Thank you so much for this post. I do really struggle to find ways of adding fat to my diet without adding more carbs or protein. I noticed you wrote that you cook your eggs in butter or coconut oil. Any other ideas on how to add more of these fats? I tend to over eat the veggies I cook in them like kale chips or cauliflower “rice”. I don’t mix meat or milk or eat pig which eliminates some popular options.
Everyone’s protein requirements are different on a keto diet, and when you are just starting out it’s less important than getting adapted to less carbs – this kickstart is designed to get people into ketosis as quickly and painlessly as possible and it does that very well. If you want to customize for your own macros with less protein you can certainly do that. I am working on some new meal plans with even less protein that I’ll be rolling out in the next few weeks for more advanced keto dieters.
Secondly, nuts seem to me to be a likely part of a paleo/evolutionary diet. They don’t fight back, nor do they run, qualities I suspect our hunter-gatherer ancestors appreciated. So long as they are in the shell, they keep well with no preparation — you don’t have dry them, smoke them, whatever. And they offer substantial calories for the work involved.
Here’s a nutritional list of some of the more commonly consumed vegetables on keto. Keep in mind that the weights are the same of everything listed so that it will impact the skew of the carb counts. For example, in a meal you may have 6 oz. of broccoli in the side, but you would not have 6 oz. worth of berries in the morning. You may mix 6 oz. of berries into a pudding with 4 servings.
Hi Julie, thank you for stopping by. As someone who has been on this diet for over three years, I can tell you that eventually, you will be able to add more fruits into your diet. Remember that once you reach your goal weight you will be in maintenance mode and will have more food options. You may find that bananas cause you to crave sweets and may never eat them again, but I loved adding fruits back in my diet!
The meal plan is designed to ensure you get three balanced, healthy meals a day that address fiber, satiation, and adequate protein intake. The greatest part of a ketogenic diet is the fact that it spares muscle loss, where a carb-based diet doesn’t. Weight lost in a high carb, calorie-restricted diet will often come both from muscle and fat, whereas with keto, you can burn fat without sacrificing muscle. This is referred to often as “body recomposition” and leaves you with a much more preferred physique after weight loss.
The remaining calories in the keto diet come from protein — about 1 gram (g) per kilogram of body weight, so a 140-pound woman would need about 64 g of protein total. As for carbs: “Every body is different, but most people maintain ketosis with between 20 and 50 g of net carbs per day,” says Mattinson. Total carbohydrates minus fiber equals net carbs, she explains.
Mellissa, I didn’t read through all the comments … just half :) Wondering if this will work for someone who’s a diet controlled diabetic? The nutritionist said I should have 45 carb meals and 20 carb snacks … I’ve been gaining weight steadily BUT my blood sugars are awesome! I’m working with a double edge sword here. My biggest issue (other than always feeling bloated) is I have to have a good, hefty snack at midnight each night to keep my blood sugars within range in the morning. Needless to say my waistline no longer exists … buy hey … my blood sugars are good. *rolling eyes*
Tropical fruit (pineapple, mango, banana, papaya, etc.) and some high-carb fruit (tangerine, grapes, etc.) Also avoid fruit juices (yes, even 100% fresh juices!) - better to drink smoothies if any, but either way very limited. Juices are just like sugary water, but smoothies have fiber, which is at least more sating. This also includes dried fruit (dates, raisins, etc).

As a cardiologist – this is all very interesting to me. I was reading about the Shangri La Diet as well. I wonder if there is additional benefit in marrying the two. Maybe LTOO (flavorless) first thing in AM, then follow with Coffee with MCT (one hour after LTOO) – there maybe synergy here and this may control apetite better. Maybe they both work on the same principal just explained differently.
Hi James, One of the best things about a low carb or keto diet is you probably won’t be hungry. It’s a very satiating lifestyle. As for calories, they still matter, but whether you need to count or not varies from person to person. Some people succeed by just eating low carb or keto foods, others need to be more strict and count. If you want to find out the right amounts for you, check the macro calculator.
I skip the enormous sections of fat-reduced milk, flavoured yogurt and juice and go right on to the produce section. No more need for potatoes, yams, oranges, apples, bananas and other fruit which used to fill my cart. I now stock up instead on avocadoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, zucchini, scallions, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. I get most of my salad greens and herbs from my own backyard veggie garden — I specialize in kale! — but if my own varieties are low, I’ll top up with something green and leafy.
Hi Cyn, The numbers are general guidelines but will vary depending on many factors, such as activity level, insulin resistance, weight and more. There is no single magic number, just conventional recommendations that are a good starting point. I will have a macro calculator coming soon that will help determine what is best for each person, but even then it’s an approximation. The only way to know for sure is to test. If keto is your goal, it’s usually best to start lower and then see if you can stay in ketosis when increasing.
The Keto diet emphasizes weight loss through fat-burning. The goal is to quickly lose weight and ultimately feel fuller with fewer cravings, while boosting your mood, mental focus and energy. According to Keto proponents, by slashing the carbs you consume and instead filling up on fats, you safely enter a state of ketosis. That’s when the body breaks down both dietary and stored body fat into substances called ketones. Your fat-burning system now relies mainly on fat – instead of sugar – for energy. While similar in some ways to familiar low-carb diets, the Keto diet’s extreme carb restrictions – about 20 net carbs a day or less, depending on the version – and the deliberate shift into ketosis are what set this increasingly popular diet apart.
So once you've swapped out your rice and pasta for cauliflower and zoodles, you may start to wonder how to monitor your ketosis. While there are physical indicators like weight loss, reduced appetite and improved energy, the most accurate way to measure ketosis is by monitoring blood ketone levels, which can be easily accomplished through the use of a ketone meter like the Abbott Precision XTRA. This tool measures both blood sugar and ketones which is far more accurate than competing products that measure ketones in urine.
I had to create a little video because words just don’t do this set up any justice.  This is a program called MyFreezEasy that I use and it helps me take delicious Keto friendly meals that I can shop and prep for ahead of time.    This video shows you how I was able to pick a few of my favorite meals by simply dropping and dragging them into a box and with the click of a button I was able to download the recipes, shopping lists, and preparation instructions!
On a ketogenic diet, you’re generally eating a diet that’s high in fat (roughly 70 percent of your total calories come from fat), moderate in protein (about 20 percent of your calories), and low in carbohydrate (about 5 percent of calories). By limiting carbohydrates (to usually less than 45 grams for the average person), your body lacks the glucose (from carbs) that it normally uses for energy, so it eventually switches over to burning fat as its primary fuel source instead; through a metabolic process called ketosis, the liver converts the fat into fragments of fatty acids called ketones, which power the brain and other organs and tissues.
Essentially, the keto diet for beginners works by “tricking” the body into acting as if its fasting (while reaping intermittent fasting benefits), through a strict elimination of glucose that is found in carbohydrate foods. Today the standard keto diet goes by several different names, including the “low-carbohydrate” or “very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet”(LCKD or VLCKD for short).

I don’t see how this will be within the allowed protein retirements. I found this blog through the Senza app and have found most “meal plans” have a lot of protein and not enough fat. I should be eating 80g of protein a day. One string cheese is 6g and 2 eggs are 12g, plus the 25g protein per 6oz serving most meat contains. If I ate this 3 day start up plan, is be WAY over my protein and under on my fat. She even addressed that this isn’t a high protein diet but I don’t see how it’s not when almost every meal and stack contains at least 20g protein.
I know it may be challenging to follow a healthy low-carb diet, especially if you are new to it. I hope this comprehensive list of keto-friendly foods will help you make the right choices, whether your goal is to lose weight or manage a health condition such as type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and even cancer.

Though technically a fruit, avocados offer a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). They're also packed with fiber to bolster digestive health. One-half of an avocado contains 161 calories, 2 grams (g) of protein, 15 g of fat, 9 g of total carbs, and 7 g of fiber (bringing it to 2 g of net carbs), notes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Coconut oil contains a combination of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and long-chain fatty acids that make it one of the ideal ketogenic foods. Lauric acid is the dominating fatty acid most concentrated in unrefined coconut oil.  Coconut oil provides many benefits including the ability to regulate blood sugar and hormone levels, boost thyroid function, fuel the human body’s metabolic demands and provide healing support to cells, tissue and organs. (11, 12)
Essentially, the keto diet for beginners works by “tricking” the body into acting as if its fasting (while reaping intermittent fasting benefits), through a strict elimination of glucose that is found in carbohydrate foods. Today the standard keto diet goes by several different names, including the “low-carbohydrate” or “very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet”(LCKD or VLCKD for short).
You want to keep your cheats to none. Be prepared, make sure you’re eating what you need to be satiated (“full”), and make sure you’re satisfied with what you’re eating. If you have to force yourself to eat something, it will never work out in the end. This is just a guideline on how you can eat on a ketogenic diet, so you’re very welcome to change up what kind of foods you eat!
The only way you can know how you respond to dairy is by slowly adding it to your meals. If you eat dairy and don’t notice any issues, you will probably be okay using dairy as a great source of fat. If however, you find that after eating yogurt or cheese you feel bloated, have cramps, get diarrhea or start vomiting, you will want to eliminate dairy until you figure out the cause. In some cases, people who were previously lactose intolerant have been able to add dairy into their diets after eliminating carbs, so you just never know. Food allergies are a tricky thing.
There’s no denying that the ketogenic diet (keto for short) is the hottest new nutrition trend. And although it’s still controversial among dietitians, doctors, and other nutrition experts, there is some scientific research to back it up. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that following a ketogenic diet can help control hunger levels and improve metabolic rate. If you want in on these weight-loss benefits, you need to make sure you are adhering to the diet’s key principles, which begins by stocking up on the right keto diet foods.

All grains, even whole meal (wheat, rye, oats, corn, barley, millet, bulgur, sorghum, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains), quinoa and white potatoes. this includes all products made from grains (pasta, bread, pizza, cookies, crackers, etc.) sugar and sweets (table sugar, HFCS, agave syrup, ice creams, cakes, sweet puddings and sugary soft-drinks).
I also asked a friend to join me as an accountability partner. She had tried the keto diet before with good success, so having a guide for my myriad questions was a big help. It was also nice to have someone to message at 10 p.m. when I really wanted a cookie so she could commiserate with me. (We agreed the cookie would be delicious, and then ate a cheese stick.)

Fruits are high in sugar and carbs. That includes tropical fruits, fruit juices, dried fruits and also the fruit smoothies. Avoid dragon fruit, peach, nectarine, kiwi, grapefruit, apple, orange, plums, cherries, pears, pineapple, mango, banana, papaya, fruit smoothies, fruit syrups, fruit concentrates. This also includes dried fruit like dates and raisins.


I have the same calories limit and macro. I easily stay within the limit but I completely stopped eating any type of bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and starchy food. I started using butter or coconut oil to cook and put mayo EVERYWHERE. It’s my new favourite topping for lettuce even XD. Then I eat plenty of eggs/meat/fatty fish and cheese. Olives are great as a snack. I cut out completely milk and use whipping cream instead. If you get into this completely counter intuitive way of thinking of food it’s super easy to get enough fat within the calorie limit.
Now, Week 1’s shopping list is going to be long. I have to make the assumption you have nothing in your house. Many of the items are common items that most people will have already. These are all staples in my everyday cooking for keto, and should be considered an investment for your health. Once you have all of the items from week 1, there won’t be too much else to buy.
Now we do have a full meal plan laid out for you below, but I would encourage you to experiment a bit with some meals that might better suit your tastes. We love all of these meals, that’s why we picked them! We know everyone is different though. If you want to sub something in, just check to make sure the nutrition is comparable. Keto on a budget can be pulled off all types of different ways. This is just one example using a lot of our favorite meals. For example, if you have a bunch of coconut oil sitting around feel free to sub it in for the butter. If you have olive oil, sub it in for the blue cheese dressing. Don’t let this meal plan feel restricting, it is best used as a reference point and not as a hard and fast rule book. We put together this full day of eating video to show you an example of how we ate on $5 a day:

I love this! I am an amateur powerlifter and I have recently started using the keto diet as there is only so much gained by being a fat powerlifter but working out my macros was driving me nuts as I also work as a disability support worker and need to take meals and so on to work with me. Thanks to this I can now have better control of the macros to bring my weight down without doing to much harm to my lifts! Thank you for this!


The cost of this cookbook is $25 for the paperback, and the amount of information in the cookbook justifies the cost in our opinion.  The pictures beautifully illustrate the recipes so you have an idea of what your finished product should look like.  We would have liked to see a few “in progress” pictures for the recipes, but the instructions were concise and thorough enough that a beginner should be able to manage these recipes on the instructions alone.  Overall, we suggest Keto Made Easy as a great cookbook to have on hand for those following the ketogenic lifestyle.
Heavy whipping cream most definitely has carbs. There are 6.64 grams per cup (8 fluid ounces). Just because a small serving (i.e. 1 – 2 tbs.) shows zero carbs, it doesn’t mean it has no carbs. As long as the carbs are under .50 per serving the label can list it as zero. Food producers love to take advantage of that little labeling loophole. And shame on the Calorie King website. I tried increasing the serving size to 1 cup, and it still showed 0 carbs. Even when I increased it to 4 pints, it still showed 0 carbs. That’s very misleading to say the least!
I just don’t understand why people still need it. I am so elated to be free from its hold! They will say, “Look what I found!” They’ll show a label that says “LOW CARB” or “KETO.” It often has a list of ingredients that is as long as one’s arm. Or it is a low-carb version of some high-carb treat, like candies, syrups, sweets or desserts. Artificial sweeteners abound. High-priced supplements, MCT oils and exogenous ketones are common.
Hello Myriam, I am a dual certified personal trainer and Sports Nutrition Specialist. I really love how concisely you have put this article together. I did notice that on your macro breakdown for a 1500 calorie diet you actually listed the protein intake at around 31% of the daily calories (117*4=468..468/1500=.31). I was wondering if you did this to bring the protein amount closer to 1 gram per pound of body-weight to preserve lean mass?

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. (While you're at it, check out these Low-Carb Keto drinks That Will Keep You in Ketosis.)
You rock! Thank you for this, and would love a 7 day menu plan, plus a shopping list. I’m no good at that kind of organization – heck, I’m no good at ANY kind of organization – so a shopping list would be a life saver. I’m sure I could get that from a friend who introduced me to your blog and who is going to do this with you, and I with all of you . Thank you so much!
The only way you can know how you respond to dairy is by slowly adding it to your meals. If you eat dairy and don’t notice any issues, you will probably be okay using dairy as a great source of fat. If however, you find that after eating yogurt or cheese you feel bloated, have cramps, get diarrhea or start vomiting, you will want to eliminate dairy until you figure out the cause. In some cases, people who were previously lactose intolerant have been able to add dairy into their diets after eliminating carbs, so you just never know. Food allergies are a tricky thing.
One assumption about the ketogenic diet is that you're strictly forbidden to eat any sources of sugar, including fruits. While keto meal plans limit fruit to an extent, there are plenty of low-sugar, and thus low-carb, fruits worth including to ensure a balanced diet. Berries, specifically, have the highest levels of antioxidants of all fruits and can even help stabilize blood sugar levels due to their high fiber content. Listed in order of lowest to highest carb content per 100 grams (typically, around a half-cup), keto-approved fruits include:

A simple standby, but one that ketoers adore. 2 or 3 fried eggs and some bacon might not sound like much, but it’s full of protein that will keep you full and energized all morning. Take the opportunity on the weekend to lay your bacon strips on a single cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. The result is the best bacon you’ve ever had, in a big batch, with no sitting over a popping, hissing frying pan.
I don’t want to sound — or be — judgemental or sanctimonious. I know that each person’s keto journey is their own to travel. We all have to figure out which way of keto or low carb eating makes us feel our best, what gives us the best health and weight results, what makes this big change to one’s old way of eating the easiest to navigate and sustain. Those choices do have align, of course, with one’s values, needs, taste buds, desires — and pocket book.
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