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How Much Water Weight Do You Lose on Keto?

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  Published on July 21st, 2023
  Reading time: 4 minutes
  Last modified July 6th, 2023
Weighing water weight loss on scale

The initial period of entering into ketosis is exciting, especially for those who haven’t been seen the needle move on the scale in a while. Shedding those stubborn pounds gives you a sense of pride, but you should know that much of the initial weight loss during the first couple of weeks on a keto diet is actually water weight loss. So how much water weight do you lose on keto before you start to see real, lasting weight loss? 

If you find yourself wondering what you can expect from water weight loss, here is a quick primer on how much you can expect to lose.

Why You Lose More Water Weight on Keto 

Before we dive into how much you can expect to lose through water weight, it is important to have a clear understanding of how and why your body excretes this water. Your body tissues tend to store glycogen when you consume lots of carbohydrates. That glycogen is stored and tied to water, usually in a 1:3 ratio of glycogen to water. [1] 

Glycogen storage

Entering into ketosis forces your body to start burning the excess carbs in your body. Once you’ve burned those carbs and enter ketosis, your will burn fat for energy instead. Burning through your body’s carbs means that your glycogen stores will be depleted–and they take the water that they are bound to with them. 

As you transition away from using glycogen stores for energy to using fat, you may start to drink more and head to the bathroom more frequently. Water is flushed from the body quickly, which leads to sometimes dramatic initial weight loss. 

How Much Water Weight Do You Lose on Keto?  

There is no set amount of weight that you will lose as your glycogen stores are depleted. Some people will lose a tremendous amount of weight fairly quickly when they take on ketosis. Overall, it often depends on how much you weigh before you start the diet. 

People with a higher overall weight initially tend to lose the most water weight in the first week or so of starting the keto lifestyle. As the body transitions from burning carbs, it may flush out about ten pounds of water weight. 

On the other hand, those who have a lower initial body weight and are sticking to keto for other health reasons beyond weight loss may lose far less. Some people lose as little as a single pound in their first week or two on the keto diet. [2]

That being said, these figures are mostly anecdotal. The amount of water weight lost during the early days of ketosis is very subjective based on your previous carb intake, your overall weight, and even how much water you drink on a daily basis. Most people talk about losing 6-10 pounds of water weight in the first week or two of ketosis or after an extended water fast.

Water Weight Loss Slows

Fat loss on keto diet

Eventually, you will find that your weight loss may slow down or even stall out for a little while. This is often because your body is adjusting to being in ketosis and is no longer shedding the water as quickly as it did during the initial week or two on the diet. Your glycogen stores (and the water associated with them) have been mostly depleted by the time you enter into a full state of ketosis. 

Now, you can focus on the really important part of weight loss: namely, shedding fat over water. This is the stage that many people are eager to get to because it leads to more lasting weight loss and has serious health benefits.

Many people will find that they steadily shed around two pounds per week once the water weight is lost. [3] Stick with it, even if it isn’t as exciting as watching the needle on the scale move rapidly, as it does during the early days. You’ll be glad that you did when you notice that weight that used to be stubborn melting away. 

Managing Water Weight Loss

Even if much of it is water weight, seeing those first few pounds come off marks an immediate win and can give you the impetus you need to stick with keto in the early days. It may be hard to combat the effects of the keto flu and the transition to a new way of eating, but this early positive movement can be enough to motivate you to stay strong. 

Your body will eventually adjust to the keto lifestyle and weight loss will be much steadier and slower than in these early days. While weight loss slows after the initial days and weeks, you’ll still feel great knowing you’re making lasting progress toward your goal.

Ashley Simpson is a freelance writer dedicated to helping people improve their lives -- in every way possible. She understands that food and diet are necessary components to a healthy lifestyle and experiments with both. When she isn't typing away, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son.



Fernández-Elías, V. E., Ortega, J. F., Nelson, R. K., & Mora-Rodriguez, R. (2015). Relationship between muscle water and glycogen recovery after prolonged exercise in the heat in humans. European journal of applied physiology, 115(9), 1919–1926. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-015-3175-z


Shoemaker, S. (2023, April 4). Keto weight loss: What to expect after 1 Week. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/keto-weight-loss-first-week#water-weight-loss 


Smith, A. (2023, June 3). How long does it take to lose weight on keto?. Discover Magazine. https://www.discovermagazine.com/lifestyle/how-long-does-it-take-to-lose-weight-on-keto 

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