The ketogenic diet is different from every other diet out there. It’s the only diet that can change your metabolism from being a glucose burner to a fat burner.
This is super important because as anyone who has tried to lose weight knows, you’re at the mercy of your metabolism.
A faster, more efficient metabolism results in a quicker fat loss; imagine being able to kick it up a gear without eating less or depending on salads.
No, you’re not dreaming! It’s not uncommon for people to lose up to 10 pounds in the first week on keto.
It’s this kind of fat loss that’s got everyone excited about their ketosis weight loss rate.
But how much fat will you lose? How quick will it happen? What happens if you stall?
It’s perfectly reasonable to have these kinds of questions and more about starting a keto diet; this is such a new way of eating for most people.
If you’re coming into this fresh, here’s an idea of what you can expect:
In the first week, people typically experience a sudden or dramatic weight loss.
When your body doesn’t use glucose immediately, it stores it as glycogen in your muscles and glycogen binds to water.
No carbs in your system mean no excessive water weight.
In the second and third week, you should expect to see results as well if you follow our plan.
At this time, the fat loss may slow, but it should remain consistent.
Unlike other diets, ketosis doesn’t depend on cutting down calories or setting unrealistic expectations.
In week 2 and 3, you’ll also start to see the results; you’ll feel leaner, more energized, and have less brain fog or confusion.
These are clear signs you’re in ketosis.
If you have a high Body Mass Index (BMI), week 2 and 3 may still be big hitters for you. It’s also not uncommon for people to experience massive weight loss during this phase.
This is because, in ketosis, your body can find and use the fat much faster than on a carb-based diet.
Think of ketosis like counting cards at a casino. If you know the cards at the table, it’s possible to bend the odds to your favor.
But if you go in blind, you’re never going to hit the jackpot; you might get lucky from time to time, but there’s no real targeted approach.
One study found obese patients lost 30 pounds after two months on the keto diet and over 88% of patients lost more than 10% of their initial weight by the end of the study, while lean mass was practically unaffected (1).
That’s about 3.5 pounds per week!
Another study found obese patients weighing 220 pounds, dropped 22 pounds after eight weeks on a ketogenic diet.
They lost an extra 4.4 pounds by week 16 and 6.6 pounds by week 24. In total, they lost 15 kg (33 pounds) in 5.5 months (2).
That's a nice, consistent 1.5 pounds per week!
What can other diets proclaim to have such consistent results? Not many.
While it’s true that obese people have huge benefits on a keto diet; there are too many health benefits to ignore.
In addition to fat loss, you can experience:
- More energy and cognitive focus
- Hunger suppression and appetite control
- Less inflammation
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Lower cholesterol
- Fix insulin resistance
- Manage fibromyalgia
- Alleviate PCOS symptoms
- And so much more
Generally speaking, most of the accelerated keto fat loss occurs within the first 3 months.
After this time, you should continue to lose weight steadily, although you may lose it in phases.
Some people may even gain a little weight before another drop, or stall.
You may also notice that keto fat loss slows down just before you get to your target weight.
This is very common, and usually means you need to increase your calorie deficit.
If you’re coming to us near your goal weight, we can help you reach that elusive number. Just ask us how in the comment section!
Just remember that being in ketosis is not a guarantee of weight loss.
You still have to eat to a calorie deficit, but the important thing to acknowledge is that any fat loss is beneficial for your health and is worth it.
Keep reading to learn how to continue to improve your ketosis weight loss rate.
The Joy of Becoming Fat-adapted
Your journey begins in phase one of understanding your ketosis weight loss rate.
This rate is unique and specific to you; no two people have the same metabolism, not even twins.
You now and you from ten years ago have different metabolisms and are burning fats at very different rates.
So you know those metabolisms can and do change, whose to say you can’t improve it?
One study on volunteers with obesity and type 2 diabetes dropped 24.5 pounds in 24 weeks on a ketogenic diet (3).
If you have gained weight because of diabetes or you’ve become insulin resistant, the keto diet can do wonders in turning back the clock.
Another study found 120 overweight hyperlipidemic patients lost 20.7 pounds of fat mass in 24 weeks just by eating a keto diet (4).
These people didn’t work out, or anything special. They merely ate a high-fat low-carb diet and did not eat a lot of protein.
For most people, the weight loss that happens when you go into keto is more than enough to set them on a new path in life.
But for those of you who are competitive, or perhaps who are needing to lose more weight, we understand if you want to speed things up.
We’re going to cover three common mistakes people make when trying to accelerate their fat loss on a keto diet.
These are not mistakes, per say, but if you’re not getting the results you want, then these might be what is holding you back.
Mistake #1 - Not Being in Ketosis
The first mistake is pretty frustrating, but if you’re not losing weight consistently, you’re probably not in ketosis.
Maybe you are for a little while, but something knocks you out.
Maybe you’re only losing weight due to a calorie deficit.
Or maybe you’re not fat-adapted.
If you’re eating too many carbs, you will still lose weight if you’re not in ketosis (as anyone on a diet can attest to), but it won’t be the most efficient way to drop those stubborn pounds.
Instead, read our guide on how to get into ketosis. This guide will teach you the best way to get into a fat-burning state that produces the most ketones.
It can be a bitter pill to swallow, but understand that everyone can get into ketosis; and if you’re not there yet, time, consistency and patience are the winning formulae.
Sometimes, you have to wait it out; everyone responds differently to keto.
Some people can get into ketosis within hours and others it takes a few weeks, but we promise, if you hang tight it can and will happen for you.
So, don’t look to your neighbor and wonder why you’re responding differently.
We are all coming into the race at different points.
The cool thing about keto, though, is that the longer you are in it, the easier it is to bounce back.
The work you’re doing now can help you burn fat for the rest of your life!
We think that’s pretty neat, don’t you think?
Mistake #2 - Eating Too Many Calories
We’ve touched on this a few times on the blog, but it’s worth repeating. If you eat too many calories, you will not lose weight efficiently on a keto diet.
Ketosis is not a free-for-all.
You can’t just be eating whatever you want whenever you want; you have to be strategic about the foods you eat.
The pay off is that when you do choose to eat, the foods will be equipped to support your whole health and can result in a tremendous fat loss.
Your daily caloric needs are very individual and depend on your energy output.
If you are a larger active man, who works in a labor-intensive job your body needs more calories per day than a woman who has a sedentary office job and doesn’t work out.
This is because of your weight, height, sex, and how active you are all change how many calories your body needs to sustain itself each day.
An average woman needs to eat about 2000 calories per day to maintain, and 1500 calories to lose one pound of weight per week.
An average man needs 2500 calories to maintain, and 2000 calories to lose one pound of weight per week. However, this won’t guarantee you are in ketosis.
Using a keto calculator is an easy way to determine your unique goals.
You should redo your macros for every 10 pounds of weight gain or weight loss.
This will help you understand your nutritional goals, and get the best results.
We recommend weighing in no more than once a week. If you can, it’s best to go by how you feel; are you pants lose, do you feel thinner?
Non-scale victories are also helpful in learning what your body needs.
These are much more body-positive signals and will help you learn to read what your body needs.
And besides, as you stress over numbers, your body is more prone to holding onto fat; people who are happier lose more weight, so live a little.
Mistake #3 - Eating Dairy
Finally, and this can be controversial, but eating lactose can slow weight loss. At least in the short-term.
As far as its carb content goes, dairy can range from very keto-friendly (for example, ghee, butter or most hard cheeses) to not keto-friendly at all (such as yogurts with added sugar or condensed milk).
1% and 2% dairy products are loaded with carbs.
Since the fat is removed and sugar is added, you’re left with two things you don’t want on keto.
Equally, while it’s high in protein and fat, dairy also comes at a high-calorie cost too. A single serving of cheese can average around 100 calories.
If you’re looking to lose weight, we recommend giving up cheese until you hit your goal.
If you want to gain weight, however, cheese can be a great way to bulk effectively and deliciously; bear in mind that cheese can trigger food sensitivity in some people.
Some people adjust their macros to make dairy work for them, but if you’re on a strict keto plan or want to eat clean, ditching the cheese might be a great plan of action.
Giving up dairy on keto is good if you’re struggling with:
- Becoming fat-adapted
- Losing weight
- Sinus inflammation
- Any autoimmune disease
- Skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, etc.)
Many of these conditions become much more manageable by removing dairy from the diet.
If you don’t want to give up cheese, who can blame you. Focus on parmesan, gouda, cheddar, brie, camembert, goat cheese, and mozzarella.
Avoid specialty cheeses, especially those with added fruits, as these contain carbs.
Determining Your Ketosis Weight Loss Rate
Now that you fully understand your body and metabolism, and how to avoid the top 3 keto fat loss mistakes, it’s time to get your three-step plan.
This is what will determine how fast you - not everyone else - will lose weight. We think that’s pretty exciting!
Keep reading to learn how to boost your ketosis weight loss rate.
Figure Out Your Macros
It can seem overwhelming when you first start keto to track your macros.
Everyone says it like it’s a big deal, but what does it mean.
What are macros?
Macros, or macronutrients, are essential nutrients; fat, carbs, protein, vitamins, minerals, and of course, water.
Each day, you eat macros (a percentage of your total calories).
For a standard ketogenic diet, 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbohydrate is ideal.
Some people may adjust these keto macros, but they will usually always keep the majority of their calories coming from fat, with a moderate protein goal.
Athletes, for example, need to have a slightly higher protein or carbohydrate goal and therefore may eat less fat to moderate their intake.
Or they may eat more to bulk and add weight.
The next thing to consider is your total calories for the day.
As mentioned, it’s not enough to eat a ketogenic diet; you have to eat to a calorie deficit to lose weight.
Here are some suggested deficits:
- No to low weight loss: 5-10% is a small calorie deficit
- Healthy fat weight loss: 10-20% is a moderate deficit
- Short-term weight loss: 20-30% is a significant deficit
The big difference is that on a ketogenic diet, eating less, or even fasting, has proven to be much more enjoyable and easy due to the keto diet's ability to suppress hunger and reduce sugar cravings.
Fat makes you feel fuller, so most people naturally consume fewer calories, but this is not true of everyone.
Using a carb tracking app can tell you if you are eating the correct keto macro ratios and eating under your calorie goals.
Note: you should never eat under 1,200 calories for a woman and 1,500 for a man.
If you’re eating 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbohydrate and have a 5-20% deficit, then you are pretty much guaranteed to be in ketosis and should be losing weight if you’re eating under your calories.
If you’re eating under and not losing weight, please stop and consult your doctor or certified nutritionist.
If you are eating this or less and not losing weight, your body is in starvation mode and requires a particular intervention to get back on track.
Many women coming from a lifetime of dieting may also experience the symptoms of a stubborn metabolism when first starting keto, but stick it out.
You have to give your body time to calibrate itself back on track.
Now that you are confidently in ketosis let’s move to the second phase of burning fat - what you eat.
Eat a Clean Keto Diet
What you eat matters tremendously and should be refined after you are in ketosis.
Your ketosis weight loss rate can be hindered dramatically by what you eat, even if you follow all of the guidelines above.
This is especially true if you’ve been in ketosis for a few weeks or months; suddenly, all that miraculous weight loss has slowed down, and you can’t figure out why.
You’re doing everything by the book and reading every label, so what gives?
It turns out our bodies need to be always challenged, and the next keto hurdle to overcome is maintaining your results.
We’ve found that eating a clean keto diet, versus a strictly low-carb diet, is where people make the most progress in boosting their ketosis weight loss rate.
For example, while you can eat out at fast food joints every night, and order menu items that are within your macros, are you giving your body the best tools for the job?
Counting macros, and even calories give you a very short-sighted view of your nutrition.
For the best results, how many fruits and vegetables you consume, often matter more.
Here are some basic rules:
- Quality of carbs counts: if your net carbs come from sugar alcohols, this will slow down your fat loss more than carbs that come from whole foods.
- Don’t eat fruit: if weight loss is your goal, eating fruit can slow you down. Berries are delicious on a ketogenic maintenance plan, but fructose can hinder fat loss.
- Avoid processed foods: if it’s not a whole food, nut, seed, or fat, it’s not going to be good for you, and your body will need to work on digesting those first before it can get to your fat cells.
We recommend drilling down on a clean keto diet to help you reach your goals.
Once you get to your goal weight, you can start to add back in keto treats and snacks as you see fit.
Add in Moderate Cardio
No one wants to hear work out more to lose weight, but this is an effortless way to accelerate your ketosis weight loss rate when done correctly.
It’s tempting, and sometimes very fun, to get to the gym and give it your all, but the ketogenic diet is at its core, a low-stress diet.
Ketogenic foods allow you to reduce digestive stress, but mental and physical stress also play a critical role.
In the 1990s, researchers from the Department of Psychology at Yale University discovered that the “stress hormone” cortisol triggers excessive abdominal fat deposits in men and women (5).
In other words, dreaded belly fat. If you wiggle and jiggle then you know how frustrating this kind of fat can be, and how impossible it feels to lose it.
The good news is that the ketogenic diet is a unique diet that enables you to metabolize this fat, finally.
The reason we suggest adding cardio is two-fold. Like any other diet, the more your exercise, the larger your calorie deficit becomes. This aids in weight loss.
But the second reason is a bit more interesting. During ketosis, the more you exercise, the more ketones you produce, and the deeper your state of ketosis becomes.
More ketones, mean you have more opportunities to be metabolizing fat and feeling energized.
In ketosis, your body is equipped to handle light to moderate cardio. You may be surprised to see your overall stamina increase and feel more confident.
We recommend trying some low-stress cardio like hiking, yoga, pilates, or hitting 10k steps per day; these are all very attainable to most people.
The results, when paired with a ketogenic diet, are phenomenal.
How to Boost Your Ketosis Weight Loss Rate
Overall, the ketogenic diet is probably the most reliable and fastest way to lose weight.
Your ketosis weight loss rate will largely depend on how many of the tips you follow in this guide, and how much time and consistency you apply.
Being patient is the name of the game. Many people do see results in week 1, but for a few people, this doesn’t happen.
It can take a few weeks to become fat-adapted. If this is the case for you, go back and work through the tips in this guide.
But first, we want to run an idea by you: if working out more often makes you produce more ketones, and these aid in fat loss, wouldn’t it make sense to drink more ketones?
If you’re wondering if this is an option, the answer is yes!
Exogenous ketones are the same ketones made inside the body. They’re simply made outside of the body.
These ketones give you the same energy, and fat-metabolizing properties, and teach your body to produce more ketones naturally.
This has a two-fold benefit: more ketones mean less keto flu and more energy.
More energy means more time to work out, do more errands, and feel better, which all support a weight loss lifestyle and can boost your metabolic rate.
Drinking an exogenous ketone supplement like Keto Activate can help you get into ketosis faster and stay their consistently. It will provide you with more energy, and is a delicious pre-workout or post-workout drink.
All of these benefits can improve your results; helping you to get fitter and fat-free faster. Talk about a win-win!
The sooner you can drill down on getting into ketosis, reducing your calories, and becoming an efficient fat-burner, the quicker you can expect to see weight loss.