This is your lucky day. I am giving you an in depth, beginner explanation, of a keto one week meal plan that really works. With a bonus shopping list!
I have lost 30 lbs on the keto diet, and am almost at my ideal weight. YAY!
My younger sister has asked me to help her get started, and so I thought I’d give the same explanation and advice to you as I gave to her.
I am not an expert on the Ketogenic diet, nor am I a doctor or certified health instructor in any way. It is important that you talk with your doctor when considering any diet or fitness change.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
I’m going to explain keto by giving a few simplified facts about carb vs fat fuel:
- Ketogenesis is when your body has switched from a sugar-burning mode, to a fat-burning mode. Which is great! That is the way to lose the extra fat that is not needed in our bodies.
- All carbohydrates are turned into sugar (glucose) inside our body, which is then burned as energy, or stored as fat till needed.
- Sugar is the preferred energy-burning mode for our bodies. It is easier to burn, so the body will naturally look for sugar to burn first.
- We have to use up all the stored sugars (glycogen) in our body to force it to switch to fat burning mode. For those of us who have low metabolic rates, this may take longer than normal.
For me, the switch from sugar to fat burning is 13 days. I know this because I bought one of these breathalyzers and use it to track ketones (an indicator of being in ketosis/fat burning mode). Most others say that they get into ketosis in as little as 3 days.
Why it is important to have a high fat diet and not just low carb
There is an unhealthy mode, called ketoacidosis, which is our emergency response to being starved.
When this happens, the body frantically grabs energy from unsafe places. It looks similar to ketosis, and so we need to do a few key things differently to be healthy about the change in modes.
One of the things to do is make sure your diet is high in fat. At least in the beginning.
While your body is switching over, if you feed it plenty of (healthy) fats, it will give the signal that you are not starving yourself, but actually giving your body enough fuel to survive. (Just not sugar-fuel like it was used to.)
This will encourage your body to naturally make the change to burning fats without it going into self-preservation mode.
The other thing that you need to help reassure your body, is electrolytes.
This includes: Salt, Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium. IF YOU DON”T TAKE THESE, YOU WILL GET FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS!!!
I recommend salting your food generously with pink Himalayan salt or sea salt, and to get Calm with calcium to help with magnesium and calcium.
And to get a potassium supplement. Like this one
Let’s talk sweeteners.
Any sugars will trigger the sugar mode, and will kick you out of ketosis.
If you must do sugars, stick to one of these 3 kinds of sweeteners.
Keto and Carbs.
Good news is you can still eat carbs, just not a lot of them.
20 Grams of net carbs is about the limit per day that you should be taking.
This is carbs minus fiber. So for instance, Avocados are keto friendly, despite being high in carbs. 1 Cup of Avocados has roughly 12 grams of carbs, but 10 grams of fiber, making the total grams of net carbs to count for the day 2. (12-10=2) got it?
If you go over your carb count, it may kick you out of ketosis. I find that my number is 23 grams. so I shoot for lower than this a day.
Depending on your activity level, you may be able to handle more carbs. Start with 20 as your goal, and then play around a little and see how you feel.
Fat Bombs: You need them.
Fat bombs are low carb, high, high fat foods, that will help you feel full and assure your body that it is getting the fuel it needs.
When starting the keto diet, whether you have fat bombs on hand to curb cravings or hunger can be the difference between success or failure.
My lazy self, likes to make frosting and keep it in the fridge, and just scoop out a spoonful whenever I need it.
It contains monk fruit, cocoa powder, butter, and a little bit of cream cheese (and sometimes mint extract) Here is the recipe: Vanilla keto Frosting. That I upgrade.
Now to the Keto One Week Meal Plan:
Here is what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
For me, I started out my life not liking eggs very much, but I learned over the years that if you want to be healthy, eggs are the easiest and cheapest way to go. I scramble mine, or soft yolk them (is that a thing? in between runny and hard, when its still orange but not runny?) then put a little bit of salsa and softened cream cheese on them. . . with salt of course. Its really good.
But, I am writing this to my sister who hates eggs, so I will give you another breakfast option.
- Make these pancakes
- or this german pancake recipe with maple syrup made with erythitol
- Or make this 3 minute cheesecake in the microwave (my new favorite thing).
Whatever breakfast you choose, it should be about 2-3 eggs worth to help satisfy for breakfast. Bacon and sausage are always good side options. To me they are not the healthiest of fats, although completely keto, so I use them sparingly.
But you gotta do what you gotta do.
Keto Lunch Options.
Normally for me I do a couple ‘snacks’ instead of a big sit-down lunch. But if I have leftovers from the night before, I may have lunch.
- fat bombs,
- veggies with cream cheese,
- cheese sticks,
- nuts like pecans, almonds or sunflower seeds.
But again, this is for my sister, who asked for lunches that can travel.
- The same german pancake recipe can travel,
- and so can a similar cinnamon sugar egg bake (add 3 Tablespoons of Cinnamon).
- A big favorite of another sister is lunch meat spread with cream cheese and rolled up around a stick of cheese/and or veggies, or a pickle slice or green onions.
- This Pizza Egg Bake is also pretty edible cold. I cut it in pieces and took it with me to amusement parks, and it was just what I needed.
Easy Keto Dinners.
I love hearty dinners, and I love how eating the keto lifestyle actually encourages hearty dinners (because they usually contain fats)
There are a lot of fancy and interesting recipes out there that I love. But for the sake of making things simple and recognizable for my sister, I picked just normal foods that are normally eaten, and then showed how to make it keto.
I picked 4 dinners to go in the Keto One Week Meal Plan, all ground beef, so you can cook the meat all at once, then divide them up to make the dinners.
Ground Beef is really easy to freeze. I separate the cooked meat into about 1 cup and put it in ziploc bags, and can freeze the meat and grab one for a meal.
or alternatively, each of these meals freeze well, so you can make double portions and just freeze the leftovers sauce for the next time you make it. Just add the fresh veggies/bread
1. Spaghetti with zucchini noodles.
Making zucchini noodles are really easy, just wash, then slice with a potato peeler over and over again, then put it in a pan with some butter and fry it for 5-8 minutes till its soft.
For spaghetti, pick a sugar-free sauce. I found mine at Aldi’s, but you can find them at any store, just read the labels. (a thing you will be doing A LOT)
I like to put more meat than sauce, to keep my carbs down. To dress up the sauce, try adding Italian seasoning, garlic, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. (all in little shakes, till it tastes good) I will be making a recipe for it at some point and I’ll link it here. Lastly put a pat of butter with the sauce, and it tastes heavenly.
You can load up on Parmesan cheese once you put the recipe together, because cheese is pretty much free on keto!
UPDATE: Instead of making a spaghetti sauce recipe, I made a to die for “Million Dollar Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti Bake” You can either make this recipe, or just follow the directions for making the sauce.
2. Sloppy Joes with 90 second bread
90 second bread is not my favorite.
But I used it a lot at the beginning as I was learning how to cook in the keto style.
I feel like it is necessary to know how to make this, even if its not the best.
So that way, when you come across more complicated bread recipes, you’ll have a foundation on which to understand what you are doing.
This is the recipe that I use for 90 second bread.
Just know, it DOES not really feel like bread. Or taste like bread. It is best when grilled; As in, a chicken melt (shredded chicken, mayo and cheese) or grilled cheese sandwich.
Ok, so here is a really delicious sloppy joe recipe, that I made and even my kids loved it.
I might be lazy and use some sauce from the leftover jar of spaghetti sauce instead of opening a whole can of tomato sauce.
And I might be even lazier and just buy a can of manwich sloppy joe mix, this is really cutting it close, because it has a few ingredients that are a not great in the keto community. . . I am very stingy with the sauce though, so sometimes I can get away with it.
I heat it up with the meat, then I cook the 90 second bread, slice it open, put a lot of mayonnaise, and thick slices of cheese on it, then smother it with sloppy joe mix, and eat it open faced with a fork.
You can put dill pickles on it and mustard to give it a more authentic taste. The 90 second bread is kind of dry, so making sure you have a lot of sauce is key to eating it.
3. Taco Salad
This is about as normal as you can get.
Season the ground beef with taco seasoning (here is the recipe for keto friendly, homemade taco seasoning) I also get lazy, and buy the Gluten Free McCormick kind at the store, and haven’t really noticed a difference. It is a little high in carbs, so be careful with that.
Then top with lettuce, cheese, sour cream, a little bit of salsa, avocados/guacamole, and you are good to go!
4. Egg rolls in a bowl.
I love stir fry foods, and I make a bunch of different kinds while on the keto diet. This one is really easy. Basically just pour shredded cabbage in with sesame oil, braggs amino acid (or gluten-free soy sauce) and fry it up till soft, then add the ground beef (instead of sausage). There is a little more to it than that, so check out the recipe. But it is really easy to throw together and its another favorite of my kids too.
I normally wouldn’t bother with a shopping list, but since my sister requested it, I’ll give it to you too!
Keto One week Meal Plan shopping list for one. (4 dinners X 2)
- Eggs 2-3 dozen
- Bacon/sausage (opt)
- 6 Lbs. Ground Beef
- Sour cream (16 oz)
- Butter 2 packages
- Cheddar Cheese 1 small bag
- Cream Cheese 3 packs
- Cheese sticks 1 pack
- Parmesan cheese
- Lunch meat
Middle of the store foods
- Sugar free spaghetti sauce 1 jar
- Cocoa powder
- 1 tomato sauce (for sloppy joes)
- Worcestershire sauce (gf)
- Braggs amino acid or gf soy sauce
- Sesame seed oil
- manwhich sloppy joe (lazy option)
- Almond flour
- 2 zucchini
- 2 green peppers
- 1 bag of pre-washed celery
- 2 bags of coleslaw
- 2 small onions for cooking ground beef
- Mint extract (opt.)
- Italian seasoning
- pink salt
- taco seasoning (McCormick gluten free) or
- (Chili powder
- red pepper flakes
- onion powder
- black pepper)
- baking powder
- Potassium supplements
Bonus: grab some Apple Cider Vinegar if you are worried about blood sugar dropping. A tsp. of ACV in a cup of water helps stabilize blood sugar quickly.
So there you have it! my exhaustive post of why to do keto, and your keto one week meal plan, that is really just normal food, for one person.
With a shopping list.
I hope it helps both my sister and you to reach your health goals! Let me know if I forgot anything, or if there is something I should add!