Whenever dieting or weight loss comes up in conversation, it is likely that the ketogenic diet is brought up as well.
This is because this low-carb, high-fat diet is one of the most effective techniques for people all over the world to lose weight and improve health.
The ketogenic plan has been shown to favor the treatment of certain health conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's disease.
Whether you’re a keto beginner or in need of a refresher, this article outlines the basics of a one-week keto diet, the benefits and drawbacks, what foods you should eat and which to exclude, a shopping list, and much more.
Generally speaking, the keto diet is very low in carbohydrates, high in fat, and moderate in protein. It is customary to limit net carbohydrates on a ketogenic diet to 20-50 grams per day.
Each individual’s personal daily limits for each macronutrient (fat, carbs, protein) are different, depending on things like age, weight, level activity, and goals. You can use our free keto calculator to get your personalized macros.
Fats will replace the bulk of your carbohydrates and provide roughly 70-80% of your overall calorie consumption. It's important to eat the healthy kind (more about this below) and avoid saturated fats.
Around 20% of your calories should come from protein, while your carbohydrate intake will be reduced to 5-10%.
By restricting carbohydrate intake to very low levels, your body is forced to use fats as the primary energy source. This is a metabolic state referred to as ketosis.
Keep in mind: It's crucial to keep your protein intake in check. This is because if you eat too much protein, it will be turned to glucose, which will slow down your ketosis.
Helpful hint: Intermittent fasting may also help you enter ketosis more quickly. Intermittent fasting can take various forms, but the most typical includes restricting food consumption to about 8 hours each day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
The ketogenic diet offers a number of health advantages.
Because carbohydrates are usually the body's main source of energy, limiting carbs causes your body to burn up the carb reserves in your muscles and liver, known as glycogen, within a few days.
Following that, your body enters a metabolic state known as ketosis, in which it burns ketones derived from food fat or stored body fat as its major fuel source.
This transition, in which your glycogen stores are depleted and you switch to ketones, generally takes less than a week, which is why many people see significant weight reduction within a week of the initial start date.
Weight loss during the first week of keto happens partly due to water loss, as well as the diet’s ability to lower appetite and enhance satiety, which is beneficial when attempting to lose weight. Dieters have also noted drops in blood sugar and insulin levels, and improved sleeping patterns within the first week.
There are some adverse effects experienced within the first few days as your body adjusts to the ketogenic diet.
Within the first week, many people experience what is known as the "keto flu,” which can cause symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and lethargy.
However, after a few days of allowing your body to adjust to fat as its fuel source, this flu-like state generally subsides.
Some people feel hungrier than usual and experience intense cravings in the first week of drastically restricting carbohydrate intake.
Others already begin to experience a loss of appetite, which becomes more common in later weeks.
Within the first 7 days, as your body quickly burns through glycogen, which is the energy form stored in the liver and muscles, you may feel tired and low on energy.
Another risk is dehydration.
As glycogen stores are depleted, the body switches to fat burning and the pounds start to drop off. However, since much of this is water weight, it is easy to get dehydrated. For this reason, it is crucial to stay hydrated within the first week in order to maintain proper fluid balance.
Each person is different, so by the end of week 1 of keto your body may still be transitioning into ketosis, or may be well on its way to adaptation. You might experience the keto flu, or you may quickly adapt and start feeling the benefits of ketosis.
Getting started on the ketogenic diet may be difficult, but with the right resources to guide you, the transition doesn’t have to be so daunting.
Helpful tips to get started on your keto journey:
In addition to recipes and meal ideas that you may use to create your own 7-day easy keto meal plan, many websites, food blogs, apps, and cookbooks include keto-friendly recipes and meal ideas.
You may also opt for meal delivery services, which may provide low-carb alternatives for a quick and easy way to enjoy keto meals at home.
If you're pressed for time, consider nutritious keto frozen meals. You can buy these ready-to-go, or freeze leftovers when you make a recipe yourself.
When attending social events or visiting relatives, carrying your own food can make it much simpler to suppress cravings and stay on track with your meal plan.
Focus on fresh, whole, single-ingredient unprocessed food items. Steer clear of processed meals/foods, unhealthy fats, and diet foods.
Foods to eat
Your ketogenic meals should be based on these foods:
Foods to eat in moderation on occasion
Be careful to control your portion size so you don’t go over your daily carb limit.
Foods to avoid
Low-carb foods are a fantastic way to replace high-carb foods. At first, this may seem impossible, but with the help of online resources, you’ll find it gets easier and easier to find food alternatives that fit the requirements of the keto diet.
Low-carb alternatives to:
*Although vegetable oils are low-carb, keep in mind that cold-pressed oils like extra virgin olive oil contain more beneficial nutrients (like polyphenols) than oils extracted using heat and/or solvents
For a ketogenic diet to be complete, it must contain a variety of fresh produce, healthy fats, and proteins. The combination of fresh and frozen food will guarantee that you have a steady supply of keto-friendly veggies and fruits to use in your dishes as part of your low-carb menu plan for a week.
Sample keto week 1 shopping list to help you navigate the supermarket aisles:
Using a low-carb grocery list for 7-day meal prep is an easy way to avoid unhealthy temptations. You only go to the supermarket once a week, so there’s less risk of impulse buying in the check-out line and around the store.
In general, it’s a good idea to prepare some or all of your one week of keto meals in advance. That way, it’s easier to stick to your plan even if you have a busy day and don’t have time to cook.
Here are some meal ideas so you can see how well these keto-friendly ingredients go together.
Breakfast: Keto omelet
Lunch: Oven-roasted chicken with vegetables
Evening snack: Macadamia nuts
Dinner: Pesto-baked salmon salad
Calories: 1,633 | Total Macros: 24.2 g net carbs, 107.9 g protein, and 122.6 g fat.
|BREAKFAST||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Keto omelet||Avocado||1/2 avocado (101g)||161||1.8||2||14.8|
|Green pepper||1/2 cup||9||1||0.5||0|
|LUNCH||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Oven-roasted chicken breast||100g||1580||32.1||3.2|
|Oven-roasted chicken with broccoli and Brussels sprouts||Brussels sprouts||60g||22||4.3||1.5||0.3|
|EVENING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|DINNER||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Pesto-baked salmon salad||Arugula, raw||80g||20||2.9||2.1||0.5|
|Lemon juice||2 teaspoon (10.2g)||2||0.1||0||0|
|DAILY TOTALS||1,633 cal||24.2 g net carbs||107.9g protein||122.6g fat|
See the answers to common questions people have about following this eating plan.
Ketosis and ketoacidosis are commonly confused by many. Despite the fact that ketoacidosis can be deadly, ketosis on a ketogenic diet is generally viewed as safe for healthy individuals to follow. That said, any new diet should be discussed with your doctor to assess potential risks.
It's possible to lose muscle on any diet. When it comes to muscle loss, protein consumption and higher ketone levels may assist, especially for weightlifters.
Your body may not be using fats and ketones properly, or you may not fully be in ketosis. Reducing your carbohydrate consumption will help you combat this. A MCT oil or ketones supplement may also assist.
There is no need to be alarmed. This is a result of quite a normal biological process, wherein ketosis by-products are excreted through the urine.
This is a very low-carb diet, but that doesn’t mean you won’t eat any carbohydrates at all. If you have a hankering for a higher carb food every once in awhile, you’ll likely be able to eat a small portion of it and still stay under your daily limit.
Some people also choose to do keto cycling, where you have 1 or 2 days a week to eat more carbs. But you should be aware that this can take you out of ketosis.
It’s important to keep in mind that each person’s body is different, and there is no way to say for sure. To give you a general idea of what’s possible, between 2 and 10 pounds is a typical amount to lose in the first week. Most of this is water weight.
One week is just the beginning! Take a look at longer meal plans to fuel your keto journey.