Introduction to the Banting & Keto Food Lists, created by Real Meal Revolution

One of your greatest assets when you start the Banting & Keto Diet with the Real Meal Revolution is our Banting & Keto Food Lists. These lists tell each member what they can eat and when, while they navigate their way through the stages of Banting for health and weight loss.

Developed by Jonno Proudfoot with support from his co-authors in the original Real Meal Revolution, runaway bestselling book, they have now evolved to be more comprehensive (and better looking. 

Here is a guide to getting started with the lists. Download the lists here. 

The Five Lists of Banting & Keto Foods

The Banting Lists are made up of five different coloured lists and each list has its own set of rules during each phase.

  1. Banting & Keto Green List These are real, whole foods that are low in carbohydrates and generally nutrient dense. If you are on the Keto & Banting diet, you can eat these foods freely until you are satisfied with a high probability of reaching ketosis and losing weight.
  2. Banting & Keto Orange List: These are mostly real, whole foods with moderate carbohydrate content such as starchy vegetables, fruits and pulses. Many of these foods are nutrient dense and make up part of a well balanced diet. For optimal ketosis and weight loss, these foods need to be limited to the portion guidelines on the lists, or left out completely. For those not trying to lose weight on Keto or Banting, these foods still form part of a nutritious diet of whole foods.
  3. Banting & Keto Light Red List: These foods are generally very high in carbohydrates but are free from gluten and refined cane sugar. These don’t form part of a strict Keto or Banting diet, but these foods would fit into the ‘Cheat Meal’ or ‘Celebration Meal’ categories. Foods to be eaten sparingly or as often as the body allows during certain stages. Again, for those without insulin resistance, these foods could still be eaten regularly, but for those attempting to reverse Type 2 Diabetes or lose weight with Keto and Banting, these should be limited to one meal per week or fewer.
  4. Banting & Keto Red List: Foods on the red list are either laden with refined sugar or gluten, or they are highly processed and manufactured to short-circuit your appetite. 

How to Use the Banting & Keto Food Lists

Embarking on a quest for lasting weight loss is akin to a Hero’s Journey. The road twists and turns, and every hero will face massive unforeseen challenges along the way. While some may find success in strict adherence to a ketogenic diet, it’s crucial to recognize that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving your health goals. This is not a religion, this is a tool, and Keto and Banting may just be one of the many tools in your weight loss or health transformation toolkit. There are general stages people encounter on their quest for lasting weight loss. These stages serve as guideposts, helping you discover your own sweet spot amidst the vast array of dietary options available. 

  1. Observation:

Before you start Banting or Keto, we recommend spending a week, even a month, getting to know the Banting & Keto Food Lists and then paying attention to what you are currently eating. Pay attention to when you eat, where you eat, who you eat with and which of the Banting & Keto Food Lists you mostly eat off. Track this in a journal or an app for at least a week. If you are an emotional eater, journal how you feel when you eat too. You know you want to lose weight, but weight loss is a result of behavior change. Now you have a snapshot of your behavior, so you’re ready to change behavior.

  1. Restoration: 

Before adding in all of the new things you are going to eat or new supplements you are going to take, remember that results come from doing less of the bad stuff, and THEN doing more of the good stuff. Anything you are doing that puts you out needs to be cut down – if your binge drinking makes you eat more, that’s a good place to start. If you’re gluten intolerant, you might lose weight just by going gluten free (without cutting carbs). When you’re starting out, it is more important to stick to habits than it is to have insanely brilliant habits. So cut out a few key things to start, and then once you have proven to yourself that you can hold onto it for two to four weeks, then cut out some more. This usually means cutting out only the Really Red List and the Light Red List, but not worrying about portion control or carb restriction yet. For those who really battle, it could mean cutting out just one or two items on the Real Red List, like bread and sodas, and then seeing how you go from there. . 

  1. Transformation: 

Once you are comfortable being gluten and sugar free (cutting out Light Red List and the Really Red List) you can start reducing your carbs. This means sticking to the portion guidelines on the Orange List or cutting out the orange list altogether. This is the hardest part to adapt to, but this is where you will start losing weight quite fast. This is also when you will reach ketosis, which means your cravings will subside and your appetite will fall away. It will become easier to only eat when you’re hungry. This is strict Keto or strict Banting. Enjoy the ride!

  1. Preservation: 

Some people may need to stay in ‘Transformation’ or ‘Strict Keto’ or ‘Strict Banting’ forever for medical reasons (Type 2 Diabetes remission or other metabolic disorder). Others will be able to get the hang of it and make it their own. Preservation is the name we give to that period where people are losing weight, putting it back on, losing it a bit more, putting a bit more back on. This is the period where people need to grapple with what their bodies can have, and in which quantities they can have them in order to maintain their health and their weight. Behavior change is HARD and this period is the hardest part, so please take note. If you want to make it to the 2% who lose weight and keep it off for more than two years, this is the part you want to dedicate the most time to.

  1. Exception to Stages: 

Going straight into ‘Transformation’ or ‘Strict Keto’ or ‘Strict Banting’ will yield fast results, but not necessarily lasting results. In fact, only 2% of people who embark on a weight loss journey reach goal weight and stay there for two years or more. From our experience (and the science), the best approach is to create small, sustainable habits that over time, yield lasting results. This means holding off until you dive into ‘Transformation’ or ‘Strict Keto’ or ‘Strict Banting’ and rather focusing on habit-building and developing self-awareness. This way you will hone your ability to make the right decision more often. And that’s all lasting change really is – the ability to make better decisions, more often.


Note on the stages – in Real Meal Revolution 2.0 (Banting 2.0) we presented a rigid guide that interlaced dietary ‘phases’ with a specific set of Banting & Keto Food Lists. This is just a simpler and more flexible way of looking at the same thing. 


OK, now that you’re up to speed, download a copy of the Banting & Keto Food Lists here


Then, head over here and grab a free Banting 7 Day Meal Plan here.


And if you want next level support from one of our programs, check them out here.