The ketogenic diet is probably one of the most meticulous ways of eating out there. For it to actually work you need to be careful and know how many carbs to stay in ketosis.
The Requirements of Ketosis
Nutritional ketosis occurs as the result of our body running low on glycogen and the liver producing ketone bodies. It can be caused by either a prolonged period of fasting or by restricting carbohydrate intake significantly.
At first, your body will show signs of withdrawal, because glucose is its primary fuel source. To start using ketones effectively you need to go through a period of adaptation.
The length this of time this takes depends on several things.
- How many carbs have you been eaten before.
- How many carbs are you eating on keto right now.
- How well your body is accepting ketones for fuel.
How Many Carbs to Get into Ketosis
There isn’t a set magic barrier, that once crossed, will instantly put you into ketosis. As said, the liver will start to produce ketones as a substitute for glucose.
The lower your daily carbohydrate intake, the sooner your liver glycogen will be depleted and the quicker your body will start utilizing. For complete adaptation to take place as quickly as possible, you would have to restrict your carbs to under 30 grams per day. NET, that is.
Some people have a higher carb tolerance than others. At first, it’s advisable to go even lower than 30 grams, for ketosis to occur faster. Eating less than 20 grams for the initial 2 weeks will definitely hasten adaptation.
How Many Carbs to Stay IN Ketosis
After this initial period, your body’s biochemistry will have been completely altered. Your liver enzymes will have changed from preferring glucose to loving fat and ketones. Even our hungry brain will be satisfied and won’t create sugar cravings.
However, how many carbs to stay IN ketosis is a totally different question. Despite our increased efficiency with glucose, we can still get away with consuming slightly more carbohydrates, without losing our fat burning pathways.
In general, you can eat about 50 grams of carbs to stay in ketosis. After adapting properly.
How Many Carbs to Stay on Keto
Carb tolerances vary between individuals. If you’re more glycolytic with your training, then that extra glucose will be used for fuel. Small doses of sugar consumed around workouts won’t negatively impact ketosis.
A great tool I’ve been using is the targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) (Check out my Target Keto).
In my own experience, I’ve managed to eat about 75-100 on harder days and not lose my fat adaptation. Even on the cyclical ketogenic diet, I could consume about 1000 grams of carbs in the evening and still be in mild ketosis the next day (Check out my Keto Cycle). I wouldn’t be in ketosis per se but I would still be keto adapted.
Don’t Lose Your Mind
It’s true that ketosis requires a lot of meticulous attention to detail. That’s where the devil is, at least the carbs and sugar.
A much more important question to be asking is whether or not you need to be in ketosis? If you’re doing it for weight loss, then it doesn’t matter. Eating keto will already give you great results.
Unless you’re diabetic or use nutritional ketosis as medical therapy, you shouldn’t worry about getting kicked out.
During adaptation it’s important to restrict your carbs to a bare minimum but afterwards you don’t have to be that OCD.
I’ve also created a FREE ketogenic diet e-book called Simple Keto. It’s the easiest one and least stressful way of getting into ketosis. By using it you’ll be able to actually enjoy your experience and not lose your mind.
If you want to take it to the next level, then check out my KETO // IF program that combines intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet.