Gary D. Foster, Ph.D., Holly R. Wyatt, M.D., James O. Hill, Ph.D., Brian G. McGuckin, Ed.M., Carrie Brill, B.S., B. Selma Mohammed, M.D., Ph.D., Philippe O. Szapary, M.D., Daniel J. Rader, M.D., Joel S. Edman, D.Sc., and Samuel Klein, M.D., “A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Obesity — NEJM,” N Engl J Med 2003; 348:2082- 2090. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa022207.
I wanted to put it out there that I made this meal plan specifically with women in mind. I took an average of about 150 women and what their macros were. The end result was 1600 calories – broken down into 136g of fat, 74g of protein, and 20g net carbs a day. This is all built around a sedentary lifestyle, like most of us live. If you need to increase or decrease calories, you will need to do that on your own terms.
Now, what should you eat? There are endless combinations of food and it really depends on your personal preference. I put together a simple 3 day keto menu plan to get you started. This is what works for me, and because my body knows the drill, I can actually get back into ketosis in less than 2 days on this plan. If you are new to low carb, it may take you as long as 4 to 5 days. Don’t despair, it will happen.
Achieving optimal ketosis hinges on finding the right balance of macronutrients (or “macros” in keto-speak); these are the elements in your diet that account for the majority of your calories, a.k.a. energy—namely, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. By the way, it’s often “net grams” of carbohydrates that are counted toward your daily intake; “net” deducts the amount of fiber in a food from its carbohydrate total.

Here are a few of the most common side effects that I come across when people first start keto. Frequently the issues relate to dehydration or lack of micronutrients (vitamins) in the body. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water (close to a gallon a day) and eating foods with good sources of micronutrients. To read more on micronutrients, click here >
I have been a long time viewer but have been drowning in graduate studies, needless to say I fully fell off the wagon! Well May 17th graduation is almost here time to get back on the wagon! I was soooo happy that you have Keto Meal Plans!! Did you have any recipes for a Keto Smoothie that meets the Keto LCHF requirements for the mornings I have to get the kids off to school & run out the door. A lot of great smoothies on the web but they usually include fruit which significantly increases the carbs… Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
All I can say is WOW! I am a week in on this Keto way of eating and came across this simple recipe. Gotta admit, I didn’t think I would like it…I LOVE IT! So easy to make…took me 20 minutes total! It was light, moist and delicious. I used one small loaf pan, doubled the ingredients and made the regular one and the cheese mix in. Can’t wait to share the rest with my co-workers…we are doing this together. Will be back to check for other recipes. Thank you!
In terms of weight loss, you may be interested in trying the ketogenic diet because you’ve heard that it can make a big impact right away. And that’s true. “Ketogenic diets will cause you to lose weight within the first week,” says Mattinson. She explains that your body will first use up all of its glycogen stores (the storage form of carbohydrate). With depleted glycogen, you’ll drop water weight. While it can be motivating to see the number on the scale go down (often dramatically), do keep in mind that most of this is water loss initially.
The classic ketogenic diet is not a balanced diet and only contains tiny portions of fresh fruit and vegetables, fortified cereals and calcium-rich foods. In particular, the B vitamins, calcium and vitamin D must be artificially supplemented. This is achieved by taking two sugar-free supplements designed for the patient's age: a multivitamin with minerals and calcium with vitamin D.[3] A typical day of food for a child on a 4:1 ratio, 1,500 kcal (6,300 kJ) ketogenic diet comprises:[27]
Long-term use of the ketogenic diet in children increases the risk of slowed or stunted growth, bone fractures and kidney stones.[3] The diet reduces levels of insulin-like growth factor 1, which is important for childhood growth. Like many anticonvulsant drugs, the ketogenic diet has an adverse effect on bone health. Many factors may be involved such as acidosis and suppressed growth hormone.[37] About 1 in 20 children on the ketogenic diet will develop kidney stones (compared with one in several thousand for the general population). A class of anticonvulsants known as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (topiramate, zonisamide) are known to increase the risk of kidney stones, but the combination of these anticonvulsants and the ketogenic diet does not appear to elevate the risk above that of the diet alone.[38] The stones are treatable and do not justify discontinuation of the diet.[38] Johns Hopkins Hospital now gives oral potassium citrate supplements to all ketogenic diet patients, resulting in a sevenfold decrease in the incidence of kidney stones.[39] However, this empiric usage has not been tested in a prospective controlled trial.[9] Kidney stone formation (nephrolithiasis) is associated with the diet for four reasons:[38]
I’ve never heard of this program, but am definitely willing to try it. I do have a question, however; in my faith, we do not eat pig meat in any way, shape or form, so can I eat turkey bacon or sausage instead (for breakfast meats)? I’m not a day person, having worked the midnight shift for almost 20 years, so the meat/breakfast just isn’t relevant–I’d prefer to eat dinner-type foods instead–but if it has to be done in order to lose (a huge amount of) weight, I’ll adjust.
Hi Patricia, you can replace the avocado with any of the other snack options. I would omit the dessert rather than trying to sub for the avocado in it – or you can have 2 squares of Lindt 90% chocolate in place of it. Just be aware that there are a few grams of carbs in them so don’t overindulge and keep your carbs under 20g per day and you should be good to go!
You’re very welcome, Judy! I’m glad it’s helpful. If you are keto (as opposed to low carb), unfortunately peaches would not allow you to stay in ketosis. You can check my keto food list to help determine what is keto friendly. Of course, there are worse things than fresh fruit 🙂 but in the end our bodies still see the sugar. That being said, it doesn’t mean you sabotaged the whole day. Just pick up again – you got this!! (And for next time, try some fresh berries in moderation when you’re craving fruit.)
If you’re eating fewer carbohydrates than you’re used to, you’re probably also skimping on the insoluble fibre found in fruit, vegetables and whole-grain foods – the kind that adds bulk to your digestive tract and keeps things running smoothly. “When you cut out carbs, it’s hard to consume 25g of fibre a day – the amount you need for healthy bowel functioning,” says dietitian Bethany Doerfler. 
Beyond just fat loss, ketosis has an additional benefit in that it spares muscle when you’re eating at a deficit. On a normal diet, when you eat fewer calories than you need for the day, your body breaks down muscle and fat in nearly equal amounts to make up for the difference. With keto, your body is primed to burn mostly fat, particularly if you’re meeting your protein goal for the day. This results in a better metabolism and more total fat lost. Low carb recipes offer:
Low carb diets focus on keto recipes (also known as ketogenic recipes) like the ones below to keep your blood sugar stable, helping your body regain insulin sensitivity and keeping your mood and energy levels stable. Also, since processed food has so many additives – usually sugar included – low carb diets encourage you to cook for yourself. This leads to eating more whole foods and improving your diet in that way as well.
Love this! So glad I found you! Your menus are great, you make it easy with the shopping lists, (now if I could just find someone to do the shopping for me ;-)) I usually fall off the wagon to easy, my usual excuse not knowing what to make, but with your menus and lists it gives me no excuse. I just started and am anxious to see how it goes. I have also started my exercise again!
I don’t use mfp because it is almost never accurate on carbs for me. Every ingredient in this plan is individually documented and calculated by me so I know they are accurate. That being said, if some of the brands you are using have more sugar or carbs in them then you could be getting more than the plan calls for. If you’re going over then yes, you should eliminate any excess carbs, maybe by cutting out snacks and desserts.
I love this menu plan! One of the things I find difficult in low carb dieting/eating is that most of the recipes given are so complicated. Yours are not. Another point is that most low carb bloggers and recipe writers? Sometimes forget that people all around the world read your recipes, and a lot of the items listed just can not be bought! Thank you for keeping it nice and simple
To produce energy, the body typically uses carbohydrates. But after a few days on the keto diet, with its restrictive carb intake, your body cannot produce enough energy and looks for another source — breaking down stored fat to generate energy in a process called ketosis. It takes about a week for the body to start that shift from using carbohydrates or glucose, to using ketone bodies. The keto diet can help people lose weight. Some studies show those on the keto diet lose an average of five percent of their body weight, however the mechanisms are not clearly established.
"Plenty of people jump right in, thinking all they have to do is cut carbs and increase fat. All of a sudden, they hit a wall and get 'keto flu.' They feel tired, lethargic, and experience headaches," Wittrock says. "The primary reason they get these symptoms is lack of the three primary electrolytes: sodium, potassium, and magnesium. If you're deficient in any of these, you'll suffer mentally and physically. This is the single biggest reason people fail on the keto diet."
Help me please! Ketosis is the only thing that has ever helped to alleviate my chronic migraines but it is so hard for me to stick to because all of the plans I can find ( like this 3 day one ) use dairy products to fill most of the fat content. I am deathly allergic to dairy and soy products. How do I stay keto without all of the cheese and cream?!?!
"The keto diet is primarily used to help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. While it also has been tried for weight loss, only short-term results have been studied, and the results have been mixed. We don't know if it works in the long term, nor whether it's safe," warns registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
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