Keto For Indian Working Professionals

Although Ketogenic diet offers many benefits it can prove to be quite challenging to implement it in real life due to the constraints on carbs and sugar-based foods. The challenge gets even worse for “working professional” who don’t even get the luxury to cook or decide their meals. However, it is not impossible to do the Ketogenic diet for Indian working professionals if you can be a little smart about it.

If you can make simple changes to your regular diet plan, you can very easily do Keto and/or Low Carb living.

Let’s look at a typical Indian working professional meal plan one-by-one.

Typically the lunchbox and/or dinner (late-night) meals would look like this:

Kids Lunch Box Recipes Indian Kala Chana Cabbage Sabzi Phulka 1

  1. A hearty portion of either rice (or poha) or wheat (chapati/parantha/poori)
  2. One sabzi (vegetable or meat dish typically including potato)
  3. One dal (lentil)
  4. A serving of salad (comprising onion, radish, cucumber, tomato, etc.)
  5. Raita or Yogurt
  6. A sweet dish (A sweet or kheer or halwa, etc.)

Of course, there might be variations but more or less this is what you get!

Now, let’s first try to fix this and change this typical Indian meal more Keto-centric.

  1. Get rid of the rice or wheat portion. For that matter avoid any grain-based food (including suji, corn, bajra, makai, etc). All of these foods are rich in carbs, which are now allowed on Keto. 
  2. So, no more rotis, paranthas, pooris, rice or idlis.
  3. Instead the ‘sabzi’ is going to take the mainstay in your meals going forward.Thus, instead of one serving take 2–3 servings of sabzi going forward. You’ll be filling up on it, so keep it heavy. If you can afford it in terms of money and time, take 2 sabzis if required.However, you will have to give up ‘Potato’. They are rich in starch and not good for Keto. Instead eat more green vegetables such as spinach, bathua, mint, french beans, okra (bhindi), bottleguard (lauki), cauliflower (gobi), etc.
  4. The dal would be another important aspect of your diet going forward. All dals are rich in protein and extremely healthy.But, they are a bit heavy in carbs as well. So, I would not recommend change in portion size. But, yes feel free to add more ghee or butter.
  5. Salads are of course welcome but try to control portions of starchy vegetables such as carrot, radish and beetroot.Onions, tomatoes and cucumber make perfect salad inclusions. Increase serving size to fill up more on salads.
  6. Raita or Yogurt (unsweetened) are also great food for Keto and good source for calcium. So, continue eating but make sure you don’t add sugar.
  7. The Sweet dish is the only second thing you’ll need to give up.It contains heavy doses of sugar and thus simple carbs. Sweet dishes such as Kheer and Halwa include heavy doses of sugar, grains and condensed milk – none of which go with Keto. I understand it can be hard to quit sugar but apply these simple tricks to stave off sugar cravings.

In addition to the above changes, I would recommend a few other changes in your diet:

  1. Cook using desi ghee or coconut oil. Give up all vegetable oils – they are no good. (Here’s why)
  2. Include more spices in your diet. They have zero carbs but contain essential minerals.
  3. Include heavy portions of green, non-starchy vegetables.
  4. If you are non-vegetarian eat more eggs, roasted meat and fish than fried. So, go nuts on tandoori chicken and fish.
  5. If you are a vegetarian, definitely include more cottage cheese (in moderation), soybean and tofu in your diet to compensate for protein. Take natural supplements if needed!
  6. Give up on milk, buttermilk and condensed milk. Dairy is tricky business – understand why.
  7. Stay away from sweet fruits such as banana, mango, jackfruit, pineapple etc. Instead go with berries and tangerines if you must.
  8. For snacking, stay away from fried foods instead carry salted nuts and seeds.
  9. Stay away from all packaged foods available in the market or cafeteria – all BAD for Keto.
  10. You may include omega-3, Zinc, Magnesium, Manganese, Calcium and Vitamin D3 supplements in your diet.
  11. To avoid mistakes, carry snacks and packed food wherever you go!
  12. When eating out, stick to vegetables and meat. Stay away from grain-based foods and potatoes. Most alcohol’s are zero carb – so there’s a good news for you!
  13. Give up everything sweet for now. You’ll be happy you did!

Hope this helps your predicament a little. Of course, to carve out a perfect Keto diet that suits your requirement you’ll need to understand the basics yourself. For a start, read this complete beginners guide for Ketogenic Diet.

Also, know that even if you don’t hit Keto, you will still gain a lot from a Low Carb lifestyle. You can gradually put yourself into Keto and reap its miraculous benefits.

To get a detailed India-centric meal plan for Ketogenic diet, I wrote an extremely similar blog on “What would be a good Indian vegetarian Keto diet plan? You will find some great insights there. If you are not a vegetarian, I would make the simple addition of lean meats and fish in your diet.