Are you thinking of going on a 2-week keto diet? Before you do, you need to know whether this diet works and how you can get the most out of it. You also need a 2-week keto diet plan to keep you on track.
Although extremely popular, the keto diet can be frustrating for some, especially when one doesn’t understand how it works. So before you get to a 2-week keto diet, here’s everything you need to know to get this diet right and see results.
What Is The Keto Diet And How Does It Work?
A keto diet is a very low-carb, high-fat eating regime that divides your meals into three sections: 5-10% carbohydrates, 30-35% protein, and 55-60% fat (6). On a keto diet, you cut down on carbs and eat mostly protein and more fat, which forces your body to enter into a state of ketosis.
What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a state of metabolic process that happens when your body does not have enough carbohydrates from food sources to use for energy. To compensate, the body breaks down fat into substances called ketones and begins using them as its main source of fuel instead of glucose. If you’re new to keto or low-carb dieting, this may sound a little dubious. But there are tons of success stories out there about people who tried it and saw fantastic results.
Contrary to what many people think, being in a state of ketosis is actually a very beneficial thing. While on a standard diet, most of your carbohydrates typically come from sugar sources such as bread and pasta. This causes your blood sugar levels to constantly rise and fall, which when coupled with metabolic disturbances such as insulin resistance, can lead to all sorts of health complications (3).
When you cut carbs down to a moderate level through the keto diet, your body will have to start breaking down fats into smaller molecules called fatty acids and ketone bodies that can be used as fuel instead. Ketones are produced in the liver when there are insufficient carbs from food for energy. In this state, glucose is not readily available, so your body will break down fats in the absence of carbohydrates (6).
It should be noted that it’s possible to enter a state of ketosis without counting calories or tracking macros with very little effort since most foods contain some amount of carbohydrates. The key factor is to restrict your carb intake so that you’re consistently below 30-50 grams of carbs (6).
Who Is This Diet For?
It’s important to note that not all people will be suitable candidates for the keto diet. Those with certain medical conditions must check with a doctor first before beginning any sort of meal planning or exercise regime.
Some experts have commented on how the benefits of the keto diet may apply more generally across the population rather than just being limited to those who are obese or at risk for disease (4). Further research is needed, but initial findings look very promising, especially when it comes to brain health and function (2).
The Benefits Of The Keto Diet
When on a keto diet, your body becomes a fat-burning machine by default. Understandably, there are plenty of potential benefits associated with this lifestyle, including weight loss and better mental function and clarity (1).
Whether or not you’ll experience these benefits may depend on how strictly you follow this low-carb high-fat eating regime. Some people do better with a lot of fat, while others prefer moderate amounts. That’s why it’s important to test methods that work best for you.
Achieving Weight Loss
Perhaps the biggest reason why people love this diet is that it can help with weight loss. For many, the keto diet helps shed pounds rapidly by forcing your body to burn fat without going through drastic measures.
Some studies have claimed that on average, an individual burns 400-600 extra calories when in a state of ketosis every day, as they spend on this type of eating regime and exercise regularly. This can mean you lose 1-2 pounds a week if you do it right (7).
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Reducing Inflammation And Improving Health
When you have increased amounts of glucose circulating throughout your system, it may lead to inflammation. Chronically high levels of inflammation have been linked to various types of illness such as heart disease and cancer. When you’re in a state of ketosis, the production and circulation of glucose are low, so there will be less stress on the body overall associated with inflammatory processes (13).
Ketosis may also help your body get rid of the excess waste materials that have been built up over time in cells for various reasons. Many diseases and illnesses may result from this buildup so restoring regular functioning could be critical to good health (13).
Improving Heart Health
Ketogenic diets have been found to help lower blood triglycerides and regulate cholesterol levels which are particularly beneficial for people at risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and myocardial infarction (13).
Managing Type 2 Diabetes
A well-planned low-carb diet can also help manage Type 2 diabetes, preventing many complications that come with the disease. A ketogenic diet works by controlling blood sugar levels and reducing insulin resistance (8). People with diabetes should always consult their doctor before making any major dietary changes, especially changes in carbohydrate intake.
Having Better Mental Function And Clarity
When you’re on a keto diet, some say that your brain also begins to work more efficiently, thanks to all the excess fats that are readily available as fuel. They’ve been shown in animals to improve cognitive function, mental clarity, and help in keeping stress at bay (2). This may make it an excellent lifestyle choice for those who tend to suffer from depression or anxiety.
It’s also possible that the state of ketosis can help fight any underlying issues with cognition, including Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, due to a well-studied link between high sugar diets and cognitive decline (2).
Foods To Eat On A Ketogenic Diet And Foods To Avoid
When following a keto diet, it’s important to avoid carbs as much as possible. You should try to get most of your calories from foods with moderate amounts of fat while taking in enough protein for muscle repair and recovery.
Here are some high-fat and low carb food items you can eat regularly:
- Meats such as pork, beef, and chicken
- Nuts such as macadamia nuts and pecans
- Avocados and olives
- Olive oil
- Grass-fed butter
- Fish including salmon, tuna, copra, and trout (these are excellent protein sources on a keto diet)
Furthermore, fish consists almost entirely of fats in the form of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3s have been shown to improve brain volume, help with weight loss and reduce symptoms associated with heart disease, so they’re a good choice for the keto diet (9).
Any foods that you particularly crave, if they’re high in fat but low in carbs, should be consumed sparingly daily.
Foods To Eat On A Keto Diet And Foods To Avoid: What Not To Eat?
Avoiding carbohydrates isn’t easy because they’re often hidden in most types of processed food products. As soon as you cut carbs from your diet, you’ll find that you’re eating fewer grains and cereals, pasta, bread, and rice.
To make things simpler for yourself, it’s essential to avoid these kinds of low-carb foods:
- All types of sugar, including fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, and dextrose.
- Many fruits, especially bananas, melons such as watermelons and cantaloupe; dried fruit like raisins are on the list as well. Choose fruits that are high in fiber and water.
- Wheat flour products containing gluten and grain products such as breakfast cereal or granola bars.
- Processed foods, condiments, and dressings made with processed ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup.
- Low fat or diet products that are packed full of sugar alcohols like maltitol, xylitol, lactitol, or sorbitol.
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Side Effects Of The Keto Diet
If you’re new to this way of eating, you might not know what to expect on the 2-week keto diet. Some side effects can occur when you first begin following a keto diet. However, most of the symptoms will disappear after 2-3 weeks of recovery, making it easier to stick with the diet over time.
The most common side effects are:
Many people report that they experience “keto breath”, which is basically caused by their mouth drying out and having a metallic taste in their mouth. If this happens to you, then there’s no need to worry as it’s not an issue with your teeth. It may also be worth investing in some xylitol chewing gum that helps keep dental plaque at bay and neutralizes the bad odor in your mouth (11).
Oily Stools And Dehydration
Since the keto diet causes your body to flush water out of its cells, it may be difficult for some people to avoid dehydration (12). In addition, oily stools and constipation are likely to occur after you’ve started following a keto diet as well (11). To combat this side effect, make sure you drink plenty of water or broth if you find yourself having diarrhea-type symptoms.
Some people complain about feeling fatigued after starting the keto diet, but once again this is usually only temporary and goes away with time (6). To prevent this from happening, try eating a larger amount of calories in a shorter period rather than going without food for several hours in a row.
Many people report headaches if they don’t take enough salt regularly. When you cut back on carbs from your diet, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting enough water and electrolytes. It’s also essential if you want to avoid feeling lethargic and struggling with low energy levels (6).
Some people notice that they experience muscle cramps when following a keto diet. This can be due to dehydration, low sodium levels, or a lack of potassium in your body. If you are experiencing muscle cramps, you may need to increase the amount of salt and/or potassium you are getting (11).
Many people can lose weight when starting on a keto diet, but this is usually because their bodies are flushing excess water out and losing lean muscle tissue instead. If you find yourself struggling with constipation, then make sure you increase your intake of leafy greens and fibrous vegetables. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water so that your body stays hydrated at all times (11).
Sample 2-Week Keto Diet Meal Plan
Most people find building a 2-week keto diet meal plan easy when they have examples of what others are eating. Instead of trying to count calories or calculate ratios, this method may work better for some people who simply need ideas on how to eat.
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that’s essential for life. Your body is primarily fuelled by fat, so your keto diet should consist mostly of high fats as well as a moderate amount of protein and very few carbohydrates.
A meal plan for the first week on a ketogenic diet might look something like this:
Day One (10)
- Breakfast: Eggs scrambled in butter with cooked bacon; coffee or tea without milk or sweeteners
- Lunch: Salad covered in cream cheese dressing and topped with grilled chicken breast, olives, and avocado slices; you can also eat ghee-coated nuts like macadamia nuts
- Dinner: Steak wrapped in bacon served with sauteed mushrooms, spinach, and mashed cauliflower rice cakes made from flaxseed meal
- Snacks: Avocados, macadamia nuts, and celery filled with cheese slices or cream cheese
Day Two (10)
- Breakfast: Eggs scrambled in ghee with bacon; coffee or tea without milk
- Snack: Macadamia nuts and cucumbers
- Lunch: Grilled chicken with olive oil, avocado, and spinach salad topped with bacon bits
- Dinner: Italian sausage served over spaghetti squash tossed in butter; a side of mushrooms cooked with ghee makes a good carb alternative dinner dish as well; sugar-free pudding made from coconut flour as dessert
Day Three (10)
- Breakfast: Eggs scrambled in butter and cheese; olives on the side; coffee or tea without milk
- Snack: Celery slices filled with cream cheese
- Lunch: Salad covered in mayonnaise dressing; a slice of leftover pizza; keto rolls made by wrapping cheese slices in a slice of ham and eating it like a sandwich
- Dinner: Grilled steak or hamburger over butter lettuce with avocado; watermelon as a keto-approved carbohydrate side dish
Day Four (10)
- Breakfast: Zucchini pancakes made from ground zucchini, eggs, and ghee served with salt and pepper; coffee or herbal tea without milk or sweetener
- Snacks: Avocados filled with cheese slices
- Lunch: Leftover vegetarian chili served over cucumber rounds
- Dinner: Stuffed portobello mushrooms (with cheese wrapped in bacon); steamed butternut squash topped with mozzarella Cheese thickened cream soup
Day Five (10)
- Breakfast: Eggs scrambled in butter with ghee-coated nuts; coffee or tea without milk or sweeteners
- Snack: Keto rolls filled with cream cheese and ham
- Lunch: Salad topped with leftover hamburger meat and cheese slices, olives, and bacon bits
- Dinner: Vegetarian chili served over shredded lettuce instead of spaghetti squash
Day Six (10)
- Breakfast: Eggs scrambled in ghee and served with bacon; herbal tea without milk or sweetener
- Snack: Macadamia nuts and celery filled with cream cheese
- Lunch: Grilled chicken thigh wrapped in lettuce leaves; keto rolls made by wrapping butter lettuce around mozzarella cheese slices
- Dinner: Keto pizza (grilled zucchini topped with ground sausage, pepperoni, olives, and onion; then covered in grated parmesan cheese and olive oil); watermelon as a carbohydrate side dish
Day Seven (10)
- Breakfast: Meat pie made from spinach blended with cottage cheese, spices, almond flour, and egg served on top of fried zucchini slices; coffee or tea without milk or sweetener
- Lunch: Leftover Italian sausage and spinach pita pockets; keto rolls made by wrapping butter lettuce around mozzarella cheese slices
- Snack: Cucumbers filled with cream cheese
- Dinner: Spicy shrimp served over butter lettuce tossed in olive oil, topped with bacon bits and a wedge of avocado; watermelon as the carbohydrate side dish
The Bottom Line
These sample meal plans can help you get started. If you use them, be sure to adjust the amount of food you eat so that you’re eating a healthy keto diet for your body type. It’s also necessary to add some variety by occasionally eating different foods, especially vegetables. Find out what works best for you in terms of quantity and timing because everyone is different. Be sure to adjust your keto meal plan accordingly.
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!
- Advantages and Disadvantages of the Ketogenic Diet: A Review Article (2020, nih.gov)
- A Ketogenic Diet Improves Cognition and Has Biochemical Effects in Prefrontal Cortex That Are Dissociable From Hippocampus (2018, nih.gov)
- A review of recent evidence relating to sugars, insulin resistance and diabetes (2016, nih.gov)
- Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss (harvard.edu)
- Food for Thought: The Ketogenic Diet and Adverse Effects in Children (2005, nih.gov)
- Ketogenic Diet (2021, nih.gov)
- Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe (2014, nih.gov)
- Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes (2019, nih.gov)
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (2019, clevelandclinic.org)
- Put your diet on autopilot (n.d., eatthismuch.com)
- Side effects of a ketogenic diet (2019, diabetes.co.uk)
- The Effects of a Ketogenic Diet on Exercise Metabolism and Physical Performance in Off-Road Cyclists (2014, nih.gov)
- The Ketogenic Diet: Evidence for Optimism but High-Quality Research Needed (2020, nih.gov)