The ketogenic diet may be the new fad diet, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. However, the diet is still shrouded in mystery. Is it safe? Is it worth it? How long does it take? With all these questions floating around the most important is - How long to do a keto diet for weight loss?
You can see the keto diet results in 28-30 days, but depending on your weight loss goal, you might have to stay on it longer. Ideally, the longer you stay on the keto diet, the more weight you lose! So, after 30 days, if you’ve still not reached the goal you set for yourself, then keep going.
You can’t stay on Keto for the rest of your life. While it is an enticing option, the long-term effects are still unknown. If the diet isn’t healthy in the long term, how long can you be on a keto diet? Read on to find out!
How long should you follow the keto diet?
To say that the keto diet is controversial is putting it mildly. From its safety to its efficacy, everything has been in contention. However, this is no different from any other diet you may undertake.
Keto diets are notoriously hard to maintain. The utter lack of carbs in a diet can have you drooling over some bread or pasta the first few days. However, the longer you stay on it, the easier it gets. While it gets easier, experts say that it should only be a six-month stint.
Any longer than six months is not recommended by medical experts or dieticians due to the lack of substantial evidence of what it can do to your body.
This being said, staying on Keto until you reach your body weight goals is the ideal length of the diet.
Is it safe to do Keto for a long time?
If you’re a month into the keto diet and still haven’t reached your weight goal, you may wonder whether it is safe to continue the diet for a long time. Well, we’re here to say that it is!
A ketogenic diet has shown to have incredible long-term benefits. The longer you stay on the diet, the better the benefits. While the short-term benefits include rapid weight loss and improvement in metabolic rates and improving acne in some, the long-term benefits look even better.
Apart from those long-term effects, there is indeed slow and steady weight loss along with better physical health!
When do you enter ketosis?
The keto diet seems magical, but the effects aren’t instant. Your body needs to enter a state of ketosis for your self-control to pay off. But, when do you enter ketosis? And what’s happening when you do?
Ketosis is a metabolic state that converts your fat into molecules called ketones that are used to fuel your body when there’s no glucose around. Since the body uses the stored fat, it only makes sense that you’ll drop the weight.
The state of ketosis takes anywhere between 2-4 days to set in. It might even take a week to enter a state of ketosis. The rate at which your body enters ketosis depends entirely on your level of physical activity, age, metabolism, carb intake, fat intake, and protein intake.
When you have entered this state of ketosis, your body is deficient in glucose (a form of sugar), and even the store of glucose (glycogen) is depleted. Since there is no more glycogen, the body turns to the next available energy source - fat.
The body can’t just use fat, so it turns the fat into ketones. You can achieve this by limiting the number of carbs you eat a day. Generally, the limit is 20-50g of carbs a day.
Once you’ve achieved a state of ketosis, you will start to lose weight rapidly. Hunger pangs, cravings, and more disappear. However, the keto flu and keto breath are common after-effects of ketosis.
Keto breath is denoted by a sickly sweet smell often described as metallic. Drinking plenty of fluids should be enough to curb keto breath.
Keto flu isn’t the legitimate flu, it has similar symptoms.
It happens in the first week of ketosis. This is yet another way to tell when your body has entered ketosis. The symptoms include:
However, after a few days, even the keto flue dissipates, and you start to reap the rewards of your efforts.
How to enter ketosis faster?
Nobody wants to wait out extra time to enter a state of ketosis. While it does depend entirely on your body and how it functions, there are some tips you can use to kickstart the metabolic state faster.
Reduce carb intake
Reducing your carb intake is the best way to enter the ketosis state faster. Generally, it is recommended that you eat anywhere between 20-50g of carbs every day. If you’re struggling to enter ketosis, then slip to the lower end of the scale.
Do not eat out
Tracking your carbs when you’re eating out is incredibly difficult. So, it is best to stop eating out when you’re on Keto. This may mean skipping a few brunches, but it’s worth it!
Working out is integral to losing weight and keeping the weight off. While the keto diet is incredible at helping you lose weight, regular exercise can make it easier and keeps you more fit.
Increase healthy fat consumption
A common misconception is that Keto is all about steaks seared in butter and cheese slathered everything. However, the reality is that any fats you’re eating should be high-quality, healthy fats. Foods like nuts, coconut oils, avocados, and meat are all incredible options.
Avoid processed foods
It may be an innocent salad dressing, but processed foods can have some incredible levels of carbs. The best way to limit your intake is to avoid processed foods at all costs. It’s definitely healthier for you!
In addition to Keto, you can also try intermittent fasting. The practice helps your body shift to using ketones while still maintaining an energy balance.
How do you follow Keto effectively?
While it seems incredibly restrictive, the keto diet still allows for some incredible food to be cooked and eaten. Even with the absence of carbs, you’ll be satisfied and ready for seconds! However, to get the best results from a keto diet, you can never have a cheat day.
A single doughnut or bowl of pasta can ruin all your hard work and take your body out of ketosis. To help you follow the diet effectively, we have a list of keto-friendly foods much better than a pizza.
- Low-carb vegetables
- Meat and Poultry
- Olive Oil
How to get off Keto?
So, you’ve achieved your weight goals, and now you’re ready to eat all the pasta in the world. Unfortunately, you can’t just eat a whole pizza the day you come off Keto.
So, here’s how you can properly come off a keto diet!
Increase carbs gradually
The immediate urge when you’re coming off Keto is to eat every carb-laden food in sight. However, it is crucial that you slowly increase your carb intake. Apart from gaining too much weight, your body has not processed many carbs in a while. So, it will take time to get used to processing carbs.
Avoid processed foods
Much like on a keto diet, it’s best to avoid processed foods for a while longer. While you’re not under any obligation to restrict them completely, they’re definitely going to increase your weight gain.
When you come off Keto, the main thing you’ll notice is the hunger pangs. It’s only natural to want to grab a snack or something similar; however, it might be better to get some water in you.
Maintain a nutritious diet
It will be tough to control yourself, but you must keep a nutritious diet. Not only does it help to keep the weight off but it also improves your health!
Keto diets are incredibly popular and show no signs of losing their popularity any time soon. While some nutritionists and health experts have their reservations about the fad diet, it doesn’t seem to be fading any time soon.
Despite the reservations of health experts, keto has been proven to have incredible short term benefits and has been proven safe for up to six months. The recent research is even saying it has long term benefits!
There are no excuses left, it’s time to put away the pasta and ditch the doughnuts. Load up on the cheeses, meats, and avocados because it’s time to go keto!
It doesn’t take long for the weight to start melting off you on Keto. It differs for people as body chemistry is different; however, people have started to see the effects of Keto as quickly as the first week.
However, it is enough to stay on Keto for 28-30 days to lose a large amount of weight.
The sad reality is that you will gain weight after getting off Keto. However, if you take the correct measures and maintain a healthy lifestyle, the weight gain won’t be much. A lot of the weight gain that happens after Keto is due to water retention. Carbs tend to come with water adding to the water content in the body.
As long as you take it slow with the carbs, maintain a balanced diet, and exercise regularly, you won’t put on too much weight.