A Sample keto meal plan: An approach to a healthy life

 What is a ketogenic diet   |   How a Ketogenic diet works   |   Types of ketogenic diets   |   Foods to eat during keto phase | Snacks for keto | Drinks for keto | Foods to avoid during keto phase | Sample keto meal plan   |  Benefits of Keto diet   |   Cons of keto diets    | should you follow |  Bottomline


A sample keto meal plan for a week

A ketogenic diet or in short keto diet is a form of diet where an individual reduces carbohydrate intake to very low and primarily focuses on proteins and fats.

It was primarily developed for the treatment of epilepsy. Today, it is popularly used for weight loss and to control type 2 diabetes.

Studies show that a low carbohydrate keto diet is very effective in blood sugar control. It may also have beneficial effects in the treatment of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

There are many weight loss programs that are getting popular every day such as intermittent fasting, paleo diet, ketogenic diet, etc. Out of them, the keto diet has made a special place among people.

Here, we will see everything that you need to know about the keto diet along with a sample keto meal plan for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. So without further ado, lets start.

What is a ketogenic diet?

A keto diet is one that has a low carb and higher proportions of fat and protein. Usually, the carbohydrate is limited to less than 50 grams per day and an extremely high proportion of fats and a moderate proportion of protein.

As a result of this diet mainly 3 processes occur in the body

  • Lowering of circulating blood sugar due to the absence of carbohydrates.
  • Due to lower circulating blood sugar (from carbohydrate ), the body breaks down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies
  • These ketone bodies are used by the cells to produce energy

Ketogenic diets have many benefits as it helps in improving insulin sensitivity, helps in reducing weight and triggers weight loss efficiently than any other diet forms.

It also helps in Alzheimer’s disease, control premature cancer cells. It helps in reducing type-2 diabetes, which is the most common in its types.

How does a Ketogenic diet work?

In a keto diet, as the carbs remain low, the body functions mainly on fats and protein. During the fat loss period, the body uses fats as the main source of fuel. This process of using fat as an energy fuel puts the body in a state of ketosis.

In a ketosis phase, the body burns fat as fuel and also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which also supplies energy for the brain.

As fats have higher calorific value than carbs and protein. It can constantly supply energy for various metabolic functions of the body for a longer time period, thus reducing starvation. By doing this, the body is actually burning more calories and in total increasing the rate of fat loss.

Types of ketogenic diets

  • Standard ketogenic diet(SKD): In a standard ketogenic diet(SKD), the fat intake is almost around 70-75%, protein is 25-20% and carbs are 10-5%.
  • Cyclical keto diet(CKD): Here, a high carb day is introduced on every 4th and 7th day of a week to re-feed the body and to increase metabolism.
  • The targeted keto diet(TKD): A high carb meal is provided after every workout during TKD.
  • High protein keto diet(HPKD): In this type of keto diet, the protein content is increased to 35-40%, whereas fats remain 55-60% and carbs are as low as only 5% of your total daily calorie intake.

The Standard ketogenic diet and High protein keto diet are most common among them. The Standard ketogenic diet is most effective when it comes to losing weight and improving heart health.

The Cyclic Keto Diet focusses on consuming more carbs for some days than others. The TKD is similar to CKD except the carbohydrate is consumed during workouts whereas in SKD the intake of carbohydrate is before or after any physical work.

Foods to eat during keto phase

Here is a quick list of food that you should eat during keto.

  • Fruits: Avacado blackberries, strawberries, star fruit, Cantaloupe, etc
  • Vegetables: green veggies like asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and so on
  • Seafood: Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel
  • Eggs: The eggs can be eaten in all forms like boiled, scrambled or as an omelet
  • Meat: A lean source of meat like chicken and turkey, unprocessed red meat such as beef, lamb and pork. Also, grass-fed meat is a good example of low carb meat
  • Nuts: peanut, almonds, pecan, walnut and macadamia are some good examples of low carb nuts
  • Cheese: Cheddar cheese, blue cheese, goat cheese, cream cheese, parmesan cheese etc
  • Oils: Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, palm oil, macadamia oil, etc
  • butter and cream: Grass-fed raw butter and cream from grass-fed cows are the best ones to eat

Make sure that your daily meal contains 55% to 60% fat, 30% to 35% protein and 5% to 10% carbohydrates.

The number of calories that you should consume varies from person to person. Avoid overeating calories because even in low carb diet overeating will result in weight gain.

Snacks to eat on a keto diet

Ready to eat snacks

  • Avocados
  • nut, nut butter and cheese
  • stevia-sweetened dark chocolate
  • olives
  • Pork Rinds
  • Sardines
  • Pepperoni Slices

Homemade Snacks

  • Bacon
  • Keto-friendly Pizza
  • Keto Smoothie
  • Veggie sticks
  • keto cookies
  • Bone broth
  • Lettuce wraps

Drinks to have on a keto diet

  • Water
  • Green tea and black tea
  • Coffee
  • Diet Soda
  • Bone broth
  • Some specific alcohols like rum, vodka, whiskey etc in small quantities.

Foods to avoid during keto phase

Here is a list of what you should avoid eating in your keto diet.

  • Grains– Wheat, barley, oats, rice, corns, etc
  • Starchy vegetables– Potatoes, carrot, peas, yams, etc
  • Beans and legumes– Green peas, lima beans, black beans, chickpeas, lentils
  • Fruits– Most fruits including bananas, apple, orange, grapes, mangoes, etc
  • Sugars and Sugary products– Honey, raw sugar, maple syrup, Sodas, cold drinks, beverages, ice cream, candies
  • Vegetable oils- Some vegetable oils like soybean oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, peanut oil, etc
  • Some drinks– High carb alcohols, beers, wine, most fruit juices, cocktails, etc
  • Condiments – Mayonnaise, Chutney, salsa, ketchup, etc
  • Junk foods– Mostly all junk or street foods which are not keto-specific

A sample keto meal plan for a week

It is always great to have a meal plan that is rich in taste as well as health benefits. Therefore I have prepared a 7-day meal plan that will not only help you get in shape but also save you some bucks without compromising with your taste.

There are two separate meal plans for both non-vegetarians and vegetarians. These sample keto meal plans are flexible and you can swap between lunch, dinner or breakfast. Also, feel free to make small changes in fat or protein consumption to make it more sustainable for you.

A sample keto meal plan for Non-Vegetarians

Monday
  • Breakfast: Scrambled egg (1 cup) with blue/strawberries (1/2 cup)
  • Lunch: Tuna with mushroom sauteed.
  • Dinner: Butter (2 tbsp) with toasted bread(1 piece) and grilled chicken( 150gm) with ½ cup spinach.
Tuesday
  • Breakfast: ½ cup avocado with bacon sauteed in 1tbsp olive oil.
  • Lunch: Grilled herring with a cup of veggie salad( broccoli-spinach) sauteed in 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • Dinner: 150-200 gm of grilled pork tenderloin marinated with pasteurized butter rolled into a baked tortilla.
Wednesday
  • Breakfast: cheddar cheese on 2 slices of low carb bread toasted and scrambled egg ( 1 cup)
  • Lunch: bacon with zucchini pasta (low in carbs) and ½ a cup low-calorie veggies sauteed.
  • Dinner: 150 gm grilled salmon sliced into pieces with asparagus sauteed in olive oil.
Thursday
  • Breakfast: Yogurt (high in fat )topped in keto granola balls.
  • Lunch: salmon fillet with cheese toppings and rice with veggies.
  • Dinner: turkey meatballs marinated with pasteurized butter and 1 cup spinach.
Friday
  • Breakfast: Hard-boiled eggs with ½ a cup of oatmeal (plain oats)
  • Lunch: grilled chicken and zucchini noodles with parmesan cheese
  • Dinner: Bacon with asparagus topped with low sodium sauce
Saturday
  • Breakfast: Baked avocado and egg boat
  • Lunch: chicken with veggie salad, salsa
  • Dinner: grilled salmon with asparagus sauteed

Sunday

  • Breakfast: Chia pudding with high- fat yogurt.
  • Lunch: pork chops with vegetables
  • Dinner: grilled herring with ½ cup of avocado and spinach.

A sample keto meal plan for vegetarians

Monday
  • Breakfast: Omelette with spinach and feta
  • Lunch: Avacado stuffed with boiled eggs and springs
  • Dinner: Zucchini Lasagna
Tuesday
  • Breakfast: Keto Spinach Frittata(recipe)
  • Lunch: Easy Avocado & Egg Salad
  • Dinner: Classic Tricolore Salad
Wednesday
  • Breakfast: Chocolate keto milkshake
  • Lunch: Veggie Egg Muffins with Pesto
  • Dinner: Authentic greek salad
Thursday
  • Breakfast: Keto Spinach Frittata
  • Lunch: Keto Veggie Burger
  • Dinner: Gourmet Mushroom Risotto(recipe)
Friday
  • Breakfast: Chocolate keto milkshake
  • Lunch: Avacado stuffed with boiled eggs and springs
  • Dinner: Zucchini Lasagna
Saturday
  • Breakfast: Omelette with spinach and feta
  • Lunch: Authentic greek salad
  • Dinner: Keto Veggie Burger
Sunday
  • Breakfast: chocolate-peanut-butter-low-carb-smoothie(recipe)
  • Lunch: Keto Veggie Burger
  • Dinner: Gourmet Mushroom Risotto

Benefits of Keto diet

Keto diet has many benefits by far. Some worth mentioning are :

  • Due to good fat sources, keto diet helps to raise good cholesterol levels Or HDL in the blood.
  • Keto diet helps in maintaining blood sugar levels and increasing insulin sensitivity.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that progressively destroys mental health. Keto diets are found to reduce the risk of this disease.
  • Type -2 diabetes is reduced by the Keto diet.
  • Keto diets also consist of omega 3,6,9 fatty acids. It increases the longevity of a heart.
  • Keto diets are found to decrease the chances of premature tumors and thus reducing the risk of cancer.

Cons of keto diets

  • Keto diets are not suitable for a beginner as too much fat may have a health impact. So as a beginner, decrease the intake of carbs slowly over a period of time.
  • Keto diets are not economical as good fats are costly and so is protein.
  • Keto diets are not sustainable for a longer period of time as it can hamper your metabolism. So the suggestion is to focus on keto diets only when a person is on a fat loss period.
  • Keto diets increase the risk of having kidney stones and osteoporosis if followed for a longer period of time.
  • Too much ketosis may increase the blood levels in uric acid ( a risk factor for gout).

Should you follow the keto diet?

During a keto diet, the body mostly relies on fat and protein for energy. Many users follow the diet for the sole purpose of losing weight rapidly. Several studies have shown that the keto diet is more effective than any other low-fat diet when it comes to weight loss.

Others use it for its effectiveness in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, seizures in children, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, sleep disorders.

But like any other diet, it has its downsides too.

During the transition phase from glucose to ketones as its energy source, the body experiences flu-like symptoms called keto-flu.

Dizziness, drowsiness, dehydration and headaches are some of the initial symptoms and not to mention, it is very difficult to follow as well.

So my take on this is if you can be consistent with the diet then it’s worth a shot. But in case you are suffering from any heart or kidney disease, high blood pressure, or if are going through pregnancy then it is better to stay away from it.

Bottomline

The ultimate word from me is ” If you are sustainable with this diet and can keep up for a long period of time, yes! of course, it’s worth it”.

Whether you are trying a keto or a low-fat diet, find your sweet point and stick to it to see results.

If you are bored with a normal diet, yes you can try the keto diet at least for once. It can boost up your metabolism and even your normal hormone level. Be consistent with the diet and good results will follow.