Most people start the ketogenic diet as an effort to lose weight, and that’s understandable because the low-carb diets like a ketogenic diet tend to help with fat loss compared to other diets like moderate or low-fat diets. 1
And some people might ne wondering how to maximize weight loss on the keto diet. There’s a fairly simple tips you can follow in order to reach your weight loss goals. However, I’d say realize that your goal should be focused on losing fat and not just weight. You might also find that you also are able to build muscle on the ketogenic diet (I know I did) while losing fat as well. You might get the benefits of both fat loss and muscle gain if you are following a well-formulated ketogenic diet
How to maximize weight loss on the keto diet
Keep carbohydrates low and stay in ketosis
This ketogenic weight loss tip seems basic but I see too many people struggling with losing weight when they are still a higher carb diet and not in ketosis – so the first step to losing weight on a keto diet is simply: Get into ketosis and stay in ketosis.
Starting off on the ketogenic diet, I recommend that people start at 50 grams of total carbohydrates a day and then try decreasing total carbohydrates down to 30 grams (and even 20 grams) a day if they are struggling to get their ketone levels up. It takes about one to two weeks for your body to get used to the lower level of carbohydrates on the ketogenic diet (and avoid the “keto flu”), but once your body becomes fat-adapted, you should notice weight loss as your body uses your own fat for fuel.
Once you are comfortable with the ketogenic diet and are able to maintain a stable level of ketosis, you can start tracking net carbs instead of total carbs to give yourself a little more flexibility with high fiber foods on the keto diet.
Set realistic weight loss goals
Have realistic weight loss expectations when starting on the ketogenic diet. I think too many people read about someone with extraordinary weight loss on the ketogenic diet and then get frustrated or disappointed when they can’t match those extreme examples. More importantly, look at the ketogenic diet as a change in lifestyle and not just a diet. The focus should be on eating whole foods with healthy fats that are also low in carbohydrates.
Don’t get hung up on weighing yourself every day. Weigh yourself once a week.
Focus on keto for the long term
if you are very overweight, you might lose 1 or 2 pounds a week at the start of the ketogenic diet. If you are just slightly overweight, your weight loss might just be 0.5 to 1.5 pounds a week. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t see the numbers on the scale magically melting away. They will drop, but remember, everyone will have their own rate of fat loss on the keto diet.
So keep your focus on the long-term. Even if you are dropping just 0.5 to 1 pounds a week, guess what?
That’s potential 25 to 50 pounds in 12 months!
If someone asked you if you wanted to be 25 to 50 pounds lighter at this time next year, what would you say?
Avoid extra calories (and hidden carbs)
Set yourself up for success if you are trying to maximize weight loss on the keto diet. Remember that fat is calorically dense, which means a gram of fat has over twice the number of calories than a gram of protein or carbohydrates (9 calories vs 4 calories for protein and carbs).
That “handful” of macadamia nuts packs 200 calories an ounce. Adding extra olive oil to your salad adds about 120 calories per tablespoon. While its important to get enough fat on the ketogenic diet, you don’t want to go significantly over your dietary fat intake. Remember, you want to be using your body’s own fat for fuel and energy and not excess dietary fat.
Keep keto simple
When I’m doing the best on the ketogenic diet, it’s because I plan out my food shopping and I meal prep. I’ll make and store multiple servings of the same meal so I don’t have to think about what to make or what to have. I find that keto meal prepping keeps me on the right path and I don’t snack or cheat when I do keto right.
I also don’t buy much in the way of “keto snacks” and there are more and more “keto” snacks out there. I find these keto snacks are just added calories and don’t do much to decrease my hunger. I’d rather have a nice grass-fed ribeye steak or a healthy keto salad topped with grilled salmon.
Start a regular keto diet exercise program
“Exercise is medicine” is another important component of a healthy ketogenic lifestyle. A regular exercise program can also help keep you in ketosis and help maximize weight loss on the keto diet. Try to get 30 minutes of at least moderate exercise (walking) up to five days a week. You can break the 30 minutes up into three 10 minute exercise blocks if you have difficulty finding dedicated time to exercise.
Try adding a day or two a week of high-intensity interval training, which allows you to burn more calories in a much shorter time than a long walk.
I’m a big fan of resistance exercise (weight lifting) since resistance exercise helps build muscle mass as well as increasing bone density.
Get regular sleep and decrease stress
Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to any healthy lifestyle. Just one bad night of sleep can significantly increase your insulin resistance and impact weight loss. So be sure to make quality sleep a priority if you want to maximize weight loss on the keto diet.
Stress is also another factor that can prevent you from maximizing weight loss on a ketogenic diet. Take time out of your day to turn off the TV, put down the phone and get off social media and just enjoy life without all the technological distractions.
Try intermittent fasting
Trying periods of intermittent fasting can help with insulin sensitivity, decrease your hunger, boost your ketone levels, and can help you if your weight loss has stalled.
Try either a 16:8 fast where you fast for 16 hours and eat only within an 8 hour window. Other people have better luck with either OMAD (One Meal A Day) fasts or the 5:2 fast where they eat a normal ketogenic diet for 5 days and then fast for two days each week.
If you’re a diabetic or have other health issues, check with your doctor before trying any of the intermittent fasting.
If you want to maximize weight loss on the keto diet, follow these simple tips. Keep your carbs low, exercise regularly, get good sleep, decrease stress and try intermittent fasting if you hit a weight loss plateau.