The thought of shrinking a dress size or two before a major event is enough to dull even the brightest of days. If you’re not big on getting all sweaty at the gym, it’s only natural that you consider a keto diet. After all, ketogenic diets have been endorsed by a few authority figures, and they have results to show for it.
Keto success stories might be accurate, but they are just but one person’s experience with the diet. It’s possible to lose weight by following a keto diet, but the results vary between and among individuals.
How Much Weight Can You Lose On Keto Diet?
How much weight can you lose on keto diet? It depends. There are many variables at play when it comes to losing weight, and they all influence the outcome. Insights into how these factors impact the results can help taper expectations and help you set realistic goals.
Everyone has a unique genetic composition, which means that they have different rates of piling on and shedding weight. The results you’re likely to achieve when following a ketogenic diet depend on several factors:
Where do you fall on the health scale? Are you fit or obese? Are you diabetic or hypertensive? How energetic are you? Do you have a metabolic or hormonal problem? People in good health are likely to shed weight a little faster than those struggling with a health issue.
Body Mass Index
If your body weight to height ratio is on the higher side, you might be packing a little more body fat. That means you have more weight to lose before you can get into shape. People packing extra pounds shed more weight at the beginning, but that quickly levels out as the fat levels decrease.
Diet and exercise regimen are crucial to the success of your weight loss goals. Keto meals fall into two broad categories – lean and high-fat diets. A lean diet is comprised of foods rich in oils such as avocado, coconut, and MCT oils. High-fat diets consist of junk foods such as processed meats and often contain hidden sugars. Your daily routine impacts the amount of fats and calories you burn every day.
Your Body’s Adaptability
Since going on a keto diet entails a complete dietary overhaul, your body needs time to adjust and adapt these changes. The speed at which that happens is wholly dependent on your metabolism levels. An adaptation period might be longer for beginners because their bodies have never run on ketones before.
You need to consistently follow a keto diet to achieve your desired results. The best keto diets revolve around quality meats, fresh vegetables, and healthy oil. The keto diet needs to become an essential part of your life if you’re to reap the benefits.
Make A Success Plan
Now that you understand that losing weight with a keto diet is more of a journey that a marathon, you must come up with a solid plan. Eliminating as many obstacles in your weight loss journey is the only way to ensure success.
The first step of this journey is to initiate the ketosis, which is merely ensuring that your body runs on ketones instead of the dietary sugars as usual. Getting your body to run on ketones is crucial to the success of a keto diet.
Craft a Custom Keto Diet
A calorie deficient diet is the most effective way to initiate ketosis in your body. During ketosis, your body uses stored fat instead of glucose to generate energy, and that’s the basis on reducing weight with the ketogenic diet. For this to happen, you need to reduce the number of calories in your diet.
A keto calculator can help you create a custom diet with just the right amount of fats, carbs, and proteins to force your body into and remain in a state of ketosis. Following a diet, decreasing the amount of food you need to consume each day takes the stress out of the process, making it second nature and easy to follow.
Allow for Transition Time
It takes a while for your body to adapt to the dietary changes and get into ketosis. The transition period can be as little as two days or an entire week. Age, metabolism, daily carbs, protein, fat intake, and exercise regime affect how long it takes for ketosis to kick-in. People who were on a high-carb diet before getting on a keto diet take longer to initiate ketosis. You must never rush this step as you run the risk of getting the keto flu.
How Can You Tell You’re In Ketosis?
Testing your body’s ketone levels is the most efficient way to determine if you’re in ketosis. There are three types of ketones in the body, and they are found in your breath, urine, and blood. You have the option of using urine test strips, a breath meter, or a blood ketone meter when testing your ketone levels.
Urine testing strips turn a shade of pink or purple depending on ketone levels in the urine. A breath meter will change colors to let you know if the body is in ketosis as well as the level of ketones. You need to prick a finger to draw the blood to use a blood ketone meter. Anything above 0.5 mmol indicates that the body is in ketosis.
Speeding Up The Ketosis Process
If you’re struggling to reach ketosis or simply wish to speed up the process, here are some helpful tips:
- Limit your carb intake to less than 50 grams in a day. Limiting the amount of glucose available prompts the body to produce ketones. Decrease your carbs to 20 grams if you’re struggling to enter ketosis.
- Track each gram of carbohydrate that you eat.
- Settle for homemade meals. Cooking each meal lets you track every single ingredient in the food. That allows you to avoid hidden carb sources that might be present in store-bought food.
- Boost your fat intake. Get at least 70 percent of your calories from healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, fatty fish and eggs.
- Try fasting. You can try short-term or intermittent fasting to prompt your body to burn fat instead of glucose.
- Engage in physical activity. Exercising depletes the amount of glycogen stored by the body. That promotes the liver to produce more ketones and at a higher rate.
Time Frames For Losing Weight On A Keto Diet
Many factors are at play when using a keto diet to shed some extra pounds, and that determines the kind of results you’ll achieve. Here is an overview of the weight loss to help you set realistic goals.
First Week: Rapid Weight Loss (2-10 pounds)
Don’t be surprised if you lose a lot of weight, as much as 10 pounds during the first week of beginning a keto diet. Although impressive, this weight is mostly water and not body fat. Reducing the number of carbohydrates in your diet causes the body to shed a lot of water weight.
When you consume more calories than you burn, the body stores the excess energy as glycogen. Each gram of glycogen in your body carries about 2 to 3 grams of water. Minimizing your carb intake forces the body to burn through the glycogen reserves. Once the glycogen is depleted, the water is eliminated, producing the drastic changes on the scales.
Don’t be quick to term this as a victory as that’s just a sign that the body is entering ketosis. Be sure to drink more water to make up for the rapid water loss and avoid dehydration and constipation.
Short- and Medium-term Losses: 1-2 Pounds Per Week
Don’t be shocked or distressed when your dramatic weight loss run levels out, leading you to shed a measly pound or two in a week. As a matter of fact, the slow down spells good news, as it indicates that you’re making excellent progress. This is the time that your body is making the switch over to burning fat instead of carbs. It means that every pound you shed comes from your fat reserve.
At first glance, that might seem deceptive, but these findings are supported by a host of scientific studies. The results have been replicated in many instances to eliminate any doubts and happenstances. Fat loss is highest during the first 2-3 months of following a keto diet.
Long-term Weight Loss: Slow Progress
You will experience a considerable slow down as you approach your desired body weight. As you continue to burn the fat, the number of calories you need to sustain your body energy decrease as well. That sort of blunts the impact of your calorie-deficient diet to produce smaller results.
Therefore, you shouldn’t be discouraged if you go for some weeks without seeing a significant change on the scales. You might be surprised to see you weight dip by 3 or 4 pounds a few weeks later. As long as you keep your body in ketosis, you’re on course to reaching your weight loss goals.
A research study followed the weight loss journey of overweight participants aged between 30-69 years found that that they lost an average of 30 pounds in a year. Most of the participants lost 15 pounds within the first four weeks of starting the ketogenic diet. The men and women lost an additional 11 pounds in the next two months. Interestingly, most of them barely lost 4 pounds in the following 10 months.
The study concluded that a keto diet is instrumental in helping people shed unwanted fats. The most significant changes happen during the initial stages of following the diet. Furthermore, you won’t register any weight gains if you stick to the keto diet for a long time.
How Long Can You Maintain A Keto Diet?
Keto diets have their roots in the medical field and are designed to be followed under the strict supervision of a health professional. They were created to help epileptic children avoid or minimize seizures. As such, they aren’t certified as a safe or sustainable way to shed weight out of a health care setting.
Couple this complex background with the fact that everyone reacts differently to the diet and setting a universal time frame for keto diet assisted weight loss borders on impossible. Some pundits use it as a short-term measure, following it for a few months while others keep it up for years.
However, most professionals recommend that you shouldn’t follow a keto diet for more than a year. Weight loss seems to taper off after the first few months, but most importantly, the diet is quite hard on the body. The limited food choices can easily distort electrolyte balance in your body, which can put your health at risk. Furthermore, the high ketone levels in the blood pose a considered threat to your liver.
You should seek medical advice before enrolling in a keto diet or consult a professional nutritionist to help you create a healthy diet. Also, be sure to consult a medical doctor regularly to ensure that you’re in excellent shape health-wise.
Some Precautions To Take When Starting A Keto Diet
Eat Quality Fats
Since keto diets are high fat, low-fat diets, they entail getting 75 percent of your calories from fats, 20 percent from proteins and the remainder from carbohydrates. You must settle on healthy fats and avoid undesirable fats such as too much coconut oil, oxidized fats, and lard.
Be Careful with the Micronutrients
Following a poor keto diet deprives your body of precious electrolytes such as potassium and sodium. A deficiency of these electrolytes can cause you to experience, muscle cramps, nausea, general weakness, and leave you constipated. You can opt for nutrient-rich foods or include supplements in your diet.
Cook Real Food
While there are many ready-made keto diets and supplements out there, you’re better off making your own food. Cooking your food gives you the option of getting your carbs from healthier alternative such as vegetables instead of baked bread and chocolate chip cookies. Cooking real animal fat and protein makes for a nutrient-rich diet, which is crucial to achieving your weight loss goals.
It’s only natural to wonder how much weight you can lose on a keto diet when planning on joining the bandwagon. With so many successful stories floating around, it easy to get sold on the wrong idea. The truth is that the results vary from one person to the next and are influenced by a myriad of factors. However, you can realistically expect to lose most of your weight during the initial stages of starting a keto diet. How much? That depends on the state of your body and health and particular commitment to the diet plan.