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7-Day Keto Diet Plan for Beginners (Free PDF)

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Jessica Brown
March 25, 2024 July 9, 2024
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Weight loss diets are a topic that never seems to fade. You will see people talking about the diets they are on or trying on YouTube and other social media platforms. For a period of time, the keto diet became a trend and many people were talking about it. In fact, it still remains one of the top diet trends today.

So, you may be wondering what is this diet and how does it work? Not to worry as this article will cover those alongside the benefits and risks of the keto diet. Additionally, you will also find a 7-day keto diet plan that is suitable for beginners here.

What Is The Keto Diet?

what is the keto diet

The ketogenic, or keto diet is a diet approach that is similar to the Atkins diet and other low-carb diets. However, what distinguishes the keto diet is that it is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that mainly aids in weight loss, amongst other health benefits [5].

How does the keto diet work?

The diet helps in weight loss by cutting down carbohydrates significantly, depriving the cells of glucose. Glucose is the main source of energy for cells in the body to function.

When this happens, your body is forced to tap into other alternatives for fuel, which in this case, is ketones. Ketones are a type of fuel that is produced from stored fats in the body [3]. As such, the body is placed into a metabolic state called ketosis.

Benefits Of Keto Diet

There are many health benefits of starting a keto diet besides helping individuals to lose weight. Here are some of the main benefits.

Helps to control blood sugar levels

One of the main benefits of going on a keto diet is that it helps to reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

In a 2005 study, it was found that following a keto diet can help in improving insulin sensitivity levels for obese, type 2 diabetes patients. Thus, this diet could be beneficial for those with diabetes or who are pre-diabetic to prevent and manage the condition.

Improves heart health

High levels of triglycerides can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. However, a keto diet can potentially combat this issue as it reduces the level of triglycerides. In a 2022 review, it was found that the keto diet leads to a decrease in triglycerides and lowered blood pressure in the first 6 to 12 months.

However, be cautioned that this effect only lasts for up to 12 months and it is not long-term.

Induces satiety

The majority of studies that have been done, show that the keto diet has a potential appetite-suppressant effect. Evidence shows that the diet suppresses the secretion of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. With lowered feelings of hunger, you are able to eat a smaller portion of food but still feel satiated [6].

List Of Foods To Eat On A Keto Diet

These are some keto-friendly foods to include while you are on the diet:

  • Meat (chicken, turkey, bacon, red meat)
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel)
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Unprocessed cheese
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy oils (avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil)
  • Leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables

5 Keto Recipes to Try

You now know what you can eat but the problem is, you don’t know what to make. Here are 5 easy keto recipes for you to choose from so that you don’t have to stress over it.

1. Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

chicken bacon ranch casserole
Keto Diet Plan Free PDF

The original recipe for this is made with penne pasta as the main ingredient, which isn’t keto-friendly. Fortunately, you can turn this delicious recipe into a keto-friendly one by using different ingredients.

Ingredients needed: Chicken breast, bacon, broccoli florets, ranch dressing, garlic, shredded mozzarella, shredded cheddar

How to make it:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Place the broccoli florets into a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Simmer it for 1-2 minutes and drain the water.
  3. In a large bowl, combine diced chicken breast, bacon, drained broccoli, ranch dressing and cheese. For the cheeses, make sure that you are only using half a portion.
  4. Stir the ingredients until it is well combined. You may also add in additional seasonings like pepper to your liking.
  5. Transfer it to a casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheeses.
  6. Bake it in the oven for 15 minutes. Once ready, serve it on a plate and enjoy!

2. Broccoli Cheese Soup

broccoli cheese soup
keto

Broccoli cheese soup is a comforting dish that is not only keto-friendly but it is also easy to make. This recipe only requires 30 minutes to prep it, making it a perfect option for those who are busy.

Ingredients needed: Broccoli, cheddar cheese, chicken broth, heavy cream, butter, garlic, onions, smoked paprika powder, salt and black pepper

How to make it:

  1. Start by melting some butter in a pan, over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add in your garlic and onions. Saute until it is slightly fragrant.
  2. Add in all the ingredients except for cheese and let it come to a boil.
  3. Once the soup starts boiling, lower the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Slowly add in the cheese until it is well mixed into the soup.
  4. Remove from the heat and serve it in a bowl.

3. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

cauliflower mac and cheese

The classic Mac and Cheese is a dish that is loved by many. Filled with creamy, cheesy goodness, it is a recipe that just hits all the right spots. While the original dish uses macaroni as the main component, this keto-friendly version uses cauliflower instead.

Ingredients needed: Cauliflower, butter, shredded cheddar cheese, heavy cream, almond milk (unsweetened), olive oil, salt and black pepper.

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line the baking sheet with some parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, toss the cauliflower florets, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Place the cauliflower florets on the baking sheet and roast it for 15-20 minutes.
  4. In a saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients and let it heat up, over low heat. Ensure that you stir frequently.
  5. Once the cauliflower is done, place it into a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the cooked cauliflower and stir until it is well combined.
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4. Antipasto Salad

antipasto salad
keto diet

This simple salad is a perfect option for when you are hungry and looking for something quick. It is suitable for lunch, dinner, and snack.

Ingredients needed: salami, prosciutto, mozzarella balls, grape tomatoes, pepperoncini peppers, olives, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, black pepper, basil

How to make it:

  1. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and black pepper.
  2. Add all the ingredients except for basil and toss to combine.
  3. Once it is done, you may add in the basil and serve it.

5. Keto Spaghetti

keto spaghetti

The next time you start craving this classic Italian dish, you might want to give this recipe a go. It’s just as good as regular spaghetti with an amazingly rich sauce to pair.

Ingredients needed: keto spaghetti, keto spaghetti sauce, ground beef, parmesan cheese

How to make it:

  1. Start by preparing your keto spaghetti sauce. Add in the ground beef and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Then, set it aside.
  2. Cook your keto spaghetti in a pot of boiling water. Let it boil for 8-10 minutes until it is al dente before draining it. You may choose to substitute the keto spaghetti with other noodles (zucchini noodles, shirataki noodles, spaghetti squash, etc.)
  3. Place the noodles onto a plate and top it with the bolognese sauce. Serve it and enjoy.

7-Day Keto Diet Meal Plan with Free PDF

To save the trouble of thinking about what to cook each day, we have come up with a sample 7-day keto meal plan with a free PDF version to follow. This meal plan is also suitable for beginners.

Do note that this meal plan is only a guideline. You may choose to customize this meal plan by substituting it with other keto foods according to your food preferences and diet goals. Alternatively, you may also create your own meal plans.

7 day keto diet meal plan
Keto Diet Plan Free PDF

Monday

  • Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs
  • Lunch: Avocado Chicken Salad
  • Dinner: Cauliflower Fried Rice

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: Classic Bacon and Eggs
  • Lunch: Keto Baked Eggs
  • Dinner: Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee
  • Lunch: Ham, Mushroom, Spinach Frittata
  • Dinner: Antipasto Salad

Thursday

  • Breakfast: Keto Breakfast Casserole
  • Lunch: Baked Salmon
  • Dinner: Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

Friday

  • Breakfast: Roast Chicken Breast Salad
  • Lunch: Broccoli Cheese Soup
  • Dinner: Keto Meatballs

Saturday

  • Breakfast: Tuna Salad
  • Lunch: Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
  • Dinner: Lobster Salad

Sunday

  • Breakfast: Cheesy Avocado Omelet
  • Lunch: Chicken Fajitas
  • Dinner: Keto Tacos

Download the 7-Day Keto Diet Meal Plan Free PDF

Risks of Keto Diet

While this diet does have many positive benefits, it can also pose a number of risks if you were to stay on it in the long term.

Kidney stones

A huge risk of being on a keto diet is developing kidney stones. Eggs, meat, and cheese are high-fat foods that are also staples in this diet. Eating this excessively can result in a higher risk of getting kidney stones.

A diet that is high in fat can cause the blood and urine to become more acidic, leading to increased calcium in the urine. This increase in calcium is what causes kidney stones to happen [7].

Nutritional deficiency

As this diet requires you to restrict several foods like whole grains and legumes, you may not be consuming enough vitamins and minerals that are important for the body. Over time, this may lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Digestive issues

Going on a keto diet could potentially put you at risk of digestive issues like constipation. This is because there is a lowered fiber intake. Foods that are high in fiber are mostly high in carbs which means that it cannot be consumed. As a result, this will lead to discomfort and constipation.

For More Resources

For more meal plans, check out our other articles here!

No Sugar Diet

Low-carb Breakfast Ideas

Summary

The bottom line is that if you are choosing to embark on a keto diet, it may be beneficial in terms of improving metabolism, lowering blood sugar levels, aiding in weight loss, and more. On the flip side, the diet also comes with its own sets of risks that range from kidney stones to nutritional deficiencies. It is important to discern whether the diet is truly right for you by considering these factors.

If you are unsure, you are strongly advised to consult with a medical professional first.

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FAQs
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References  

Batch J T, Lamsal S P, Adkins M, et al. (2020) Advantages and Disadvantages of the Ketogenic Diet: A Review Article. Cureus 12(8): e9639. Available from: https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.9639

Boden, G., Sargrad, K., Homko, C., Mozzoli, M., & Stein, T. P. (2005). Effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Annals of internal medicine, 142(6), 403–411.

Harvard Health Publishing (2020) Should you try the keto diet? [online]. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/should-you-try-the-keto-diet

Liew, A. (2021)Keto Spaghetti Sauce [online]. Available from: https://thebigmansworld.com/keto-spaghetti-sauce/

Masood W, Annamaraju P, Khan Suheb MZ, et al. (2023) Ketogenic Diet. In: StatPearls [online]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/

Roekenes, Jessica and Martins, Catia (2021) Ketogenic diets and appetite regulation. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 24(4):p 359-363. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0000000000000760

Streit, L. (2020) 7 Keto Risks to Keep in Mind [online]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/dangers-of-keto-diet

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