A Low Carb (Ketogenic) Diet Meal Plan
What foods you should eat depends on a few things, including how healthy you are, how much you exercise and how much weight you have to lose. Consider all of this as a general guideline, not something written in stone.
Meat, fish and eggs
Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds
High-fat dairy, fats, healthy oils and maybe even some tubers and non-gluten grains.
Sugar, HFCS or wheat
Seed oils or trans fats
“Diet”, “low-fat” products or highly processed foods.
Food to avoid
You should avoid these 7 foods, in order of importance:
Sugar: Soft drinks, fruit juices, agave, candy, ice cream and many others.
Gluten Grains: Wheat, spelt, barley and rye. Includes breads and pastas.
Trans Fats: “Hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
High Omega-6 Seed- and Vegetable Oils: Cottonseed-, soybean-, sunflower-, grapeseed-, corn-, safflower and canola oils.
Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Cyclamates and Acesulfame Potassium. Use Stevia instead.
“Diet” and “Low-Fat” Products: Many dairy products, cereals, crackers, etc.
Highly Processed Foods: If it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it.
Rice, Potatoes, sweet potatoes
Vegetables with sugar in them: Peas, Carrots, Onion.
Fruits; for the first 14 days, then include berries, apple, small orange (1 x portion a day)
Foods to Eat
Low Carb Food List. You should base your diet on these real, unprocessed, low-carb foods.
Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, chicken and others. Grass-fed is best.
Fish: Salmon, trout, haddock and many others. Wild-caught fish is best.
Eggs: Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are best.
Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and many others.
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
High-Fat Dairy: Cheese, butter, heavy cream, yogurt.
Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, butter, lard, olive oil and cod fish liver oil.
NOTE: If you need to lose weight, be careful with the cheese and nuts because they’re easy to overeat on. Don’t eat more than one piece of fruit per day.
If you’re healthy, active and don’t need to lose weight then you can afford to eat a bit more carbs.
Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes and some others.
Non-gluten grains: Rice, oats, quinoa and many others.
Legumes: Lentils, black beans, pinto beans, etc. (If you can tolerate them).
You can have these in moderation if you want:
Dark Chocolate: Choose organic brands with 70% cocoa or higher.
Wine: Choose dry wines with no added sugar or carbs.
Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and may provide health benefits if you eat it in moderation. However, be aware that both dark chocolate and alcohol will hinder your progress if you eat/drink too much.
Sugar-free carbonated beverages, like sparkling water.
A Sample Low-Carb Menu For One Week
This is a sample menu for one week on a low carb diet plan. It provides less than 50 grams of total carbs per day, but as I mentioned above if you are healthy and active you can go beyond that.
A few extras
Some Healthy, Low-Carb Snacks
There is no health reason to eat more than 3 meals per day, but if you get hungry between meals then here are some healthy, easy to prepare low-carb snacks that can fill you up:
- Full-fat Yogurt
- A Hard-Boiled Egg or Two
- Handful of biltong
- Leftovers from The Night Before
- A Handful of Nuts (Almonds unsalted)
- Some Cheese and Meat
Eating at Restaurants
At most restaurants, it is fairly easy to make your meals low carb-friendly.
- Order a meat- or fish-based main dish.
- Ask them to fry your food in real butter.
- Get extra vegetables instead of bread, potatoes or rice. (make sure their vegetables are not prepared in sugar i.e. pumpkin or thickener i.e. Spinach)
I recommend clearing your pantry of all unhealthy temptations if you can: chips, candy, ice cream, sodas, juices, breads, cereals and baking ingredients like wheat flour and sugar
A Simple Low-Carb Shopping List
A good rule is to shop at the perimeter of the store, where the whole foods are likelier to be found.
Organic and grass-fed foods are best, but only if you can easily afford them. Even if you don’t buy organic, your diet will still be a thousand times better than the standard western diet.
Try to choose the least processed option that still fits into your price range.
- Meat (Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, bacon)
- Fish (Fatty fish like salmon is best)
- Eggs (Choose Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs if you can)
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Full Cream
- Sour Cream
- Yogurt (full-fat, unsweetened)
- Fresh vegetables: greens, peppers, , etc.
- Frozen vegetables: broccoli, carrots, various mixes.
- Salsa Sauce (check there is little or no sugar or make your own)
- Condiments: sea salt, pepper, garlic, mustard, etc.