If you’re looking to get started with the keto diet, you’ve come to the right place. We understand that starting a new diet can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help beginners get started with the keto diet. In this guide, we’ll cover everything from what the keto diet is, how it works, and how to create a meal plan that works for you.
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet, short for ketogenic diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has been shown to help with weight loss and improve certain health conditions. The goal of the diet is to put your body into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
When you limit your intake of carbohydrates, your body is forced to use fat for energy. This process produces molecules called ketones, which your body uses for energy instead of glucose. By following a strict low-carb, high-fat diet, you can train your body to burn fat for energy and enter a state of ketosis.
Creating a Keto Meal Plan
Creating a keto meal plan can seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little planning, you can create a meal plan that is both delicious and nutritious.
- Calculate Your Macros
The first step in creating a keto meal plan is to calculate your macros. Macros, short for macronutrients, are the three main nutrients your body needs to function: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
To enter a state of ketosis, you need to limit your carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams per day. Your protein intake should be moderate, and your fat intake should be high. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a macronutrient ratio of 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
- Choose Your Foods
Once you’ve calculated your macros, it’s time to choose the foods you’ll eat on the keto diet. The keto diet is a high-fat diet, so you’ll want to focus on foods that are high in healthy fats, such as:
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Butter and cream
- Fatty fish
You’ll also want to choose foods that are low in carbohydrates, such as:
- Leafy greens
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage)
- Meat and poultry
- Plan Your Meals
Now that you’ve chosen your foods, it’s time to plan your meals. A good way to start is by planning your meals for the week ahead. This will help you stay on track and avoid making impulsive food choices.
When planning your meals, aim for a variety of foods to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs. You can also use online resources and apps to help you plan your meals and track your macros.
- Prepare Your Meals
Once you’ve planned your meals, it’s time to prepare them. Meal prep can be a great way to save time and ensure you always have healthy food on hand.
When meal prepping, cook large batches of food and divide them into individual portions. This will make it easy to grab a healthy meal when you’re short on time.
- Monitor Your Progress
Finally, it’s important to monitor your progress on the keto diet. This will help you make adjustments to your meal plan as needed and ensure you’re on track to reach your goals.
Some things to track include your weight, body measurements, and how you feel. You can also use a food diary to track what you eat and your macros.
So you have found the ketogenic diet, have figured out your macros and you are itching to get started. Here is a ketogenic diet meal plan for one week. If you are just getting situated use this basic plan to help get going.
I HAVE LOST 45 POUNDS IN 4 MONTHS WITH A KETOGENIC DIET
I just started MONTH five of a ketogenic diet(45 lbs lost). I’m by no means an expert. I am now 46 years old and I have spent my entire life trying to lose weight. Ironically I have also spent years learning about nutrition and exercise. Figuring out macronutrients just comes naturally to me as I have done it so much over my life. By following a keto diet is the first time I have seen any real success in losing unwanted pounds. This is despite years of working out and being active.
I have had a very successful go of it so far, and I feel that a lot of you who are trying to get started with a ketogenic diet may get overwhelmed and confused with all of the numbers and information that is coming at you. Hence this ketogenic diet meal plan. It is what I am doing to keep things simple. I am a guy. I need simple.
For me, I think that success with a keto diet is found by having some base meals and adding some variety later on if needed. Hell, I eat the same thing pretty much every day. Not too exciting but losing 45 pounds in 4 months IS exciting, so I am sticking with it. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
7-DAY KETO DIET GROCERY LIST
The daily meals will be bacon and eggs, chicken with vegetables, and beef with vegetables. These are base meals and will provide good macros for some people. For others who need more food(fat), you can just add a keto-friendly snack or 2 to get your macros up to where they need to be. This is what I need to do.
- A dozen eggs.
- A package of bacon.
- Butter. (real butter)
- A pack of boneless SKIN ON chicken thighs
- 1 onion.
- 1 bell pepper (Green, red, yellow, that’s your choice.)
- Two bulbs of garlic. (Optional, but very heart-healthy.)
- A big bag of mixed frozen vegetables, at least 12 cups worth. If you are not sure what to get, just pick something else that’s keto friendly like frozen broccoli.)
- a bag of almonds, and a jar of almond butter (very expensive – the cheapest I can find is 10$ for 750g at Costco).
- A package of beef. You want to find some kind of beef that you can imagine cutting/dividing into 6 equal portions of about 5.5 ounces each(a bit bigger than a deck of cards.)
I AM ACTUALLY COOKING. WELL…SOME
I am not much for cooking but I am doing better. A ketogenic diet meal plan does work better when you have food ready to go. It takes the guesswork out, and we need to keep this as simple as possible to succeed.
- Put the 12 thighs into the oven with all the cloves from a bulb of garlic. You should separate the cloves, but you don’t need to skin them. The heat from the oven will do that nicely, and you can peel them when you eat them.
- While the thighs are cooking, hard boil the eggs. Then set them aside to cool.
- Take a skillet, put some butter in it, and then fry up the bacon. (Note: Some might argue that butter isn’t needed. In my experience, you can either grease up that pan somehow, or your first strips of bacon will come out burnt.)
- Dice up half the onion, and save the other half for next week.
- Cut up the pepper
- You might need to take the chicken out at this point. If it’s done, pull it out, and let it cool.
- In the skillet (I love to use the bacon grease as a base) sauté the pepper and half onion, and another bulb’s worth of garlic cloves. (leave the skin on, just like before.)
- Add the beef and brown it.
GETTING THE MEALS TOGETHER
- Wash/rinse out 12 containers.
- In 6 of them, put 2 chicken thighs each. Share the garlic between them, and evenly divide the fat juice.
- In the other 6 evenly spoon out the beef/pepper/onion mix.
- Take the veggie blend, and evenly pour it across the 12 containers, right on top of the meat.
- Put them all in your fridge. If you have minimal fridge space you could just put some in there, and then rest in your freezer. Just pull another out when you pull from the fridge.
- Pull out six plastic bags and put 2 hard-boiled eggs in each.
- Evenly divide your remaining bacon by 6.
- Now brown bag it, and put it in your fridge.
THE MACRONUTRIENTS OF THE KETOGENIC MENU PLAN
Right now you have 6 day’s worth of meals in your fridge
- 6 bags with 2 hard-boiled eggs and bacon
- 6 containers of thighs/veggies
- 6 containers of Beef/Veggies
Okay, so this is only 6 days. Make extra for day 7 OR you can try to get creative and plan your own meals. Ruled. I have some awesome keto recipes if you are feeling brave.
*I messed up. The macros of each “meal” above are too high in protein and too low in fat so reduce the amount of meat in each meal by about half AND add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to each meal(or some cheese). Please forgive me!!
For this base ketogenic meal plan I am going to use the following macronutrient profile that I helped someone set up for themselves:
TOTAL CALORIES- 1570
- Net carbs – 20g per day
- Protein – 80 g per day
- Fat – 130 g per day
Now divide each of those by 3(for 3 meals per day) and you get:
- ≈7 net carbs per meal
- ≈26 grams of protein per meal
- ≈44 grams of fat per meal
Omg, so much math! If you halve the protein in each meal you will be pretty close to these totals PER MEAL!
Personally, I need more protein and fat each day and so will some of you. So I add in some snacks, cheese, or keto fudge during the day to get my macros up where they need to be. I also drink homemade Bulletproof coffee which for me is:
- 1 cup coffee
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tbsp full-fat coconut milk(in a can)
This adds about 25g of fat to my day.
If you got hungry on Day One between breakfast and lunch, or lunch and supper while you’re still at work eat more fat!
You may also want to consider adding these fat-boosting strategies:
- Full fat cream, butter, coconut oil, and MCT oil in your coffee.
- Put a tablespoon of mayonnaise on the chicken while it’s baking.
- Top the vegetables with some cheese before reheating.
SALT AND ELECTROLYTES WITH THE KETOGENIC DIET
It’s also worth pointing out that you may want to consider taking a multivitamin with the ketogenic diet meal plan. It is very low on Vitamins B1, D, E, and K. Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, and Potassium are also very low, but we need to manage those as part of our electrolyte strategy anyways on keto.
Do not omit essential electrolytes: Sodium (Na+), Chloride (Cl-), Potassium (K+), Magnesium (Mg++), Calcium (Ca++), Phosphate (HPO4–), Bicarbonate (HCO3-). Lack of electrolytes or more pointedly the body’s primary electrolyte sodium (aka Salt) is responsible for lethargy, brain fog, and keto flu symptoms on high fats diets.
It would be best if you are aiming for at least 8 cups of water a day. I have a 600ml bottle and I empty it at least 10 times a day. That is a lot of water and yes I am going to the bathroom a lot. Carbs hold water, so minimal carbs, will speed up the flushing of water. So even more bathroom breaks.
BUT HOW DO I KEEP TRACK OF ALL OF THIS?!
The “easiest” way to actually track your eating(and thus your macros) for your ketogenic diet meal plan is to set up a free account with MyFitnessPal.
This app is both web-based and/or you can use it with your phone. I cannot stress the importance of tracking what you eat. Doing this has made all the difference in the world for me and is a huge part of my keto diet success.
Once you get your account set up you just enter the food you eat and the app calculates your total consumption for each macro and your total calories. There is also a “bar code scanner” as part of the app. You use your phone to “scan” the bar code of the food you are eating and it enters it into your daily eating plan. Genius!
I am proof that a ketogenic diet works. I also know that it can be confusing as hell trying to deal with all of the numbers and then figuring out what to eat. I am hoping that this 7-Day Ketogenic Diet Meal Plan will help you to stay calm(at least a little bit) and focused on your fat loss goals.