Struggling to get in to ketosis?… Don’t worry so is everyone else. Here are 5 tips to help you out.
This is something that comes up fairly often in the keto world.
People are always unsure if they are actually in ketosis and the want to know how to fix it.
First off if you are not testign your ketone levels.. you will never know where you stand or how to make corrections..
Secondly, you need to have an understanding what actually may be holding you back from achieving the coveted state of ketosis. So make sure to educate yourself so you know what to fix if you are not getting the results you want.
Here are 5 things you need to be cognizant of when trying to achieve ketosis
1.Too Many Net Carbs
I’ll keep this one short and sweet as I am certain most people are aware that carbs are the enemy if they are on the keto diet.
But the thing to know here is that pretty much everything you do when trying to get into ketosis surrounded around net carb consumption and managing insulin spikes.
This basically means that consuming non-fibrous carbs have a dramatic effect on your body’s ability to produce ketones.
Fibrous carbs are carbs you get from your greens, avocados, nuts flax seeds, etc.
Non-fibrous carbs are breads, rice, grains, sugars, etc. Managing the trace amounts in non-fibrous carbs is very important and often hidden in many of the foods you eat. SO keep an eye on your food labels
I have seen many different “rules of thumb” in terms of what your net carb intake needs to be.. That ranges from anywhere between 20 net carbs to 50 net carbs.
For me I average around 35ish net carbs a day give or take a few. The longer I have done this the lower it has got.
Everyone is different, so there is no magical number but lower is usually better in terms of getting into ketosis. If you are struggling to get in try dropping down to 20- 25 grams of net carbs a day..but the only way you will know is if you are actually testing.
Play around with it. I can tell you that days that I train, I can usually handle a few more net carbs in my system and still maintain a pretty high ketone level.
2. Eating Too Much Protein
Also another pretty prevalent mistake made that can hinder you from ketosis is consuming too much protein.
Just like carbs, higher amounts of protein can limit the amount of ketones your body makes. To keep this simple, the amino acids in proteins do get converted into glucose in your body and we know glucose has a very negative impact in terms of producing ketones.
One way you can actually eat a little more protein and not be impacted by this is with training or exercise. You body will be utilizing these amino acids meaning it will not have an impact on your ketone production.
On that same note if you are not exercising very often you should be very conscious in your protein intake ..Less protein is better IF your goal is ketosis. Again a lot of this will come back to testing your ketone levels.
I found a cookbook specifically designed to help you build meals for ketosis, You can read the full review of Ketosis Cookbook here.
3. Not Enough MCTs In Your Diet.
Medium Chain Triglycerides or MCTs (<== More info here) are are shorter fatty acid chains that are are actually converted directly to energy, yet never stored in the body as fat (they are amazing for ketosis)
Typically these they range between 6-12 carbons rather than the 14-18 carbons that long chain fatty acids have (think olive oil and nut butters)
As mentioned above, when you consume MCTs they are utilized as energy. They have been called coined as the best fat for ketosis as they are oxidized in muscle cells and used by the liver to make ketones thus never being stored.
If you have been trying to get into ketosis and not having success try supplementing with MCTs. My favorite is actually a powder form and it is super easy on the stomach making it very easy to digest.
I personally recommend Perfect Keto’s MCT Oil Powder, which you can read my full review here
One of my favorite ways to consume these MCTs is with my keto coffee also know a bullet proof coffee (Butter + Cocunut Oil + Coffee = Keto Coffee)
As weird as it sounds I highly would definitely start doing this and even consider this as your new breakfast. This is important because you are already depleted of your glycogen levels and this surge of fats can jump start your ketone production for the day.
I even mix Exogenous Ketones with mine. In my opinion there is no better way to jump start my day.
4. Timing Is Everything When Testing
The first thing you need to know is that your blood ketone levels are lowest in the morning when you initially wake up. So if you have been testing first thing in the a.m. .. you may have noticed that your ketone levels were rather weak.
So don’t panic and think you are not on track just change the time of day you are testing.
It has been shown that ketones levels actually increase as the day progresses. I think the best time to get your most accurate reading of ketone levels is in the afternoon or after the work day.
It is important to get a high fat meal or Keto Coffee when you start your day or break your fast as that can actually help boost ketone levels.
I will say If you are testing often don’t do it post work out as your reading will not be very accurate.
So the thing to remember is:
- Not in the morning
- Not after a work out
- Mid-day/early evening is best
I have started testing recently, and have found this to be pretty damn helpful in terms of where I need to make adjustments to optimize my keto diet. I don’t do it every day but every couple, just because test strips are so expensive.
5. Managing Stress Levels
I think we can all agree that managing your stress levels is pretty much important for everything you do in life. I literally see this in every health article I read..LOL..But it is so much easier than done.
The main reason why we want to manage our stress levels for ketosis is because of cortisol..
As you have probably have heard cortisol is our body’s stress hormone. When we stress out it is released into our body… and producing cortisol long term can have a pretty large impact on your ability to achieve ketosis
The main reason that this can halt ketosis is because cortisol can actually break down protein into sugar. Sugar is a carb and we know carbs are bad for ketone production.
Do you ever eat when you are stressed? I certainly do. Stress can boost your appetite and that is not necesserly a good thing when you are your goal is weight loss.
So do your best to manage your stress. Meditations and Sleep can go a long way.
There are ton of different things that can halt you from being in ketosis, If you can manage a few of them more efficiently you have a much better shot at achieving and maintaining your ketosis goal.
If you are an action taker here are a few things that you can do today.
Physical activity a few times a week -Ride a bike, take a 30 minute walk, go to the gym. What ever it is try to set some time aside every day for some sort of physical activity.
Buy a ketone tester -Knowing is half the battle.. If you are just guessing you can’t make corrections
Count your Carbs -If you are around the 50 net carb mark drop them to 25 per day-Check your food lables and watch out for hidden ca
Consume MCTs -Work them in with your coffee or through out the day.
Manage stress-try meditating and push for 8 hours of sleep.