If you are new to keto and are looking for some guidance on starting, you have come to the right place. Following a ketogenic lifestyle brings a lot of benefits, such as weight loss and fewer cravings. Starting a new eating pattern can be overwhelming, but we hope this guide helps get established for 4-weeks into a low-carb diet.
This article will tell you everything you need to know on following a keto diet for the next 4 weeks. Here are some of the topics that you will learn:
This eating plan is a low-carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet you follow for the next 28 days. It follows the macronutrient ratio of a normal keto diet.
Staying within your calories and macronutrient intake is low-carb to ensure a ketogenic state. Carbohydrates are the ones you need to control highly since a regular keto diet has an average of 25-50 g of total daily carbs. Surpassing this amount could make you leave your ketosis state.
Not all people are recommended to follow a ketogenic meal plan. Pregnant and lactating women are not advised to pursue this type of eating pattern. People with type 1 diabetes are also advised not to follow this lifestyle.
Following a low-carb diet brings a lot of benefits. The first one is the most common and why normally people decide to go into this type of eating pattern. The main advantage is weight loss. There are some other benefits from following a low-carb eating plan.
The benefits of following a low-carb meal plan are endless. The advantage is that you won’t have to wait 28 days to see the benefits. You get them from week one.
Although there are a lot of benefits to following a low-carb meal plan, there are a lot of disadvantages you need to consider. Here is a list of the most common side effects that you might find starting a 4-week meal plan.
Before you start planning your meals, there are a couple of steps we must take into account. Here are the steps when looking to go from a high-carb diet to a low-carb one.
It is essential to understand which foods you can add regularly and which would be best to avoid.
First, let’s start with those foods that we are going to base your menu on. Veggies, fats, and protein are the key food groups we are going to add.
On the veggies list, you can add any non-starchy veggie that you like. They are high in fiber and low in calories, the perfect thing to add when following a low-carb plan! You can add eggplant, lettuce, zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and kale. The list goes on and on with the limitless possibilities.
Fats are going to be your main energy source. Thus we want to include them in large quantities. No wonder they provide 70-80% of your total calories. You can include:
Try to focus more on the unsaturated fats, which are the ones that mainly come from plant sources. Your saturated fats (from animal sources) should be no more than 10% of your total calories.
Protein is an important macronutrient that helps you maintain your muscle mass and provide satiety. Add any of the following foods at each meal time.
Now that we know which foods to add, let’s talk about those foods we want to avoid.
The main food group we are going to avoid are highly processed and high in sugar foods. Here is a list of the foods that we are going to avoid.
They are high in carbs which could result in throwing your macronutrients off. Besides being high in carbs, they are not so high in nutrients. That is the main reason we try to avoid them.
There are other carb sources we can add once in while and if you control the portion sizes. Legumes, starchy vegetables, and whole grains can be part of a healthy keto diet. You just have to measure the portion size and subtract the carbs from your daily amount.
Having a shopping list is essential when you go grocery shopping. It allows you to stay focused on the foods you will get and prevent adding more than necessary.
First, we are going to add the proteins that can be stored in the freezer, and you can take them out whenever you need them.
Now, let’s go with fats—our primary energy source.
Finally, we get to add the fresh produce.
Here is one day of an example in a 28-day keto meal plan. Remember to have variety in each meal throughout the month.
Calories: 1,536 | Macros: 36 g net carbs, 95.9 g protein, and 107 g fat.
|BREAKFAST||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Scrambled eggs with chives, tomatoes and parmesan cheese||Eggs||3 units||215||1.1||18.9||14.2|
|Olive oil||1 tablespoon||69||1.5||2.5||6|
|Parmesan cheese||1 tablespoon||21||0.7||1.4||1.4|
|Cherry tomatoes||1/2 cup||14||1.6||0.4||0|
|320||5 g||23.2 g||21.6 g|
|MORNING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|328||5.2 g||12 g||28.2 g|
|LUNCH||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Asparagus with lemon chicken||Asparagus||1 cup||27||2.4||3||0.2|
|Olive oil||1/2 tablespoon||60||0||0||6.8|
|Lemon juice||1 tablespoon||3||1||0||0|
|354||4.4 g||35.4 g||21.7 g|
|EVENING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Sour cream and strawberries||Strawberries||1 cup halves||49||8.7||1||0.5|
|Sour cream||1/4 cup||113||2.7||1.4||11.2|
|162||11.4 g||2.4 g||11.7 g|
|DINNER||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Keto poke bowl||Salmon||3 oz||108||0||17.4||3.7|
|Sesame oil||1 teaspoon||40||0||0||4.5|
|Soy sauce||1 teaspoon||4||0.3||0.6||0|
|Lemon juice||1 tablespoon||3||1||0||0|
|372||10 g||22.9 g||23.8 g|
|DAILY TOTALS||1,536 cal||36 g net carbs||95.9 g protein||107 g fat|
Do you still have some questions left regarding a 4-week keto diet? Here are the frequently asked questions. I hope it helps!
You can lose up to 2-4 kg (5-10 pounds) during 28 days.
In the first few days/weeks you may notice a considerable drop in your weight, this is mostly water weight loss from avoiding carbs. This weight loss may slow, but having a drastic weight loss can lead to an unwanted weight loss resulting from lean mass. Slow and steady is better!
The best results are the ones you can keep for long periods.
You can do a low-carb diet for only 28 days. However, I regularly advise that the best results are where the eating pattern is part of your lifestyle. Having sustainable eating habits is beneficial to prevent yo-yo dieting.
Once you have followed the diet plan for 28 days, you can continue this eating pattern as long as you want.
You can plan the month with new recipes or repeat some of the ones you liked during the month. As long as you keep planning, this helps create the habit and make it easier.
As long as you have the necessary calories and the right macros during the day, you can have 3, 4, or 5 meal times per day.
During the first couple of weeks, make sure to keep track of everything you eat to make sure you stay within your daily macro budget. As long as this is held, you can have as many or as few meals per day.
The first few weeks of keto you might feel a little bit sluggish. It’s recommended you take it easy, especially during week 1. Do some light walking or low-impact exercise while your body gets used to using ketones as an energy source.
After the first week, you may feel well enough to exercise how you normally do. Just make sure to always listen to your body.
There are several benefits that can come after following the keto plan for just 4 weeks. It can help you lose extra weight while decreasing your cravings, increasing your intake of healthy foods, and improving your energy.
Following a new diet for a fixed number of days can be a powerful motivator. You have something concrete to aim towards, and you experience a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when you cross the finish line. Ideally, you will continue with this new way of eating once the 28 days are over, using the challenge as a transition into a new, healthier lifestyle.