15 Sep Keto Diet Meal Plans You Can Do At Home
What is Keto?
You’ve probably heard of the term “keto” or “keto diet” but have no actual knowledge of it. The ketogenic diet, what’s commonly referred to as keto diet, is one of the most popular diets for its wide range of benefits. Despite controversies about the diet, considerable research shows that it is an effective diet for Weight loss, improved acne, enhanced brain function, and reduced seizures. How is this so?
The ketogenic diet is very low in carb, moderate in protein, and also very high in fat. Why? The goal of this diet is for your body to enter into a metabolic state of ketosis. One way of doing that is following this macronutrient proportion in your diet.
The metabolic state of ketosis you want to reach in this type of diet happens when your body no longer has much glycogen (sugar) stores. When this happens, your body is then forced to find another fuel source to run your body. Since you take in a high portion of fat in a keto diet, your liver then begins to process fat into ketones. These ketones are then sourced for your body’s primary fuel.
FAT –> KETONES = ENERGY
Taking a look at your Macronutrient Intake
With that quick information about the diet itself, you may then ask: How low in carbs or high in fat do I have to get?
Worry not, a keto diet typically involves different types with different macronutrient proportion suitable for your individual needs. So before starting your keto diet, it’s best to assess yourself or consult your registered dietitian about a significant decision you are about to make.
While there are different types of the keto diet, the standard carb-protein-fat ratio in a keto diet looks like this:
- 4-10% carbohydrates
- 5-25% protein
- 65-90% fat
You may think that these involve large ranges, and rightly so, hence needing an explanation.
Quick Facts: Keto Diet Macronutrients
- The number of calories you have to take depends on your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
- Your Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) is based on your age, height, weight, and sex
- Carbs: for beginners, make it a goal to eat 20 grams net carbs per day
- Carbs: if you are an advanced keto dieter, you can increase or decrease your net carbs depending on your weight and health condition
- Protein: your protein intake depends on your health goals, health concerns, and overall physical health status
- Protein: 5-25% of your daily calorie intake
- Fat: this makes up the rest of your keto caloric requirements
- Fat: makeup 65-90% makes it the highest macronutrient
Let’s put it out here first: you need to understand that your daily calorie intake primarily depends on your current weight, target weight, and overall nutritional goals. Hence, you need to realize that there is no “one-size-fits-all” type of diet. For some, a keto diet may work best for their variety of body and health concerns. For some, it may not. So the most practical and logical thing to do before starting a keto diet journey or any time of diet for that matter is to consult your registered dietitian about your body’s needs and tolerance.
By knowing your carb limit you can achieve nutritional ketosis, a natural metabolic state that has been strongly linked to improved blood sugar control, fat loss, mood control, and more.
You may wonder what’s the relationship between carbs and ketosis. Why the need for deficient carbohydrate intake to reach the state of ketosis?
In a keto diet, carbs can either make or break your keto switch. How so? They can either push you to reach that ketogenic or drive you away from achieving it. That is why knowing which carbs you can and cannot eat is crucial.
If you are following a ketogenic diet, you may need the discipline to restrict your carbohydrate intake. This allows you to limit your carbohydrate stores available for glucose-based fuel or metabolism. When you do this, your body will have to rely more on sourcing fuel from fat and hence reaching the metabolic state of ketosis.
Note, however, that when you reach ketosis, your body naturally shows signs through a keto flu. Keto flu is a collection of flu-like symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, headache, and even insomnia. Fret not because once your body adapts to your “new normal,” you will start feeling and notice the effects of keto on your body.
You may wonder, “how many carbs can I have while on a keto diet?” As a general rule, the more you restrict your body on carbs, the faster you will reach the state of ketosis. However, there is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to this question. Your carb intake will generally have to be based on factors like:
- Activity levels
- Body Composition and weight
- Past Dietary habits
- Stress levels
After you’ve been able to test the waters and know how your body reacts to certain carbohydrate intake levels, you can now play around with this to see how liberal you can get to enter and leave ketosis. For most, using a ketone-glucometer is one of the ways they can keep track of how easy it is for them to enter and leave the sate of ketosis.
Why do people have different carb tolerance for keto?
Your carb limit is not only dependent on your physiology. Instead, it is also about your individual nutritional goals. For instance, athletes and other active individuals are allowed a broader leeway in terms of their carb intake, especially during intense training and workout.
If you want to figure out your carb limits, experiment, and tune into how your body feels. Remember, your body should be your utmost priority in starting any diet. That is why you need to observe and listen to how your body responds and adjust as necessary.
Keep in mind that the more you can keep other variables the same (e.g. sleep, stress, and exercise) the more reliable your carb limit is.
Protein along with fats and carbohydrates is one of the three macronutrients found in food that needs to be proportionately taken once you follow a ketogenic diet. Protein is composed of smaller units called amino acids. Although your body is capable of producing amino acids, it can not produce the entire amino acids your body needs especially those essential amino acids that can only be consumed in foods.
These essential amino acids can be found in lean meat or poultry or seafood. By consuming these foods, your body will be able to complete the amino acids it needs. It is to be noted that foods such as lean meat, poultry, or seafood are considered as the “complete” protein since as mentioned, they complete all the needed amino acids on your body. You may have wondered if veggies, where we can also get protein, can be considered as a complete or essential protein. The answer is no. Veggies lack either one or two essential amino acids, hence, they are often referred to as an incomplete protein. Examples of Keto-friendly animal protein sources include meat (ground beef, turkey bacon, pork chop), poultry, seafood, eggs, and cheese (parmesan cheddar, etc). Keto-friendly veggies protein sources include tofu and soy-based products, as well as most nuts and seeds like macadamia nuts among others.
You may have wondered if what is the right amount of protein intake you should follow in your keto diet plan. According to various keto and low carb diet experts, they typically recommend a protein intake of 1.2 to 1.7 grams per kg of body weight. Protein intake within the said range has shown to improve body composition, preserve muscle mass, and provide other health benefits. For those who want to increase their muscle mass, research suggested that you need about 20-30 grams of protein each meal. Though this range is bigger than the previous range suggested, you can spread out your protein intake evenly among two to three feedings. If you’re overweight, use the reference or ideal body weight in estimating your protein intake.
It’s important to remember that when you are following a high-fat, very-low-carb ketogenic diet, not all fats are created equal. It is critical for you to fill your plate with the most wholesome options of healthy fats to successfully reach your weight loss goals.
As mentioned. fat is one of the three macronutrients (“macros”) found in food. When you are on a keto to low carb diet, your primary source of energy is fats and not carbohydrates, thus, choosing the healthy types of fats and eating the right amount is important.
Seeing its importance, what type of healthy fats should you include in your diet? It is recommended to eat fats that occur naturally in food and have been minimally processed. Over the years, many studies have linked saturated fat intake and heart disease. However, these recommendations are low-quality observational studies. Now, the role of natural saturated fats in a healthy diet is now being reconsidered.
On a well-balanced keto or low-carb diet meal plan, saturated fat is found in a number of healthy foods that you can enjoy. However, no food contains 100% fats hence you need to combine various sources of fats in order to come up with the required percentage. Saturated fats such as Butter and (clarified butter), Cream, heavy cream, whipping cream, and coconut cream, and oils such as Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, cheese, and Lard and tallow are good sources of saturated fats.
Keto Meal Plan: Keto Recipes you can do at home
In crafting your keto meal plan, it is important to be mindful of what you want to versus want you need to eat. However, enjoying a delicious meal while wanting to maximize fat-burning results and optimizing blood-sugar control is not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to sacrifice your love for food and the want to enjoy a sumptuous meal over the need to consume healthy foods in order to be healthy.
For those of you who are switching to Ketogenic Diet in order to pursue your weight loss goals, you do not really need to sacrifice enjoying delicious meals.At the same time, you also have to consider the time frame needed for you to prepare and do the meals. However, despite having various factors to consider in what meals you should include in your keto diet, it really does not have to be complicated.
Before thinking of what Keto Recipes you can cook and prepare, it is important to note 3 simple tips when doing a keto meal prep. First, we recommend having a routine or automated keto recipe breakfast. You can choose a breakfast keto recipe you can do and eat every day. Second, simplicity is beauty. You can create an easy meal prep by for example cooking two servings for dinner and refrigerate the second serving for tomorrow’s breakfast or lunch. Lastly, try the no-cook plates. You can try sliced deli meats, cheeses, and veggies you can eat in either your lunch or breakfast.
Keto Meal Plans should not be complicated. They should be simple and easy. You can try the following Keto Diet Recipes:
1. Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are easy to make. You can find this ingredient anywhere too. You only need to add 1 oz of butter and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Keto Cheese Roll-Ups
For this simple keto diet plan, you only need 8 oz. cheddar cheese or provolone cheese or Edam cheese, in slice and2 oz. butter.
3. Keto Mushroom Omelet
This sumptuous omelet is super healthy and can be done in a few minutes. You only need 3 eggs, 1 oz. butter, for frying, 1 oz. shredded cheese, ¼ yellow onion, chopped, 4 large mushrooms, slice and salt, and pepper.
If you want more elegant and sophisticated keto meal plans but do not have much time to do meal prep, these recipes are the right one for you!
1. Keto Avocado, Bacon, and goat-cheese salad
If you’re craving for creamy avocados sprinkled with macadamia nuts, this recipe is right for you. For the salad base, you only need 8 oz. goat cheese, log, 8 oz. bacon, 2 avocados, sliced, 4 oz. arugula lettuce, and 4 oz. walnuts, halves & pieces. For the dressing, you need 1 tbsp lemon juice, ½ cup, ½ cup olive oil, 2 tbsp heavy cream, and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Keto Quesadillas
This is one of the cheesiest and most satisfying keto recipes recommended by many keto enthusiasts. Not only does this keto recipe taste heavenly but it can look elegant as well. For the Low- Carb Tortillas, you only need 2 eggs, 2 egg whites, 6 oz. cream cheese, ½ tsp salt, 1½ tsp ground psyllium husk powder, and 1 tbsp coconut flour. For the filling, you need 1 tbsp olive oil or butter, for frying, 5 oz. Mexican cheese or any hard cheese of your liking, and 1 oz. baby spinach.
3. Keto Roast Beed and Cheddar Plate
If you want a real and heavy meal but can still be considered keto-friendly, this one is for you. What you need is 7 oz. deli roast beef, 5 oz. cheddar cheese, 1 avocado, 6 radishes, 1 scallion, ½ cup mayonnaise, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 oz. lettuce, 2 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.