What is a keto diet? Eating keto means limiting your net carb intake to 20 grams per day. If you’re looking to maximize benefits like reversing type 2 diabetes, or have a lot of weight to lose, the keto diet may be right for you.
If you want more carbs, and don’t have type 2 diabetes or much weight to lose, then a more moderate low-carb diet might be for you. Moderate low carb is easier to follow, but is technically less effective than keto, meaning you will get more moderate results.
Top 3 keto cooking tips
Automate breakfast: Choose one keto breakfast to eat every day, like scrambled eggs. Not hungry? Skip breakfast and sip a coffee instead. This saves time and money.
Simplify with meal prep. Cook two servings for dinner and refrigerate the second serving for tomorrow’s lunch. Freeze other portions for later.
Try no-cook plates. Sliced deli meats, cheeses, and veggies make an easy lunch. Here are many more.
Avoid keto flu
Drink lots of fluids and get enough salt, especially during the first week, to minimize symptoms of the initial “keto flu.” For example, a cup of bouillon 1-2 times per day really helps.
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Who should NOT do a keto diet?
A keto low-carb, high-fat diet appears to be very safe for most people. However, in the following three situations you may need extra support:
Are you on medication for diabetes, e.g. insulin? More
Are you on medication for high blood pressure? More
Are you breastfeeding? More
If you’re not in any of these situations you should be good to go.
Shopping lists and more
Do you want to get weekly shopping lists for the 14-day keto diet menu above? Lists that adapt to the number of people you choose to cook for, and that adapts if you want to skip or change a few meals?
Just sign up for a free trial (no commitment, cancel online anytime) and you’ll get these two and 90+ more complete weekly keto meal plans for free:
Premium ketogenic meal plans – including shopping lists
Do you want many more weekly keto meal plans and menus, including shopping lists and easily printable recipe guides? Check out our premium meal plan tool, available with lots of other bonus material with a free trial membership
Here are examples of the keto meal plans you can get. There are also quick and easy, budget-friendly and many more options. These meal plans require a free membership trial to view.
Keto: Quick and tasty brassica mealsCruciferous vegetables, also known as brassicas and “cole crops”, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, are truly a low-carber’s best friend! They are the perfect replacement for starchy ingredients such as potatoes, rice and pasta. You can turn them into everything from mash to pizza crusts – true keto magic! Did we mention that most of them are super cheap, environmentally friendly and packed with nutrients, too?
This quick and easy meal plan keeps you below 19 net carbs per day. Enjoy meals such as our popular Keto Brussels sprouts and hamburger gratin and Italian keto chicken parmesan with cabbage pasta.
For simplicity start by making Keto egg muffins for the week’s coming breakfasts to save precious time each morning. Vary the ingredients to your liking. On the weekend you will indulge in luxurious Keto eggs benedict on avocado and round off the week with a tasty turkey plate.
Full meal plan →
Keto: Budget-friendly #2Do you want to save money and lose weight at the same time? This is a keto meal plan that offers you a week of great meals below 20 grams of carbs per day. It’s made with affordable, yet filling and delicious dishes such as Cajun crab casserole, Brussels sprouts and hamburger gratin, and a flavorful pork stir-fry.
Full meal plan →
Keto: Vegetarian #3Here’s a wonderful weekly meal plan filled with delicious keto-friendly lacto-ovo vegetarian dishes. Three hearty meals per day while keeping the carbs under 20 g per day. This week you’re going to eat gnocchi with homemade basil pesto, quesadillas, cheese pie with mushrooms and a lovely goat cheese salad, just to name a few!
Full meal plan →
Keto: Dairy free #4No dairy? No problem. Eating keto and dairy-free at the same time is quite popular. This week’s meal plan is not only dairy free but also ketogenic and it will help you stay below 20 grams of carbs per day.
Full meal plan →
Team Diet Doctor: Kristin Parker's family favoritesKristin Parker is an American temporarily living in South Korea. Her role with Team Diet Doctor is customer service. If you have a question or a comment on our social media platforms, website or our Facebook group, she will likely be the one to answer you back! Kristin cooks for a family of four, including two hungry teenage sons. Her keto meal plan yields generous servings of substantial, hearty meals that they all like.
Full meal plan →
A ketogenic diet for beginners Ketogenic diet foods – what to eat and what to avoid
For everything you need to get started – keto meal plans, shopping lists, daily tips and troubleshooting – just sign up for our free 2-week keto low-carb challenge:
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Keto diet meal plan Q&A
Here are some of the most common questions about our keto diet plan. For even more questions and answers see our full keto diet FAQ.
I don’t like meat/eggs/dairy/[insert disliked food]. Can I still do a keto diet?
Sure. Just replace the thing you dislike with something else that is keto-friendly. It’s quite possible to eat a vegetarian keto diet, an egg-free keto diet and a dairy-free keto diet – and many other versions.
See our keto foods guidelines
Do I have to count calories on a keto diet?
No, you don’t have to. Many people get so satisfied on a low-carb, high-fat keto diet – with less hunger – that they automatically eat less and lose excess weight. This appears to be especially true if you base your diet on real keto foods, and try to only eat when you’re hungry.
Fat burning is also improved on a keto diet. This, however, does not mean that you can eat any amount of food and still lose weight. If you eat enough fat, the body will only need to burn that, not your stored body fat. That can stop weight loss.
Common issues that can trip people up is snacking on delicious cheeses (when not hungry), or eating salted nuts (when not hungry) or eating baked keto goods, keto cookies etc. (when not hungry). It’s very easy to keep eating just because it tastes good. If you want to lose weight, try to only eat when you’re hungry, even on keto diet.
Learn more: Should you count calories on a low-carb or keto diet?
Can I drink alcohol on a keto diet?
Yes. But stick to low-carb alcoholic drinks, like dry wine or sugar-free drinks.
Full keto alcohol guide
What are healthy fats on a keto diet?
Good examples include butter, olive oil, coconut oil, full-fat dairy (including heavy cream) and avocado oil.
Avoid low-fat products. On a low-carb diet like the keto diet, fat burning is significantly increased, and it’s OK to eat a higher-fat diet.
Full keto fats, sauces and oils guide
How few carbs should I target on keto, and should I count net or total carbs?
On a keto diet we recommend below 20 grams of net carbs per day, and that’s what our keto recipes are aiming for.
You may also have to moderate protein intake somewhat, as high protein intake (greater than 2.0g/kg/d) may make it more difficult to maintain ketosis. However, eating too little protein may also present health issues such as poor muscle development, increased hunger, and lack of essential amino acids. That is why we recommend a moderate level of protein intake, defined as 1.2-1.7g/kg/d. See our protein guide.
Using our keto recipes or keto diet meal plans means you do not have to count to stay keto – we’ll do the counting for you. You can also follow our keto foods guidelines, and you can fairly easily stay on a keto plan without counting the carbs (though it may still be smart to count once in a while, just to make sure).
Full keto diet FAQ
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