If you are looking to lose weight, the Keto (Ketogenic) diet may be the one for you, but, I guess if you are reading this then you are already interested in giving it a go. It is not the easiest (what is?) diet, but you’ll be glad that you did it. Just ask the hundreds of thousands of people who swear by its results!
What is the Keto diet?
Not unlike Atkins, the concept of the Keto Diet is to take in more calories from protein and fat rather than from carbohydrates. The idea is when your carbohydrate is under 50 grams per day, you eventually run out of fuel, typically within four days. At this point, your body will burn protein and fat for energy instead of carbs, this is called ketosis. Keep in mind that this diet is more focused on short-term weight loss rather than on long-term overall health.
What are the foods allowed/not allowed on the keto diet?
Different from other, more traditional, low-carb diets, with keto, even fewer carbohydrates are allowed. The majority of your calories will come from fat, around 60-80%. While everyone is different, most maintain ketosis with a daily net carb of 50-60 grams. To calculate your net carbs, take your total carbohydrates, subtract the fiber, and you have your answer. Here, we are going to go over many of the foods that you can incorporate into your menu and those that can kick you out of ketosis.
Let’s proceed with what is allowed on the keto diet:
- Grass-fed, organic beef
- Fish: salmon, tuna
- Dark meat chicken
- Low-fat proteins like skinless chicken breast, shrimp
- Cold cuts with sugar (always check labels)
- Any sugary sauces
- Fish/chicken nuggets
Oil & Fat:
- Avocado oil
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Heavy cream
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Corn oil
- Artificial trans fats
Fruits & Vegetables:
- Leafy greens such as spinach
Occasional consumption ok-
- Spaghetti squash
Nuts & Seeds
- Flax/Chia seeds
- Unsweetened almond or peanut butter
- Trail mixes with dried fruit
- Sweetened nut or seed butter
- Chocolate covered nuts
- Cheddar cheese
- Blue cheese
- Feta Cheese
- Full-fat cottage cheese
- Full-fat plain Greek yogurt
- Full-fat ricotta cheese
- Sweetened nonfat yogurt
- Ice cream
- Lemon butter sauce
- Mayonnaise (No sugar)
- Raw garlic
- Tomato sauce (without sugar)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Barbeque sauce
- Honey mustard sauce
- Almond milk
- Bone broth
- Plain tea
- Black coffee
- Unsweetened carbonated water
- Zero-calorie drinks
- Fruit juice
Herbs & Spices:
All herbs and spices are Keto-friendly. Although if using in large amounts calorie counting is recommended.
Supplements you should consider:
These can help produce ketones-
- MCT oil
- Exogenous ketones
This is not a complete list, but it should give you a general idea of some acceptable, Keto-friendly foods. Remember, cheating even one time could result in burning carbohydrates instead of fat again. Then all of your hard work goes right down the drain!
7-Day Keto Meal Plan/Menu:
The following is a sample Keto meal plan. This is more of a guideline, to help you with planning your own menu. Have fun with it. As stated earlier, spices and herbs are fine, so long as they are used in moderation. Put your own twist on it, but don’t forget to keep track of the calories!
- Breakfast – Scrambled eggs.
- Snack – Kale chips.
- Lunch – Keto avocado, goat cheese, and bacon salad.
- Snack – Handful of olives
- Dinner – Ground beef and salsa in a Keto tortilla.
- Breakfast – Full-fat Greek yogurt
- Snack – Laughing Cow single-serve cheese (full-fat)
- Lunch – Cauliflower fried rice
- Snack – Cherry tomatoes and mozzarella
- Dinner – Grilled skinless chicken with low-fat dressing topped, spinach.
- Breakfast – Ham and Cheese Frittata
- Snack – Pork rinds (don’t overdo it)
- Lunch – Chicken stir fry
- Snack – A handful of sunflower seeds
- Dinner – Grilled salmon with a side of roasted cauliflower
- Breakfast – Two cream cheese pancakes
- Snack – Keto-friendly veggie sticks
- Lunch – Tuna salad wrapped in lettuce leaves
- Snack – Deviled eggs (one or two)
- Dinner – Three Meatball Parmigiana, side of chopped lettuce with low-fat dressing
- Breakfast – Baked egg in an avocado
- Snack – Cacao Nibs
- Lunch – Turkey roll-ups with cheese
- Snack – Keto sushi
- Dinner – Baked chicken over zucchini noodles topped with Ragu sauce
- Breakfast – Scrambled egg and ham in a keto tortilla
- Snack – Bone broth
- Lunch – Bacon wrapped shrimp
- Snack – A handful of pumpkin seeds
- Dinner -Keto eggplant lasagna
- Breakfast – Mushroom omelet
- Snack – 10/12 Olives
- Lunch – Turkey arugula salad with avocado, blue cheese, and hard-boiled eggs
- Snack – Jerky (No sugar, though!)
- Dinner – Roasted chicken smothered in cream sauce and sauteed greens (spinach works!)
Is it hard? Well, yeah. Life is hard. Is it expensive? Somewhat, but when you are making a dietary lifestyle change, building up the basics can be a bit pricey. Once you have all of your herbs, spices, and other Keto necessities, your grocery bill will go down, I promise. Does it work? Absolutely. Many people swear by the keto diet. It does have some health benefits, such as lowering your blood sugar and insulin levels! As with anything, before committing to the Keto Diet, you should check with your family doctor. Congratulations on making the best decision of your life.