT measure circulating ketones - they only measure the ketones that are leaving your body. Furthermore, if your goal is to reach ketosis in 24 hours, a ketone urine stick will NOT tell you if you’ve achieved your goal. Ketones will show up in your blood long before they show up in your urine. So for these reasons and more…
Always measure ketones with a blood ketone meter.
We recommend the Precision Xtra Blood Glucose and Ketone Monitoring System, but there are certainly other options you can use as well.
Whatever meter you choose, you’ll want to make sure your meter has the capability to measure blood ketones AND blood glucose. Because even though blood glucose fluctuates throughout the day and is generally less reliable as a measure of ketosis, it’s still an important measurement when paired with your blood ketone reading.
We recommend the Precision Xtra to measure Blood Glucose and Ketones.
The pairing of blood ketone and blood glucose values will give you a snapshot of your metabolic state. And now that we know how to measure ketosis, we can move on to the real work - getting into ketosis in 24 hours.
Ketosis Hacks for Faster Results
What to eat to get into Ketosis in 24 hours: A VERY Modified Ketogenic Diet
If you’re serious about reaching ketosis in 24 hours, then forget about food. You need to shut the fridge, close the cabinets, and embrace the glucose-burning power of fasting!
If you maintain a low-carb diet leading up to your fast, you’ll have a much easier time. You won’t be as susceptible to the mental and physical crash that can accompany fasting. And thus, your mood and energy shouldn’t suffer.
Here's what your "modified ketogenic diet" will look like
Fasting will cause your body to burn through it’s stored glucose and force it to create a new kind of fuel - ketone bodies. But fasting alone won’t bring you to the promised land of nutritional ketosis.
To reach ketosis in 24 hours, you need to add another element to your game...
A Carb-Burning Exercise Plan
There are all sorts of reasons why you should exercise regularly. Exercise allows us to maintain lean muscle mass, enhance cardiovascular health, boost our natural immune defenses, and so much more. But if you want to achieve ketosis in 24 hours, you have just one goal with your exercise - burn glucose.
You can skip the heavy weights and slow movements. What we need is high-intensity cardio or resistance training. Engaging in activities like running, kickboxing, biking or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) will allow you to rapidly deplete glucose stores and prime your body to start making ketones.
As a general rule, you’ll want to work out in the morning. That way, you can burn through much of your glucose stores early on in your fast. Exercise can really mess with the accuracy of your blood glucose and ketone readings. That’s because the hormonal response to exercise causes stored glucose to be released from your liver and skeletal muscle - which temporarily raises the glucose in your blood.
So get it out the way early.
Actual photo of me working out in the morning...
By placing your exercise session early in the day, you’ll have more energy to train and ensure a more accurate ketone and blood glucose reading at the end of your 24-hour keto adventure. But you’ll have a hard time making it through this adventure if you don’t pay attention to something else…
Avoid Negative Symptoms of Fasting and Ketosis Symptoms: Manage your Minerals!
Remember, we don’t at all recommend trying to reach ketosis in 24 hours. There’s simply no reason to move this fast, when a gradual transition works so much better.
But if you do decide to go ahead with this 24-hour ketosis battle-plan, here’s something else to stay on top of: minerals.
When you deplete your glucose stores over a short period of time, you lose a TON of water. And along with that water, comes the depletion of water-soluble minerals like sodium, potassium and magnesium.
These electrolytes are essential to health and wellness. If you have a deficiency in any one of these elements, you’re definitely gonna feel it. So if you want to stay healthy and feeling good throughout the 24 hours, you need to manage your minerals.
We recommend a mineral supplement for anyone starting a ketogenic diet. And if you’re kick-starting your journey with a 24-hour regiment of fasting and exercise, this mineral supplement goes from “highly recommended” to “absolutely essential”.
There’s no way to account for your mineral loss with food - because you won’t be eating. So before you go full-steam ahead toward 24-hour ketosis, make sure you find a mineral supplement (or selection of supplements) that provides plenty of bioavailable sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
Let’s Call it a Day - Ketosis in 24 Hours
Congratulations! You’ve successfully reached nutritional ketosis in just 24 hours!
You’re tired, hungry, and sore. But you’ve learned a valuable lesson…
It’s best to achieve ketosis gradually - by eating a ketogenic diet.
To achieve ketosis the right way, it’s best to stick with the basis. Eat a normal ketogenic diet, work out regularly, and maintain your minerals. And when the sugar cravings strike, try a low carb, keto snack like the Legendary Tasty Pastry.
That way, you can comfortably transition to ketosis and enjoy all the health benefits that come from controlling blood sugar and increasing your circulating ketones!
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Stay healthy out there!