If you google “how to lose 40 pounds fast,” you will get over 26 million results. But that isn’t what this article is about. Instead, we will give you a realistic timeline of how long to lose 40 pounds on keto safely and how to keep it off by living the keto lifestyle.
It is time to stop the yo-yo dieting and counting calories. This article will tell you how you can use the keto diet to lose 40 pounds, reach a healthy goal weight, burn fat, and have more energy.
Are you interested in finding out more? Keep reading.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
Most people think that the keto diet is just another new diet fad for weight loss. In fact, it has been around for about 100 years. It got its origins in the 1920s when physicians used the keto diet as an effective treatment for epilepsy.
In simple terms, the keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carb eating plan. Instead of eating carbs such as pasta, bread, or cereal, you will be eating nutrient-dense, high fat foods like avocados, heavy whipping cream, eggs, lunch meat, and healthy fats and oils.
You need to forget everything you’ve ever learned about the food pyramid, which promotes 10-12 servings of whole grains and only using oils sparingly. The “Western Diet” or Standard American Diet (SAD) is why two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in the United States are obese.
Why is that?
The body believes in efficiency and chooses to get its energy the quick and easy way. All carbohydrates convert into glucose, which the body uses for fuel. It never taps into the fat stores so it stays on the body.
But, you don’t need glucose for energy. When you cut off its quick fuel source, the body goes into ketosis, a natural metabolic state. That’s when your body turns to storage for energy. Plus, the liver also starts converting the fat into ketones which the brain uses for energy.
Isn’t Keto Just Another Low Carb Diet?
In a word, no. Keto is not just another low-carb diet. When people hear those words, they instantly think of the Atkins diet, and that’s understandable. However, while diets like Atkins do reduce the amount of carbs you eat, you are still eating more carbs than you would on keto.
In addition, as you get closer to your goal weight, the grams of carbs you can have increase. The higher carb amount kicks you out of ketosis; then you’re right where you started – you’re using the carbs for energy.
The keto diet breaks down your macronutrients so that 70% of your calories come from fat, 20% come from protein, and only 10% come from carbs. The keto diet keeps you in a constant state of ketosis, so your body is using stored energy for fuel.
An app or keto calculator can help you break down your macronutrients so you know how many grams of each one you should be eating each day to reach your health goals.
Why Counting Calories Doesn’t Help With Weight Loss
For years you’ve been told that all you need to do to lose weight is eat fewer calories than you burn, so your body goes into a calorie deficit.
It didn’t work, did it?
Or, you lost weight, but it didn’t stay off. You would starve yourself, and before you knew it, you were binge eating, and soon, you gained back all the weight you lost, plus a few more pounds.
It felt like all your weight loss efforts were for nothing. It’s not your fault. You were working with the information you received. Unfortunately, that information was wrong.
Here are some of the reasons that counting calories doesn’t work:
- It’s impossible to have an exact standard when it comes to calories. The total calories listed on most food labels are off by about 25%.
- Everyone has a unique gut biome. We all have microbes throughout our digestive system. Some of these microbes are more efficient in breaking down food and using it to support bodily functions. Studies have shown that thin people have different bacteria in their guts.
- Not all calories are created equal. A 200 calorie candy bar won’t fill you up like the same amount of calories in hard-boiled eggs. Soon after eating the candy bar, you will be looking for something else to eat because you’re still hungry. The eggs will take longer for your digestive system to break down, thus leaving you feeling fuller longer.
These are just a few reasons why trying to get yourself into a calorie deficit to lose weight doesn’t work.
Now, it’s time to look at something that does work.
How Fast Can You Lose Weight on Keto?
You can expect to lose 1-2 pounds each week on a strict keto diet, which is a healthy rate of weight loss. You may lose more in the first couple of weeks, but that is mainly the water weight you are shedding.
When it comes to your weight loss journey, there are a lot of factors to consider. What is your body composition? How much lean muscle do you have compared to body fat? You want plenty of lean muscle because it increases your metabolism and the number of calories you burn during resting energy expenditure (REE).
If you’re not sure what REE is, it is the number of calories you need just to stay alive. It accounts for more than 60% of the calories you burn in a day. So, the more lean muscle mass your body has, the more calories you use in the course of your daily life.
Your current body weight, how much weight you need to lose, age and activity level also determine how fast you will lose weight, but one of the main factors in the equation is gender. Men lose weight faster than women in the beginning, but then it starts to equal out.
Why is that? Let’s find out.
Man vs. Woman
Every woman understands the frustration when you first start a weight loss program with your significant other. You’re both watching what you eat and exercising the same amount, but suddenly he’s dropping 5 pounds while you lose very little weight. Here’s why:
Since men have higher testosterone levels in their bodies, they can build lean muscle faster. We’ve already learned that more lean muscle mass means increased metabolism. On the other hand, women have more estrogen and tend to store more fat.
Another difference is where each gender usually stores its fat. Men keep most of their excess weight in the belly, so it’s more noticeable when he starts to trim down. Women store it all over, such as the belly, hips, and breasts.
And there are different types of fat. Men have more visceral fat, and metabolism increases as the fat decreases. Women tend to have more of the subcutaneous type that does not influence metabolism.
But, as stated previously, it does start to even out, and both genders lose weight at the same pace. So, at a steady rate of losing 1-2 pounds each week, you can expect to lose 40 pounds in 5-6 months.
Does Exercise Help You Lose Weight Faster?
Strength training and cardiovascular exercise will speed up your weight loss. Weight lifting is a great way to build more lean muscle and help you lose more weight.
Exercising also helps you to stay in ketosis, increase your energy levels, and help you feel better overall.
Other Health Benefits of the Keto Diet
Most people start on the keto diet for weight loss. However, it has numerous other health benefits.
- As stated previously, a keto diet has shown to be an effective epilepsy treatment. 50% of patients on keto saw improvement in the number of seizures.
- Insulin resistance is a condition found in pre-diabetic people. Some symptoms of this metabolic condition include a waist-to-hip ratio above 1.0, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, and elevated fasting blood sugar levels. A ketogenic diet, especially when combined with intermittent fasting, dramatically improves the body’s insulin response.
- Improved insulin levels in individuals with type 1 and 2 diabetes
- Healthy cholesterol levels increase
As you can see, a keto diet can improve your overall wellness in various ways, and healthy weight loss is a bonus.
The Ketogenic Lifestyle
When you first start on your keto lifestyle, your body needs to adjust to reduced carbs and additional fats. Most people experience “keto flu” in the first few days as your body recovers from its sugar addiction. Another cause is an electrolyte imbalance.
With the decrease in carbs, more of your electrolytes leave your body when you urinate. You can reduce the symptoms of keto flu by increasing your water intake, and electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Increasing your fat intake will also help you to feel better.
After a week, the symptoms pass, and you will start to see an improvement in how you feel. It takes about one month for you to become fully fat-adapted, where you will experience sustained energy levels, steady weight loss, and better overall health.
It’s vital to pay attention to your macronutrients, and you may be worried about your food choices and knowing how much fat, how many carbs, and your protein intake. A keto macro calculator will allow you to put in your information and give you your normal range for macronutrients that day.
Feel free to read our comprehensive guide on the ketogenic diet where you can find everything you need to know about the keto diet, including how to start and what to eat.
Pitfalls to Avoid on a Keto Diet
Too much protein: You need protein to increase satiety and build lean muscle. But, some people make the mistake of eating too much, thinking it will lead to greater weight loss. However, the opposite happens because the amino acids in the excess protein convert to glucose, which kicks the body out of ketosis.
Too low fat: There are some people that still think fat is bad and are afraid to increase their intake. However, without the carbs for quick energy, the body needs the fat for ketosis and weight loss to occur.
Not Enough Water: Staying hydrated is essential to losing weight. You need water to flush out toxins and replenish your blood cells. If you become dehydrated, metabolism and fat loss slows.
Snacking too much: Nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, and berries are easy to binge eat. However, eating too many of these foods will result in excess calories and keep you from losing weight.
Keto Recipes For You to Try
There are several great recipes to enjoy when you are on a keto diet. Here are some of our favorites for you to try.
- Classic Keto Waffles
- Keto Pumpkin Soup
- Keto Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
- Keto Pizza
- Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Keto Meal Replacement Shakes
- Keto Margarita
With a rate of weight loss of 1-2 pounds each week, about 5-6 months is how long to lose 40 pounds on keto. There are other diets to help you lose 40 pounds fast. But, most of them aren’t sustainable for the long term. While the keto diet might not be the best diet for everyone, most people experience steady weight loss and enjoy better health.
Living a keto life isn’t truly a diet plan, but instead a healthy lifestyle. You will lose fat, while at the same time, improving insulin levels, lowering bad cholesterol, and increasing energy.
For more help on reaching your fat loss goals, KetoConnect gives you all the guidance you need on how to get started, grocery guides, and recipes. They also have plenty of tips if you’re not getting the keto diet results that you expect.
So, now that you know how long to lose 40 pounds on keto, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start on your keto journey to lose weight and feel better.