When following a keto diet, some people may find it difficult to work out the right foods to eat and when to eat them. Meal plans can help people get used to the diet or stick with it.
The keto diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. Potential benefits of the keto diet plan include weight loss and fat loss.
Though various sources report different percentages, a keto diet comprises approximately:
A study in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism reports that those following a “well-formulated” keto diet typically consume under 50 grams (g) of carbs and approximately 1.5 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
In order to stick to these macronutrient ratios, most experts agree that meal planning for a keto diet is essential.
Read on to learn more about the keto diet and discover what a 7-day keto meal plan might look like.
A keto meal is one that contains under 50 g of total carbs or contributes about 30 g of net carbs per day. Net carbs are total carbs minus the fiber.
Fiber is present in plants and is important to include in a keto diet because fiber protects gut bacteria, improves digestive function, and helps prevent constipation.
In the keto diet, the majority of daily calories come from fats, while lesser amounts come from proteins. Meat, fish, eggs, and dairy feature heavily in the keto diet.
When the body cannot rely on carbohydrates for energy, it must burn fat for fuel. This results in a buildup of acids called ketones in the body. This results in a bodily state of ketosis.
According to a 2012 study, a keto diet may reduce fat mass, waist circumference, and fasting insulin levels.
Also, a 2012 review of 23 studies indicates that a low carbohydrate diet, such as the keto diet, could lower some of the primary risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Many people follow a keto plan for a set amount of time before altering the diet to include more carbohydrates and less fat.
Below is a sample 7-day keto meal plan. People can tailor these meals and snacks to their liking, but they should be careful not to exceed 50 g of total carbohydrates daily.
Egg muffins with Cheddar cheese, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes
Spiced cauliflower soup with bacon pieces or tofu cubes
Garlic and herb buttered shrimp with zucchini noodles
Roast turkey, cucumber, and cheese roll-ups
Sticks of celery and pepper with guacamole
Tuesday (Low fiber day)
Scrambled eggs on a bed of sautéed greens with pumpkin seeds
Chicken mayonnaise salad with cucumber, avocado, tomato, almonds, and onion
Beef stew made with mushrooms, onions, celery, herbs, and beef broth
Smoothie with almond milk, nut butter, chia seeds, and spinach
Omelet with mushrooms, broccoli, and peppers
Avocado and egg salad with onion and spices, served in lettuce cups
Cajun spiced chicken breast with cauliflower rice and Brussels sprout salad
Nuts, Slices of cheese and bell peppers
Smoothie containing almond milk, nut butter, spinach, chia seeds, and protein powder
Shrimp and avocado salad with tomatoes, feta cheese, herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil
Garlic butter steak with mushrooms and asparagus
A boiled egg, Flax crackers with cheese
2 eggs, fried in butter, with avocado and blackberries
Grilled salmon with a salad of mixed leafy greens and tomato
Chicken breast with cauliflower mash and green beans
Slices of cheese and bell peppers
Scrambled eggs with jalapeños, green onions, and tomatoes sprinkled with sunflower seeds
Tuna salad with tomatoes and avocado plus macadamia nuts
Pork chops with nonstarchy vegetables of choice
Celery sticks with almond butter dip
A handful of berries and nuts
Yogurt with keto-friendly granola
Grass-fed beef burger (no bun) with guacamole, tomato, and kale salad
Stir-fried chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, and peppers, with homemade satay sauce
Sugar-free turkey jerky
An egg and vegetable muffin
It can be challenging for vegetarians and vegans to follow a keto diet, as many of the calories in these diets come from carbohydrates. Even sources of nonanimal protein, such as lentils and beans, are often relatively high in carbs.
In the standard keto diet, animal products tend to make up a large portion of meals because these foods are naturally high in fat, high in protein, and low in carbohydrates.
Though tricky, it is possible to follow a vegetarian or vegan keto diet. Those who do not eat meat or fish can replace these products with high fat plant-based foods.
Vegetarians can also eat eggs and some forms of dairy as part of the diet.
|Meat and poultry|
|low fat meat, such as skinless chicken breast|
|full fat cheeses, including Cheddar, goat cheese, and mozzarella|
|full fat yogurt|
|whole eggs (pastured and organic when possible)|
|Nuts and seeds|
|unsweetened nut butters|
|sweetened nut butters|
|Oils and fats|
|fruit and nut oils, such as avocado, coconut, olive, and sesame|
|vegetable oils, including canola and corn oil|
|other nonstarchy vegetables|
|other starchy vegetables|
|Beans and legumes|
|herbs and spices|
|mayonnaise with no added sugar|
|salt and pepper|
|salad dressings with no added sugar|
|salad dressings with added sugar|
|sweet dipping sauces|
|Grains and grain products|
|almond or flax milk|
|unsweetened teas and coffees|
|water (still or sparkling)|
|sugary alcoholic drinks|
|low carb alcoholic drinks, such as vodka|
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