You might already know that a keto diet is one of the most effective ways to regulate, lose, and maintain weight and improve overall health.
However, many people ask how you stay in ketosis once you’ve established a keto plan that works for your lifestyle.
That’s why, in the guide, we will look at the seven most effective ways to stay in ketosis once you’ve got there.
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7 Effective Ways to Stay in Ketosis
The easy part is done once your body has reached a state of ketosis and begun using fat stores for fuel. The challenge comes with staying in ketosis, so let’s consider how.
1. Keep Carbohydrates Low
As you’re already aware, the baseline for a ketogenic diet is a low-carb intake. For most healthy adults, the general recommendation for carbohydrate consumption on a keto diet is between 20g and 50g per day. This amount will depend on your weight, age, and fitness level.
After reaching a ketogenic state, and once you’ve reached your goal, a continuous and stable carb intake is critical to remain in ketosis.
After all, a keto diet is a big lifestyle change, not a quick fad diet. It would be best to be committed and ready to adapt to it for as long as required to reach your health goals.
2. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is an encouraged way of life on its own. However, combining fasting with your keto diet can help you to stay in ketosis for longer by giving your body more time to break down any carb intake.
Incorporating exercise into your keto diet will help you maintain a ketosis state. The more energy you burn, the more fat stores are used. Therefore you’re likely to see results quicker. Exercise also means that any carbs consumed throughout the day are burned off.
You don’t need to hit the gym daily, lifting weights or pounding the running machine for hours. Simple home workouts, light weights 3-4 times per week, and walking for half an hour daily will all help burn carbs and stay in ketosis.
The amount of exercise you partake in depends on your diet and health regime. However, if you think of it like this, One day, you’ve eaten over 50g grams of carbs, spent an extra half an hour at the gym, or increased your walk to a jog.
And, if you feel like a carb-loaded lunch, try to do it pre-workout to give your body the ability to burn off those carbs, helping you stay in ketosis.
If you don’t have the time to exercise regularly, ketosis is still possible, which you can learn more about with our informative guide on how to get the most out of keto without exercise.
4. Get a PT (Personal Trainer)
Having somebody to hand that you can reach out to and speak to regarding your keto diet can be essential to helping you remain on track and stay in ketosis. A PT will be able to give you a customized plan that’s realistic for you to stick to and will make your ketosis maintainable.
5. Talk to a Dietitian
It can help to speak with a medical professional or dietician who can advise you on meeting your long-term goals. Regular blood tests can ensure staying in ketosis is working for you and not damaging your health regarding kidney and liver problems or blood sugar and protein levels.
6. Eat More Beneficial Fats
Like the Atkins diet, keto relies heavily on regularly consuming healthy fats like avocados, nuts and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. To ensure you stay in ketosis, don’t let this intake drop. Continue to consume these high-fat foods, including fatty meat.
One final thing that some people recommend while trying to stay in ketosis is trying keto supplements, which can aid you in staying on track. Natural supplements for ketosis, such as calcium and magnesium, help the body remain in natural ketosis.
However, there is still ongoing research being carried out surrounding this. So, speaking to a physician before taking any supplements would be best. Other supplements include products like BHB oil.
8. Stay Hydrated
When your body is in the state of ketosis, it produces less insulin, which triggers excessive excretion of sodium and other electrolytes through urine.
Ketosis also results in increased urination thus, insufficient fluid intake may lead to dehydration.
Dehydration is often the underlying cause of several health issues like constipation, fatigue, headaches, and muscle cramps. Now the question is:
How to stay in ketosis?
To maintain ketosis you need to drink more water throughout the day for electrolyte balance and kidney function.
The keto diet is typically low in fiber, so staying hydrated is essential to ensure proper digestion. Meals with a high fat content tend to make you thirsty, and the body misinterprets it as hunger. Drinking water helps regulate your appetite and energy levels.
9. Monitoring Ketone Levels
Monitoring ketone levels is a smart way to keep track of ketosis and a starting point for how to stay in ketosis all day.
The normal amount of ketones in our blood is lower than 0.5 mmol/L, but during ketosis, it ranges between 0.5 – 3.0 mmol/L.
Using urine ketone strips is an easy and economical option, as you can buy them from any pharmacy without a prescription. When dipped in urine samples, these strips change color and come with a color-coded chart.
The second option for staying in ketosis is a Blood Ketone Meter, which is more accurate but a bit pricey. You will need to prick your finger to place a drop of blood on the test strip every time; if you’re uncomfortable with this, stick to the first option.
10. Keep Keto-Friendly Snacks on Hand
The most straightforward and effective way to stay in ketosis all day is to follow a tailored diet plan strictly. Keeping keto-friendly snacks on hand shall ensure that you don’t end up eating food that interferes with ketosis.
It is easy to give in to unjustified temptations when you’re still getting used to the keto diet. One carb-rich snack may spoil the progress you’ve made so far.
To stay in ketosis, you need to be persistent and eat consciously. You can always keep a bag of nuts and seeds handy when you’re traveling; keto-friendly bars and jerky are also good options when you cannot access or carry fresh food. Keeping a water bottle handy also helps stay hydrated and avoid unhealthy cravings, especially when you’re trying to stay in ketosis after fasting.
Struggling to Stay in Ketosis? Here are Some Common Mistakes
There are some common mistakes that people make when trying to stay in ketosis, and they’re usually straightforward, simple errors.
Let’s look at what you could change if you find it tricky to stay in ketosis.
1. Not Enough Fat
If you’re new to the keto lifestyle, increasing your fat intake can feel unnatural and proves one of the most challenging things people struggle to get their heads around. After all, you aim to lose weight in many cases, so consuming high-fat foods might seem counterproductive.
Healthy fats are beneficial in a keto diet, so trying to stay in ketosis means your fat intake needs to remain consistent. Healthy oils, like olive oil, and eating meat and seafood with a high-fat content will help you stay in that keto state.
2. Too Many Carbs
You might think that you’ve lowered your carb intake substantially, but more often than not, it’s not enough.
The maximum amount of carbs the average adult should consume daily is around 50g. However, this can be dropped to as low as 20g per day for some people. For example, let’s say you’re not hitting the gym a few times a week or getting your steps in; a lower carb allowance will see you hit your goals faster.
To find out your exact daily carb needs, use a keto calculator.
3. Lack of Exercise
As we’ve already covered, exercise boosts a keto diet and helps you to stay in ketosis by burning any carbohydrates you’ve consumed. If you’ve not had the time to hit the gym, find other ways to stay active. For instance, let’s say you’re completely sedentary, reduce your carbs down to 20 grams a day; this will help you stay in ketosis.
4. Incorrect Macronutrients
Although ketosis relies heavily on the rule of low-carb, high-fat, keeping the rest of your macros in check is essential. For example, the amount of protein you consume should be moderate. Too much or too little protein compared to your carb and fat intake can hinder your ability to stay in ketosis.
Speak with your dietician or nutritionist, who can verify the correct macros for your lifestyle and diet. Once you’ve established what’s right for you, you can set up MyFitnessPal for keto to make it easier to keep track of your macros.
How to Stay in Ketosis – A Brief Rundown of Effective Tips
The fact of the matter is; the most effective ways to stay in ketosis aren’t much different from how you produce a state of ketosis in the first place.
The key points here are to keep your carbs below 50g per day and alter these depending on your activity level. For example, if you’re sedentary most of the week, keep your carbs to as little as 20g per day to stay in ketosis.
Keto uses fat stores for energy, which happens when your carb intake is significantly reduced. Therefore, adding foods that contain more healthy fats into your diet, like mackerel, salmon, fatty meat, and nuts, will naturally induce and help you stay in ketosis. You can learn more about this in our guide about what to eat on a keto diet.
If you’ve reached ketosis but are struggling to remain there and find yourself slipping in and out, these seven practical tips will significantly improve your progress.