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Keto 101: How to Create a Keto Diet Meal Plan

Ready to start a keto diet but don't know where to begin? We've got you covered! Learn all you need to create a keto meal plan and start leading a healthier lifestyle.

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Going keto? Start here!

Have you made the decision to go keto? Great! The keto diet has helped countless people across the globe not only lose weight, but also take control of their health and well-being. To maximize your success, it’s important to educate yourself on what foods you can and cannot eat. What’s more, planning your meals ahead of time will make it much easier to stick with the diet. Read on for more information plus some keto meal plan suggestions to get your journey started!

Keto Foods to Avoid

What does the keto diet look like in terms of actual food?

The basic premise of the keto diet is to drastically reduce carbohydrates while significantly upping your intake of fats. Your daily caloric needs should be met as follows: 75% from fat, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbs. So, what does that mean in terms of food? Well, there are some foods you’ll have to say goodbye to for the long haul. Here’s a short list of foods to avoid:

  • Bread
  • Baked goods
  • Grains and cereals (this includes whole grains like quinoa and bulgur)
  • Pasta
  • Most fruits, including apples, pears, and bananas (for fruits that are allowed, see below)
  • Fruit juices
  • Sugary sodas
  • Starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and beets
  • Alcohol, especially beer
  • Sugar in all its forms (this includes honey)
  • Snack foods like chips and crackers

It may seem like a lot at first, but there are so many foods you can freely enjoy on the keto diet. Instead of focusing on what we can't have, let’s shift our view to the fun part: what we can eat!

Keto grocery list

What should be in your keto-friendly shopping basket?

A typical keto meal plan is centered around a high intake of fat, a moderate amount of protein, and plenty of non-starchy veggies. You can even enjoy some high fiber, low carb fruits. So, what does that look like when you’re shopping?

Next time you’re at the grocery store, you’ll need to spend much of your time at the fresh meat counter and in the dairy aisle. Fill your shopping cart with tasty meat of all kinds – chicken, beef, pork, turkey – as well as bacon and sausages. Don’t forget, you can also add some variety in the seafood section, especially fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon. And then choose from the range of eggs, cheese, butter, and cream to fill up your keto friendly fridge. In doing so, you'll ensure you always have food on hand to keep you in ketosis while you stay far away from carbs.

Keto grocery list

Don’t forget the fresh produce section! When you’re there, look out for green vegetables as they generally tend to be more keto friendly: asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cucumbers, green beans, and zucchini are ideal choices. Or go for vegetables with leaves: cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, kale, and cabbage can all be enjoyed on a keto diet. And you can even shop for tasty high fiber fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, limes, and lemons – just be sure to purchase them in moderation!

And then there’s also a few essential store-cupboard favorites you’ll need to have:

  • Nuts and seeds like cashews, almonds, and pumpkin seeds
  • Nut butters
  • Healthy oils like coconut or extra virgin olive oil

Now that you know what your ingredients are, it is time to get some recipes and put together a keto meal plan!

Your secret weapon for staying on track? A keto meal plan

Preparation and planning is going to be the key to your success on the keto diet. Until you really get the hang of it, it’s important to have a clearly laid out meal plan. This allows no room for a sneaky, carb-laden sandwich to appear at your desk around lunchtime!

Familiarize yourself with some keto recipes and then make yourself a keto 7-day meal plan. You can then easily adapt that to a keto 5-day meal plan or even repeat it for a keto 2-week meal plan. Not sure where to start? Take a look at this sample 3-day keto diet meal plan for inspiration:

Day 1:

Breakfast: cheese and bell pepper omelet
Lunch: a bed of greens topped with rotisserie chicken, cucumbers, and tomatoes and a simple oil and vinegar dressing
Snack: cottage cheese with celery sticks
Dinner: grilled cumin pork chops with roasted veggies

Day 2:

Breakfast: full fat Greek yogurt with nuts and chia seeds
Lunch: low carb burrito bowl with cauliflower “rice,” chicken, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream
Snack: string cheese
Dinner: Cuban chicken with chimichurri

Day 3:

Breakfast: fried eggs with bacon
Lunch: chicken Caesar salad
Snack: a handful of raspberries and nuts
Dinner: Seared cheese with gremolata

Day 1:

Breakfast: cheese and bell pepper omelet
Lunch: a bed of greens topped with rotisserie chicken, cucumbers, and tomatoes and a simple oil and vinegar dressing
Snack: cottage cheese with celery sticks
Dinner: grilled cumin pork chops with roasted veggies

Day 2:

Breakfast: full fat Greek yogurt with nuts and chia seeds
Lunch: low carb burrito bowl with cauliflower “rice,” chicken, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream
Snack: string cheese
Dinner: Cuban chicken with chimichurri

Day 3:

Breakfast: fried eggs with bacon
Lunch: chicken Caesar salad
Snack: a handful of raspberries and nuts
Dinner: Seared cheese with gremolata

Green Chef

Want to make it easier? Let Green Chef do the shopping and meal planning!

That’s right — Green Chef can take over the hard part for you! Our meal delivery service provides full keto diet meal plans and sends keto meal kits right to your door. We do the planning, the portion control, and the shopping for you. Choose from a variety of weekly changing keto recipes and get inspiration from 1,000+ recipes in our recipe archive to create your custom keto meal plan. Whether it’s a quick keto 5-day meal plan or a longer keto 30-day meal plan, we’ve got you covered. Get started today!

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