Keto Bombs #5 — Metabolism and Weight Loss

Lasting weight loss on the ketogenic diet

Stanislav Kozlovski
Nov 6, 2019 · 3 min read

Keto Bombs are a series of short, concise and informative pieces on various aspects of the Ketogenic diet.

common misconception shared by many people nowadays is that you cannot lose weight fast without gaining it back. That is partly true.

On the ketogenic diet, though, that need not be the case. The latest research shows that you have some beneficial changes happen to your metabolism once you lose weight on the ketogenic diet and that you do not gain weight back quite as fast as if you were on a standard calorie-restricted diet.

Water Weight

The first few pounds you lose on keto will be water weight. As we’ve said before, you hold glycogen in your muscles.
glycogen — the stored form of carbohydrates
The moment you stop eating carbohydrates, your body starts burning through all the glycogen and does not replenish it. Said glycogen holds water, a lot of it! (1g glycogen contains ~3.7g water)
This is why when you first start a keto diet you very quickly lose 1–2kg of weight.

Fast Weight Loss

It is widely known that the ketogenic diet is very effective at weight loss. There is a meta-analysis study that inspected 13 studies for long-term weight loss and compared the results of the ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet.
5 studies of which showed that the ketogenic diet had significant more long-term weight loss, while the rest showed equal.

Which diet provides more lasting benefits?

Resting Metabolic Rate

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) — the minimum amount of energy your body requires to function.

The RMR of a person depends on both genetic factors (some people have a faster metabolism), age, hormone balance, exercise activity and muscle mass.
It amounts to over 75% of the calories you burn in a day.

Normally, when you lose a lot of weight very fast your RMR drops as well. Your metabolism adapts to your new weight. This is why the yo-yo effect is so widespread — your metabolism is now slower yet your eating habits have not necessarily adapted to the change in expenditure.
Some diets have re-feed windows where you try to ramp up your metabolism back up just because of this effect.

Keto Metabolism

On Keto, your resting metabolic rate does not decrease! Your metabolism does not slow down when losing weight.

A recent study examined the RMR of obese patients that underwent a very low calorie ketogenic diet, losing 20kg in four months and found that all 20 subject had none to very little change in their resting metabolic rate!

Normally, when you reduce your calories your body starts breaking down protein for energy. When you lose muscle, your metabolic rate naturally goes down.
The ketogenic diet is more protective against this muscle breakdown process during energy restricted periods.

Said simply, when in a ketogenic state, your body preserves more muscle. Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) has been found to reduce leucine (amino-acid) oxidation by up to 41%!

Photo by John Fowler on Unsplash


In this short Keto Bomb, we reminded ourselves that we lose water when starting the ketogenic diet and learned what the resting metabolic rate is.

We saw that Keto is very beneficial for weight loss purposes and that it is incredibly muscle-sparing. Because of this feature, when losing weight your basic metabolic rate does not decrease significantly — letting you easily keep the weight off by eating the same amount as you did before the diet.

Keto Bombs


Your guide to living a SUGAR FREE low-carb lifestyle.

Stanislav Kozlovski

Written by

A generally curious individual — software engineer, regular gym-goer and coffee lover


Your guide to living a SUGAR FREE low-carb lifestyle.

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