Limiting carbs is one of the easiest ways to get into ketosis. It doesn’t require fasting; it doesn’t even require you to eat fewer calories — all you must do is restrict your carbohydrates and eat just enough protein (and not too much) to stimulate fat burning and ketone production.
Other factors like fat consumption, stress, and activity levels are important to consider as well, but knowing how many carbs you need to eat to get into ketosis is a good place to start.
How Many Carbs for Ketosis?
Regardless of how many variables impact ketosis, it is important to start somewhere, and carbs are the most important metric to start with on the ketogenic diet.
For most people, keeping total carbs below 35g and net carbs below 25g (ideally, below 20g) will get them into a deep ketosis after about a week. (To figure out your net carb consumption, simply subtract total fibre intake from total carbs.)
Note: Some sweeteners are considered keto-friendly and do not raise blood sugar levels. These can be subtracted from the total carbs as well.
To eat such a small amount of carbs, you must be vigilant about your food choices. You may find that many of your favorite foods will put you over the carbohydrate limit for the day with just one serving. Even healthier foods like fruits and vegetables are packed with sugar and carbs, but don’t get discouraged — there is plenty of delicious food you can eat on the ketogenic diet.
Check out this list for ideas of what you should and should not eat on the ketogenic diet:
Do Not Eat
- Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
- Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
- Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
- Tubers – potato, yams, etc.
- Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.
- Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, etc.
- Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
- High Fat Dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, etc.
- Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycaemic impact berries
- Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit
- Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
But even by following this list, you can easily eat over 35 grams of total carbohydrates for the day. Therefore, it is essential to track your carbs with an app like MyFitnessPal. You must not forget, however, that getting into ketosis isn’t all about the carbs you eat. Protein plays an important part on your path toward ketosis as well.