Dinner: In a small sauce pan bring 2-3 cups of water to the boil. Cook a large egg in rolling boil for 5 minutes, then transfer to ice bath (a bowl with cold water and ice cubes in it). Wash and spin dry butter lettuce, top with sliced avocado and hemp seed. Serve soft boiled egg with cherry tomatoes, butter lettuce salad and mayonnaise as dressing.
Wondering what fits into a keto diet — and what doesn’t? “It’s so important to know what foods you’ll be eating before you start, and how to incorporate more fats into your diet,” says Kristen Mancinelli, RD, author of The Ketogenic Diet: A Scientifically Proven Approach to Fast, Healthy Weight Loss, who is based in New York City. We asked her for some guidelines.

If you’re a newbie planning your weekly keto diet menu, make the meals as easy as possible. A keto breakfast, for example, can take advantage of many classic breakfast foods, including eggs, bacon, sausage, and ham. Eggs are real winners in the keto world. They’re extremely versatile, easy to cook, and have just half a gram of carbs but 6 g of protein and 5 g of fat.

Another benefit of meal prepping is that it greatly reduces your time spent in the kitchen. That’s right… you no longer have to work as a short order cook for 2 hours a day! This budget meal plan will make use of all the items we prep as well as the rest of the items on the shopping list. There is still some cooking required, but it will only be about 10-15 minutes a day, and is mostly just cooking broccoli/cauliflower. I would encourage you to check out this keto on a budget meal prep video we’ve put together as it was made specifically for this meal plan:


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:
Some people on a keto or low carb diet choose to count total carbs instead of net carbs. This makes it more difficult to fit in more leafy greens and low carb vegetables (which are filled with fiber), so you should only try that if you don’t get results with a net carb method. And, start with reducing sugar alcohols and low carb treats before deciding to do a “total carbs” method.

Some people on a keto or low carb diet choose to count total carbs instead of net carbs. This makes it more difficult to fit in more leafy greens and low carb vegetables (which are filled with fiber), so you should only try that if you don’t get results with a net carb method. And, start with reducing sugar alcohols and low carb treats before deciding to do a “total carbs” method.
Hi Debbie, Whole milk yogurt (whether cow milk or goat milk) is a person choice for a keto diet. It does contain some lactose, which is a sugar, but some people evidence suggests that there may be less than the label implies due to the beneficial bacteria in the yogurt. Either way, if you include it, be sure to get the plain kind without any added sugar.
Is sour cream keto? If you are able to tolerate dairy, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to add sour cream to just about everything you eat. It’s such a rich source of fat while providing amazing flavor and luxurious texture to anything you eat. I’ve put sour cream on top of steak, eggs, even vegetables. Just a couple of tablespoons of sour cream will give your fat intake the boost it needs to help you get into that glorious state of nutritional ketosis. I use the full-fat versions of either Breakstone’s or Daisy, depending on which is on sale. They go on something I eat just about every day. Enjoy!
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At the core of the classic keto diet is severely restricting intake of all or most foods with sugar and starch (carbohydrates). These foods are broken down into sugar (insulin and glucose) in our blood once we eat them, and if these levels become too high, extra calories are much more easily stored as body fat and results in unwanted weight gain. However, when glucose levels are cut off due to low-carb intake, the body starts to burn fat instead and produces ketones that can be measured in the blood (using urine strips, for example).
A review of multiple studies in the journal Nutrients found that ketogenic diets are connected to significant reductions in total cholesterol, increases in “good” HDL cholesterol levels, dips in triglycerides levels and decreases in “bad” LDL cholesterol; there are questions as to whether diets high in saturated fat negate these benefits. The same paper reports that a ketogenic may slightly reduce blood pressure, but science is still very scant on this point.
Hi Barb, That can definitely be it. Losing when you are close to goal can be more difficult. It could also be that your body’s healthy weight is a little higher than what you’d like – which doesn’t mean you can’t lose, but makes it more difficult. If just eating Keto foods isn’t working, double check the macros for your weight and see if the amount you’re eating needs to be adjusted. You’ll find more help and support in our support group here.
Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): If you find it difficult to stick to a very low-carb diet every day, especially for months on end, you might want to consider a carb-cycling diet instead. Carb cycling increases carbohydrate intake (and sometimes calories in general) only at the right time and in the right amounts, usually about 1–2 times per week (such as on weekends).
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“Eating a significant amount of butter has some of the worst effects on your health compared with other fats,” says Keatley. It’s okay to use butter in your fat rotation, but best not to make it your go-to fat; instead opt for more unsaturated sources. Per the USDA, 1 tbsp of butter has 102 calories, 12 g of fat (7 g of which are saturated fat), and 0 carbohydrates.
What a great post. I thought i would add about the selection of food you eat on keto and that everyone is different. Some food gives you energy and some doesnt, this varies person to person. I started and quit keto 3 times before i managed to find my balance. The first few times it made be poorly, from the shock of diet change. However, you can wean yourself into the diet which i did the last time when i had the most success.
Ketogenic diets often create a significant loss of water during the first phases. This is because carbs are converted to glycogen in your body, which is stored in water within the muscles and liver. As you deplete stored glycogen, your body flushes this water out. This is a huge part of the initial weight loss during the first few weeks of ketosis. While rapid fat loss does occur at first, a lot of water weight is often dropped as well, but this is a great encouragement as it often results in both weight loss and less bloating, allowing clothes to fit better.
I'm giving this ebook 5 stars and not 4 because it is written in a very easy and understandable manner, with lots of interesting facts about ketosis and ketogenic diet for losing weight. I like the way the author has provided weekly grocery lists and keto meal plans. The only drawback is that the book could have used more pages and images to make for a more fun and complete reading experience.

Following a diet is never an easy job, especially when you are just starting out. There are already a lot of stress and questions involved, why need to complicate things even more. The choice of right foods is vital when it comes to the success of keto diet and fat loss. This means eating the right foods but also putting the focus on the food quality. Preferring raw and organic food sources if possible. 


How about plain Greek yogurt? Cabot is 63% calories from fat (23g fat, 12g carb, 18g protein), and Voskos is 69% (20g fat, 8g carb, 12g protein). I wasn’t sure I could like plain yogurt, but the Cabot is quite tasty. I guess when you don’t take all the fat out of something, you don’t need to add sugar to make it taste good. I have to see if I can find the Voskos locally.

Which leads us to your personality. You need to be VERY strong willed to follow this diet. It follows very strict rules and you need to be able to commit to this. It makes it hard to eat out with friends or eat with friends in general. It’s hard to find food that fits this diet in common restaurants, but and this takes us to the next point, your health goals might be more important.
Being healthy is all about getting the right nutrients and vitamins from your food so always include variety in your diet. Have plenty of meat (or fish), dairy and veggies on a daily basis based on this low carb food list. Use coconut oil and olive oil when you cook and in your salads (respectively) and have a handful of nuts or berries from time to time.
Great article. Unfortunately, my problem is lactose intolerance. I can tolerate butter and ghee, but no cheese, cream, sour cream, etc. I seem to be running in to a “lack of variety” problem while trying to increase my fat. I have swithced to fattier meats – pork shoulder, beef short ribs, etc. and my eggs are always saturated in butter and/or coconut oil. Avocados are a staple. But not being able to ead dairy, I can use some suggestions on what else I can eat? Any ideas?

Of course, every-so-often I need to top up on good quality coffee, olive oil, coconut oil, almond flour, chia seeds, sesame seeds and other staples of ketogenic baking, but that is less than once a month and usually done at a chain bulk food store. In the early keto years, I used to constantly bake replacement keto bread products, from the Diet Doctor recipes, but now, three years into keto eating, my need for something bread-like has greatly diminished, too.
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