Fact Checked By Christine VanDoren NSCA-CPT, ACE
August 30, 2021
Popular for its weight loss benefits, the ketogenic diet makes its way into many households.
It differs from a standard eating regimen because protein is kept in moderation while fat is highly encouraged and carbohydrates are restricted.
Following these guidelines for some time can help you lose weight and achieve your optimal physical appearance, as well as internal health.
Sounds perfect, right?
The only thing is that it can be a bit confusing to know what to eat and how much.
Follow this guide, step-by-step, and learn how you can design your very own ketogenic meal plan.
Steps to take to develop your plan:
Step 1: How many calories should you eat?
First, you need to determine how many calories you need to eat daily.
You can find BMR calculators on the internet; your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories you burn in a day while at rest.
The calculators will ask you for basic information and how active you are and then will provide you with how many calories to eat to maintain your current weight.
Going off of that answer, you can do some math based on whether you want to lose fat, maintain your weight, or gain muscle.
One pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories. It is healthy to modify your weight by one to two pounds per week.
You need to eat your maintenance calories minus 500 calories a day if you want to lose weight.
If you’re going to gain muscle, you need to eat your maintenance calories plus 500 calories a day.
The difference of 500 calories a day, plus or minus, is equivalent to a change in one pound per week.
I weigh 150 pounds, and I want to lose 1 pound of fat per week. My maintenance calories are 2,000.
2,000 - 500 = 1,500
I need to eat 1,500 calories per day.
Step 2: How to determine your macros
The three macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
The keto diet consists of approximately 60% fat, 30% protein, and 10% carbohydrates (1).
One gram of carbs and one gram of protein is equal to four calories each.
One gram of fat is equal to 9 calories.
These conversions are essential to know, as they can help you understand how many of your calories fall under each of the three macros.
This step is the most important because following these guidelines will put you in a state of ketosis.
If you eat too many calories or grams worth of carbs or protein, your body will not produce ketone bodies.
I want to lose 1 pound a week, so I am eating 1,500 calories a day. I want to follow the standard keto macronutrient guidelines.
1,500 calories x 60% = 900 calories
900 calories / 9 calories per gram = 100 grams of fat
1,500 calories x 30% = 450 calories
450 calories / 4 calories per gram = 112.5 grams of protein
1,500 calories x 10% = 150 calories
150 calories / 4 calories per gram = 37.5 grams of carbohydrates
I need to eat 100 grams of fat, 112.5 grams of protein, and 37.5 grams of carbohydrates every day.
Step 3: Make your plan well-balanced
Now that you know how many grams/calories of each macronutrient you need to eat, it is time to determine how often you are eating throughout the day.
Be reasonable with how often you can sit down and eat and decide a schedule that works with your lifestyle.
I work 9-5, and I exercise every day after work. I need to decide when to eat my meals and how much to eat.
I am going to break up my calories and macros into four meals throughout the day. As a result, I will be less likely to feel hungry and constantly provide my body with energy and nutrients.
Meal 1: Breakfast before work at 7 am
Meal 2: Lunch at work at 1 pm
Meal 3: Pre-workout meal before exercising at 5:30 pm
Meal 4: Post-workout meal/dinner after exercising at 8 pm
1,500 calories / 4 = 375 calories per meal
900 calories of fat / 4 = 225 calories (25 grams) per meal
450 calories of protein / 4 = 112.5 calories (28.13 grams) per meal
150 calories of carbohydrates / 4 = 37.5 calories (9.38 grams) per meal
Step 4: Know the best sources of each macro
You know how much to eat and how often.
Now it is time to learn what to eat!
Identifying the best sources of each macronutrient, the most affordable, and which you like the most is very important for ensuring your success with the keto diet.
Here are a few healthy sources of fats and protein that you can incorporate into your meals (2)!
Plug these two macronutrients in your eating plan first, and then decide whether or not you have any grams of carbs left over before adding a source of food primarily composed of carbs.
Avocados (1 avocado = 240 calories / 12.8 g C / 22 g F / 3 g P)
Olive oil (1 tbsp = 119 calories / 0 g C / 13.5 g F / 0 g P)
Salmon (4 oz = 180 calories / 0 g C / 9.3 g F / 23.3 g P)
Peanut butter (1 tbsp = 100 calories / 3 g C / 8 g F / 3.5 g P)
Almonds (¼ cup = 207 calories / 7.7 g C / 17.8 g F / 7.6 g P)
Chicken (4 oz = 100 calories / 1 g C / 2 g F / 22 g P)
85% lean ground turkey (4 oz = 240 calories / 0 g C / 17 g F / 21 g P)
80% lean ground beef (4 oz = 290 calories / 0 g C / 23 g F / 20 g P)
Eggs (1 egg = 72 calories / 0.4 g C / 4.8 g F / 6.3 g P)
Full-fat Greek yogurt (1 cup = 220 calories / 9 g C / 11 g F / 20 g P)
Step 5: Use supplements for better results
While utilizing the ketogenic diet is the most common way people put themselves into a state of ketosis, there is another way.
Clinical Effect’s Ketone BHBoost is a supplement that will put your body into ketosis, whether or not you are following the diet (3).
BHBoost will elevate your ketone levels, supercharge ketosis, prevent the keto flu, and enhance fat burning, amongst many other things.
While not necessary, taking an exogenous ketone supplement while eating low-carb and high-fat is highly suggested to attain maximum results.
But if you cannot stick to the diet because you know you wouldn’t enjoy it, or it isn’t manageable with your lifestyle, Clinical Effect’s supplement is a great way to still help you lose weight and deliver various other health benefits.
Following the ketogenic diet can seem complicated, but it can be a breeze if you follow the steps listed above.
Determining how many calories you need to eat, how to define your macros, how to keep your day well-balanced, the best sources of food, and what supplements to take will simplify everything and make this beneficial diet sustainable.
Set yourself up for success by planning ahead, and reap the rewards of having a well-thought-out ketogenic meal plan!
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