The Ketogenic Diet Is the Latest Buzzy Weight-Loss Plan—Here's What a Day of Eating Actually Looks Like
A nutrition expert shares three keto recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
There's no question the ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is generating tons of buzz these days, with more than 4 million #keto posts on Instagram and counting. Though you may already know the basics of this high-fat, low-carb eating style, you may be less familiar with actual keto recipes, and what a typical day on the ketogenic diet really looks like.
Enter nutrition and fitness expert Mark Sisson and his new book, The Keto Reset Diet ($28, amazon.com), a 21-day plan to achieve ketosis—or the state in which your body is burning fat (instead of carbs) as its primary source of fuel. “Most of us only know how to burn sugar, and we have to refill the tank every couple of hours—that’s where the cravings and constant hunger come in," Sisson explained in an interview with Health. His "reset" program is designed torelieve you of that need for a regular dose of carbs. "One of the biggest benefits of going keto is a dramatic mitigation of hunger and cravings,” he says.
That's just one of many benefits of the ketogenic diet, according to its fans. Sisson lists a slew of other health perks, including more energy, greater clarity of thought, better sleep, a reduction in inflammation, and "a trend toward one’s ideal body composition."
The ketogenic diet involves cutting your carbs down to 50g per day (about the amount in a bagel), which may seem daunting. But even doing it short term can have perks, says Sisson. “You don’t have to stay in ketosis forever to reap the benefits of this metabolic efficiency,” he says. “I’m not suggesting that people adopt a keto lifestyle for the rest of their days. Do it to reset your metabolism, gain the metabolic flexibility, and you can get long-term benefits." In other words, he adds, "use it as a tool in your health and wellness arsenal.”
And the diet doesn't have to be painful: “I want people to enjoy every bite they eat, without guilt, and to know when it’s time to stop eating and feel completely satisfied,” he says.
So what might an average day entail? Below are three sample keto recipes from Sisson's book—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
To get our top weight-loss tips delivered to your inbox, sign up for the HEALTH newsletter
Katie’s Keto Granola
Makes 6 cups (serving size = ½ cup)
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
¼ cup coconut oil, softened
1 Tbsp. raw honey
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Himalayan sea salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup cacao nibs
3⁄4 cup full-fat coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk
1⁄4 cup in-season blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet or 3-quart casserole dish with parchment paper.
- If desired, roughly chop the nuts with a food processor, hand chopper, or sharp chef’s knife.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Add the nuts, sea salt, coconut akes, and cacao nibs and stir well.
- Transfer the granola mixture to the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway, until lightly toasted.
- Allow to cool for about 30 minutes, then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
- When ready to eat, add the add-ins of your choice.
Caesar Salad With Anchovies and Pancetta
Makes 2 side servings
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Juice from 1 large lemon, at room temperature
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1 can (2 ounces; 56 g) anchovies packed in olive oil
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp. butter
4 ounces diced pancetta
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- In a high-powered blender, combine the egg yolk, garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, half the anchovies, and ¼ cup oil. Blend for 10 seconds. With the blender running, slowly pour in the remaining oil in a thin stream so the dressing emulsi es. Add in ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese and pulse a few times to combine.
- Melt the butter in a small skillet and sauté the pancetta until crisp.
- Toss the lettuce with ½ cup of the dressing. Roughly chop the remaining anchovies and place on top. Sprinkle with the crispy pancetta. Top with the remaining grated Parmesan, and additional freshly ground pepper. If desired, drizzle with more dressing.
Pan-Fried Cod with Dill Caper Sauce
Makes 6 servings
Dill caper saurce
¼ cup drained capers
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 small lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1½ pounds cod fillets, or any other mild white fish
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. avocado oil
Juice of ½ lemon
- Prepare the sauce rst, even a day or two before. Combine the capers, dill, olive oil, and lemon juice in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously. If you want to make it more of a sauce than a dressing, you can also pulse the mixture a few times in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Season both sides of the sh with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and avocado oil, and heat until the butter bubbles; swirl the pan to combine. Add the sh and cook about 2 minutes, depending on thickness. Carefully ip to brown the other side and squeeze the lemon juice over the fish. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Do not overcook.
- Remove the fish from pan, transfer to a serving platter, and spoon 2 Tbsp. sauce over each serving.
NOTE: This sauce keeps well in the fridge, so you can make a big batch ahead of time and have this dish done in five minutes. Leftover sauce is great over roasted carrots, too.
Recipes from The Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson with Brad Kearns. Copyright 2017 by Mark Sisson. Reprinted by permission of Harmony books.