How Fast will I Lose Weight on Keto

Weight loss is one of the most popular uses of the ketogenic diet these days.

If you’re using keto to drop pounds, you are probably wondering how fast you can expect to see results.

Since everyone is different, it’s hard to get an exact answer, but this article will cover the average weight loss rate you can expect, t,tips for successfully losing weight on keto, and how to avoid common weight loss mistakes

Weight Loss on Keto: Everyone is Different

Everyone’s body is different, which means the weight loss rate for each person is different too.

Your individual weight loss rate can vary  depending on 4 main factors:

  • Your health situation. Are you overweight? Do you have thyroid problems? Do you have insulin resistance? Is your metabolism fast or slow? Your overall health determines how fast you lose weight. For instance, if you have any hormonal or metabolic issues, the process might be slower than expected. That’s okay.
  • Your body composition. How much fat do you have to lose? What’s your muscle mass? What’s your BMI? For instance, if you have a lot of excess weight you’ll likely experience faster weight loss in the beginning.
  • Your daily habits. Your daily habits make or break your weight loss efforts. Are you eating clean keto foods or high fat junk foods? Are you watching out for hidden carbs? Are you exercising? The energy you spend on a daily basis and the quality of your food impact how efficiently your body burns fat.
  • Your individual fat adaptation period. Remember your body needs time to become fat-adapted and that time depends on your metabolism. For instance, if you’re coming off a Standard American Diet (SAD) and your adult body has never ran on ketones before, your adaptation period might take a little longer. You’ll only experience the true weight loss effects of keto when your body is actually running on ketones.

For example, someone with a slow metabolism and a lot of fat tissue to lose who doesn’t exercise enough will take longer seeing weight loss on keto compared to someone with a normal metabolism, slightly overweight, who starts exercising 4-5 times a week along with doing keto.

The key is to stay consistent and focus on eating healthy keto-friendly foods. Treat the keto diet as what it is — not simply a diet, but a lifestyle and metabolic shift in your health.

With that being said, what we can tell you is how to start off on the right foot.  

Setting Yourself Up For Weight Loss Success

Before you embark on your keto weight loss journey, it’s important to get the basics right.

Some people think cutting carbs is enough to enter ketosis, but this isn’t always the case. It’s important to make sure you’re actually running on ketones instead of carbs, otherwise you’re not going to burn fat or lose weight and you’ll get discouraged.

So how do you make sure your cells are running on fat?

  • Figure out your keto macros. Use the keto calculator (located at the end of this post!) to get your personal keto macros. Having a nutritional target based on your body composition will make it a lot easier to enter and remain in ketosis (and lose weight!)
  • Give your body time to get in ketosis. This usually takes anywhere between 2-7 days. Before then, you won’t be truly losing weight on keto.
  • Test your ketones. Testing your ketone levels is simply the best way to track if you’re in ketosis or not, at least in the beginning.The most accurate tool is a blood ketone meter. If your levels remain above 0.5 mol/L, then you’re in nutritional ketosis.
  • Eat a clean ketogenic diet. The quality of your food matters, not just your macros. Sure, you can stay in ketosis by eating processed cheese singles and ham slices, but that’s not going to nourish you. Focus on quality keto foods like avocado oil, fresh leafy greens, and grass-fed beef instead.
  • Move more. You’ll lose pounds faster if you increase your daily physical activity. Keep in mind you don’t have to go to the gym 6 times a week or jog every morning, just move more in your everyday life. For instance, take a short 2-minute break from sitting in your chair every hour, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to make errands if you can, get a standing desk, or take phone calls standing up and pacing around. These small calorie-burning movements add up at the end of the day.

If you tick these boxes when starting keto, you’ll have the best weight loss results.

Which brings us to…

Average Weight Loss on the Ketogenic Diet

As you know by now, not everyone loses weight at the same rate, but here’s what you can expect based on the average results people get when using keto for weight loss:

First Week: Fast Water Weight Loss (2-10 pounds)

Typically, in the first week of the keto diet people see a very quick drop in weight — anywhere from a few pounds to as much as 10! That’s because at first, keto makes your body release a lot of water weight (not fat) due to your lower carb intake.

This is why that happens:

Carbs need water to stay in your body. When your body doesn’t use glucose immediately, it stores it as glycogen in your muscles and glycogen binds to water. Each gram of glycogen is stored with 2–3 g of water. [*]

When you first switch to keto, your body will burn all the glycogen reserves first before using fat. Once it runs out of glycogen, the water that was needed to store it gets eliminated and that’s why the weight on your scale changes so drastically.

While this isn’t fat loss, it’s a sign that your body is working its way into ketosis: fat burning mode.

This rapid water loss may also lead to dehydration and constipation, so drink more water than you normally do each day to keep things moving.

Short and Medium-Term: Steadier Weight Loss (1-2 pounds per week)

After a week or two, weight loss will happen at a slower and more steady pace. This is also the period of time when you’re getting fat-adapted as your body switches from burning carbs to burning fat, which means you’ll actually be losing fat now.

A safe, average loss from here is around 1-2 pounds (0.5-1 kg) per week.

Here’s what research says about weight loss on the ketogenic diet:

  • One study found obese patients lost 13.6 kg (30 pounds) after 2 months in 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.[*] That’s 3.5 pounds per week.
  • A study found that obese patients weighing 101 kg dropped 10 kg (22 pounds) after 8 weeks. They lost an extra 2 kg (4.4 pounds) by week 16 and 3 more kilograms  (6.6 pounds) by week 24. In total, they lost 15 kg (33 pounds) in 5.5 months.[*] That’s 1.3 pounds per week.

how fast will i lose weight on keto

  • One study on volunteers with obesity and type 2 diabetes who weighed 108 kg dropped 11.1 kg (24.5 pounds) in 24 weeks.[*] That’s 1 pound per week.
  • One study found 120 overweight hyperlipidemic patients lost 9.4 kg (20.7 pounds) of fat mass in 24 weeks. [*] That’s 0.8 pounds per week.
  • One meta analysis that took data from 13 studies found patients consistently lost more weight on the ketogenic than on a low fat diet.[*]

As you can see, weight loss varies depending on how long you’re on the keto diet, how much weight you’ve got to lose, and your health condition. People seem to lose the most fat on the first 2-3 months of the keto diet, although weight loss is sustained for as long as people follow the diet.

Long-term: Slower Weight Loss

As you get closer to your goal weight, weight loss slows down. This is because as your weight decreases, your total daily caloric needs decrease as well. So, even if you continue on a deficit of calories to lose weight, it will now make a smaller difference.

You might have some weeks where it seems you haven’t lost anything, then you’ll weigh a week or two later and be down 3-4 pounds. The key is to stick with it and not get discouraged; just make sure you’re still in ketosis and give your body time to do its thing.

One study found that after one year on the keto diet, men and women between 30-69 years who weighed between 90-100 kg lost a total of 14 kg (30.8 pounds).[*]

However, most of that weight was lost in the early stages of keto. They…

  • Lost 7 kg (15 pounds) after 4 weeks.
  • Lost another 5 kg (11 pounds) between weeks 4 and 12.  
  • Didn’t experience  major changes changes from 12 weeks to 12 months (barely 1-2 kg).

This means the keto diet is effective for fast and sustained fat loss. You will see the biggest changes if you stick with it for a few months, and you won’t gain the weight back.

Common Keto Weight Loss Pitfalls

If you feel like you are going through a weight loss plateau after sticking with the keto diet for a few months, there might be habits or foods hindering your progress. Below are common weight loss mistakes and what to do about them:

Mistake #1: Not Being In Ketosis

This one may seem obvious, but it’s pretty common that people come out of ketosis without realizing it if they stop tracking their ketone levels. So, one of the biggest reasons people don’t see weight loss results on keto is they’re not actually on keto.

What to do:

  • Don’t stop tracking your ketones when you’re trying to lose weight. An excellent way to keep your ketone levels up is taking exogenous ketones. Just put a scoop in your favorite drink to get back into ketosis — it’s easy and delicious. If you want more keto food inspo, follow Perfect Keto founder Dr. Anthony Gustin (@dranthonygustin). This is how he mixed his iced green tea with Peach & Cream exogenous ketones:

    Anyone else need a mid afternoon pick me up? 🙋‍♀️💁‍♂️

    A post shared by Anthony Gustin DC, MS (@dranthonygustin) on

  • Decrease carb intake. Look over what you’re eating daily and make sure you aren’t eating too many carbs. Don’t worry about too much protein though — the belief that eating extra protein will kick you out of keto due to gluconeogenesis is only a myth.
  • Increase your fat intake. Make sure each meal and snack is heavy in fat. Increasing your proportion of fat can naturally reduce your carb and protein intake.

Mistake #2: Not Looking Out For Hidden Carbs

Some of the foods you eat can have more carbs than you realize. These hidden carbs can put you over your daily carb limit and bust your weight loss efforts.

What to do:

  • Eliminate processed foods. These often contains a lot of sneaky carbs, even those branded as “healthy”. Stick to whole foods instead.
  • Cut out artificial sweeteners. These can raise insulin levels and affect ketosis. Plus, they contain a lot of junk you’re just better off avoiding. If you must use a sweetener, stick with stevia or these top keto sweeteners.
  • This article can help you look for any hidden carbs in your diet.

Mistake #3: Not Checking How Your Body Reacts To Dairy

Some people tolerate dairy really well and others don’t, so figure out which camp you’re in. Some dairy — like yogurt and whey protein — may elevate insulin levels and kick you out of ketosis.

What to do:

  • Measure your ketone levels before and after consuming dairy to see how your body reacts.
  • Stick to high-quality dairy (none of the processed stuff). Check out this guide to buying healthy dairy.

Mistake #4: Eating Too Many Calories

Although it’s harder to overeat on keto due to the filling nature of fats, it’s still possible to eat more calories than you need. If you don’t stay at a calorie deficit, you won’t see weight loss.

What to do:

  • Track your calories if you don’t see meaningful weight loss after several weeks. Make sure you stay on a calorie deficit according to the keto calculator.
  • Eat fewer nuts. Although some nuts are keto-friendly, they’re also pretty high in calories and some contain more carbs than others. Coincidentally, they’re also easy to over eat, so measure your intake when snacking on nuts. Learn more about which nuts are best here.
  • Try intermittent fasting. Only eating within a certain period of time, which is the basis of intermittent fasting, can help speed up weight loss and reduce overeating at night. By fasting, you’ll find it a lot easier to stay on a calorie deficit.
  • Don’t go overboard. Also make sure you aren’t under eating too much. While a deficit is necessary, too little food can actually cause metabolic damage and do more harm than good.

Those who have yoyo dieted a lot in the past might also need to give their bodies time to recover from damage. This might just mean giving the body time to heal while focusing on healthy keto nutrition.

Don’t Discount Other Signs of Progress

When going keto, it’s important to focus on more than just weight loss, even if you have a lot to lose. Overall health should be the goal, so give yourself credit for any and all benefits you notice from the ketogenic diet. That could be:

Although weight is a good indicator of progress and is certainly an important marker of health (to an extent), remember that it’s not all about the number on the scale. In fact, many on the keto diet will say they noticed differences in the mirror more than on the scale.

If you’re weight lifting at the same time, you might be replacing fat loss with muscle gain. While this might not move the scale much, it’ll show up on your body.

Take Home Message

The ketogenic diet is amazing for losing weight and improving your health, so stick with it and don’t be afraid to make changes as needed. Track what you eat, stick within your keto macros, and test your ketone levels frequently to make sure you’re staying in ketosis. Most of all, give your body time to respond to the great changes you’re making for it.

Calculate Your Macros with the Keto Calculator

Instructions

  • Select the Standard Ketogenic Calculator for a classic ketogenic diet of 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbohydrate (recommended)
  • Select Specialized Macronutrient Calculator to input specific amounts of fat, protein, and carbohydrate

Choose Calculator Type*

Unit of Measurement*

Your Details*

Gender

Age

Height

Weight

Activity Level

Choose what describes you best

Calorie Intake Goal

Options

  • Input "0" to maintain your bodyweight
  • Input a surplus percentage for weight gain
  • Input a deficit percentage for weight loss

Note

  • 5-10% is a small deficit
  • 10-20% is a moderate deficit
  • 20-30% is a large deficit
0% Changed

Advanced Fields

Input Your Body Fat %

Input Your Protein Ratio


Guide to picking your protein ratio

  • To maintain muscle, leave protein ratio between 0.60 to 0.80 grams per lb of lean body mass (1.3 to 1.7 grams per kg LBM)
  • To gain muscle, the protein ratio should be between 0.8 to 1.2 grams per lb of lean body mass (1.7 to 2.3 grams per kg LBM)

Input Your Total Carb Intake

Input the grams of carbs you want to consume on a daily basis

Brenda is a matcha tea-fueled health and nutrition writer at Perfect Keto. Crating all-you-need-to-know guides is her jam. When she’s not writing her next article, she’s taking food photos, shooting recipe videos, bending on her yoga mat, and plotting her next travel adventure.

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Responses (42)

  1. Hello, I am doing IF 16:8 & my eating window is in the evening. I’m confused as to what to eat during those 8 hours. I’ve been eating 1 meal & a snack. Is this enough? I’ve been doing Keto dieting for 6 months. Initially lost 5 #. (Realize it was water #) Now I weigh more than I ever have, as of today!! Drink loads of water, eat healthy fats, mod protein & limited carbs, non processed. Can you help? Thanks!!

  2. Are you tracking your calorie intake? Healthy fats also have higher calories and can put you at or over your bodies calorie requirement. Calculate the calories that you have been eating over the past while and then check how many calories you should actually be taking in. If you want to lose weight you have to be in calorie deficit regardless of whether you are in ketosis or not.

  3. How do you cut back your protein, cut out dairy, and increase fat intake all at once? Am I suppose to just eat oil?

  4. Tallon, these suggestions are meant to be taken one at a time. If you’ve hit a plateau or are struggling with weight loss, you can try to cut back on your protein. If that doesn’t provide results than maybe that wasn’t the culprit..now try cutting back on dairy, see what happens with that. It’s all about finding what works for you. If you cut out everything at once, you’ll never know which one was causing the issue. Hope that makes sense.

  5. I think that would technically be called “drinking oil.” But don’t forget that there’s also chicken skins!

  6. I have also been doing 16:8, but not everyday. If You eat too few calories for too long you may lower your basic metabolic rate which you don’t really want to do. I eat something around 10 or 11 in the morning such as 3 deviled eggs, then a decent size meal at about 12:30 and my last meal at about 6. This seems to work well for me. I also use my fitness pal( free app), which is awesome and tracks all your macro ratios. It is important to keep it as Keto as you can. 70%fat, 5%carb, and 25% protein. I found at first that I just wasn’t eating enough fat, and my protein levels were too high. I think most people run into that same trap at first. Good luck!

  7. Am 60 years old and I have knee problem, docs have told me to reduce weight by 14 kgs
    Am 74 kgs now
    My metabolism is really slow
    Someone has recommended me keto diet
    I don’t eat pork and beef
    What can my diet be like to reduce weight rapidly

  8. So I have tried many things to loose weight and nothing worked, including this. This was a while ago. Then I decided I was not going to eat breakfast anymore, because in order to loose weight, you need to be a little bit hungry. So anyways, I have been doing intermittent fasting (eating at noon and dinner 6-8) and the first day was hard for me but I stuck to it with the help of some lemon water. The next 3 days became easier and easier. Today, I realized I was not at all hungry for dinner and was a little scared, because I didn’t want my metabolism to slow down (I’ve had problems in the past) so I googled up what this means. I saw that it was ketosis and was so excited. When I went to check the ketosis strips, it was actually working and I was so so happy. The fact that I was trying so hard with all of these fancy recipes and eating 3 meals a day frustrated me. I do not count my calories or anything else. I do some excercise for about 30 minutes everyday. For those who are struggling, please please please! Try intermittent fasting if the ketogenic diet isn’t working for you.

  9. Tallon I’m with you! Going through the first week of detox right now and am finding myself not eating much because I don’t want to eat the wrong things.. ugh.

  10. Weak and shaky on Keto, 2 weeks in
    10 pound weight loss , chicken broth works to relieve . But have to be careful of salt intake . I retain fluid, Dr gave script for dieuretic before I even started Keto . I have had the retention problem for a long time , when I took the dieuretic on a normal high carb diet ( I would drop 4 lbs ) but would make me really tired , afraid if I take it now on Keto I will pass out. Any idea what I should try other than the chicken broth

  11. I think this is true @Elena IF is the fat slayer😈
    Eating within a particular window is the key. It will help your body a lot.Though initially you may find it a little difficult but from the 3rd day upwards , you won’t be feeling hungry anymore.
    So keep at it and never give a damn!!! Good luck

  12. For some women the intermittent fasting can cause hormonal imbalances greatly affecting Weightloss and if you’re not getting enough food you cOuld destroy your metabolism. I have more info on Facebook if you’re interested

  13. Chicken, avacado, cheese, eggs, broccoli, mayonnaise, turkey (ground turkey and turkey sausage are awesome), almonds in small amounts, P3 Packs, and loads more.

  14. I’m been trying keto diet, with almost no carbohydrates whatsoever, for 2 weeks, I lost about 7lbs, and I also started to intermittent fasting 8/16, last night I had a rash líne along my waist, a line about 5 inch long, it itches very little, but it’s kind of uncomfortable, anyone knows what is this about?

  15. I have been Keto for 1 1/2 weeks, and started at 210, and am now at 194!
    I have consistently made coffee, and blended it with 1 tbsp grass fed butter, and 1 tbsp coconut oil (yum, like a latte!),
    then ate eggs, or eggs and bacon later in the morning, then bring my own lunch to work, from dinner the night before (most recipes make 4 servings).
    I have a fat bomb(look up recipes).
    when I get home, then make dinner later, for my wife and I.
    I don’t feel deprived at all.

  16. I have been on a low carb diet now for exactly 1 month. To date have lost 10 kgs. ( approx 20lbs) I eat 3 meals a day, typically eggs and avocado for b/f , stir fry with loads of veggies and some meat ( or none) for lunch and a salad , soup or another stir fry for dinner. Large portions so it fills me up and keeps me from snacking.
    Usually all under 1500cals/day plus walking 45 mins moderate pace.
    I only recently started keto e.i actually calculating fats , protein and carbs
    The high fat worries me a little but I’m going to stick to it for 2 weeks and see what happens. I need to lose a total of 35 kgs ( 70?lbs) I’m giving myself 1 year. Fingers crossed!

  17. I am surprised that some people are struggling to eat enough fat. Try pure cream, not thickened, instead of milk in your coffee, Macadamia nuts for a snack and bacon, pork belly or lamb chops and you will easily have enough

  18. I’m not sure if you’re still struggling with fluid intake…but I found a Vega brand sugar and carb free electrolyte mix that really helped replenish my electrolytes in those first couple weeks, and when I find I might not be getting anough micronutrients or water intake. Yellow peppers are also an amazing source of potassium.

    The retention and need for a diuretic in the past may have been from excessive carb/wheat/dairy intake… Something you may find resolves with a ketogenic diet. Decreasing iodized salt and increasing sea salt, especially himilayian pink salt might help you to maintain sodium levels without the fluid retention effects also. For example I always buy unsalted butter and add pink salt for the flavour/sodium component. It’s made a big difference for me (a fellow massive found retainer haha)

    I hope this helps 🙂

  19. Research a carnivorous diet and the health benefits. Thousands of people eating just meat and water now.

  20. Today is day 6 for me, I eat simple, so it’s working great for me, I usually eat at noon and around six, I am enjoying it , later into lifestyle I’ll do recepies and explore more. I do drink water all day, have no cravings not hungry, all is good.

  21. I have had keto in urine for 5 weeks only lost 5 lb. I’m trying not to get discouraged.

  22. Here’s encouragement…it’s not all about weight in the beginning. As you ween off of sugar (which is really poison to your body), your body has to start getting rebooted. I had a solid week or more of serious detox. I knew that getting the poison out of my body was going to be significant, and it was. Don’t be discouraged. It’s well worth it to truly rid your gut and body of cancer-causing poison, not to mention your ability to fight disease. The acid level will change. Your arthritis (joints) will improve. Stick with it and don’t give up. Your family is worth it!

  23. help iv done keto , tracking all i eat for 3 months lost 6 lbs can not get past this no cheats no Im 80 0/0 Fat 20 protine and 10 or less carbs. what can I do. Help me please

  24. sorry it should have said 70 fat and 20 protine and 10 carbs. I track everything. I test blood daily between 1.8 and 3.0 daily I have been as low as 1.6 2 or 3 times.
    I need to loss weight and feel great what do I do. 3 months 6 pound is not good. Im sticking to this a it is life .

  25. I’ve been trying this keto diet that my dr.and daughter recommended, it’s been close to a week. I’ve changed my food intake, no bad carbs that I know of, was a huge chip addict stopped all that with no cravings. I’m not seeing any results I’m getting discouraged and everything sounds so complicated watching this, measuring that, I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. just that I stopped bread,pasta,poratoes,rice all those kind of carbs.I’m drinking more water eating green vegetables and trying to increase my fat intake. I don’t feel motivated to exercise which probably doesn’t help and have 100-130 to lose. I need help I don’t understand or have the time create a lot of meals and measure my fat,protein and carb intake.

  26. my daughter got serious about this. Has one cheat meal a week and has lost 40 pounds its been 5 months. Im starting now

  27. I’ve been doing keto for a month now. Cheated on Sunday to hopefully reboot this diet because I’ve only lost 3lbs. I’ve been within my carbs and doing everything right. Somehow just not loosing weight. I’ve lost 50lbs before just eating healthier so I don’t understand why this isn’t working for me? If anyone has any advice it would be helpful, I’m trying to stick this out for my mom so she stays healthy but it suck not loosing. I’m 26 and 219lbs so I have plenty of fat to loose.

  28. I have been on this Keto diet 2weeks now,have lost almost 8lbs,am strictly following this diet,the food is great,I have the cookbook,I don’t feel starved,nor deprived,am hanging in there,because according to this cookbook,your body doesn’t start to be a fat burning machine until day 30,is this correct?however,my clothes are loose on me,so I feel I am in keytosis as we speak

  29. This website is helpful I gained ten pounds just by snacking. I on the Keto diet with 15 carbs a day I stopped all snacking, stopped staying up late because it screws up cortisol / hormones which causes weight gain so I started going to bed at 9:30 on the dot. I typically eat one meal a day a green salad with either, chicken or prawns and simple homemade dressing . Sometimes I do a big glass of a low carb, a chocolate mocha protein drink with a nut milk and ice blended this does the trick. I never eat after 4:00. I have coffee with a little butter and drink lots of water I use Ketostix every other day to see if I’m still in ketosis. I did get foot cramps and increased sea salt intake and it stopped. I love fasting and going to yoga I feel clearer, lighter and just happier. Just keep with a program and you will see light at the end of the tunnel. Some people have great success with zero carbs. I have never tried it but read about it.

  30. I’ve been on Keto diet for 3 weeks have lost 18 lbs. But constantly fight constipation. I drink lots of lemon water, any other suggestions?

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