Keto Beginner’s Guide Part 3:
Ketosis is a metabolic state defined by raised levels of ketones in the body, resulting from a diet that is very low in carbohydrates. Ketosis involves the body producing ketones out of fat, and using these ketones for energy instead of carbs.
If you remain under your net carbs, most people should enter Ketosis in about 2 to 3 days. However, it can take up to a week for some. That’s one of the reasons why cheating on the Keto diet (especially in the beginning) is not recommended. For some, a cheat meal/day could take them a few days or up to a week to recover from and to get back into Ketosis.
Fat Adapted on Keto:
Fat-Adapted is the process your body goes through on the Keto diet as it transitions from using glucose/sugar for energy to using fat to fuel your body ( fat from your diet and stored on your body).
On Keto, it generally takes a couple of weeks of low carb eating to become fully fat adapted. Most will say, it takes about 4-6 weeks for your body to fully make the transition.
Again, it is important NOT to cheat during these first few weeks. Having high carb meals during this time may interrupt your transition to fat-adapted and it may take longer to get to that state. If you are hungry, eat, but keep it Low Carb. After you have become fat adapted you will be running on fat and no longer sugar & carbs.
For me, this is when it got easy. The longer I have been Keto the easier it was for me to incorporate Intermittent Fasting to my way of eating.
Keto & Intermittent Fasting (IF) seem to go hand in hand. You may hear Intermittent Fasting come up a lot around Keto. Fasting is known to naturally cleanse the body and speed up the repair and regeneration of damaged cells. There are athletes who incorporate IF into their routines because of the benefits of fasting, but they may not necessarily be eating Keto.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is an eating schedule (or a pattern of eating) which alternates between fasting and eating. You can set a time window for eating that works for you, eat only within that established time frame and then you would fast the rest of the time.
Hunger suppression/ decrease in appetite is something that eventually comes with the Keto diet (especially once you are fat adapted). This helps to make fasting something that comes more naturally rather than something that is painful. I can often go 16-18 hours without eating. I am not usually trying to fast this long, I just do it naturally because I am not hungry.
There are some that may argue that doing IF at the very beginning of your Keto journey is pointless, mostly because you are not fat adapted yet and your body is already going thru lots of adjustments to this new way of eating. These people usually say to gradually add Intermittent Fasting to your routine once you have become fat adapted.
There is A LOT of information out there about the different time frames to fast 14:10 / 16:8 / 18:6 / 20:4 . The first number in the set (18:6) is the number of hours you are fasting (18 hours) and the second number is the number of hours in which you would eat (6 hours). If you are interested in Intermittent Fasting, Google will be your friend. There are a lot of resources out there if you want to explore it more.
What about Cheat Meals?
Cheating on Keto is never really encouraged; especially during those crucial first few weeks. It can slow down the transition to becoming fat adapted as well as getting yourself into Ketosis. There will be some who say that they cheat and it doesn’t effect their weight loss. That may be the case for them, but it may not be that way for you. Every body is different and how we respond will vary. People have reported getting sick after a high carb cheat meal; nausea, vomiting, sluggishness, etc. and others report no symptoms at all.
For me, personally, cheat meals were never worth it. If I really craved something, I made a Keto version. A cheat meal to me is something maybe a little more Dirty Keto and I may go over my calories a bit, but never with Non-Keto foods.
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