7 Day Keto Meal Plan for Women (Ideas + Easy Recipes)

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Keto Meal Plans for Women
Wellness Mama » Blog » Health » 7 Day Keto Meal Plan for Women (Ideas + Easy Recipes)

It seems like everyone these days is talking about the amazing health benefits of a ketogenic diet. The benefits range from feeling more energetic to losing weight to having better mental clarity. (All categories we moms dream about…)

Restricting sugar and consuming plenty of healthy fats (as recommended in the keto diet) does show benefits to blood sugar regulation, appetite control, weight loss, reversing or managing chronic disease, calming inflammatory conditions, and even preventing and reversing cancer.

It all sounds great, but where to start?

Not to worry! The ketogenic diet is actually very simple to follow. In this post, I will help guide you through a sample weekly meal plan focusing on high quality fat-focused meals allowing for maximum nutritional benefit.

But first …

Is a Keto Meal Plan for Everyone?

Before beginning an dietary protocol, I recommend checking with your doctor as to what is best for your body. For most people, the ketogenic diet is safe and provides incredible health benefits. However, there are some people that should NOT attempt a ketogenic diet, and many moms may fall in this category. These people include:

  • pregnant women
  • women who are breastfeeding
  • children under the age of 18
  • women with irregular or absent menstrual cycles
  • elite athletes
  • women with clinically high cortisol levels

If you fall in one of these categories, simply following a real-food diet or the diet recommended by your doctor is best.

What the Keto Diet Is (& What It Isn’t)

The ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate diet that allows the body to transform its source of fuel from glucose to a more efficient form of energy. This source is called ketones, which are derived from fat. Properly done, this diet puts our bodies in a state of ketosis.

Beginning a keto diet can feel exciting since it includes a high amount of delicious, satiating fats. But let me be clear: grabbing a double bacon cheeseburger without the bun is not going to make you healthy. Junky high-fat options like that are full of chemicals, hormones, fillers, trans-fats, and artificial ingredients that our bodies are not able to process.

The true benefits of the ketogenic diet surface when you consume good quality fats and whole foods rather than their highly processed alternatives.

Keto Meal Plan: What’s on the Menu?

A detailed list of foods you can eat is always a must when pursuing any new dietary protocol. Remember, the goal of the ketogenic diet is to get the body into a state of ketosis or fat-adapted. Focusing on fat as the main course in all meals will help you to achieve ketosis faster.

Fats

Go crazy with this list! Fat is what a keto meal plan is all about.

  • Coconut (meat, cream, oil, milk, butter)- Check for food sensitivity first.
  • Avocado (the fruit and/or avocado oil)
  • Cacao butter
  • Olive oil (this one is my favorite)
  • Lard
  • Tallow
  • Duck fat
  • Grass-fed butter (or ghee for a dairy-free ketogenic diet)
  • Heavy whipping cream (full-fat coconut milk for dairy-free keto)- Check for food sensitivity to dairy first.
  • Medium-chained triglyceride (MCT) oil
  • Aged grass-fed cheese (cheddar, gruyere, manchego, gouda, blue cheese, and parmesan)- Check for food sensitivity to dairy first.
  • Pepperoni/salami/prosciutto
  • Bacon fat/lard/beef tallow for cooking
  • Healthy mayo
  • Nuts: almonds, pecans, pistachios, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts
  • Seeds: chia, hemp, pumpkin
  • Macadamia nuts/oil (best option for nuts as they have a high omega-3 fat content)
  • Pasture-raised pork rinds (I like this assortment)
  • Green or black olives
  • Sardines
  • Wild-caught salmon

Higher-Fat Proteins

Find a local farmer with these options, or there are some great mail-order options that ship humanely raised grass-fed meats and quality seafood right to your door.

  • Pasture-raised pork/bacon
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Bison
  • Duck
  • Wild boar
  • Venison
  • Turkey
  • Cage-free/pasture-raised chicken
  • Cage-free/pasture-raised eggs
  • Lamb
  • Wild-caught fish (salmon, tuna, shellfish, cod, sea bass, mackerel, mahi mahi, anchovies, sardines, lobster, scallops, mussels, crab)

Carbohydrates

Sticking to lower carbohydrate veggies (and limited fruits) are essential to staying in ketosis. The following veggies should take up most of your plate at each meal.

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Green leafy vegetables (romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale, collard greens, cabbage, bok choy, dandelion greens, leeks, parsley)
  • Radishes
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Scallions
  • Seaweed
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Fermented pickles (no sugar added)
  • Minimal amount of berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • Lemon/lime

Other

It is important to note that many sources promoting the ketogenic diet will use artificial sweeteners such as erythritol, sucralose, mannitol, sorbitol, dextrose. It is best to avoid these when possible as they disrupt the balance of good vs. bad bacteria in the gut. In my opinion using a little stevia is a good sugar replacement, but I still use it sparingly.

Helpful Hints

One important strategy for a successful keto diet is increasing salt intake. Especially when first beginning a ketogenic diet, this will help decrease symptoms such as fatigue and headache.

It is important to note that even on a ketogenic diet, vegetable fiber is critical to promote and maintain a healthy microbiome (gut bacteria) and should not be avoided as a means of decreasing carbohydrate intake. To put it plainly, eat a ton of vegetables!

How Much Do I Eat?

Each body is different and requires different amounts of macronutrients to thrive. According to Daniel Pompa, the ketogenic diet should contain the following balance of nutrients in a day:

  • 65-80% of calories from fat
  • 10-15% of calories from protein
  • 5-10% of calories from carbohydrates (most of which should come from vegetables or low-glycemic fruits)

For women, I recommend leaning more towards the higher end of 10% of total calories from carbohydrates as it will help maintain healthy hormone levels and promoting healthy gut bacteria.

When beginning the ketogenic diet, it is wise to begin tracking your macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrates) using the percentage scale above. This will help to ensure that you are consuming enough fat to promote ketone production.

When Do I Eat?

Ideally, a keto meal plan means eating within a specific window of time rather than grazing and snacking all through the day. This is also called intermittent fasting and can be done in a variety of ways. One simple way to do it is to eat your last meal before 7:00 p.m. and not eat again until 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. the following day. That way we “fast” while we sleep and give the digestive system an extended rest period which allows our cells to increase energy production and efficiency.

Adjust As Needed

It is important to note that the meal plan below provides options for 3 meals per day. Once ketone production increases and the body is fat adapted, hunger and the need for frequent meals typically decreases. This is ok! Eat when you are hungry and eat until you are satisfied.

7 Day Sample Keto Meal Plan & Recipes

When starting anything new, keeping it simple and easy is key to success. Aim for an easy meal plan, even if that means a few repetitive meals or eating leftovers during the week. Focus on allowing the body to adapt to the change before diving into more elaborate ketogenic meals and varied meal plans.

Monday

Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee or Tea

If you are sensitive to caffeine or coffee, try dandelion tea which has a similar taste and texture to coffee, but eliminates the caffeine while providing fantastic detoxification benefits.

Lunch: Leafy Green Salad with Salmon

  • Fresh, wild-caught salmon
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2-3 cups of green leafy vegetables
  • 1 handful of macadamia nuts
  • 1-2 TBSP of olive oil
  • Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing (or homemade dressing with quality fats)

Dinner: Grass-Fed Beef Burger with Broccoli

  • 4 oz grass-fed beef burger (prepare 2 for leftovers the following day)
  • 1-2 TBSP of guacamole
  • 1 cup of broccoli cooked in olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, or ghee

Tuesday

Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee or Veggies Scrambled in Olive Oil

Lunch: Leftover Grass-Feed Beef Burger

  • Top with choice of cheese, lettuce, onion, healthy mayo

Dinner: Kiolbasa

  • Kiolbasa (1-2 sausages)
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Asparagus roasted in butter or bacon fat

Wednesday

Breakfast: Coconut Flour Pancakes

Lunch: Chicken Salad Wrapped in Lettuce

Dinner: Bacon Chicken Alfredo

  • Use zucchini pasta in place of the shirataki noodles.

Thursday

Breakfast: Omelette

  • 3 eggs
  • Bacon or sausage
  • Spinach
  • Cheese of choice (optional)

Lunch: Bacon, Turkey, and Avocado (BLA) Lettuce Wrap

  • Assemble ingredients in lettuce wrap and topped with mustard, mayo, or both.
  • Pickle on the side
  • A handful of olives

Dinner: Ribeye Steak

  • Grass-fed ribeye steak, topped with butter or ghee and seasoning.
  • Side salad of leafy greens with shaved almonds, parmesan cheese, and real bacon bits slathered in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Sauteed cabbage in butter with salt and pepper.

Friday

Breakfast: Egg and Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

  • One piece of high-fat breakfast sausage with no added sugar served between 2 fried eggs. (Yes, really!)
  • A spread of guacamole over the sausage creates an excellent twist on textures.

Lunch: Stuffed Zucchini Sausage Boats

Dinner: Grass-fed Meatballs over Zucchini Pasta

  • Topped with parmesan cheese

Saturday

Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee

Lunch: Avocado with Crumbled Pork Rinds and Side Salad

  • Add a squeeze of lime or lemon on avocado if desired.

Dinner: Chicken and Spinach Alfredo

  • Add one cup of spinach and let wilt in the sauce.
  • Use zucchini pasta in place of the shirataki noodles.

Sunday

Breakfast: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bomb

Fat bombs are a fantastic way to ensure that you hit your fat count for the day.

Lunch: Antipasto Salad

  • Leafy greens/lettuce
  • Olives
  • Pepperoni
  • Salami
  • Cheese
  • Peppers
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Dinner: Burrito Bowl

  • Lettuce
  • Shredded beef or pork
  • A massive mound of guacamole
  • Cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Sautéed onions and peppers
  • A fried egg if so desired

Common Questions About the Ketogenic Diet

I get a lot of questions about the keto diet. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

All this fat! Will I gain weight?

First of all, the idea that fat will make us fat is a huge misconception in our society. In fact, the exact opposite is true. The fat in our bodies is actually a stored form of glucose. When blood sugar levels become too high, insulin levels rise in order to carry glucose into the cells for energy production. When the cells have an adequate amount of glucose to fuel themselves, the excess glucose is stored in the liver and muscles or deposited as fat. In other words, excess carbohydrates (glucose) increases fat build up, not necessarily dietary fat.

Isn’t all this fat bad for heart health/cholesterol?

Our bodies need cholesterol. Our cells, brains, and even hormones are made from it! An article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that the markers of cardiovascular health including total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides actually improve on a high fat/low carbohydrate diet.

It is important to note that LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) may appear to increase on a ketogenic diet. However, the total levels of LDL are separated into large and small sized particles. The large particles are beneficial and the small particles typically increase the risk of harmful cardiovascular conditions. As long as the large LDL-sized particle dominates over the small sized particles, then the increase in LDL is beneficial.

Can kids eat this way too?

The good quality fats of the ketogenic diet are beneficial for everyone! However, as children are still growing and require a massive amount of fuel for growth, a very low carbohydrate diet is not good for kids (unless recommended by a doctor for a specific medical condition). In order to make meal prep for a family easier, simply take the ketogenic diet and add some carbohydrates in the form of sweet potato, squash, or even some white rice. This will provide a fantastic balance between food groups for the younger crowd without having to prepare multiple meals.

What’s next?

Try the Real Plans meal planning app for more keto meal plans and a shopping list customized to your pantry. Using this app to meal plan is my not-so-secret weapon and saves me a lot of time in a week.

Keto Meal Plan: The Bottom Line

The ketogenic diet can help reset the body by balancing blood sugar and insulin levels and decreasing inflammation. It often promotes weight loss as well. However, the more I learn about health the more I realize that variety is key to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Especially for women, carb cycling is helpful versus following a strict lifelong ketogenic diet. This is the best approach to balance the hormone responses in the female body and feed the beneficial bacteria in our guts.

Do you have a ketogenic meal plans that works for you? Please share in the comments below!

Sources
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

48 responses to “7 Day Keto Meal Plan for Women (Ideas + Easy Recipes)”

  1. Flora Avatar

    Thank you so much, Wellness Mama!! I am starting this very soon and your article was very helpful. As always!! 🙂 Xoxo

  2. Carol Avatar

    You mention ghee as a way to make the keto plan dairy free, but ghee is dairy. I assume this was a typo….

  3. Bertine Avatar
    Bertine

    Our bodies do greatly benefit from ketones released in the body. Which basically happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbs to run of so it switches to using fat instead. This said, after having done a somewhat ketogenetic diet myself I have turned away from it after doing a lot of research in to it. I would NOT recommend the ketogenic diet to anyone. I am a bit sad to see yet another influential person has ‘fallen’ for this diet and is now promoting it. (@wellness mama, I mean this sincerely and I mean no disrespect! if you have any questions feel free to contact me).
    Even though it does lead to weight loss in most cases in the long run it is very harmful, supporting cancergrowth, vascular disease and many more health problems. When you look at the so called blue-zones, places known for their longevity none of these eat a diet similar to ketogenetic diet.
    Documentaries that have helped me to provide the information to switch my diet and now thriving on it (and quickly recovering from braininjury that i couldn’t on a keto diet) are: eating you alive, forks over knives. (and i’m curious to see ‘gamechangers’ apparently out on netflix in the US already: not yet in europe..)
    Also check out ‘the china study’ by dr Campbell and the works of Neal Barnard and Michael Gregor.
    The good news about the state of ketosis is that you can reach this by intermittend fasting.

  4. Jenny Avatar

    You mention that the keto diet may not be right for women with irregular or absent menstrual cycles.

    But, for women with irregular or absent periods due to polycystic ovary syndrome (like me), there’s a lot of evidence to support that the keto diet might work really well to alleviate or reverse the symptoms of the disease. I encourage any women in this situation to research it and talk to their doctor.

    I haven’t taken the plunge yet. It’s a huge life step, and I have to figure out how this style of eating would work with my family, and whether I could sustain it over the long haul. But the more research I do, the more I think it may be the step I have to take.

    1. Jennifer Avatar
      Jennifer

      Jenny- Not sure if you have read Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden. I have not finished it yet but it is amazing. She recommends a lot of help and suggestions for POS.

  5. Bob Avatar

    You mention ” absent mentrual cycles”. Does that include women who have had hystorectomies?

  6. Roni Avatar

    What do you mean by CARB CYCLING? Do you mean cheat days? If so, how often?

  7. Alicia Avatar
    Alicia

    Lauren, I agree! I just started keto six weeks ago and wellness mama has an article. I’ve been following here probably from the beginning and am never let down by the pointers and insights. Katie, this is helpful for anyone wanting to know more about keto. Have you looked into ketone supplements at all? I am taking them and have been very happy with the results: mental clarity, better sleep and satiety, and more energy.

    1. Patra Avatar

      Alicia, what are keto supplements? Since I can’t do fats everyday, maybe the supplements are a better alternative.

  8. Care Avatar

    Above in “When do I eat?”, is it correct you fast until 11-12P.M., or was that supposed to be A.M.?

  9. Tammy L Avatar
    Tammy L

    Great post! I just got finished reading the book, The New Body Type Guide by Dr. Eric Berg. A great read and he recommends a ketogenic diet with some variations. Starting my keto lifestyle today! 🙂

  10. Kelly Avatar

    Hi Katie,
    Thank you for this article. I was looking for some differebt ideas as I have been stuck with what to make for meals.
    I also love the research as it is helpful to understand it better.
    I was wondering if you have heard or researched macros before?
    I have been looking into that as well as it seems similar to this but slightly different. Curious your thoughts.

    1. Teneko Avatar
      Teneko

      Vegetarian + keto can be very difficult. I think it will depend on whether you eat eggs and dairy or not. Pulses (beans) tend to be high in carbs, so your protein sources will be extremely limited. Just make sure if you’re eating tofu that you pair it with some wonderfully healthy fats like avocado and homemade mayo.

      -T.

  11. Blenda Avatar
    Blenda

    Hi Katie! I love all the helpful advice you share,; your blog has been an incredible resource for me and my family for many years. Often you hit on topics that I am trying (and struggling) to thoroughly research on my own, and I really appreciate the work you do!

    One quick note about this article: when describing the nightly fasting method I think writing “until 11-12 pm” is confusing. I already use this fasting method and I still thought you meant midnight at first glance. Maybe it would be clearer to write “11am – noon”, or “11-12 the following morning”?

      1. Alicia Avatar

        I was fortunate enough to discover your website and couldn’t be more grateful to you Katie for providing this much help/resources! Speaks a lot to your genuine desire to help others. I recently started eating only from home for dieting purposes – as going out for food has been a bad habit of mine – and I’ve been really enjoying the recipes on the site.

        Good job, Katie! Hope your helpfulness returns to you 7 fold.

    1. Dianne Avatar
      Dianne

      Bummer. I was hoping this was a loophole so I didn’t have to wait until lunchtime to eat.?

  12. Angela Avatar
    Angela

    Ive been on keto for about a week to lose weight and gain the benefits of energy, mental clarity etc… So far loving it! I see you mentioned the females hormone response to the diet which Ive read about a ton! Including how to regulate PH levels, and that carb cycling can be healthy for a female. Do you have a post on this? Im researching how I can incorporate a day or two with higher carbs, and then return to low carb the following days in a healthy way. (Looking for helpful info and resources before I have to ask a professional)

    1. Christy Avatar
      Christy

      Have you looked at Trim Healthy Mama? It’s by a pair of sisters who recommend carb cycling. There are a bunch of recipes and I’m pretty sure they have a support app or website as well.

    2. Kristen Avatar
      Kristen

      Coming from someone who is certified in nutrition, I just wanted to mention a few things…
      In your food list you mention both deer and venison (venison is deer meat) so you may want to correct that.
      I have done the keto diet many times over the past 14 years with the help of my personal trainer but only stay on it for no longer then 6-8 weeks. After that, I eat healthy and continue to work-out. I also add in cheat days to help speed up my metabolism. So 1 day each week starting on week 3, I pick a 1-hour time slot (the same day every week) and eat whatever high carb foods/sweets I love.

  13. jill Avatar

    I’m doing the keto but am allergic to avocados and cant take the taste of coconut oil? What else can i use please? thanks

    1. Teneko Avatar
      Teneko

      I supplement with flax oil, macadamia nut oil (when I can afford it), and good ol’ olive oil. Cacao butter comes in chunks and is wooooonderful – just make sure what you get is food grade. Terrasoul (online) and Navitas (available in some natural food stores) make some good cacao butter. It will melt in hot coffee. MCT oil and refined coconut oil do not have a coconut smell/taste. You might try the MCT oil and see if you can stomach it. Start with a small amount. Some people get a really icky feeling if they have too much MCT or coconut oil at once.

  14. Rachael Avatar
    Rachael

    Just wondering why you dont recommend keto for breastfeeding or pregnant women? Is it just bc there haven’t been studies on them?

      1. Kayla Avatar

        I have read that keto can be very effective for those with PCOS as it helps regulate hormones. Also, do you have a source for saying babies don’t like the taste of BM from a mom in ketosis? I have heard that low carb can reduce milk supply, but never the argument about the milk tasting different. I’ve really enjoyed your keto podcasts lately I would really appreciate if you could expound on those two points!

  15. Teneko Avatar
    Teneko

    Oh, I forgot to mention, in your section about who shouldn’t do keto…
    I would suggest people with gall bladder issues NOT try keto! My mom tried to keep up with my high fat diet when she was visiting me once and ended up sick as a dog from overdoing the fats. Definitely check with a doctor who is familiar with current medical information, and try to get some baseline bloodwork done before starting.

  16. Teneko Avatar
    Teneko

    Hubby and I have followed a ketogenic lifestyle for about 4 years now. He lifts weights and does a lot of cardio and is arguably even more strict about his carb intake. He’s down to single digit body fat and is in the best shape of his life. Inspiring. I started off over 150 lbs at 5’4″ and just was hoping to drop a little weight, maybe get down to 130. Surprise! I made my goal and it just kept dropping off until I got to 115 lbs. In HS, I weighed 105 lbs and nobody batted an eye, but my family was so concerned at my “low weight” that now I hover closer to 118-120. My doctors haven’t been concerned about my weight and say it’s healthy. Only thing they worry about is that my TOTAL cholesterol is a little high. Good cholesterol and ratio is really good, though.
    No, it’s not boring. No, it’s not “unsustainable”. No, it’s not All You Can Eat Bacon.
    One tip that really helps is using a food scale and MyFitnessPal (app / website). That would go for any diet / way of eating, however, if you were concerned about adjusting your weight down or up.
    Also, I found a recipe for a Rocket Fuel Latte on another site that is really great for women and folks avoiding dairy. It has hemp hearts, cacao butter, coconut / MCT oil, and collagen/gelatin with your coffee blended up for breakfast. I drink mine too fast for the gelatin to set. 🙂

  17. Patra Avatar

    I don’t recommend this for women who have high cholesterol or even borderline. Butter, duck fat, ghee, tallow, avocado, nuts and lard are not recommended as these fats increase cholesterol in the liver.

    1. Carolyn Avatar
      Carolyn

      Consuming high saturated fat diet has never been shown to increase cholesterol in the body in a negative way. Yes, HDL typically increases – that’s good. And Triglycerides drop dramatically – that’s good too. LDL may increase initially, but a simple test of particle size, show an increase in large fluffy particle – also good. Ever cell in our body needs cholesterol. Our brains need cholesterol. In a recent study, subjects with cholesterol between 160 and 260 had no difference in heart health outcomes. Women with higher cholesterol live longer and have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s. Nuff said.

      1. Patra Kouvelis Avatar
        Patra Kouvelis

        Unless you work in the medical field which I assume you don’t, heart attacks due to the hardening of the arterial walls is still the number 1 killer. Also, the ratio between LDL and GDP is highly significant. Women with a high predisposition for producing high amounts of cholesterol regardless of eating good fats, run the risk of a heart attack. As we tell our patients with this predisposition avoid eating fat, do not eat high amountsof avocado, limit nuts, and avoid cooking olive oil over 350 degrees.

          1. Patra Avatar

            Unfortunately, saturated fat is still the number 1 killer of heart disease. Your article isnt from a medical science archive abstract with loads of medical research data to back up the theory. Listen to Dr. McGregor or Dr. Mercola, online for free or get source your data from BMJ or NEMJ or PNA.

            There’s a typo above it’s supposed to be HDL not GDP. My phone automatically changed it.

  18. Lauren Avatar
    Lauren

    Great article! I can’t tell you how many times I just start looking into a topic and then you make an article about it.

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