So you have found the ketogenic diet, have figured out your macros and you are itching to get started. Here is a ketogenic diet meal plan for one week. If you are just getting situated use this basic plan to help get going.
I just started MONTH five of a ketogenic diet(45 lbs lost). I’m by no means an expert. I am now 46 years old and I have spent my entire life trying to lose weight. Ironically I have also spent years learning about nutrition and exercise. Figuring out macronutrients just comes naturally to me as I have done it so much over my life. By following a keto diet this is the first time I have seen any real success in losing the unwanted pounds. This despite years of working out and being active.
I have had a very successful go of it so far, and I feel that a lot of you who are trying to get started with a ketogenic diet may get overwhelmed and confused with all of the numbers and information that is coming at you. Hence this ketogenic diet meal plan. It is what I am doing to keep things simple. I am a guy. I need simple.
For me I think that success with a keto diet is found with having some base meals and adding some variety later on if needed. Hell I eat the same thing pretty much every day. Not too exciting but losing 45 pounds in 4 months IS exciting, so I am sticking with it. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
7 Day Keto Diet Grocery List
The daily meals will be bacon and eggs, chicken with vegetables, and beef with vegetables. This are base meals and will provide good macros for some people. For others who need more food(fat) you can just add a keto friendly snack or 2 to get your macros up to where they need to be. This is what I need to do.
- A dozen eggs.
- A package bacon.
- Butter. (real butter)
- A pack of boneless SKIN ON chicken thighs
- 1 onion.
- 1 bell pepper (Green, red, yellow, that’s your choice.)
- Two bulbs of garlic. (Optional, but very heart healthy.)
- A big bag of mixed frozen vegetables, at least 12 cups worth. If you are not sure what to get, just pick something else that’s keto friendly like frozen broccoli.)
- a bag of almonds, a jar of almond butter (very expensive – cheapest I can find is 10$ for 750g at Costco).
- A package of beef. You want to find some kind of beef that you can imagine cutting/dividing into 6 equal portions of about 5.5 ounces each(a bit bigger than a deck of cards.)
I Am Actually Cooking. Well…Some
I am not much for cooking but I am doing better. A ketogenic diet meal plan does work better when you have food ready to go. It takes the guess work out and we need to keep this as simple as possible in order to have success.
- Put the 12 thighs in to the oven with all the cloves from a bulb of garlic. You should separate the cloves, but you don’t need to skin them. The heat from the oven will do that nicely, and you can peel them when you eat it.
- While the thighs are cooking, hard boil the eggs. Then set them aside to cool.
- Take a skillet, put some butter in it, and then fry up the bacon. (Note: Some might argue that the butter isn’t needed. In my experience you can either grease up that pan somehow, or your first strips of bacon will come out burnt.)
- Dice up half the onion, save the other half for next week.
- Cut up the pepper
- You might need to take the chicken out at this point. If it’s done, pull it out, and let it cool.
- In the skillet (I love to use the bacon grease as a base) sauté the pepper and half onion, and another bulb’s worth of garlic cloves. (leave the skin on, just like before.)
- Add the beef and brown it.
Getting The Meals Together
- Wash/rinse out 12 containers.
- In 6 of them, put 2 chicken thighs each. Share the garlic between them, and evenly divide the fat juice.
- In the other 6 evenly spoon out the beef/pepper/onion mix.
- Take the veggie blend, evenly pour it across the 12 containers, right on top of the meat.
- Put them all in your fridge. If you have minimal fridge space you could just put some in there, and then rest in your freezer. Just pull another out when you pull from the fridge.
- Pull out six plastic bags and put 2 hard boiled eggs in each.
- Evenly divide your remaining bacon by 6.
- Now brown bag it, and put it in your fridge.
The Macronutrients of the Ketogenic Menu Plan
Right now you have 6 day’s worth of meals in your fridge
- 6 bags with 2 hard boiled eggs and bacon
- 6 containers of thighs/veggies
- 6 containers Beef/Veggies
*I messed up. The macros of each “meal” above are too high in protein and too low in fat so reduce the amount of meat in each meal by about half AND add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to each meal(or some cheese). Please forgive me!!
For this base ketogenic meal plan I am going to use the following macronutrient profile that I helped someone set up for themselves:
Total calories- 1570
- Net carbs – 20g per day
- Protein – 80 g per day
- Fat – 130 g per day
Now divide each of those by 3(for 3 meals per day) and you get:
- ≈7 net carbs per meal
- ≈26 grams protein per meal
- ≈44 grams fat per meal
Omg, so much math! If you halve the protein in each meal you will be pretty close to these totals PER MEAL!
Personally I need more protein and fat each day and so will some of you. So I add in some snacks, cheese, or keto fudge during the day to get my macros up where they need to be. I also drink homemade Bulletproof coffee which for me is:
- 1 cup coffee
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tbsp full fat coconut milk(in a can)
This adds about 25g of fat to my day.
The nuts and almond butter are there in case you find yourself having cravings. Between staying on top of your water intake and small snacks of these you really shouldn’t be overly hungry. If you got hungry on Day One between breakfast and lunch, or lunch and supper while you’re still at work—then portion out some nuts (15 of them ).
You may also want to consider adding these fat boosting strategies:
- Full fat cream in your coffee.
- Put a tablespoon of mayonnaise on the chicken while it’s baking.
- Top the vegetables with some cheese before reheating.
A Word on Salt and Electrolytes
It’s also worth pointing out that you may want to consider taking a multi-vitamin with the ketogenic diet meal plan. It is very low on Vitamins B1, D, E, and K. Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, and Potassium are also very low, but we need to manage those as part of our electrolyte strategy anyways on keto.
Do not omit essential electrolytes: Sodium (Na+), Chloride (Cl-), Potassium (K+), Magnesium (Mg++), Calcium (Ca++), Phosphate (HPO4–), Bicarbonate (HCO3-). Lack of electrolytes or more pointedly the bodies primary electrolyte sodium (aka Salt) is responsible for lethargy, brain fog and keto flu symptoms on high fats diets.
You should all be aiming for at least 8 cups of water a day. I have a 600ml bottle and I empty it at least 10 times a day. That is a lot of water and yes I am going to the bathroom a lot. Carbs hold water, so with minimal carbs this will speed up the flushing of water. So even more bathroom breaks.
But How Do I Track all of This?!
The “easiest” way to actually track your eating(and thus your macros) for your ketogenic diet meal plan is to set up a free account with MyFitnessPal. This app is both web based and/or you can use it with your phone. I cannot stress the importance of tracking what you eat. Doing this has made all the difference in the world for me. Once you get your account set up you just enter the food you eat and the app calculates your total consumption for each macro and your total calories. There is also a “bar code scanner” as part of the app. You use your phone to “scan” the bar code of the food you are eating and it enters it into your daily eating plan. Genius!
Here is a video to walk you through how to set up MyFitnessPal.
You would be well served to grab a copy of Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. He reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century and helps us understand what we should eat.
I know that a ketogenic diet works. I also know that is can be confusing as hell trying to deal with all of the numbers and then figuring out what to eat. I am hoping that this post will help you to stay calm(at least a little bit) and get going with your keto eating.
Keep Calm and Keto On.
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“Change The Code. Change Your Life.”