Tag Archives: menu plan

The Menu Plan Dilemma

One tricky thing about starting Keto is all the people online who will offer to sell you a ‘Keto meal plan.’ Most of these are a waste. Do you even know if that meal plan seller knows anything about Keto? They certainly don’t know anything about you or what you want to eat that is allowed on Keto.

I recommend doing two things to find/create Keto/Low-Carb meal plans. First, learn the rules of our way-of-eating from a sound book by a well-informed source. I recommend two books by Dr. Robert C. Atkins: Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution (1972) and Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Cookbook (1994.) Both of these books have a good chapter explaining the diet rules. Read these chapters every day until you can almost recite the rules in your sleep!

The next thing is to look at the menu plans given in sound Keto/Low-Carb books. Both of the books I previously mentioned have meal plans! But don’t confine yourself to following those meal plans exactly. Since our eating plan isn’t based on calorie counts, we have some flexibility. For example, in the first Atkins book, a menu plan suggests a cheeseburger on a ‘Diet Revolution’ roll (recipe given in book) for lunch. You might make that for breakfast or supper instead. You might have a bunless cheeseburger without some sort of low-carb roll, or if you are hungry at that mealtime, eat two bunless cheeseburgers. 

You can also adapt things to your own taste. A cheese omelet is the breakfast suggestion in the Atkins menu plan. Maybe you prefer your omelet without cheese, or with bacon plus cheese, or a bigger omelet made with three eggs, or a mini-omelet made with just one. Maybe you really want a kimchi omelet! And maybe you can eat this omelet-of-your-choice every single morning instead of switching things around.

By mixing-and-matching a menu plan from a sound source, you are getting something better than a menu plan being peddled on the internet. You are getting something that won’t be leading you astray! And you will be tailor-making it to your own taste. If the menu plan calls for curried deviled eggs and you hate curry, you can make deviled eggs without curry. Or with bacon bits. Whatever pleases your taste.

Remember always that our way-of-eating is not about punishing yourself for your dietary sins, or eating stuff you can’t choke down. It’s about eating good stuff that you like that just omits excess carbs from your life. No matter how much you got addicted to the carbs you used to eat, there are some low-carb foods that you will not only like, but think of as a great treat. Perhaps when you get over your carb habit they will become new favorites.

You also don’t have to eat at all the eating times demanded in a menu plan. In my Atkins book, it gives three meals and a snack every day. When just starting out on Induction, you may be hungry that many times in a day, or more. Eat when you like, as long as you are not over-eating carbs. I remember one time I started Induction, and I divided my salad ration into 3 equal parts and ate some at breakfast-time. I’ve never been a big salad fiend, but it was something I could have that was a bit different. I didn’t think of myself as a big meat-eater back then, and so my Low-Carbing meant eating a lot of foods I didn’t much care for. (In time I learned there were many low-carb foods I could really like.)

Most good Low-Carb/Keto books that I own do have a menu plan section. If I wanted to, I could follow any number of menu plans, in order to try new low-carb things and get out of a rut (if I wanted that— normally I like my rut.)

Keto/Low-Carb cooking can have a different shape depending on how many you are cooking for. Many of us cook Keto for only ourselves— either because we live alone or because no one else does Keto. Some have to cook for several ketonians, and some need to prepare Keto food plus allow carb foods for certain family members. 

You have to find the cooking/food-preparation plan that works for you. Some people do a lot of home cooking on Keto. Others purchase Keto meals online. Still others often buy fast-food burgers and de-bun them at home. My own advice is to at least learn a little bit about Keto cooking. You don’t want to be too dependent on a Keto meal vendor or the fast-food industry, to the extent that changes to the corporations involved might leave you without decent meals.