The Ketogenic diet is a fast-growing trend in the fitness industry. The general principle behind it is to put your body into a state of ketosis, whereby your body is burning stored fat for energy, rather than dietary carbohydrates.
If you’re not already familiar with the Ketogenic diet and its advantages and disadvantages, have a quick read through my previous article.
Ketogenic Diet Meal Plan: Getting Started
Before you begin any new diet or meal plan, you need to work out how many calories you should be in taking, as well as your macronutrient ratios. Start by working out your recommended calorie intake, according to your goals (if you haven’t already!)
A Ketogenic diet differs from most other diets since it is crucial you keep your fat intake high – around 80% of your total calorie intake. For this reason, it is vital that you have the right macronutrient ratios. It is also recommended that you keep your carbohydrate intake below 50g per day. Using this information, you can precisely calculate exactly how much of each macronutrient you should be consuming per day.
In terms of restriction, there isn’t necessarily a rule on what foods you eat at which time. However, I have laid out some foods examples that I would recommend as a suitable breakfast, lunch and dinner, in addition to snacks throughout the day.
A Keto Breakfast
Just a few examples of what you could tuck into on a Keto Diet Plan:
A perfect way to begin the day. Eggs are high in protein and healthy fats and very low in carbs. They also contain vitamin A, B-6, B-12 and D.
Macros (per egg): 78 calories – 6g of Protein, 5g of Fat, 0.6g of Carbs
That’s right, bacon. Usually perceived as being unhealthy due to its high-fat content – bacon is a tasty way to start the day when following the Ketogenic diet.
Macros (per 100g): 541 calories – 37g of Protein, 42g of Fat, 1.4g of Carbs
✔ Myprotein Protein Pancakes
Usually high in carbs, pancakes would be a big no-no on the Ketogenic diet. However, our protein pancakes are low in carbs and high in protein, to give you the perfect start to your day.
Macros (50g serving): 191 calories – 34g of Protein, 3.2g of Fat, 6g of Carbs
You could combine all these 3 tasty breakfast items, giving you some delicious pancakes topped with egg and bacon.
If you prefer not to mix your savoury and sweet, have them separately and try topping the pancakes with one of our sugar-free syrups.
The macros for the entire meal (50g bacon, one serving of protein pancakes, 2 large eggs):
617 calories – 65g of Protein, 34.2 g of Fat, 8.6g of Carbs
A Keto Lunch
These are some example foods that you could include in a typical lunch whilst following the Ketogenic diet. You don’t have to eat these specific foods, there are many others which you could opt for, as long as they fit your desired macros. For example, if you’re not a fan of fish, your only option doesn’t have to be salmon just because it’s a popular example.
For a meat eater, try chicken thighs – and for the below example, vegans/vegetarians can easily prepare an avocado and pine nut salad!
✔ Chicken Thighs
With more flavour than the breast, chicken thighs are tasty and packed with protein. They are fairly high in fat too, which is why many usually opt for chicken breast. However, the aim of the Ketogenic diet is to consume a high amount of fat, therefore chicken thighs are perfect.
Macros (per 100g): 245 calories – 25g of Protein, 15g of Fat, 0g of Carbs
A wonderful super-food, packing tonnes of healthy fats and vitamins. They are also high in fibre, although not too high to take you over your daily carb limit.
Macros (per avocado): 322 calories – 4g of Protein, 29g of Fat, 17g of Carbs
✔ Pine Nuts
Delicious and naturally high in protein and healthy fats; pine nuts can be added to almost any meal. Perfect as a snack throughout the day, or as a part of a salad.
Macros (25g): 190 calories – 3.5g of Protein, 19g of Fat, 3.7g of Carbs
These foods thrown together will make a delicious salad, perfect for a keto lunch. Add some salad leaves and low-calorie dressing, or just have them all separately.
Macros for the entire meal (200g chicken thighs, 25g of pine nuts, 1 whole avocado):
1002 calories – 57.5g of Protein, 78g of Fat, 20.7g of Carbs
A Keto Dinner
Again, you should get creative with your meals. You aren’t restricted to any of the foods in this list; there are thousands of other possible meals you could conjure up.
✔ Beef burger (without the bun)
Just as tasty as a regular burger, only without the carb-ridden bun. You could try this with fried peppers, onions or any other topping of your choice. Ensure to keep the carbs low though, so you don’t exceed the 50g daily limit.
Macros roughly (per burger): 340 calories – 18g of Protein, 28g of Fat, 0g of Carbs
A fantastic protein packed super-food. Kale also contains vitamin A and C. It is great steamed as a part of your dinner, or in a salad. You could also blend it up and include it in your protein shakes.
Macros (1 cup): 33 calories – 2.9g of Protein, 0.6g of Fat, 6g of Carbs
Can be added to almost any meal, whether it be an omelette, savoury pancake, salad etc. Mushrooms are very versatile and tasty too. They aren’t super high in carbs, but keep an eye on your intake because they could take you over if you’re already close to your daily limit.
Macros (per 100g): 38 calories – 1.5g of Protein, 0.5g of Fat, 7g of Carbs
Throw these together and you have a tasty bun-less burger. You could accompany it with cheese, or any other toppings of your choice for that matter.
Macros for the entire meal mentioned (one burger, 1 cup kale, 100g mushrooms):
411 calories – 22.4g of Protein, 29.1g of Fat, 13g of Carbs
There are many different types of snacks you can eat throughout the day on the Ketogenic diet, here are just a few that I would recommend.
✔ Peanut Butter
High in protein and healthy fats, peanut butter is the perfect snack for anyone following the Ketogenic diet. You can have it on its own, on top of your pancakes or mixed into a protein shake; its up to you. Ensure you get a 100% natural peanut butter, with no added salt, sugar or palm oil. You could also experiment with our other range of nut butters too!
Macros (2 tbsp): 193 calories – 10g of Protein, 15g of Fat, 4g of Carbs
Usually seen as unhealthy due to its high fat content, cheese is a perfect snack on the Ketogenic diet. If you want some with a little less fat, or you’re close to hitting your fat macros for the day, try our low-fat protein cheese.
✔ Whey Protein
The perfect snack throughout the day on any diet, especially when you are lacking on protein! You can mix tonnes of other foods into your protein, such as peanut butter and kale, which I have already mentioned.
Macros (1 scoop): 104 calories – 21g of Protein, 1.9g of Fat, 1.3g of Carbs
Again, this list of foods is not exhaustive; there are hundreds of other different foods which are great when on the Ketogenic diet. Experiment around with different recipe and meal ideas, or check out some other recipes here on The Zone.
The total macros for the day for all the meals mentioned are as follows:
2463 calories – 191g of Protein, 166g of Fat, 45g of Carbs
This level of calories would probably be around maintenance for someone looking to maintain their current weight or someone with a high TDEE looking to cut slowly.
Generally, the level of calories you would consume would be a little higher if you were looking to bulk or lower if you were looking to cut down.
Take Home Message
The Ketogenic diet is not for everyone, but if you’re looking to lose weight it may be worth giving it a go using a few of these example foods – there are plenty more high-fat foods to choose from, such as:
✔ Salmon and other oily fish
✔ Oils e.g. coconut oil
Follow the guidelines set out in this article, and in the previous article on the Ketogenic diet and you might just find the pounds dropping off in no time. Do remember it’s not recommended as a long-term plan.