Keto Diet For Beginners: Meal Ideas & Tips – Verve times

ali mohamed
ali mohamed28 May 2022Last Update : 2 years ago
Keto Diet For Beginners: Meal Ideas & Tips – Verve times

Originally designed to treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children, the ketogenic diet has become popular in recent years due to the evidence that it can aid weight loss. Whatever the reason you are looking for a keto diet for beginners, we strongly recommend that you consult a medical professional before embarking on any major dietary changes.

There are a few things to keep in mind when working out or de keto diet suits you. You might want to look at specific types of keto, as the percentage of carbohydrates you are allowed to consume can differ compared to other macronutrients. It is also worth considering whether you can sustain a keto diet for a period of several weeks or months. And since the goal of the diet is to induce ketosis, you may need to try different variations and stick to them until your body has reached this metabolic state, so endurance and motivation are also important factors to consider.

Read on to learn all about getting started on the keto diet, including meal ideas and expert advice on how to go about it safely.

The basics of the keto diet

The keto diet is very low in carbohydrates, which encourages the body to go into an alternate metabolic state known as ketosis. By turning off most of the body’s favorite energy sources (carbohydrate), it is forced to use the body’s fat stores. This creates something called ketones that can be used as an alternative energy source.

As mentioned, the keto diet was designed to treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children, but a review in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (opens in new tab) has indicated that it may also be beneficial in the treatment of obesity. However, extreme dietary changes should be made under the supervision of a doctor or nutritionist, who can monitor progress and any side effects.

Laura Clark, a dietitian and nutrition therapist, also says the keto diet can be used for weight loss, but over 12 months, other nutritional approaches can lead to similar results. “Keto diets are associated with faster initial weight loss, mainly due to the loss of water as the carbohydrate stores in the body are depleted,” she says. “Some people find the satiety achieved with higher protein and fat intake to be useful as a weight management aid. However, 12 months later, the weight loss results between low-carb and low-fat approaches are comparable.”

Types of keto diets

Depending on the percentage of carbohydrates, fats and proteins you eat, the keto diet can look very different. Clark tells Live Science that a true keto diet falls into pretty specific parameters. “For a diet to be officially ‘keto’, only 5-10% of daily energy needs to come from carbohydrates,” she explains. “This means less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. This shifts the emphasis to the other macronutrients in the diet, namely protein and fat.”

Protein intake can range from 10-20% and fat intake is generally 70-80% for a diet to be truly ketogenic, according to Harvard School of Public Health (opens in new tab)† This gives you a bit of room to experiment with what works for you. Protein has been shown to help with feelings of satiety, according to a study by the British Journal of Nutrition (opens in new tab)so leaning on a slightly higher protein intake to give yourself some variety may help.

Keto Diet For Beginners: How To Get Started?

dr. Nurisa Kumaran, Medical Director and Founder of Elementary Health Clinic (opens in new tab), recommends starting with caution on the keto diet. “To start a keto diet, you need to gradually cut back on carbs,” she says. “Start by avoiding sugars and refined carbohydrates to stabilize blood sugar, then gradually eliminate unrefined carbohydrates from the diet.

“Watch out for possible keto flu symptoms which include symptoms of irritability, fatigue, headaches, brain fog, muscle cramps and dizziness. This is caused by the changes in fluid and salt metabolism. Increasing water and salt in the diet can help to overcome this. These symptoms are temporary as your body adjusts.”

To make keto easier, Kumaran encourages building your meals around protein foods† “Center your meals around lean meats, fatty fish, eggs, and high-protein foods,” she says. “Process lots of vegetables, especially low-carb vegetables and salads. Include healthy fat sources, such as extra virgin olive oil and nuts.”

Keto Diet For Beginners: Breakfast Ideas

  • Keto pancakes
  • omelet
  • Bacon and avocado frittata
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Keto Diet For Beginners: Lunch Ideas

  • crustless quiche
  • Chili beef in a lettuce wrap
  • Grilled salmon salad
  • Skirt steak with green salsa

beef chili wraps on a keto diet

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Keto Diet For Beginners: Dinner Ideas

  • Barbecue steak with tomato salad
  • Grilled lemon chicken with a goat cheese salad
  • Lamb skewers with tzatziki dipping sauce
  • Low-carb cauliflower steaks

Lamb skewers on a keto diet

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Keto Diet for Beginners: Considerations and Tips

For those thinking about embarking on a keto diet, Kumaran lists some of the key considerations:

  • Make sure you get enough protein in your diet
  • Make sure you’re getting plenty of nutrients from plant-based sources – aim for colorful, low-carb veggies to meet your antioxidant needs
  • Do not eat excessive fats, especially saturated fats in dairy and red meat
  • Focus on healthy fats, especially extra virgin olive oil, nuts, fatty fish and avocado
  • Drink plenty of water and supplement with salt if necessary
  • Consider meal times and combine with intermittent fasting
  • Track your ketosis with a keto monitor

She also advises caution when starting the keto diet. “While many health benefits have been found for a keto diet, especially for weight loss, type 2 diabeteschronic fatigue, brain health and more, it is best to seek advice from a health professional as there can also be negative health consequences, especially with the development of kidney stones and gallstones, rising LDL cholesterol markers, nutritional deficiencies.”


Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe? (opens in new tab)International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2014)

Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet For Weight Loss (opens in new tab) Harvard School of Public Health.

Dietary protein – its role in satiety, energy, weight loss and health (opens in new tab) British Journal of Nutrition (2012)


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