How Much Weight Can You Lose on Keto Diet (In 7-30 Days)?

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan | Updated on 7 January 2022

Thirty-six percent of Americans are obese, so it’s common for people to wonder how much weight can you lose on keto in 7, 30, or even 90 days [1].

Of course, you want to know what you’re getting into, but having a rough expectation of how much you may lose can be inspiration to keep at it as well.

Because keto encourages consuming nutrient-dense foods, reducing calorie intake, and foregoing processed food, there’s no limit on how much someone can lose on keto. Yet, for motivational purposes, it’s important to know how much you can expect to lose week by week throughout your keto journey. 

Expected Keto Weight Loss after 1 Week

In the first seven days, you will likely lose around 1-5 pounds, but some people lose up to 10. Weight loss is usually the fastest in this initial fat or ketone adaptation phase, largely due to losing water. Ketogenic dieters should expect to lose more slowly after the first week on keto, but don’t get discouraged if you plateau.

How You’ll Feel During the First Week of Keto

Some people feel great on their first week of keto, while others experience flu-like symptoms coined the “keto flu.” Nonetheless, let’s break down how you can expect to feel each day, and we’ll even explain keto flu more in-depth on day 2. 

Day 1: You should feel fine – your brain will be the busiest, trying to devise ways to eat 75% fat.

Day 2: Many people begin to experience what is nicknamed “carb flu” or “keto flu” on day 2. These flu-like symptoms are characterized by headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, brain fog, and moodiness. These side effects come from the body being deprived of carbohydrates.

Day 3: Day 3 will likely be your worst carb flu day. Remember, your body is hard at work transitioning into breaking down fats for fuel instead of carbs. Don’t push yourself or exercise too hard while your body adjusts.

Days 4-7: Many people feel a little better by day 4 or 5 of keto because the body has started to transition into burning fat for fuel. Now is the time to look at the past week’s successes and failures, the best meals and worst, and get excited for the coming week.

Why Will I Lose So Many Pounds on Week 1 of Keto?

Knowing how much weight you can lose on keto and why it drops so quickly can also help you have clear expectations going forward.

Many people shed pounds quickly in the initial stages of the keto diet due to water loss. Ketogenic diets tend to work that way because each gram of glycogen in the body is bound to at least 3 grams of water. As the glycogen gets used up, the body also dispels the water.

Fast fluid loss is a good sign because it means the body is adapting to fat burning and is on its way to entering ketosis. Don’t forget about sodium, protein, and hydration as you set out on your keto journey. Pre-workout is a no-go, as is coffee with creamer. 

Expected Keto Diet Weight Loss after 30-90 Days

If you stay consistent with your keto diet and remain in a calorie deficit, you may be able to lose 10 pounds or more in the first month.

If you stick to your clean ketogenic diet, especially if you pair it with some exercise, your anticipated weight loss is about 25 pounds within three months. Of course, that number can vary based on your body type, genetics, caloric restrictions, and more.

Even more important than weight loss, you will be losing fat during the first 30-90 days of keto. You should see a significant change in your body, as well as plenty of other health benefits after 90 days on the keto diet. However, if you plateau you may want to consider the following.

These That May Prevent You from Losing on Keto

Observing these warnings might help you avoid some frustration with your keto diet results down the road.

  • A Lack of Ketosis

It can be tough to cut carbs at first, especially if you’re coming from daily pasta, bread, and cookies. If you’re consuming more than the optimal amount of daily net carbs (about 20-50 grams each day), you might not enter into ketosis at all – even if you’re eating keto-approved foods [7]!

Consider purchasing a ketone home testing kit if you feel like you’re in ketosis and still not losing weight. Or, revisit your macro calculations and watch out for too many nuts, excessive dairy, or higher-carb veggies. If you’re at the top end of your daily carb allotment, try to stay closer to the lower end but we’ll explain how to fix this more in depth below.

  • Too Much Protein

Keto is different from most other diets because it does not permit too much protein. That’s because the body breaks down excess proteins into amino acids and converts them into “sugars” or glucose. Make sure only 35% or less of your daily calories are protein. 

  • Sugar Substitutes

Many foods that appear low-carb-friendly may contain sugar alcohols like maltitol. Maltitol is a low glycemic index sugar, but it still affects blood sugar levels too much to be considered part of the keto diet.

  • Alcohol

Wine and beer are high in carbs. Some alcohols are acceptable on a keto diet, but most of them are very calorie-dense and therefore counterproductive to your weight loss efforts.

  • Caloric Surplus

Although rare, some people still consume too many calories on the keto diet. Even if you’re eating all the right things, your body can’t burn fat if it has too many calories to work with. Excessive snacking is usually to blame if you are getting too many calories, but other old habits could be impeding progress too (throw out that gallon of ice cream to stop the stress-eating). Ask yourself if you’re snacking socially, during TV time, or in the evening before going to bed, even if you’re not hungry.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle

It’s normal to feel tired and lethargic for days 2-4 of the keto diet, but once you’re feeling a little more energetic, it’s time to get moving. When you exercise, your liver breaks down glycogen stores to keep your muscles working and your body in ketosis. If you feel like you’re already getting some movement in your week, find small ways to get even more –schedule a weekly walk with some friends or add one workout to your week.

  • Excessive Stress

Research indicates that stress changes hormonal levels, making it more difficult to burn fat. Of course, it can also make you crave comfort foods. Try turning to exercise, meditation, yoga, chatting with friends, painting, or dancing for stress relief. Meditation, yoga, chatting with friends, therapy, painting, dancing, walking, or other hobbies for stress relief.

  • Inadequate Sleep

Not getting enough sleep also makes it difficult to lose weight, even on a great diet. Being sleep-deprived increases cortisol levels, which promote fat storage and muscle loss. You could be undermining your weight loss efforts by getting less than 7 hours. Cortisol is also linked to anxiety, depression, and heart disease.

  • Medical Ailments

If you’re doing everything right and it still seems like you’re not losing enough, you may have an underlying medical condition like hyperthyroidism, depression, high insulin, or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Don’t keep dieting and exercising fruitlessly – visit your doctor for an assessment.

  • Prescription Medication

Some medications hinder weight loss, including antipsychotics, beta-blockers, and antidepressants. Medications like steroids or insulin may also have effects like increased hunger. While some of these medications are essential, others may have alternatives. Talk with your doctor about your concerns.

Results & Benefits of the Keto Diet:

Keto offers several advantages over other weight-loss diets. It makes it easier for a person to:

  • Burn fat
  • Maintain your metabolic rate
  • Feel full on fewer calories

Because of these advantages, you should see more results in 7-10 days when you choose keto over other diets. Keto will certainly help you burn fat, and in turn, mitigate or prevent conditions like:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver disease
  • Arthritis
  • Certain types of cancer

Despite how much weight you can lose on keto, even losing just 5-10% of your body weight can provide significant health benefits [8]. Keto is also linked to other improvements in general health. Here are some things you might not have known about the keto diet.

  • The keto diet was originally devised to treat epilepsy.
  • Some doctors recommend a keto diet to use alongside chemotherapy and radiation therapy in people with some cancers.
  • Some professionals treat polycystic ovarian system (PCOS) with a ketogenic diet because the diet is believed to balance the hormones.

There are a few other advantages of the keto diet that may not be as significant as resolving serious health conditions but are big pluses as well:

Improve Acne: Carbs and refined sugars are thought to cause acne, and keto eliminates these foods, which may clear up your acne symptoms.

Boost Brainpower: Some studies suggest that ketones provide neuroprotective benefits and that they can protect the brain cells [7]. You may experience better concentration on the keto diet, and it’s possible that ketones even help prevent or manage conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

Elevate Energy: Eliminating carbs will stabilize blood levels and result in more consistent energy levels over time.

Keto for Long-Term Weight Loss Results

In one study published in the Nutrition and Metabolism journal, 12 obese people lost about 45 pounds each after 2-3 months of being on the keto diet (that says a lot about how much you can lose on keto) [9]. These same people kept those pounds off, even after increasing their calorie intake a few months after the diet was over.  

Keto seems to have some long-term positive effects, namely helping people retain lean muscle mass. If you’re interested in not only quick weight loss but also sustained weight loss, consider committing to keto for at least several months. Some suggest using keto indefinitely, but various professionals have different outlooks on the duration of experimenting with keto, so if you decide to use it long-term, be sure to speak to a healthcare professional. 

Tips & Tricks to Burn Fat Faster on the Keto Diet

If you’re committed to the new keto diet or at least seriously considering it, here are a few more free tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your experience.  

  1. Get plenty of variety in your diet, especially in your snacks. Mix it up regularly because consistency can ultimately lead to overeating and excessive calorie intake. Research new recipes regularly.
  2. Your food doesn’t have to be organic if you can’t afford it. If food prices are wearing you down more than anything, remember you can still have success as long as you’re eating a low-carb diet that is high in fat. It doesn’t have to be expensive.
  3. Jot down a weekly meal plan. Have a plan bursting with recipes each week so that you have plenty of keto-friendly foods, and don’t keep tempting snacks in the house that you can fall back on!
  4. Cut yourself a break if you make a mistake. Everyone takes a step back once in a while. Don’t feel bad – just jump back into the diet at your next meal.
  5. Flip your food environment for better results. If you are constantly being tempted at home, at the workplace and when you go out, try to remove yourself from some of these difficult decisions. Take unhealthy foods out of your home, always bring healthy snacks with you in case of social eating situations, and recommend restaurants where you know they serve a clean ketogenic meal you love.

Factors that Impact Weight Loss on Keto (Everyone is Different)

So, how much weight can you lose in 7 days? The truth is, there’s no “weight loss average” for the first week of keto because everyone has their bio-individuality. Your current weight loss abilities might be affected by:

Your DNA

Genes dictate the amount of fat you store in your body and where you store that fat. Similarly, race or ethnicity seem to affect the likelihood of obesity: Obesity rates in American adults are highest in African Americans, followed by Hispanics, and lastly, Caucasians.

Personal Characteristics

Your age and gender have something to say about how much weight you can lose on keto. As per a recent study, many people pack on the pounds as they age, and a person’s sex may affect where the body stores fat. For example, women tend to build up fat in the hips and butt, whereas men tend to accumulate fat in the abdomen or belly [3].

Lifestyle

What are your daily habits? Where do you work, live, and go for fun? If you go to lots of family gatherings centered around high-calorie foods and drinks, you’re more susceptible to obesity. People who spend a lot of time at a desk or go to restaurants or fast-food places frequently are more likely to be heavy. Keto is a great way to shift your lifestyle to incorporate healthier habits.

Stress & Poor Sleep

Research suggests that people who don’t get enough sleep eat and snack more, which inherently makes it more difficult to stay thin. Individuals who have difficulty managing stress are more likely to become obese because they may use food as a stress reliever.

Body Composition

Individuals with a high BMI (Body Mass Index) and/or overall muscle mass may see results quicker than those of a lesser BMI or less muscle. This is because people who are larger or have more muscle inherently burn calories from either moving more weight, or have more muscle which requires more energy.  

Your Individual Adaptation Period

If you’re lucky, your body will go into ketosis quickly, but if you’ve never functioned on ketones before, the adaptation period may take a little longer. It typically takes at least 2-4 days to enter ketosis, although some people might take over a week.

Overall Health

Some medical conditions and medications may make it more difficult to shed pounds. Do you have low energy, thyroid problems, or diabetes [4]? If so, illnesses like the flu or RS (respiratory virus) may temporarily slow down progress. These factors will influence how much you’ll lose on keto, and how quickly you’ll lose it. That being said, any progress is still progress, and it’s okay if it’s slower than you expected.

How to Enter Ketosis & Lose Weight Successfully

That depends on whether or not you’re successful in ketosis, which is the “key to keto.” Ketosis is a healthy, naturally-occurring metabolic state that often occurs unintentionally between meals. When the body enters ketosis, it burns fat reserves as energy instead of carbs. While people with type 1 diabetes should avoid ketosis, it is safe and effective for most other people to exist in this fat-burning state.

Remember, it usually takes 2-7 days to enter ketosis, so it’s important to be patient. You may feel disadvantaged by genetics, stress, or lifestyle, but regardless of your starting point, you can maximize your diet weight loss on keto with these six tips.

1. Testing Your Ketones

You can test your ketone levels to determine whether you’re already in ketosis or if you need to make some changes to get there. There are three ways to test your ketones.

  • Breath: There are different brands of breath-testing devices on the market, including Keto Stat and LEVL, that you can use to test for the presence of acetone (the breath ketone). Simply prepare the device and then exhale deeply into it to get a measurement.
  • Urine: Urine test strips help detect the ketone called acetoacetate. You can pick some up on Amazon – some brands include Kiss My Keto and Top Notch. Simply submerge the strip and wait for a few seconds before getting your results.
  • Blood: The most accurate option home tests require you to prick your finger to read your ketones. Reliable brands include Keto Mojo and Precision Xtra. 

Blood and breath tests provide an exact measurement, whereas the urine strips simply offer a color range, but they are convenient and affordable. Whether you favor accuracy, price, or convenience, you’ll be able to find a way to measure your ketones in the comfort of your own home.

2. Eating “Clean Keto”

It can be hard to dive into a keto diet, and you may be tempted by the convenience of dried meats or cheddar singles. However, you’re going to get much better results by eating a clean ketogenic diet, full of foods like:

  • Wild fish
  • Avocado
  • New verdant greens
  • Fresh grass-fed animal meats
  • Bell peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Squash
  • Mushrooms
  • Coconuts and coconut milk
  • Berries
  • Lemons & limes
  • Tomatoes
  • Pasture-raised eggs
  • Shellfish
  • Almonds and Brazil Nuts
  • 70-100% dark chocolate
  • Etc.

Remember, keto is more than just a low-carb diet.

3. Get Moving

Exercise helps the body deplete glycogen stores to keep you in ketosis. Ask yourself how you can move a little more – whether that means getting to the gym twice a week or simply standing up more than often, any positive lifestyle change will yield keto weight loss results. Here are some easy changes to help you move and lose more.

  • Walk while you’re on phone calls
  • Setup walking meetings instead of office meetings
  • Park farther away
  • Adopt, foster, or help with a pet that needs regular walks and outdoor time
  • Have more sex
  • Move while you’re watching TV, even if it’s just a few sit-ups or stretches
  • Get a standing desk
  • Bike to work
  • Walk to a park to eat your lunch
  • Take the stairs
  • Take a 30-minute fitness class during your lunch break
  • Plan active get-togethers with friends and family

Remember, if you’re exercising regularly, you may experience some fatigue as your body adjusts to burning fat stores instead of glycogen.

4. Incorporate Fasting

Fasting for short periods should launch you into ketosis. Working out in a fasted state has been shown to drive up ketone levels, but be careful not to get lightheaded [5]. If possible, start fasting in the evening, so you go all night without food and eat sometime in the morning or afternoon. 

5. Eat More Coconut Oil or MCT’s

Coconut oil is linked to higher ketone levels because it contains fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). The great thing about MCTs is that the body absorbs them easily and sends the fats to the liver, which will turn them into ketones or energy right away [6].

So How Much Will You Lose?

Now you know you can expect to lose about 5 pounds in the first week on keto, 10 pounds or more after one month, and up to 25 pounds after three months. Of course, your lifestyle and genetics play a role, so your results may vary. Nonetheless, if you stick with this dependable diet, you’re likely to shed a few pesky pounds relatively quickly.

The ketogenic diet is a reliable method for losing weight fast in two weeks or permanently transforming your lifestyle. Congratulations on taking big steps towards a better life.

References

[1] Obesity Rates by Country 2021. (2021). World Population Review. Retrieved December 16, 2021, from https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/obesity-rates-by-country

[2] Factors Affecting Weight & Health. (2021, December 17). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved December 16, 2021, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/adult-overweight-obesity/factors-affecting-weight-health

[4] Liu, G. (2017, January 31). Thyroid hormones and changes in body weight and metabolic parameters in response to weight loss diets: the POUNDS LOST trial. Nature. Retrieved December 16, 2021, from https://www.nature.com/articles/ijo201728

[5] NCBI – Post-exercise ketosis in post-prandial exercise. (1985). NCBI. Retrieved December 16, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1193348/

[6] NCBI – Ketosis After Intake of Coconut Oil and Caprylic Acid. (2020). NCBI. Retrieved December 16, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7175812/

[7] NCBI – Low Carbohydrate Diet. (2021). NCBI. Retrieved December 16, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537084/ 

[8] Healthy Weight Loss. (2020, August 17). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved December 16, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html 

[9] NCBI – Resting metabolic rate of obese patients under very low calorie ketogenic diet. (2018). NCBI. Retrieved December 16, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5816424/

About the Author

Nathan

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.