Struggling to reach your weight loss goals? The keto diet plan may be the answer you're looking for. This famous diet calls for reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with healthy fats, which helps your body enter a metabolic state called ketosis.
Being in ketosis means that your body is using fat as its primary energy source instead of glucose. Not only does this help you reduce body fat and lose weight faster, but it can also reduce hunger and sugar cravings, giving you increased energy throughout the day!
If you stay consistent with keto dieting, many people experience improved health outcomes like lowered cholesterol and even better mental clarity. Give the keto diet plan a try today and see how it could help you achieve your weight loss goals in no time.
While it can be intimidating at first, the good news is that restarting your health and fitness journey through a Keto Reboot only takes 7 days. This week-long keto diet plan designed specifically for beginners provides an easy way to get started on nutrition and health goals so you can reach your potential for success with the diet.
Keep reading to learn what foods are included in the 7-day Ketogenic Diet Plan for beginners, how caloric intake works with this type of diet, possible side effects and benefits, and some tips from professional athletes who use keto in their training programs.
What is Keto?
Keto is a low-carb, high-fat dietary approach to health and weight loss. It focuses on consuming keto-friendly foods to help one reach their desired body composition. The main principle behind this diet is that by decreasing your carb intake, your body will be forced to use fat as its primary energy source instead of carbohydrates.
When this happens, it enters a metabolic state called ketosis, where it begins to break down stored fat for fuel. This process releases molecules known as ketones into the bloodstream, from which the diet gets its name.
The Keto diet was first developed in the 1920s by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic to treat epilepsy. Since then, more research has been done to explore how this dietary approach can be used not only for managing epilepsy but also for weight loss and improving overall health and well-being.
By reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing healthy fats like avocado and olive oil while consuming moderate amounts of protein, followers of the Keto diet can reduce their risk factors for certain diseases while still enjoying the food they enjoy eating, such as bacon and butter!
Furthermore, studies have shown that those who follow keto may experience improved mental clarity and focus due to the increased production of neurotransmitters associated with alertness and thinking skills.
Benefits of Ketosis
Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when the body does not have enough glucose from carbohydrates to produce energy and begins breaking down stored fat for energy instead. This process produces ketones, molecules produced as byproducts of fat burning, and can be used as an alternative energy source for the body.
Many benefits are associated with entering this state, including weight loss, improved physical performance, reduced inflammation, better blood sugar control, and enhanced mental clarity. Let us look into them in detail.
Increased Weight Loss
One of the most well-known benefits of ketosis is its ability to facilitate weight loss. This is accomplished by the body's use of stored fat as a primary source of energy instead of glucose, which is normally used as fuel. Lower insulin levels increase fatty acid oxidation, and more fat is used for energy production, leading to faster weight loss.
Additionally, when ketones are produced in the liver, they can help reduce appetite, making it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan and reduce caloric intake for greater weight loss results.
Related Article: Weight Loss Vs. Fat Loss: What's the Difference?
Improved Blood Sugar Regulation
Ketosis benefits people with diabetes and prediabetes because it helps regulate blood sugar levels better than low-carb diets. For example, ketone bodies can help decrease insulin resistance, causing increased glucose uptake into cells and improved glycemic control in diabetic patients.
Furthermore, studies have shown that following a ketogenic diet can reduce fasting blood glucose levels and A1C scores in those with type 2 diabetes.
Metabolic Health Benefits
Ketosis also promotes metabolic health benefits by positively influencing markers of metabolic syndrome such as inflammation, cholesterol levels, and triglycerides/HDL ratios. These effects are achieved through various mechanisms, such as increased fatty acid oxidation and improved lipid profiles or decreased hepatic gluconeogenesis resulting in reduced glucose production.
Additionally, ketone bodies can provide an alternative fuel source for tissues like the heart or brain during periods of carbohydrate restriction or fasting, which may improve their function and reduce the risk of disease over time.
Enhanced Cognitive Function
The brain requires certain nutrients to function correctly, and ketones are one type that may be especially beneficial for cognitive performance due to their ability to cross the blood-brain barrier more quickly than other fuels like glucose or fatty acids.
Studies have shown that individuals on a low-carb/ketogenic diet tend to experience improvements in memory recall, executive functions (planning & problem-solving), attention span, mental clarity & focus compared with those on high-carb diets.
Related Article: 9 Steps to Improve Mental Well-Being
Being in a state of ketosis can help suppress your appetite by reducing hunger hormones like ghrelin and increasing satiety hormones like leptin; this combination makes it easier for you to stay on track with your diet plans without feeling overly hungry or deprived all day long.
Additionally, many people report that having higher levels of energy from being in a state of ketosis helps them perform better throughout the day without frequent snacking or meals. Both factors contribute to successful long-term weight management efforts.
Ketogenic Potential Risks
Ketogenic diets involve a drastic reduction in carbohydrate intake, which is replaced with an increased fat intake. This diet induces ketosis, in which the body breaks down fat stores for energy instead of carbohydrates. While this can be beneficial for weight management and certain medical conditions, it may also carry some risks when not carefully monitored.
One potential risk of ketogenic diets is nutrient deficiencies. When most of one's daily caloric intake comes from fats, one may miss out on essential vitamins and minerals from other sources like fruits and vegetables.
This can lead to vitamin B12, zinc, potassium, and magnesium deficiencies, which are all important for proper bodily functioning. It's essential to supplement with these nutrients when following a keto diet or get them through whole foods like leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and fatty fish.
Another risk associated with ketogenic diets is increased cholesterol levels. Low-carbohydrate diets can cause LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) to increase while HDL (the "good" cholesterol) stays relatively low or even decreases slightly.
This could put individuals at an increased risk for heart disease if their overall cholesterol becomes too high or unbalanced. To avoid this problem on a keto diet, it is important to focus on healthy fat sources like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds while avoiding trans fats found in processed foods like fried snacks or fast food meals.
There is potential for dehydration on a low-carbohydrate diet due to increased urine production caused by excess ketones excreted by the kidneys. It's important to stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water or other unsweetened beverages such as herbal teas or sparkling water with lemon juice added for flavor.
Caffeinated drinks should also be limited as caffeine can cause further dehydration without proper hydration practices being followed first. Monitoring electrolyte levels regularly during the transition into ketosis can help ensure proper hydration levels are maintained as well.
Best Foods for Keto
Certain foods can help people reach and maintain ketosis more quickly and easily. Here are some of the best foods for keto:
Fats are an essential part of the keto diet because they provide the body with energy. Healthy fats like avocado oil, olive oil, butter, coconut oil, lard, and grass-fed ghee should be used liberally in cooking and baking. Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, sunflowers, and pumpkin seeds also provide healthy fats.
High-quality protein sources are necessary for the keto diet since they give your body essential amino acids to function optimally. Good sources include pastured eggs and fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel, grass-fed beef, or lamb. Other sources include poultry, pork, or wild game meat. Cheese is also a good source of protein but should be eaten in moderation due to its high-fat content.
Eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables is an easy method to increase your nutrient intake while keeping carbs low on a keto diet. Options include leafy greens such as kale or spinach; cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower; root vegetables such as carrots or turnips; mushrooms; tomatoes; eggplant; squash; zucchini; bell peppers; cucumbers and artichokes.
Some fruits can be included in a keto meal plan but should be consumed in moderation due to their higher sugar content than other foods allowed on a keto diet.
These include berries such as raspberries or blackberries; citrus fruits such as oranges or grapefruits; apples (with skin); peaches (with skin); pears (with skin); watermelon (sliced) and kiwi (sliced). All other fruits should be avoided due to their higher sugar content.
Dairy products can be a chunk of a healthy keto meal plan but should again be eaten in control due to their higher fat content.
Good choices include full-fat Greek yogurt, which contains probiotics that may support gut health, unsweetened almond milk, which contains fewer carbs than cow's milk, heavy cream, which provides rich flavor when added to recipes like soups or sauces and hard cheeses like cheddar or Parmesan which contain few carbs but a lot of flavors.
Low-Carb Noodles & Grains
Even though grains are typically discouraged on the keto diet plan due to their high carb content, some options are still available for noodle or grain alternatives lower in carbs than traditional varieties.
These include wheat pasta or white rice, shirataki noodles made from konjac yam flour, miracle noodles made from glucomannan, fiber powder derived from konjac yam flour, and riced cauliflower that can be used as a substitute for starchy white rice dishes like fried rice.
Foods to Completely Avoid When on a Keto
Eating the right foods is key to staying on a successful ketogenic diet, as it requires consuming a high-fat, low-carb, and moderate-protein diet. Knowing which foods to avoid is just as crucial as one wrong food item can quickly push you out of ketosis.
When following a Keto diet, it is important to avoid foods high in carbs, such as bread, cakes, pastries, grains, and cereals. You should avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn. Also, avoid fruit juices and smoothies, as these can contain hidden sugars that can derail your diet.
Sugar and Sweets
You should avoid added sugars and artificially-sweetened foods like diet sodas and sugar-free candy. Even natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup should be avoided since they contain too many carbs that can sabotage your efforts.
Refined Vegetable Oils
It is best to avoid highly processed vegetable oils like sunflower, corn, and soybean oil because they are loaded with omega-6 fatty acids, which may cause inflammation in the body if consumed in excess. Additionally, hydrogenated oils are another no-no because these have been linked to increased risk for heart disease.
Beans of any kind should be avoided when following a Keto diet since they are very high in carbohydrates and fiber, which slows down the rate at which your body burns fat for energy. In addition to beans, other legumes such as peanuts and chickpeas should also be avoided on this diet due to their high carb content.
7-Day Ketogenic Diet Plan for Beginners
Here is a sample 7-day keto diet food plan for beginners. You may divide the snacks in half or consume them all at once. You may repeat lunch/dinner on two more days. The aim is to keep your carbohydrate macros below 20% each day.
- Two slices of cooked bacon
- 2 large eggs boiled or steamed
- 1 avocado
- 2 tbsp Almond butter
- 1-ounce dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp Coconut butter
- 2 cups romaine salad
- 4 ounces Juicy & Tender Greek Style Chicken Breast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 ounces of grilled salmon
- Five-six asparagus spears
- 2 tablespoons of avocado oil for cooking
- One serving of Spinach Frittata
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut chunks
- 1-oz walnuts
- 1 cup of romaine salad
- 1 serving of Salsa Cream Dipping Sauce with Lime BBQ Chicken
- 1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese
- 2 servings of Spinach and Cheese casserole
- 2 tablespoons extra cream cheese
- 10 slices of small salami
Total calories: 1912
Carbohydrates: 44 g
- Two breakfast sausage
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
- 8 bacon rinds
- ½ avocado with bagel seasoning
- 2 cups of zucchini noodles cooked with 4 medium meatballs.
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces Juicy & Tender Greek Style Chicken Breast
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Protein: 105 g
Almond Butter Coconut Smoothie
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds
- ¼ cup strawberries
- 1-oz walnuts
- 4 ounces white tuna
- 2 tablespoons avocado mayonnaise
- 2 celery stalks
- 6 ounces of beef steak
- 1 cup green beans
Calories: 1977 calories
- Two eggs
- One clementine
- 1 ounce of walnuts
- 1 cucumber with 1 oz cheese
- 10 slices of small salami
- ¼ cup unsalted peanuts
- One serving of Salsa Cream Dipping Sauce With Lime BBQ Chicken Recipe
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- ¼ avocado, diced
- ¼ cup blue cheese
- 2 tablespoons blue cheese dressing
One serving of Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Calories: 1984 calories
Proteins: 119 g
Carbs: 53 g
- 7 ounces 2% plain Greek yogurt
- 1-oz cream
- 1-oz walnuts
- One avocado or ½ cup guacamole
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 2 eggs cooked of your choice with 3 slices of bacon
- One celery stick
- 2 cups zucchini noodles with 6-oz Shrimps
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Calories: 1756 calories
Protein: 111 g
- One serving of Spinach Firratta
- 3 bacon slices
- One scoop of whey protein powder
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds
- One serving of leftover turkey stuffed peppers
- Dessert: Keto Ice cream
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon full dark chocolate cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon stevia
- Mix and chill in the freezer before serving.
- One serving of zucchini and spinach noodles or lasagne topped with full-fat mozzarella
- 4 oz of grilled chicken
Some Tips for Following a Ketogenic Diet
Following a ketogenic diet, a high-fat and low-carbohydrate eating plan can be a great way to support your overall health and wellness goals. To ensure that you're getting the most out of this lifestyle change, it's essential to understand some tips for following a ketogenic diet.
One of the most important tips is to watch your caloric intake. Even if you're eating healthy fats and limiting carbs, consuming too many calories is still possible, which can cause weight gain or even prevent weight loss.
A good rule of thumb is to aim for approximately 20 grams of net carbohydrates daily and adjust as needed until you find what works best for your body.
Eat Enough Protein
Eating enough protein on a ketogenic diet is essential since it helps maintain lean muscle mass while promoting fat loss.
The total amount of protein will depend on individual needs, but some sources suggest that up to 35 percent of daily calories should come from lean protein sources like chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, and eggs.
Watching Portion Size
Another important tip is to be mindful of portion sizes when consuming meals high in fat and low in carbs. Eating more than the recommended portions can lead to excessive caloric intake and stall progress toward your weight loss goal.
A strategy could be making sure half of your plate consists of vegetables and then splitting the other half between protein sources (lean meats) and healthy fats (nuts/seeds).
Finally, finding ways to stay motivated throughout the journey can make all the difference in achieving long-term success with a ketogenic diet. Setting reachable short-term goals, such as tracking progress by monitoring measurements or taking photos before starting, can help keep motivation levels high while continuing toward better health.
1. How long should I stay on a keto diet?
It is important to note that how long you stay on a ketogenic diet depends mainly on your health goals. Some individuals may succeed with short-term diets lasting anywhere from 4-8 weeks, while others may choose to remain on a ketogenic lifestyle long-term, depending on their health needs.
2. Is it difficult to follow a keto diet?
For some individuals, it can be difficult initially since many traditional staple foods must be eliminated from their diets—this includes bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and other starchy foods like legumes and beans, which are rich in complex carbohydrates which are necessary sources of energy for our bodies during intense physical activity or long days at work or school/university studies.
3. Are vitamins and minerals supplements necessary while on a keto diet?
Taking vitamins and minerals supplements while following a keto diet is essential since the body needs adequate amounts of macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbs) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
The lack of carbohydrates in the diet can lead to specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A multivitamin supplement will help provide the necessary nutrients your body needs.
A ketogenic diet can be a great tool to help you lose weight, feel more energetic, and improve your overall health. However, you should be aware of some potential risks associated with the diet before starting. To minimize these risks, eat plenty of healthy fats and proteins, drink plenty of water, and avoid processed foods as much as possible. Following a ketogenic diet can be easy if you have the keto diet plan to follow – 7 days is a great start! Just make sure to include a variety of nutrient-rich foods in your meals and snacks to get all the nutrients your body needs.
- Alarim, Raghad A., et al. "Effects of the Ketogenic Diet on Glycemic Control in Diabetic Patients: Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials." Cureus, vol. 12, no. 10, p. e10796. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.10796 . Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.
- Choi, Yeo Jin, et al. "Impact of a Ketogenic Diet on Metabolic Parameters in Patients with Obesity or Overweight and with or without Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials." Nutrients, vol. 12, no. 7, July 2020, p. 2005. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072005.
- Gibson, A. A., et al. "Do Ketogenic Diets Really Suppress Appetite? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." Obesity Reviews: An Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, vol. 16, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 64–76. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12230.
- Hernandez, Abbi R., et al. “A Ketogenic Diet Improves Cognition and Has Biochemical Effects in Prefrontal Cortex That Are Dissociable From Hippocampus.” Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, vol. 10, Dec. 2018, p. 391. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2018.00391.
- Krikorian, Robert, et al. “Dietary Ketosis Enhances Memory in Mild Cognitive Impairment.” Neurobiology of Aging, vol. 33, no. 2, Feb. 2012, p. 425.e19-425.e27. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2010.10.006.
- Masood, Wajeed, et al. “Ketogenic Diet.” StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, 2022. PubMed, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/.