In order to kickstart your weight-loss efforts, one of the key pieces to the puzzle is having a bunch of healthy, go-to recipes at your fingertips. If you're curious about giving the keto diet a try, we spoke with Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN—the founder and director of Real Nutrition, a New York City-based private practice dedicated to healthfully and successfully guiding clients to their optimal nutrition, weight, and overall wellness, who reveals exactly how it can benefit your weight-loss goals. With Shapiro's insight, we also rounded up some of our best keto recipes for weight loss so you have a variety to choose from for your next meal.
"[The keto diet] can be beneficial for some individuals as it reduces carbohydrate intake to [less than] 5% of dietary needs. This causes the body to use fat for energy instead of carbohydrates," Shapiro explains. "[In addition,] by reducing carbohydrate intake, [the keto diet] reduces the amount of foods you can eat—and often foods that people overeat like bread, cake, candy, soda, etc. Finally, fat and protein keep you [fuller] than carbohydrates so your cravings [are reduced]. With that being said, I am not an advocate for this diet for everyone."
When it comes to dieting, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. As Shapiro explains, the keto diet may not be for everyone. It's always a smart idea to check in with a medical professional or registered dietitian to see if a diet is the best path for you and your goals. If you receive the green light, there are certain things to keep in mind when cooking keto meals.
According to Shapiro, "Portion sizes are important—especially if the recipes are high in fat and calories … look for fats from plant sources not just animal sources. Look for recipes that are also high in protein, which is lower in calories than fat. Look for whole food ingredients [and] low-carb vegetables to add volume (greens, cauliflower), and aim to diversify your protein sources so enjoy meals that contain seafood along with other lean proteins that are more dense like beef."
If you're ready to get started, keep reading for our best keto recipes for weight loss. And when you're finished, be sure to check out these 12 Essential Rules To Get Back Into Shape After a Long Break.
Keto Smoked Salmon on Cucumber Slices With Lemon-Avocado Sauce
You can't go wrong with this tasty smoked salmon on cucumber slices recipe. It's complete with Everything Bagel spice mix and a lemon avocado sauce that packs flavor into every single bite. If you want to lose weight, this light and refreshing keto recipe is a snack-time staple.
Get our recipe for Keto Smoked Salmon on Cucumber Slices With Lemon-Avocado Sauce.
Keto Zucchini Noodles With Bacon Vinaigrette
This recipe will be your new favorite way to savor zucchini noodles. It's a much healthier spin on pasta that doesn't sacrifice flavor. Fresh zucchini noodles and radish slivers are tossed in a bacon vinaigrette and topped with a protein-packed poached egg for a well-rounded weight-loss meal.
Get our recipe for Keto Zucchini Noodles With Bacon Vinaigrette.
Instant Pot Lemon Chicken
Let's be honest: Instant Pot meals make life so much easier during a busy week. With this Instant Pot lemon chicken recipe on deck, you can seamlessly cook everything in the pot and have a delicious meal on the table in under 30 minutes. You'll be getting your fill of lean protein from the juicy, tender chicken, and can easily pair it with meal-prepped roasted vegetables.
Get our recipe for Instant Pot Lemon Chicken.
Keto Overnight Oats With Berries and Cream
Overnight oats are a saving grace when you're rushing to get ready for work but still have to carve out time for breakfast. To make this recipe keto-friendly, we swapped out the grains for low-carb hemp hearts. This breakfast is complete with fresh blueberries, chopped walnuts, chia seeds, vanilla extract, and full-fat coconut milk for a tasty morning treat.
Get our recipe for Keto Overnight Oats With Berries and Cream.
Keto Thai Scallop Curry With Zucchini Noodles & Shiitake Mushrooms
Dinner just got a whole lot easier (and more delicious!) thanks to this keto Thai scallop curry recipe. It's packed with seafood and fresh veggies, and it takes less than 30 minutes to whip up. What more can you ask for? This meal will only cost you around 463 calories, and it offers a whopping 19 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber—two crucial aspects of a successful weight-loss diet.
Get our recipe for Keto Thai Scallop Curry With Zucchini Noodles & Shiitake Mushrooms.
Keto Arugula and Grapefruit Salad With Dill Ranch Dressing
This refreshing grapefruit and arugula salad can be enjoyed as a side dish or the main star of the show if you top it off with some lean protein. You just need grapefruit, arugula, red onion, roasted pumpkin seeds, and creamy ranch dressing to pull this mouthwatering recipe together. (Feel free to include sliced avocado, too!) As-is, this salad is only 171 calories and provides 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.
Get our recipe for Keto Arugula and Grapefruit Salad With Dill Ranch Dressing.
Chilled Avocado Soup
This easy and healthy chilled avocado soup is downright delicious and keto-approved. It's low in carbs and offers plenty of flavor that will make it a beloved staple in your household. Plus, the creaminess is obtained from fresh avocados rather than heavy cream, making it a much healthier choice compared to traditional creamy soups. This recipe is 324 calories and provides 7 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.
Get our recipe for Chilled Avocado Soup.
Keto Butter-Baked Salmon and Asparagus
Something as simple as baked salmon and veggies can leave a lasting impression. That's where this butter-baked salmon and asparagus recipe comes into play. It's seamless to prepare, will fill you up, and offers a rich creaminess from the mayonnaise topping.
Get our recipe for Keto Butter-Baked Salmon and Asparagus.
Tandoori Chicken Legs and Roasted Cauliflower
This tandoori chicken legs and roasted cauliflower recipe makes for a scrumptious keto-friendly dinner. The chicken legs are complete with garam masala, lemon zest, garlic, chopped pecans, chopped cauliflower, and coconut oil for a healthier version of the traditional dish. The protein is marinated overnight in spices and yogurt to deliver a flavor you'll love.
Get our recipe for Tandoori Chicken Legs and Roasted Cauliflower.
Keto Seared Ginger-Cumin Swordfish With Blueberry-Avocado Salsa
Take your classic swordfish dinner to the next level with our seared ginger-cumin swordfish recipe. This meaty fish is topped off with a unique and delightfully refreshing blueberry-avocado salsa. Overall, the meal is 392 calories and offers 35 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. It's also chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids.
Get our recipe for Keto Seared Ginger-Cumin Swordfish With Blueberry-Avocado Salsa.