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The world is finally catching on to the amazing benefits of the ketogenic diet. Individuals turn to keto to lose weight, cut body fat, improve memory function and combat a variety of ailments such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.

Still, it’s possible to get tripped up while learning about the keto diet guidelines. Which foods are keto-friendly? Which foods should you avoid? And what else do you need to consider to do it right?

Enter: Your ketogenic diet plan — where you’ll find the answers to all your questions.

In this ketogenic diet plan we’ll cover:

By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the information to rock the keto diet and build a meal plan that works for your lifestyle.

Breaking Down the Ketogenic Diet: Knowing Your Macros

Let’s start with the most important factor of the ketogenic diet: the macronutrient breakdown.

Success on the ketogenic diet comes from being in ketosis — when the body uses up all its carb stores and begins breaking down fat for energy. A lot of amazing things can happen in ketosis, which we’ll discuss below. However, carbs (transformed into glucose) will always be your body’s preferred energy source. When carbs are present, they will inhibit your body from elevating its ketone levels, thereby burning fat for fuel.

Following the macro guidelines of keto ensures you burn fat for energy and get all the benefits of the keto diet.

How Much Fat, Protein and Carbs You Should Eat?

Fat should make up the majority of your ketogenic diet, protein should be eaten often, and carbs should make up a small portion of your overall macros. To calculate, use this macro calculator to figure out your personal keto diet macros.

Instructions

  • Select the Standard Ketogenic Calculator for a classic ketogenic diet of 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbohydrate (recommended)
  • Select Specialized Macronutrient Calculator to input specific amounts of fat, protein, and carbohydrate

Choose Calculator Type*

Unit of Measurement*

Your Details*

Gender

Age

Height

Weight

Activity Level

Choose what describes you best

Calorie Intake Goal

Options

  • Input "0" to maintain your bodyweight
  • Input a surplus percentage for weight gain
  • Input a deficit percentage for weight loss

Note

  • 5-10% is a small deficit
  • 10-20% is a moderate deficit
  • 20-30% is a large deficit
0% Changed

Advanced Fields

Input Your Body Fat %

Input Your Protein Ratio


Guide to picking your protein ratio

  • To maintain muscle, leave protein ratio between 0.60 to 0.80 grams per lb of lean body mass (1.3 to 1.7 grams per kg LBM)
  • To gain muscle, the protein ratio should be between 0.8 to 1.2 grams per lb of lean body mass (1.7 to 2.3 grams per kg LBM)

Input Your Total Carb Intake

Input the grams of carbs you want to consume on a daily basis

A keto meal plan should be comprised of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% total carbs. If you eat 2,000 calories per day, that would come out to 1,500 calories/167 grams of fat, 400 calories/100 grams of protein and 100 calories/25 grams of carbs. You would need to make sure you stay at or below 25 grams of carbs each day.

A Quick Note on Protein

You know why you should limit your carb intake (carbs prevent you from entering ketosis), but what about protein? Is protein truly limited on keto?

Not at all.

There’s a common misconception in the keto space that eating too much protein will trigger gluconeogenesis and put you out of ketosis — this is just a myth.

Watch this video to learn why:

In essence, you should not limit your protein intake on keto.

Now that you know how to build a keto meal, below are the foods you can enjoy on keto.

The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet Plan: What to Eat and Expect on a Keto Diet

Foods to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet Plan

Not sure which foods to include on a ketogenic diet? The following list tells you exactly which foods you can enjoy on keto.

Fats

Fats make up the majority of the keto diet. Below, you’ll learn the four types of fats you can enjoy on the keto diet.

Saturated Fats

Contrary to popular belief, saturated fats are not the enemy like we once thought[*]. Healthy fats are found in abundance in any ketogenic meal plan.

Enjoy these healthy saturated fats on the keto diet:

  • Animal fats: butter (preferably grass-fed), ghee, cream cheese, meat, egg yolks, whole eggs — these fats contain no carbs
  • Plant-based fats: Coconut butter, coconut oil, palm oil

Monounsaturated Fats (MUFAs)

Unlike saturated fats, MUFAs have been accepted as healthy for many years. Many studies have linked them to health benefits related to good cholesterol and better insulin resistance[*].

Accepted MUFAs on keto include:

  • Animal fats: Goose fat, lard, bacon fat
  • Plant-based fats: Avocados, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nut oil

Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFAs)

When it comes to PUFAs, quality matters. Many PUFAs — such as seed oils including canola and vegetable oil — become rancid when heated.

PUFAs include both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats are essential, meaning we must get them from foods. It’s best to shoot for about a 1:1 ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s. Too many Omega-6 oils — such as corn, sunflower, soybean, safflower and canola oil — can lead to inflammation in the body.

Unfortunately, Omega-3s are much less common in foods than Omega-6s so focusing on consuming adequate Omega-3 fats is essential on a ketogenic diet. Common sources of Omega-3s include flaxseeds and flaxseed oils, fatty fish and fish oils and grass-fed meats.

Healthy PUFAs on keto include:

  • Animal fats: Fatty fish (like salmon) and fish oil
  • Plant-based fats: Flaxseed oil, walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, chia seeds, sesame seeds

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are allowed on keto, but should be limited because they do still contain some carbs.

For example, a one-ounce serving of cashews contains about 8 grams of net carbs. If you’re sticking to 20 grams of carbs per day, that’s almost half of your carb limit in one ounce.

Choose fattier nuts and seeds like:

  • Macadamia nuts (1.5 net carbs)
  • Pecans (1.1 net carbs)
  • Brazil nuts (1.3 net carbs)
  • Walnuts (1.9 net carbs)
  • Almonds (2.9 net carbs)
  • Coconut (2 net carbs)
  • Hazelnuts (2.3 net carbs)
  • Chia seeds (1.7 net carbs)
  • Flax seeds (0.8 net carbs)
  • Hemp seeds (1.3 net carbs)

For more info on nuts on keto, see Pros and Cons of Nuts on a Ketogenic Diet.

Meat and Seafood

When it comes to meats, choose the highest-quality meat you can reasonably afford. Grass-fed, grass-finished and fattier cuts are best. If grass-fed meat doesn’t fit within your budget, select a leaner cuts, then pair with a fatty side dish or topping to increase the fat-to-protein ratio.

For seafood, select wild-caught fish whenever possible. Wild fish are raised in their natural habitat, while farmed fish are fed commercial feed. This has posed some health concerns, including elevated levels of dioxins (herbicides) that may pose cancer risks[*].

Ketogenic diet meat and seafood includes:

  • Beef: steak, veal, roast, ground beef
  • Poultry: turkey, chicken, duck, quail, wild game
  • Seafood: wild salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, all shellfish (including crab, lobster, clams, mussels and oysters), tuna (pole-caught is best), crawfish, cod, shrimp
  • Pork: bacon, tenderloin, pork loin, ham, ground, chops
  • Organ meats: liver, heart, tongue, kidney, offal
  • Other meats: lamb, goat

For more details about buying healthy meats and seafood, see A Guide to Buying Healthy Meat and A Guide to Buying Healthy Seafood.

Vegetables

Vegetables provide vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) to your body, preventing various deficiencies. To keep your carb count low, focus on non-starchy, low-carb vegetables like the following:

  • Leafy greens: kale, spinach, swiss chard, bok choy, romaine, radicchio, brussels sprouts, broccoli
  • Other low-carb veggies: cauliflower, asparagus, celery, cucumber, zucchini, mushrooms, kohlrabi and moderate amounts of onions, bell peppers and spaghetti squash

Fruit

For the most part, fruits should be avoided on a ketogenic diet. Fruits are high carb and packed with sugar. Sugar is the carbohydrate you most want to avoid on a ketogenic diet.

In addition to its addictive, disease-promoting effects, sugar consumption causes an immediate spike in blood sugar. This leads to excessive cravings and can immediately halt fat burning — everything you’re trying to avoid on keto.

Avocados are the only fruit which can be enjoyed in abundance on keto. Due to their low carb and high-fat content, avocados follow the macronutrient breakdown you’re looking for.

Keto-friendly fruit includes:

  • Fruit to enjoy in abundance: avocados
  • Fruit to enjoy sparingly: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries

Some of the low-sugar fruits can be eaten in very small quantities. For reference, just a cup of blueberries contains about 17 net carbs.

For further reading, see A Guide to Buying Healthy Produce.

Supplements to Include in Your Ketogenic Diet Plan

Supplements can help you get into ketosis, combat various nutritional deficiencies and improve your weight and at loss results. Below, you’ll learn which supplements are best included in your ketogenic diet plan.

Vitamin D

Many people are not reaching the recommended vitamin D levels. Vitamin D helps regulate many functions in the body, including regulating sex hormones and immune health, fighting inflammation and helping our bodies utilize calcium to promote strong bones. We should have around 65-75 nanograms/milliliters of vitamin D in our bodies[*].

We can get vitamin D from:

  • Foods: mostly fortified dairy products, fish or fish oils, egg yolks and beef liver
  • The sun

Shoot for 1000-1500 International Units per every 25 pounds of body weight. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin meaning that it is absorbed better when consumed with a fat source. Take it in the morning with some healthy fat to promote optimal absorption and utilization in your body.

Omega-3s

Omega-3s help support our brain and heart health, combat depression and other mental health issues and lower inflammation.

Unless you’re eating a couple servings of well-sourced fatty fish each day and large amounts of leafy green vegetables with each meal, you can probably benefit from an Omega-3 supplement.

Taking a fish oil capsule containing 3000-5000 per day is a good place to start. Make sure it contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA), which are the two most useful forms of Omega-3s. Look for fish oil with a five-star International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) rating and the Friends of the Sea (FOS) stamp of approval. Source matters!

Electrolytes

When someone begins a low-carb ketogenic diet, there is an initial loss of water weight. With this release of water, electrolytes in your body (sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium) are flushed out along with it. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough electrolytes on a daily basis.

You need sodium and other electrolytes to keep your cells hydrated, maintain healthy digestion and maintain a proper fluid balance in the body.

Below are a few electrolytes you should consume on keto.

Sodium

Conventional wisdom says excess sodium (salt) is bad, but when it comes to a low carb diet, sodium is very important. More sodium is excreted from the body in a low carb, ketogenic state. Unless a medical condition requires you to control your sodium intake, consuming extra sodium on the keto diet is beneficial.

Getting extra sodium is easy. You can drink bone broth, add sea salt to your meals and eat salty sea vegetables like kelp, nori or dulse. According to keto experts like naturopath and nutritionist Dr. Marc Bubbs, it’s best to aim for 1,000-2,000 extra milligrams of sodium per day on keto.

Potassium

Supplement forms of potassium can be toxic, so it’s best to get it from keto-friendly vegetables like spinach, kale, avocados or mushrooms or from a salt substitute like No Salt.

Magnesium

You consume magnesium from leafy green veggies and nuts, but those often won’t provide enough. Take 500 milligrams of magnesium each night at bedtime.

Calcium

The recommended daily intake of calcium is around 1,000 milligrams. You can get calcium from fish, dairy sources and vegetables like kale, broccoli and bok choy. If your intake of these are not high enough, you might need to supplement. Take no more than 500 milligrams at a time, as the body can’t absorb more than that at once. Make sure your supplement includes vitamin D, too, as it’s needed to absorb the calcium.

Greens Powders

Not a fan of vegetables? There’s another way to get your greens.

One way to ensure you get enough micronutrients on keto is by taking a greens powder, like Keto Micro Greens. It contains 14 servings of 22 different fruits and vegetables plus MCT fats to promote optimal absorption.

Perfect Keto Micronutrient Greens Ingredients

Greens and Veggie Blend: 4.5 grams of raw and organic greens and vegetables from 12 different sources.

Berry and Fruit Blend: 4.5 grams of raw and organic berries and fruits from 10 different sources.

MCT Powder: 3.5 grams of MCTs made from 100% coconut oil so you can adequately absorb vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Liver Support and Digestive Enzymes: To help absorb the micronutrients found within the ingredients.

Learn more here: How to Use Micro Greens Powder

Exogenous Ketones

Exogenous ketone supplements give the body extra ketones for energy. This can help you get into ketosis initially, return to ketosis after a carb-laden meal or help prevent keto flu symptoms, such as headaches and withdrawal.

Typically, it takes days of consuming high fats and low carbs to enter ketosis. With exogenous ketones, you can get into ketosis within hours.

Take exogenous ketones in between meals for a quick boost in ketones or even before a workout for extra energy.

Learn more here: Perfect Keto Exogenous Ketones

MCT Oil Powder

MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides, which are a type of fat that can be used by your body for energy. MCTs help our bodies produce ketones and switch into fat-burning mode. MCTs also support our gut microbiome by fighting harmful parasites and bad bacteria.

MCT oil powder can be added to coffee, tea or smoothies for a quick and easy dose.

See more here: Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder

Collagen Protein Supplements

Collagen is the most abundant protein source in your body. By dry weight, collagen makes up:

  • 90% of the sclera (white part of your eye)[*]
  • 80% of tendons[*]
  • 70-80% of your skin[*]
  • 60% of cartilage[*]
  • 30% of bones[*]
  • 1–10% of muscle mass[*]

You can’t get collagen directly from foods (only from supplements), so your body has to make it.

Collagen has been shown to improve the health of your skin, hair, nails, joints, gut, brain and tissues. For a quick dose of protein, collagen protein is a great option. It’s made from grass-fed beef and produced in the same way as bone broth — heated slowly to preserve its nutrition.

Read more about using collagen here: When and How to Use Keto Collagen Protein

Pre-Workout Supplements on Keto

For those who work out often and need a boost beforehand, a ketogenic pre-workout powder can provide clean energy without any fillers or other junk.

Perfect Keto Perform Pre-Workout contains everything you need for healthy energy: exogenous ketones, MCTs, creatine, branched chain amino acids, beta-alanine, l-citrulline and caffeine from green tea.

Results to Expect on a Keto Diet

While the benefits of a ketogenic diet vary depending on the person, there are some common results you can expect.

The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet Plan: What to Eat and Expect

Weight and Fat Loss

Most people following keto for weight loss get amazing results, especially after first starting the diet. There are several reasons for this:

  • Ketosis puts the body into a fat-burning state
  • Ketogenic diet foods are whole foods, so switching to this diet cuts out a lot of junk that people normally eat
  • The switch from burning carbs to burning fat causes the kidneys to flush out water, leading to less bloat and initial water weight loss.

Increased HDL Cholesterol

The high intake of healthy fats on a ketogenic diet may help increase HDL (good) cholesterol and improve LDL cholesterol and triglycerides — all of which are important for maintaining a healthy heart and preventing heart disease[*].

Increased Energy and Cognition

Ultimate Ketogenic Diet Plan: What to Eat and Expect on a Keto Diet

When our bodies are in ketosis and avoiding insulin-spiking carbs, we’re less likely to experience spikes in blood sugar and energy levels throughout the day. This can help improve focus and concentration when you need it most — such as at work or during a workout. A ketogenic diet has been shown to support better mental performance, including memory, productivity and cases of mild cognitive impairment[*].

Decreased Inflammation

Ketosis can be used to reduce inflammation, the root cause of many common diseases like heart disease, high cholesterol, arthritis and even acne[*].

A low carb ketogenic diet is rich in anti-inflammatory foods and devoid of foods that spike insulin levels and inflammation like refined sugars and carbohydrates.

How to Start a Ketogenic Diet

Hopefully, this ketogenic diet plan helps you reach your health goals. If it seems overwhelming, try focusing on a little at a time:

  1. Figure out your macronutrient needs using this macro calculator.
  2. Make sure your home contains lots of keto-friendly foods.
  3. Remove foods from your home that you should avoid on a ketogenic diet.
  4. Add in any necessary supplements.

Your hard work will be rewarded with weight loss, improved energy, mental clarity and decreased inflammation.

There are numerous resources, keto recipes and guides on Perfect Keto to support you and answer questions along the way. Remember: Making any lifestyle switch takes patience, time and practice.

 

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Responses (2)

  1. I have been on what I call a “modified keto” diet for 59 days and have lost 14.7 pounds; I know urine testing is not that reliable and my strips tell me I’m not in ketosis but blood testing along with $$$supplements are not a consideration for me! How does someone on a fixed low income adhere to this program?

  2. Hey Sandra, great to hear about your success..that’s awesome! I recommend that after you have been keto for a while and pretty much know the ins and outs, rather than testing you should just listen to your body. Continue doing what you’re doing since you seem to be having great success and then if you hit a stall or want to try something new, you can re-evaluate when the time comes. Hope that helps!

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