Despite the plethora of information available both on KetosisIRL and other websites, I continue to receive questions/comments along the lines of “I’ve been doing a ketogenic diet for weeks/months and still not losing weight, what am I doing wrong?”. Today I’ve decided to write a very specific, step-by-step instruction list in the form of a 7 Day Ketogenic Diet Plan for Instant Results. Let’s start with the basics for a successful ketogenic diet plan.
KETOGENIC DIET BRIEF EXPLANATION
Before we start the 7 Day Ketogenic Diet Plan, let’s just go over a few key points as to what we’re going to do, why we’re doing it, and some additional tips and tools (aka supplements) that will help to achieve our goals.
WHAT KETOSIS ACTUALLY IS
You probably know this by now, and I’ve written many articles that cover this, but put as simply as I possibly can – ketosis is a state in which your body, due to a lack of available carbohydrates for a long enough time, begins to break down it’s own lipid (fat) cells and convert those to ketone bodies, which can be used as a source of energy for the body in the absence of sugars (carbohydrates).
WHY IS KETOSIS GREAT FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Once your body is in a state of ketosis, it has no choice but to burn fat for fuel. When there is absolutely no available sugars, in order to survive the body must breakdown other components into a usable fuel source. Your body is able to break proteins down and convert them into sugars via gluconeogenesis, but when you’re in a ketogenic state your body focuses on breaking down lipids to create ketones as it’s the most readily available energy source.
Long story short = ketosis equals fat loss (at a great pace too).
TOOLS AND SUPPLEMENTS TO AID A KETOGENIC DIET
I have written many articles on my favourite supplements, so please go and read those. Many will aid the ketogenic diet greatly, especially during the induction phase. Most of them also help with appetite suppression. I also recommend ketostix (keto dia sticks) for those not yet able to tell when they are in ketosis without them (you will eventually be able to tell once you’re used to it). Almost any chemist/pharmacy/drugstore will stock these as they’re used by diabetics but they can also tell you if you’re in a state of ketosis (instructions are on the packaging).
7 DAY KETOGENIC DIET PLAN FOR INSTANT RESULTS – FULL PLAN
I’m going to give you the no-bullshit, get results quick plan because personally I’m way too impatient for the slow and steady approach, and although the 30kg I lost over the past few years was technically “slow and steady”, all the actual weight loss was done in short bursts, with long periods of me being lazy and slowly gaining a little back again. This is exactly why slow and steady does not work for me, and why I believe most of us fail – we need results and we need them now!
Day 0?! What I mean by this is “as many days leading up to day 1 of the ketogenic diet plan as you need”. What we’re aiming for in the day (or days) before the ketogenic diet plan is:
- Building mental fortitude: Psych yourself up. Understand NOW that you’re absolutely going to dive right into this and not back out. If you’re anything like me (and I’m betting you are if you’re reading this) then you’re the kind of person who gets excited for something for a few days but then gets lazy or side-tracked and gives up. Not this time. NOT THIS TIME. Understand this – I have lost 30kg, 30-freaking-kilograms, or 66 pounds, going from 110kg to 80kg and I am so incredibly glad that I did. This will be worth the effort, I promise you!
- Prepare for cardio: I won’t lie to you, going through the ketogenic induction phase can really suck, leaving you feeling like you’re hungover all the time. It’s often call keto flu, as it resembles having influenza. But as I’ve detailed in my Ultimate Ketosis Induction Phase Survival Guide, you can really make the induction phase as quick and painless as possible and one of the fastest ways to do that is slogging out some painful cardio. Personally I use my exercise bike. I put on some TV shows or anime, and I slog away for a good 2 hours until my body has nothing left to sweat out. It sounds like hell, but it’s a 2-hour hell that is really, really worth the effort!
- Supplements: Again, I have a whole section dedicated to my favourite supplements. But if nothing else I recommend getting a good thermogenic fat burning complex such as 2Shredded – it has a bit of a “meat-head” vibe to the name but I swear by it’s ability to enhance energy, reduce appetite and keep me generally alive through the ketosis induction phase.
DAYS 1 – 7
You’re excited, you’re stocked up and you’re ready to start your 7 Day Ketogenic Diet Plan. It’s day 1 and your body probably has a good store of sugars/carbs available to keep it happy for the day, so you’ll likely feel completely normal all day. No pain, but plenty of gain (or.. well.. loss, really). I’m not going to beat around the bush and make this post longer than it needs to be. There’s no specific day 1, day 2 etc. Ketogenic dieting is the same today as it is 12 days from now. You can basically do and eat whatever you like as long as your net-carbs are below 50 grams. Although for the first 7 days I highly recommend aiming for as close to 0 per day as possible, as the keto flu will be over with much faster!
Mornings: If you’re someone who can go without breakfast, do so. For the induction phase, nothing speeds it up like fasting does, not even cardio. Being capable of fasting, even intermittently, usually takes a lot of discipline and a lot of time to get used to, so don’t feel like you must do this – it’s just helpful for those who can. If you’re going to have breakfast, here’s a few things to remember to absolutely avoid (for all meals really, as these will all break ketosis unless eaten in very small, controlled amounts):
- Wheat, including bread, cereals, pastas – anything really.
- Grains such as rice (white and brown), quinoa (and all those trendy, weird grains) and oats/muesli.
- Potatoes, of all varieties (not that anyone eats potatoes for breakfast, but still…).
Well, you get the point. No carbs. So what should you eat?
Bacon and eggs. Yes. Bacon and eggs. I know, it’s “high fat and cholesterol and your doctor doesn’t approve”. I can’t begin to stress enough just how much research there is to prove that saturated fats are not bad for you, and the eggs are very high in “good” cholesterol, HDL, which actually LOWERS your bad cholesterol, LDL.
If bacon and eggs are not your thing, here’s a list of breakfast ideas that you can incorporate into any day of the week:
- Super easy smoothies with 5 net carbs or less
- Keto Peanut Pancakes
- “Best keto cereal”
- And a Google search results of many, many more, as I’m not much of a chef and have very few recipes available.
The goal is to keep your carb intake to no more than 9 grams of carbohydrates in an hour and no more than 50 grams of carbohydrates in a day. But for the first week’s ketogenic diet plan I still recommend aiming for as little as 0 grams per day as possible to “get it over with” and get yourself in the fat burning zone. You can slowly increase your carb intake once the induction phase is over with.
Lunch and Dinner: This might sound a bit boring, but I recommend making life as easy as possible for the first week of the ketogenic diet plan and making a nice big batch of a low-carb meals for dinner on Day 0, that you can simply take out of the freezer/fridge, heat up in the microwave and enjoy without worrying about what to have each day. Something my partner and I often make “in bulk” is Chicken Pesto Zucchini Pasta. A 200 gram zucchini only contains about 6 grams of carbohydrate, and there’s almost 0 carbs in the rest of the ingredients. Add a little salt and pepper, chilli flakes or whatever you like if you want to change it up a little each day.
For dinner you will probably want a bit more variety, so here’s a few ideas:
- Low Carb Quiche
- Slow Cooker Steak Lover’s Chilli
- Keto Mini Chicken Pot Pies
- Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Stuffed Caprese Chicken
A reader recently asked me: “I actually thought you could eat say for instance a half of can of green beans or a full plate of cabbage, collards or mustard greens until full & maybe with a piece of baked chicken”.
And my response? Well, let’s first take a look at the carbohydrates found in each of these foods:
- Half a can of green beans: Approximately 7 grams.
- 1 cup of boiled, shredded cabbage: Approximately 7 grams.
- 1 cup of boiled collard: Approximately 9 grams.
- 1 cup of boiled mustard greens: Approximately 3 grams.
- 1 whole, roasted chicken breast (skin and all): 0 grams!
So in this example we can see that the beans, cabbage and collard are all close, or at the 9 gram per hour limit. And personally I wouldn’t find this particularly filling! I’d much prefer to eat a whole chicken breast, roasted with the skin still on and adequately coated in spices or with a nice, sugar free sauce (or pesto!). A good, ketogenic diet plan meal would be something like:
- 1 cup mustard greens (3g carbs)
- 1 cup boiled cauliflower (5g carbs)
- Mayonnaise, olive oil (garlic and onion infused are great) or any high fat, low carb dressing to flavour the vegetables
- 200 – 300 gram of a preferred, unprocessed meat (the fattier, the better!)
It can be a little tricky at first to keep carbs low enough, as many “healthy” foods are actually quite high in carbohydrates, but plug any food into Calorie King or MyFitnessPal and you will quickly see whether or not you can incorporate that food into your ketogenic diet plan. And remember: you don’t have to avoid these foods forever! After the induction phase is over, you can slowly increase carb intake and experiment until you find the right amount for your body that allows for a good balance of delicious foods, and continued rapid weight loss.