Personal Weight Loss Journey

How Much Weight Can You Lose in a Week on a Low Carb Diet?

Max Carmody, MSc

In 5 days, one work week, I lost 5.9 pounds on a low carb diet. You may lose more, or less than this, although 6 is probably on the high end, the exact weight you could lose after week 1 varies from 1 or 2 pounds to 10 or more pounds.

The results from this blog came from an actual experiment that I conducted on myself, where I tried a pretty standard low carb diet. In all fairness, I only did the diet for 5 days, not an entire 7, so it is more like a work week.

I am currently doing a project, where I try a wide variety of different diets, for 5 days each, and record how much weight I lose on them all, and my general experiences with them. I decided to start with a standard low carb diet, because that’s something that I’ve had a lot of success with before. My goal with this diet, was to stick roughly to the diet in this book, including the specific meals and everything. I strayed a little bit from it, but I ate pretty closely

Day 1

My first day on the diet, I ate a cup of special k for breakfast, with 1% milk, with a half cup of raspberries. It did seem to be a bit carb heavy for a low carb diet, but I just trusted in the process.

For lunch, I had 200 (technically 203) grams of grilled chicken fried up in pam. I seasoned it with onion powder, garlic salt, and seasoned pepper, and it turned out pretty nice. I had lots of fresh spinach, probably a cup or a cup in a half, with some low carb Italian dressing, that was only about 1 gram of carbs per 2 tablespoons. I also measured out a couple tablespoons of cottage cheese, which it said in the book were optional. I love my cottage cheese though, and it wasn’t very much, so I figured it would be ok. The meal tasted good, in a healthy way.

For dinner, I fried up a medium sized steak. I seasoned it with some Worcestershire sauce and some powdered steak pepper, which my mom told me to do. I cooked my steak blue, just seared slightly on each side, but still pretty raw in the middle. I am a big fan of raw meat, I love a good steak tartare, and I cook my steaks minimally. I am not necessarily advocating this to people, as it’s not the safest, I know most people prefer their steaks medium-rare or medium. I love a good blue or rare steak though, in a restaurant I’ll take them as rare as they’ll serve them.

I boiled up some frozen green beans, and put a bit of butter on them. I love my butter. Then in the book it said, for dinner, to have 1.5 cups of basmati rice with your steak. I actually ended up making only 1 cup of basmati rice, because 1 seemed like plenty. This also seemed a bit high carb to me to have rice, on a high carb diet, but I just trusted in the process and assumed that it would work. I love steak and basmati rice, so I found this meal delicious. Actually in the book it suggested the steak for lunch and the chicken for dinner, but I like to have a nice treat for myself at the end of the day, so I reversed it.

For little very low carb treats during the day, I drank coffee with 1% milk, and tea with 1% milk. I normally take sugar with my tea and milk, but I avoided it, as you’re not supposed to eat sugar on a low carb diet. I also had V8 juice. V8 is basically just pure vegetable juice. It does have 6 grams of carbs, but I figured that it would be ok. I found the V8 juice a very nice treat during the day.

I want to talk about the exercise I did on this diet as well, so you get as accurate of a picture of things as possible. I used to prefer running for exercise, but lately my knees have been hurting too much to run. Where I’m currently living, in Tucson Arizona, there is a small mountain called Tumamoc hill. It is actually a research mountain used by the nearby University to conduct environmental research, but it is open to the public. It takes about an hour to go up and down the hill, and it is pretty steep in parts. It is extremely popular with the public. For my exercise today, I did Tumamoc. I have no idea exactly how many calories you burn, and I’m sure it is different for every person, but if I had to guess I suppose I would say 600 or something?

Day 2-5

Day 2-5

For the next 4 days, I mostly ate the same things that I ate on day 1. I did slip up slightly a couple times, although not too bad. I will note where there are any differences from what I ate the first day.

Day 2, I ate exactly the same as before, tea with milk, V8. I also hiked Tumamoc.

Day 3 was the same as day 1, but I had pickles. I also didn’t have any V8. Pickles weren’t specifically included on the diet in the book, but I figured that because they were 0 calories, they should be ok. For my exercise, I just worked out on a standard elliptical machine for about 25 minutes, a little lighter than before.

Day 4, I switched things up a bit. Breakfast and lunch were the same as day 1. But for dinner, instead of my plain steak, I had some meat with mushroom and onion. And instead of just green beans, I had frozen vegetables with corn, carrots, and green beans. For my exercise, I did 50 minutes on the elliptical. I did cheat a bit today though. I had a bottle of wine, Rose to be exact. 

Day 5 was again a little bit different from day 1. I was getting a bit tired of the special k for breakfast, it’s not really my favorite thing anyway, so I had eggs with lots of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I also had a bit of mayonnaise. I ate pickles and V8 today, but no coffee or tea, and went to Tumamoc again.


After 5 days on the standard low carb diet, I lost almost 6 pounds. I lost 5.9 pounds. I started at 170 exactly, and my weight at the end was 164.1. Now I am not guaranteeing that everyone would lose this much weight, and probably a lot of people wouldn’t, it depends on the unique makeup of your body. But I was very happy with the way this diet worked for me. If you would like to find out how much weight you can lose in 2 weeks on a low carb diet, you can find an article here that I wrote on the topic.

I was never too hungry, the good thing about a low carb diet is that you get to eat a lot of protein and it fills you up while being low calorie at the same time. I was worried that the diet in this book would not be low carb enough to really lose weight, but it definitely was. I found the not drinking part to be harder than the not eating pasta part, but not drinking alcohol, or at least not drinking much alcohol, is a part of virtually every diet (although there is one weird diet from the 60’s called the “drinking man’s diet” that allows you to have a few martinis). I did make it 4 of the days without drinking though, I only drank one day of the diet, and I still ended up losing a lot of weight, so it didn’t matter in the end.

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