If you’re on a ketogenic diet right now, there is one thing that you will without a doubt need to be concerning yourself with…
That thing? Maintaining ketosis.
It can be challenging at first for some individuals to get into ketosis. But if this diet is to work as it’s supposed to, you need to get yourself into this state.
It’s in this state that you are going to be burning fat as a fuel source and ensuring the diet works as it should.
If you constantly fluctuate in and out of ketosis, it’s only going to be a matter of time before you fall off completely, claiming the diet doesn’t work.
Those who aren’t in ketosis won’t reap many of the benefits that come with this diet plan such as:
- reduced hunger levels
- improved energy
- clearer concentration and thinking
So how can you maintain ketosis?
What’s the best way to ensure that you get – and stay in ketosis?
Let’s get into it!
The most important thing for getting into ketosis in the first place is being aggressive from the start!
Don’t lower your carbohydrate intake slowly hoping you will ‘adapt’ to using a lower carb diet.
While this may help you out psychologically, the problem is that once you get to a carb intake level where you’re right around the 50-80 grams per day mark, you’re going to find you feel miserable.
This isn’t really enough carbohydrates to make you feel ideal and it’s not enough to get you into ketosis either. So, chances are you will feel hungry, miserable, and irritable.
You’re far better off to just go full-fledged keto right from the start. Then once you’re there, you can worry about maintaining.
To maintain ketosis, the following three tips should really help out.
Test Your Ketone Levels Regularly
First and foremost, be sure that you are taking your ketone levels regularly, at least in the start.
This way, you can know for sure whether or not you are in ketosis. For beginners, it’s a great way to ensure you learn the difference of being in ketosis and not being in ketosis.
If you sometimes feel you aren’t quite sure what it’s like to be in ketosis, this will help you differentiate. Soon you will get to the point where you just know.
At that point, you can stop the testing.
By testing, it also helps you get a feel for which foods may take you out of ketosis quicker and which keep you in.
For instance, some people may find that artificial sweeteners mess with their ketosis levels while others don’t have a problem. By testing, you can figure this out.
Track Those Macros
The next step is making sure that you are always tracking your macros. This is perhaps the most important thing that you can do because macro tracking is what gets you into ketosis in the first place.
Most people who start on the keto diet do a really great job at making sure their carbohydrate intake is very low to start with. They’re in the zone, motivated and eating hardly any carbs at all.
But time passes on and soon the diet loses the excitement. Then they go off adding a few carbs here and there.
Then next thing you know, they aren’t even on a low carb diet any more.
If you aren’t tracking your macros, it’s impossible for you to know if you are even in ketosis unless you are tracking all day long.
Tracking macros is essential. It’s a good idea to track macros just to ensure that you are in the place you need to be to lose weight to begin with, then doubly important while on the keto diet to track macros to ensure that your ketosis is going to move along without a problem.
If tracking macros seems like too much for you, not to worry. There are plenty of macro tracking apps out there that you can use that will help you do this process in mere seconds after a meal.
Supplement With Exogenous Ketones
Finally, the last step you can do to help yourself stay in ketosis is to actually supplement with exogenous ketones.
When you go on a keto diet plan, your body is going to start making ketones as part of it’s plan to keep you going. These ketones are what fuel your system and ensure that you are feeling your very best at all times.
If you do happen to eat something you shouldn’t though – like say a banana, you are going to get kicked right out of ketosis and have to go through the process of getting yourself back into ketosis once again.
That’s where exogenous ketones come into play.
By taking these, you can get yourself back into ketosis much faster, therefore carry on with the plan. You’ll be providing your body with outside ketones, which it can then use as fuel and will help you get right back to where you were.
Some athletes also find that supplementing with ketones can help boost their performance and may help curtail the development of lactic acid .
Just do keep in mind that this doesn’t mean if you just take ketones and eat what you eat whatever you want, you can keep burning fat all day long.
It doesn’t work like that. Taking ketones only helps you achieve the state you need to be in to burn fat as optimally as possible.
You do still need to put in the work and effort to maintain the right calorie level and macro ratio to get that fat being oxidized as a fuel source.
So keep these three points in mind. Being in ketosis can be a powerful thing but in order for it to work as it should, you need to get and stay in ketosis. Doing these things can certainly help you accomplish that.
1. Egan, Brendan, and Dominic P. D’Agostino. “Fueling performance: ketones enter the mix.” Cell metabolism 24.3 (2016): 373-375.