Water Weight Loss
During the first two weeks of a keto diet, it is very common to lose a significant amount of weight. The amount varies from person to person and is influenced by many factors: how overweight they are, how many carbs they consumed a day before keto, their current carb intake, their exercise levels, and their genetics, to name a few. The weight lost can range from two to twelve pounds.
Weight loss can come in many forms: a loss of fat, a loss of water, and an unhealthy loss of bone, muscle, or organ mass. This first big loss in a keto diet is actually almost all water weight caused by your body depleting its store of glycogen.
Glycogen is how your body stores glucose for future use — similar to starch in plants. It is primarily stored in your muscles and liver and is the first stored energy your body uses when in need. Stored glycogen is bonded to several molecules of water, about three to four grams per gram of glycogen; when your body uses up glycogen, the water is then released through your kidneys and urine, taking salt along with it. This is why we recommend getting a good amount of fluids and salt, especially if you are experiencing keto flu symptoms.
At this point, there has not been any loss of fat — yet. The good news is that now that you’ve burned through the glycogen stores, your body is ready to adapt to using fat for fuel instead. The important thing to remember at this point is that any excess carbs can quickly switch your system back over to producing and storing glycogen from the sugars you are consuming. If you notice an alarming weight gain after a high-carb day, this is likely the cause.
Water weight loss and the stall that follows can last up to the first three weeks of a keto diet. If you have been eating to your macros and are still experiencing a stall after week 3, this may be a sign your macros should be adjusted. We keep a close eye on your daily logs to follow your progress and make these adjustments, but feel free to to make a note in your logs or email us if you are concerned about your stall.