How Much Weight Can I Lose on Keto?

How much weight can i lose on keto

Discover the truth about the amount of weight you can really lose on the ketogenic diet. We also reveal how to fast track your keto fat loss.

So, you’re toying with the idea of doing the keto diet, but you’re not sure what to expect. Maybe you’ve heard stories about amazing levels of fat loss from some people and pretty meager results from others.

Well, thank goodness you’ve landed here because we’re about to reveal the truth about how much weight you can really lose on the keto diet.

Weight Loss Defined

Most people are obsessed with weight loss. They want to get that scale number down no matter what. Often they end up losing stuff that they really don’t want to be losing, such as water and muscle tissue.

You see, the scale does not differentiate between muscle, fat, and water.

All it knows is that you are lighter. Of course, what you really want is to lose the fat and keep all of the other good stuff.

During your transition to the ketogenic diet, you will lose quite a lot of weight. It is not uncommon to lose ten pounds in the first week. But not all of it will be fat loss. The majority of that weight loss will be water. Then, once you’ve gone through the transition period, the weight loss will plateau to somewhere around one to two pounds per week. But there will be a difference.

The make-up of the weight you lose will change as you enter into the keto diet. As I mentioned, you will start by losing a lot of water weight. But then, once you are keto-adapted and your body has switched from a glucose burning to a fat-burning energy system, you will be losing more and more fat tissue.

That’s because your body will be turning to your stored body fat to supply its energy needs. 

Why You Lose Water?

When you go on a low carb diet like keto, you severely restrict your body’s expected energy source. The lack of carbs leads to a lack of glucose in the body. As a result, your body turns to its stored glycogen reserves. The process of utilizing this glucose takes quite a lot of water.

As a result, you will begin to lose water weight almost immediately. 

Glycogen is stored in your liver. It is made up of a large protein molecule that is surrounded by glucose sub-units. Each gram of glycogen is bound to three grams of water. When the body starts to use glycogen for glucose, it’s no wonder that you will lose a large amount of water. 

Another cause of water loss during the transition period to keto is the loss of electrolytes that come with the change (1).

Electrolytes are lost through urination, which requires water. When you begin producing ketones, these will also be expelled from the body through your urine, which further increases your water output. 

How to Speed Up the Fat Loss

So far we’ve established that you can lose about ten pounds of body weight in the first week of your adjustment to the ketogenic diet. However, most of that will be water loss. Going forward you can expect to lose one or two pounds per week. Most of this will be fat loss.

One pound per week may not sound like much. But, so long as you are consistent, that means that you’ll lose more than 50 pounds in a 12-month period. Still, some people want even faster results. Here are five things you can do to speed up your fat loss on keto.

Intermittent Fasting

The combination of keto and intermittent fasting (IF) represents the ideal lifestyle choice for super-charged weight loss. Intermittent fasting involves undertaking strategic periods of non-eating to induce faster fat loss and promote positive hormonal reactions in the body. The most popular version of IF is the 16-8 diet.

This involves 16 hours each day on non-eating and an 8-hour feeding window. Many people fast between 7 pm one day and 11 am the next day. During the 8-hour feeding window, you simply eat according to the keto diet.

By far the number one reason that people begin to follow the intermittent fasting lifestyle is to lose body fat. The reason that IF has become so popular as a weight-loss method is down to two things;

  • It works
  • It has scientific backing

Your body has two energy systems that it can call upon. The primary energy system is glucose-based. It relies on carbohydrates to provide this glucose which gets transported in the muscle cell to be converted into adenosine triphosphate.

When you consume too many simple carbohydrates, the excess is stored as reserve energy in the form of body fat.

When your body’s glucose stores are used up, it turns to its secondary energy system. This is stored body fat, which is actually a more efficient form of energy than glucose. A byproduct of the fat burning for energy process is a compound known as ketones.

Once you eat a meal, it takes between eight and twelve hours to use up its glycogen stores after you have eaten a meal. Only then will your body be able to tap into its reserve energy system–stored body fat. Of course, our normal eating pattern never allows us to go for a whole twelve hours without eating.

As a result, we never get to deplete our body’s glycogen levels to the point where fat burning kicks in.

Yet, when you do allow your body enough time to expend its glycogen stores, it will have no choice but to switch to its secondary energy system. In the process, you will lose the craving to eat sugary simple carbohydrates. That’s because your body will be depending on stored body fat and not carbohydrates for the energy that you need to function.

Fat is a slow-burning fuel that provides you with a sustained and controlled energy source. That’s because every gram of fat contains 9 calories, compared with just 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate.

Fasted Cardio

During your 16 hour fasting period, head down to the gym for some fasted cardio. When you are in a fasted state, your body will be forced to draw on its fat reserves in order to provide the energy that your body needs to meet the challenges of your workout.

This will dramatically increase your calorie burn and your fat loss. 

Fasted Resistance Training

When you are done with your fasted cardio, head over to the weight training area for some fasted resistance training. Resistance training relies on the glycogen stores in your muscles. It will very quickly use them all up. This will force the body to turn to its fat stores, getting you into ketosis more quickly. 

As a side point, both fasting and resistance training have a huge impact on the release of human growth hormone (HGH). One study showed that resistance training led to a 44% increase in the body’s release of human growth hormone. In another study, a 24-hour fast led to a 2000% percent increase in the release of HGH in men, and a 1,300% increase in women.

Combining resistance training with fasting will dramatically increase HGH output, leading to greater muscle building potential (2, 3). 

A fantastic benefit of resistance training is that it will allow you to mold and shape your body. Combining it with fat reducing keto will provide you with all the tools you need to create a lean, muscular, athletic physique.

Supplement with MCT Oil, Carnitine & Black Coffee

Smart supplementation can seriously turbocharge your fat loss on keto. The three best things you can take are medium-chain triglyceride oil, carnitine, and black coffee. MCT oil is actually converted in the liver into ketones, helping you to more effectively burn stored body fat.

The amino acid carnitine has the job of transporting fat into the mitochondria for use as energy. Black coffee is also known to stimulate the release of fatty acids to be used for energy by the body. 

Prebiotics & Probiotics

Maintaining a healthy gut biome is essential to proper nutrient absorption and weight loss. On the keto diet, some people struggle to get the prebiotics and probiotics they need to feed their gut biome properly. That’s because some foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics are too high in carbohydrates.

Still, it is essential to get enough prebiotic fiber and probiotic bacteria. When you do, you will actually speed up your weight loss results.

You can add prebiotics and probiotics to your keto diet plan by adding in the following foods:

  • Natto (fermented soybeans)
  • Kimchi
  • Keto kefir
  • Beet kvass

Summary

During the first week of keto, you can lose as much as ten pounds, but most of it will be water weight. Your weight loss will then slow to 1-2 pounds per week, most of which will be fat. You can speed up that fat loss with a combination of fasting, exercise, supplementation, and the eating of pre and pro-biotic based foods.

Do these things consistently while staying within your carb range and you will achieve your keto weight loss goals. 

References:

  • (1). https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/153188
  • (2). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2796409
  • (3). https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-04/imc-sfr033111.php
Tina Alexandre
Tina Alexandre

Co-founder

Hi, I'm Tina, a mom, and wife who loves to write about nutrition and dieting. When I'm not writing, I also enjoy baking healthy pastries with my 7-year-old daughter.

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