Sample Keto Meal Plan for Beginners

Dive into the keto lifestyle with our beginner's guide! Learn everything from carb limits and macronutrient ratios to delicious, easy-to-follow meal plans.

Starting a keto diet might seem like a big step, but it’s easier than you think. Whether you want to lose weight, boost your energy, or just eat healthier, our beginner’s guide has got you covered.

We’ll explain the basics, like how many carbs to eat to start ketosis and how to balance fats, proteins, and carbs.

We’ve also got a handy 5-day meal plan to get you going. Let’s get started and learn about eating low-carb!

How Many Carbs Can You Eat on Keto?

  • Short answer: <50g per day.

The keto diet is a strict low-carb diet. The goal is to bring your body into a state of ketosis, which means that fat has to replace carbs as the primary fuel source.

There’s no one fixed rule that determines the carb limit for a keto diet. However, most guidelines recommend having less than 50 grams of total carbohydrates daily while on this diet [1].

Many people track their net carbs instead of total carbs on keto. In this case, the recommended limit ranges from 15-30 grams of net carbs daily.

This carb restriction differs from one person to another. Some individuals may only enter ketosis when consuming less than 20 grams of total carbs per day.

But in general, the lower your carb intake, the easier it is for you to reach and maintain a state of ketosis.

Protein and Fats on a Keto Diet

There are no universal guidelines depicting what a keto diet has to look like. But in general, a keto diet should be high in healthy fats and deliver a moderate amount of proteins and a low amount of carbohydrates. Here’s what the macronutrient ratio of a keto diet may look like: [1]

  • 55% to 60% of total daily calories from fat
  • 30% to 35% from protein
  • 5% to 10% from carbohydrates

Tip: 1g of protein = 4 calories. 1g of carbs = 4 calories. 1g of fat = 9 calories.

  • You’re on a 2000-calorie per day diet.
  • Around 60% of your calories come from fat, 30% from protein, and 10% from carbs.
  • 1200 calories are from fat, 600 calories come from protein, and 200 calories are derived from carbs.
  • You’ll consume 133 grams of fat, 150 grams of protein, and 50 grams of carbs each day.

This example shows how your intake of fats, proteins, and carbs will differ based on your total calorie intake for the day.

Some individuals need to consume even more fat and fewer proteins and carbs to reach ketosis. So a person’s fat intake may sometimes go up to 70-80% on a keto diet. 

But in most cases, it’s best to ensure that you only consume up to 50 grams of total carbs per day.

Foods to Eat on a Keto Diet

You shouldn’t go overboard on your carb intake for the best results. This is why your diet must be centred around low-carb and high-fat foods that will help to fuel your progress.

Here are some of the best low-carb foods to include in your keto lifestyle:

  • Meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood
  • Full-fat dairy products like Greek yoghurt
  • Plant-based milk, such as macadamia milk or almond milk
  • Certain cheeses, such as cheddar and goat cheese
  • Non-starchy veggies, including leafy greens, bell peppers, and zucchini
  • Most nuts, including macadamia nuts, almonds, and pecans
  • Certain seeds, such as chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds
  • Berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries
  • Fats and oils, such as olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and butter

While certain types of foods and snacks, such as ice cream or bread, aren’t inherently keto-friendly, you may still find variations suitable for a keto diet.

Because of this diet’s popularity, many companies and brands have released keto-friendly options of popular foods, which you can find online or at your local mart.

Keto Sample Menu for Beginners

Here’s a sample 5-day keto diet meal plan for beginners. It includes ideas for a keto breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These keto recipes provide fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day.

DayMealRecipe and IngredientsCarbs per Serving
Day 1BreakfastKeto chia pudding (2 tbsp chia seeds, 1 cup low-carb milk, stevia)~12.5g
LunchPan-fried barramundi with asparagus (200g barramundi, veggies)~9g
DinnerBaked chicken with broccoli and bell peppers (100g chicken, veggies)~10g
Day 2BreakfastScrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes~3g
LunchBroccoli salad (broccoli, onions, walnuts, cheese, dressing)~14g
DinnerChicken Parmigiana (150g chicken, sauce, ham, mozzarella)~22g
Day 3BreakfastBreakfast muffins (eggs, cheddar, broccoli, corn, spinach)~14g
LunchEgg salad (eggs, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, scallions)~3g
DinnerThai red curry (Chicken, vegetables, Maesri Red Curry paste)~10g
Day 4BreakfastStrawberry smoothie (strawberries, heavy cream, low-carb milk)~8.6g
LunchAvocado and chicken salad (chicken, avocado, veggies, bacon)~8g
DinnerGrilled salmon with asparagus (salmon fillet, lemon juice, asparagus)~5.5g
Day 5BreakfastDeviled eggs with bacon (eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, bacon)~2g
LunchKeto seafood chowder (fish fillets, bacon, veggies, cream)~6.3g
DinnerPork chops and Brussels sprouts (pork chops, mushrooms, cream, cheese)~15g

Tips for Curating a Personalised Keto Menu

If you’re planning on starting the keto diet, here are a few tips that may help you out:

  • Stock up on keto staples. Prepare a shopping list of basic keto snacks and foods, including eggs, chicken, cheese, seafood, and low-carb vegetables. You can also purchase low-carb variations of common sauces and dips like mayonnaise.
  • Reorganise your refrigerator and pantry. Clear your kitchen of high-carb snacks and foods like pasta, sugar-loaded snacks, and candy. You can donate them to friends or family members. The harder it is to reach for these kinds of foods, the more likely you are to stick to your new keto lifestyle.
  • Read product labels carefully. Have a good look at the serving size of the food item. Sometimes, one packet may contain 3-4 servings, and you’d want to avoid overeating. Aim for products that are low in net carbs, moderate in proteins, and high in healthy fats. Additionally, look through the ingredient list provided and avoid items with added sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
  • Don’t eliminate fibre from your diet. Don’t neglect fibre on keto, even though it is a form of carbohydrate. Fibre isn’t counted in the net carb intake as it doesn’t get digested by the body. Getting adequate amounts of this nutrient is important to keep your gut happy and healthy. Some foods that fit well into a keto diet include zucchini, leafy greens, celery, and certain nuts and seeds like almonds, macadamia nuts, and pumpkin seeds.
  • Meal prep in batches: This will save you a ton of time and energy. If you’re most free on the weekend, you can prepare meals in advance and keep them frozen or refrigerated.
  • Look into getting keto meals deliveredIf you do not have time to meal prep each week, sticking within your carb limit can be difficult. One solution to this is getting keto meals delivered to your doorstep, which is a huge time and energy-saver. Check out our list of the best keto meal providers in Australia.
  • Consult your dietitian or nutritionist. It’s always best to seek the advice of a healthcare professional when making significant changes to your diet. This is especially crucial if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding. For starters, experts agree that the keto diet can be unsafe for pregnant women. Ultimately, this form of restrictive dieting isn’t suitable or safe for everyone.

How to Prevent & Manage the Keto Flu

You might experience the keto flu within the first week of having low-carb meals. The keto flu is a group of symptoms that occur as your body adjusts to a reduced intake of carbohydrates. Some symptoms of the keto flu include: [2]

  • Feeling fatigued
  • Feeling irritable
  • Nausea
  • Sleeping problems
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Brain fog
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in heartbeat

Fortunately, there are various steps you can take to lower your chances of having the keto flu and reduce any symptoms you experience.

Here are some tips that might help:

  • Stay well-hydrated.
  • Increase your intake of electrolytes.
  • Ensure that you get enough healthy fats on the keto diet.
  • Avoid high-intensity workouts.
  • Ensure that you get enough quality sleep.
  • Transition into a keto lifestyle by gradually cutting back on your carb intake.

Keto flu symptoms can last anywhere from a couple of days to a month. They should eventually reside as your body becomes accustomed to the reduction in carb intake.

Tip: how to check if you’re in ketosis

The most accurate way to check if you’re in ketosis is to measure the amount of ketones in your blood, urine, or breath. here are different ketone-testing devices and equipment to help you measure your levels of ketone.

A blood ketone meter requires a small blood sample, which you can obtain using a lancing device to prick your finger. An alternative is the breath ketone meter that you’ll exhale into. The most popular and widely-used method is the urine test strips, which will change colour upon contact with urine to indicate the estimated levels of ketones.


What are the health benefits of the keto diet?

Based on research findings, the keto diet has demonstrated promising health benefits. It may help lower blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for those with Type 2 diabetes. Some other evidence-backed benefits include weight loss and improved blood cholesterol levels [3]. However, the keto diet should not be used to treat or manage medical conditions unless your medical professional has given you the green light.

Is the Mediterranean diet also keto-friendly?

The Mediterranean diet isn’t the same as a keto diet. It’s a low-carb and moderate-fat diet, while the keto diet is a very low-carb and high-fat diet, so there are some stark differences between the two.

Which fruits are keto-friendly?

Strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, avocados, and blackberries can all examples of fruits that fit into a keto diet.

Is peanut butter keto-friendly?

Peanut butter can fit into a keto diet, but it’s best to enjoy it in moderation. Opt for variations that do not contain any added sugar and flavourings.

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