Moderate Keto Diet Plan

Author Image

Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

Imge of Moderate Keto Diet Plan



A keto diet has enormous benefits for weight loss. However, for some people, this type of diet might be too restrictive.

A moderate keto diet allows you to start on a ketogenic journey without decreasing your carbs as much. This gives you a bit more wiggle room to add those carbs you just can’t live without.

In this article, you will learn about the moderate ketogenic diet. We will discuss what it is, the benefits and drawbacks of following this type of diet plan, which foods to eat and which ones to avoid, and how to get started, including a shopping list for the next time you go to the grocery store. Finally, you’ll see a one-day meal plan sample of a moderate ketogenic and a questions and answers section.


What is the moderate keto diet plan?

Moderate keto is a low-carb, moderate protein, and high-fat eating style. It differs a little bit from a traditional keto diet because it allows more carbs.

The regular percentages used in a ketogenic diet are: 70-80% fat, 20% protein, and 5-10% carbs. For most people, that translates to eating between 20 and 50 net carbs each day. 

On the moderate plan, you can have 100-150 grams of net carbohydrates per day. The protein amount remains the same (around 20%), and the fat content makes up what is left.

Although the carbs intake is higher than a traditional ketogenic plan, it is still a low-carb diet, and it’s not universally recommended for everyone. People with type 1 diabetes and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not advised to follow this diet. Whatever your medical history, anyone who is considering a change in eating habits should speak with a medical professional first.

Benefits of a moderate keto diet plan

There are several benefits of following any keto diet plan. Additionally, having the option of increasing your carbs intake solves some of the problems a traditional ketogenic diet might have. Here is a list of the most common benefits you can have when following this eating plan:

  • Weight loss
  • Improved glucose levels
  • Reduced cravings
  • Less hunger
  • Feeling less restricted
  • More food flexibility at social gatherings

The biggest advantage of this type of eating plan compared to a traditional ketogenic diet is feeling less restricted. Since you can incorporate more carbohydrates, you have more opportunities when cooking, going out, or attending social events.


Drawbacks of a moderate keto diet plan

Although there are several benefits from following a moderate keto diet plan, there are also drawbacks. Most of them are related to following a low-carb eating plan and its adaptations. Here is a list of the most common drawbacks you might find:

  • Keto flu. You can have symptoms of fatigue, headache, brain fog, and stomach problems. This can be solved by making sure you drink plenty of water and electrolytes during the transition.
  • Constipation. By reducing carbs, you are also reducing your fiber intake. Make sure to have at least 25-30 g of fiber daily. A good way to do this is by eating more veggies.
  • Won’t necessarily get you in ketosis since it is not as low in carbs.


How to start the moderate keto diet plan

Before starting any new eating plan, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider to check if you are eligible to follow this new form of eating. Once you get the thumbs up from your healthcare provider, you can follow the next steps.

  1. Research the new eating plan. Any change in your lifestyle will be a learning process. Find out which foods you can and cannot eat. Check if the restaurants you frequent are keto-friendly, and look for other options near you. Most importantly, educate yourself on how to prevent any nutritional deficiencies.
  2. Calculate your daily calories. Once you know this is the new lifestyle you want to follow, you need to determine your caloric intake. Whether it is weight gain or weight loss, the calories need to be adjusted depending on your goals.
  3. Calculate your macros. The easiest is the carbs. The range used is 100 to 150 g of daily net carbs. You can begin with 150 if you are starting out, then you can go lower once your body adapts. Once you decide on the carb amount, you can calculate your protein and fat intake.
  4. Make an action plan. Now that you have your daily macros, you need to plan your meals. Create a weekly or monthly menu, so it is easier for you to stick to the plan.



Foods to eat and avoid on moderate keto

Now we can talk about which foods we are going to include and which we are going to avoid. Let’s start talking first about which foods are good to eat.

The most important food group is fats. They make up the base of the energy source when following a keto plan. There are two types of fats: saturated and unsaturated.

Saturated fats are the ones that come from animal products (butter, ghee, sour cream, cream cheese).Even though you’ll have many fats during the day, make sure saturated fats are not the majority. Try to have no more than 10% of your total fats come from saturated sources.

Unsaturated fats come mainly from vegetable sources (avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, and oils). They are healthier for your heart. Try to have most of your fat sources come from minimally processed unsaturated fats.

The other group we need to make sure to get enough of is protein. This macronutrient is essential for maintaining muscle mass and providing satiety. Sources include eggs, plain Greek yogurt, cheese, red meat, chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, and tofu.

Now, let’s talk about which foods we want to consume in moderation. Since a moderate keto plan does have a broader range of carbs, you can include some high-carb sources like starches and fruits. Add some high-fiber starches like beans, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, and corn. You can also include any fruit of your choice, just make sure to measure the portion.

Finally, there is a group to avoid. Candy, sugars, pastries, bread, cookies, and cake are very energy-dense, high in carbs, and don’t offer any nutritional value. 


Go grocery shopping

Now it is time to restock your fridge and pantry! Here is a shopping list so that it is easier for you the next time you go to the supermarket.

  • Veggies
    • Celery
    • Cucumber
    • Tomato
    • Garlic
    • Onion
    • Leafy greens
    • Zucchini
    • Eggplant
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Mushrooms
    • Fruits
    • Apples
    • Berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries)
    • Peaches
    • Cantaloupe
    • Grapefruit
    • Cherries
  • Fats
    • Avocado
    • Olive oil
    • Olives
    • Almond or peanut butter
    • Cashews, peanuts, almonds, walnuts
    • Coconut milk
    • Coconut oil
    • Dark chocolate
    • Sour cream
    • Cream cheese
    • Butter or ghee
  • Protein
    • Chicken
    • Eggs
    • Plain Greek yogurt
    • Cheese
    • Red meat
    • Ground beef
    • Turkey
    • Fish
    • Seafood
  • Legumes
    • Chickpeas
    • Beans
    • Lentils
    • Quinoa
  • Extras
    • Almond milk
    • Spices
    • Sugar-free drinks
    • Sugar-free jello
    • Keto ice-cream


1-day sample meal plan for moderate ketogenic eating

Now it is time to put everything we have learned into a meal plan. Here is an example of how one day in a moderate ketogenic diet could look.

  • Breakfast: Cheese and tomato egg cups with a side of blueberries
  • Morning snack: Pina colada shake
  • Lunch: "Naked" taco salad
  • Evening snack: Almonds and strawberries
  • Dinner: Salmon with mashed sweet potato, mushrooms, and broccoli

Calories: 2,367 | Macros: 94.6 g net carbs - 127.2 g protein - 155.6 g fat

BREAKFAST Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Cheese and tomato egg cups with a side of blueberries Eggs 3 units 215 1.1 18.9 14.2
  Swiss cheese 2 slices 172 0.6 11.8 13.6
  Cherry tomatoes 1/2 cup 14 1.6 0.4 0
  Olive oil 1 teaspoon 120 0 0 13.6
  Blueberries 1 cup 84 18 1.1 0.5
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
605 21.3 g 32.2 g 41.9 g            
MORNING SNACK Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Pina colada shake Pineapple 1/2 cup 41 10.8 0.5 0.1
  Coconut milk 1/2 cup 223 3.2 2.3 24.1
  Vanilla protein powder 1/2 scoop 54 1 12.1 0.2
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
318 15 g 14.9 g 24.4 g            
LUNCH Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
"Naked" taco salad Lettuce 1 cup 5 0.6 0.4 0
  Cherry tomatoes 1/2 cup 14 1.6 0.4 0
  Ground beef 4 oz 137 0 24.9 3.4
  Cheddar cheese 1 oz 115 0.6 6.8 9.5
  Avocado 1/2 unit 183 3.4 3.4 15.4
   Sour cream 1 tablespoon 30 0.7 0.4 2.9
   Black beans 1/2 cup 109 11.6 7.3 0.3
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
593 18.5 g 43.6 g 31.5 g            
EVENING SNACK Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Almonds with strawberries Almonds 2 oz 328 5.2 12 28.1
  Strawberries 1 cup sliced 53 9.4 1.1 0.5
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
381 14.6 g 13.1 g 28.6 g            
DINNER Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Salmon with mashed sweet potato, mushrooms, and broccoli Salmon 3 oz 108 0 17.4 3.7
  Olive oil 1 tablespoon 120 0 0 13.6
  Garlic 1 clove 4 1 0.2 0
  Lemon juice  1 tablespoon 3 1 0 0
  Sweet potato 1/2 cup 90 17.4 2 0.2
  Butter 1 tablespoon 102 0 0.1 11.5
  Mushrooms 50 g 15 3.8 1.7 0.2
  Broccoli 1 cup 28 2 2 0
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
470 25.2 g 2.4 g 29.2 g            
DAILY TOTALS   2,367 cal 94.6 g net carbs 127.2 g protein 155.6 g fat




Moderate keto diet plan FAQ

Do you still have questions about this eating style? Here you’ll find answers to the most frequently asked questions.

The carb intake in the modified version is based on a percentage. Usually, people have 20% of their total caloric intake from carbs.

In a moderate ketogenic diet, it’s based on grams. It is recommended to have 100-150 g of net carbs per day.

Yes, as long as you eat fewer calories than your body needs to maintain. You can control this through diet and also with exercise.

This is different for each person, so you have to play around a bit to find where you fall in the daily range of 100 to 150 grams of net carbs. You want to determine how much you can eat and still stay in ketosis.

So, start with 150 g, stick with it for a few days, and test if you are in ketosis by using ketone strips. If not, you can reduce your carbs, exercise more, or a combination of both. Keep adjusting and testing for ketones until you find what works.

A traditional keto diet follows a 5-10% carb intake. This means that, on average, you get 20-50 g of net carbs daily.

On the moderate keto plan, you have a daily intake of 100-150 g of net carbs.

Yes! You can still exercise when following this type of diet. However, in the first couple of days, you might want to take it slow while your body adapts to using ketones as an energy source.

If you are not careful, you might get out of ketosis. Although there are no health repercussions, you might need to go through the whole adaptation process again.


More alternative keto plans