Studies show that the keto diet works. You, however, have to stick to it long enough to see its benefits. The question now becomes; how long does it take to lose weight on keto?
It can be argued that if you stick to any healthy habit for long enough, you will reap the compounding benefits eventually. The problem, when it comes to things like diets and exercise, is “how long is long enough?”. Most people almost always expect results immediately, and when they do see them…at least to their satisfaction, they give up.
Even though keto has been lauded by celebrities, influencers, and regular Joe’s alike, the fact that some people still have concerns about it working goes to show you that results do vary.
What are you supposed to do to ensure that it works for you, and how long does it take to lose weight on a ketogenic diet?
What is the Keto Diet, and How Does It Work?
The keto diet can be easily summarized as a “high fat, high protein, low carbs diet.” When you are on this diet, you are advised to stick to a meal plan comprised of 70% fat, 25% protein, and just 5% carbohydrates.
The idea here is to force your body into using fat as its primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates – which is what our bodies tend to use naturally thanks to the kind of diet we keep.
Whenever you are on pretty much any other diet, your body uses carbs as your primary source of energy. It burns those carbs and turns them into a form of energy known as glycogen.
Ketosis is the process that slowly weens your body off this glycogen-fueled existence into one that is fueled by ketones – meaning you will be using fat as your primary source of energy. Our brains tend to use ketones – the basic source of fuel in our bloodstream, more efficiently than it does carbs.
The switch from carbs as a primary source of fuel to fat plunges your body into a state known as ketosis. When in this state, pretty much anything you do will be burning off more calories since it’s the fat in your body that is being used to fuel your movements. This often helps melt the fat away quickly, with results tending to be quite dramatic – when done correctly.
How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight on Keto?
At this point, you are probably wondering why more people don’t follow the keto diet if it’s so effective.
The truth is that it isn’t exactly as easy to follow. Much like the case with other new habits, you have to give this a period of adjustment during which your body will be pushed to new limits, and this isn’t always very easy for most people to do.
Couple that with the fact that you have to follow the right keto diet, one with precise guidelines, if you are to remain healthy and see the benefits of this diet.
So, how long does it take to lose weight on keto?
As is the case with most undertakings that involve people, the answer is: it depends!
Thanks to the vast number of variables here (meaning every person is different and therefore, results will vary), it isn’t easy to nail down an exact amount of time.
However, the general idea is that it could take anywhere from two weeks to three months. In fact, it is advisable to stick with the diet for a minimum of three months if you are to see sustainable results.
Typically, the first two to six weeks is the period within which your body will be making the switch from burning carbs as your primary source of income to using fat (ketosis).
Thankfully, even though this adjustment, you should see some progress in the weight and fat loss department. Here is a rough estimate of what that might look like:
- Two to six weeks: Here, you could lose anything from 2 to 10 pounds. This weight is mostly just water weight thanks to the lack of carb intake in your diet.
- The following weeks: Within the following couple of months after the initial rapid weight loss, your body will slow down to losing about 1 or 2 pounds a week. This is the period when it starts burning body fat, meaning that this is a healthy rate of weight loss, and the kind of weight loss here is the kind that you can keep off with regular exercise and dieting.
- Long-term (from the 3rd month): It takes about three months for your body to adapt to this new lifestyle fully and from this point on, the weight loss will probably slow down depending on how aggressive you are with the exercise. In some cases, you might even experience weeks where your weight loss stalls (you don’t lose any weight at all) then suddenly drop another 5 pounds in a week. The idea is to stick to the routine and the diet for these kinds of results.
As mentioned, the results vary wildly, and how effective this diet is to you will depend on a few factors.
Factors That Affect Keto Results
The factors that will determine how quickly your body takes to this diet and start showing results include:
- Your current level of fitness: This includes factors such as your metabolism rate, how heavy you are, to begin with, and whatever underlying health issues you might have that keep you from going as hard as you would like.
- Your body composition: People with a high fat to muscle ratio tend to lose weight more rapidly than people with a lower ratio.
- Your habits: Even with the keto diet, there are still some unhealthy, high-fat food options that you could choose, which will ruin your progress. The idea is to eat healthy, keto-friendly dishes.
- Your body’s natural adaptation speed: It will take time before your body weens itself off the use of carbs to the use of ketones as a primary source of energy. That speed varies from person to person.
How long does it take to lose weight on keto? It depends, but you should be prepared to put in at least three months of dedicated dieting for this to work.