To some people this may seem like a superhuman feat, but I assure you it is not – and it’s relatively easy.
You don’t have to suffer through two weeks of cravings, foul moods, or the dreaded carb flu.
You can get into ketosis lightning-fast, over the course of one weekend.
Here’s my 24hr protocol:
Pick a weekend and plan to have complete freedom from anything that distracts you from your mission. For example, the kids are staying with grandma or (if you’re the family cook), you’ve pre-made or made other arrangements for everyone’s meals so that their food requires exactly 0% of your involvement.
Let them know they’re on their own.
Say no to any invitations for dinner or parties or church suppers or birthday parties… NO!
Practice this in the mirror if it helps. Your health is more important than any of those things. This is the time when you come first.
The Preceding Week
Now that you’ve marked the speedo-keto weekend on your calendar, use the preceding week to do your regular keto meal planning/grocery shopping for the following week to further ensure a smooth transition back into keto-land.
Eat whatever you want for breakfast and lunch, you’ll be skipping dinner.
Alternatively, you can have a cup of broth with some grass fed butter, only. Take any electrolyte supplements needed to stave off possible headaches, but be sure there are no carbs in the ingredients.
Go to bed EARLY. I cannot stress this enough, try to get at least 8 hours of sleep, 9 is even better.
If possible, sleep in the clothes you feel comfortable walking in to speed things up in the morning.
Wake up naturally with no alarm, sleeping as late as you can.
Sit up, put your shoes and socks on that you laid out the night before, grab your water bottle, phone/mp3 player, and headphones and go for a brisk walk outside or on a treadmill if the weather is an issue.
If the weather is an issue and you have no treadmill, go to the nearest gym and pay $10 for a day guest pass and get on one of their treadmills.
Find a good podcast or playlist, call old friends or check in on your mom, you’ll be walking for 3 to 4 hours.
If this is your first round of lightning keto, I’d shoot for 4 hours. If this is difficult for you physically, try splitting it up into (2) separate 2 hour walks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon around 3pm at the latest.
Don’t get discouraged if you can only do 3 hours, I’ve done this enough that I can now do it in 2, you’ll get there. The more you go in and out of ketosis, the faster your body learns how to get back.
Do not do one of your favorite workouts to try to save time:
Do not crossfit.
Do not lift weights.
Do not ride a bike.
Do not ride a stationary bike.
Do not run or jog.
Do not power walk.
Do not shimmy.
Do not chase small children or pets around the house.
Do not skip, twerk, zumba, or practice your high kicks.
This is a “brisk walk”, and nothing else. There are scientific reasons for this that will make your eyes gloss over.
On the flipside, don’t mosey or stop and smell the roses. You know what a brisk walk is, you can do it.
Here’s how I remember it: it’s the walk I did in undergrad when I knew I was probably going to be late for that one class where the professor would embarrass you for being tardy – and it was also socially unacceptable to sprint across campus like a maniac. That walk.
During this time you’ll be (sort of) fasting. You’ll get better results if you fast completely, but if you feel terrible you can have about 4-500 grams of fat, only.
This gives you the opportunity to have a buttery latte for breakfast (but you still need to be drinking as much water as you can).
Later, after the walk, I’ll have a cup of yummy broth with another 100 – 200 grams of fat in the form of butter or olive oil. I’ll have this again later in the evening so I’ve had something before bed.
It’s important to think of this as a rewarding feel good fast, and not punishing starvation. Psychologically, we want to see the addition of the fat as a rewarding bonus, don’t focus on what you can’t have, focus on what you can have, which is delicious fat, coffee, and soup!
That night, watch a little TV or read so you’re not fixating on your task. Be sure to keep drinking water as the source of most hunger is actually thirst.
Again, go to bed early, tell everyone to leave you alone, get a good 8+ hours of sleep.
Wake up naturally.
Now test your ketone levels, preferably with a blood test since it’s the most accurate method.
If you’re above .05 mmol/L, great! Well done!
Start eating normal keto and test again in about a week, your goal is to get to around 1.5 – 3.0 mmol/L. This is considered optimal and is recommended for maximum weight loss if that is your goal.
If not quite there yet, don’t despair, just do another 24hr protocol on Sunday (no food/fat at all this time) and check again Monday morning.
Always remember to drink enough water and pay attention to your electrolyte levels, supplementing as needed.
If you begin to get headachy or weak, have a cup of hot broth with a tablespoon of grass fed butter.
In the end, if you don’t quite hit your numbers after 2 consecutive days of the protocol, don’t stress, you still did an amazing job resetting numerous processes in your body.
No matter what your reading is on your blood test, on Monday, move forward with your planned keto meals.
Every body is different and we all get there in our own time, in our own way.
I have noticed that I can be in a lower level of ketosis (around .05 – 1.0 mmol/L) and burn fat just as well as most people who need to be at a higher level.
Have you found a sweet spot that works for you? Please share your experience in the comment box, we’re all here to help and support each other!