Ketogenic Diet: Daily Outline

by Catherine M. Haug,  June 22, 2013; updated Apr 2019

This article is about the regular Keto diet (not the CKD version).

General Recommendations:

  • Limit carbs to 20 – 50 g/day. This is NOT a zero-carb diet, but it is a very low carb diet.
  • Note that the carbs you count should be net carbs (excludes fiber), not total carbs.
  • Don’t be afraid of the high level of fat in this diet; when your body no longer gets sugars and starches to burn for fuel, it will burn fat which you provide in this diet, as well as fat stored in your body. And, by the way, almost all that stored fat was made in your liver from excess carbs in your diet, NOT from dietary fats.
  • See also: Weight of the Evidence (blog): Low Carb menu planning made easy (2), which begins with your carb allowance for the day.
  • My Carb Counter lists net carbs for single-ingredient foods, but does not include any processed foods. If you want information on processed foods, please see Atkins Diet Carb Counter (3) or SELFNutritionData (4).

Outline:

>Determine calories from grams for each category: carb, protein and fat, or CPF which is “grams C (net carbs) / grams P (protein) / grams F (fat).”  NOTE: Net carbs is total carbs less fiber. Calculate calories for each category based on:

  • 4 cal/g of carb or protein;
  • 9 cal/g fat,

NOTE: You may get a different number than on product labels; I’m not sure why the difference, but use the calculated calories for carbs, proteins and fat from CPF.

For example: For chicken white meat (skinless & boneless):

    • Label indicates: 33 calories, and CPF = 0, 7, 3.
    • Calculate calories from CPF as:
      • 0 g carbs x 4 cal/g)   =  0 cal carbs
      • 7 g protein x 4 cal/g = 28 cal protein
      • 3 g fat x 9 cal/g         = 27 cal fat
      • Total calories = 55, which differs from the label by 22 calories.

>Try to maintain the daily relative caloric amounts: 5% C / 20% P / 75% F; and 

>Keep carbs under 50 g/day (using calories on the label).

>Daily protein intake should not exceed 1 gram (g) protein per kg of body weight, per Mercola (1). He also advises that consuming too much protein has a higher risk for cancer (something to do with the m-TOR pathway). For example, using Metric Conversions page (5):

  • If you weigh 150   (68 kg), consume 68 g protein, or less, per day. 
  • If you weigh 200 lb (91 kg) consume 91 kg or less per day. 
  • If you weigh 220 lb (100 kg), consume 100 kg protein (or less) per day.

[NOTE: This differs from the USDA’s RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for protein, which is 0.36 grams per pound bodyweight.]

Intro to my examples:

In Examples section, below, I provide two different examples for each meal (V1 and V2, respectively). They average 2028 total calories per day, that break down as follows for the day (%’s are by calories, not grams):

  • Net carbs: V1=35.8g; V2=27.2 g (147, 108 calories) => avg 32 g or 128 cal = 6% carbs
  • Protein: V1=89.8g; V2=111 g (359, 444 calories) => avg 100 g or 402 cal = 20% protein
  • Fat: V1=148; V2=183 g (1329, 1668 calories)  => avg 166 g or 1499 cal = 74% fat
  • Daily total cal: V1 = 1835, V2 = 2220 calories; => avg 2028 cal

Example conclusions (from V1, V2 average):

  1. Carbs: 6% is a little high in carbs (limit is 5%), but not bad, considering total carbs (32 g) is less than 50 g limit. If add apple & banana to the smoothie, it gets a bit too high in carbs, if don’t also increase fat. Could add more cream (at least 2 Tbsp more).
  2. Protein: It’s right on for protein, which for my weight should be around 100 g (97-136 g).
  3. Fat: 74% is a little low (should be 75%, but not too bad.
  4. Thus, I should exchange more carbs for fats (decrease carbs, increase fats), or at least increase fats. For example, add more nuts and cream/cheese.
  5. I’d like to get calories down to 1800/day, and carbs within the 5%  maximum (under 23 grams net carbs). Best way to reduce total calories is to reduce meat servings from 4 to 3 oz, as this cuts both fat and protein, and also need to cut carbs accordingly to keep it within 5%).

Meal Examples

As mentioned above, I include two example versions (V1 and V2) for each meal, to compare. NOTE: calories are per label (not calculated from CPF)

Breakfast example, Calories and CPF 

V1: Mixed fruit breakfast smoothie, with coffee and 1 Tbsp heavy cream: 

    • berry smoothie (without apple, banana) provides 318 cal; CPF = 12/18/22; OR
    • 1 Tbsp heavy cream with coffee provides 52 cal; CPF = 0.4/0.3/5.5 grams
    • TOTAL (without apple, banana): 370 cal; CPF = 12.4/18.3/27.5 g
    • (13% Carb, 20% Protein, 67% Fat calories)

or compare with adding apple, banana:

    • berry smoothie, with apple, banana provides 366 cal; CPF = 23/19/22
    • 1 Tbsp heavy cream with coffee provides 52 cal; CPF = 0.4/0.3/5.5 grams
    • Total (with apple, banana): 418 cal; 23.4/19.3/27.5 grams
    • (22% Carb, 16% Protein, 60% Fat calories)

NOTE: version without apple, banana is used for V1 daily totals

V2: 2 eggs, large in 1 Tbsp butter with 4 bacon; with coffee and 1 Tbsp heavy cream: 

    • 2 eggs provide 296 cal; CPF = 0.6/24/22;
    • 4 bacon provides 396 cal; CPF = 0.8/24/33;
    • 1 Tbsp butter provides 99 cal; CPF = 0/0/11
    • 1 Tbsp heavy cream provides 52 cal; CPF = 0.4/0.3/5.5
    • Total 844 cal; 1.8/48.3/71.5 grams
    • (1% Carb, 23% Protein, 76% Fat calories)

Lunch example:

V1: Greens salad with chicken, pecans & vinaigrette, with coffee and 1 Tbsp cream:

    • 3 oz (~2 cups) mix of baby spinach & spring greens provides 16 cal; CPF = 2/2/0;
    • 3 oz chicken breast (broiled) provides 165 cal; CPF = 0/21/9;
    • 2 oz pecans provides 408 cal; CPF =2.2/5.4/42
    • 1 T vinaigrette provides 74 cal; CPF = 0.4/0/8
    • 1 Tbsp heavy cream with coffee provides 52 cal; CPF = 0.4/0.3/5.5
    • TOTAL: 715 cal; CPF = 5/28.7/64.5 grams
    • (3% Carb, 16% Protein,81% Fat calories)

V2: burger patty, greens salad with gorgonzola & vinaigrette, with coffee and 1 Tbsp cream:

    • 4 oz burger patty (no bun) provides 224 cal; CPF = 0/20/16;
    • 1 Tbsp coconut oil provides 126 cal; CPF = 0/0/14
    • 3 oz (~2 cups) mix of baby spinach and spring greens provides 16 cal; CPF = 2/2/0;
    • 1 oz gorgonzola cheese provides 96 cal; CPF = 0/7.2/7.5;
    • 1 T vinaigrette provides 74 cal; CPF = 0.4/0/8;
    • 1 Tbsp heavy cream with coffee provides 52 cal; CPF = 0.4/0.3/5.5
    • TOTAL: 588 cal; CPF = 2.8/29.5/51 grams
    • (2% Carb, 20% Protein,78% Fat calories)

Snack  example: 

V1: blueberries with cream &  brie cheese:

    • ½ cup (4 oz) blueberries provides 53 cal; CPF = 13.2/0/0
    • 2 Tbsp light cream provides 55 cal; CPF = 0/0.8/5.8
    • 1 oz brie cheese provides 95 cal; CPF provides 0.1/5.9/7.9;
    • TOTAL: 203 cal; CPF = 13.3/6.7/13.7 grams
    • (26% Carb, 13% Protein,61% Fat calories)

V2:  honeycrisp apple & brie cheese:

    • ½ honeycrisp apple provides 40 cal; CPF = 9.5/0.2/0.12
    • 2 oz brie cheese provides 95 cal; CPF provides 0.1/5.9/7.9
    • TOTAL: 135 cal; CPF = 9.6/6.1/8 grams
    • (28% Carb, 18% Protein, 53% Fat calories)

Dinner example:

V1: pan-roast chicken breast with onions, garlic & sage, greens salad with gorgonzola cheese and vinaigrette, green beans

  • 4 oz chicken breast provides 132 cal; CPF = 0/28/12
  • 4 oz onion provides 36 cal; CPF = 2/0/0
  • 1 large clove garlic (3 g) provides 4 cal; CPF = 1/0/0
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil provides 120 cal; CPF = 0/0/14
  • 3 oz (~2 cups) mix of baby spinach & spring greens provides 20 cal; CPF = 2/2/0;
  • 1 oz gorgonzola cheese provides 100 cal; CPF = 0.7/6.1/8
  • 1 T vinaigrette provides 74 cal; CPF = 0.4/0/8;
  • TOTAL: 547 cal; CPF = 6.1/36.1/42 grams
  • (4.5% Carb, 26.5% Protein, 69% Fat calories)

V2: beef loin steak with sautéed mushrooms & onion, steamed beet, braised kale, 1 oz cheese

  • 4 oz beef loin steak (trimmed to 1/8″ fat*) provides 308 cal; CPF = 0/20/16
  • 2 oz mushrooms provides 16 cal; CPF =1.8/1.2/1.7
  • 2 oz onion provides 27 cal; CPF = 6/0/0
  • 1 oz beet provides 12 cal; CPF = 2/0/0
  • 1 oz kale provides 14 cal; CPF = 2.2/0.9/0.2
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil provides 120 cal; CPF = 0/0/14
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil provides 120 cal; CPF = 0/0/14
  • 1 oz brie cheese provides 100 cal; CPF = 1/5/9
  • TOTAL: 654; CPF = 13/27.1/54.9 grams
  • (7.9% Carb, 16.6% Protein, 75.5% Fat calories)

‘*Note: steak trimmed to ⅛” fat. If trimmed to 0” fat, it would be 310 cal, 0/50/10.

V1, V2 Daily Totals

V1:

  • CPF as % calories: 8% / 20% / 72%.
  • (Based on:
    • CPF as grams: 35.8/89.8/148 g; and as calories: 147/359/1329 cal
    • Day’s total calories = 1835 cal)
  • Conclusion: Carbs are a little high (should be ~ 5%) and fat is a little low (should be ~ 75%).

V2: 

  • CPF as % calories: 5% / 20% / 75%.
  • (Based on:
    • CPF as grams: 27.2/111/185.4 g; and as calories: 108/444/1668 cal
    • Day’s total calories = 2221 cal)
  • Conclusion: CPF carbs are right-on!

For more daily diet examples: see Ketogenic Diet Resource (6)

References:

  1. Mercola: articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/03/natural-cancer-treatment.aspx
  2. Low Carb menu planning made easy: weightoftheevidence.blogspot.com/2006/03/low-carb-menu-planning-made-easy.html
  3. Atkins Diet Carb Counter: atkins.com/getattachment/Program/Carb-Counter/2013CarbCounter.pdf.aspx
  4. SELFNutritionData carb counter: nutritiondata.self.com/
  5. Metric Conversions for pounds to kilograms: metric-conversions.org/weight/pounds-to-kilograms.htm
  6. Ketogenic Diet Resource: ketogenic-diet-resource.com/ketogenic-diet-menu.html

About Cat

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