This is one of those questions that gets asked a lot so I wanted to address it in this post.

I know that one of the things that excited me about starting the ketogenic diet in the beginning was reading about all these crazy weight loss success stories that some women seemed to experience. You know, the ones where they lose 14 pounds in the first three weeks and then continue to lose 4 pounds a week for the next 6 months and voila they’re at their ideal weight.

I loved the thought of getting into a fat burning state and just watching the excess pounds melt away.

In actuality, it took me about a year to lose 30 pounds. However it didn’t take a year for me to start feeling and looking a great deal better, though. This actually happened in a matter of weeks.

Every Woman is Different

The thing about losing weight on the keto diet is every woman is different. Those who have a lot of excess fat will find that it comes off more quickly. Those who have a lot of metabolic derangement or hormonal healing to do will find that it takes longer.

Your body’s main goal is always survival and health. It doesn’t care about how it looks, it cares about how it’s functioning.

When you start eating keto with weight loss in mind, you kind of have to trust the process. What you are doing is feeding your body all the nutrients it needs to heal, build, release and do whatever it needs to do in order to move towards optimal health. Some women will experience this as a fairly drastic weight loss, and others will experience this as a slow weight loss.

If you have a great deal of healing and balancing to do internally, you may even experience a little weight gain in the beginning. (I know, few women want to hear this).

Embarking on a journey of health is a little like embarking on a journey of trust and faith. You give your body what it needs and you trust that it has the intrinsic knowledge (which it does), to do what is necessary.

The ketogenic diet is not a fad diet, it’s a lifestyle of health. And one of the most common things I hear from women who have embarked on this journey is that they learn so much about their bodies and their minds along the way.

With that being said, here are the most common weight loss patterns that I have heard women experience when eating keto:



Common Weight Loss Pattern on Keto

    • An initial ‘whoosh’ of weight loss in the first week ranging from 3-10 pounds. This is water weight which is released because you have lowered your carb intake. This is very common and most women experience it.
    • Around week 2 or 3, weight loss seems to stop or stall for a couple of weeks. This also seems to be very common, and my opinion is that this is the time frame in which your body is doing the most adjusting and learning to burn fat as fuel instead of glucose.
    • After the first 3 weeks, a lot of women will then experience a gradual weight loss that goes in fits and starts. For example, losing 3lbs and then staying the same weight for another 2 weeks and then seemingly unexpectedly dropping a further 4 pounds before stalling again.
    • Some women experience the initial water weight loss and then seem to put on a few pounds over a month or two before then steadily losing weight. I believe women in these cases had a lot of healing to do before their body would release excess weight.
    • A lot of women find that when they are within 10lbs of their goal weight, weight loss stalls. I have found that weight loss nearly always slows right down as you near your goal weight.

Out of all the weight loss scenarios I’ve heard of, the most common one by far is where women get despondent because they feel like they are not losing weight fast enough. And they are completely disregarding other things that are happening that indicate their health and well-being is increasing.For example, better sleep, more energy, clearer skin, higher libido, more regular and easier menstruation, and even inches lost.

With my journey, you know when I was happiest? It was when I stopped weighing or measuring myself at all and trusted my body and the keto process.

I realised that if I hadn’t lost weight one week, it meant that my body was doing something else equally (if not more) important, and it was all good.

It’s not all about the number on the scale – far from it.

I highly encourage every woman these days to let go of weighing and measuring and instead focus on health, well-being and nourishing body, mind, and soul. When you do this, you can be sure that your body will happily reach the perfect weight for you at exactly the time it’s supposed to.

I hope this is helpful, as always I’d love to hear any comments below!

Framed image linking to ketogenic diet guides and plans

38 thoughts on “How Quickly Can You Expect to Lose Weight When You Eat a Keto Diet?”

  1. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!. I started keto on 11/17/16. I have lost about 4 pounds since then. Of course the holidays were in there & although I didn’t fall off, I did go over macros a bit & set back during all three (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years). My DH started w/ me on 1/1/17 & has lost probably 15-20 pounds without effort although his blood pressure went up. I am perplexed at my lack of pound loss. I have been tracking macros & calories daily since 1/18/17. I have lost a couple of inches total between thighs, waist, & hips. I am having a terrible time finding anyone who has similar results. I feel great, feel like there is little inflammation in my body. I sure wish the scale would decline! I am open to advice. I have about 32 pounds to lose to be at my goal weight. I also have not been working out since the middle of January. Just being lazy there. I am afraid to start back up again as I know when I do, the scale goes up for a while. Seriously, I appreciate your feedback. Thanks for this article! I am going to continue w/ the WOE as it is the only one where I don’t feel such a huge carb craving.. This is a blessing!

    1. Hi Kristi, thanks so much for your comment! And congratulations to you and your DH for hopping on the keto train! I agree that one of the best things about eating keto is getting rid of those sugar and carb cravings – it certainly was for me. Regarding weight loss, a couple of things to consider are: Are you eating enough? A lot of women go on the keto diet and due to a decrease in appetite plus the desire to lose weight, their daily calories are too low. This can, although it’s counter-intuitive, hinder weight loss. If your body even so much as suspects there is not enough food available, weight loss will slow down/stall. Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep and you are keeping stress-levels as low as possible. The more you focus on loving and nurturing your body, the quicker it will find its balance and shed those extra pounds. Finally, are you eating dairy? Personally I’m fine with dairy, but I do know some women who managed to break through weight loss stalls by quitting dairy. Oh, and regarding exercise – in the beginning I found the best things for me while my body was healing was just some walking while listening to my favourite music, and just doing things like squats and press ups at home. Don’t worry about pushing the exercise while you are adapting to this WOE. Just move your body each day! It sounds like you are really on the right track though. Trust the process and continue nurturing yourself! All the very best, Joan.

  2. I love this article. It was exactly what I told my hubby last night. My skin has cleared up, my feet don’t swell and even though I still love sweets, I no longer crave them.
    Love this WOE.
    Connie

  3. I am just starting the keto diet. I have recently gained 40 lbs. since finding out that my thyroid has not been working correctly. I thought that once I started the medications to help the thyroid work better, I’d drop that weight right away. I was way off! I have a cruise in 6 months and need to get this weight off. Is this diet really going to work??

    1. The only way to know is to give it a go! All I can say is it’s done wonders for me and many other women. Best of luck!

  4. Love, love, love this article! It’s wonderful to read an article geared specifically to isssues women face. I just started keto, and am not seeing the quick results that others claim. After reading this, I now feel happy that it’s becuase MY body is doing what MY body needs to do in order to repair itself. A much needed reminder and welcomed encouragement. Thank you. 🙂

  5. I am so sick of hearing people say don’t look at the scale! I’m 5 foot eight and I weigh 240 pounds so I probably should be looking at the scale and worrying!
    Been on the keto diet for about a month and lost 7 pounds in the first four days inn absolutely ‘SFA’ in the last three weeks. Trying to exercise regularly drinking 3 L of water a day and to no avail. Absolutely hopeless

    1. Steve there is hope! Let me help you, I tried the diet for a month didn’t lose anything then I changed one thing and have lost 38 pounds in 6 weeks. Look me up on fb Daylynne wall, my profile pic is black and white

  6. Hello, thank you for your post. I think it’s one of the most sensible and wonderful things I’ve read. You have certainly put things in a whole new perspective. It’s not always about how you look but what’s happening inside, abd we forget that the ketogenic lifestyle was aimed exactly for that. Have a lovely day you wise lady!

  7. Great article! I didn’t realize I was doing KETO, but on June 22nd this year I reduced my carbs to about 15g per day. To date I have lost 29 pounds, and feel fantastic! I eat 1/4 cup of steel cut oats for breakfast with 1/2 cup lactose and fat free milk, and one table spoon of chopped walnuts. Lunch is 2 eggs fried in a teaspoon of coconut oil with a handful of spinach thrown on. I have 2 snacks a day. One is an ounce of hard cheddar, the other one tablespoon of natural peanut butter. My evening meal is about 4 ounces of whatever meat and heaps of green veggies, sometimes sweet potato, but only once a week. I like to do miracle noodles with shrimp in a lobster bouillon with red pepper flakes for heat, and I have started batch cooking meatballs all weighed out for quick meals etc Loving it, and loving life!

  8. I came across your article at just the right time! I’ve been keto-ing for about a month now and only down four lbs. Was ready to give up and go back to my beloved cake, bread, and pasta. I have no doubt my body needs a lot of healing, and I hope that’s what I’m doing for it now. I’ll keep on going with my keto lifestyle because of your post. Thanks for this insight.
    Kathy

  9. I started my this lifestyle on Monday, August 7th. I haven’t lost any weight and it’s day 5 and I am a bit discourage. I am a bit discouraged because a friend of mine embarked on this same journey two weeks ahead of me and she is down 10lbs. I think that one of the things that I have to stop doing is lifting heavy weights. I train 4 days per week .What are your thoughts on this? I’ve had the hardest time loosing weight and I have to trust this process because I know it will work. It going into my second week and I am going to follow a beginners Keto meal plan for structure and optimization of my weight loss. Any feedback you can provide would be awesome.

  10. I should note that I am 5’2 and 148.2lbs. My goal is to get down to 120 -25lbs. Also, if I am not hungry which I haven’t been since being on this diet, should I eat? I don’t want to eat when I am not hungry but I also don’t want my body to think it’s not enough food and mess up my weight loss.

  11. Hi!
    I loved your article. It gave me hope because I’m three weeks on Keto and lost almost 9 pounds but I know that it was just water (I’m morbidly obese so I had A LOT of water). I’m far from believing “magic” will happen but I just kind of hoped to be one of those lucky keto people with whoosh weight loss effect yet, just my luck, looks like I’m not going to be one of those… But reading your article reminded me about all the damage in my body from whole life of unhealthy lifestyle and… yeah. Patience. That’s what I need in my keto, more patience 🙂 Thanks for giving me abut of that!

  12. I’ve been keto for 2 months now and lost 14lbs the first two weeks. I haven’t lost anything in over a month so I feel a bit frustrated. I’ve been very disciplined and I just worry that I won’t lose anymore. Is this stall normal? I have a little over 40lbs that I’d like to lose and since I’m quite short and suffering from endometriosis, my weight is primarily in my thighs and hips and it seems to take the longest to lose. My disorder also affects my energy levels to due to the hormonal issues. I just really would like to see success eventually because I feel like I’m at my wits end.

  13. Need to lose about 60 pounds. Been on the Keto diet 12 days (have not cheated at all) and have lost only 2 pounds! getting discouraged. plus if i’m not loosing weight what is this doing to my cholesterol level?

    1. Don’t be discouraged! I started on Sep. 4th and only lost a 1-2 pounds the first couple of weeks. It wasn’t until the 18th that I lost another couple of pounds and then again on the 28th I dropped another couple of pounds. By the end of the month I ended up dropping a total of 8.5 pounds.

      I’ve lost a couple more pounds this month but I have also stalled again this week. I have to trust that if I keep at it I will eventually start losing again.

      So please keep going and good luck!

  14. I used the ketogenic diet for several years about 4 years ago. I had various reasons. I have epilepsy, I craved food all the time..even when I was eating “healthy” and the weight wouldn’t budge. I didn’t know as much as I did now and the initial stages were horrible, then boom! Mental clarity and energy kicked in. I became more active and weight loss was no longer an issue. I knew I felt better but didn’t realize just how profound it was until 8 months later. It was Thanksgiving and I still prepared foods my family likes..my pecan pie is greatly anticipated, lol. I decided that..heck..it was my birthday too and I was going to have a slice of that pie! Almost immediately afterwards I felt bad. I tried to read the newspaper and literally could not make out many words and what I did read wasn’t very comprehensive. I later crashed, slept, and waited for the sugar to get burned. That memory has always stuck with me. After a few years, I had health complications due to seizures because of a generic version of my meds wasn’t being absorbed and I had many injuries. 3 surgeries..cervical spinal fusion from 2 blown discs, a rotator cuff repair, and because the more seizures you have, the more you’re apt to have, I had a VNS implant. Needless to say, probably when I needed the diet the most, I started to slip. I relied heavily on the help of others. I still kept eating wheat or sugar to a minimum but my macros were out of whack. I was actually eating too much protein. I suffered bowel issues chronically. :/ Here I am now..I’ve healed a great deal. I didn’t seem to loose a lot of muscle mass but the adipose definitely had put me out of wearing my jeans, I was depressed and unmotivated. About 3 months ago, I found my willpower and stepped back into the gym. I work with a trainer who had designed a macro layout for me to try. It was high protein, modest carbs..and lower even in fat. I didn’t feel terrible on the diet but I knew it wasn’t the best for me. I weightlift and was throwing in a little cardio. I was at 150g protein, 85g carbs, 45g fat. I didn’t have the energy to do the cardio. I suffered very slow muscle recovery after lifting. Every month we check progress but very little was made. In 3 months I had only lost 2lbs but gained .5lbs of muscle but I knew I needed to reassess the plan. I had also started to have carb noticeable cravings which escalated over time. I was feeling worse over time rather than invigorated by exercise. I crashed and said enough! This week I took off from the gym to rework my diet and regimen. I have gone back to the ketogenic way of life. I learned how to minimize the keto flu..electrolytes! And hydration. I’m on day 3. My energy is returning and mental clarity is better. I’ve decided to reduce my workout load..which was fairly intense. I’ve paid attention to ensure my fat intake is higher..I’m still hovering between 30-50 grams of carbs but will tweak it out. I use digestive enzyme supplements, b-vitamins, vitamin c, CQ 10, and electrolytes..to name a few. My medications can deplete certain nutrients,my adrenals are possibly taxed and I am trying to support energy levels. I’m staying active but in a more gentle way until the ground is more level. I think getting back into keto adaptation will be a bit easier as my body has done this before and we have muscle memory. I have a general idea of where I performed best physically with certain carb grams..around 50-60 with intense exercise is fine and I make good progress with plenty of energy. For now, I’m jump starting fat burning though so I’m trying to go even lower. It’s a bit tedious micromanaging macros and calories. I tend to not eat enough and my protein will override. I have no clue how much fat and protein I should generally consume as calories from fat are dense I’ve calculated I will need less fat grams than protein but that doesn’t sound right. Thanks for reading and any tips on those macros are welcome!

  15. I am planning to start this woe next month or even after the holidays. So as I learn all about it I am also learning about a full fasting as I already do a 20/4 5 days a week. Going on Fasting forums, many there started fasting 3-21 days to break stalls in their keto diet. How do you feel about using water fasts to break the stalls when they hit?

  16. Thank you for this excellent explanation of the process. I had never considered all of the other important aspects of the Keto lifestyle. I am going to put the scale away and let my body do it’s thing.

  17. Thanks so much for this. I was getting very despondent! I’ve been Ketogenic for 2 weeks and actually PUT ON 2 lbs! I have Hashimotos (autoimmune hypothyroidism) and adrenal exhaustion and haven’t been well for about 15 years. On top of that, I’m presently recovering from a nasty car crash 3 months ago (broken wrist and lots of deep inflammation in tissues of legs and feet).
    I felt ‘different’ inside a few days ago, but felt I was imagining it as I hadn’t lost any weight. I guess it’s going to take time. I’m enjoying being sugar-free and don’t miss it at all!
    What I find very off-putting though is the complicated maths that seems to go with everything I’ve read on working out food ratios on this eating plan. I’m just cutting out all carbs, eating some protein, lots of green veg, a few berries occasionally and lots of good fats – olives, olive oil, MCT capsules, coconut oil, butter, avocados and nuts and seeds, and drinking lots of water. I’m not able to exercise presently, apart from walking a little, due to my injuries. I usually practise and teach yoga. Is it sufficient to approach it in this way?
    Jane.

  18. Thanks for the article. Great read. I have been steadily losing and I am grateful for that. I have noticed however, days of being very tired and days of having great energy. My take was, I am going to listen to my body and rest when it wants to rest, as something is happening that I a not aware of. Your article re-inforced that for me. So Thanks again. I love this WOE, I have no cravings, I am not hungry, I feel great. My Hubby keeps saying, “what is going to happen when you go back to carbs” I keep explaining, when I reach maintenance I will slowly raise, good carbs, maybe some fruits, but I don’t ever plan to eat as I did before. Nothing tastes as good as this feels. Down 20lbs in 4 weeks, with a whole LOT more to go, and looking forward to it. oh and BTW the other thing my man says, is “I can’t believe how much energy you have and how easily you are moving” YAY!!

  19. I’m on week 5 and have lost 12 lbs don’t think I’ve lost inches. But I’m also not in ketosis either and I cannot figure out why I test every day and I follow everything to the t. I do not cheat a
    And log my food and follow my Marcos and I still test negative! Help

  20. Thank you! I appreciate the reminder of health as the #1 goal. I’m a slow loser but I also have arthritis and I have believed the symptoms have subsided during this process. I feel better, clearer skin, better sleep, mental clarity, and looser clothes! What can be so bad?!?

  21. Another explanation for slow weight loss… I had already been doing Paleo for two years when I switched to Ketogenic. The weight is coming off slowly because I already dropped the easy weight (over 20 pounds) from eating simply gluten-free previously. I’ve lost 10 more pounds, another 15-20 to go. And I’m fine with slow so long as I’m making progress.

  22. Thank you, I have enjoyed the new way of eating, but not the weight loss, 5 lbs in 6 weeks. I have flet like I am doing something wrong. Maybe not.

  23. I really enjoyed this article!!!! I am on day 10 not huge wight loss or inches yet but I do think I feel better and I am sleeping better….which as a 54yrs old women is unheard of .😊 I have decided this is a way of life for me such good food and less aches/itching! Praying the weight and inches will start to come off. The support groups are inspiring me and pushing me to keep fighting for the life I deserve.

  24. Thank you so much for this article!
    i started eating Keto on Monday, 12/4/17, for weight loss purposes.Need to lose 1/2 my weight to get to my goal weight, so i know its going to be a long journey. Reading this article helped me focus my head on different things than just the number on the scale. i especially liked the way you said that if you didnt see a change on the scale, you just thought that your body was doing something more important. im going to trust the journey and get to my goal eventually!

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