Modified Keto Diet Meal Plan

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

Imge of Modified Keto Diet Meal Plan



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.


What is the modified keto diet?

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.

  • Carbs: 5-10%
  • Protein: 20%
  • Fats: 70-80%

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:

  • Carbs: 20%
  • Protein: 20%
  • Fats: 60%

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.


Benefits of a modified keto 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.

  • Weight loss
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Decreased HbA1c
  • Improved cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Reduction in the risk of heart diseases
  • Reduced cravings
  • Higher energy levels

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.


Modified keto side effects

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.

  • The first few weeks, you might experience symptoms of the keto flu
  • It might not be a sustainable lifestyle for certain people
  • Reducing the fiber intake might produce constipation
  • If you are not careful with controlling the carb portion, you might go overboard
  • Long-term health risks like kidney stones
  • Could decrease your exercise performance the first few weeks
  • Ketones might produce bad breath

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.


How to start a modified keto diet

If you decide this is the plan for you, there are a couple of steps to help you get started.

  1. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine if you can follow a low-carb eating plan.
  2. Calculate the calories you need each day. Whether it’s for weight loss, maintenance, or gain, you need to calculate what your daily caloric intake should be. This is based on your weight, age, height, regular activity levels, and weight goals.
  3. Once you have the calories, calculate the macros. When your caloric intake is set, you need to determine how many carbs, proteins, and fats you will have during the day. Remember to use the following percentages: 60% fats, 20% protein, and 20% carbs.
  4. Create a weekly menu. This helps structure your eating and makes sure you are able to reach the recommended macronutrient ratio. Preparation is key! Having a menu can also help you do meal prep, which saves time and money.




Modified keto diet food list

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:

  • Avocado and avocado oil
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Peanuts, almonds, and walnuts
  • Seeds: chia, hemp, flaxseeds, and sunflower
  • Ghee or butter
  • Sour cream

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:

  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Leafy greens

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:

  • Eggs
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Red meat
  • Fish and seafood
  • Tofu and soy-based products

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:

  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, edamame)
  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potato
  • Fruits (any type of fruit)
  • Corn

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:

  • Cookies and cake
  • Pastries
  • Cereal
  • Sugar
  • Candy
  • Ice cream
  • Soft drinks


Grocery list for a modified ketogenic diet

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.

  • Leafy greens
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Bell peppers
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Kiwi

Now that we have our produce, let’s get some protein.

  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Chicken breast
  • Ground beef
  • Red meat
  • Pork
  • Tofu
  • Plain Greek yogurt

Finally, let’s get our fats.

  • Avocado
  • Nuts and seeds: hemp, chia, flaxseed, walnuts, peanuts, almonds
  • Nut butter
  • Coconut milk
  • Almond milk
  • Ghee or butter
  • Sour cream
  • Cream cheese


1-day sample menu of a modified ketogenic diet

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.

  • Breakfast: Bulletproof coffee with scrambled eggs and strawberries
  • Morning snack: Plain Greek yogurt with chia seeds and granola
  • Lunch: Zucchini noodles and meatballs
  • Evening snack: Apple and almond butter
  • Dinner: Baked salmon with bok choy, spinach, and brown rice

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
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
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
  Granola 1/4 cup 149 13.7 4.2 7.4
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
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
  Garlic 1 clove 4 1 0.2 0
   Onion powder 1/2 teaspoon 4 0.8 0.1 0
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
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
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
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
  Garlic 1 clove 4 1 0.2 0
  Bok choy 1 cup 9 0.8 1.1 0.1
  Spinach 1 cup 7 0.3 0.8 0.1
  Rosemary 1 teaspoon 2 0.1 0 0.1
  Brown rice cooked 1/3 cup 76 15.2 1.6 0.4
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
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




FAQ about the modified ketogenic diet

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.


Alternatives diet plans to modified keto