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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|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|
|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|
|Sour cream||1 tablespoon||30||0.7||0.4||2.9|
|Black beans||1/2 cup||109||11.6||7.3||0.3|
|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|
|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|
|Lemon juice||1 tablespoon||3||1||0||0|
|Sweet potato||1/2 cup||90||17.4||2||0.2|
|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|
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.