How Long Does it Take You to Get Into Ketosis

Keto or ketogenic diet is one of the most popular diets. A number of people have shown their weight loss progress on social media after following this diet.

It uses low carb intake as a method to reduce weight. Your body normally uses carbs in the form of glucose as energy but in this diet, due to low carb intake, your body enters the state of ketosis. Ketosis is the metabolic state in which fats, in the form of ketones, are used as a source of energy for the body.

A Ketogenic diet has some benefits. It helps in the reduction of blood glucose levels and triglycerides. It helps in increasing the sensitivity of insulin to sugar. It also helps in increasing levels of good cholesterol.

However, it takes some time for the body to enter ketosis. For different people, it takes a different amount of time. Some people might not be able to enter this fat-burning mode.

How Long Does it Take to Enter Ketosis?

It is important for your body to enter ketosis in order to start seeing the results.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your body. In the digestive tract, complex carbohydrates are broken down into simpler forms. Glucose is the form that travels through the bloodstream and used by different cells of your body for energy. Excess glucose is stored in the form of glycogen in the liver and in muscles.

When your body is deprived of a normal amount of carbohydrates (less than 40 to 50 grams), it starts using the reserved stores of glycogen as a source of energy.

When these stores deplete, the body enters ketosis.

In this metabolic state, it uses ketone bodies, which are broken down form of fat, to produce energy for the body. This means that it burns fat from the body.

This process also occurs when your body is in a starvation mood and glucose levels drop down by a significant amount.

Generally, it requires 2 to 7 days for the body to enter ketosis but it varies from person to person depending upon metabolism, age, physical activity, and daily carb, fat, and protein intake. For some, it may take more than a week and for some, it is a struggle to even enter.

Since your body needs to deplete its glycogen stores before entering ketosis, if you consume a high amount of carbs on a daily basis, it takes a longer time for your body to burn fat.

How to Tell whether You are in Ketosis?

When the body is in ketosis, you may experience certain symptoms which together are known as ‘keto-flu’. These symptoms include-

1. Fatigue

2. Lack of Performance

3. Headache

4. Nausea

5. Bad Breath

6. Weight Loss

7. Dry Mouth and Increased Thirst

8. Brain Fog

After two to four weeks, these symptoms subside because your body gets adapted to the state.

Although you might guess that your body is on ketosis through these symptoms, the best way to find out is to check ketone levels in blood and urine. If there are increased levels, it means the body is in ketosis.

Ways to Measure Ketone Levels

Ketone bodies are of three types, namely- acetone, acetoacetate and hydroxybutyrate.

Normal level level of ketone bodies is less than 0.6 mmol/L.

There are three ways to measure the levels of ketone bodies-

1. Breath

2. Urine

3. Blood

Increased levels confirm that your body has entered ketosis.

A breath meter called Ketonix is used to measure the acetone levels through breath. These breath meters are quite accurate. It gives a colour if you are in a state of ketosis and also tells you the level of ketone bodies.

Urine strips are available to confirm ketosis.

These are cheap and simple but not very accurate. Acetoacetate levels are measured using ketone urine strips. These strips give different shades of pink and purple to reflect the amount of ketone bodies present in urine

Higher the amount, darker is the colour.

Beta-hydroxybutyrate levels are measured through blood with the help of blood ketone meter. Method of using a blood ketone meter is similar to a blood glucose meter.

You need to prick your finger with a sterilized needle. Wipe off the first drop and when the second drop comes out, let the edge  come in contact with it.

These strips are quite accurate but costly.

If your body has the amount of ketone bodies above the normal level, it indicates ketosis.

A range of 1.5 to 3.0 mmol/L is perfect for maintaining the metabolic state of ketosis.

If you are on a ketogenic diet, these tests help you to identify if the method is working for you or if you need to change your way to achieve weight loss results.

Why Do Some People Take Longer to Enter Ketosis?

There can be a lot of reasons as to why some people struggle to attain the state of ketosis.

Generally, the reason lies that you consume more carbs than what’s recommended.

Eating a higher amount than that can hinder the process. Though some people can enter ketosis even after consuming high amounts of carbs, some need to cut back on them. This depends upon various factors.

Consuming a high amount of protein can also prevent the body from using ketone bodies as a source of energy. This is because a process called gluconeogenesis is used to convert amino acids from protein to glucose which can stop the body from entering ketosis.

Another reason is improper intake of fat. You must consume 70-90% of fat in your daily diet, 10-30% protein and less than 5% of carbs and if you are not consuming the amount as recommended, it makes it harder for your body to make any progress.

There are other factors also that determine the length of time for the body to act on ketosis.

Physical activity helps in burning energy and thus, getting rid of carbs  even faster.

Proper sleep and rest are also important. Stress levels can have an affect as well.

These could be the mistakes keeping you from reaching your goal weight. Make adjustments if you are unable to transition into ketosis.

Tips to Get into Ketosis Faster

There are a few tips you can take up to avoid mistakes that hinder your progress. These include-

1. Consume a Low Carb Diet (20-50 grams per day)- A low carb diet is must to lower the blood glucose levels, so the body can utilise ketones as a source of energy.

2. Check your Carb Intake- Sometimes you fail to keep your carbohydrate consumption within the recommended range which stops your body from entering ketosis. This is why it is important to measure the amount of carbs being taken.

3. Use Fasting as a Method- Introducing short term fasts to your diet can help you reach your goal faster. In fact, intermittent fasting can also help in giving a kick to the body by making it use ketones as a source of energy.

4. Avoid Eating Outside- Junk food usually contains high amounts of carbohydrates. It is also difficult to consume carbs in a calculated manner. Although, you can surely look for some keto friendly dishes at a restaurant.

5. Use Medium-Chain Triglyceride Supplement- These are fat supplements that are absorbed in your body quite quickly and converted to ketones.

6. Use Keto-Friendly Dressings and Sauces- You usually ignore the ingredients of such products but they add a lot to the diet.

7. Go through Tests Regularly- Tests are one of the best ways to confirm if you are in ketosis or not. This way you can make changes accordingly.

8. Exercise- Working out is the best way to burn energy. Body uses more carbs and hence, forms a way for ketones to be used as a fuel source.

9. Ask an Expert- You can take advice from some nutritionist or dietician who can guide you the best.

These suggestions can be applied to your diet in order to achieve greater and faster results.


Ketosis is a diet that focuses on the intake of high fat and extremely low carbohydrates. It causes the body to enter a different metabolic state that burns fat by using ketones for fuel.

The body is required to enter ketosis for you to see the results. It takes different lengths of time for different people. Shorter the length of time, faster are the results.

When the body enters ketosis, some symptoms are experienced but the best way of all to make sure your body is on ketosis is to get tests done. They can be done through blood, urine, or breath.

Ketosis also has numerous other benefits like control of sugar in blood and cholesterol levels.

Sometimes it fails because you tend to make mistakes while following it. You can take care of some things and add exercise to your routine for faster progress.

Leave a Reply