How to start the Keto diet
Welcome to Keto for beginners , my brand new series where I’m basically going give you a free Keto meal plan.
The Keto diet or lifestyle as we prefer to call it is fast becoming one of the most popular ways of eating, especially for weight loss. And with good reason too, it’s helped lots of people lose weight, control their diabetes and improve their overall health. So I can see why so many people want to jump on the Keto bandwagon. But there is a LOT of information online and I can understand how it can be intimidating and overwhelming as well for someone who just wants to start their journey and lose weight. Which is why I’ve started this series.
What I would love for you to do over the next two weeks is watch my entire Keto 101 series where I explain everything you need to know about the Keto diet. And while you are doing that you will follow this meal plan for 7 days straight before going into my meal plan for week 2. Over the next 4 weeks I will give you 4 meal plans, use each meal plan for a week before switching over. At the end of it you should find yourself familiar with Keto and hopefully a few pounds lighter.
It’s important to remember that I’m NOT a doctor, nutritionist or dietitian. I’m just a musician/Youtuber who has done Keto so please do not take any of this as medical advise. If you have pre-existing conditions please consult your doctor or a qualified professional before doing anything. This is simply a resource for people who need it. So please treat this as a disclaimer before proceeding. Enjoy the video below and then carry on reading.
Food Substitutes & Information
While I use a lot of avocado oil for my cooking there are some alternatives available. You can use butter, ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, lard, chicken fat, duck fat, bacon fat and goose fat for your cooking. You want to avoid all hydrogenated vegetable oils. Stick to the list above for cooking
I eat pretty much anything that moves and is edible. In most cases you can substitute the meat if you don’t eat something in particular. Any and every animal/bird meat is Keto. That means cows, bulls, buffalo, ox, reindeer, regular deer, pig, wild boar, kangaroo, camel, horse, snake, crocodile etc. Birds like chicken, pigeon, duck, goose, quail etc. All seafood is fine, so any kind of fish, squid, octopus, oysters, prawns. I think you get the idea. What you want to keep in mind is using the fatty cuts of meat and where possible keep the skin on. You want to not go in for the ‘lean meat’ but if you have no option it’s fine to use. Most of the substitutions will be based on the recipe itself.
When it comes to cold cuts and sausages is where you really have to be aware. You want to try and find products with the least amount of ingredients. Avoid anything with ‘sugar’ in it. If your sausage reads less than 80% meat then it’s probably best to avoid it. So you need to start reading ingredient and nutritional labels of food from here on out.
Almost all green vegetables are fine to consume. You can eat mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomato (yes it’s a fruit I know) and eggplant as well. What you want to avoid are starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes etc. For now at least you will also avoid carrots, corn, peas and beets. Just an FYI no lentils or legumes are allowed (I know they are not vegetables).
Absolutely NO ALCOHOL. The idea is to lose weight and alcohol is not your friend so you aren’t going to drink any. What you can drink is water, black coffee or tea and green tea. No mil and absolutely NO SUGAR! If you feel the need for some ‘dairy’ or ‘milk’ then you can use heavy whipping cream, almond milk, coconut milk or soy milk. Remember to make sure they are sugar free. If you need to have it ‘sweetened’ then stick to stevia or erythritol. For my friends living in India please check my Keto shopping guide for Indians to find out what I recommend.
Breakfast – Eggs, bacon and guacamole. It’s really pretty basic but here are your options. The avocado can be substituted for spinach or broccoli. You can fry it in the residual bacon fat after cooking the eggs or you can alternatively just fry it in butter. You can substitute the pork bacon with turkey bacon or chicken sausages. If you are vegetarian you can eat paneer or haloumi instead of the bacon.
Lunch – Ground beef with broccoli & zucchini – The beef can be substituted with any ground meat of choice. Chicken will do, so will crocodile. Any meat is OK! For the vegetables you can use Brussels sprouts, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms etc. Any Keto vegetables will be fine. If you want to keep this dairy free you can use coconut cream instead of the cheese and cream that I use it will be fine.
In the video I mention not to throw the broccoli stem. There are 3 uses for it. You can make my broccoli cheddar soup. You can cut the stalk into cubes and boil it and use it like a fake potato in my Keto poha recipe. And you can use it to thicken your sauces by boiling it and then blending it into a puree like I did in my Keto pot roast recipe. If you are vegetarian you can use cottage cheese instead of the beef. You can also used crumbled tofu.
Snack – I guess instead of ham you can use chicken salami if you don’t eat pork. Chicken & turkey ham are also real things that exist. With regards to the cheese you can use anything you like. Always try and get quality cheese with as few additional ingredients as possible. Vegetarians can substitute the ham with an omelet or a boiled egg. If you don’t want to use mustard you can use a store bought Keto mayo or you can make your own Keto mayo. Hot sauce is an alternative too, find one without sugar.
Dinner – The chicken salad is pretty simple. You can use beef steak instead of chicken if you like. Any seafood is fine as well. If you can’t get curry powder then any sugar free seasoning will do. I suggest sticking to paprika, cayenne pepper, tumeric, cumin and spices like these or dried herbs like oregano etc.
For vegetarians, paneer and halloumi are good options or even fresh buffalo mozzarella. The salad is just lettuce with baby spinach and cherry tomatoes and a bit of cabbage shredded in. You can also make your own salad mix or just buy it from the store. You can also substitute the soya sauce for the more Keto friendly coconut aminos.
Make sure you stay hydrated. Drink at least 2 liters of water during the day as your body doesn’t retain water on Keto. This might also lead to a very quick weight loss during the first week. Don’t get excited it’s probably just water weight. But keep a bottle with you at all times and keep sipping.
Salt your food
Given that you’re body isn’t retaining water you will also be short on your electrolytes, that’s sodium, potassium and magnesium. You can always take a supplement for these but you still want to be generous with the salt on your food. Try to get some good quality salt. Sea salt, pink salt, etc are all good. You can also get some low sodium salt which is a great source of potassium.
Prepare for the Keto flu
Don’t panic. It’s nothing serious. You might just feel ‘bleh’ for a couple of days as your body adapts to Keto. This is normal. After all this is new for your body and also whenever you try to lose weight it does often result in us not feeling optimal. What you can do for this is just take some supplements for it for your electrolytes as I mentioned above or have enough salt in your food. Both the low sodium salt and regular salt. Sometimes you can drink a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon juice and salt. This stuff helps. However after a day or 2 of this you should be fine as your body slowly adapts to your new diet.
So that’s all folks. If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Just edit the quantities based on your appetite. If you have left over food you can always freeze it for up to a full month. So this is more just a list, quantities will vary based on how much you eat.
- Red Onion
- Pink Salt
- Low Sodium Salt
- Pepper (either powder or peppercorns for your grinder)
- Avocado Oil (for cooking)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (the good stuff for salads)
- Red Chilli Flakes
- Thyme (either dried or fresh)
- Ground Beef
- Cheddar Cheese/Gouda (Any of your fav hard cheese will do)
- Cheese Slices (Optional you can just use the cheddar)
- Parmesan Cheese (the good stuff and it’s optional)
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Full Fat Cream Cheese
- Dijon Mustard (or whole grain or even yellow mustard)
- Chicken Thighs
- Curry Powder
- Peant butter (all natural with no sugar added)
- Soya Sauce or Coconut Aminos
- White Sesame Seeds
- Black Sesame Seeds
- Pre-packed Salad mixes or lots of assorted lettuce and maybe some baby spinach to mix in as well
- Stevia or Erythritol
That should cover everything. Adjust the quantities based on how much you are going to eat. For example if you eat 2 eggs a day then that’s 14 eggs you need in total. If you eat say 3 slices of bacon a day and a packet has 12 slices then buy 2 packets. You get the idea. And just a reminder for my Indian viewers to check my Shopping guide for Indians for suggested brands.
Cooking for 7 days!
The breakfast is pretty simple. It’s quick and you can make it on a daily basis. The guacamole makes about 2 portions given that will eat about 1/2 an avocado each day. So you only make that every alternate day. For the lunch I think the recipe below would be 3 servings for me easily if not 4 so you can double the recipe and that should be enough for all 7 days. The snack is something that you can make on a daily basis if you are hungry and feel the need for it.
For the dinner as well you can just fry up all the chicken on the first day and portion it out. Same for the dressing you can just multiply the recipe by 7 and you have enough dressing for the week. I haven’t made this a huge batch because it’s so quick to make that I really would make it on the day itself. But you get the idea now of how to cook everything and portion it out.
Keto for Beginners - Free Keto Meal Plan
Breakfast - Bacon, Eggs & Guacamole
- 2 Eggs
- 3 Rashers bacon
- 1 Avocado about 250grams in weight
- 50 grams Onion
- 50 grams Tomato
- 1 Tsp Lime juice
- 5 grams Cilantro/Coriander
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Lunch - Beef, Broccoli & Zucchini stir fry
- 500 grams Ground Beef
- 300 grams Broccoli florets
- 300 grams zucchini
- 50 grams Onion
- 10 grams garlic
- 1 Tsp Paprika I recommend this
- 1 Tsp Red Chilli Flakes
- 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme
- 50 grams Cheddar Cheese
- 50 grams Heavy Whipping Cream I recommend this
- 50 grams Cream Cheese I recommend this
- 1 Tbsp Avocado Oil I recommend this
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Snack - Ham & Cheese Roll ups
- 4 leaves Lettuce
- 4 slices Cheese
- 4 slices Ham
Dinner - Chicken Salad with Peanut Butter Dressing
- 2 Boneless & Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 1 Box/Bag Ready to eat salad mix
- 1/2 Tsp Black Sesame Seeds
- 1/2 Tsp White Sesame Seeds
- 1 Tsp Curry Powder I recommend this
- 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil I recommend this
- 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter I recommend this
- 1 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tsp Soya Sauce I recommend this
- 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
- Stevia to taste I recommend this
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Coriander for Garnish
- Cut the avocado in half by running the knife around it. Then remove the seed with the help of the knife (watch video). The cut the flesh horizontally and vertically to create cubes and then scoop it out with a spoon. Season the avocado with salt, add in the onion, tomato, lime juice and cilantro and give it a good mix and mash. The guacamole is now ready.
- Fry the bacon by starting it in a cold pan on a medium flame and cook to your liking. The bacon fat should render out and once the bacon is done cooking remove from the pan.
- In the same pan crack 2 eggs and cook to your liking. You can scramble the eggs, you can beat them to make an omelet or you can just fry them. I like to cover it with a like for 2 minutes and cook it and I have perfect fried eggs.
- Don't forget to season your eggs with salt and pepper. Enjoy the eggs with the bacon and guacamole. The guacamole should make 2 servings. So you effectively only eat 1/2 the avocado for breakfast.
- Cut the broccoli florets from the stem and set them aside. Also chop the zucchini into small cubes or slices, however you like them.
- Heat the avocado oil in a skillet or non stick pan and once smoking add in the ground beef. Season with some salt and pepper and then cook for a minute or two before adding in the onions and garlic.
- Once the onions turn translucent and the garlic starts to brown add in the paprika, chilli flakes and thyme and give everything a good mix. Cook for a minute before adding the zucchini and the broccoli, season with salt and give it a good mix.
- Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes and then grate the cheddar cheese over the mixture and add in the heavy cream and cover and cook for another few minutes till the cheese melts. Give everything a good mix and then if there is too much liquid in the pan cook till that reduces down.
- Finally add in the cream cheese and mix everything well. Serve with some fresh parmesan grated on the top and a sprinkling of paprika. About 1 well filled bowl should be sufficient.
- Spread the mustard on the lettuce as you would on a slice of bread. You can also replace mustard with hot sauce (sugar free), BBQ sauce (Keto friendly) or a Keto mayo.
- Then place on a slice of ham, a slice of cheese and then just roll it up.
- Enjoy your wrap. You can also use turkey slices, chicken ham, roast beef etc. Use any cheese you like as well.
- Place some cling flim/plastic wrap over the chicken thighs and beat them with the flat side of a meat mallet till they are nice and even. Season on both sides with salt, pepper and curry powder.
- Heat the avocado oil in a skillet and once smoking hot add the chicken and fry for about 3 minutes on each side till golden brown and fully cooked. Then set it aside on a plate to rest.
- To make the dressing microwave the peanut butter and water for 30 seconds and then whisk till you get a nice runny mixture. Add in the soya sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, stevia and salt and pepper and mix well. Also add in the resting juices from the chicken.
- Now please note, all stevia has a different level of sweetness so you want to add about 1/2 tsp equal of sugar. So with erythritol it's normally 1:1 ratio as sugar so you'd use 1/2 tsp of erythritol if you use that instead of stevia.
- To assemble the salad just open up your mixed salad bag. You can alternatively just chop some lettuce, cabbage, baby spinach and a few cherry tomatoes to make your own mix. Pour over the dressing and then the black and white sesame seeds.
- Chop the chicken and add that on the salad and finish with some coriander.