So you've decided you want to try out the high-fat, low-carb diet, better-known as the fat-burning ketogenic diet. Whether it's to lose weight, have more energy, or fuel workouts differently, going keto is a popular choice right now. But figuring out a keto meal plan on your own is no easy feat, especially since eating a diet super high in fats doesn't come naturally to many people who are accustomed to the traditionally carb-heavy American diet. (It's especially hard if you're vegan and want to try keto.) But this should help: Keto experts explain how to set yourself up for success, plus provide ideas for exactly what keto foods to eat when you're first getting started.
Keto Foods Meal Plan
While it will probably take a little bit of trial and error to figure out your go-to meals while doing keto, here's a sample keto meal plan to get you started.
Option 1: Spinach, mushroom, and feta omelet with keto coffee "This breakfast is a good source of protein and healthy fats that will keep you feeling full to curb midmorning cravings," says Dr. Axe.
Option 2: Whole milk, unsweetened yogurt mixed with full-fat sour cream, a few raspberries, chia seeds, and walnuts. "This type of combo requires careful carb- and portion-counting since all yogurts naturally have lactose, which is a carb," says Stefanski. "Pairing it with a carb-free protein like two eggs can help balance out the macros."
Option 1: Oven-baked salmon with broccoli. "This lunch features salmon, which is high in heart-healthy fats, as well as broccoli, which is low in carbs but high in fiber," says Dr. Axe.
Option 2: Stefanski suggests a salad with nitrate-free bacon, avocado, cheese, spicy pumpkin seeds, and a few grape tomatoes along with a low-carb, high-fat salad dressing like ranch or blue cheese.
Option 3: "Make your own keto 'lunchable' with cubes of grilled chicken, a slice of nitrate-free ham, cheese cubes, pickle slices, a hard-boiled egg, a few raw grape tomatoes, raw veggies like cauliflower or broccoli, a few almonds or walnuts, guacamole, and ranch dressing," says Stefanski. (Looking for something meat-free?
Option 1: Caesar salad with romaine lettuce, chicken breast, bacon, and Parmesan. "Rich in protein and super filling, this is the perfect meal to round out your day," says Dr. Axe. "Pair it with an olive oil dressing and plenty of cheese to up the fat content."
Option 2: Grass-fed ground beef sautéed with onions and low-carb tomato sauce. "This can be served with zucchini or shirataki low-carb noodles," says Stefanski. "In order to get the fat content up in the meal, the zucchini can be sautéed in olive oil or additional garlic-infused oil can be added directly to the sauce."
Option 3: Grilled chicken served with eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini along with a few tomatoes, sautéed with garlic in olive oil. Adding additional fats in the form of a sauce incorporating heavy cream or coconut cream is a smart choice for balancing macros.
Option 1: BLT roll-ups with turkey and avocado. "Create a roll using bacon, lettuce, tomato, turkey, and avocado for the perfect mix of fat and protein," says Dr. Axe.
Option 2: Spread some cream cheese between two cucumber slices. "Cucumber is a great low-carb veggie that works well combined with high-fat cream cheese for a satisfying, keto-friendly snack," says Dr. Axe.
Option 3: Spicy guacamole with raw zucchini slices. The foods you choose between meals should still be keto-friendly and may even mimic an upcoming dinner, just in a smaller portion size, says Stefanski. "Since carbs are minimal, it's important to spend your carbs on high-nutrient foods like vegetables."
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