Keto Diet Menu: 30-Day Keto Meal Plan for Beginners
- December 12, 2020
Although we have been taught to be scared of fat, the truth is that fat is a friend and a better friend than we could have ever thought of.
Sure we need fat to ensure we’ve got beautiful skin, hair and nails, but it goes beyond that.
Fat packs a bang as it has twice as many calories as carbohydrates and protein per gram.
That’s why you can have coffee and butter for breakfast and rocket through the morning.
You could try eating a few rolls of bread and you wouldn’t make it past that 10 AM hump.
The Ketogenic Diet is designed to pull your body out of the sugar track.
And when you pull out there will be no going back.
You are going to be satiated and feel wonderful focus, additionally, you’re going to feel the type of energy you likely haven’t felt since you were a toddler.
So let’s do the Ketogenic Diet breakdown and answer all those burning questions you have.
And soon after we will get started on your amazing transformative journey to the best you ever.
Health Disclaimer: A ketogenic or keto diet has many proven benefits, but it is still controversial. Any information we provide is for your personal use and for educational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before beginning any diet or nutrition routine, especially if you are pregnant or have any pre-existing health conditions. Nothing contained on this website should be considered as medical advice.
Table of Contents
How Carbs Affect Your Weight
Question: Name me food that tastes “oooh so good” but is bad for you?
Do donuts come to your mind?
A bag of potato chips?
A greasy slice of pizza?
What about a Snickers bar?
Wherever your food pleasure lies, chances are; that it is steeped in sugary carbs.
According to the USDA, the average American consumes 150-170lb of sugar each year.
Back in the early 1800s, the average American sugar intake was only 4-6lb per year.
Man, how times have changed.
With all being said, how do carbs affect your bodyweight?
The answer to that is… Water weight.
You can thank glycogen for this.
Glycogen is a form of glucose stored in the liver and muscle tissues and the primary dietary source of glucose is carbohydrate.
Medical science shows that every 1 gram of glycogen carries 3 to 4 grams of water.
Research has proven that a high carb intake increases glycogen levels while low-carb intake reduces it.
So, if you take into account that the average man can store up to 7 grams of glycogen per pound of body weight, that’s enough to make a huge impact on the weight scale, particularly if he consumes a copious amount of carbs.
Wait, so body fat is not a factor?
Yes, body fat is definitely a factor.
In fact, ever since people started consuming more carbs (sugar), the U.S. obesity rates have risen.
The number of U.S. citizens who are categorized as obese has nearly doubled over the past 30 years.
You see the correlation now between body fat and carbs? If not, there is one more piece of information I would like to share.
In addition to being stored in the liver and muscle tissues, glycogen is stored in fat cells.
This is the same glycogen that holds 3 to 4 grams of water.
By lowering carb intake, you deplete your regular stores of glycogen which shows as weight loss on a scale.
This is the reason an obese person who follows a low-carb diet will always lose more weight versus a slimmer person; they carry more fat cells (each containing water-holding glycogen).
So if an obese individual decided to follow the ketogenic diet, they are bound to drop a substantial amount of weight.
However, it is much greater than the low carb part of the diet that makes weight loss a reality.
Keto Helps You Lose Weight
Numerous studies have touted the weight loss benefits of a low-carb diet.
The keto diet enhances this benefit.
How so? The low carb intake makes your body produce ketones in the liver to be used as energy (called ketosis), a byproduct of burning body fat.
Reducing carbs allows the body to use glycogen buildup within your fat stores as fuel, resulting in weight loss.
This effect is doubled when you burn glycogen by exercise.
Let me say this about weight loss….
When people say they want to lose weight, they typically mean they desire to lose body fat.
However, you could lose weight by losing muscle mass and water weight as well.
Most diets have you losing all three.
In case you didn’t know, losing muscle mass is rarely a good thing.
Unlike high-carb diets, keto burns body fat along with the water weight within it.
When in a state of ketosis, the body begins to utilize fat for fuel.
In addition, the moderate protein intake protects your muscle tissue from being used as fuel (a process called Gluconeogenesis).
How sweet is that?
Fat is a cleaner fuel for our body to burn and our body burns it more efficiently.
In fact, it is believed the ketones produced when you are in ketosis are super amazing for our brain.
It is believed they increase mitochondria cells.
You may remember from grade 6 science class that mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells, they are the energy factories.
Additionally, blood sugar levels become balanced, there are no nasty spikes in insulin which can lead to a host of health problems.
Balanced blood sugar also means your brain and body are calm and focused.
You are also satiated on the ketogenic diet so there are no urges to pick up those unhealthy processed foods that wreak havoc on your body.
Overall on a ketogenic diet, you have more energy, you are more focused, you drop all excess weight and will feel better than you have ever felt in your life.
Some other interesting benefits include:
1. Keto Helps Lower Risk of Developing Chronic Diseases by Improving Cholesterol
What does type-2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease have in common? All chronic diseases that the keto diet can help prevent.
One study conducted on an obese individual who followed the ketogenic diet for 24 weeks, resulted in a significant risk reduction in chronic diseases by weight loss, decreased levels of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and blood glucose, and increased levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
Being that heart disease, diabetes, and stroke are three of the leading causes of death in the world, it is phenomenal to have a diet combat them.
Keto eliminates processed, refined carbs that have been linked to several diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and type-II diabetes.
In fact, the development of type-II diabetes is strongly contributed to continuously eating high glycemic foods (e.g., whole grains, bran, germ) that spikes your blood sugars.
Another chronic disease that correlates with those other three is high blood pressure.
2. Keto Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (HBP) is one of those diseases that gets swept under the rug in terms of how lethal it is for a person’s health.
That’s why it has been dubbed the “the silent killer.”
If left untreated, HBP can lead to:
- Heart disease
- Peripheral artery disease
- Erectile dysfunction
- Kidney damage
- Fluid in the lungs
- Vision loss
- Memory loss
Be aware that these aren’t symptoms of HBP.
HBP is a symptomless disease for most people except in most rare cases known as hypertensive crisis.
If you or your family have a history of high blood pressure, following a low-carb diet, may be a godsend.
Medical researchers tout low-carb diets like keto as an effective method to reduce blood pressure.
If you take high blood pressure medication, please consult with your doctor first before trying this diet out.
One way that people develop high blood pressure is by eating too many refined carbs over a lengthy period of time.
The reason most people consume so many refined carbs is due to how poorly it satisfies their appetite.
3. Keto Prevents Binge Eating
The number one reason most diets fail long-term is that they leave people hungry as heck!
They allow the consumption of low satiety foods such as white potatoes, rice, and bread.
Eating these foods eventually leads people to unfollow their diet and eat every calorie under the sun (aka binge eating).
That’s not the case with the ketogenic diet.
Research illustrates that a high protein, low-carb diet reduces hunger and lowers food intake.
In addition, the amount of dietary fat you’ll consume will leave you very satiated.
Another problem with most other diets is that they’re energy zappers.
That’s not the case when you go “keto.”
4. Keto Boosts Energy Levels by Boosting Brain Power
Who doesn’t need more energy in this hustle and bustle world?
Following a ketogenic diet helps many individuals gain more energy to perform their day to day activities.
The main reason for this is; ketones replace glucose as the brain’s fueling source.
When carbs are eliminated or minimized, ketones provide up to 70% of the brain’s energy needs; this boosts mental focus and alertness throughout the day.
Another interesting fact is that ketones keep people who go through prolonged periods of starvation (e.g., coma patients) alive.
Then again, it makes sense considering that intermittent fasting works well in conjunction with the keto diet.
Intermittent fasting maximizes weight loss benefits of the Keto Diet.
The main reason you are reading this article is that you’re interested in losing weight, that’s understandable.
With that said, using intermittent fasting (IF) along with the keto diet maximizes weight loss.
IF is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.
Like the keto diet, several studies have shown IF to be an effective weight-loss method as well as reducing the onset of chronic diseases such as type-II diabetes.
That’s why it makes sense to use IF in conjunction with the ketogenic diet.
These are the 3 most popular IF methods:
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week.
- The 16/8 Method: This method involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, for example from 12 pm to 8 pm, afterward, you “fast” for 16 hours in-between.
- The 5:2 Diet: On two non-consecutive days of the week, only eat 500-600 calories. You eat normally for the other remaining 5 days.
From these three methods, elements of the 16/8 Method work best with the keto diet.
At the end of this article, you will see a 30-Day Keto Diet Meal Plan with a full collection of recipes.
With this meal plan, you skip breakfast every 3 days, doing this makes you fast longer which helps to:
- Burn more body fat
- Have more energy as you start your day
- Reduce chronic inflammation
- Improve brain function
- Thoroughly cleanse toxins from body cells
Utilizing IF and keto together helps you lose unwanted inches off your waist.
Like a Friday the 13th movie, there are several versions of the keto diet.
Here are the four most popular ones.
- The targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This version is where you can consume carbs around a workout.
- The standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This version focuses on high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs.
- The cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This version involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb days.
High-protein ketogenic diet: This version is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs. While embarking on this keto diet journey, below are the foods that you need to ignore like a spam phone call.
- White potatoes
- Bread, pasta, tortillas, and other foods that contain gluten
- Condiments such as ketchup, soy sauce, and barbecue sauce that contain sugar, artificial ingredients, excessive salt, or gluten
- Corn (including popcorn, cornbread, and popped corn chips)
- Foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup or trans (hydrogenated)fats
- Foods that contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, or soy
- Fruit juice (even 100% fresh!)
- Grain-based foods (e.g., wheat, barley, rye, cereal, oatmeal)
- Jams, jellies, pancake syrup
- High sugar dairy products (e.g., ice cream)
- Salty processed snacks (potato chips, popcorn, pretzels, nacho chips, crackers, popcorn)
- Sugary processed snacks (cakes, cookies, cupcakes, candy)
- Sweetened drinks such fruit punch, lemonade and soda
Now that you know what foods to avoid, here are the foods (along with supplements) that you can embrace.
Your diet should consist primarily of fats if you are trying to get into ketosis.
Essentially, in the first two weeks, known as the induction phase, no more than 50 grams of your calories should be coming from carbohydrates.
If you are very active, you can increase that carb intake by 20 to 30 grams.
Your protein consumption should also be limited and a good rule of thumb is to allow yourself 1 gram of protein for every 2 pounds of your weight.
There are many super delicious foods you can eat as you make your way into ketosis.
Meat, Poultry, and Fish
Note: If possible, choose meats and poultry that are organic, grass-fed, free-range, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free.
- Shellfish such as crawfish, shrimp and lobster
- Coldwater fish such as wild salmon and tilapia
- Pork products such as ham, bacon, and sausage (Note: eat in moderation)
Choose fresh, organic vegetables such as:
- Bean sprouts
- Bell peppers
- Bok choy
- Broccoli, romaine lettuce
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
Other Food Items
- Condiments for dipping (hummus, guacamole, salsa)
- Dried beans and lentils in limited amounts
- Healthy oils (e.g., olive oil, coconut oil, etc.)
- Milk Alternatives: almond, coconut, hemp, rice
- Nut butter and spreads (almond butter and coconut butter)
- Protein Powder
- Pure Wrap coconut wraps
- Raw, unsalted seeds and nuts
- Seeds (chia, flax, hemp)
- Small amounts of fresh and frozen fruit. (e.g., strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- Sweeteners such as stevia extract and erythritol
- Basil leaves
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
- Chili powder
- Fish oil
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Multivitamin (Note: probably the best supplement since most multivitamin products have about all the essential nutrients and vitamins)
- Protein powder
- You can prepare your weekday lunches and dinners on Sunday.
- An easy way to do this is to cook proteins together in one plan and then divide them up for the separate recipes.
- So for example, if you have Chicken Caesar and a Chicken Curry scheduled in one week, you can cook the chicken in one pan and then use half of it for the salad and mix in the other half with your curry sauce.
- Of course, you can cook things separately but this speeds things up and saves you time.
- If your recipe calls for raw vegetables like lettuce, remember to package them separately from the main dish you will reheat come mealtime.
- You will prepare breakfasts every day but they are all very easy and most of them take no longer than 5 minutes to prepare.
- You can prepare smoothies the night before if you want.
- Remember you will use certain things like butter and oil every week so buy those in bulk.
- If you can’t find a certain vegetable you are welcome to sub with another vegetable that is low in sugars.
- Ensure there are at least 12 hours between your last and first meal, longer if you can hold it.
- This puts your body into a fasting state and helps you burn fat faster.
- Remember to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
- An easy way to do this is to fill up a 50 oz bottle of water so you can track your progress throughout the day.
- Try to incorporate a little exercise in your weeks, it can be as simple as going for walks or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Remember a little movement goes a long way!
Here’s your 30-Day Keto Diet meal plan filled with delicious low-carb recipes to get you into ketosis!
Simply follow the recipes each day (mix and match if you find ones you prefer over others) and add some snacks to each day.
We’ve listed the calorie information for each meal and day, so just add as many snacks or extra servings to reach your daily caloric intake.
- You plan to eat 1,400 calories per day.
- Day 5 (Friday) has 873.25 calories with 15.93g of Net Carbohydrates.
- You could add an extra serving of the Spicy Tacos from lunch as a snack and add another snack of Fried Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon.
- This would leave you at 1,406.2 calories with 21.53g of Net Carbohydrates for the day.
- So, mix and match your favorite recipes and snacks based on your own goals!
Week 1 Meal Plan: (Days 1 to 7)
If you’re already on the old meal plan you can access it here.
Week 2 Meal Plan: (Days 8 to 14)
Week 3 Meal Plan: (Days 15 to 21)
Week 4 Meal Plan: (Days 22 to 28)
Week 5 Meal Plan: (Days 29 to 30)
After your first four weeks on the Ketogenic Diet, you have likely seen a massive difference in your weight and overall body function.
Switching gears from a sugar-fuelled body to a fat-fuelled body is amazingly uplifting.
You should have seen a great increase in your mental cognition.
Your energy levels should be through the roof.
And you have to have dropped several sizes.
Remember, the Ketogenic Diet is not so much a diet as a lifestyle.
You can continue to feel as amazing as you do now as long as you follow just a few simple keto rules.
Remember to stay away from unhealthy carbs; stick to unprocessed foods and allow fat to be your friend.
Congratulations on your wonderful journey and welcome to a whole new you!
1. What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low, particularly of carbohydrates.
During this process, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
2. How long does it take to reach optimal ketosis?
Warning: The keto diet takes time for your body to get adjusted to it.
With that said, reaching optimal ketosis could about 3-7 days, depending on your body type, activity levels, and what you’re eating.
However, how strict you’re with your carb intake leads your body to reach ketosis faster.
3. Do I need to count calories?
While calories do matter—especially with weight loss—you don’t really have to count calories while following a keto diet because the protein and fat will keep you satisfied.
4. Can I drink alcohol?
Alcohol can be consumed but be cognizant of how much and what type you’re drinking.
Wine, beer, and cocktails all have carbohydrates in them.
While it is best to avoid alcohol altogether, one glass of wine out per week won’t hurt.
5. Can I eat too much fat?
Technically, yes you can eat too much fat and gain weight.
However, most people will find it difficult to overeat on high fat, high protein and low-carb diets.
To ensure you don’t overeat, there are online keto calculators to help you out in this department.
6. What foods should I eat?
Check out the list of keto-approved foods we mentioned earlier.
In a nutshell, stay away from high-carb foods and condiments.
These foods are:
- Potato chips
- Tomato sauce
- Salad dressing
- Barbecue sauce
7. How can I track my carb intake?
Following the keto diet will naturally have your carb intake low.
However, there are smartphone health apps such as MyFitnessPal that makes it easy to track your carb intake.
8. How much weight will I lose?
How much weight you lose depends on several factors (e.g., genetics, gender, current health level, etc.).
Of course, exercising and living a more active lifestyle — in conjunction with the keto diet — will help you lose weight faster.
9. What are the common mistakes people make when doing the keto diet?
The three most common mistakes people make are:
- Consuming too much protein
- Mistaking any low-carb diet for very low-ketogenic dieting
- Not allowing for a long enough adaptation period
10. What are the potential dangers and side effects of keto & how to cure them?
When your body is suddenly exposed to a new way of eating, side effects are a likely occurrence.
With that said, the keto diet does have its side effects but they are all curable.
Side Effect & How to Cure Them:
- Headaches: Drink water with salt sprinkled in it.
- Feeling tired and cranky: Eat more fat.
- Leg cramps: Drink water with salt & supplement with magnesium.
- Constipation: Drink more water, add extra salt to foods& eat more high fiber, non-starchy vegetables.
- Bad breath: Brush your teeth and tongue more often. Eat a few more carbs if the smell becomes a long-term issue.
- Reduced exercise performance: Drink plenty of water with salt prior to exercising. Be patient because it will take time for your body to adjust from being a sugar-burner to burning primarily fat for energy, even in the muscles.