Keto Diet Plan For Weight Loss

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Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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Worldwide rates of overweight and obesity have been increasing for decades, so if you are looking to lose weight, you are not alone.

Since being overweight or obese is a risk factor for many serious health problems, losing weight can go a long way in improving your health.

Diet is only one piece of the puzzle, but it’s a powerful one. 

With keto, an interesting thing happens. Not only do you lose weight due to cutting carbs and feeling less hungry thanks to ketones (more about that later), it’s also common to start eating healthier whole foods and learning to cook them yourself. 

Since many ultra processed foods are no longer an option, you are pushed towards preparing more meals from scratch, using whole food ingredients.

In this article, you will find a ketogenic diet plan for weight loss with plenty of tips to help you start this journey. 

Learn how keto works, its benefits and drawbacks, foods to eat and avoid, and see a complete one-day meal plan with macros. 

Let’s get started!


What is the keto diet plan for weight loss?

The ketogenic diet programme for weight loss is a low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat meal plan with a reduced calorie intake. 

It follows the traditional macro breakdown of a ketogenic diet of 5-10% carbs, 20% protein, and 70-80% fats. 

To lose weight on keto or any diet, you need a caloric deficit, meaning you eat less calories than your body needs to maintain the same weight. 

For this plan, your caloric intake should be around 20% less than your maintenance calories. This means that if you have a maintenance requirement of 2,500 kcal, you should consume 2,000 kcal daily. 

Not sure how many calories you need? Use our free keto macros calculator and set the calorie deficit at 20%.


Benefits of a keto diet plan for weight loss

Following a keto diet programme for weight loss can bring several benefits. Here are some of those benefits you might experience. 

  • Lose weight. The most important benefit you get is dropping those extra pounds. 
  • Improved sleep. People often report improved sleep when following a low-carb diet. 
  • Increased energy. While you might experience lower energy levels in the first couple of days as your body adapts, many people find they have more steady energy throughout the day, instead of having spikes and slumps.
  • Reduced cravings. It’s not uncommon to crave carbs and sugar when you first change your eating habits. However, know that this is not going to last very long. There is a significant reduction in cravings when following a keto diet. 
  • Reduction in chronic illnesses. When followed correctly (prioritizing plant-based fats over saturated fats and limiting processed foods), a keto diet can help to reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other heart diseases. 


Drawbacks of a keto diet plan for weight loss 

Everything has pros and cons, and keto is no exception. 

Just as there are many benefits, there are some drawbacks you need to consider before you start. 

Here are some of the most common ones you might experience.

  • Keto flu. During the first few days, you could have symptoms like headache, nausea, foggy brain, and fatigue. There are steps you can take to avoid this, like drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep, and replenishing electrolytes. 
  • Nutrient deficiency. When you cut back on carbs, you can experience a nutrient reduction. To keep this from happening, make sure you have at least three different colored vegetables each day. 
  • Constipation. Less carbs can often mean less fiber. This can lead to constipation. Eat vegetables and other low-carb foods that contain fiber and aim for 20 to 30 g of fiber per day.
  • Difficult to sustain. Some people might have a hard time applying this eating plan as a lifestyle. Social gatherings and eating out can be challenging, especially at first. 

How to start the keto diet plan for weight loss

Before we dig into the foods to eat and avoid, we first need to know how to start the ketogenic diet plan for weight loss. 

First, you need to determine your caloric intake. Once you figure out your maintenance calories based on your age, weight, height, and activity levels, you can determine how many calories you need to reduce. 

You are not recommended to reduce more than 20% of your calories since eating too little can force your body to use muscle for energy, which decreases your muscle mass. This type of weight loss is not something we want. 

Once you know your calories to lose weight, you can determine how many grams of each macro you need. Remember that it is broken down into the following percentages:

  • Carbs: 5-10% 
  • Protein: 20%
  • Fats: 70-80%

The easiest way to set up your macros is to use an online keto calculator. 

Finally, when you know how many grams of each macro you need, you can start planning your meals. We recommend planning each week ahead of time to help you stay within your goals. This allows you to control your carb intake thoroughly and avoid affecting your ketosis levels.

Before you buckle down and stick to your macros, it can be helpful to start with small steps toward keto and ease into the diet gradually. 




Foods to eat and avoid

Now it’s time to learn about which foods are good for keto and which ones you want to avoid. 

First, let’s talk about what low-carb foods you can enjoy. 

Fats are the macronutrient you need to consume in the highest amount (70-80% of your calories come from fats). That is why you need to make sure you include a large quantity of these in your diet. 

Include healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fish oils. Other fats like butter, ghee, sour cream, mayo, and cream cheese should be eaten in moderation because replacing saturated fats in the diet with unsaturated ones can reduce your risk for heart disease.

A good rule of thumb to remember is that plant-based fats and those from fish are healthiest. Dairy and other fats from land animals contain more saturated fat.

You need proteins to help support your muscle mass, increase your fullness levels, and increase your metabolism. 

Make sure that there is a protein source in every meal. Foods like eggs, Greek yogurt, cheese, chicken, meat, fish, and seafood are all great options. It is possible to be vegetarian on keto, but pay special attention to protein. Many vegetarians and vegans are used to getting protein from legumes like lentils and beans, which can only be eaten in small quantities on keto due to their high carbohydrate content.

Vegetables are the main food group that will provide you with fiber and essential nutrients that your body needs without adding a significant amount of calories. To avoid having nutrient deficiencies, make sure you include at least three different colored vegetables throughout the day. 

Some low-carb fruits can be included in a keto diet, but you need to control the portion size and have them in moderation. While they can also provide you with essential nutrients, they are higher in carbs and sugars. 

Nowadays, there are lots of packaged foods that claim to be keto or low-carb. While these foods may not kick you out of ketosis, they are not the best options for your health.
Try to eat real food most of the time. This means vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries, plain yogurt, fish and seafood, and fresh cuts of poultry or meat (as opposed to deli meats, hot dogs, or other processed meats). 

Now, let’s talk about those foods you want to avoid

  • High-carb foods like potatoes, bread, corn, and rice should be avoided on a keto diet. 
  • Foods and drinks high in sugars, like cookies, pastries, candies, cakes, soda, and fruit juice  should be avoided since they are very high in carbs and calories. 

If you have a sweet tooth that can’t be tamed, it is possible to make baked goods using low-carb ingredients like alternative flours and sugar-free sweeteners. However, these should be eaten in limited amounts since they do not provide your body with many nutrients.


Shopping list

It’s time for my favorite activity. 

Grocery shopping!

Now that you know which foods you can eat and which ones to avoid, it is easier to determine what you should purchase at your grocery store. 

Here is a shopping list to make it easier the next time you restock your pantry and fridge. 


  • Avocado oil
  • Olive oil
  • Olives
  • Avocado
  • Almonds, pistachios, peanuts, walnuts
  • Chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds
  • Coconut oil
  • Ghee or butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream 


  • Eggs
  • Chicken 
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Meat 
  • Pork
  • Greek yogurt
  • Protein shake 
  • Tofu


  • Leafy greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower 
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant 
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Tomato
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Okra
  • Bamboo shoots 


  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries


1-day sample keto meal plan for weight loss

Here is a one-day sample meal plan to help you start a slimming journey. You can make the necessary adjustments regarding your calorie intake. 

  • Breakfast: veggie omelet 
  • Morning snack: carrot sticks with guacamole
  • Lunch: zucchini noodles with turkey meatballs
  • Evening snack: protein shake with coconut and raspberries
  • Dinner: chicken breast with cauliflower fried rice 

1,408 calories | Total Macros: 43 g net carbs – 104 g protein – 82 g fats

BREAKFAST Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Cheese omelet Eggs 3 units 215 1.1 18.9 14.2
  Olive oil 1/2 tablespoon 60 0 0 6.8
  Broccoli 1/4 cup 7 0.5 0.5 0
  Cherry tomato 1/2 cup 14 1.6 0.4 0
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
296 3.2 g 19.8 g 21 g            
MORNING SNACK Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Carrot sticks with guacamole Carrot sticks 1 cup 50 2.9 1.1 0.3
  Guacamole 70 g 108 1.4 1.4 9.9
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
158 9.7 g 2.5 g 10.2 g            
LUNCH Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Meatballs with zucchini noodles Zucchini 1 medium 33 4.1 2.3 0.6
  Olive oil 1/2 tablespoon 60 0 0 6.8
  Cherry tomatoes 1/2 cup 14 1.6 0.4 0
  Ground turkey 4 oz 167 0 22.3 8.6
  Fresh basil 1 tablespoon 0 0 0 0
   Garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon 5 1 0.2 0
   Onion powder 1/2 teaspoon 4 0.8 0.1 0
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
283 7.5 g 25.3 g 16.0 g            
EVENING SNACK Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Protein shake with raspberries Protein powder 1/2 scoop 54 1 12.1 0.2
  Coconut drink 1 cup 76 7.1 0.5 5.1
  Raspberries 1 cup 64 6.6 1.5 0.8
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
194 14.7 g 14.1 g 6.1 g            
DINNER Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Chicken breast with cauliflower fried rice Chicken 1 unit 287 0 40 12.8
  Cauliflower 1/2 cup 13 1.6 1 0.1
  Carrots 1/4 cup 11 1.9 0.2 0
  Olive oil 1/ tablespoon 60 0 0 6.8
  Onions 1 slice 15 3 0.4 0
  Garlic 1 clove 4 1 0.2 0
  Soy sauce 1 teaspoon 4 0.3 0.6 0
  Sesame oil 2 teaspoons 80 0 0 9
  Ginger 1/2 teaspoon 3 0.5 0 0
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
477 8.3 g 42.4 g 28.7 g            
DAILY TOTALS   1,408 cal 43.4 g net carbs 104.1 g protein 82 g fat




Keto diet programme for weight loss FAQs

Do you still have questions about the keto diet plan and weight loss? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you out. 

The amount of weight you lose depends on each person. However, on average, you can lose 2 to 10 pounds in the first week and 1-2 pounds per week after that. Most of the drop in the first week is due to water loss. 

Yes, the ketogenic diet can help reduce belly fat by oxidizing fat (burning fat). 

Your body uses your fat storage as a way to provide your body with energy. Along with some exercise, you can significantly reduce your belly fat. 

It might take you 3 to 5 days to enter ketosis.
During the first couple of days, you can see a significant loss of weight due to water loss. After the first week, your body is now more adapted to ketones, so it is easier to see some significant weight loss coming from your fat stores. 

Calories are important. For you to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit. This means eating fewer calories than your body needs to maintain. 

If you eat more calories than you need, you will actually gain weight, even if you are eating keto-friendly foods.
So if you want to keep track of this deficit, then tracking calories may be helpful to you. 

The good news is that many people feel fuller sooner and for longer on keto due to the increased fat intake. This often means that you eat less calories, because you don’t feel the need to snack throughout the day.

Yes, you can lose weight on keto without exercising as long as you control your calories. 

However, exercise brings other benefits besides getting slimmer to the table. It improves mood, supports muscle mass, and keeps your heart healthy. 

During the first days, you might experience keto flu, which shows up in symptoms like headache, foggy brain, fatigue, and nausea. However, they tend to go away after the first 3 to 5 days.