A keto meal plan is your key to success on the ketogenic diet. Knowing which foods to eat (and which to avoid), meal prepping, and following a ketogenic guidelines will help you reach your macro goals and stay in ketosis.
One day If you find yourself in a conversation about dieting or weight loss, chances are you’ll hear of the ketogenic, or keto, diet. That’s because the keto diet has become one of the most popular methods worldwide to shed excess weight and improve health.
The main goal of a ketogenic diet – a nutrition plan high in fats and low in carbs – is to help you lose weight more efficiently by achieving ketosis. when your metabolism starts to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs and sugar. Atkins is a ketogenic diet, but unlike the standard keto diet, Atkins is less restrictive, meaning you get more food choices and a better balance of macronutrients.
The standard ketogenic diet is the most common approach to keto, and the most highly recommended method for beginners. Those who follow keto diet plan are typically looking to achieve weight loss or fat loss. You might also be looking to improve certain symptoms related to depression and mental health, inflammation, and cholesterol levels.
Purchase some ketostix – they aren’t expensive and you can even cut them in half to get double the strips. Some people say they don’t matter, but when you are suffering as much as you will be in the first few days, it’s nice to get the validation that it’s working.
Targeted Ketogenic Diet
The targeted ketogenic diet is ideal for maintaining exercise performance, and therefore best for athletes or those who maintain a high activity level. How does it work? it allows for glycogen resynthesis without interrupting ketosis for extended periods of time.
To follow the targeted ketogenic, use these guidelines:
- Consume 25-50 grams of carbs per day.
- Reduce highly digestible carbs 30 minutes to one hour prior to exercise.
- Consume high amounts of fats and moderate amounts of protein.
Keto-Preferred Foods to Eat
When following a ketogenic diet, meals and snacks should center around the following foods:
- Eggs: Pastured, organic whole eggs make the best choice.
- Nuts and seeds: Macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, peanuts and flaxseeds.
- Nut butter: Natural peanut, almond and cashew butters.
- Poultry: Chicken and turkey.
- Fatty fish: Wild-caught salmon, herring and mackerel.
- Meat: Grass-fed beef, venison, pork, organ meats and bison.
- Full-fat dairy: Yogurt, butter and cream.
- Full- fat cheese: Cheddar, mozzarella, brie, goat cheese and cream cheese.
- Healthy fats: Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut butter and sesame oil.
- Avocados: Whole avocados can be added to almost any meal or snack.
- Non-starchy vegetables: Greens, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers.
- Condiments: Salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, fresh herbs and spices.
Foods to Avoid
Avoid foods rich in carbs while following a keto diet.
The following foods should be restricted:
- Bread and baked goods: White bread, whole-wheat bread, crackers, cookies, doughnuts and rolls.
- Sweets and sugary foods: Sugar, ice cream, candy, maple syrup, agave syrup and coconut sugar.
- Sweetened beverages: Soda, juice, sweetened teas and sports drinks.
- Pasta: Spaghetti and noodles.
- Grains and grain products: Wheat, rice, oats, breakfast cereals and tortillas.
- Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, corn, peas and pumpkin.
- Beans and legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans.
- Fruit: Citrus, grapes, bananas and pineapple.
- High-carb sauces: Barbecue sauce, sugary salad dressings and dipping sauces.
- Certain alcoholic beverages: Beer and sugary mixed drinks.
Though carbs should be restricted, low-glycemic fruits such as berries can be enjoyed in limited amounts as long as you’re maintaining a keto-friendly macronutrient range.
Be sure to choose healthy food sources and steer clear of processed foods and unhealthy fats.
The following items should be avoided:
- Unhealthy fats: Margarine, shortening and vegetable oils such as canola and corn oil.
- Processed foods: Fast food, packaged foods and processed meats such as hot dogs and lunch meats.
- Diet foods: Foods that contain artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners such as sugar alcohols and aspartame.
Sugar can be found in a wide variety of beverages including juice, soda, iced tea and coffee drinks.
While on a ketogenic diet, high-carb drinks must be avoided just like high-carb foods.
It’s no small matter that sugary beverages have also been linked to various health issues — from obesity to an increased risk of diabetes
Thankfully, there are many tasty, sugar-free options for those on the keto diet.
Keto-friendly beverage choices include:
- Water: Water is the best choice for hydration and should be consumed throughout the day.
- Sparkling water: Sparkling water can make an excellent soda replacement.
- Unsweetened coffee: Try heavy cream to add flavor to your cup of joe.
- Unsweetened green tea: Green tea is delicious and provides many health benefits.
Sample Keto Diet 7-Day Meal Plan
Breakfast Scrambled eggs in butter on a bed of lettuce topped with avocado
Snack Sunflower seeds
Lunch Spinach salad with grilled salmon
Snack Celery and pepper strips dipped in guacamole
Dinner Pork chop with cauliflower mash and red cabbage slaw
Breakfast Bulletproof coffee (made with butter and coconut oil), hard-boiled eggs
Snack Macadamia nuts
Lunch Tuna salad stuffed in tomatoes
Snack Roast beef and sliced cheese roll-ups
Dinner Meatballs on zucchini noodles, topped with cream sauce
Breakfast Cheese and veggie omelet topped with salsa
Snack Plain, full-fat Greek yogurt topped with crushed pecans
Lunch Sashimi takeout with miso soup
Snack Smoothie made with almond milk, greens, almond butter, and protein powder
Dinner Roasted chicken with asparagus and sautéed mushrooms
Breakfast Smoothie made with almond milk, greens, almond butter, and protein powder
Snack Two hard-boiled eggs
Lunch Chicken tenders made with almond flour on a bed of greens with cucumbers and goat cheese
Snack Sliced cheese and bell pepper slices
Dinner Grilled shrimp topped with a lemon butter sauce with a side of asparagus
Breakfast Fried eggs with bacon and a side of greens
Snack A handful of walnuts with a quarter cup of berries
Lunch Grass-fed burger in a lettuce “bun” topped with avocado and a side salad
Snack Celery sticks dipped in almond butter
Dinner Baked tofu with cauliflower rice, broccoli, and peppers, topped with a homemade peanut sauce
Breakfast Baked eggs in avocado cups
Snack Kale chips
Lunch Poached salmon avocado rolls wrapped in seaweed (rice-free)
Snack Meat-based bar (turkey or pork)
Dinner Grilled beef kebabs with peppers and sautéed broccolini
Breakfast Eggs scrambled with veggies, topped with salsa
Snack Dried seaweed strips and cheese
Lunch Sardine salad made with mayo in half an avocado
Snack Turkey jerky (look for no added sugars)
Dinner Broiled trout with butter, sautéed bok choy
Now You’re Ready to Start a Keto diet Plan
A healthy ketogenic diet should consist of about 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% or less than 50 grams of carbs per day.
Focus on high-fat, low-carb foods like eggs, meats, dairy and low-carb vegetables, as well as sugar-free beverages. Be sure to restrict highly processed items and unhealthy fats.
The popularity of the ketogenic diet has made it easier than ever to find a wide array of interesting and healthy keto meal ideas online.
Using this article as a guide to get started on the keto diet can set you up for success and make transitioning to a high-fat, low-carb diet a breeze.