Ketosis: Three Ways to Jump Start Your Diet

Man and Woman Jumping On Ocean Shore
How to Jump-Start
 Your Low-Carb Diet
It's interesting to read about all the various theories, ideas, beliefs, and suggestions regarding weight-loss diets, but it can certainly get pretty confusing with so many conflicting paths out there:
  • Should I eat more calories, less calories, or eat about the same?
  • Should I eat more fat, less fat, or eat about the same?
  • Should I eat more veggies, less veggies, or eat about the same?
No one agrees.

Despite all of the scientific research, eventually you come to realize that you are basically on your own.

It is YOU who decides what you are going to put into your mouth and what you are not. What you choose to do about weight loss is generally based on what is most important to you at the moment.

Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself About Weight Loss

Do you want fast weight loss?

Or are you comfortable and happy with greater food choices, more variety, an occasional treat -- even if that means losing weight at a slower pace.

Do you have health issues such as gall bladder or liver problems that require you to eat less fat than the average low-carb dieter would recommend?

Do you believe in and/or fear starvation mode?

Do you believe in and/or fear the calorie theory?

Do you enjoy fatty meats? Lean meats? Vegetables? Butter and Mayo?

All of these questions, and more, are questions that each of us have to personally address to make the best choices for ourselves because we need to find a weight-management plan that we can live with for the rest of our lives.

The truth is, that no matter which diet plan or low-carb path you choose to enter, weight maintenance isn't going to be a whole lot different than what you did to lose the weight. Whatever you choose, you need to be able to live with it for the rest of your life.

But before you can make that choice, you need to seriously consider a couple of things.

Hunger and Deprivation

The biggest problem with weight-loss diets is the hunger. Can you live with being hungry for the rest of your life? Few people have that kind of strength. I know I certainly don't, so for me, the path of ketosis is the most sensible of all the options available to me.

The second biggest problem with diets is the deprivation, otherwise known as eating for emotional reasons.

Do you crave sugar or carbohydrates?

Can you stand being in a room where someone else is eating something yummy and you not indulge?

Do you lack the willpower required to abstain from foods that are poisoning you?

How badly do you want to lose the weight?

More than that chocolate cupcake? More than that bag of bbq potato chips? More than that loaf of piping hot, homemade bread?

The beauty of ketosis is that it goes a long way in helping you deal with all of these types of challenges, concerns, and more, but there isn't just one single way to get yourself into that metabolic state.

What you want to do is clear out the glycogen that has been stored in your liver to force your body to turn to its body fat for sustenance. That will change your defective carbohydrate metabolism into a fat-burning machine. To get there, you must cut your carbohydrate consumption down to what Dr. Atkins called biologically zero.

Other than that, there are several ways to go about getting into the state of ketosis.

How to Get Into Ketosis Quickly

Here are three quick ways to enter the state of ketosis, but I'm sure there are many others. These are just the ones that I am currently aware of. Each method is designed to get you into a fat burning metabolism within 3 to 5 days, or less, after which you can then choose (with the help of your doctor) which low-carb plan or path you are going to follow:

Kimmer's Experiment (K/E)

  • Eat as much lean protein as needed to satisfy hunger (lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs)
  • Basic condiments and spices are okay
  • Diet beverages, coffee and tea, as desired, without cream, but a bit of sugar substitute is okay
  • Diet gelatin is limited to 1 cup per day
  • Chicken and beef broth is fine, homemade prefered
  • No alcohol, no cheese
Meat and Egg Fast (M/E)
  • Eat as much protein as needed to satisfy hunger (meats, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese)
  • Fats are allowed in reasonable portions (including cream, and poultry skin)
  • Diet beverages, coffee and tea, as desired
  • Sugar substitutes okay
  • Spices and herbs without sugar, extracts, mustard, horseradish, vinegar okay
Atkins 72 Induction

  • Everything on the M/E list plus:
  • 2 cups of loosely packed mixed greens with celery, cucumber, and radishes
  • Salad dressings without added sugar are okay (moderate portions)
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • Chicken or beef broth is recommended 
  • Diet gelatin is fine
  • Cheese, up to 4 oz per day of hard aged cheese (no cream cheese or spreads)
  • Heavy Cream, up to 4 tsp per day

Don't Be Afraid to Eat

Eat according to your appetite. Do not go hungry. These are not weight-loss diets. They are designed to get you into the state of ketosis as quickly as possible, so if you are hungry, please EAT. 

Don't worry about calories. 

The diets are working to rid your body of glycogen and, thereby, switch your metabolism from predominately burning sugar to predominately burning fats for fuel. 

Once you enter the state of ketosis, your appetite will drastically fall and take care of the calorie reduction needed to start shedding the pounds. However, you are not required to force yourself to eat either. Ketosis is self-regulating. Let your hunger be your guide.

Cautions and Advice

How long it takes you to enter into the state of ketosis, or how much weight you will lose during this initial 3 to 5 day period, will depend upon how badly you were overeating carbs before you began one of these three very low-carb diets.

At the end of the 3 to 5 days, it's best to move into a standard low-carb diet.

These diets are only designed to get you into ketosis quickly. They are not typical of a true low-carb diet.

Also, be aware that the Atkin's Flu (also known as the Induction Flu) will be a lot more pronounced when drastically lowering your carbs.

The more heavily you were over-indulging in carbs before, the more pronounced that flu will be, so take it easy, get lots of rest, and up your sodium intake to keep your electrolytes in check.

These flu symptoms are a sign that your electrolytes have become unbalanced, so don't cut down on salt. Eat more salt to help your body readjust quicker.

You will know when you have entered this blessed state because your appetite will become suppressed. You don't need Ketostix to tell you that.


  1. This is an excellent blog. I love your writing style and agree with everything you've written.

    I've been M/E for about a year and starting to question if perhaps a K/E program is more healthy (lower fat being more healthy, I mean). Just some things I'm tossing around lately after reading about Kimkins.

    I've bookmarked your blog and will enjoy reading past posts. Thanks again.

  2. I love your article and hope to see more.

  3. I am currently on my 4th day of nothing but protein intake. I am already in ketosis. According to the ketostix, at large amounts (80). The chart only goes up one more color. I drinks LOTS of water, so I am hoping this keeps my kidneys healthy. Having high blood pressure since I was 16, and I am now 44, I had enough stress on my kidneys. Is it healthy to stay in ketosis for the sake of losing weight? As my 5th day approaches, I will be adding in green vegetables. I have already lost 10 lbs in 4 days. I just want to lose weight...I don't want to die trying!! Thanks!

  4. A low carb diet is healthy. I have had surgeons and cardiologists assure me that Atkins is SAFE.

    Ketostix measure how many ketones your body is getting rid of, without using them completely. Drinking lots of water helps the liver process body fat.

    The weight you lose initially is mostly glycogen and the water the body stores to process that glycogen when needed. Lowering carbs causes the body to use that glycogen. When it gets half depleted or so, (which only takes a day or two), the body starts breaking down fat to create glucose for your organs that need glucose. Most organs can use fatty acids for fuel. The brain, heart, and some kidney cells can use ketones.

    As your body gets more efficient at using ketones, your sticks will get lighter. That doesn't mean "less" ketosis, it just means your body is burning the ketones.

  5. Im in ketosis light then dark then light...I'm trying to stay in the 20-25 carb range. I lost 8lbs the first 3 weeks, now I just want too know, will I continue too loose if only in ketosis or will I loose by keeping carb intake at 25

  6. Most people are able to eat about 35 to 40 carbs per day and still lose. It all depends on how insulin resistant you are. You'll have to experiment to find out for sure. But in general, as long as you're in ketosis, you should lose. But you won't lose every single week. It varies.

  7. I have enjoyed reading your posts for over a year. You give great information. I started on a ketosis diet in September 2012 at 290 lbs today I'm at 230. I have taken a break for the past 3 months and started up again, my problem is I cant seem to get back into Ketosis. I keep my carbs at around 20 grams per day my protein is around 6 to 8 oz per meal. I can only eat twice a day. I am not as active as I was trying to improve that any suggestions would be appreciated.

  8. oh I was recently diagnosed as pre diabetic although I do not take any medication, not sure if that has any effect...thank you again

  9. Hi Mari,
    Are you measuring ketosis through using urine test strips? If so, you might not be spilling ketones at the exact moment you're checking. We don't spill ketones consistently. Only when the body wants to get rid of them.

    How is your appetite? Has it gone down? Is that why you're only eating twice a day? Or is that more of a time factor? Lowered appetite is a far better gauge of being in ketosis than the sticks are.

    Are you losing weight? What happens sometimes when you take a break is that you go back to dieting, the body sees dieting as a temporary problem. So it begins filling your fat cells with water as it uses up the fat. It believes (or hopes) that you're going to take a break soon, and a higher amount of carbs will be coming in.

    The body doesn't like to shrink its fat cells unless it has to. Sometimes, you have to just wait things out. If you're only eating 20 carbs per day and it's been more than 3 to 5 days, you "have" to be in Ketosis, even if you're aren't spilling ketones into the urine or losing weight.

    The longer you follow a low-carb diet, the more efficient your body gets at burning ketones. You won't spill as many. I don't change the urine test strips at all - ever - anymore, even during Induction.

    Being pre-diabetic means you're insulin resistant. That could be a factor, but that depends on what you ate (how many carbs or sugars) during your break. Most people who do well on a low carb diet are pre-diabetic.

    If you were eating a lot more carbs, your insulin level might currently be too high. But that's just a waiting game too. 20 carbs per day will drop your levels fairly quickly. Once the insulin normalizes, weight loss speed picks up.

    How tall are you? Your protein amount sounds fine, unless you're really tall. How much fat are you eating? Not everyone can eat a lot of fat and still lose. Calories are also important, the more weight you lose. Generally, the body needs at least 10 times your current weight in calories just to maintain standard body functions. However, I never ate to that level myself.

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