The Keto Meal Plan I Followed That Kept Me Losing & My Family Fed
As a busy mom of two little toddlers it was not an easy feat to transition myself to a keto based diet. One of the biggest things that initially kept me from jumping into the strict diet was that I didn’t know if I could handle the extra work load and time requirement of cooking healthier meals from scratch. I also knew that our young girls would probably not eat most of the low carb meals well, so if I wanted to make sure they had full bellies I would need to make two meals for dinner every night. The thought of trying to manage all of that extra cooking and planning felt overwhelming and kept me from starting sooner.
However, I got desperate enough with my weight and health that I decided it was necessary to make a big dietary change even if it overwhelmed me with extra work – so I dove into a keto diet. At first it was a lot more work, but I quickly found ways to tailor our family meals to it and I found easy solutions for myself throughout the day that actually required even less work than before I was on the diet. It became a way of life for myself and my family, and it was surprisingly NOT overwhelming to handle!
My diet was the number one thing that helped me to lose over 40 pounds of baby weight after the birth of our second daughter. If you haven’t read the details of my weight loss story you can find them here. In this post I’m sharing with you exactly what I ate on a day to day basis to follow a loose keto diet as a busy mom with two little kids. I’ve included information on my regular breakfast and lunch routine as well as a list of many of the regular meals that I made for family dinners. I’ve also included some information about the general keto principles that I followed and how I made decisions about what I could and couldn’t eat on my diet.
Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian or medical professional. This post is not intended to serve as dietary advice or offer any official keto guidance. It is intended to share details of my personal story.
The Diet Rules That I Followed
I did not strictly follow all of the rules of a keto diet. I did not measure or track my exact proportions of fat, protein, and carbs like keto diet experts may recommend. (If you want to learn more about how to follow a keto diet this site is a great resource.) I also did not count my calories. I knew that if I wanted to succeed with a diet, I needed to keep the rules simple for myself.
I followed one general rule to decide what I could or could not eat on my diet each day: I aimed to stay under 25 net carbs per day.
I defined net carbs as total carbohydrates less any fiber or sugar alcohols as most keto dieters would. (You can read more about how to calculate net carbs on keto here.)
I did generally try to incorporate more fatty foods into my diet like a keto diet would recommend, but I didn’t track the amount or stick to any real rule regarding fatty foods. I may have had better energy throughout the diet if I had added more correct fats in, but it would have been too much for me to maintain if I had to track more than my net carbs.
I did go through an initial two weeks of carb detox (or keto flu). I felt very sick to the stomach as well as weak and tired, but drinking chicken broth helped with the symptoms and after about two weeks the severe symptoms subsided. After about 9 months on the diet, I lost over 40 pounds! (Again, you can read the details of my weight loss story here.)
My Keto Diet Sample Menu
So what did I eat everyday to follow a keto-like diet and lose all of my weight? Here’s a breakdown of my typical foods per meal:
- Egg Muffins made with heavy whipping cream, eggs, Italian sausage, and cheddar cheese
- SlimFast Keto Meal Replacement Bar
(Before I discovered SlimFast’s AMAZING keto meal replacement bars, I made one batch each weekend of egg muffins and kept them in a bag in the fridge to eat for breakfast throughout the week. I would heat two muffins each morning for breakfast.)
- SlimFast Keto Fat Bombs
- Two Good Yogurt
- Chunked Cheese/Cheese Sticks
Most days I didn’t need many more snacks than a few SlimFast Keto Fat Bombs but, if I did, Two Good yogurts or chunked cheese were some of my go-tos. The SlimFast fat bombs taste like a Reese’s peanut butter cup and they really help to keep you feeling full so they were often all I needed. I typically ate one between breakfast and lunch and one in the afternoon between lunch and dinner.
- SlimFast Keto Meal Replacement Bar
- SlimFast Keto Meal Replacement Shake with almond milk
If I wanted variety (since I usually ate a SlimFast Keto Bar for breakfast) then I would make myself a SlimFast Keto meal replacement shake with almond milk for lunch. However, I preferred the bars to the shakes so I often just ate another bar for lunch. The bars were also great if I was going to be away or on-the-go over lunch.
Dinner is where there was a lot more variety in my diet from day to day and it was the meal that I had to consider the rest of my family with as well. Below are some of the go-to dinner options that I made while following my diet. My husband agreed to eat low carb with me, so he ate nearly all of them with me. If it was something I knew that my kids wouldn’t eat well I often microwaved them some chicken nuggets from the freezer and offered them some yogurt or gave them another no-prep quick replacement option.
If I made a dinner that was not friendly to my diet (which I sometimes did for the sake of my family) then I would typically just microwave myself a full bag of frozen cauliflower rice and mix in some leftover meat, shredded cheddar cheese, and Sweet Baby Ray’s buffalo wing sauce or some ranch dressing with some sour cream. That combination became my quick go-to for dinner if I ever needed something just for myself.
Here are some of the dinners that I made on a regular basis for our family while I was on a loose keto diet:
- Spaghetti Squash – I cut it in half and cooked it on low for 6 hours covered in the crock pot with low carb pasta sauce (like Raos or Victorios) and frozen meatballs. I then topped it with shredded mozzarella cheese to eat. (Just be sure any frozen meatballs that you use are low carb since some contain wheat. I used gluten free frozen meatballs.)
- Breakfast For Dinner – I made a large quantity of scrambled eggs with heavy whipping cream blended in. I would top the scrambled eggs with shredded cheddar cheese. I also typically made a meat side like sausage or bacon. I love to eat my eggs with ketchup (which you can’t do on keto) so I ate my eggs with Sweet Baby Ray’s buffalo wing sauce instead.
- Tacos – This was a go-to for us! I would make seasoned taco meat that the rest of my family could eat regular tacos with, but I would eat a rice bowl with it made with a microwaved bag of cauliflower rice, the seasoned meat, lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, and small amounts of salsa and sour cream. Occasionally I also topped my “rice” bowl with avocado which is a great healthy fat.
- Broiled Chicken & Rice – Again, my family would just eat the chicken with dipping sauces and white or brown rice but I would make a rice bowl with some cheddar cheese, the chicken, and cauliflower rice. Sometimes I would also eat the broiled chicken on a salad but give it to the kids with dipping sauce. I marinated my chicken with some oil, a small amount of lemon juice, some garlic, and oregano prior to broiling.
- Hot Dogs With Applesauce – I would eat my hot dogs without a bun and with a side of salad or a low carb yogurt. For my family I would serve them a side of applesauce or maybe cook up some tater tots or something similar.
- Pizza – Yes, there are low carb pizza options out there! I loved this as an “indulge” dinner option. I made regular frozen pizzas for my family and I would eat the appropriate portion of a Quest or Realgood cauliflower crust pizza.
Some days I would experiment with a new keto friendly recipe to add some variety to our menu, but most weeks we cycled through the above dinner options. It was enough variety that we didn’t get extremely sick of any one option and each option was easy to prepare on a regular basis. If I was ever out to dinner I would order a salad with chicken or a burger without a bun.
It wasn’t easy to take the first step into following a low carb diet, but once I took the plunge our family found a rhythm and it was very easy to manage! I actually felt stress when I decided to come off of the diet because the routine I had gotten into with it was so easy to maintain.
There are MANY more options of things you can eat on keto than the options I’ve listed above, but these are the options that worked for our busy family and our preferences. By following a routine of eating these options I lost over 40 pounds in about 9 months and my family continued to remain fed and happy while I did it!
Again, you can read the details of my weight loss story here.