Easy Keto/lchf Meal Planning

Basic meal planning can be a challenging task for many people. In fact, following a specific meal plan for a Keto Diet or a Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) Diet can feel like a daunting task, especially when you’re first starting the diet.  

Honestly, most people find meal planning overwhelming and that’s why it’s difficult to stick with dietary changes. We easily tend to revert back to our old eating habits.

But meal planning doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, implementing a Keto Diet or a LCHF Diet can be one of the easiest eating plans you’ll ever follow. For a quick review, a Keto Diet includes 20-30 grams of carbohydrates a day and a LCHF diet will have 100 grams of carbohydrates a day or less. Use an app like MyFitnessPal to track your carb intake when you’re first starting a Keto or LCHF diet.

When planning meals for a Keto or LCHF Diet, focus on following these basic guidelines:

  • Eat two to three meals a day.

  • Include one snack if needed.

  • Eat 3-4 ounces (20-30 grams) of protein with meals.

  • Include non-starchy vegetables with meals.

  • Eat fat!

  • Avoid starchy foods like bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, crackers, chips, etc.

  • Avoid sugar.

  • Drink plenty of water.

Now let’s get into some of the specifics of meal planning.

Eat two to three meals a day: You don’t have to eat breakfast. You could just eat lunch and dinner, maybe have a snack in the afternoon. A lot of people just have bulletproof coffee or coffee with heavy cream for breakfast to increase their fat intake.  

Include one snack if needed: Eat a snack if you find yourself getting very hungry between meals. But really, your meals should keep you full for at least four hours. If you frequently find yourself getting hungry between meals, you might need to eat larger portions at meals. If you do eat a snack, make sure to include protein and fat. Good snack options are cheese, nuts, cottage cheese, plain full-fat Greek yogurt paired with a small serving of berries or vegetables.  

Eat 3-4 ounces (20-30 grams) of protein with meals: Protein is what keeps you full. Choose high-quality protein sources - chicken breasts/thighs, salmon, tuna, shrimp, pork, steak, ground beef, eggs, cottage cheese, plain full-fat Greek yogurt, whey protein powder. One ounce of protein = 7 grams of protein.

Include non-starchy vegetables with all meals: Focus on incorporating water-based vegetables into your diet - lettuce, spinach, kale, cabbage, peppers, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, green beans, etc.

Eat FAT!:  This is probably one of the hardest things for people to change about their diets. If you’re roughly following a 2000 calorie Keto Diet, you’ll be eating 20-30 grams of carbs, 70-100 grams of protein, and 150-200 grams of fat. A LCHF diet will have about 120-150 grams of fat a day. Have bulletproof coffee for breakfast or use heavy cream in your coffee. Eat eggs for breakfast, snacks, in salads, on top of steaks or burgers. Add cheese to eggs, salads, melt cheese on you veggies, eat it for a snack. Cook with butter, olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil. Eat avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds. You don’t have to extra lean cuts of meal - choose 80/20 grass-fed beef, eat chicken thighs, don’t trim the fat off steak.

Avoid starchy foods like bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, crackers, chips etc.:  Get your carbs from vegetables. If you’re following a Keto Diet, you can easily get 20-30 grams of carbs from vegetables. If you’re following a LCHF Diet, try to get most of your carbs from vegetables and only include small portions of complex carbs like fruits, sweet potatoes, legumes, and whole grains. You still want to avoid processed foods and simple carbs.

Avoid sugar: No explanation needed here. Limit sugar as much as possible. Read food labels to check for hidden sugars. If you’re really craving something sweet, try dark chocolate, at least 70%, or use an alternative sweetener like stevia, xylitol, or erythritol.

Drink plenty of water: Stay hydrated. Aim for at least 64 ounces of water a day or drink half your weight in pounds. For example, a 200 pound person would drink 100 ounces of water. And don’t be afraid of salting your food. If you’re preparing the majority of your meals from scratch, it’s okay to use salt. Just don’t be heavy-handed with the salt shaker.  


Sample One Week LCHF Meal Plan

Day One:

  • Breakfast: Three scrambled eggs cooked in 1 tbsp butter with 1 cup spinach and 1 ounce shredded cheddar cheese

  • Lunch: Large salad made with 4 cups romaine, 1 tomato, ½ cup broccoli florets, 1 can of tuna, 2-3 tbsp full-fat dressing of choice

  • Dinner: 6 ounces of rotisserie chicken with 1 cup roasted Brussels sprouts topped with parmesan

Day Two:

  • Breakfast: 16 ounces coffee with 4 tbsp heavy cream

  • Lunch: 4-6 ounces of leftover rotisserie chicken with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella topped with 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

  • Dinner: 6 ounce cheeseburger patty (no bun) with side salad, ½ cup sweet potato

Day Three:

  • Breakfast: ½ cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt topped with ¼ cup berries and 2 tbsp chopped walnuts

  • Lunch: Leftover cheeseburger patty with leftover roasted Brussels sprouts topped with parmesan

  • Dinner: 5-6 ounce salmon fillet with 2 cups zucchini noodles and pesto

Day Four:

  • Breakfast: 3 egg veggie and cheese omelet

  • Lunch: Salmon Caesar salad with leftover salmon fillet, pistachios in place of croutons

  • Dinner: 6 ounce steak with 10-15 roasted asparagus and ½ cup homemade sweet potato fries

Day Five:

  • Breakfast: ¾ cup 4% cottage cheese with a small tomato, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, pepper

  • Lunch: Spinach salad with leftover steak, ¼ cup sliced strawberries, sliced almonds, 1 ounce blue cheese crumbles, 3-4 tbsp full-fat blue cheese dressing

  • Dinner: 6 ounce pork chop with 2 cups bacon green beans

Day Six:

  • Breakfast: 2 eggs fried in 1 tbsp butter, 2 slices bacon

  • Lunch: Leftover pork chop with leftover asparagus

  • Dinner: 2 roasted boneless, skinless chicken thighs with 1 cup parmesan mashed cauliflower

Day Seven:

  • Breakfast: skip breakfast or just coffee

  • Lunch: Leftover chicken thighs used in a salad with lettuce of choice, veggies of choice, cheese of choice, dressing of choice (or use up any leftover veggies from the week)

  • Dinner: Crockpot roast beef with onions, sweet potatoes, carrots. Serve with broccoli roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.

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