Ketogenic Diet Meal Planning Strategies

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ketogenic diet meal planning

Ketogenic Diet Meal Planning Strategies

As a clinician, I believe everyone on the planet would benefit from cyclic ketogenic diet meal planning. This means that the body uses ketone bodies as its primary fuel source a majority of the time.  To get into and maintain ketosis you eat a low-carb diet with only moderate amounts of protein and high amounts of good fats.  Discover ketogenic meal planning strategies in this article.

There is a growing segment of the natural health movement that endorses the ketogenic diet meal plan as the best nutritional approach.  The biggest challenge people have is navigating how to set up meals to maintain ketosis.

When meal planning on a ketogenic diet meal plan you will take into account your unique metabolism.  Some people do great with intermittent fasting where they go 16-18 hours without a calorie source.  Other individuals who have adrenal fatigue may need to eat every 4 hours or so to maintain stable blood sugar and elevate ketones appropriately.

real food keto, Real Food Keto vs Dirty Keto

What Do You Eat For Breakfast?

The first question should be whether or not you actually want to eat breakfast.  Personally, I am not hungry and water fast through breakfast.  I typically will drink about a half a gallon of water before 12pm.

If you are a coffee drinker, I recommend using an organic, mold-free coffee and putting 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 2 tsp of pastured butter in it.  This combines the benefits of the caffeine and antioxidants in the coffee along with the medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) in the coconut oil and butter.  These MCTs go right to the liver where they are converted to ketones and used for energy.

You could make something similar with raw cacao and make a hot chocolate or chocolate milk depending upon what season it is and what you would like.  The chocolate milk could use organic coconut milk (full-fat) which is very creamy and provides the same MCTs as the coconut oil.

Ketogenic diet meal planning

How About Some Real Solid Foods?

With ketogenic diet meal planning, you could also do some pastured eggs cooked in coconut oil.  This is a little more challenging on the digestive system than the drinks above but it provides more quality nutrients as the eggs have tons of choline and carotenoid antioxidants.  You could throw some non-starchy veggies with the eggs and put some olive oil on top for more beneficial fats.

Finally, you could do a protein shake with full-fat organic coconut milk, or organic almond milk with 2 tbsps of coconut oil added.  You would have a small amount of frozen, organic berries and about 15-20 grams of a quality, low-carb protein powder.  The protein could be a hemp, pea, brown rice or bone broth protein.  Be sure not to put too much berries or protein in it.

ketogenic diet meal planning

How About Lunch:

Using ketogenic diet meal planning for lunch could yield a number of things such as a creamy guacamole with coconut milk, lemon, apple cider vinegar and herbs.  You can serve this with flax crackers or with kale chips, red cabbage, celery, cucumbers, etc.  You could also have a big salad (without tomatoes or fruit) with diced avocado, fresh squeezed lemon, extra virgin olive oil and herbs.

During the winter-time you may want to have some bone broth stew with grass-fed beef bones and meat or pastured chicken bones and meat.  Load it up with non-starchy veggies and you have an incredibly nutrient dense, easy to digest meal.

You could also have a nice performance enhancing treat such as a coconut cacao butter ball.  This is a combination of coconut oil/butter, raw cacao and stevia for flavor.  This is high in good MCT’s and anti-oxidants from the raw cacao.

ketogenic diet meal planning

What’s For Dinner?

Due to the lack of hunger when the body is in ketosis, some choose to fast through dinner or just to have some organic bone broth.  Others choose to make dinner their largest meal and sometimes their only meal of the day.

Great ketogenic diet meal planning dinner options include a healthy meat source such as bison, grass-fed beef, lamb, venison, organic poultry, etc.  Combine this with steamed, sautéed or raw, non-starchy veggies.  Anything that is grilled or sautéed should be bathed in tons of coconut oil.  After the dish is complete, be sure to add in generous amounts of extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon and herbs.

It is always a good idea to stick with a clean meat, lots of veggies, good oils, lemon/ACV and herbs for dinner.  Just rotate out the different types of meat and veggies for some variety.  You could also do soups and stews which are particularly good in the winter time.

For great animal products including pasture-raised poultry, grass-fed beef, wild-game (and more!) check out US Wellness Meats.



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Dr. Jockers

Dr David Jockers is passionate about seeing people reach their health potential in mind, body and spirit. He is the host of the popular “Dr Jockers Functional Nutrition” podcast and the author of the best-selling books, “The Keto Metabolic Breakthrough” and “The Fasting Transformation.”


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  1. What percent and grams do u recommend going from carbs, protein, and fats?

    Also, is Winter squash allowed or is that too carby? Will this diet have any impact on t4/t3 conversion issues or gut flora Balance (since the thyroid and gut flora often benefit from soluble fiber and carbs)?

    Lastly, how much animal protein (ounces of meat) is beneficial to consume a day? I’m transitioning from being vegan to doing an autoimmune paleo diet and am not sure how to balance this properly

    Thanks for the help

  2. Hello Dr David
    Recently I read an article about butter and this created slight confusion regarding butter consumption? I am using and advising to my patients a plenty of grass-fed organic butter. Please enlighten us with your expert opinion. With tremendous thanks in advance.

    Should a Low-Carb Diet be Ultra High in Butter?

  3. QUESTION: I have started to drink an apple cider mix first thing in the AM (4oz of filtered water, 1 tbsp of a ACV, 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice, small amount of fresh grated ginger and a dash of cayenne pepper). How often should I have the drink in a day? My goal is to continue to lose weight and improve overall health. I am on the ketogenic diet.

  4. Eating a high fat and protein diet with low glycemic vegetables and fruits is obviously healthy as long as these are coming from organic and non-GMO pastured and grass fed sources. But what I’m wondering about is the sweetener products containing erythritoland /or xylitol to make Keto or low carb sweets. I read that erythritol is not as hard on the digestive system and gut as other sugar alcohols. But still wondering is this good for our digestive system & gut health?

  5. I have 2 autoimmune diseases (celiac/hashimoto’s). I also have candida. My celiac is under control..following no grains diet (including no rice etc). A food sensitivity test revealed that I have problems with beans..peas and a few others. But mainly..following the paleo diet of no nuts or grains without milk and eggs leaves me to eat mostly meat and vegetables. I have spent 4 years eating coconut oil and other good fats but recently have an aversion to coconut products (not sure if I am reacting or not). I have a morning smoothie with one whole avocado..1 cup blueberries..1 TBSP Cacoa powder..1 TBSP great lakes gelatin..and 2 teaspoons of bee pollen. This week I started strength training and well…I just think there is something lacking in my breakfast. I don’t have the energy to get me through a lousy 20 minute strength training workout. The only meds I take is 1 gram of Armour thyroid and my numbers are good. What do you think? Will keto work for me?

  6. Hello Dr. Jockers – I’ve been in nutritional ketosis for about 4 months now (for neurological issues; I do not need to lose weight). My weight seems to have stabilised at 105lbs (5’4″, very small bones). My question is, do I stay in nutritional ketosis indefinitely, or do I maintain it for ____ amount of time, take a break (back to a more normal high fat, low carb, no grain diet), and then go back and forth?
    I’m just not sure if this is how I’m to eat “forever”, or if I should get on some kind of annual cycle. I have no problem maintaining the diet, fasting 14-18 hours each day, etc.
    Thank you!

    1. Great question Joanne. I am more of a fan of a weekly cycle where you cycle out of ketosis by eating more carbs or protein one day and then cycle back in the next day with intermittent fasting or doing a fat fast…where you don’t consume carbs or protein for 24 hours or so. I think this is better for the adrenals and thyroid. Blessings!

  7. I am really wanting to follow the Keto diet to
    Lose weight and feel better. I had my gallbladder removed and have mild fatty liver disease. The fat consumption makes my stomach very upset. I read on your Keto without gallbladder but still have no idea where to start with a meal plan and what really a meal plan should look like without my gallbladder. What do you recommend a daily meal plan look like and what do you recommend vitamin wise?

  8. Good evening Dr. Jockers,
    I’m a bit of a complicated case but I thought you might be able to provide some of your wisdom. I’m a 28 y/o male with a 10+ year history of bulimia that has effectively ruined my metabolism, HPA, etc. I have low thyroid function and have only stopped the weight gain (but not lost any weight) from taking cytomel 50 mcg daily. I’m producing no leptin, ADH, have very low testosterone, and have had chronically low WBC’s. I’ve been in recovery for about a year and my thyroid function seems to really take a hit when I go lower carb. Right now I’m doing moderate carb with probably 100-150 grams net carbs. Do you think the alternate day plan (like you’ve mentioned to some above) could start to rebalance my pituitary and hypothalamus? Rough carb range for low carb and moderate carb days? My sleep is super jacked because I’m up every hour to urinate (no ADH). The ND I’m currently working with doesn’t seem equipped to handle my situation. I’m studying to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner and my passion is functional and integrative medicine, but my case has been tricky. Any thoughts come to mind? Thanks so much in advance and thank you for inspiring me with your incredible work!

  9. So if you promote keto, why does the gut healing protein have so many ingredients that are NOT KETO FRIENDLY. I did purchase this and I did receive it but now I’m not sure if I should take it. Please clarify Incase it’s my misunderstanding

    1. Hey Ricardo, the Gut Healing Protein is a very good medicinal food on the Ketogenic diet as it only has 6 grams of net carbs per serving. It will be very helpful for you!

  10. Hi Dr jockers I did send an email out to I’m not sure if this is better or that so I’ll wait on that also. I have recently had my gallbladder out and gained a lot of weight since. I tried doing the keto diet on my own but I’m not good at that I need a meal daily plan to be able to carry this through I’m not a big meet either but I did try the bacon and eggs thing and have terrible diarrhea from it I tried to put protein into my keto pancakes. I think there’s some supplements you have recommended for no gallbladder keto diet. Is there a meal plan I can follow daily for no gallbladder.Thanks!

  11. Hello Dr:
    I have Hashimotos And I tried last year the keto diet , I lost 10lb hardly but I’ve had high cholesterol (LDL) and xanthelasma under my eyes .
    My question is : can I go back on keto diet ? Am I allowed to eat cheese in this keto diet ? How much fat , protein and carb should I take in this diet ? Do I have to follow diet but with less fat , less protein And less carbs ??? Pls help me , I am lost here . Also , should I take any supplements for my Hashimotos all along my medication ( levothyroxine 75mg) . Thank you I advance .

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