How Much Weight Can You Lose on the Keto Diet?

You’ve seen the headlines. Here’s How I Lost 50 Pounds on the Keto Diet! I Tried Keto for 30 Days and Here’s What Happened! I Almost Gave Up Trying to Lose Weight — and Then I Found Keto!

Success stories, especially when it comes to weight loss, are the thinspiration of the lifestyle blogosphere. Bonus points if they include before-and-after photos that may or may not be photoshopped.

But there’s just one problem with these testimonials: Each of them dictates one person’s journey through keto. And they might not even tell readers the whole story.

It’s possible to lose weight while following the keto diet. But the numbers may not be the same for everyone.

How much weight can you actually lose on the keto diet? The short and vague answer is: it depends. How long you remain on the diet, your end goals, and whether or not you experience side effects can make all the difference.

How long can you stay on the keto diet?

ketogenic diet

ketogenic diet | ThitareeSarmkasat/iStock/Gety Images

The keto diet has strictly medical origins, and it may be able to help patients improve their health in clinical settings. But outside the supervision of a health professional, it’s not always a sustainable or safe weight loss method — especially in the long-term.

Experts haven’t decided on a universal time frame that works best for weight loss on keto, mostly because every individual reacts differently to it. Some people do it for a month and then move on. Others claim to have kept up the diet for years.

In reality, most people who try the diet to lose weight without a medical reason won’t keep up with it that long. Why? Because it’s not an easy diet to follow. You’re extremely limited in terms of what you can eat in a day, and if you aren’t willing to get creative with your food choices, you might get really bored, really fast.

Those who claim they lost massive amounts of weight quickly while on the keto diet probably weren’t exaggerating. But what they might have failed to mention was whether or not they were able to keep up that pace of weight loss — or maintain it after the fact.

As with any diet, you might appear to lose a lot of weight in the beginning. But it will most likely slow down. And that’s typically when dieters get frustrated and quit.

How much weight can you lose in 1 month?

Weight loss

Weight loss | Ensuria/Getty Images

Even one month is a long time to sustain a diet like this, so let’s stick with a 30-day average for the rest of the article. Medically, professionals usually recommend an average of one to two pounds of weight loss per week when losing weight the “traditional” way. Is the keto diet any different?

At first — within the first several weeks — you’ll lose mostly water weight due to a decrease in calories. This will come off quickly, allowing you to drop 10 pounds or more, in total, in 30 days or less.

But what happens after that depends on whether or not you stick to the low-carb, high-fat life. Will you exercise while you’re doing it, or do you subscribe to the belief that you don’t have to because keto will do all the work for you? Will you experience side effects that make the diet unsustainable for you?

There’s no way to predict how much or how quickly you can shed pounds. But if keto ends up being a diet you can willingly and safely stick to, and it works for you, then it may be worth your time.

If you’re going to try keto to lose weight, know the facts before you come up with a plan. This isn’t a diet that’s magically going to make you 30 pounds lighter and keep you there. And just because it worked for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you.

There’s no harm in trying — usually. But be realistic about the possible results.

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