How to Get into Ketosis FAST (Under 4 Days): Quickest Plan

Through my personal experiences and with a lot of research, I’ve developed a sure-fire way to get into Ketosis fast. Listed here: exactly what to do when starting Keto.

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Original Post: 2017 – Updated on December 31st, 2020

Below you’ll find an exact Plan to Get in Ketosis Fast. Note: it is highly likely you’ll be in Ketosis much faster than 5 days… stick to the plan either way.

If you’ve read about the Keto Diet and are interested in getting into Ketosis quickly this post will help you understand exactly what you can do. If you’re unsure about what the Keto Diet is read this first.

The first time attempting the Keto Diet I hated it. I was tired (I don’t often feel tired) and my stomach was (rolling / gurgling / angry) the whole time. I lasted one week for my first attempt and I felt miserable! Guess what, I did it wrong. Let’s avoid that…

Before you start / what to know.

Understanding Ketones

Most people are sugar burners (you eat loads of carbs and they in turn create blood sugar and help to keep you going).

Your body’s cells are powered by an energy molecule called ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), this is made by using glucose (blood sugar).

Ketosis is different – When your body is in Ketosis, your liver creates molecules called ketone bodies. These Ketone bodies are typically produced when glucose is not available as a fuel source.

Getting into Ketosis means your body has to use more energy (utilize and burn fat).

Removing the Glycogen Stores

When you reduce your Glycogen stores, your body is forced to use your fat for energy (or dietary fat – what you eat).

Transition & Testing

You’re going to have to be “all in” – don’t try Keto unless you’re willing to give it all you’ve got. You’re going to need to deplete glycogen stores, and the faster you can do this the better you’re going to feel.

Your body is going to transition from being a sugar burner to being a fat burner, noice. However, you might feel lethargic, have cramps, be irritable, and get headaches. You’re transitioning, did you think it would be easy to just switch up your body’s routine? Sorry but no, the vast majority will struggle at first. But it’s okay, this is transition is natural and things are going to get much better if you follow these steps!

How will I know I’m in Ketosis?

Pee strips are going to help at first. We’ve found that they have a shelf life. Don’t buy them if you’re not ready.

Note: the test strips are only good to see what you’re peeing out, that’s it. Testing blood ketone levels is MUCH more effective and more expensive too. It’s not necessary but it’s useful at the start. Long term, don’t bother.

After your initial entry in to ketosis and this new way of eating, tracking blood sugar is much more impactful. I’ve got 2 blog posts that will illustrate how important tracking blood sugar is:

Let’s talk about fasting…

Intermittent Fasting

IF (or Intermittent Fasting) is the avoidance of calorie consumption over an extended period of time. Typically this time allows an 8-12 hour window each day for calorie consumption. Some people practice OMAD (one meal a day) – which provides them with an eating window of 1-2 hours. Everyone is different, don’t stress over this – select a plan that’s reasonable and stick to it. More in a bit…

Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool in relation to ketosis.

In 2016, the Noble Prize in Physiology / Medicine was given to Yoshinori Ohsumi for discovering some of the mechanisms of autophagy – the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components.  

When the cells undergo the process of autophagy:

  • Damaged proteins: removed / recycled
  • Invading microorganisms: removed
  • Toxic compounds: removed.

Broken down in understandable terms, this means: you’re slowing the aging process, reversing disease, and helping to prevent cancer. The problem for most is that it doesn’t happen all the time because you’re always eating. The constant intake of food is thwarting the process. That’s right, I used the word thwarting.

Fasting, protein restriction, and carbohydrate restriction are the three main ways to initiate the autophagic processes via diet. This is one reason highlighting why the ketogenic might be the right therapeutic change your body needs.

Finally…

How to Get in Ketosis Fast

The following section is going to layout point by point what we’ve tested and found very successful. This particular guide is not a meal plan. It’s an outline for what works to get into lasting Ketosis (and do it quickly).

How to Get in Ketosis Fast

The Right Keto Plan

Tip (before you even get started)DRINK WATER. You’re going to be fasting but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to drink water. You’re going to drink a lot of water. Keto is a natural diuretic – this means you’re going to pee a lot and lose water weight.

During the hours you’re fasting you’re also going to need to increase your electrolyte intake (sodium, magnesium, potassium). Best Option: Explorado Market’s Salty Lemon Twist electrolytes. Read about how to pick the right electrolyte blend.

When you drastically reduce your carb intake your insulin-levels decrease and your kidneys release more salt than when you were eating a bunch of carbs. You’re reducing your insulin levels while getting into Ketosis (when you eat carbs your insulin levels rise); salt is not getting properly released by the body and you’re not optimally healthy. Thanks a lot, carbs!

During this initial phase when getting into Ketosis you’ve got to up the: Water, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, & Potassium intake. Naturally, your salt cycle will restore and your body is going to properly thank you. You feel so much better!

Balancing electrolytes is the biggest supplement game changer I’ve experienced.

Consume Exogenous Ketones at the Start

This section was originally written here (in this post) – How to boost energy on Keto.

WHEN I REFER TO KETONES BELOW – KNOW THIS:

Exogenous means: you consume it. Endogenous means: it’s naturally created in your body.

When you limit carbs, or fast, your body will produce energy via ketones. If you’re starting the keto diet, it’s a great time to introduce exogenous ketones. This process is kinda like you making the introduction to your body: “oh hey, these are my friends, Ketones. I think you guys will really get along.”

You can also supplement with ketones when you’re in need of more energy. Combining ketone consumption and carbs may provide a frenzied energy boost for game or race day. If your body is used to endogenously providing energy for all your daily needs, a boost on the day you really need it, might make you feel amazing! Who doesn’t want that?

I do not recommend regular ketone consumption. Let your body handle it, it’s natural. I do recommend ketone consumption at the start of your keto diet experience and when you want to really capitalize on energy.


ON TO THE RECOMMENDATION

Please let me know how this plan works for you in the comments. Please ask questions in the comments too.


Day 0 – Sunday Night

  • Eat a Keto Dinner that’s low in carbs (no later than 6pm).
  • Drink Water
  • Pee on a test strip (if you’re just getting started, you’re not going to change the color on that little strip). BUT it’s good to see before you get started.

Day 1 – Monday

You’re not going to eat food until 3pm. This is going to give your body the chance to rid itself of as much of its Glycogen stores as possible. Not eating until 3pm is part of this purging process (only part of the process though). It’s going to be tough, the sense of accomplishment alone will be worth it.

You’re also going to need to get in (3) 10 minute sessions of moderate / difficult cardio. You’re going to spread these 10 minute sessions out (from when you wake up – till 3pm). We have an Airdyne and a C2 Rower. We’ll take 5 minutes on the Airdyne followed by another 5 minutes on the C2 – I’m breathing pretty heavy after this exercise. The idea behind this is to encourage your body’s Glycogen stores to be utilized quickly (so we don’t have a long transition phase). If you don’t have a C2 or Airdyne, jog. It’s just 10 minutes, you’ve got this!

Let’s say you wake up at 7am:

  • Drink Water (with a pinch of added, non-processed real salt – no iodine) – Drink as much as you can. Keep it on-hand and readily available – this applies throughout the day.
  • 7:30 (10 Minutes of moderate / difficult cardio)
  • 10:00 (10 Minutes of moderate / difficult cardio)
  • 12:00 (Drink a serving of electrolytes & ketones – see above)
  • 12:15 (10 Minutes of moderate / difficult cardio)
  • 2:59 Pee on a test strip (if you’ve cycled through Ketosis before, you might be in. If not, don’t worry it’s still early).
  • 3:00 Eat a meal rich with dark leafy greens, fatty meat, avocados and healthy oils. Pro tip: add in a serving of MCT oil to whatever you’re eating.
  • You may eat Keto foods from 3pm – 8pm – Track your macros and feel full (don’t over do it). We’re not counting calories and you’re not going to over-indulge.
  • 8pm – It’s water for you! Happy peeing.
  • Before you go to bed (1 serving of electrolytes) – that’s your second serving for the day.
  • Pee on a test strip

Keto Supplements

You were just introduced to three supplements. Here’s what they are:

  1. MCT Oil – Packed with nutritious fats, MCTS are absorbed directly from the gut to the liver, where they are burned quickly for energy.
  2. Ketones – Any reputable ketone supplement will do.
  3. Electrolytes – Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, & Potassium – learn more about the INCREDIBLE VALUE here.

Day 2 – Tuesday

At this point (or yesterday afternoon after you ate) you may be feeling a bit of churning stomach, that’s okay. If you’ve got a headache at any point, did you consume your electrolytes?

Again, we’ll assume you woke up at 7am.

  • Pee on a test strip
  • Drink Water
  • 12:00 (Drink a serving of electrolytes & ketones)
  • 12:15 (10 Minutes of moderate / difficult cardio)
  • 12:59 Pee on a test strip
  • 1:00 Lunch Time! Eat a meal rich with dark leafy greens and a fatty meat. Check out our Keto recipes for ideas on what to eat. Add in a serving of MCT oil to whatever you’re eating.
  • You may eat Keto foods from 1pm – 8pm – Track your macros and feel full (don’t over do it, we’re not counting calories right now). Counting calories is a great idea to help with accountability but let’s not over-burden this process right now. We’re trying to keep things simple.
  • 8pm – It’s water for you! Happy peeing.
  • Before you go to bed (1 serving of electrolytes)
  • Pee on a test strip

Day 3 – Wednesday

Wednesday will be the same process as Tuesday, and you very might well already be in Ketosis! But in case you are not, here is the protocol to follow:

Again, we’ll assume you woke up at 7am.

  • Pee on a test strip
  • Drink Water
  • 12:00 (Drink a serving of electrolytes & ketones)
  • 12:15 (10 Minutes of moderate / difficult cardio)
  • 12:59 Pee on a test strip
  • 1:00 Lunch Time! Eat a meal rich with dark leafy greens and a fatty meat. Check out our Keto recipes for ideas on what to eat. Add in a serving of MCT oil to whatever you’re eating.
  • You may eat Keto foods from 1pm – 8pm – Track your macros and feel full (don’t over do it).
  • 8pm – It’s water for you! Happy peeing.
  • Before you go to bed (1 serving of electrolytes)
  • Pee on a test strip

Day 4 – Thursday

Your body should already be in ketosis, but in case it’s not, you will be following the same ritual as you did on Day 2:

Again, we’ll assume you woke up at 7am.

  • Pee on a test strip
  • Drink Water
  • 12:00 (Drink a serving of electrolytes & ketones)
  • 12:15 (10 Minutes of moderate / difficult cardio)
  • 12:59 Pee on a test strip
  • 1:00 Lunch Time! Eat a meal rich with dark leafy greens and a fatty meat. Check out our Keto recipes for ideas on what to eat. Add in a serving of MCT oil to whatever you’re eating.
  • You may eat Keto foods from 1pm – 8pm – Track your macros and feel full (don’t over do it).
  • 8pm – It’s water for you! Happy peeing.
  • Before you go to bed (1 serving of electrolytes)
  • Pee on a test strip

Day 5+

Congratulations!  You should be in ketosis, and can now follow a normal keto meal plan.

At his point you may want to start counting calories and macros. There are great calculators online to help you with this.


For more information and tips, here are a few helpful posts:

How to Get in Ketosis Fast

Thanks for visiting and reading!

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36 comments
    1. It’s best if you keep taking the Calcium + Magnesium + Sodium + Potassium + Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (Keto Salts) on a regular basis. Sometimes we just don’t get all of the food we need to cover any deficiencies, the Keto Salts make sure we get what we need and avoid cramping (among other things).

      On the strips: I like to test using those and the glucometer too (with keto strips). Helps me know what lifestyle changes are effecting my Ketone levels and helps me make better decisions.

      1. Yes Rob, about the electrolytes. When I was doing Keto last summer I wasn’t replenishing like I should and there were times that I felt as if I was going to pass out. One morning I took my daughter swimming and barely made it back to the car when she was done. Being low on electrolytes makes you weak, short of breath, dizzy, confused, etc. Having had gastric bypass I suspect that I am particularly prone to being quite sensitive to those levels as well. So, the moral of the story is keep consuming your electrolyte replacement while doing Keto.

  1. Hi!
    I work in a hospital and my wake up time is 4:30AM. I leave for work at 5:30 and my lunch break is somewhere between 11-noon. I am in bed by 8:30PM.
    How do I adjust these times to fit my work schedule. Weekends this will be fine but Mon-Friday I need to do this differently.
    So I wake up at 4:30AM and Drink water and pee on a test strip. 5:00AM I hit my exercise bike for 10minutes. 5:30AM I start my 30minute commute. What are my times from there?
    Also I can’t fit in 10minutes of cardio while at work so what do I do?
    Thanks. I plan on starting this up on December 26th.

    1. First thing: cardio. The whole idea behind the intervals and the cardio is to deplete your glycogen stores effectively. This is huge! You can’t get in to ketosis if you have excess glycogen stores. I would start on a Saturday (in your case). This way you’ll be able to get in to Ketosis more quickly to avoid the “Keto flu”. If you start on Friday night (dinner as instructed) and then fast till 3pm on Saturday, that’ll get you started right.

      Your schedule when Monday hits: On Sunday night don’t eat past 8 (which shouldn’t be a problem for you)… then fast until 11 or noon (when you normally eat lunch). These daily fasts are very therapeutic and play a big role in overall better health.

      Congrats on starting up, you’re going to love it! Join our FB group and ask questions when you have them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ourketolife/

      1. Ok got it so I won’t start on the 26th then. However, I will need to push it one more day to start with the fast on Saturday night (30th) because we have a family lunch date that day for a cousin’s birthday. It would be awkward meeting the family for lunch and me not being able to actually eat lunch. I will make Saturday (dinner as instructed) and then fast til 3PM on Sunday. Since I am off on the holiday, Jan 1, it should still work out well. Plus I just went ordered that Ketocana and my Prime will get it to me on Dec. 29th.
        I actually tried keto this summer when my doctor told me I was pre-diabetic and said to “do either Whole30 or a ketogenic diet” as the quickest way to lose weight and get my blood sugar down below 100 fasting. I had already been successful on 2 different W30s and had done Atkins back in 1999-2001. So I decided on trying keto and did well on it, losing 20 pounds in a month. Then I went on an extended vacation to Ireland in the September and fell back into all my bad habits. I tried to get back into keto in mid October but couldn’t get that sugar dragon back in control so went in and out of keto for a month. Then had an emergency appendectomy on Thanksgiving! So I determined now to get through the holiday season and start fresh (minus an appendix, LOL).
        I wanted to eat W30/Paleo while doing Keto and it looks like your site will help me accomplish this. I have to be gluten and dairy free due to diagnosed severe intolerances to both. In my limited Keto experience I have not found a lot of diary free recipes. I am hoping to follow meal plans because I did great when I followed them and not so good when I had to figure out macros myself.
        Thank you for inviting me to your face book group. I look forward to learning and sharing and the support being part of a group offers as I journey in my weight loss and lowering my blood sugar.

        1. Sorry for the delayed reply (just seeing this post now). Excited to hear about your experience and sorry about the appendix, that doesn’t sound like fun!

          We are working overtime to get more dairy free Keto options AND we’re getting closer to our Keto Meal Plan (what we do to make Keto super easy). Thanks so much for the kind words and ask questions in the Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/ourketolife/ when you have them!

  2. Hey Rob! Great article! Super thorough and scienc-y while still being an entertaining, easy read. Quick question… In addition to the supplements listed, do you and Kendra take a multi-vitamin of sorts? If so, can you recommend one that’s quality? THANKS!!

  3. Hi Rob, I work in a warehouse Monday to Friday and don’t have access to cardio equipment. I have lost of space and a decent amount of free time to do 10 minutes of cardio. What can I do for cardio in this environment? I have looked online for suggestions but no satisfied with results. Can do jumping jacks and squats no problem, but difficult to do a lot in work clothes.

    1. The idea is to deplete your glycogen stores. I would stick with lunges, pushups and squats (cycle through them 10/10/10) – till you’re breathing heavy. 10 minutes would be ideal.

  4. I truly want to try this however heres my problem.. My work schedule:
    Sunday 2Pm till Midnight (dinner time 730 pm)
    Monday 3-1:30 am (dinner time 745 pm)
    Tuesday and Wednesday Same as Monday

    Off Thursday, Friday & Saturdays… How can I adjust this to work best with my schedule

    1. Start Wednesday night! And then just ensure you’re only eating calories in a MAX of a 10 hour window. IF for the other (at least) 14 hours daily.

  5. Hi Rob!
    I am a teacher which effects this in several areas. I get up at 5:00 and am picking up my carpool kiddos at 6:30, every minute spent getting ready for the morning. I drink a cup of black coffee with coconut oil and powdered collagen in the morning and a glass of water. I take my cup with water and drink along the way to school. I try to drink water throughout the day, but with teaching (talking or working with students) it doesn’t always happen. We eat lunch at 10:30. I leave campus between 4:00-4:30. My husband and I usually eat dinner around 7:00 and head to bed around 10:00.

    I’ve been eating Keto-friendly foods for the past three weeks and feel great, but I doubt that I’m doing it right. I tend to focus on proteins and dairy with some leafy greens. I’ve managed to eliminate breads and added sugars (as best as I can). I would like to try doing IF, but don’t want to run out of energy with my 2nd and 3rd graders. Any helpful hints would be appreciated!

    1. Fasting from 8 or 9pm to 10:30am 5 days a week is a really great plan. I find that IF gives me more energy. When fasted you’ll have better mental clarity and energy. Give it a shot and see how you feel after a few weeks!

  6. I have heard in the past that pre-diabetics and diabetics can benefit from lowering their protein on keto. I have a lot of weight to lose and have been trying to get my fasting BS down to the 80s. I have a hard time getting into and staying in ketosis. What do you suggest for grams of protein? I read your not supposed to drop below 60 gr of protein because of the risk of muscle wasting.

  7. Hi very intrested in trying this,my health has gone down hill due to lupus n rhumatoid,along w thyroid,I’ve tried everything to shed pounds as the weight on my feet is causing me great discomfort.The quicker I can loose the lbs the better my feet are going to feel.So I want to start Monday n I sleep to ten usually,I take magnisium on Dailey basis n love salt,so I can purchase said keto salt at health food store n start monday.Is there anything u can share to speed up losing the weight.I know the if diet says 30 lbs in 30 days,what would u recimend for me,ketose diet or 30 day fast intermediate diet??

  8. I make my own Keto coffee and am pretty regular about drinking it every morning. I use coconut oil and grass fed butter when making it. Is this ok to continue doing? Is it beneficial, no benefits etc?

  9. I am wondering which menu would you recommend following? I am excited to try the 5 day jump start and i am looking forward to your tips for success.

  10. Hi Rob I work at a school from 8:25 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. Monday through Friday and I work for casino from 5:30 to 3:30 a.m. Thursday through Sundayhow would I start my plan to get into ketosis

    1. I actually started day 2 today but I am having a lot of trouble getting the ten minute workout done before work. I go into work at 12 noon and don’t have time to workout before work. Can the workout be done after 8pm before the magnesium and before the last pee on the strip? That’s when I’m able to get the workout in.

  11. This is the best and clearest article I’ve read on how to get into ketosis. Thank you. Wish me luck as I begin this journey.

  12. Hi! Any tips for night shift workers? I’m a nurse and work at a hospital. I typically work from 6:30pm to 7:30am and sleep from 9am to 4pm. What would you suggest for eating/fasting? Thanks!

  13. My first experience of following the Keto Diet was very poor. I was not able to continue following this diet plan only for a week. I was feeling tiresome all the time whereas the condition of my stomach was also not good. I concluded that following this diet plan is not for me. However, you have given me new hope and energy. Since you have gained my trust, I would follow each one of your instructions so that I could effectively get into the Ketosis Fast diet plan.

  14. Once you start following the normal keto plan, what is the optimum IF schedule assuming 7am wake up time. Do you encourage any bpc or tea?

    1. Honestly it’s what makes you feel good. I think for some, eating later in the day causes a worse night sleep. Try eating in the morning and ending early for awhile… and track your sleep. Might work better than the standard, eat at noon than eat dinner schedule?

  15. Hello,
    Im going into my 4th day and I have been wondering if Im doing this right. I didn’t take any of the supplements because I haven’t had a chance to get to the store. I wake up at 4:30am go to the gym at 5am come home around 6am then I start getting ready for work. I do have my bulletproof coffee in the morning. And of course I am drinking my water through the day. I do walk around at work and on my breaks I go for a walk. I eat only from 1pm to no later than 7pm and then go to bed around 9pm. Am I doing this right?

    1. Probably! I would monitor how you’re feeling and ensure you get a LOT of electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, potassium). Sorry for the late reply. How are things going now?

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