How Many Carbs Will Disrupt Ketosis? Keto Guidelines (2024)

  • What Is It
    • What is ketosis?
  • How It Works
    • Why does eating too many carbs disrupt ketosis?
  • Keto Diet
    • What should you eat to avoid disrupting ketosis?
    • What are the pros and cons of following a ketogenic diet?
  • Comments
  • More

How Many Carbs Will Disrupt Ketosis? Keto Guidelines (1)

Most ketogenic diet guidelines recommend limiting your total carbohydrate intake to 15-30 grams. Eating more than 50 grams of carbs may disrupt ketosis

Most ketogenic diet guidelines recommend limiting your total carbohydrate intake to 15-30 grams or 5%-10% of your total calorie intake a day. Eating more than 50 grams of carbs may disrupt ketosis.

With keto diets, however, carb restrictions vary from person to person. Some people can eat more and still stay in ketosis, whereas others may need to restrict their carb intake more in order to stay in ketosis.

What is ketosis?

Ketosis is a metabolic process that helps the body survive when it doesn’t have enough carbs to burn for energy.

Normally, your body converts carbs or glucose into energy and produces insulin to process the glucose in your bloodstream. When glucose is used as the primary energy source, fats remain unused and are stored in the body, contributing to weight gain.

The keto diet aims to put your body in a state of ketosis by restricting the amount of carbs your body can use for energy. Instead of using sugar or glucose from carbohydrates, your body will break down ketone bodies—a type of fuel produced by the liver from fat. The result is that your body burns stored fat for fuel.

Studies show that ketosis takes about 72 hours to kick in.

Why does eating too many carbs disrupt ketosis?

Not following accepted ketogenic diet guidelines can disrupt ketosis because carbs are the body's preferred energy source. If your carb intake is too high, carbs may be used for fuel instead of ketone bodies, which is the main source of fuel during ketosis.

The keto diet flips the balance of carbs and fats that are traditionally recommended for good health:

  • USDA Guidelines
    • 55% carbs
    • 20% protein
    • 25% fat
  • Keto diet
    • 5% carbs
    • 20% protein
    • 75% fat

What should you eat to avoid disrupting ketosis?

Keto is all about carbohydrate deprivation rather than calorie restriction. As a rule, focus on naturally high-fat foods and avoid highly processed foods labeled trans fats as much as possible. Foods that can disrupt ketosis pretty quickly include:

  • Grains
  • Sugar and sweetened beverages
  • Too much fruit
  • Processed meats (these often have hidden sugars)
  • Fat-free and low-fat dairy (too much lactose, which is a dairy sugar)
  • Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and some winter squash
  • Too much alcohol

Some people believe that to achieve ketosis, they can’t eat carbohydrates at all, or that if they are not in ketosis 100% of the time, it will not work. None of those statements are correct. A typical keto diet may include:

  • Grass-fed and free-range pork, chicken, beef, and eggs
  • Vegetable protein sources such as soybeans
  • Nuts and seeds
  • High-fat dairy products such as cream, whole butter, and hard cheese
  • Leafy greens
  • Fish and seafood
  • Olive oil, coconut oil, and vegetable oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids
QUESTION Weight loss occurs in the belly before anywhere else. See Answer

What are the pros and cons of following a ketogenic diet?

The keto diet has been linked to a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease, as well as protection against certain neurological disorders and improved cognitive function.


  • Curbs cravings: Some studies report that people feel less hungry while in ketosis, and many people lose weight while on the keto diet.
  • Controls sugar levels: Research suggests that ketosis may help in controlling blood sugar and improving insulin sensitivity.
  • Promotes brain health: Ketones have a protective effect on the brain, which is why they can help with seizures. They reduce oxidative stress and improve brain mitochondrial function. Researchers are now investigating the keto diet in the treatment of various brain conditions.
  • Boosts energy: Ketones are a more efficient energy source than glucose. They have more energy per weight and require less oxygen to be metabolized.
  • Helps prevent cancer: Cancer cells cannot thrive in the presence of ketones. As a result, researchers are looking into ketones and ketogenic diets as adjuvant cancer therapy.
  • Reduces inflammation: Ketones have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Inflammation is a major cause of many diseases.
  • Eliminates processed foods: This diet eliminates almost all processed foods, which is always beneficial to overall health.


  • Constipation: Because you'll be eating far fewer carbs than you're used to while on a keto diet, you'll also most likely be eating less fiber. This can cause digestive upset like constipation.
  • Low energy: Many metabolic changes occur in your body before you can switch to using fat for fuel from glucose. During this time, it's normal to feel tired, weak, and foggy because your body conserves energy for metabolic processes.
  • Nutrient deficiency: Avoiding whole grains, beans, fruits, and many vegetables can result in nutrient deficiencies.
  • Short-term side effects: Fatigue, headache, brain fog, and upset stomach, also known as “keto flu,” are common short-term side effects.
  • Long-term health risks: Kidney stones, osteoporosis, and liver disease are among long-term health risks. Other risks are unknown because no long-term studies have been conducted.

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Image Source: iStock Images

The Nutrition Source:

Ketogenic Diet:

Ketogenic Diets and Chronic Disease: Weighing the Benefits Against the Risks:

How Many Carbs Will Disrupt Ketosis? Keto Guidelines (2024)


How Many Carbs Will Disrupt Ketosis? Keto Guidelines? ›

Most ketogenic diet guidelines recommend limiting your total carbohydrate intake to 15-30 grams or 5%-10% of your total calorie intake a day. Eating more than 50 grams of carbs may disrupt ketosis. With keto diets, however, carb restrictions vary from person to person.

How much carbs will kick you out of ketosis? ›

To stay in ketosis, a person requires up to 50 grams (g) of carbs per day. A person following a keto diet eats foods with high levels of fats and very low levels of carbohydrates. The diet excludes a wide range of foods, including some fruits and vegetables, as well as bread, beans, and legumes.

How many carbs can I eat but stay in ketosis? ›

On the keto diet, you are allowed to have no more than 50 grams of net carbs per day – and the fewer, the better! But by focusing on “net” rather than “total” carbs, you won't be denying your body the essential fiber it needs for proper function.

Can you stay in ketosis with 30 grams of carbs? ›

The recommended daily carb intake for ketogenic diets varies depending on individual goals, activity levels, and health status. Generally, it is recommended to keep daily carbs intake under 50 grams. However, some people may need to restrict their daily carb intake to 20-30 grams for optimal ketosis.

Will one high carb day ruin ketosis? ›

Yes, even just one carb-rich meal can quickly get you out of ketosis. The carbs eaten on a cheat day will halt the production of ketones immediately until they are all metabolized by the body. It's not that complicated to achieve ketosis, but it does take time and effort.

Will one slice of pizza take you out of ketosis? ›

Regular Crust

This type of pizza crust can have up to 33g of carbs without any added sauce or cheese. If you're limiting your carbs to 20-50 grams per day, one slice of this type of crust will likely kick you out of ketosis.

How to speed up ketosis? ›

7 tips for reaching ketosis faster
  1. Significantly reducing the carbohydrate intake. ...
  2. Increasing physical activity. ...
  3. Fasting for short periods. ...
  4. Increasing healthful fat intake. ...
  5. Testing ketone levels. ...
  6. Checking protein intake. ...
  7. Consuming more MCT oil.

Does fiber cancel out carbs keto? ›

Keto Net Carb Diet. On the ketogenic diet, the "net carb" is the amount of carbs in a food minus the fiber and sugar alcohol. Fiber and sugar alcohol are subtracted because the body does not fully absorb them. The keto net carb diet limits daily carbohydrate consumption to 20-50 grams to induce ketosis.

How long does it take to get out of ketosis after eating carbs? ›

The bottom line

You should avoid cheat meals and days on the keto diet. Consuming too many carbs can kick your body out of ketosis — and it takes several days to 1 week to get back into it.

Can you lose weight on 50 carbs a day? ›

You may lose weight faster on 50 g of carbs a day or less, but it depends on what else you're eating, how many calories you're consuming, how active you are, and many other factors. In addition, eating slightly more carbs may lead to lower but more sustainable weight loss.

What happens if I go over 50 carbs on keto? ›

It's common to reach for the carbs when you decide it's time for your keto cheat day. However, that isn't always the best option. If you eat more than 50 grams of carbs in a day, you'll throw your body out of ketosis. As a result, you'll stop burning that belly fat and converting it into energy.

What is the minimum carbs for ketosis? ›

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 fiber intake from total carbs.)

Can you eat too much protein on keto? ›

#1: Eating too much protein.

The body can convert the amino acids from excess protein into glucose, potentially sabotaging your weight loss efforts and keeping your body out of ketosis. For a 2,000-calorie diet, this translates to about 75g of protein at about 10-20% protein.

Will a slice of cake ruin keto? ›

It Could Take You Out of Ketosis

For example, if you enjoy a slice of birthday cake at a friend's celebration, be sure to stock up on plenty of leafy greens and high-quality protein throughout the day. It's a good idea to test your ketone levels to know if you've been kicked out of ketosis.

Can you do 5 days on 2 days off keto? ›

Keto cycling doesn't have a strict definition. Some people choose to have five or six days on keto followed by a day or two off. Others will do keto for 10 to 12 days followed by three to four days off. Devine typically doesn't recommend taking more than two days off keto.

How many carbs will mess up ketosis? ›

Most ketogenic diet guidelines recommend limiting your total carbohydrate intake to 15-30 grams or 5%-10% of your total calorie intake a day. Eating more than 50 grams of carbs may disrupt ketosis. With keto diets, however, carb restrictions vary from person to person.

How many carbs a day does it take to get into ketosis? ›

Most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to reach ketosis. Keep in mind that this doesn't leave you with many carb options — except vegetables and small amounts of berries. To calculate your net carbs, subtract fiber, sugar alcohols, and other nondigestible carbs from the total amount.

How long after eating carbs are you out of ketosis? ›

The number of carbs needed to kick you out of ketosis can depend on the person and how long you've been doing keto. But, it's safe to say that any high-carb meal over your recommended daily carb limit will do the trick. And the effect is pretty immediate (aka the same day).

Will 10 calories break ketosis? ›

Some experts suggest that while a small number of calories won't curb your efforts completely, it can inactivate some of the perks you'll get from fasting. Ketosis may remain active with a few calories, but other processes like autophagy might not.

Will one day of carbs kick me out of ketosis? ›

Whether you consume 50 or more grams of carbs in a single meal or throughout an entire day, you'll kick yourself out of ketosis and cause your body to turn once again toward carbs for energy.

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