Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the keto diet by now. The low-carb, high-fat eating plan has been one of the hottest diet trends in recent years, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Research has shown that the keto diet can lead to weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and other health benefits (20). It appears safe for most people to try, but there are a few things to keep in mind before you jump on the bandwagon.
If you’re thinking about starting the keto diet, it’s important to do your own research and create a plan that works for you. This simple 1-week keto meal plan is a good starting point. It includes all the basic keto staples, as well as a few higher-carb options for those who want to add more variety to their diet.
But first, let’s review the basics of the keto diet and help you see why it might (or might not) be a good fit for you.
What Is The Keto Diet All About?
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that encourages the body to burn fat for energy instead of glucose. On a ketogenic diet, your carb intake is typically limited to 5-10% of your total calories. This means that if you’re eating 2000 calories per day, you can only have 20-50 grams of carbs (13).
The rest of your calories will come from fat (55-86%) and protein (30-35%). While it’s important to eat enough protein to support your muscles, too much can kick you out of ketosis. This is why most people on a keto diet stick to moderate-protein foods like meat, fish, and low-carb vegetables.
When you cut carbs and eat more fat, your body enters a state called ketosis. In this metabolic state, your liver begins to break down fat into ketones which your body then uses for energy (13).
Ketosis can be a helpful tool for weight loss, diabetes control, and other health conditions (6).
It’s important to note that the keto diet is not for everyone. Some people may experience side effects like headaches, constipation, or nausea. And, as with any diet, it’s always important to talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your eating habits.
Read More: How To Read Nutrition Labels For Keto
Benefits Of The Keto Diet
Like most well-researched diets, the keto diet has many potential benefits.
One of the biggest benefits of the keto diet is sustained weight loss (18). A ketogenic diet can help you lose fat, especially the dangerous visceral fat that builds up around your organs and increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes (7).
One of the ways it does this is by restricting carbs, which means you eat fewer calories overall. When your body doesn’t get a steady supply of carbs, it turns to stored fat for energy. This leads to a calorie deficit and, eventually, weight loss.
Improved Blood Sugar Control
The keto diet can also help improve blood sugar control for people with diabetes or prediabetes. In people with type 2 diabetes, the keto diet has been shown to help reduce A1C levels (15).
This is significant because A1C is a measure of long-term blood sugar control. A lower A1C level means your diabetes is under better control (2). The keto diet may also help reduce insulin resistance, which is a common factor in type 2 diabetes.
Improved Cognitive Function
The keto diet has also been shown to improve cognitive function, especially in people with Alzheimer’s disease. One study found that the keto diet improved memory, focus, and mood in people with Alzheimer’s (10).
Other research has shown that the keto diet may help protect against brain damage and even reverse some of the damage done by Alzheimer’s (8).
Reduced Risk Of Heart Disease
The keto diet can also help reduce your risk of heart disease. There are a few reasons for this. First, it helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raises good cholesterol (HDL). Second, it helps reduce inflammation throughout the body (9).
Inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease, and the keto diet can help reduce inflammation by reducing your carb intake and increasing your fat intake (9).
May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
One of the more recent benefits of the keto diet is that it may help reduce cancer risk. Some studies have shown that the keto diet can help slow the growth of cancer cells and even kill some cancer cells (12) (21).
While more research is needed, the keto diet may one day become a part of the standard cancer treatment.
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Inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury or infection. While it’s important to have some inflammation, too much can lead to health problems like heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes (17).
The keto diet can help reduce inflammation throughout the body and may help protect against some of these diseases (20). One reason for this is that the keto diet helps you eat fewer carbs, which reduces the amount of inflammation-causing sugar in your diet.
The keto diet also increases your intake of healthy fats, which have anti-inflammatory properties (3).
May Help Reduce Symptoms Of Depression And Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are common mental health conditions that can be made worse by high-carb diets. The keto diet may help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety by helping you eat fewer carbs and more healthy fats.
Research shows that the keto diet improved mood, focus, and sleep quality in people with anxiety (19).
More research is needed, but the keto diet may one day become a standard practice for depression and anxiety.
Side Effects Of The Keto Diet
The keto diet is generally safe for most people, but there are a few potential side effects to be aware of. Some side effects are typically mild and go away on their own. Other more serious risks are typically rare and can be avoided by following a healthy keto diet plan:
A common side effect of the keto diet is headaches. This is usually due to dehydration and can be alleviated by drinking plenty of water (1).
Another common side effect is dizziness. This is usually due to low blood sugar and can be alleviated by eating more carbs or taking a sugar supplement.
Nausea is another common side effect, especially at the beginning of the diet (1). This is usually due to your body adjusting to the new diet and can be alleviated by drinking plenty of water and eating small, frequent meals.
Fatigue is a common side effect, especially in the beginning of the diet. This is usually due to your body adjusting to the lessened carbohydrate intake and can be alleviated by drinking plenty of water and eating small, frequent meals (11).
Constipation is a common side effect of the keto diet, especially if you’re not eating enough fiber (1). This can be alleviated by eating more fiber-rich foods or taking a fiber supplement.
It’s also worth noting that the keto diet can have some negative side effects, like cellular damage. When your body is in ketosis, increased formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a possibility (14).
While small amounts of ROS are necessary for cell function, too much can cause damage to cells and DNA (5). This is one reason why it’s important to eat plenty of antioxidants on the keto diet.
Some of the best sources of antioxidants include berries, dark chocolate, and green leafy vegetables.
The keto diet can increase the risk of kidney damage (4). This is because the keto diet causes your body to produce more ketones, which are waste products that need to be eliminated by the kidneys.
If you have a kidney disease or are at risk for developing it, you should not follow the keto diet.
The keto diet can also increase the risk of heart damage (9). This is because the keto diet causes your body to produce more cholesterol and triglycerides, which can lead to heart disease.
If you have heart disease or are at risk of developing it, you should not follow the keto diet.
How To Start The Keto Diet
Second, you’ll need to start by lowering your carb intake. Most people on the keto diet start by reducing their carb intake to 20-50 grams per day. This may be a bit difficult for some people, but it’s doable with a little planning.
Third, you’ll need to increase your fat intake. Most people on the keto diet aim for a 70/25/5 ratio of fat/protein/carbs. This means that 70% of your calories should come from fat, 25% from protein, and 5% from carbs.
Fourth, you’ll need to make sure you’re getting enough electrolytes. When you reduce your carb intake, you also lose a lot of water weight. This can lead to dehydration if you’re not careful. To avoid this, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and eating foods high in electrolytes.
Finally, it’s important to be patient. It may take a while for your body to adapt to the keto diet. Give yourself at least two to four weeks before judging the diet’s effectiveness.
The 1 Week Keto Meal Plan
If you’re thinking about trying the keto diet or are already practicing it and looking for some new recipes and meal ideas, this 1-week keto meal plan is for you! It includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for 7 days, as well as a shopping list and tips for following the keto diet.
- Breakfast: 2 eggs cooked in butter with bacon or sausage
- Lunch: Tuna salad with mayo, hard-boiled eggs, and cucumber
- Dinner: Chicken thighs cooked in olive oil with broccoli and cheese
- Snacks: Almonds, cheddar cheese sticks, or celery with peanut butter
- Breakfast: Keto pancakes made with almond flour, eggs, and butter
- Lunch: BLT salad with romaine, bacon, tomatoes, and avocado
- Dinner: Grilled steak with sautéed mushrooms and onions
- Snacks: Baby carrots, pepperoni sticks, or peanut butter cups
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- Breakfast: Bacon and eggs
- Lunch: Turkey Club sandwich with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on keto bread
- Dinner: Salmon with asparagus and hollandaise sauce
- Snacks: Parmesan cheese crisps, deli meat roll-ups, or deviled eggs
- Breakfast: Ham and cheese omelet
- Lunch: Cobb salad with chicken, bacon, avocado, and blue cheese
- Dinner: Pork chops with green beans and mashed cauliflower
- Snacks: Cucumber slices with ranch dressing, nuts, or berries
- Breakfast: Breakfast sausage with eggs
- Lunch: Grilled chicken Caesar salad
- Dinner: Beef roast with carrots and celery
- Snacks: String cheese, olives, or Keto muffins
- Breakfast: Omelet with veggies
- Lunch: Chicken salad with mayo and grapes
- Dinner: Pork tenderloin with roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes
- Snacks: Cottage cheese, celery with peanut butter, or Keto bars
- Breakfast: 3-ingredient keto pancakes
- Lunch: Shrimp salad with avocado and cucumber
- Dinner: Chicken stir-fry with broccoli and cashews
- Snacks: Parmesan cheese crisps, deli meat roll-ups, or hard-boiled eggs
Shopping List For The 1 Week Keto Meal Plan
Here’s a shopping list of the items you’ll need for this 1-week keto meal plan:
- Romaine lettuce
- Cheddar cheese
- Peanut butter
- Olive oil
- Hollandaise sauce
- Pork chops
- Green beans
- Mashed cauliflower
- Keto bread, pancake mix, and bars
- Parmesan cheese
- Pepperoni sticks
- Baby carrots
- String cheese
Tips For Success While Following The 1 Week Keto Clean Meal Plan
Here are a few tips that will help you be successful while following this keto meal plan:
Meal prepping is key to any successful diet. It helps to have healthy meals already prepared and ready to eat when you’re feeling hungry. This will prevent you from making unhealthy choices or binge eating (16).
To meal prep for this 1-week keto meal plan, cook the chicken, salmon, and steak at the beginning of the week. Store them in the fridge to have for lunch or dinner throughout the week. Hard-boil a dozen eggs to have on hand for snacks or to add to salads.
Cook Once, Eat Twice
Whenever you can, cook extra of each recipe to have leftovers for another meal. For example, cook a double batch of chicken thighs and broccoli so you can have it for lunch the next day. This will help you save time and money.
Scale Recipes Up Or Down
If you’re cooking for one, realize that most recipes can be scaled down. Just reduce the ingredients accordingly. If you’re cooking for a larger crowd, many of these recipes can likewise be easily doubled or tripled.
Learn To Read Labels
One of the most important skills to have while following a keto diet is knowing how to read food labels. Make sure to look for hidden sources of carbs, such as maltodextrin or dextrose. These are often added to food products to enhance flavor or texture and can quickly add up.
The best part about following a keto diet is that it’s a very flexible way of eating. You can switch up the recipes and meals as you see fit. If you’re not a fan of salmon, for example, try switching it out for chicken or steak. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen!
Fight The Keto-Flu Through Diet
When starting a keto diet, it’s important to drink plenty of water and electrolytes to help fight the keto flu. You can do this by drinking bone broth, sports drinks, or adding salt to your food. You can also eat foods that are high in potassium and magnesium, such as avocado, nuts, and leafy greens.
Don’t Give Up!
If you find yourself struggling to stick to this meal plan, don’t give up! It takes time to adjust to a new way of eating, and you may not see results right away. Just keep at it and eventually, you’ll get the hang of it.
The Bottom Line
The 1-week keto meal plan is designed to help you transition into a keto diet and start seeing results. It’s a great way to jumpstart your weight loss journey or break through a weight loss plateau. Just remember to be flexible, stick to healthy foods, and stay hydrated!
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
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- All About Your A1C (2021, cdc.gov)
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Diet: Role in Healthy Aging (2021, mdpi.com)
- Are low-carbohydrate diets safe in chronic or diabetic kidney disease? (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Beneficial and Detrimental Effects of Reactive Oxygen Species on Lifespan: A Comprehensive Review of Comparative and Experimental Studies (2021, frontiersin.org)
- Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets (2013, nature.com)
- Body Fat Distribution and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease | Circulation (2012, ahajournals.org)
- Can Ketogenic Diet Improve Alzheimer’s Disease? Association With Anxiety, Depression, and Glutamate System (2021, frontiersin.org)
- Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Evidence from Animal and Human Studies (2017, mdpi.com)
- Ketogenic Diet in Alzheimer’s Disease (2019, mdpi.com)
- Ketogenic diets: Boon or bane? (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Ketogenic diets as an adjuvant cancer therapy: History and potential mechanism (2014, sciencedirect.com)
- Ketogenic Diet – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Long-Term Ketogenic Diet Induces Metabolic Acidosis, Anemia, and Oxidative Stress in Healthy Wistar Rats (2020, hindawi.com)
- Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes (2019, mdpi.com)
- Meal planning is associated with food variety, diet quality and body weight status in a large sample of French adults (2017, biomedcentral.com)
- Pathology, Inflammation (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Recent advances in the application of a ketogenic diet for obesity management (2021, sciencedirect.com)
- The Current Status of the Ketogenic Diet in Psychiatry (2017, frontiersin.org)
- The Potential Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet: A Narrative Review (2021, mdpi.com)
- The Pros and Cons of Low Carbohydrate and Ketogenic Diets in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer (2021, frontiersin.org)