Before you dive into your keto diet meal plan for weight loss, make sure you understand what the keto diet is, how it works, and the effect it has on your body. Basically, the keto diet — also known as the ketogenic diet, the low-carb diet, or the low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diet — lowers your intake of carbohydrates, which triggers an insulin response and puts the body into a state known as ketosis. This is a natural process initiated by the body to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are created when fat breaks down in the liver. The body’s “normal” metabolic state is called “glycolysis”, which burns carbs for energy. While your body is in carb-burning mode, it uses all available carbs for energy before it touches stored fat. However, in ketosis, your body is primed to burn fat, which is why so many people swear by the keto diet for weight loss.
Keto Meal Plan: What Should It Include?
A keto meal plan for beginners should contain 35 grams of total carbs or less each day and 20 grams of net carbs or less each day. This is a good starting range for keto newbies. Net carbs are simply the grams of total carbohydrates in a portion of food minus its grams of fiber. (Because fiber is a carbohydrate that your body cannot digest, it doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels or trigger an insulin response.)
If you want great results from your keto meal plan for weight loss, try to keep both your total carbs and net carbs below those limits each day. As well as restricting your carb intake, you should restrict your protein intake. If you eat too much protein, your ketosis level may decrease. If you want to lose weight, aim for between 0.6 grams and 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.
Fat is your primary source of energy on the keto diet for weight loss, so make sure you’re eating enough of it. The keto diet for weight loss is not about starving yourself. You can’t get enough water on the keto diet. Aim for a gallon of water per day to stay hydrated, regulate vital bodily functions and help control hunger levels. You’ll get better results from your keto meal plan if you stop or limit snacking. Snacking can create insulin spikes during the day, which can interfere with weight loss. Try to incorporate some exercise into your daily routine. About 20-30 minutes of exercise per day helps to regulate weight loss and blood sugar levels.
Some keto diet followers recommend intermittent fasting to get into ketosis quickly. During intermittent fasting, you don’t eat or drink anything containing calories for a certain period of time. When you deprive your body of calories for a few hours, it starts to go through its excess glucose stores (from carbohydrates). After it’s burned through all glucose, it has no choice but to burn fats for energy – the entire basis of a keto diet for weight loss. For beginners to intermittent fasting, skipping breakfast may be a good starting point. For more experienced keto-dieters, fat fasting helps overcome a weight loss plateau. Fat fasting involves eating 80 to 90 percent of calories from fat for certain time (no more than five days is recommended) and limiting all non-fat food sources. The theory behind this is that your body speeds up its metabolism to burn even more fat.
Keto Diet Plan Menus
Now that you understand the basics of how to achieve ketosis, you can start creating your keto diet plan menus. Aim to create a few different keto diet menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to ensure you have a varied diet throughout the week.
Easy Keto Meal Plan For Beginners
The ultimate easy keto meal plan doesn’t require too much advance prep or cooking time. These dishes are super simple to put together when you’re short of time.
Vegan Keto Meal Plan
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, your dietary options may be limited but you can still stick to a keto diet. A vegetarian keto meal plan contains plenty of cheese, eggs, and vegetables. Try a vegetarian keto club salad with eggs, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce and crispy tofu and bok choy salad for tasty veggie keto meals.
A vegan keto meal plan obviously can’t rely on eggs or cheese and other dairy products, but it’s not impossible to be a vegan on a keto diet. To make this fairly restrictive diet work for you, make sure you follow a few basic rules. As well as limiting your total carbs per day to 35 grams, stick to low-carb vegetables, get at least 70 percent of your calories from plant-based fats and around 25 percent of your calories from plant-based proteins, and consider nutritional supplements to give you vitamins you might not be getting enough of from your diets, such as iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and B6 and vitamin D.
On the vegan keto diet, you can substitute high-protein, low-carb vegan “meats” for real meats, such as tempeh and tofu. Stock up on leafy greens like kale and spinach, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, low-carb sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit, and high-fat dairy substitutes like unsweetened coconut-based yogurt, coconut cream, and vegan cheese.
I started out getting around 1800 calories keto diet a day. I wanted to start kind of high because I have to keep bringing that number down the closer I get to show day, but this still creates a caloric deficit so I can shed fat. At 1800 calories keto diet, my target macros for the day were:
145 grams of protein
200 grams of carbs
45 grams of protein
There are a few ways to figure out your target macros in keto diet meal plan. For a long time, I used a calculator on a popular site, but I didn’t feel like it was a good split. I started off with protein. I wanted about 145 grams of protein, which is just about 1 gram per pound of bodyweight, which is pretty standard. This number will go down slightly as my calories go down, but not by much. Protein is the one thing that needs to stay pretty high and consistent in keto diet meal plan. There are 4 calories per gram of protein, so 145*4 is 580 calories.
Next, I figured how much fat I needed in my keto diet meal plan. The trainer actually gave me this number because it was the one I wasn’t sure on. There are 9 calories per gram of fat, so 45*9 is 405. If you’re figuring it out on your own, you would pick a percent of calories. Say, you want 25% of your calories to come from fat. You would figure out what 25% of your total daily calories in your keto diet meal plan is (like .25*1800=450) and then divide that number by 9 (450/9=50). That number is how many grams to aim for!
Next comes carbs in my keto diet meal plan. Just take the number of calories you get from them (so for me, 580 and 405) and subtract them from your total daily calories. (1800-580-405=815) Then divide that by 4 to get how many grams! (815/4=203.75). You’ll see these numbers don’t quite add upright. The trainer I met with gave me these numbers, but he kind of pulled them out of his head. He wasn’t too far off though!. I got about 1800 calories of the keto diet (give or take 100) for a couple of weeks. So, here are the plans I came up with for 1800 calories for a keto diet.
I have avocado on the 1800 calorie keto diet meal plan. I would use small avocados, but I never measured out how much I used. I did my best estimate with what information I could find online. Most produce unless it’s frozen or canned with a label, is best guessed based on information I found online. I do measure out my meat, and I like doing it when it’s raw. Some people like to do it when it’s cooked, but I’ve heard that the information on the label is for raw meat. Cooking it changes the nutrients, so if I get raw meat, I use those macros.