The Basic Keto Diet Plan – 30 Best Practices for Losing Weight + Scaring Away Cancer

A basic Keto Diet plan can be found in Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, but I’ll summarize it for you here. I’m also going to note that I consider this a diet for your induction period, as I’ve always added berries and other no-no’s in after a couple of weeks with no bad effects. Your stomach shrinks so much that suddenly a couple strawberries is like eating a seven layer chocolate cake. If this is your first time hearing about the keto diet, learn more about it here.

Rules of a basic keto diet plan:

  • 20 net carbohydrates per day (that’s the total carbs minus fiber)
  • Eat meats and dairy that are 1-2 carbs are less (most meats have zero)
  • Eat vegetables that are 5 or less
  • Eat them baked, fried, boiled, stir-fried, sauteed, roasted or microwaved.
  • No sugars (simple carbohydrates) – white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, corn syrup, beer (contains barley malt), milk (contains lactose), flavored yogurts, fruit juice, and fruit.
  • No starches (complex carbohydrates) – grains (even “whole” grains), rice, cereals, flour, cornstarch, breads, pastas, muffins, bagels, crackers, and “starchy” vegetables such as slow-cooked beans (pinto, lima, black beans), carrots, parsnips, corn, peas, potatoes, French fries, potato chips.

Meats on a basic keto diet plan:

Meat: Beef, steak, hamburger, pork , ham, bacon, lamb, veal, etc. Processed meats are OK too (like hot dogs and and sausage) but try to buy the organic stuff so that you’re not packing your body full of preservatives and other yucky things. Also look out for corn syrup on the labels which is a common gross additive.

Poultry: Chicken, turkey, duck, or other fowl.

Fish and Shellfish: Tuna, salmon, catfish, bass, trout, shrimp, scallops, crab, crab legs and lobster. Basically anything that isn’t farmed because they contain toxins.



Eggs: Whole eggs, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, deviled eggs (<–these are my favorite snack!).

Everyday foods on a basic keto diet plan:

  • 2 cups of salad per day (spinach, lettuce, arugula, cabbage, chard, chives, endive, kale, etc.)
  • 1 cup of vegetables every day (artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans (string beans), jicama, leeks, mushrooms, okra, onions, pepper pumpkin, shallots, snow peas, sprouts (bean and alfalfa) sugar snap peas, summer squash, tomatoes, rhubarb, wax beans, zucchini.
  • 2 cups of Boullion every day, as needed, because you need to drink a lot of water on this diet, and pee out all of your sodium and other good nutrients. This is also especially important in the beginning to help with “keto flu” symptoms!

Approved but limited foods on the basic keto diet plan

  • 4oz of cheese that has 1 carb or less per serving
  • 4 tablespoons of cream, like heavy cream, light cream or sour cream.
  • 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise (like Hellmann’s)
  • 6 olives per day
  • 1/2 an avocado per day
  • 4 teaspoons of lemon/lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons of soy sauce (like Kikkomans)
  • 2 servings of Dill or sugar-free pickles
  • Pork rinds, pepperoni, deviled eggs and other snacks

Everything else on a basic keto diet plan

  • Oils are awesome, they’re full of fat and some are very good for you! Try to stay away from vegetable oil though, because it’s full of chemically-removed oils that are our bodies weren’t made to consume. Instead, consume healthy oils like olive oil and coconut oil (yum!)
  • Italian, or olive oil & vinegar dressings are great for keto, but you can find plenty of low-carb ranch and blue cheese dressings too. Nix anything considered “lite”.
  • If you want to use sweeteners, stick with Stevia.
  • Water is good. If you need bubbles, get a Soda Stream and some of the MyWater unsweetened flavorings.

Also, these are all other words for sugar: sucrose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, glucose, honey, agave syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown-rice syrup, molasses, evaporated cane juice, cane juice, fruit-juice concentrate, corn sweetener.

Read also: some keto tips and tricks I’ve learned

I’d love to hear YOUR keto “best practices”, so leave them in the comments!


keto-life-ofie-2
Disclosure: I'm not a nutritionist or a medical professional. The recipes and articles on this blog should not replace the advice of your doctor. Also, I only recommend products that I have used and love, but in these cases I may use Amazon.com affiliate links, which means I get paid a small commission if you buy the product. A girl's gotta pay for all these ingredients you know! :)
51 comments
IreneCruz
IreneCruz

Hi I eat rice one cup for luch it that ok or no?

kimplovely
kimplovely

@IreneCruz One cup of rice will put you over your carb count for the day. You want to stay with good vegetables and meats.  

wickedstuffed
wickedstuffed moderator

@IreneCruz At 43 carbohydrates per cooked cup, that would be double the recommended 20 per day. :) 

Jarobinson2
Jarobinson2

Do you have a favorite app for counting carbs/macronutrients ?

wickedstuffed
wickedstuffed moderator

@Jarobinson2 Yes! I use MyFitnessPal every day. :) I've also started adding scannable MyFitnessPal codes in my recipes.

wickedstuffed
wickedstuffed moderator

@Debmonty It's the only 0-carb natural sweetener there is that has no effect on your blood sugar.

ShenaynayTaytay
ShenaynayTaytay

So I take it you've never heard of erythritol which even tastes / cooks like sugar with none of the detrimental side effects. Pretty incomplete info here. :/

StaceyNorton
StaceyNorton

Watch out for sugar alcohols. Google erythritol diarrhea.

wickedstuffed
wickedstuffed moderator

@ShenaynayTaytay Of course I've heard of erythritol, it's just not considered "natural" by the paleo folks who I listen to in terms of calling a sweetener natural. Erythritol is the "safest" but is still tied to leaky gut, etc. It also requires a significant amount to sweeten recipes, rather than a pinch of stevia. Everyone is welcome to use whichever sweeteners they like, I even use sucralose sometimes. These are my "best practices," not rules. :) In general, I think it's best to skip them all except for special occasions (you'll notice I have very few dessert recipes) - I figure, why choose a sugar-free lifestyle if you plan to replace it with sugar alternatives?

assadbhai786
assadbhai786

Just a quick qn....is sprout allowed on this diet.

JKDBrown
JKDBrown

Hi!  I'm also just getting started on keto.  I'm type 2 diabetic and need to lose about thirty pounds to get to my ideal weight.  Unfortunately I must not be doing the diet correctly since I've gained about 12 pounds since I started about 4 weeks ago.  One of the problems I have had is measuring the macro-nutrients correctly.  If I want to eat 50 gm. of broccoli, is it just the actual gm. from my food scale or should I be counting the carbs listed on the package (50 gm by "weight" = 6.15 gm. of carbs)?  Thanks in advance for your help.

nala2015
nala2015

Count your carbs, no more than 30gm of carbs (daily) are allowable on keto , you can start with 50gm of carbs and reduce them gradually ....increase your fat!

JKDBrown
JKDBrown

@nala2015 So I should be using the scale number rather than the number on the Nutrition Facts Label?

nala2015
nala2015

Yes, the scale its a great tool to control your portions, just keep records of your daily carb intake...it dont matter if is 50gms or 100 gms of broccoli, just dont exceed your daily intake of carbs (according to your serving size /macros in the package)

epopoola
epopoola

On the label it will tell you the serving size and how many carbs are in that serving size. You then use your scale to measure the serving size. Based on the serving size you will then know how many grams of carbs are in that portion. So if 1 oz has 5g of carbs, then you will know that in order to get 50g of carbs, you would need 10 oz. You do not weigh 50g of the food. The weight of the food is not the same as the amount of macros (g) it contains. The same applies for protein and fat. 50g of chicken does not have 50g of protein. You would have to look at the nutrition label and see what how much protein is in each oz of chicken.

jamieleigh1437
jamieleigh1437

Hi I am starting this diet and need to know some inexpensive "good" fats since it is 75% of this diet. Anything would help. Also im taking 1000 mg of flaxseed oil caps a day because I donot eat seafood. Any tips of foods. So far I have been eating celery and natural peanut butter as my daily snacks oh and almonds lol and I also take a very low dose of blood pressure meds for being borderline hypertension. Should I just monitor my bp to determine if I should keep taking my meds. Otherwise I have no other health probs besides being overweight. Is there a supplement you can buy in a capsule to prevent bladder stones as well. Sorry so many ? Thanks in advance for any feedback.

nala2015
nala2015

Bladder stones ...I think that depends of every body....drink LOTS of water, I am currently taking magnesium and potasium, I drank a mix of water, lemon and salt at the beginning to avoid the keto flu (specially headaches), MCT oil is a must! Coconut oil, virgin olive oil , butter (organic or grass fed- Hormone free Kerrygold)nuts (specially macadamians) almonds, pecans, bacon, Ham, sausages (check the sugar on it)Cheese, eggs, meat, fish, sour cream, heavy cream, vegetables.Just maintain your fat intake higher and you will be good ! 👍 Dont stress too much about it!

JohnBlakeArnold
JohnBlakeArnold

I am disappointed that no one has pointed out that the alkaline keto diet can be vegan, and in the reverse of morbidly obese folks to a normal B.M.I., the dieter must almost absolutely provide the vast majority of calories in high quality vegan oil such as cocanut oil which provides the MCT's necessary to create the chemical reaction that reverses the damage that insulin-resisted glycolysis caused in creating so much human fat? What is the chemical process by which human fatty adipose tissue can reverse swelling and return to normal? The chemical process is vegan alkaline ketosis which exchanges the storage of extremely unhealthy human fat for energy and the waste goes to respiration and urine. I dare those consuming enormous amounts of animal protein-- especially those Americans like myself who are morbidly obese-- to understand that ketosis which is vegan and fat based at a ratio of 4 fats to 1 (protein and carbohydrate combined), means that a typical meal of 3 tablesppon of chia seed, 1/4 cup of Lifeway Kefir, 3 tablespoons of cocanut oil, and 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, topped off with pot liquor from some greens, would be the most amazing breakfast you've ever had. Honestly.... When the major part of a vegan alkaline ketosis calories come from healthy replacement oils higher in Omega 3 than anything else, then the daily budget of protein and carbs becomes a primary driver of how the foods are prepared, instead of what we assume we should be eating. One finds that personal consumption mirrors the ecology of the planet. Ethically, only veganism is a real longterm option, and in terms of personal health it is most amazing recovery and weight loss option humanity has available. Thanks.

akhtress
akhtress

@JohnBlakeArnold Go away, you're the reason nobody likes vegans, because they do not respect other people's choices. You make it like a frickin religion!

PJS23
PJS23

Any tips/suggestions for gout sufferers getting into keto?

wickedstuffed
wickedstuffed moderator

@PJS23 I've read that keto and paleo are not recommended for people with gout. I recently got kidney stones (as far as I know, this in the causary realm of gout) , and my doc didn't suggest going off keto, just drinking lemon water daily, and a lot of it. I never drink water, and am always dehydrated, so I don't know if it was keto or dehydration that caused them, but I'd definitely talk to your doc first.

corrienne62
corrienne62

Been on keto for over a month , it cured my gout completely by taking out refined sugars as in all fruit..even lemons! As its that , that causes gout in the first place.

I hadnt been able , prior to ketosis to even put my feet down..my legs shins and big toes were in agony.. Now My energy level is higher and my feet are great, I walked seven miles the other day ..overall I've lost eighteen pounds in just six weeks ...I have an extremely low appetite now, and the gaps between meals are variable between sixteen and twenty hours..

I too take a spoonful of MCT oil ,only ..if I feel I hardly ate much to give me a little boost in some fats..

My appetite was suppressed mainly because I snacked in the beginning on the odd pepperami's between meals..then my appetite was able to go for over twenty hours before eating anything else..my fat just came off extremely fast and efficiently .

I'm all for topping myself up with magnesium pottasium vitamin b complex (especially b5) and my salt intake ..is lifted nicely with pepperami's ;-)

Did you know that spices heat the body more and so you burn fat faster..

Ive not had a bad day.. Apart from the second week when I went cold turkey after going straight to decaffeinated coffee.. As normal coffee spikes insulin..My headaches were migrainal..and I wanted to give up and have caffeine again to stop them..but nope..I persevered..

It works if you have the willpower.. For most people!

I was diagnosed With secondary progressive M.S years ago ..was already using a wheelchair when my body wasn't functioning all that well..

To now say to you I cured my gout (which isn't to do do with m.s just an extra debilitating health issue )and also managed to walk seven miles? Surely ketosis can help..if we just stop plaguing it with the thought of doing us more damage than good when its actually quite the reverse.. If able to stick it out! ;-)

nala2015
nala2015

Your comment:--"Your stomach shrinks so much that suddenly a couple strawberries is like eating a seven layer chocolate cake" got my attention,could that possibly is happenning to me and reading your article makes me realize that I am still eating the same portion size as I was eating before starting Keto--- Im always bloated and indisgeted after I eat,I recently started taking digestive enzymes but its not working,I feel like a have a huge 'ball' inside my stomach ....any advice??? 😖😖😖

nala2015
nala2015

By the way I started 3 almost 4 weeks ago...

wickedstuffed
wickedstuffed moderator

@nala2015 I had the same issue and I found that drinking water and adding a probiotic/digestive enzyme combo worked great!

mok
mok

Aren't you a little overweight for someone who is living a keto lifestyle. just sayin.

WickedStuffed
WickedStuffed

@mok I've lost 60lbs so far, how about you? ;) I'm doing keto for the same reasons as everyone else, friend.

Lindsay
Lindsay

@mok That's just completely rude.

Joey
Joey

@mok That's the first thought I had, although most of the information, if not all, is spot on.

Jay Reaser
Jay Reaser

There is so much information here. I truly think that this is going to save my wife and I from some disasters. I am really in need to lose almost 100 pounds. My wife has had breast cancer and we both have health issues now. We are in our 60's. Thank you for having all this info available.

Tinks
Tinks

Wow! So glad to have stumbled across these posts. I have been eating this way for awhile, but have found that most recipes are complicated and have ingredients that are not available in the small town where I live in South Africa, but your recipes seem easy to make and delicious and uncomplicated. Love the bacon tacos!!

Big daddy bry
Big daddy bry

Just found out I am diabetic so carbs and sugars are a no no. I've been doing a ton of reading on keto and found that it can reverse diabetes. Makes sense to me because sugar and carbs are to be avoided due to blood sugar spikes. I've been eating no carbs/sugar for a couple days it's been pretty easy for me because I love meat and eggs lol. Thanks for sharing more recipes!!! I can't wait to try them

WickedStuffed
WickedStuffed

So sorry to hear that! Be sure to read up on ketoacidosis also, it's something that Diabetics in particular need to be aware of when on a ketogenic diet -- get keto strips online or at your local CVS and make sure you're only in the light purple stage - keep out of the deep purple. This may mean increasing carbs and definitely water. Side note: I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on the internet. :)

Adam
Adam

Ketoacidosis is primarily a problem for type 1 diabetics. It very rarely affects type 2 diabetics. :) still worth being cautious but shouldn't be too much to worry about.

kim
kim

What kind of cheese is allowed and greek yogurt not sweetened in small bites?

WickedStuffed
WickedStuffed

Cheese depends on which cheese - most sliced cheeses are zero carb, but creamed cheeses have more. Greek Yogurt is also dependent on the label. For breakfast I sometimes eat Fage Total - the full fat version, not the 0% or 2%. I muddle up a strawberry and add it too.

Clairseana
Clairseana

After being overwhelmed trying to research and start a keto lifestyle, I am SO happy to have found this site with your concise and interesting posts and delicious-looking recipes. Yay!

Maria
Maria

You are a good writer, I ve been laughing out loud reading your articles ;) greetings from Iceland :)

genii love
genii love

This is fantastic! I just started my keto diet and this is a big help. You are awesome for this...i just shared your site with a friend who introduced me to this lifestyle. At first, I was nervous but after seeing your recipes..i'm kind of excited!

WickedStuffed
WickedStuffed

It is exciting! I feel so inspired to cook on keto! :)

LittleRed
LittleRed

Hey great post. Just a question about the limited foods - does this mean that you could eat any or all of those in a day as long as you stick to the suggested amount? Or can you only pick one from the list per day? Just curious, thanks.

WickedStuffed
WickedStuffed

I think you could have all of them in moderation. This is just for your basic few-week induction period, though. You can have more once you're in the groove. :)

Leanne
Leanne

Just as a side note...Stevia isn't artificial :)

WickedStuffed
WickedStuffed

You're right, I didn't mean to make it sound that way. Corrected! :)

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  1. […] The Basic Keto Diet – A good, practical summary of what to eat if you’re just getting started on a Keto diet […]

  2. […] Approved but limited foods on the basic keto diet plan: 4oz of cheese that has 1 carb or less per serving; 4 tablespoons of cream, like heavy cream, light cream or sour cream; 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise (like Hellmann’s); 6 olives per day; 1/2 an avocado per day; 4 teaspoons of lemon/lime juice…30 Ketosis Plan Tips […]

  3. […] read my Basic Keto Diet Plan – 30 Best Practices for Losing Weight + Scaring Away Cancer […]