Dr. Anthony Gustin is a board-certified sports chiropractor, functional medicine practitioner, entrepreneur, podcast host, and founder of Perfect Keto.
Want to start the keto diet but don’t know what to eat?
Here, you’ll learn the basics of the ketogenic diet, what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and how to do keto meal prep the right way so you can save time.
When starting a new diet, knowing what you can and cannot eat is often the most stressful part of the transition. Here, all the guesswork is taken away for you. A ketogenic diet meal plan is laid out for you so you know exactly which recipes to follow for each meal.
The meal plan below is simplified into a 7-day plan, which you can download here.
The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to put your body in a metabolic state of ketosis and support your health. Ketosis is a state in which you burn mainly fat — rather than carbs — for energy. Ketosis has been shown to provide multiple health benefits, including weight loss, better mental performance, blood sugar control, and disease management.
On keto, the majority of your caloric intake will come from fa and some protein and very few carbs. Most people can enter ketosis following these guidelines:
- Consume 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass at a minimum
- Reduce your carbohydrate intake to 20-50 grams of total carbohydrates
- Any remaining calories should come from healthy fats
This “starves” your body of carbohydrates, which would otherwise be converted into glucose in the liver. With no glucose available, your body burns ketones as its primary energy source, transitioning your body into a fat-burning state.
Preparation is an important component of the keto diet. Planning your meals in advance will save time, money and energy, and prevent you from reaching for carb-laden snacks when hunger hits.
As you put together your shopping list, take note of which foods are (and are not) keto-friendly.
For a complete overview, dive into The Full Keto Diet Food List.
- Fats and oils: olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, butter, ghee, walnut oil, flaxseed oil
- Nuts and seeds: almonds, almond butter, chia seeds, walnuts, walnut butter, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews
- Full-fat, organic, grass-fed dairy: heavy cream, butter, sour cream, cream cheese, hard and soft cheeses
- Grass-fed beef: ground beef, veal, steak
- Organ meats: liver, heart, tongue
- Pasture-raised pork: ham, bacon, pulled pork, pork loins
- Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck
- Wild-caught seafood: salmon, mussels, cod, crab, tilapia, clams
- Leafy green vegetables: kale, swiss chard, spinach, romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts, broccoli
- Other vegetables: cauliflower, zucchini, onions, bell peppers, celery, cucumber
- Low-carb fruits: avocado, blueberries, raspberries, cherries
You can also use some condiments, ideally homemade or made without sugar. Low carb sweeteners can be used in moderation.
To make your meal prep as simple as possible, it’s helpful to know which foods to avoid. Avoid the grocery aisles containing the below food groups. If they’re currently stocked in your cupboards, it may be best to throw them out, or donate any unopened packaged foods.
Foods to avoid on keto:
- Sugar: White sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup
- Grains: White and wheat bread, whole grains, oats, rice, quinoa, couscous, pasta
- Fruit: Apples, mangoes, melons, oranges
- Legumes: Black beans, kidney beans, soy, lentils
- Starch: Sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, other starchy vegetables
As a beginner to the keto diet, it’s important to understand your macros.
The three macronutrients are fat, protein and carbohydrates. While a standard American diet weighs heavily in carbohydrates and low in fat, a ketogenic diet plan takes the opposite approach. On the keto diet, you will eat high quantities of fat, moderate amounts of protein and very few carbs.
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 or 167 grams of fat, 400 calories or 100 grams of protein and 100 calories or 25 grams of carbs. You would need to make sure you stay at or below 25 grams of carbs each day to stay in ketosis.
These percentages are estimates only. To calculate your macros precisely, use the Perfect Keto Macro Calculator.
- 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*
Choose what describes you best
Calorie Intake Goal
- Input "0" to maintain your bodyweight
- Input a surplus percentage for weight gain
- Input a deficit percentage for weight loss
- 5-10% is a small deficit
- 10-20% is a moderate deficit
- 20-30% is a large deficit
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