A ketogenic diet in any variation is conducive to weight loss: we've proven this true at Konscious Keto with our own personal stories. The combination of a suppressed appetite and the metabolic benefits of ketosis are perfect for promoting accelerated and effortless fat loss.
That being true, we can leverage some lifestyle tweaks to super-charge the already fantastic ketogenic diet, to promote fat loss. We'll share some simple steps to to boost your weight loss on keto, just read on.
Test for Ketosis
Although we can lose weight outside of the metabolic state of ketosis, even if following something entirely other than a ketogenic diet, elevated ketone levels in the body can provide a thermogenic effect and aid in increased levels of fat loss.
Aside from maintaining ketosis, testing ketone levels are especially helpful for newbies or those experiencing a weight loss stall, to help spot which foods may spike glucose and inform the body to store body fat, rather than release it.
The elevated ketones in the body, when in ketosis, are detectable in the breath, urine, and blood and there are many meters available on the market to track your numbers.
Now, there's metabolic ketosis, and then there's a state known as optimal ketosis—a term that references achieving the ideal ketone levels while in a ketotic state to maximize overall health and performance.
Once elevated yet controlled in the body, increased ketones produce a thermogenic effect that helps torch body fat and use fat for fuel more efficiently.
We are fortunate to have some affordable gadgets at our disposal to gauge our ketone levels, throughout the day to determine our level of ketosis.
Whether you prefer to tinkle on a stick or blow into a breathalizer-style monitor, it's pretty painless to keep tabs on your level of 'tones.
OK, now we're clear that tracking ketones are helpful to monitor metabolic variables related to optimal ketosis.
But what measurements signify a state of ketosis in the body?
Here are some guidelines regarding testing and monitoring your ketones and what the numbers mean:
It's advised to check blood ketones in a fasted state, with an empty stomach, in the morning (before breaking the fast). Here are a few tips on how to understand the result:
- Below 0.5 mmol/L is not considered “ketosis,” not even close. At this level, the maximum fat-burning effect of ketosis is entirely out of reach.
- Between 0.5-1.5 mmol/L is light nutritional ketosis. You’ll reap some weight-loss benefit, but it won't be optimal.
- Around 1.5 – 3 mmol/L is the metabolic sweet spot known as optimal ketosis and is recommended for maximum fat loss.
- Values of over 3 mmol/L will achieve neither better nor worse results than being at the 1.5-3 level.
So, achieving ketone levels over 3 mmol/L is little more than a vanity metric as you're already in an optimal state and able to reap the complete benefits of nutritional ketosis.
Eat Your Macros
Deprivation and caloric restriction are standard staples of many diets in western culture. And while we need a caloric deficit to produce fat loss, it's still vital to eat enough—and enough of the right types of foods—to nourish the body and support weight loss.
Forcing appetite suppression and eating many fewer calories than the body needs to function properly is a recipe for metabolic disaster.
We need an adequate amount of calories and nutrients to function. Our set macronutrients, or macros, are dietary elements we want to monitor to ensure we are properly nourished: primarily fat, protein, carbs, and fiber.
While a ketogenic diet advises a very restricted carbohydrate macronutrient: eating nutrient-dense, low-glycemic, produce is still permissible.
Also, unlike when eating a Standard American Diet (SAD), fat is your friend, and you'll want to incorporate omega-3-rich fish, cold-pressed MCT oil, and fatty fruit like avocado into your weekly menu.
We need a caloric deficit to produce weight loss, but skimping on set calorie targets and undereating can cause the opposite of your likely intended effect—it may even cause weight gain rather than weight loss, stalling out your metabolism.
Furthermore, eating inadequate or incorrectly rationed amounts of nutrients, like fat and protein, can lead to muscle deterioration as we lose weight, which can make it harder to lose weight over time.
So again, switch the mindset around food from deprivation to optimal nourishment. Eat well to lose weight.
Eat “Clean Keto”
Detractors of the ketogenic diet may assume that ones' daily diet on a low-carb, high-fat program consists of little more than nitrate-laced deli meats and bacon, or processed cheese and diet soda, but this couldn't be farther from the truth in cases where keto is done correctly.
While the elimination of carbs is crucial to triggering nutritional ketosis, eating healthy fats like salmon, grass-fed beef, and ghee are also vital to ensure feelings of satiety.
Also, in addition to keeping hunger pangs at bay, eating premium sources of fat will help to boost ketone bodies and facilitate more profound states of ketosis.
There are some foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet, or on any diet, to prevent inflammation, hormonal imbalance and weight gain due to the damage they cause to metabolic health.
Here are some foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet:
- Trans Fat
- Processed meats containing nitrites and nitrates (e.g., some bacon, deli meats, etc.)
- Mayonnaise made with unhealthy canola or safflower oils
- Artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sorbitol
- Meats filled with hormones and preservatives
- Grass-fed beef
- Heavy cream (organic)
- Fish and seafood (e.g., shrimp, lobster, crab, etc.)
- MCT oil, palm oil, grass-fed butter and ghee
- Asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower
- Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries
- Dark leafy greens
- Chicken thighs (skin on)
Use an Exogenous Ketone Shake
An air-tight diet, rigorous workout regimen, and getting enough sleep each night all work together to optimize health and aid in weight loss, but adding an exogenous ketone supplement like Keto Activate, is an excellent way to boost ketone bodies and help deepen levels of ketosis, to maximize the metabolic state's many benefits.
Also, a decadent yet macro-friendly meal replacement like our strawberry cheesecake Keto Shake is very helpful post-workout—it’s jam-packed with quality ingredients including grass-fed whey protein and coconut-based MCTs, to aid in muscle recovery and replenish energy levels.
Supplement with Salt
Shakers filled with finely-milled white crystals of iodized salt may be the variety most commonly seen on dinner tables in restaurants and homes alike, but premium sea salts provide an abundance of vitamins and minerals that are missing from the common salt options, and essential to achieving optimal ketosis.
Now, the possible confusion around the promotion of consuming increased amounts of salt is understandable—it has been demonized by doctors and our nutritional regulatory bodies for decades, linking elevated intake to everything from high blood pressure to an increased risk of stroke.
But quality sea salts like Himalayan and Celtic salt offer unique nutritional properties that contribute to creating balance in the body, and are especially beneficial on a ketogenic diet. Especially when fluids, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes are lost at a higher rate while in ketosis, with our glycogen stores being depleted quickly.
The thing is this, salt is useful for more than flavoring our foods. Salt is responsible for aiding in the optimal functioning of the body.
Here are some of the vital roles played by salt:
- Aids in cell wall elasticity as it helps keep our cells hydrated
- Helps to maintain the delicate fluid balance in and surrounding each cell in our body
- Aids in the uptake of potassium into our cells which helps to regulate the possible adverse effects of blood pressure, water retention, and proper kidney function
- Helps with digestion as it activates the oral enzyme called salivary amylase which helps breakdown food along the digestive tract
But how can salt be healthy and unhealthy at the same time? Could it be a dynamic similar to that seen with fats: where there are low-quality fats and healthy fats?
Quality salt matters and the salts we advise consuming are rich in minerals, vitamins, and other electrolytes that may become deficient when on keto.
While chemically-derived table salt is an option to avoid: real salt is a significant and necessary element in any well-composed ketogenic diet plan.
Here are some of the best salts to reach for on keto and different ways said salts benefit the body:
Pink Himalayan Salt:
Maybe the most popularized of the mineralized salts, this element is derived from ancient salt stores in the Himalayan mountains and is even the material of cooking slabs and cool ambient lamps.
Redmond Real Salt:
Unlike iodized salt, this salt is mined from Redmond, Utah and is an unrefined, mineralized salt that is essential to develop and sustain the healthy function of our bones, blood, and organs.
Celtic Sea Salt:
A powerhouse within the sea salt roster, Celtic sea salt is said to increase alkalinity in the body, balance blood sugar levels, boost immunity and energy, provide an electrolyte balance and aid in more restful sleep.
Think of salt as more than an effortless way to add flavor to food; the health benefits exceed far beyond taste.
Eat Lots of Dark Green Veggies
Kale, collard greens, and chard are all among the low-glycemic vegetables that pair perfectly with a low-carb diet.
In addition to helping to regulate blood sugar, dark leafy greens contain a lot of fiber and promote feelings of satiety, along with helping us feel fuller longer—naturally curbing calorie intake and creating the deficit required to release excess body fat with ease.
Dark leafy greens including kale, spinach, and collard greens are also packed with calcium and ideal for aiding in weight loss as they rev up the metabolism and help burn fat.
Besides, dark leafy greens are abundant in vitamin C and a plethora of other nutrients that support optimal health, a highly nutritive food option on a ketogenic diet geared toward fat loss.
Replace a Meal with Keto Shake
Skip the counting of calories and the pained process of determining whether your meal fits into your established macros. Try a perfectly composed and keto-centric meal replacement like Keto Shake for an indulgent taste of strawberry cheesecake goodness, without the guilt.
With less than one gram of carbs per serving, and ingredients like MCT powder that help boost metabolism and curb cravings, creamy chocolate Keto Shake is especially great for those of you looking to keep it keto when eating on-the-go.
Just blend a perfectly-portioned shake in seconds and toss it in your tote for a macro-friendly boost of nutrition during your active day.
Walk 10k Steps a Day
Low-impact exercise like walking is an excellent way to boost feelings of well-being while burning calories and reducing your risk of heart disease, a win on all fronts.
The consensus of ideal daily activity within the health community is often set at taking 10k steps a day.
Take a brisk morning stroll; park farther from the entrance of shops when running errands to get in a few extra steps; or journey the length of a beautiful trail for a few miles—a perfect mind-body exercise, especially as we approach spring.
Every seemingly small step adds up to a huge result in our improved health, and the number on the scale, so get active and stay inspired to keep moving throughout your week.
Just put one foot in front of the other and get moving!
If an outdoor trek is less your speed, there's always taking a long, steady-state, stroll on a treadmill while catching up on chapters of a riveting audiobook. Create a ritual around your activity that leads to excitement about your next sweat session.
Choose your preferred method of getting in your steps each day, whether doing a turbo-charged kickboxing class or climbing toward imagined heights on a Stairmaster—be consistent. And rest assured, walking regularly will tip the scale in your favor in no time.
Put Down the Butter
Eating healthy fats is generally encouraged on a ketogenic diet, but the golden, creamy, spread may compromise our fat-loss efforts.
While eating healthy fat is great to aid in satiety, like nuts, it's effortless to overeat because a healthy dollop or handful provides as many calories as some entire meals!
Omit the butter in your keto coffee for a bit and see how that impacts the scale.
Remember, although fat is our friend, a caloric deficit is the MVP on our proverbial weight-loss plan—keep the knowledge of that point at the center of your efforts to further facilitate fat loss.
Update Your Macros Every +/- 10 lbs
Maybe this has happened to you: you're losing weight consistently, shed about 10 pounds, and then suddenly progress stalls. If you're eating the same as you have to lose weight until this point, the sudden stagnation may be confusing.
However, keeping calorie intake the same, despite significant weight fluctuations can be part of the problem.
If we continue eating the same calories at a lower weight, we eliminate the deficit needed to lose body fat.
Use dietary calculators, like that provided within free apps like MyFitness Pal, to determine the daily caloric target that's necessary for weight loss, as you lose or gain weight to assure you're eating in alignment with your current goals.
Be Patient - A Whoosh is Coming
It can seem like an eternity from the start of a new eating style, to when we reach our ultimate goal weight, but success in only a matter of time with the application of discipline and consistency—keto works if you work it!
A ketogenic diet can produce accelerated weight loss; it's honestly one of the most coveted hallmarks of the diet. But our bodies may still go through periods of release and other periods where the body maintains its current weight, despite being in ketosis.
Then seemingly out of nowhere, like a gusting wind, there's a significant drop, a whoosh if you will, where the number on the scale drops significantly, breaking through a plateau, and you get to do a jubilant victory dance before even having your morning coffee, as you step off the scale.
Be patient and stay the course, results will follow and often quicker than may be experienced, when following other eating styles.
Weight loss is a natural side effect of following a ketogenic diet, mainly thanks to its appetite-suppressing effect which leads to the consumption of fewer calories, effortlessly—resulting in a consistent and often rapid fat loss.
Implement some or all of the weight-loss tips we've mentioned to magnify the thermogenic effects of keto. The more leverage you have to achieve your weight-loss goal the better, right?
Get going! Remember, your goal outfit is smoking hot and awaiting your arrival!
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Keto Acid Therapy in CKD Patients / Keto Acid Therapy for Patients with Diabetic Nephropathy / Keto Acid Supplementation in Patients Being Treated by Dialysis. (2005). American Journal of Nephrology,25(1), 6-28. doi:10.1159/000084132
- Trial finds low carb diets reduce weight more than low-fat diets in the short term, but have more minor adverse effects. (2004). Evidence-based Cardiovascular Medicine,8(4), 374-375. doi:10.1016/j.ebcm.2004.09.003