A ketogenic diet is one which is high in fat, contains a moderate amount of protein and is very low in carbohydrates. When on a ketogenic diet, your body goes into ketosis and switches to burning fat for fuel, rather than carbohydrate. This diet was originally designed as a treatment for the symptoms of childhood epilepsy, but has also made its way into the world of weight loss dieting. Whether you're following a full ketogenic plan, or just looking for low-carbohydrate meals, you have plenty of options at breakfast time.
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Be An Egg Eater
Eggs can be a staple breakfast item in any ketogenic dieter's breakfast, according to the Atkins website. They can be served any way -- boiled, poached, fried or scrambled -- or make an omelet using low-carb vegetables like asparagus and mushrooms. For eggs you can make in advance, try making a low-carb quiche using a basic recipe of eggs, heavy cream, onion, a little butter and cheese, plus seasoning. You can then vary the flavor by adding more vegetables, different cheeses or meat.
The Non-Egg Lover's Breakfast
If you can't eat eggs, don't enjoy them, or simply fancy a change, you do have alternative options. The Diabetes Life website recommends two sausage patties with two thick slices of tomato and two tablespoons of cottage cheese, which comes in at just 3 grams of carbs. Alternatively, try a steak melt, made with five thin strips of leftover steak, one-quarter cup of shredded cheese and 1 cup of peppers and onions, for just 14 grams of carbs.
Ketogenic Breakfast without Ketosis
Even if you're not on a full ketogenic plan, you may still wish to eat a keto-style breakfast low in carbs. Trainer and coach Charles Poliquin recommends on his Poliquin Group website the meat and nuts breakfast for optimal strength and performance. Pro bodybuilder Ben Pakulski is also a fan of this approach, claiming that eating carbs at breakfast makes him feel tired, lethargic and demotivated.
The Bigger Picture
Your diet as a whole matters more than just what you eat at breakfast, especially if you're trying to achieve ketosis. Ketogenic diets typically set a carb limit of around 30 grams per day, writes Lyle McDonald in "The Ketogenic Diet." When changing your breakfast, or considering switching to a ketogenic diet, always consult your doctor or a registered nutritionist or dietitian.
- Great Ormond Street Hospital: Ketogenic Diet
- New Atkins: Phase 1 - Induction
- Diabetes Life: Smart Starts: 7 Days of Healthy Low Carb Breakfasts
- Poliquin Group: Tip 406: Eat A High-Protein, Low-Carb Breakfast for Weight Loss: Lifestyle Tips for A Better Body Composition
- Ben Pakulski: I Really Don't Think I Will Ever Eat Carbs at Breakfast As Long as I Want to Continue Building Muscle
- The Ketogenic Diet; Lyle McDonald