In 2018, the keto diet was the most popular diet in the United States. Over half a million people shared their transformations on Instagram, using the #ketotransformation hashtag. Following a sample keto meal plan allows people to shed hundreds of pounds and boost their overall wellbeing. Those who follow the diet report improvements in energy levels, memory, and happiness.
That’s why the keto diet is not really a diet. It’s a lifestyle.
The keto diet stimulates ketone production, a fuel excreted by the liver. Ketone comes from stored fat.
When you increase the amount of fat and decrease the number of carbohydrates you consume, your body uses ketones for energy. The body converts the fat into energy, which leads to full-body transformation.
To enjoy the rewards of keto, you’ve got to eat the right things. What should, and shouldn’t, you be eating while living the keto life? Let’s explore.
How to Create a Keto Diet Meal Plan
If you’ve chosen to try the keto lifestyle, good for you!
But now you’ve got to create a healthy and simple keto diet meal plan you can stick to.
First things first, familiarize yourself with keto-friendly foods. Keto diets require low-carbs and high-fats to shed those pounds. Therefore, eating the right types of food is crucial.
Some of our favorite keto-friendly foods to add into your diet meal plan are:
- Red meat (preferably grass-fed and organic)
- Chicken and turkey
- Fatty fish (salmon, herring, and mackerel)
- Non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers)
- Leafy greens
- Natural oils (coconut, avocado, sesame, and olive oils)
- Bone broth
- Full-fat cheeses (cheddar, brie, mozzarella, and goat)
- Nuts and seeds
- Salt and pepper
- Herbs and spices
On the other hand, there are foods you need to steer clear of while living the keto life.
Non-keto foods to leave out of your meal plan include:
- Bread and baked goods
- Foods high in sugar
- Sweet beverages
- Grain products
- Sweeteners (including sugar, maple syrup, and agave)
Okay, so now that you’ve got the foods figured out, it’s time to create some tasty keto-friendly meals. Just keep in mind that your keto diet should contain 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% or fewer carbohydrates.
Our Sample Keto Meal Plan
With so many delicious and nutritious keto-friendly foods to choose from, creating a meal plan can be a little overwhelming for beginners.
Many beginners quit keto because they don’t have keto-friendly food available to them. To prevent this, create keto meals you can freeze and reheat throughout the week. The more keto foods you have ready-to-go, the less tempted you’ll be to order a pizza or pick up a bag of chips.
Are you having a hard time figuring out a keto meal plan? No problem! Here are some of our favorite keto breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to add to your meal plan.
Sample Keto Breakfasts
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don’t you dare skip it! When you indulge in a filling breakfast, you won’t snack at your desk or feel tempted by donuts in the office.
Keto breakfasts can be gourmet protein pancakes, or they can be a quick and easy egg recipe. Some of the best keto breakfast foods feature cheese, cold cuts, smoked salmon, and avocado.
Here are a few of our go-to keto breakfasts that are also super easy to make.
Start your week off right with pancakes! Yes, that’s right, there is such a thing as keto pancakes (hooray!).
To create your keto pancakes, you will need:
- 8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)
- 8 large eggs
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1-2 scoops of vanilla keto protein powder
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Be sure to use keto-friendly protein powder, which is low in sugar.
Use a blender or mixing bowl to combine cream cheese, eggs, and butter. Once mixed, add the protein powder and vanilla extract.
Pour the pancake mix over medium heat. Let those bad boys sizzle on each side for two to three minutes. Instead of maple syrup (which is way too sugary for keto), top your pancakes with stevia, a keto-friendly sweet syrup.
Keto Egg Cups
Yes, breadless muffins are a thing! Just trade the flower with eggs, and you’ve got yourself some delicious keto-friendly muffins. Keto egg cups are a great breakfast to make on Sunday and use during the workweek.
To create an egg cup, you will need eggs, seasonings, cheese, and your choice of vegetables or meats. Some of our favorite combinations include:
- Ham and cheddar
- Mushroom, pepper, and spinach
- Broccoli and cheddar
- Sun-dried tomato and spinach
- Spinach, tomato, and goat cheese
To create keto egg cups, whisk 10 large eggs, salt, and pepper together. Add your choice of vegetables, cheese, and meat.
Grease a muffin tin with olive or coconut oil. Pour the batter into the muffin holders, and cook at 400°F for 12 to 15 minutes. Enjoy the eggs for the next three to four days.
Here’s an equation you’ll want to solve. What do you get when you combine keto waffles with eggs and cheese?
To create your keto waffles, you will need:
- 4 eggs
- 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons of chopped chives
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
Heat a waffle maker. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Grease the waffle iron with coconut or olive oil, and pour in the mix. Cook for six to seven minutes.
While your waffles cook, create the cheese topping. For this, you will need:
- 4 eggs
- 8 strips of cooked bacon (or turkey bacon)
- 2 ounces of baby spinach
- 10 sliced cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Sauté the spinach and cherry tomatoes in olive oil. Crack in the eggs and stir.
When the waffles are finished, pour the egg and veggie mixture on top. Complete the dish with your bacon slices and voilà! You’ve got a decadent and keto-friendly chaffle to start your day.
Sample Keto Lunches
Lunch can be one of the most difficult meals to keep keto. If you’re on-the-go, it’s hard to find a restaurant with keto-friendly options and easy to pick up a burger or taco.
That’s why you need to plan ahead. Create lunches and pack them for the next day. Below are a few of our favorite lunch dishes that will help you stick to the keto lifestyle.
Buffalo Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
Buffalo wings? No, thanks. Buffalo shrimp wraps, yes, please!
These buffalo shrimp wraps are so good your non-keto coworkers are going to be envious.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1/4 tablespoon of butter
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 1/2 cup of hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 pound of shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 head of Bibb lettuce
- 1/4 cup of chopped onion
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
To create your buffalo sauce, melt the butter over medium heat. Add garlic and mix for one minute. Pour in the hot sauce and let the dish simmer over low heat.
Next, cook up your shrimp. Start by heating olive oil over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Simmer each side for two minutes.
Throw the shrimp into your buffalo mixture and cover them with the sauce. In our opinion, the saucier, the better.
Grab your Bibb lettuce (make sure it’s washed) and peel apart the leaves. Add a scoop of shrimp to each piece of lettuce.
Top your creation with red onion, celery chunks, and blue cheese crumbles. Then enjoy making everyone in the office jealous with your tasty lunch.
Chicken Taco Avocados
Taco Tuesday can still happen when you’re living the keto life. Just replace the taco shells with something better: avocados.
Avocados are 75% unsaturated fat, making them ideal for a keto meal plan. Not to mention avocados are also just amazing in general.
We like using avocados to create keto chicken tacos. For this dish, you’ll need:
- 1 cup of cooked black beans
- 1 cup of canned or frozen corn
- 1 can of green chiles
- 1 cup of cooked shredded chicken
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 package of taco seasoning
- 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro
- 3 fresh avocados
First, create your filling. Combine the black beans, corn, green chili, chicken, cheese, taco seasoning, and cilantro in a mixing bowl.
Next, cut the avocados into halves, so you have six pieces. Remove the pits and insides. Mash them together in a small bowl.
Add the filling to each avocado. Broil them in the oven for two to three minutes, or until the cheese melts.
Once the avocados cool, spoon any leftover mash onto the tacos. Then pop them into your mouth and enjoy!
No-Bread Italian Hoagies
Who doesn’t love a greasy Italian hoagie to spice up their workday? This no-bread recipe creates a quick and simple lunch that’s perfect for your keto meal plan.
For this recipe, you need:
- 1/2 cup of keto mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- 6 slices of ham
- 12 pepperoni slices
- 6 slices of provolone cheese
- 1 cup of shredded lettuce
- 6 slices of red onion
First, create your Italian dressing. Whisk the mayo, vinegar, oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl.
Next, assemble your breadless sandwich. Stack a layer of ham, salami, pepperoni, and provolone together.
Sprinkle in the lettuce and onion slices. Drizzle your Italian dressing over the sandwiches.
Roll each sandwich into a tight wrap. The recipe should create six sammies for you to enjoy during lunchtime.
Sample Keto Dinners
Whether it’s just you or you’re cooking for the family, there are plenty of tasty and keto-friendly dinners you can create.
Some of our favorite low-carb dinners include beef stew, turkey meatballs, and broiled salmon. Are you drooling? So are we.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
This keto beef stew is hearty, filling, and absolutely delectable. It’s simple to make (thank you, slow cooker!) and has a long shelf life in the fridge.
You will need:
- 2 pounds of beef chuck roast
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cups of beef stock
- 1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
- 4 ounces of cremini mushrooms (quartered)
- 1 celery stalk (diced)
- 2 large carrots (diced)
- 1 red onion (diced)
- 1/4 cup of minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano
Turn your slow cooker on low. Heat a large skillet, and brown the beef in olive oil. Once both sides are seared, transfer the beef to your slow cooker.
Add all ingredients. Cover and let simmer for six to eight hours. When it’s ready, enjoy with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
Cheesy Turkey Meatballs
This low-carb dinner is easy and so scrumptious, you’ll forget it’s keto. Plus, the recipe substitutes ground beef with turkey, making it a protein-packed dinner.
To create these keto meatballs, you will need:
- 1 pound of ground turkey
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons of onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1 cup of marinara sauce
Start by preheating your oven to 400°F. Grease a casserole dish with olive oil.
Combine the ground turkey, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, spices, garlic, and Italian seasoning in a large bowl.
Scoop the meat into balls (we recommend using an ice cream scooper) and place them in your casserole dish.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through. Spread the marinara sauce over the meatballs, and sprinkle them with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for five to seven minutes.
The finished product should be a tray of gooey and cheesy goodness melts in your mouth.
Broiled Lemon Salmon
Salmon completes a well-balanced keto meal plan. An average three-ounce filet of salmon contains 23 grams of protein, which is exactly what you want when living the keto life.
For this broiled salmon dinner, you need:
- 4 salmon filets
- 1 tablespoon of mustard
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon of minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons of chopped rosemary
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Salt, pepper, and lemon slices (to taste)
Heat your broiler and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the mustard, garlic, shallots, thyme, rosemary, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Spread the mixture over the salmon filets.
Broil the salmon for seven to eight minutes. Complete your masterpiece by sprinkling a dash of thyme over the filets. Serve the salmon with lemon wedges. Bon appétit!
What Can I Drink on the Keto Diet?
Now that you know what to eat, what drinks should be included in your keto meal plan?
When in doubt, drink water.
Water keeps our bodies hydrated to improve digestion, maximize physical performance, and enhance brain function. Men should aim to drink 15.5 cups of water a day, and women should drink 11.5.
Black and green tea are keto-friendly hot beverages. Coffee is okay for keto, as long as you don’t add sugar or other sweeteners to it (that means no pumpkin spice creamers, ladies!).
If you’re feigning for a carbonated beverage, try sparkling water or club soda. Add a splash of lemon, lime, or orange to spruce up the flavor.
Keep Up With Keto News
A keto lifestyle is rewarding. Not only can you shed hundreds of pounds, but a keto diet leads to full-body benefits, including better brain functions and increased energy.
Now that you have a sample keto meal plan at your fingertips, it’s time to get cooking! For more recipes, tips, and inspiration, browse our blog. We’ve got all of the latest keto news for beginners.