Keto Diet for Beginners to Losing Weight Recipes

Don’t know how to start a keto diet? Use our free 7-day keto meal plan to learn what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and dessert!) starting today.

Which Version of Keto Should You Follow?

Why do you want to start a ketogenic diet and follow a keto meal plan? Do you want to finally lose the stubborn excess body weight you’ve been lugging around? Are you looking for better mental clarity and more energy? Or will you be using a ketogenic diet for more specific health benefits, such as lowering your blood sugar, blood pressure, or decreasing your risk of type 2 diabetes?

Your approach to keto will differ depending upon your individual goals. Below are a few common keto objectives, and the keto diet type best suited for accomplishing each.

For Fat Loss and Overall Health: Standard Ketogenic Diet 
The standard ketogenic diet (SKD) is the most common approach to keto, and the most highly recommended method for beginners. Those who follow SKD are typically looking to achieve weight loss or fat loss. You might also be looking to improve certain symptoms related to depression and mental health, inflammation, and cholesterol levels.

The basic rules for SKD are:

Limit your carb intake to 20-50 grams of net carbs per day
Consume moderate amounts of protein
Consume high amounts of fat
An intake of 30 grams of net carbohydrates or less will typically induce ketosis.

For Improved Workout Performance: Targeted Ketogenic Diet 
The targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) is ideal for maintaining exercise performance, and therefore best for athletes or those who maintain a high activity level. How does it work? TKD allows for glycogen resynthesis without interrupting ketosis for extended periods of time.

To follow TKD, use these guidelines:

Consume 25-50 grams of carbs per day
Consume highly digestible carbs 30 minutes to one hour prior to exercise
Consume high amounts of fats and moderate amounts of protein
For Bodybuilders or Athletes: Cyclical Ketogenic Diet
The cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) involves alternating days of strict keto and high-carb consumption. For example, a week on CKD would involve eating 20-50 grams of carbs for five consecutive days, then eating a high-carb diet (over 100 grams per day) for two days.

Athletes who follow a high-intensity, high-volume training schedule would be best suited for this approach. The goal of CKD is to completely deplete muscle glycogen between the carb loads while the TKD has a goal of maintaining muscle glycogen at a moderate level.

To follow the SKD, try this schedule:

For five days: Consume 20-50 grams of carbs per day
For two days: Consume over 100 grams of carbs per day
Following your two days of “carb loading,” return to restricting carbs to 20-50 grams
For Those Who Need More Protein: High-Protein Ketogenic Diet
If you lift four times or more per week, you might require more protein in your keto meal plan. While the standard ketogenic diet typically limits protein intake to 20% of total calories, the high protein ketogenic diet (HPKD) allows 35% of total calories come from protein.

To follow HPKD, try this:

Consume 35% of total calories from protein
Consume 60% of total calories from fat
Consume 5% of total calories from net carbs

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