Many people turn to the keto diet to lose weight. They often want to know how quickly they can start shedding pounds. There is no one-size-fits-all answer because everyone is different. Read on to learn what to expect, best practices for burning weight, and mistakes that you should avoid.

Factors That Impact Keto Weight Loss

All people are different, which means that they will see different results when they are on the keto diet. Everyone has the same goal of reducing their carbohydrate intake and replacing it with healthy fats and protein. The idea is to transition your body from getting its energy from glucose to getting it from the ketones in fat. The following factors will influence how quickly this occurs:

1. Your Current Health

Your overall health plays a role in how long it will take you to lose weight. For example, if you have a slower metabolism, it might take longer to get into ketosis. If you have a faster metabolism, you might get there more quickly.

Some people are overweight and they may have more stored glycogen. When you eat more carbs than your body needs to perform its functions, your body stores it as glycogen. When you start the keto diet, your body will deplete the glycogen supplies before it starts producing ketones. For this reason, it will take longer to get into ketosis.

There are other factors, such as your level of insulin resistance or your thyroid function that can play a role. If you are outside of the normal range for any of these issues, you may find that it takes a little longer to get into ketosis and start losing weight.

2. Your Current Eating and Exercise Habits

Before people choose the keto diet, they have a range of lifestyle habits. Some people already eat healthy but they want to reduce their carbs. Others might not exercise at all. Once you start the keto diet, your exercise habits will impact how effectively you can use weight. Weight loss occurs when you consume fewer calories than you burn so exercise will speed up the weight loss process.

If you are true to the keto diet and stick with clean keto-friendly foods, you will achieve ketosis and weight loss more quickly. If you add in healthy exercise, you will help your body burn fat.

3. Your Current BMI

Your BMI is your body weight-to-height ratio and this tells you where you stand in terms of your size. When your BMI is higher, you have more weight to lose. If you have a lot of extra water weight, you may lose weight more quickly in the beginning. The key is to determine how much weight you have to lose and how much muscle mass you have.

4. How Long Your Body Will Take to Become Fat-Adapted

When you go on the keto diet, your body needs to become fat-adapted. Your metabolism will determine how long this takes. If you are already fit, you may become fat-adapted more quickly. If you have been on a heavy diet and are overweight, it may take a little longer. Your body becomes fat-adapted when it completes the transition to making ketones that will be stored in fat and used for energy.

How to Speed up the Process

It may sound as if your current state will determine how long it takes you to become fat-adapted and get into ketosis but there are a few things that you can do to speed up the process. The first thing that you can control is how consistently you stick to the keto diet. If you are committed to this lifestyle change and eat only keto-friendly foods, you can reach ketosis more quickly.

You should familiarize yourself with all of the foods that work well on the keto diet, especially healthy fats, quality meats, and veggies. You will want to understand which foods contain sneaky carbs that can hold up the process. If you are able to consistently keep your carb intake under 50 grams a day, you will start burning fat more quickly.

keto breakfast meal

Tips to Success

Use the following tips to get into ketosis sooner:

Pay Attention to Your Personal Keto Macros

If you want to start losing weight sooner rather than later, your first goal is to familiarize yourself with the best foods that you can eat on keto. You can use a keto calculator to determine what your personal keto macros are. This will help you to determine your nutritional needs based on your personal goals. You will need to pay attention to the foods you eat and track the carbs, proteins, and fats.

Eat a Well-Rounded Diet

In addition to paying attention to the macros in your food, you need to make sure that you are choosing quality food. You should eat whole foods and avoid anything processed. You need to round out your diet with low-carb veggies, avocado oil, and grass-fed beef. This will ensure that your body gets the nourishment it needs.

Increase Your Physical Activity

Losing weight is a matter of burning more calories than you consume. By definition, you will lose weight faster if you increase your physical activity. You do not need to commit to training for a marathon; any increase in physical activity will increase the calories you burn. Start where you are comfortable even if that is simply taking a 15-minute walk each day. You can increase your activity more as you build fitness.

Don’t Try to Rush Ketosis

On average, most people take from two to seven days to get into ketosis. Sometimes people try to make it happen more quickly by reducing their carbs further or exercising too much. Doing this can cause you to stress your system and you can possibly end up with the keto flu. Let your body take the time it needs to get there. Stick to your diet and it will happen.

Test Your Keto Levels

You can test your keto levels to find out if you are in ketosis when you start out. There are several different tests, including a blood ketone meter and urine strips. If you have ketone levels above 0.5 mol/L, your body is in nutritional ketosis.

General Expectations for Weight Loss on Keto

You need to keep in mind that everyone loses weight at different rates and you can use the guidelines above to determine whether you will be average, slow, or quick to lose weight. The following is what you can generally expect when you are on the keto diet.

Week One: Two to Ten Pounds. Many people lose as much as ten pounds in the first week because your body releases water weight when you reduce the carbs you consume. Normally, if you consume more carbs than your body needs, it stores the excess glucose in your muscles as glycogen. Each gram of glycogen binds to two or three grams of water. When your body is no longer storing glycogen, it releases this water.

Week Two and Beyond: One to Two Pounds Each Week. Starting sometime during the second week, once the glycogen stores have been eliminated, people begin to see a steady weight loss of one or two pounds each week. During this time, since you are actively trying to lose weight, you will continue to take in fewer calories than you burn. Your body should be fat-adapted at this stage, which means that you are burning ketones from fat for your energy. As long as you continue on the same regimen of food consumption and exercise, your body should continue to burn fat and lose one or two pounds a week.

Weeks Following Reaching Your Goal Weight. Once you reach your goal weight, your weight loss should slow because you will reach your target weight. You should be taking in the nutrition and calories that you need, and you will exercise to stay healthy. You can modify your choices if you want to lose more weight or if you want to maintain the weight you have reached.

Mistakes People Make

People do make some mistakes that get in the way of their goals. Take a look at the following:

  • Watch for hidden carbs: eliminate processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and other hidden carbs
  • Make sure that you are in ketosis: be sure to decrease your carb intake below 50 grams a day and track your ketones to make sure that you are in ketosis
  • Count your calories: you need to take in fewer calories than you burn
  • Look for other signs of ketosis, including the following:
    • Mental clarity
    • Reduced inflammation
    • Healthy hair, skin, and nails
    • Increased sustained energy
    • Reduced cravings

Although everyone is different, most people enter ketosis in between two and seven days. If you are trying to lose weight, you can expect a sharp drop at the beginning followed by steady weight loss as long as you continue your diet and exercise program. Be patient and your body will get there as long as you remain committed to the process.

keto meal plan

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