Whether you are new to keto or you are a keto veteran, it is pretty commonplace to wonder if you are on the right track to entering ketosis. The process can take a few days and sometimes the test strips indicate that we are not making the cut. To better help ensure we reach that state, and to do it as quickly and efficiently as possible – Here are 8 ways that can help you to enter ketosis FASTER.
A quick note before we start… the general rule of thumb with the ketogenic diet is that you consume 20g – 50g per day or less of carbohydrates. For quicker results, stick to 20g or less.
1. Exercise + Fasting
Ketosis normally takes anywhere from 2-7 days to transition into. One way to speed this process up would be to workout on an empty stomach. When you exercise, your body depletes the glycogen stores in your liver. And, in response to this, the liver will then create ketone bodies (out of necessity) to energize you. So, working out in a fasted state will increase your Ketone production more quickly. 
Also, if your blood ketone levels are already lower, they will become elevated during exercise. As a result, if you are just starting keto, the chances of exercise really making a difference in your ketone levels, are pretty good.  Try fasting for 16 hours and then exercising. Human Growth Hormone will be elevated at the end of your fast as well this time. This is a great time to work out!
2. Fat Fasting
Fat fasting can be a powerful boost to your keto regimen. It is particularly useful for people who are already keto adapted and trying to break through a weight loss plateau. It can also be used by someone who is regularly in ketosis but is not currently. This type of fasting can be one of the best ways to get back on the horse. But, fat fasting is NOT a permanent solution to staying in ketosis. It should be used as a temporary aid.
So what exactly is FAT fasting?
Fat Fasting differs from traditional fasting and intermittent fasting in that it heavily targets fats for caloric intake over the course of 3-5 days. Generally, you’ll consume 80% to 90% of total calories from fat while also consuming no more than 1200 calories per day. So, overall your total calory intake is going to be low and almost all of those calories are going to be derived from fat.
Fat fasting beyond 5 days can have some risks but nothing any more concerning than regular water fasting. Just make a note to yourself – the longer you live in this calorie deficit, the better your chances of muscle break down are going to be. When you’re in Ketosis, it helps by establishing this great muscle sparing environment. But, we do still need a small amount of protein in order to prevent muscle wasting.
3. Lymphatic System
Aside from MCT fats, all other fats must pass through the lymph system after being digested. Fats travel through the lymphatic system starting in the small intestine and are then released into the blood stream via a large vein your neck. The point of this process is that the fats are now able to move through our blood stream more easily.
You may have heard about the role that our lymph system plays in fighting off infection with the transport of white blood cells. But, It also helps to maintain a healthy level of fats in the blood stream at any given time. 
When we consume fat, it first must work through the lymph system before entering the blood stream. Foam rollers, muscle contractions, and general exercise can aid in getting fat moving around your body.
When using a foam roller, the fat should be pushed from bottom up. This is the direction it would normally travel to be released in your neck. Use the foam roller to apply pressure upwards going from the bottom of the quads all the way to the crease where the top of the leg meets the body.
The use of caffeine, as it relates to the ketogenic has many benefits. It helps to curb appetite, keep the liver healthy, and to burn fat.
Caffeine acts to boost ketone production in the body in a way that directly correlates to the dose consumed.  Higher caffeine intake means more ketones in the blood which in turn means more fat burning.
5. MCT OIL
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) are fats that do not need to take the same route as other fats (Long Chain Triglycerides) in order to be converted into energy. MCTs are a special energy source that can be efficiently utilized by the body. In short, MCT oil can be directly converted into ketones by the mitochondria of our cells.
On the flip side, other fats have to go through the lymph system before getting into the blood stream. MCTs get used right away. While consuming MCT oil, you may experience increased energy because of how quickly they can be converted to fuel.
Interestingly, MCTs are actually able to cross the blood brain barrier where they can be oxidized for energy. This means that they can be used both directly AND indirectly (through ketones) as fuel for the brain. Other fats are unable to do this. They must first pass through lymphatic system, be packaged into the blood stream, picked up by the liver, and then finally converted to ketones. And, since ketones are the preferred source of energy (and MCTs can be directly converted to ketones), MCT oil has been seen to elevate cognitive function. 
Oh, and one more thing – MCTs are super easy on the body to digest!
The bottom line is that MCT oils are a great way to increase ketone levels in the body and help you along to a state of ketosis.
How can you get more MCTs in your diet?
- Coconut Oil
- MCT Oil Supplment (C8: Caprylic acid is the best type)
When you fast and your blood sugar level falls low, your pancreas produces glucagon which in turn signals your liver to burn up stored glycogen. If you are slightly keto adapted, you are more likely to go straight into ketosis. The process may be more slower for someone who has not had time to adapt to running on ketones.
On a water fast, you’ll get into Ketosis around day 3 1/2 to day 4. You can also do a bone broth fast which is basically salt, water, and fat. The salt is important for retaining water. Water follows sugar. And, we lose a significant amount of water when we stop consuming sugar. The salt will help retain it.
7. Limit Protein
There is a misconception that the Ketogenic diet is a high protein diet. It is actually a high fat and moderate protein diet. Eating too much protein could impair your body’s ability with reaching ketosis. The reason being – protein and carbohydrates both get broken down to sugar in the body. Roughly 58% of the protein you consume will get broken down into glucose. So if I consume 100g of protein, 58g of glucose will be produced as a result.
We need roughly 100g of glucose per day on a traditional diet. On a Ketogenic diet that number falls to between 50g – 75g per day for most people. As your body becomes more keto adapted (over the course of 3 weeks), you’ll need less glucose from protein. So with that, your protein intake should decrease as you move along in ketosis.
Okay, so how much protein is really needed then? Through nitrogen testing, it was found that strength athletes need approximately 0.6g protein per pound of body weight. In general, you shouldn’t go above 0.8g per day.
For a 185 lb person like me, that would be 111g of protein per day on the ketogenic diet. 111g of protein then results in 64g of sugar being produced in the body. To get down to that 50g of sugar per day recommendation for keto (after becoming keto adapted), I could drop down to 0.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight which puts me around 93g of protein required.
So, how easy is it for me to get to 111g of protein in a day? A lot easier than you think! Remember – One 80z serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards.
- 8oz Chicken = 62g protein (55% of my daily requirement)
- 8oz Steak = 52g protein (46% of my daily requirement)
- 8oz Fish = 45g protein (40% of my daily requirement)
8. Reduce Stress Levels
The negative affects of stress are well known. But, did you know there is an implication here to ketosis as well?
When we are stressed, the hypothalamus in the brain sends signals to our adrenal glands. The adrenals release the hormone cortisol into our blood stream. When cortisol levels are elevated for an extended period of time, this can cause the breakdown of both proteins (gluconeogenesis) and fat into energy. When the protein is broken down, this results in a spike in blood glucose. And, of course, this blood sugar spike results in us dropping out of ketosis.
As a takeaway a key, always take stress seriously. When you sense that your body has been under too much of it, take a step back and look at what you could be doing differently.
Ensure that you are getting enough of all of these things while on keto. They will help in managing your stress levels.
- Drink plenty of water
- Magnesium (leafy greens)
- Potassium (leafy greens)