Diet fads come and go. The Atkins diet, the South Beach Diet, and the Paleo diet have all made their way into the media with anecdotes of varying degrees of success. The ketogenic diet, or keto for short, is another diet that has captured the imaginations of both fitness enthusiasts and ordinary people looking to shed a few pounds in recent years, but does this popular nutrition plan work for a set number of days?
Doing keto for 30 days is enough to see results. However, like all diets, the keto diet will only benefit you as long as you stick with it. While doing 30 days of keto will definitely help you lose weight, keeping that weight off is a more difficult proposition.
In this article, we will take a look at some people’s results after 30 days on the keto diet. We will examine the science behind the ketogenic diet and why 30 days on this nutritional plan in conjunction with an exercise routine is enough time for most people to see results. If you have ever wondered about keto or if it is right for you, read on.
What Is Enough?
The first thing we must do is define “enough.”
For you, if enough means that you will lose weight, then yes, 100%, 30 days of keto is enough. If you mean that you will be an unrecognizable, chiseled version of your former self, then no, 30 days of keto is not enough.
Different Body Types And Starting Weight
Every person’s body is different and reacts to specific nutrition plans in unique ways, so this must be taken into account when beginning any diet. It is also important to acknowledge your starting weight and the different time frames required to see results.
If you are 100lbs overweight, the pounds you shed on a thirty-day diet are likely to be noticeable, but you’ll still have quite a bit of work to do to get you to where you need to be. On the other hand, if you are only 15lbs over your optimal weight, 30 days on a strict keto diet may be too much.
Exercise And Caloric Deficit
Another critical factor to take into account is that, while a keto diet on its own can help you lose weight, incorporating an exercise regimen with a nutrition plan will always yield better results. Once again, we have to acknowledge different body types and starting weights, but in every situation, incorporating some form of exercise may jump-start your metabolism and help burn off calories.
Click here to check out my article on Keto and exercise to learn about the best exercises to do on keto!
Also, a caloric deficit should always be a central aspect of every weight loss diet. This simply means that you are burning more calories than you are eating; when you incorporate a caloric deficit with a keto diet, you will really see the benefits of this nutritional plan.
Now that we have these qualifications out of the way, we can take a closer look at how the keto diet will affect your body over 30 days.
How Much Weight Can You Lose In 30 Days Of Keto?
As we have stated, every person’s body is different and reacts differently to the keto diet. With that being said, there is evidence, both anecdotal and scientific, that speaks to the benefits of the keto diet, even in such a short time frame as 30 days.
According to one testimony, a man was able to lose 2-3lbs per week. While he continued past the 30-day mark, eventually losing 27lbs total, this is an excellent example of this low carb diet’s weight-loss possibilities.
This is another example of someone who did a 30-day “keto challenge” as a way to experience for herself what this diet is all about and lose weight in the process. Her situation is particularly useful in our discussion because her motivation to try keto was to lose weight for an upcoming wedding. After thirty days, she hit her goal of losing 15lbs and was able to fit into the bridesmaid dress she was hoping to wear to the wedding.
Another study showed potential added benefits of a keto diet besides weight loss. The results of this study suggest that even after stopping a ketogenic diet, the subjects’ appetites were lower than pre-diet levels. This means that the benefits of a 30-day keto challenge may extend beyond the limits of the diet.
Some other additional benefits of keto include:
- Improves acne
- May reduce the risk of cancer
- May contribute to improved heart health
- May aid in protecting important brain functions
- May significantly reduce seizures
- May improve symptoms of PCOS
Click here for a better understanding of the different keto benefits and which ones can relate to you.
Ketosis: How It Works
Glucose is a simple sugar that provides the energy you need to think, move, and live. Your body usually works by taking the carbohydrates and sugars you eat and converting them into glucose, which is then used for energy.
On the other hand, ketosis occurs when your body is burning ketones instead of glucose to create energy. Ketones are produced when your body breaks down fats and proteins. However, it’s easier for your body to utilize glucose, so if there is any of this simple sugar in your body, it will be burned first.
So, essentially, a keto diet is just a super-low carb diet that replaces those calories with fat and protein, with the end goal being to push your body into ketosis.
By starving your body of the carbohydrates that it relies on for the bulk of its glucose, you force it to turn to fat and protein for energy. This process is at the heart of the keto diet. It is also worth noting that it will take your body a few days to enter ketosis once you cut out the carbs as it burns up the last remaining glucose in your system.
A Keto Diet Meal
A standard keto diet comprises 75% fats, 20% protein, and only 5% carbohydrates. Such a high fat intake is acceptable because, without the carbs that you usually eat, your body will be burning this fat for energy. However, it is worth noting that this high-fat content is another reason why many people recommend an exercise regiment along with a keto diet to reduce muscle loss.
A typical day of keto meals in a day might include these items. You can pick and choose one item from each list to make whatever menu you’d like:
- Two fried eggs served over a bed of sauteed spinach
- A two-egg omelet with ham, cheese, and veggies
- Egg and cheese stuffed inside a bell pepper
- Fried egg inside of a half-avocado
- Bunless cheeseburger with veggies
- Tuna salad eaten alone or over a bed of mixed greens
- Chef salad with ham or turkey, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, veggies, and ranch dressing
- Protein bowl made with chicken, steak, or beef over cauliflower rice and topped with cheese, guacamole, salsa, and veggies
- Chicken Caesar salad
- Cobb salad with ham or turkey, cheese, hard-boiled eggs and veggies
- Pork chops with green beans
- Roasted chicken and broccoli
- Grilled salmon with sauteed spinach
- Ribeye steak with cheesy broccoli
- Pork loin with veggies
- Grilled chicken and broccoli topped with low-carb alfredo
Any combination of these meals should put you at around 2,100 calories, which is right in the caloric deficit zone for the average man to lose about a pound a week.
The beauty of a keto diet is that, instead of your body burning the glucose that would typically come from carbohydrates, it is burning fat, leading to the super-charged weight loss the diet is known for.
Words Of Caution
If you do try the keto diet, one side effect of this high-fat low-carb diet is the so-called keto flu. This condition consists of flu-like symptoms like headaches, trouble sleeping, foggy brain, and irritability.
Scientists are unsure whether this condition is caused by the fact that most people simply tend to take in fewer calories on the keto diet, sugar withdrawal, or some other unknown factors relating to this dramatic shift from many people’s normally carb-heavy diet.
You can read a lot more about the keto flu and what you can do to minimize the effects by clicking here.
Other potential side effects of keto include:
- Diarrhea – This side effect typically goes away on its own.
- Leg cramps – Can be fixed by drinking plenty of water, increasing your salt intake, or taking an electrolyte supplement.
- Keto breath – Occurs when your body is transitioning into ketosis and goes away within a few days to a few weeks. Sugar-free gum and mints help mask it and brushing your teeth several times a day helps minimize it.
- Heart palpitations – Rare side effect that can be helped by eating more foods rich in potassium or taking a potassium supplement.
- Frequent urination – You’re going to be drinking a lot more water on keto, so you’ll be going to the bathroom a bit more.
- Sugar cravings – Your body is addicted to sugar and is going to want what it can’t have.
Many people love the keto diet as a way to jump-start their weight loss journey, and for many people, 30 days is enough. For others, 30 days of keto will be just the beginning of their low-carb mission to a healthy weight. Whatever the case, the variety of delicious keto recipes and solid science backing this diet make it worth a look for anyone interested in weight loss.
Why is a ketogenic diet becoming so popular? The diet promotes stable blood sugar and steady weight loss while being easy to follow and understand.
What age should someone start keto? There is not a minimum age to begin keto. Exhaustive studies have been conducted that show keto is safe and beneficial for all ages, from newborns to older men and women.