Following a keto diet can be overwhelming in the beginning. Going from an eating pattern heavily based on carbs to one that limits carbohydrates to a maximum of 10% of the daily caloric intake might feel like too much.
The modified ketogenic plan is where you limit your carb intake, but not as much as a traditional keto diet plan. The carbs are lowered but with more wiggle room to incorporate a wider variety of healthy foods.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about following a modified keto plan. What is it? What are the benefits and drawbacks of following this type of eating pattern? How to start? Which foods to avoid and which to include? Once you know the basics of this way of eating, you will find a day's worth of meals and a shopping list to make this transition easier.
The modified ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein eating plan. It differs from the traditional keto since it is a little higher in carbs and lower in fats. The following macros are of a conventional ketogenic diet.
A modified one is in between a traditional keto and a regular low-carb diet. It is also known as a “very low carb” diet. It has the following macronutrient distribution:
Remember that protein can be converted to glucose via gluconeogenesis in the absence of carbs.
This macronutrient composition gives a little more freedom to people who want to include more carb-based options.
Although it is modified, it is not recommended for people with certain medical conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, nor for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Regardless of your medical history, everyone should consult with a doctor before changing their diet.
Following modified keto can bring all the benefits of a conventional ketogenic diet, along with a couple more. Here is a list of the advantages you might find by following this type of eating pattern.
One of the biggest advantages of following this type of diet is that it is more flexible, so you can fit more carbs into your daily plan. This may allow you to have a more active social life, which can be difficult on the conventional ketogenic diet. Since your carb intake is a little higher, you will find it easier to enjoy social gatherings and share food and drinks with loved ones.
Since the modified keto is still a very low-carb plan, you get most of the negative side effects of following this type of diet. Here is a list of the drawbacks.
There are several pros and cons of following this eating style. The biggest question to ask yourself is whether or not you see yourself following it in the long term. The best results are achieved by those that make it a lifestyle.
If you decide this is the plan for you, there are a couple of steps to help you get started.
When starting a new diet, it can be hard to know which ingredients are good to include and which ones can sabotage your progress.
When following a modified low-carb diet, you can have high-fat foods, moderate-protein foods, and a low consumption of carb-based foods.
For more than half of your total caloric intake, you need to consume fats to provide the energy you need during the day. Here is a list of foods you can include that are high in fat:
The last two bullet points are high in saturated fats, so a lower intake is recommended.
Regarding vegetables, you can have any type you want, and almost unlimited amounts. Remember that variety is key. Make sure to include veggies of different colors to add different nutrients to your diet. For example, you can have:
Protein is the second-most important macronutrient when following a modified ketogenic plan. It makes up 20% of your total calories, and helps you increase satiety and make sure that you maintain your muscle mass. Foods that are high in protein include:
Now, let’s talk about your carb options. The biggest advantage of following a modified keto is that it allows you to have more carb-based products. Do keep in mind that you still need to control the portions and count the carbs so you don’t exceed your daily amount. If you are going to add more carbs, try to focus on healthy options, like the following:
All of these are high in fiber and provide several nutrients for your body. There are other carb options that are best to stay away from since they are very high in carbs and don’t offer any nutritional value:
Now that we know what to add and what to avoid, it is time to go grocery shopping!
First, we can get all the fruits and veggies from our farmer’s market. That way, we buy locally and get the fresher ingredients that are in season.
Now that we have our produce, let’s get some protein.
Finally, let’s get our fats.
We have everything ready to start the plan. Need some ideas on how to put everything together from what you have learned? Here is a one-day modified keto meal plan to help you out.
Calories: 1,871 | Macros: 87 g net carbs – 105.9 g protein – 113.3 g fats
|BREAKFAST||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Bulletproof coffee with scrambled eggs and strawberries||Eggs||3 units||215||1.1||18.9||14.2|
|Coconut oil||1 tablespoon||104||0||0||11.5|
|Strawberries||1 cup halves||49||8.7||1||0.5|
|368||9.8 g||19.9 g||26.2 g|
|MORNING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Plain Greek yogurt with chia seeds and granola||Plain Greek yogurt||7 oz||146||7.9||19.9||3.8|
|Chia seeds||1 oz||138||2.2||4.7||8.7|
|433||23.8 g||28.8 g||19.9 g|
|LUNCH||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Zucchini noodles with meatballs||Zucchini||1 medium||33||4.1||2.4||0.6|
|Olive oil||1 tablespoon||120||0||0||13.6|
|Tomato sauce||1/2 cup||29||4.7||1.5||0.4|
|Ground beef||4 oz||137||0||24.9||3.4|
|Onion powder||1/2 teaspoon||4||0.8||0.1||0|
|327||10.6 g||29.1 g||18 g|
|EVENING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Apple and almond butter||Apple||1 medium||104||22.8||0.5||0.3|
|Almond butter||1/8 cup||193||2.6||6.5||17.3|
|297||25.4 g||7 g||17.6 g|
|DINNER||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Baked salmon with bok choy, spinach, and brown rice||Salmon||3 oz||108||0||17.4||3.7|
|Olive oil||2 tablespoon||240||0||0||27.2|
|Bok choy||1 cup||9||0.8||1.1||0.1|
|Brown rice cooked||1/3 cup||76||15.2||1.6||0.4|
|446||17.4 g||21.1 g||31.6 g|
|DAILY TOTALS||1,871 cal||87 g net carbs||105.9 g protein||113.3 g fat|
Do you still have some questions? Here you can find the most frequently asked questions from people on the same journey as you!
For you to lose weight, you need a caloric deficit.
With a caloric deficit, you can lose around 10 pounds during a month in a keto diet. Aiming to lose 1 - 2 pounds/ week is realistic and healthy.
For endurance athletes, it can be a good option.
It is still high in fat, but it has more carbs than the traditional ketogenic diet. For athletes, increasing carbs could improve performance since carbs are a faster energy source than fats. Check out our Targeted Keto Plan for more information on keto for atheletes.
Yes! You can do both.
Just keep in mind that fats tend to increase satiety. If you are able to eat enough calories during the rest of the day, there is no problem. Although we want to reduce caloric intake to lose weight, having a diet very low in calories (less than 1,200) could bring health problems.
The carb limit is based on a percentage. For modified keto, staying under 20% carbs for your total caloric intake is recommended.
This means that someone following a 2,000 kcal would have a daily intake of up to 100 g of net carbs (which is about 130g total carbs- including 30 g fiber).
Yes, you can do it for a couple of weeks.
Nonetheless, the best results are the ones that you can sustain for a long time. Weight yo-yoing can happen when someone doesn’t maintain a stable eating pattern. Thus it is recommended to make sustainable lifestyle changes.
Yes! You can still exercise when following a modified low-carb plan.
However, you might find that your performance is not quite the same the first couple of weeks. Make sure to take it slow as you transition to new eating habits and always listen to your body’s energy levels. Eating your carbs in the meal before your exercise session may help prevent this dip in performance.