Dietary ketosis, for the purpose of intentional weight loss, generally occurs when total carbohydrate intake is limited to somewhere in the range of approximately 50 to100 grams of carbohydrate spaced throughout the day, for a period of several days. The exact number depends on the individual, and is influenced by such factors as exercise and activity level. Because the body uses carbohydrates for energy, the more active you are, the more carbohydrates and fat you will burn. If you have a particularly sedentary day, you may find that you need to decrease your carbohydrate intake to achieve ketosis.
As you lose significant amounts of weight, your body’s energy requirements change and you may find it necessary to further reduce carbohydrate intake or increase exercise in order to achieve ketosis.
People who follow a low calorie, low carbohydrate ketogenic weight loss diet experience a rapid rate of weight loss. Because they tend to lose weight more rapidly than on “traditional” diets that focus primarily on calories, their motivation to stick with their program until they achieve their goal is great. Most individuals experience reduced hunger and cravings, and increased physical and mental energy while in ketosis. They also tend to report feeling less moody, less irritable, and less depressed. The degree to which people experience these benefits varies from person to person.