Are you looking for a sample keto diet meal plan to give this popular diet a try?
Keto short for ketogenic diet is a low-carb eating plan designed to help your body reach a state of ketosis.
Ketosis is a metabolic state that shifts your body from burning glucose to fat for energy. This shift also fuels the brain with energy, due to the production of ketones in the liver.
But reaching this state of ketosis isn’t easy.
To do this, you’ll need to follow a very strict diet consisting of fat, protein, and almost zero carbs. In fact, 60 to 75% of your entire diet should only comprise of fat.
You might think that adding that much fat to your diet equates to weight gain. As surprising as it sounds, a Ketogenic diet is perfect for weight loss.
And in addition to weight loss, this fat based diet also bears many other benefits.
Studies show that following a keto diet meal plan can improve Type 2 diabetes and brain health and such (1, 2).
It also leads to massive fat loss by putting stored fat in demand for fueling.
Thinking about giving a ketogenic diet meal a try?
This article explains what to eat and avoid while following a keto diet plan. It also provides a 7-day keto meal plan to get you started.
Keto (Ketogenic) Diet Basics
The keto diet meal plan is all about minimizing carbohydrate intake and upping fats. This is to allow your body to enter into the state of ketosis.
A shift your body makes to use fat as a form of energy when it doesn’t have enough carbs for your cells to use for energy.
To get to this state of ketosis your total calorie intakes should look something like this:
If you love carbs as I do, this might scare you, but don’t be. There are plenty of delicious keto carbs that you’ll enjoy.
You can even indulge some dark chocolate or rich raspberry cheesecake.
After about 7 days of following the keto meal plan, you go into ketosis. The state your body enters when it doesn’t have enough carbs for your cells to use for energy.
It then starts producing ketones, an organic compound your body uses in place of glucose. It also burns fat for energy as Beth Warren, R.D explains here.
To get to the state of ketosis, fats intake need to be around 60-75% of your total calorie intake. Proteins around 15-30% of energy needs, while carbs are usually restricted to 5-10%.
Keto Diet Meal Plan
Starting a new diet plan can be overwhelming, especially a meal plan like the keto diet.
But it doesn’t have to be.
The focus here is to limit your meals and snacks’ carbs while increasing fats and protein.
The general rule is that your carbs intake should stay around 5-10%.
Everyone’s body works differently.
You might only be able to achieve ketosis eating less than 25 grams of carbs.
All while, others may be successful with higher carbs intake.
The keto calculator will help you figure out your grams of carbs based on your total calorie intake per day.
Generally, fewer carbs you eat, easier you can reach the state of ketosis.
This is why having an approved list of keto foods is so important.
You’ll know what keto carbs are, and what’s not. It’s the best way to be successful and reaching the state of ketosis on the ketogenic diet plan.
What foods to include in the keto diet menu?
Keto-Friendly Foods to Eat
When following a keto diet, you should base your meals and snacks on the following foods:
These are low in carbs, low in the glycemic score, and generally healthy. They are nowhere comprehensive, so please feel free to add other foods that follow keto diet rules.
Let’s start this keto food list with healthy fats. While on a keto diet, your fat intake should be anywhere between 60% to 75% of your total calories.
Healthy Fats (60-75% Of Total Calories)
Dairy: Heavy cream, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, goat cheese, cream cheese, and cheese.
Nuts and seeds: Macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and pistachios. Chia seeds, pumpkin seed, and flaxseeds. Nut butter made with almond, cashew butter or non-GMO peanut butter.
Healthy oils: Olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and sesame oil.
Fats from animal sources: fish oil and organic and pastured meat fats.
Plant-based fats: olives, avocado, and coconuts
Proteins (15-30% Of Total Calories)
Protein is moderate on a keto diet at 15-30% of your total calories.
Protein is an essential part of keeping your metabolism running fast and smooth. Be sure to include a moderate amount of proteins in your keto diet. Here are some keto protein options to consider.
Eggs: Always pastured, organic and local if you can.
Poultry: Chicken and turkey
Fatty fish: Mackerel, salmon, tuna, trout, and herring. Shellfish such as shrimp, lobster, scallop, and clams.
Meat: Venison, pork, organ meats, bison, and grass-fed beef.
Carbohydrates (5-10% Of Total Calories)
Most limitations are for the carbs. While many attempts to completely cut off carbs, it’s not necessary.
Healthy complex carbs are often rich in fiber, an essential nutrient for the body. Choose non-starchy, fiber-rich carbs to fill 5-10 % of your total calories.
Vegetables: Leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers.
Fruits: Avocado, raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes
Condiments: Fresh herbs, spices, salt, pepper, vinegar, and lemon juice.
Water: Water is the best choice for hydration. Drink throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Infused water: Infuse with lemon, lime, cucumber, mint, herbs, berries, and peppers.
Sparkling water: Sparkling water can make an excellent soda replacement. Be sure to pick non-sugar varieties.
Coffee: Black coffee, keto coffee, and bulletproof coffee.
Tea: Green tea, black, tea, and herbal tea.
Foods to Avoid On The Keto Diet
To be successful on a keto diet, you also need a list of foods not to eat on a keto. These are high in sugar, highly-processed, and high in carbs. Restrict or avoid these foods while eating keto.
Bread and baked goods: White bread, whole-wheat bread, crackers, cookies, doughnuts, and rolls.
Processed grains: Spaghetti, noodles, wheat, rice, oats, breakfast cereals and tortillas.
Sweets: Sugar, ice cream, candy, maple syrup, agave syrup, and coconut sugar.
Sweetened beverages: Soda, juice, sweetened teas and sports drinks.
Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, corns, and peas.
Beans and legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans.
Fruit: Citrus, grapes, bananas, and pineapple. Generally, high-glycemic foods are not keto.
High-carb sauces: Barbecue sauce, sugary salad dressings, and dipping sauces.
In addition to the list above, there are foods you should remove from your diet altogether.
Unhealthy Foods To Be Avoided
Unhealthy fats: Margarine, shortening and vegetable oils such as canola and corn oil.
Processed foods: Fast food, packaged foods, and processed meats.
Those include hot dogs and lunch meats.
7-Day Sample Keto Diet Menu for A Week
|Breakfast||Bacon & Egg Cup with Avocado||2 cups||631||54.7g||26.45g||11.46g|
|Snack||Raspberry Lime Popsicle||1||140||14.2g||1g||3.3g|
|Dinner||Bacon-Wrapped Cod with Creamy Sauce||1||269||17.88g||22.13g||9.48g|
|Breakfast||Toasted Coconut Oatmeal||1||266||24.8g||5.2g||9.6g|
|Lunch||Chorizo Casserole with broccoli cheese soup||1||670||57.1g||30g||10.5g|
|Dinner||Greek Chicken Thighs||1||647||60g||21g||10g|
|Breakfast||Keto Bread with Butter||1||316||33.8g||4.6g||2.4g|
|Snack||Chili Pepper Cauliflower Bites||1||105||7.3g||3.3g||9.3g|
|Lunch||Chorizo Casserole with broccoli cheese soup||1||379||32.1g||17g||5.5g|
|Dinner||Chicken Marsala w/ Cauliflower||1||538||40.36g||37.36g||5.98g|
|Breakfast||Keto Breakfast Sausage Sandwich||1||880||82g||32g||6g|
|Snack||Iced Bullet Proof Coffee||1||220||20g||10g||0.3g|
|Lunch||Smoked Salmon and Avocado salad||1||124||9.09g||7.63g||3.87g|
|Breakfast||Eggs in an Avocado Basket||1||583||48.78g||22.1g||19.73g|
|Snack||Vanilla Egg Custard||1||568||59.5g||5.5g||4.5g|
|Lunch||Chipotle Lime Egg Salad Wrap||1||304||29g||12g||1g|
|Dinner||Simple Scallop with Garlic Sauce||1||255||15g||26g||5g|
|Breakfast||Italian Baked Eggs||1||214||16g||13g||2g|
|Snack||Flourless Chocolate Tortes||1||414||40g||8g||8g|
|Lunch||Smoked Salmon and Avocado salad||1||124||9.09||7.63g||3.87g|
|Dinner||Chicken Satay with Dipping Sauce||1||461||39g||26g||6g|
|Breakfast||Asparagus with Egg and Bacon||1||355||24g||25g||5g|
|Lunch||Chipotle Lime Egg Salad Wrap||1||304||29g||12g||1g|
|Dinner||Cowboy Steak with Arugula||1||889||71.48g||61.93g||2.86g|
They can also be full of flavors as spices are keto friendly.
Though many keto meals include meats and dairy, there are some vegetarian options. To expand your vegetarian and vegan keto dishes, I’ll post a separate listicle article! So if you are plant-based keto dieters, stay tuned.
A ketogenic diet like any other diet requires some good meal planning. Your menu should comprise of nutritious, fiber-rich foods with low sugar when you are on a keto. For your first week, you can follow the 7-day diet above, or you can use the food lists to come up with your own.
Just be sure to follow the keto rules and stay in synch with keto macro ratio to get and stay in ketosis.
Healthy Ketogenic Snack Options
When on a diet, the norm is to reduce your food intake. Skip a meal, reduce portions, eliminate a food group, just to name a few.
Thankfully on a keto diet, hunger has no part.
If you feel hungry at any given moment, you can grab yourself a keto snack to last till your next meal. In fact, they can help you stay on track following a ketogenic diet.
Many keto dieters report after several weeks on a keto, they feel less hungry. But take other people’s testimonials as a grain of salt.
Feel free to snack if you are hungry. Also if you are active, add up your food intake to meet your caloric and nutritional needs.
Here are some excellent, keto-friendly snack options:
- Almonds and cheddar cheese
- Half an avocado stuffed with chicken salad
- Guacamole with low-carb veggies
- Trail mix made with unsweetened coconut, nuts, and seeds
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Coconut chips
- Kale chips
- Olives and sliced salami
- Celery and peppers with herbed cream cheese dip
- Berries with heavy whipping cream
- Cheese roll-ups
- Parmesan Crisps
- Macadamia nuts
- Greens with high-fat dressing and avocado
- Keto smoothie made with coconut milk, cocoa, and avocado
- Avocado cocoa mousse
Though snacks are totally fine on a keto diet, stay mindful of your food intake. Eating in excess whether on a keto or any other diet can lead to a weight gain when continued.
One thing that can help to keep track of your macro portions and your daily calories is to keep a food journal. Generally, people who keep a food journal lose twice as much as those who don’t.
Even on a keto diet, those basic and fundamental diet tool can help stay focused and keep yourself in check.
Not sure of your caloric needs and your keto macros? Use this keto calculator to find out how many calories to eat and how much fats, proteins, and carbs to eat on a keto diet.
Snacking on a keto diet is perfectly acceptable. Not only that, there are many keto snack options to choose from. As with your keto meals, stay low carb, high fat, and moderate protein. It’s the key to reaching and staying in ketosis.
The Bottom Line
A healthy ketogenic diet should consist of about 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% or less than 50 grams of carbs per day.
The key to get and stay in ketosis is to diligently follow this keto macro guidelines. With the right balance of all three macros, your body can stave off the glucose and enter into the fat burning zone.
As for your meals and snacks, focus on food items that are high in fat and low in carbs. Eggs, cheese, avocados, and Bulletproof coffee are great examples.
Beverages are also not to be missed. If not being careful, they have a sneaky way of creeping up sugar and carb intake. Stay sugar-free and switch to water.
In addition to some snack options above, you can check out these 17 keto snacks that’ll keep you in ketosis.