You've done your research, learned about the benefits, and are ready to go keto. But how exactly do you start? With careful planning, of course. A good-enough keto meal plan ensures you're sticking to the rules of ketogenic eating. Keep in mind that making a keto meal plan is the toughest and most time-consuming part. But once you have your shopping list and weekly menu set, it's all smooth sailing from there.
To make things a tad bit easier on you, we made this simple, 7-day keto meal plan. It'll give you an idea of how the keto diet looks like in practice. If you decide to follow it, it can help you jump start your diet. But first, we explain what keto is, how you should follow the keto diet, and provide you with a keto ingredients list. Follow our tips down below and you'll be in ketosis in no time.
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. The goal of this diet is ketosis – a metabolic state of enhanced ketone production and accelerated fat burning. Ketosis happens on a keto diet because you're depriving your body of its primary fuel source – carbs. To make up for this lack, your body starts making ketones from fat to take the place of carbs as fuel.
But there's a macros threshold you need to reach to kickstart ketosis, and it looks like this:
Following these macro ratios is central to ketogenic eating and will be the basis of your keto meal plan. Researchers designed these ratios after decades of careful research and experimenting . These ratios, however, apply to your average keto-er: someone who's moderately active with a healthy body weight. Athletes, on the other hand, like to tweak their macros to better fit into their lifestyle and goals. But if you're an average Joe/Jane, stick to the standard keto diet and you're good to go.
In order to eat within your daily macros, you have to know what's in your food and limit your intake of specific foods based on their macronutrients. Because doing this is easier said than done, keto experts developed a set of eating rules for you to follow. These rules will ensure you're eating within the recommended daily macros:
Now that you know the basics of going keto, it's time to make your shopping list before making a keto meal plan. Start with staple ingredients that every keto dieter needs in their pantry. But first, there are those you absolutely must get rid of right away. Wheat flour, beans, potatoes, and onion are good examples. And for your secret stashes of chips and chocolate, we don't need to lecture you on that one.
Replace those high-carb foods with these keto staples:
Besides the above keto must-haves, we also suggest shopping for keto supplements. MCT oil, exogenous ketones, and collagen peptides are supplements that can help you ease into ketosis and remain there. At Kiss My Keto, we provide all the necessary supplements to add to your keto meal plan. You can read more about keto supplements here.
Below is a 7-day keto meal plan to help you get started with keto. Included are breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We suggest making double portion sizes for each, so you can save for later and spend less time preparing meals.
Breakfast: Hazelnut Pumpkin Pancakes
Hazelnut and pumpkin flavors blend perfectly in these full-bodied keto pancakes. The recipe calls for egg white protein instead of whole eggs to balance out moistness. The pancakes are ready to eat in under half an hour. One serving of these pancakes contains almost 400 calories. Keep that in mind if your goal is weight loss.
Lunch: Pistachio Cheese Balls
This recipe yields 6 cheese balls, each having 150 calories. You can make them ahead for a quick snack at work or a lunch on the go. Goat cheese pairs wonderfully with both sun-dried tomatoes and pistachio here. If you workout daily, these also work well as a pre-workout snack due to their protein content (7.3 grams per serving) and even boost protein content by adding a spoonful of collagen peptides.
Dinner: Crispy Chicken
For a quick dinner after a long day, we suggest going for this keto-friendly crispy chicken. The meal takes only 5 minutes to prepare and is ready to serve in around half an hour. Serve chicken with your favorite sauce or keto-friendly vegetables. Optionally, garnish with some MCT oil if you want to boost ketone production.
Breakfast: Salmon Egg Roll
What better way to start your day than with an egg-based breakfast? This recipe calls for smoked salmon and half an avocado to give this simple dish a mouthful of flavor. You can even pack this as breakfast for on the go. Enjoy with some yogurt on the side or keto bread if you like your breakfasts hefty.
Lunch: Almond Cacao Smoothie
For those who like a no-fuss lunch, we suggest trying out this chocolate-flavored smoothie. Almond milk has a mild-enough flavor to not overpower cacao in this recipe. It's also quite nutritious, and combined with almond butter, will give you the energy to keep you going for the rest of your day. There are only 176 calories in this smoothie. Adding protein powder or MCT oil to this smoothie is great for ketosis.
Dinner: Juicy and Crispy Pork
Pork tenderloin is the juiciest most succulent cut of meat you can get. In this recipe, you bring tenderloin to a whole other level fragrant spices and cream cheese and spinach. The dish is good enough on its own, but you can also serve it with some cauliflower rice.
Breakfast: Lime Avocado Smoothie
For those who don't have the time to make elaborate breakfasts, this quick smoothie is a great deal. Ready in 5 minutes, this avocado smoothie packs over 450 calories in a cup and a half serving. Greek yogurt combined with lime juice and some basil give it a refreshing flavor ideal for hot summer mornings.
Lunch: Keto Falafel For Salad
Whether you work from home or away, this keto falafel salad will satisfy your mid-day cravings. This dish takes at least half an hour to prepare and has many steps, so keep that in mind. We suggest preparing individual ingredients the night before you plan to make this salad to save time. This is a fiber and protein-rich meal sure to keep you full until dinner time.
Dinner: Fried Graviera Cheese
Graviera cheese is a versatile cheese with a slightly sweet, caramel flavor. Coated with flax and almond meal, this meal packs a punch in terms of fat and calories. You can also coat the cheese with some sesame seeds to add more flavor and crunch. Definitely add this dish to your keto meal plan if you’re struggling to meet your daily macros.
Breakfast: Almond Peanut Muffins
Yielding over a dozen muffins, this recipe can feed the entire family. If you don't want that many muffins, simply half the ingredients. Every muffin comes with 150 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein. What's best, these sweet muffins are ready in only half an hour. However, you also want to cool them slightly before serving.
This is a convenient lunch made with 3 different types of cheese and a bit of tomato sauce for a touch of tanginess. The dish is great served at room temperature. Pack it in foil containers to retain the heat if you're preparing it ahead. This dish has a perfect balance of protein and fats and is also moderate in carbs (7.8 grams). Broccoli florets prepared this way retain much of their nutrients and antioxidants.
Dinner: Burrito Bowl
You can make this meal quickly if you buy some ready-made chicken thighs. If you're afraid of charring peppers above an open flame, you can always oven roast them at high heat. The rest is pretty easy; just mix all the ingredients well and serve with some almond flour tortillas.
Breakfast: Omelet with Cheese
Another great egg-based breakfast is this omelet with goat cheese ready in just 5 minutes. Soft goat's cheese gives it lots of flavor and the chopped parsley adds fiber and vitamin C to this meal. One serving made from 3 eggs contains 470 calories, enough for an easy breakfast. You can eat it on its own or have some full-fat yogurt and keto bread on the side.
Lunch: Cacao Cookies
Chickpea flour is a gluten-free flour that’s a bit higher in carbs than other keto flours. Use it sparingly in all your recipes to add body and flavor like in these cacao cookies. These cookies call for peanut butter instead of plain butter, which helps retain their domed shape. It also gives these cookies lots of protein, fat, and vitamin E.
Dinner: Green Turkey Salad
This delicious salad contains an equal amount of protein and fat making it a great post-workout meal on your keto diet. Spinach and avocado also give you plenty of fiber to boost your digestion of important nutrients. But health benefits aside, this salad will also satisfy your palate.
Breakfast: Salmon-Stuffed Avocado
To makes your Saturday mornings special, try out this very healthy stuffed avocado recipe. The recipe yields 6 servings in total; however, 2 servings are enough for one person providing over 600 calories. This recipe is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids from salmon and monounsaturated fats from avocados.
Lunch: Bacon Brussel Sprouts
For a Saturday lunch, try these easy-to-make bacon Brussel sprouts. Salt, pepper, and red paprika are enough to give this dish flavor. Optionally, you can also sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over them if you like melted cheese over your sprouts. Studies show Brussels sprouts are one of the most powerful antioxidant foods you can eat to prevent cancer, neurological diseases, and cardiovascular disease .
Dinner: Stuffed Peppers
These mini peppers are stuffed with cream cheese and bacon for a hearty keto dinner. The recipe is ready to serve in just 10 minutes and yields 16 servings. Each serving will give you 90 calories so go ahead and enjoy 5-6 pepper halves.
Breakfast: Zucchini Patties with Poached Egg
These patties topped with poached egg will make your lazy Sundays the more enjoyable. They're also quite satiating thanks to egg protein. One serving will give you 160 calories, and there are 4 servings here in total. Feel free to double the ingredients if you want more patties. These patties also contain an equal amount of fat and protein, perfect for your muscle-building keto workouts.
Lunch: Lettuce Turkey Fajita Wrap
A simple recipe that you can prepare ahead for a quick lunch. Prepare the turkey-mushroom filling, put in the fridge, and wrap in lettuce leaves when you plan to have your lunch. You can microwave the filling if you like your fajita wrap warm. Otherwise, they're just as delicious at room temperature. One serving provides 207 calories. Feel free to eat two to stay full all day long.
What better way to end your first keto week than with an Asian-inspired dish. The sweetness in this dish comes from erythritol and the savoriness from coconut aminos. Cauliflower rice is a perfect replacement for white rice, which you know is not keto-friendly. Make sure your sauce is thickened to the consistency of honey before serving.
Planning always take time, and in the case of keto, is the most difficult part of switching to low-carb eating. That's why we give you these tips and recipe ideas will help you get an easy start on your keto journey. Remember, without a solid plan, your chances of reaching your goals are close to nil. Better start planning before you take the leap.
If, however, you want to make your own keto meal plan, then take a look at our easy guide here. There, we explain which steps you need to take to create a keto meal plan that best suits your needs, goals, and limits. After all, personalized meal plans are always better than one size fits all options. A personalized keto meal plan will also make your diet easier and more enjoyable.
Once you know the rules and have everything written down, you'll notice keto becoming natural to you. Overturning your pantry is also important. It'll prevent cheat meals from happening and keep you full with keto-approved ingredients. Start shopping today and follow our guidelines for foolproof ketosis.