If you’re just starting out with the keto diet, you’ll need to know which foods to buy and prepare. Here’s a keto meal plan for your first month on the diet.
If you’re new to the keto diet, it must be overwhelming to know exactly how to prepare your meals.
In order to succeed and get the most out of this diet, you need to be prepared and informed. Having a proper keto meal plan is key to get through this diet.
Continue reading to learn more about the keto diet and what to eat for the first month.
Let’s get dieting.
What is Keto or Ketogenic?
You might have heard the term keto around and want to know how to get on this diet. How does it all work?
Before you start on a keto meal plan, you should understand the science behind it.
It’s called the keto or ketogenic diet because its derived from the molecules your body produces called ketones.
Your body gives out ketones as an energy alternative if you’re ever out of blood sugar (glucose) and need a boost of energy.
The production of ketones is higher if you eat few carbs and moderate amounts of protein.
Your liver produces ketones from fat. The ketones will fuel your body and brain with energy derived from ketones.
Your brain, especially, is an organ that consumes lots of energy. However, the brain needs glucose or ketones to run, but not fat.
Once you start a keto meal plan, your body will use mainly fat as energy supply. The end result is weight loss since glucose will be low and fat burning will happen around the clock.
Your body will access the fat stores and turn them into energy and you will watch as the lbs disappear from your body.
Who Should Avoid Keto?
Like any other diet, a keto meal plan might not be for everyone. There are always risks associated a diet plan if you suffer from a few health conditions.
While this diet is safe for most people, a few other should consider consulting a doctor before.
People suffering from type 2 diabetes, for example, have been known from benefiting from a keto meal plan. The plan helps them control and improve blood sugar levels.
Consult your doctor if you’re on medication for high blood pressure. Also, talk to your doctor if you’re breastfeeding.
What Can You Eat?
Knowing exactly what you can eat while you’re on a keto meal plan will help you plan your meals and set you up for success.
You can eat unprocessed meats while on a keto diet. It’s preferable if you can eat organic and grass-fed meat.
However, keep in mind this is a high-fat diet, not high protein. You don’t have to eat huge amounts of protein, otherwise, your body will turn the excess protein into glucose and you’ll plateau the weight loss.
Stick to a normal amount of meat.
Stir away from processed cuts of meats such as sausages, meatballs, and cold cuts since they could have added carbs.
Fish & Seafood
You can enjoy all the seafood and fish you want. Salmon, especially, is great because it’s rich in fatty acids.
Make sure you avoid breading it and eat it as fresh as possible.
Eggs are a great thing to eat while on a keto meal plan. If you’re worried about cholesterol, try to limit yourself to a certain amount per day.
You’ll want fat to be a big part of your keto meal plan. Aside from eating it from meat sources, you can also get it from butter, coconut fat, and olive oil.
Vegetables that Grow Above Ground
Try to stick to only eating vegetables that grow above ground, especially leafy and green veggies. For example, Zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and avocado are all good.
Try to incorporate high-fat dairy into your diet such as cheese and butter. But eat high-fat yogurts in moderation.
Make sure you avoid low-fat yogurts as they often contain added sugar. Milk is also not recommended due to the high grams of carbs.
You can have nuts in moderation, but when you have them as snacks because you can eat way more than what you need.
Not all nuts are created equal, try to stay clear of cashews if you can help it as they contain high carbs. Instead, go for macadamia nuts or pecans.
You can have berried in moderation. Incorporate berries into keto friendly desserts.
You should drink lots of water. If you don’t like to drink plain water you can drink sparkling water also.
What to Avoid?
If you want to get the most out of your keto meal plan, then you must also know what foods to avoid.
You’ll want to stay away from added sugars at all cost because they will interrupt your weight loss if you’re on a keto meal plan.
Stay away from these:
- Soft drinks & sports drinks
- Cakes & pastries
- ice cream
- breakfast cereals
Stay clear of starch such as pasta, bread, fries, chips and similar items. Also, you shouldn’t eat whole grain products as they are still not permitted.
You might also want to stay clear of legumes such as lentils and beans due to the high carb content.
Eat root vegetables in moderation, unless you’re going extremely on carbs.
Avoid fruits altogether as they have high amounts of sugar. You can have a fruit every once in a while.
Calories and Macros
If you’re wondering if you should be counting, the answer is yes. You’d be surprised how many carbs and sugar sneak into our diet without us noticing.
Counting calories not only makes you accountable, but it helps you stay on track of what you eat.
Counting calories and macros go hand in hand. Macros refer to the big 3 macronutrients which are protein, fats, and carbs.
There are various tools you can use to calculate your macros or count your calories when you begin a keto meal plan.
Applications such as MyFitness Pal allows you to keep track of what you’re eating and how many macros.
There is no specific way to do this as more people need different calories depending on their goals. The best option is to get something customized to your needs.
For example, a woman might need to eat 1500 calories a day. This is broken down into 136 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs, and 74 grams of protein.
When you begin this diet, it might seem difficult to figure your how to structure your keto meal plan. The best thing to do it take it week by week but keep it simple yet, creative.
Start with a beginner and familiar keto breakfast — fried eggs.
Remember, you’ll want to have a good amount of fat to fry your eggs. You can either add butter or coconut oil to the frying pan to ensure you get enough fat.
Serve your fried eggs with a side of veggies, for example, fresh arugula seasoned with salt and pepper.
You can make eggs the first-week using different combinations while keeping it simple, for example:
- Omelet with goat cheese
- Scrambled eggs with a side of avocado slices
- Egg scrambler with smoked salmon topped with avocado
- Classic fried eggs and bacon
If you work during the week, it might be easier for you to create a keto meal plan for the entire week. That way you can grab your packed lunch and head to work.
Salads are great because you can put together into mason jars grab them and go.
- Keto Caesar salad
- BLT salad with chicken
- Warm kale, avocado, and goat cheese
Your first week on the keto meal plan, you might want to keep your dinners simple until you’re more familiar with what you want to eat. Make sure you make all of your meals with butter or coconut oil.
- Make some keto ground beef and add a side of green beans
- Pulled pork served with cherry tomatoes over fresh arugula
- Keto meatballs over sauteed veggies
- Fried salmon with a side of asparagus
- Shrimp over cauliflower rice
During the second week, you will be more familiar with which foods you like and perhaps you’ll be ready to try some new recipes.
You can spice up your breakfast by making meals with a few more ingredients than before to your keto meal plan
Try a keto mushroom omelet. You will need eggs, butter, about an oz of shredded cheese, 3 small mushrooms, and salt and pepper to taste
- Make some Mexican scrambled eggs with some jalapenos, scallions, and tomatoes.
- Hard boil eggs and eat them with a side of asparagus and mayonnaise
- Since you have boiled eggs, why not make some deviled eggs topped with a shrimp.
- Try an omelet with cheese, green bell pepper, ham, and heavy whipping cream
- Instead of potatoes, try zucchini loaded skins with bacon and cheddar
- Serving of keto chicken wings with a side of broccoli
- Letucce meat tacos topped with guacamole
- Keto Asian beef salad
- No-bread bacon keto burgers
- Keto steak with broccoli with a side of bearnaise sauce
- Fried pork chops with garlic and rosemary
- Taco stuffed bell peppers
- Beef tenderloin with a side of roasted vegetables
- Jerk chicken
By week 3 you might have mastered your keto meal plan. It’s time to try more daring recipes and also mix it up so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the same flavors.
Give deviled eggs a twist and make them with avocado and top them off with some bacon. Simply hard boil the eggs, mix in the yolks with avocado season with salt and pepper. Fill the eggs with the mixture, and top off with some bacon.
- Try a breadless breakfast sandwich: eggs over easy will be the “bread” and the filling you can use smokes deli ham and provolone cheese
- Try a keto Croque Monsieur
- To get a break from eggs, try some keto pancakes.
- Seafood omelet
- Sausage zucchini boats topped with cheddar cheese
- Cucumber greek salad wraps
- Keto Caprese salad
- Salmon patties and broccoli
- Avocado and tuna bites
- Keto Italian meatballs with mozzarella cheese
- Pork chops with zucchini spears
- Stewed chicken and sausage
- Lemon garlic shrimp over zucchini noodles
- Grilled chicken with sauteed veggies
Once in week 4, you have the option of continuing to try new recipes or get back to basics. You’re an expert by now on what works well with your body.
It’s time to get creative in week four with your breakfast.
Start with keto muffins. If it helps, you can pretend you’re baking cupcakes.
- You will need a muffin baking tray, eggs, chorizo or salami, shredded cheese, and salt and pepper.
- Add a little variety with Keto coconut porridge
- Make a keto spinach frittata
- Smoked salmon, asparagus, and top it off with sour creme
- Sliced turkey with a side of avocado and crisp lettuce
- Broccoli chicken zucchini boats topped with cheddar cheese
- Cajun shrimp kebabs over mashed cauliflower
- Philly cheesesteaks without the bread on lettuce or portobello mushrooms
- Tacos on a cheese taco shell
- Keto buffalo chicken wings
While on a Keto meal plan, you might feel happier if you’re allowed to snack.
Here are some Keto approved snacks you can mix and match throughout the week:
- Beef jerky — make sure you read the label for hidden carbs
- Cold cuts and cheese roll-ups
- Pork rinds
- Pickle tuna boats
- deviled eggs
- Guacamole — to use as dip with veggies
- Zucchini chips
- Nut butter
- Keto coffee
- Dark chocolate
- Keto meatball bites
- Seaweed crackers
- Baked brie cheese
- Berries and heavy whipping cream
Try this Keto Meal Plan
With this meal plan, you’ll be able to kick-start the first month of your keto diet. You’ll understand exactly how the diet works and how it will make you burn fat and feel great.
Ready to try a keto diet, but cooking is not your favorite thing? No problem.