Many people use a keto diet to lose weight because it’s effective and has many other benefits such as reduced appetite and increased focus.
The main benefit, weight loss, seem positive in both individual success stories and widespread research done by credible institutions.
When using a keto diet to lose weight, your time on the diet may vary depending on your goals but the general process stays the same:
- Choose the right type of keto diet
- Prepare for keto
- Get into Ketosis
- Maintain Ketosis
Below is a more detailed explanation of each step. This article contains affiliate links.
How To Lose Weight On a Keto Diet
#1 Choose the Right Keto Diet For Your Body
Generally, a keto diet is a low carb, high-fat diet where you intentionally reduce carbs and increase fats. This will allow your body to begin using fat to burn energy. This process is called ketosis.
In this keto diet guide, I shared the three most common types of keto diets. Let’s recap really quickly.
Standard Keto– This is the most common type of keto diet for weight loss. It’s the type where you eat around 20-50g carbs per day and it’s the approach chosen by a majority of keto dieters.
Cyclical Keto- This type of keto is geared towards body-builders, and isn’t recommended for the average person. It uses an alternate cycle of keto dieting and carb loading that will build muscle mass and burn fat.
Targeted Keto- This is when you eat fast-acting carbs right before you work out so that you get more energy. Typically this will be 30-60 minutes before a workout session.
You can choose any of these to suit your goals. Learn more about them here.
However, sometimes it’s not as simple as that.
Some of us have other health issues that need to be considered such as high blood pressure, diabetes, Chron’s Disease, inflammation, hormonal issues, and many other health concerns.
If you’ve spoken to your doctor and they are ok with you starting a keto diet, then I recommend this book, The Keto Beginning, to give you all the information that you need to start a keto diet to lose weight based on your lifestyle and health status.
The book is written by a holistic nutrition expert who has helped thousands of women to reach their ideal bodies using keto.
The easiest way to start losing weight on a keto diet is to become fat fueled, using a keto diet not only to lose weight but as a way to heal your body.
It also clears up so many misconceptions about keto, like the myth that you *have to* eat 50g of carbs or less.
Not only is this wrong, but it turns many people off the diet when it could have been super beneficial.
#2 Be Prepared For Keto
You first have to get into the right frame of mind.
We all grew up with the knowledge of what a ‘healthy diet’ is supposed to be. For a lot of people, this definitely does not include a diet that’s high in fat.
Take your time to learn everything you need to know about a keto diet. Define what your weight loss goals are, find out the amount macros that you need, and then commit to the diet.
Also, the keto diet has some side effects, called the keto flu, that you will feel in the first couple of days. They include nausea, belly ache, sugar cravings, headaches, and drowsiness.
It’s not likely that you’ll experience all of these side effects. It’s common to feel at least one, but you can be prepared for it and minimize the effects.
You can help to minimize the keto flu by:
- Staying hydrated
- Adding more salt to your food
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating more fat (coconut oil helps)
To help to avoid this, you can add vegetables like broccoli and kale to your diet, as well as nuts and coconut chips that are rich in fiber and low in carbs.
Finally, aside from the side effects, you’ll be more successful if you have the right foods in your pantry and your fridge.
These keto diet substitutes will help you to maintain ketosis without feeling deprived of your favorite foods. You can find some of the top low carb keto substitutes on our resource page.
#3 Get Into Ketosis
When your body is in ketosis, it uses fat to produce ketones as a source of energy. This is similar to how the body would use carbohydrates to produce glucose.
When using a keto diet to lose weight, you first have to get into this metabolic state. Reaching this stage does require some preparation but for the average person, getting into ketosis can take between 2-7 days.
You get into ketosis by:
- Decreasing your carb intake (here’s a keto calculator to make this easier)
- Get at least 60% of your caloric intake from healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, more)
- Try a short fast or intermittent fasting
- Do a test to see if you’re in ketosis
You can know when you’re in ketosis if you start to experience these things:
- Bad breath
- Weight loss
- Increased ketones in blood, breath, or urine
- Short-term fatigue
- Less hunger and cravings
- More focus and energy
#4 Maintain Ketosis
You have to eat the right foods and be consistent when going on a keto diet to lose weight. This means no cheat meals and diligent carb tracking until you have enough experience to know what each portion should look like.
This can be time-consuming for many persons, but one of the best ways to make this part as easy and convenient as possible is to use keto recipes that are already low in carbs.
These Keto In 5 Cookbooks by my friends over at Tasteaholics include 30 keto breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes that are all below 5g carbs per serving so that you can always be sure that you never eat too many carbs.
Read more: The Best Low Carb Cookbooks
This is a mistake that many people make on the diet, and this can make things easier.
You can also do weekly meal preps with your favorite keto recipes.
When using a keto diet to lose weight, you can see results in as fast as 2 weeks if you are consistent.
Remember to learn as much as possible about keto so that you can truly understand how it works, get the right foods, and talk to your doctor if you have any previous health concerns.
Going forward, it’s relatively easy to get into ketosis by reducing your carbs, increasing your fat, maintaining adequate protein, and testing for ketones using these ketone strips.
If you feel like a keto diet is not right for you, then here are 3 other diets to lose weight that aren’t keto.
Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for medical advice.