If the ketogenic diet isn't something that's at the very least on your radar, you must be living on an island all alone. The team at Konscious Keto, wants to send out the rescue team for you!
The low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet has garnered a lot of attention in recent years and with good reason!
There are many diets and eating protocols out there, many of them effective; and we all have to determine which eating style works best for our lifestyle and goals.
You may have heard about the benefits of the ketogenic diet and accelerated fat loss. Maybe the only thing holding you back from taking the plunge is knowing where to start.
No worries, we've got you covered and will share some crucial tips you need to know before you embark on a ketogenic diet, to help prevent some commonly-experienced bumps along the journey to ketosis.
How to Plan Your Keto Meals
OK, so you're super psyched to eat bacon and avocado with abandon, but you may be unclear about the big dietary picture on keto.
No worries, we’ll help you construct a practical, balanced, and delicious ketogenic meal plan for weight loss so you can get started right away!
A ketogenic diet is based on a basic macronutrient framework—primarily focused on eliminating carbs from the diet—but can be adjusted to best suit each persons' needs.
For instance, the standard ketogenic diet is ideal to help facilitate accelerated fat loss. However, athletes or those who are very active tend to fare better on a targeted ketogenic diet.
Alternately, bodybuilders and other athletes tend to do well on a cyclical or high-protein keto dietary plan as those iterations of the program are excellent to support high-intensity workouts, ideal for anyone seeking to gain lean muscle mass.
As you surely realize by now, there are several versions of the ketogenic diet and the lifestyle is quite agile—able to accommodate a number of health goals and needs.
Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD):
The standard ketogenic diet is the baseline for the century-old eating protocol and the most commonly followed version of the diet.
Most who follow a standard version of keto do so to achieve fast, safe, weight loss or maybe mitigate the symptoms of disorders like anxiety and depression.
Hallmarks of the SKD are as follows:
- Eat between 20-50 grams of net carbs per day
- Consume moderate amounts of carbs (5% of overall daily caloric intake or less)
- Comprise the majority of your calories from healthy fats
Most people can trigger nutritional ketosis by eating 30 grams of net carbohydrates or less a day but everyone is different. Experiment a bit and see which target works best for you and your health goals.
Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD):
Those of us living very active lives can significantly benefit from what's referred to as a targeted ketogenic diet.
This model allows for slightly higher carb macronutrient levels than the SKD and focuses on timing carb consumption just before exerting rigorous activity. This variation requires a macro composition consisting of 10% carbs, 30% protein, and 60% fat.
Eat fibrous and highly digestible forms of complex carbs like sweet potato, and low-glycemic berries or brown rice, 30-60 minutes before working out for an added boost of fuel, especially if doing high-intensity or interval training.
The TKD essentially allows us to maintain ketosis for extended periods, uninterrupted, while still facilitating glycogen resynthesis to aid in recovery, all good news for us!
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD):
The name essentially says it all. The cyclical keto diet is a model where subscribers oscillate between periods of eating a strict keto diet (20 net carbs a day or less) and more substantial amounts of slow-digesting, fibrous, carbs are consumed (between 100-150 total carbs a day—usually scheduled around periods of intense exercise.
The CKD protocol is especially fitting for athletes or bodybuilders as the cycling of macronutrients, timed mainly around exercise to manipulate fuel sources and performance (e.g., heavy lifting, high-intensity exercises or HIIT, etc.), is particularly helpful to those seeking to gain muscle mass or released excess body fat to lean out.
High-Protein Ketogenic Diet (HPK):
As we’ve mentioned, the cyclical and targeted ketogenic diet are both great options for those who are very athletic or physically active, and the same is true for the high-protein ketogenic diet.
Those who lift heavy weights four or more times a week, especially those looking to amass lean muscle gain, may want to consider eating a high-protein iteration of the ketogenic diet to ensure adequate support for muscle repair and growth.
Rather than the standard 15-20% protein amounts, generally suggested on a standard ketogenic diet, those opting for a high-protein version of the eating protocol seek to acquire about 35% of their daily calories from protein.
Just FYI, per the adjustment to protein macros, you'll want to set your fat macros to around 65% of overall calories and keep carbs to the standard 5% (or less) of total daily caloric intake.
The 7-Day Keto Meal Plan for Weight Loss
We plan to touch on some ideal foods to eat throughout the week, but a fundamental good habit to adopt that will surely benefit you is meal prepping, to ensure that you have keto-friendly eats at the ready whenever a hunger pang strikes.
Weekends are a great time to dedicate to preparing stand-alone dishes or arranged meals to eat throughout the week.
Check out this delectable selection of keto recipes for some easy and delicious meal ideas! You'll quickly see the range and appeal of everything we get to eat on keto—we assure you that you will not be bored or disappointed.
Some more exciting news to reiterate about starting a ketogenic diet is that you are suddenly encouraged to eat delicious, healthy fats that may have been off limits to you for years!
Grass-fed butter, 80/20 beef, MCT oil and even protein-rich, fatty hemp seeds are all excellent options to enjoy on keto.
Surely you know that tamping down the carbs and boosting healthy fat intake is key for anyone looking to follow a ketogenic diet.
Grab some avocado at the market to eat plain or use it to make some guacamole during the week.
Stock up on fatty, vibrant salmon steaks, organic cheeses and heavy cream to enjoy throughout the week, as well; but beyond those coveted keto picks, stick to the following general framework when shopping to lose weight on keto with ease:
Consider how many days for which you'd like to prep (e.g., prepping for three days or five days ahead of time, for instance)
Aside from preparing arranged meals in particular configurations (e.g., grass-fed beef and cauliflower mash with asparagus doused in salted butter, etc.), consider making extra portions of one-off dishes you may make throughout the week—sides like creamed spinach or centerpiece items like seared chicken thighs—so you have additional options at mealtime.
Determine which style of the ketogenic diet works best for your lifestyle. Are you one who prefers to break the fast earlier in the day or do you feel better served exercising in a fasted state and eating a bit later in the day? There's no real right or wrong; it's all about what best supports your needs and goals.
Check out our Konscious Keto shopping list for an in-depth look at the best foods to pile into your shopping cart every week to keep it keto.
Furthermore, delicious and super keto-friendly recipes like our breakfast sausage quiche and 'chrunchtastic' keto granola make it incredibly easy to transition to a keto diet without missing a bit of the flavor in your meals.
Go ahead, get excited about transitioning to keto and all the new and amazing foods you'll get to enjoy!
Also, be sure to check out our comprehensive 7-day keto eating plan to get started on the road to ketosis today
Supplement Prep for Keto
As we’ve mentioned, the ketogenic diet offers many health and fat-loss-related benefits, but even with that said, supplements are a great tool to boost nutrition and performance even more.
In addition to the elevated ketones our bodies produce when in a ketotic state, adding quality exogenous ketone supplements can maximize health benefits by inducing deeper levels of ketosis—even if your diet isn't always squeaky clean.
Although our bodies and brains rely on glucose to function, our bodies and brains prefer fat and ketones as a fuel source, hands down!
Again, supplementing with exogenous ketones can boost and truly maximize the benefits of being in ketosis (accelerated fat loss, mental clarity, neurodevelopmental health, and hormone health)—something to consider when thinking of adding these supplements into your keto regimen.
Fortunately, adding exogenous ketones into our regimen doesn't have to be a chore, far from it!
Medium chain triglycerides or MCTs are fundamental in the delivery of clean energy as it is a bioavailable source immediately able to be utilized when consumed.
Furthermore, consuming MCT oil encourages the body to ditch its dependence on sugar and rely on fat and ketones as the primary source of fuel.
MCTs are also crucial to weight loss and even promote healthy digestion because of their minimal impact on our digestive system— the body seamlessly assimilates them!
There are capsule, oil and powder versions of MCTs available on the market and using them is ideal for anyone on a ketogenic diet. Experiment a bit and see which format and brand you prefer.
Our food choices have to be powerful in order to encourage the body to maintain elevated levels of ketones.
But those about to begin keto, or even folks in the process of easing into the lifestyle, may wonder if they'll have to eat tubs of butter to hit their fat macros each day.
Don't fret, there's no need to binge on butter to reap the benefits of ketosis: enter sweet and savory fat bombs!
Fat bombs are an unbelievably yummy, food-based vehicle that delivers a hefty dose of healthy fat macros to keep us energized and satiated throughout the day!
Try any of the many fat bomb recipes we have featured on our site. Trust us, the recipes are as delicious as they are nutritious.
Hey, we get it: beginning a keto diet kind of feels like being a kid in an enormous candy shop but instead of bingeing on sugar, we're seeking to eat sources of healthy fats in abundance, lucky us!
And here’s more good news to remember, as we’ve mentioned: your journey to ketosis will be one replete with mouth-watering foods that support overall health and contribute to rapid and significant fat loss.
At Konscious Keto, we hope all the information and the recipes we've shared have you fired up and excited about starting or maintaining a keto diet.
Check out the recipes mentioned above, as well as our shared 7-day meal plan and grocery list guidelines, and you'll be on the fast track to metabolic ketosis while the yummy foods you indulge in every day keep you questioning how getting healthy could possibly taste so good!
- A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet Versus a Low-Fat Diet to Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. (2006). Yearbook of Pediatrics, 2006, 427-431. doi:10.1016/s0084-3954(07)70252-x
- Lv, M., Zhu, X., Wang, H., Wang, F., & Guan, W. (2014). Roles of Caloric Restriction, Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting during Initiation, Progression and Metastasis of Cancer in Animal Models: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE, 9(12). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115147
- Paoli, A. (2014). Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(2), 2092-2107. doi:10.3390/ijerph110202092
- Vranceanu, M. (2017). Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet with Mav Ketofast pro supplements in obese postmenopausal women. International Journal of Growth and Development, 1(1), 33. doi:10.25081/ijgd.2017.v1i1.34