Keto Diet Meal Plan: 7-Day Menu for a Low-Carb Lifestyle

The keto diet has gained popularity due to its scientifically proven benefits for weight loss and improving overall health. However, some may experience difficulty choosing suitable food options without a proper keto diet meal plan.

This article will focus on making the keto diet simple, from what to eat and avoid to providing a complete 7-day meal plan, benefits, and drawbacks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Keto is a high-fat, low-carb, and medium-protein diet.
  • You focus on fatty fish, meat, and dairy, healthy fats like olive oil, and low-carb vegetables.
  • The sample keto diet meal plan helps you to reach and maintain ketosis and lose weight.

Table of Contents:

Keto Diet Plan Basics

The keto diet is a high-fat, very low-carbohydrate eating plan designed to shift your body into ketosis.

The body becomes proficient at burning fat for energy in this metabolic state1 rather than relying on carbohydrates. Ketosis is characterized by elevated ketone levels in the blood, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.

Key Principles of the Keto Diet:

  • High Fat Intake: Approximately 70-75% of your daily calories should come from healthy fats.
  • Moderate Protein Intake: About 15-20% of your daily calories should be derived from protein sources.
  • Low Carbohydrate Intake: Restrict carbohydrates to 5-10% of daily caloric intake, typically around 20-50 grams daily.

Keto Diet Meal Plan

If you plan on getting into the keto diet, you need to understand that some food options offer ketosis benefits, and some prevent it from occurring. This section will guide you on what to include in your meal plan and what to avoid.

keto diet meal plan

Keto-Friendly Foods

To maintain ketosis, focusing on foods that are low in carbohydrates but rich in healthy fats and moderate in protein is essential. Here’s a more detailed list of keto-friendly foods:


  • Fatty fish and Seafood: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Wild-caught is a better option than farmed.
  • Meat and Poultry: Focus on fatty cuts for better nutrition. Pork belly, chicken thighs, and ground beef are good options. Do not buy marinated meat products to avoid refined sugar and refined seed oils.
  • Eggs: The best protein source for those on a budget. Excellent source of complete protein and packed with vitamins.
  • Low-carb nuts and Seeds: Pilis, pecans, Brazil nuts, macadamia, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds are all good options.
  • Cheese: A good source of protein and fat. The rule of thumb for a ketogenic diet is always to prefer full-fat dairy products.

Healthy Fats:

  • Avocado and avocado oil: Packed with monounsaturated fats and fiber.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
  • Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil: A source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
  • Clarified Butter: Choose grass-fed butter for added nutrients.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.
  • Beef Tallow and lard

Low-Carb Vegetables:

  • Leafy Greens: Chard, pak choi, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, spinach, asparagus, watercress, arugula, cauliflower, savoy cabbage, kale, broccoli.
  • Low-carb veggies: Mushrooms, algae, radish, celery, artichokes, spring onions, shallots, onion.

Foods to Avoid

To achieve and maintain ketosis, it’s crucial to steer clear of high-carb foods. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of foods to avoid:

  • Grains: Including wheat flour, pose a threat to ketosis due to their high carbohydrate content. Grains also contain gluten and lectin.
  • Starchy vegetables: Elevate blood sugar and insulin levels, hindering the breakdown of stored fat.
  • Legumes: Are high in carbs and have weak protein bioavailability.
  • Sweets: Sweet treats and desserts loaded with sugar are unsuitable for keto, as are fruits due to their high sugar content.
  • Fruit juices: While natural fruit fiber helps mitigate blood sugar spikes, smoothies and juices lacking protective fiber are not recommended.
  • Refined seed oils: Soybean, corn, sunflower, canola, and peanut oil are among the world’s unhealthiest foods.
  • Sweeteners: While most artificial and natural sweeteners are non-nutritive, they can promote insulin secretion and harm gut health

Keto-Friendly Beverages

Yes, you can still enjoy casual beverages even when doing the keto diet. Here’s an overview of what to drink:

  • Alcohol in Moderation: Enjoy dry low-carb wines or clear spirits in moderation, steering clear of high-sugar cocktails and mixed beverages.
  • Mixing Strategies: Opt for sparkling water as a mixer instead of juices or syrups when enjoying alcoholic drinks on keto.
  • Avoid Sugary Mixers: Steer clear of long drinks filled with sugar, and be cautious with diet sodas, as non-nutritive sweeteners may stimulate hunger and weight gain.
  • Safe Choices for Keto:
    • Mineral water
    • Soda
    • Water with lemon or lime
    • Water with orange or cucumber slices
    • Green tea
    • Black tea
    • Oolong tea
    • White tea
    • Herbal tea (checking for added sugars)
    • Unsweetened almond milk
    • Unsweetened coconut milk
    • Bone broth
    • Diluted apple cider vinegar
    • Black coffee
    • Bulletproof coffee
    • Coffee with whipped cream
    • Low-carb wines
    • Clear spirits

7-Day Sample Keto Menu

In this section, you will find an easy-to-follow keto diet meal plan to get you started today.

Snacking is allowed even when doing keto. You will find keto-friendly snack options in the next section.

MondayScrambled eggs cooked in butter with spinach and feta cheese, bulletproof coffee (coffee blended with MCT oil and unsalted butter)Cobb salad with grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, and blue cheese dressingGrilled salmon with lemon butter sauce, roasted broccoli with olive oil and garlic
TuesdayKeto-friendly chia seed pudding made with unsweetened almond milk, topped with raspberriesCaesar salad with romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressingZucchini noodles (zoodles) with creamy Alfredo sauce and grilled shrimp
WednesdayGreek yogurt (unsweetened) with a handful of mixed berries and a sprinkle of chia seedsEgg salad lettuce wraps with mayonnaise and mustardBeef stir-fry with broccoli, bell peppers, and snap peas cooked in coconut oil
ThursdayKeto-friendly smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, spinach, avocado, and protein powderCaprese salad with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinaigretteGrilled chicken thighs with rosemary and garlic, and cauliflower mash with butter
FridayOmelette with mushrooms, cheese, and diced tomatoesShrimp and avocado salad with lime vinaigrettePork chops with Dijon mustard cream sauce, asparagus spears roasted with olive oil
SaturdayKeto pancakes and egg omeletTuna salad stuffed in bell peppersLamb chops marinated in herbs and grilled cabbage steaks baked in olive oil
SundayKeto-friendly egg muffins with spinach, cheese, and sausageAvocado and bacon salad with ranch dressingBaked cod with lemon and herbs and roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon

Visit our post for a 5-day weight loss plan especially curated for menopausal women.

Ketogenic Snack Options

Finding keto-friendly snack options is difficult since most snacks contain refined sugar and carbs. Here are our recommended snacks that you can have along with their nutritional content:

  • Hard-boiled eggs: Fat – 10.6g, Protein – 12.6g, Net Carbs – 1.1g.
  • Macadamia Nuts: Fat – 75.8g, Protein – 7.9g, Net Carbs – 5.6g.
  • Celery Stalks: Fat – 0g, Protein – 0.1g, Net Carbs – 0.3g.
  • Walnuts: Fat – 65.2g, Protein – 15.2g, Net Carbs – 7g.
  • Avocados: Fat – 14.7g, Protein – 2.0g, Net Carbs – 1.8g.
  • Olives: Fat – 15.3g, Protein – 1.0g, Net Carbs – 0.5g.
  • Raspberries: Fat – 0.7g, Protein – 1.2g, Net Carbs – 4.4g.
  • Crispy Bacon: Fat – 39.7g, Protein – 12.6g, Net Carbs – 1.3g.
  • Keto Cheese Chips: Fat – 33.1g, Protein – 24.9g, Net Carbs – 1.3g.
  • Beef Meatballs: Fat – 12.7g, Protein – 19.4g, Net Carbs – 0g.
  • Keto Fries: Fat – 11.0g, Protein – 2.0g, Net Carbs – 2.5g.
  • Lettuce Wraps: Fat – 50.4g, Protein – 8.8g, Net Carbs – 0.1g.
  • Cold-Cut Meat and Cheese Roll-Ups: Fat – 10g, Protein – 15g, Net Carbs – 0g.
  • Veggie Sticks: Fat – 0.1g, Protein – 0.6g, Net Carbs – 2.5g.
  • Sardines: Fat – 11.5g, Protein – 24.6g, Net Carbs – 0g.
  • Pickles: Fat – 0.2g, Protein – 0.3g, Net Carbs – 1.1g.

Simple Keto Diet Shopping List

When starting your keto diet journey, choosing what to buy first could be challenging, but we are here to help. Below is a list of things that are easily accessible and affordable to jumpstart your keto meal plans:

  • Proteins:
    • Chicken (Thighs, Breasts)
    • Beef (Ground, Steak, Roast)
    • Pork (Chops, Tenderloin)
    • Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Cod)
    • Eggs
    • Turkey (Ground, Breast)
  • Dairy:
    • Cheese (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Cream Cheese)
    • Heavy Cream
    • Butter
    • Greek Yogurt (Full Fat, Unsweetened)
    • Cottage Cheese
  • Vegetables:
    • Leafy Greens (Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard)
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Zucchini
    • Avocado
    • Bell Peppers
  • Fats and Oils:
    • Olive Oil
    • Coconut Oil
    • Avocado Oil
    • Nuts and Seeds (Almonds, Chia Seeds, Flaxseeds)
  • Condiments and Sauces:
    • Mayonnaise (Check for sugar content)
    • Mustard
    • Soy Sauce (Check for low-carb versions)
    • Hot Sauce
  • Beverages:
    • Water
    • Coffee
    • Tea
  • Snacks:
    • Low-carb nuts
    • String Cheese

Keto Diet Benefits

Drawbacks and Risks

  • Keto Flu: When starting the diet, individuals may experience symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and irritability, known as the keto flu,11 as the body adjusts to ketosis.
  • Muscle cramps: The body’s active release of salts can sometimes result in electrolyte imbalance, causing muscle crampings.
  • Digestive Issues: The keto diet can lead to constipation or digestive discomfort12 for some individuals when starting for the first time.
  • Kidney Stones: Some individuals may be prone to kidney stones13 due to increased calcium excretion in the urine.
  • Potential for Eating Disorders: The strict nature of the keto diet may contribute to unhealthy eating patterns and the development of eating disorders in susceptible individuals.

The Bottom Line

The keto diet offers a powerful tool for weight loss and potential health benefits. However, its success relies on proper adherence and understanding of potential drawbacks. Before starting, please consult a healthcare professional to ensure it aligns with your health goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a typical meal on keto?

A typical keto meal balances lean proteins, healthy fats, and low-carb vegetables. For instance, grilled chicken with avocado and sautéed spinach.

What foods do you eat on keto diet?

Keto-friendly foods include lean meats, fish, eggs, healthy fats (avocado, olive oil), and low-carb vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower). You can also have keto-friendly snacks and beverages.

What are the basic rules of the keto diet?

Maintain high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate intake. Eliminate or minimize grains, sugars, and starchy vegetables.

How do I start a keto diet for free?

Begin by researching keto-friendly recipes, planning your meals, and focusing on whole, unprocessed foods. Utilize reputable online resources such as Mental Food Chain for accurate and research-based knowledge on the keto diet.


1Paoli, A., Bosco, G., Camporesi, E. M., & Mangar, D. (2015). Ketosis, ketogenic diet and food intake control: A complex relationship. Frontiers in Psychology, 6.

2Ting, R., Dugré, N., Allan, G. M., & Lindblad, A. J. (2018). Ketogenic diet for weight loss. Canadian Family Physician, 64(12), 906.

3Batch, J. T., Lamsal, S. P., Adkins, M., Sultan, S., & Ramirez, M. N. (2020). Advantages and Disadvantages of the Ketogenic Diet: A Review Article. Cureus, 12(8).

4Alarim, R. A., Alasmre, F. A., Alotaibi, H. A., Alshehri, M. A., & Hussain, S. A. (2020). Effects of the Ketogenic Diet on Glycemic Control in Diabetic Patients: Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials. Cureus, 12(10).

5Roekenes, J., & Martins, C. (2021). Ketogenic diets and appetite regulation. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 24(4), 359–363.

6Dyńka D, Kowalcze K, Charuta A, Paziewska A. The Ketogenic Diet and Cardiovascular Diseases. Nutrients. 2023 Jul 28;15(15):3368. doi: 10.3390/nu15153368. PMID: 37571305; PMCID: PMC10421332.

7Hernandez AR, Hernandez CM, Campos K, Truckenbrod L, Federico Q, Moon B, McQuail JA, Maurer AP, Bizon JL, Burke SN. A Ketogenic Diet Improves Cognition and Has Biochemical Effects in Prefrontal Cortex That Are Dissociable From Hippocampus. Front Aging Neurosci. 2018 Dec 3;10:391. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00391. PMID: 30559660; PMCID: PMC6286979.

8Pinto A, Bonucci A, Maggi E, Corsi M, Businaro R. Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Ketogenic Diet: New Perspectives for Neuroprotection in Alzheimer’s Disease. Antioxidants (Basel). 2018 Apr 28;7(5):63. doi: 10.3390/antiox7050063. PMID: 29710809; PMCID: PMC5981249.

9Ułamek-Kozioł M, Czuczwar SJ, Januszewski S, Pluta R. Ketogenic Diet and Epilepsy. Nutrients. 2019 Oct 18;11(10):2510. doi: 10.3390/nu11102510. PMID: 31635247; PMCID: PMC6836058.

10Tan-Shalaby J. Ketogenic Diets and Cancer: Emerging Evidence. Fed Pract. 2017 Feb;34(Suppl 1):37S-42S. PMID: 30766299; PMCID: PMC6375425.

11S. Bostock, E. C., Kirkby, K. C., Taylor, B. V., & Hawrelak, J. A. (2020). Consumer Reports of “Keto Flu” Associated With the Ketogenic Diet. Frontiers in Nutrition, 7.

12Dowis, K., & Banga, S. (2021). The Potential Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet: A Narrative Review. Nutrients, 13(5).

13Acharya, P., Acharya, C., Thongprayoon, C., Hansrivijit, P., Kanduri, S. R., Kovvuru, K., Medaura, J., Vaitla, P., Garcia Anton, D. F., Mekraksakit, P., Pattharanitima, P., Bathini, T., & Cheungpasitporn, W. (2021). Incidence and Characteristics of Kidney Stones in Patients on Ketogenic Diet: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Diseases, 9(2).

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc. is an author and blogger from Austria who writes in-depth content about health and nutrition. His book series on Interval Fasting landed #1 on the bestseller list in the German Amazon marketplace in 15 categories.

Stephan is a true man of science, having earned multiple diplomas and master's degrees in various fields. He has made it his mission to bridge the gap between conventional wisdom and scientific knowledge. He precisely reviews the content and sources of this blog for currency and accuracy.

Click on the links above to visit his author and about me pages.

Leave a Reply