Once you get the hang of the ketogenic diet, you’ll realize that it isn’t any more difficult to follow than any other diet. As long as you stick to your macros and make fat a priority in your diet, you’ll have no trouble at all.
But what can you do to make it even easier to stick to the keto diet?
Meal prepping is a great tool to use for any diet, whether you are trying to lose weight or not. Planning your meals ahead saves you both time and money, plus you’ll be able to enjoy healthy and satisfying meals with a fraction of the prep work each day. Keep reading to learn how!
What Are the Benefits of Meal Prepping?
The secret to any diet is finding a way to stick to it. If you aren’t fully committed to your macronutrient ratio, you won’t be successful with keto. But how do you make sure that you’re getting the right combination of nutrients each day without spending hours cooking and prepping?
Meal planning and meal prep are the keys to success with the keto diet if you want to maximize your benefits and minimize your effort. Here are some of the benefits of meal prepping for the keto diet:
- It simplifies your life. Planning your meals for the week ahead saves you the daily hassle of trying to decide what to cook and from making extra trips to the grocery store. You can come home from work, whip up a quick meal, and enjoy it.
- It saves time and money. By planning your meals ahead of time you can take advantage of sales at the grocery store and plan your meals around them – you can also take advantage of in-season produce. Plus, planning and prepping your meals reduces food waste and helps prevent impulse buys with last-minute trips to the grocery store.
- It helps to stick to your macros. The only way to succeed on the ketogenic diet is to enter and remain in ketosis and, in order to do that, you have to stick to your macros. Planning your meals enables you to calculate your macros before you eat to make it as simple as possible.
If you’re still not sure whether meal prepping is the way to go, consider the results of a research study which showed that planning significantly improves your chances of success over motivation alone. This study, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology showed that over 90% of study participants who scheduled their exercise worked out at least once a week versus 35% of those who didn’t.
Tips for Getting Started with Keto Meal Prep
Now that you know the benefits of meal prepping for keto, are you ready to try it for yourself? Meal prepping is great no matter what diet you follow but it can take a little while to get into the groove of it. To help you get started with keto meal prep, here are some simple tips:
- Make sure you have the right tools and equipment – popular meal prepping tools include various skillets and saucepans, a slow cooker or pressure cooker, a food processor, food storage containers, and a kitchen scale.
- Stock your pantry with cooking essentials before you start prepping – you’ll need cooking oil, keto-friendly condiments, baking staples, herbs, and spices.
- Calculate your daily calorie goal as well as your macros before you start planning your meals so you can choose recipes that fit with your macros.
- Gather an assortment of keto recipes (with calorie and macro information) then start playing around with them – see what combinations you can come up with to meet your macros every day for an entire week.
- Don’t be afraid to get creative with your meal planning – feel free to make substitutions in your recipes as long as they stay keto friendly (and know that you might have to recalculate the calorie content yourself).
- Make smart use of leftovers to minimize your effort and food waste – for example, if you make roasted chicken one night use it in a salad the next day.
- Do all of your shopping for the week ahead and do as much prep work as you can as well – you can clean and chop veggies ahead of time and set meat to marinate.
When you first start out with meal prepping, you want to make things as easy on yourself as possible. Pick a handful of recipes for the week ahead and focus on getting your macros right – it’s easier to do with a lower number of recipes. You may even want to prepare the same meal several times or make enough of it to enjoy the leftovers for several days.
Keto Meal Prep Recipe Ideas
If you’re ready to give meal prepping a try but you aren’t sure where to start, here are some simple keto-friendly meals that work well for meal prepping:
- Meat, cheese, and veggie frittata
- Pancakes or waffles
- Almond or coconut flour muffins
Lunch and Dinner
- Meat and veggie stir-fry
- Chicken, tuna, or egg salad
- Slow cooker soups and stews
- Roasted meat and veggies
- Salad with leftover meat
- Pulled pork or shredded beef
Snacks and Sides
- Fruit and veggie smoothies
- Devilled eggs
- Peanut or almond butter
- Pork rinds
- Homemade fat bombs
In addition to trying these simple recipes, consider subscribing to a keto diet blog or find a cookbook with some other recipe ideas. You can accumulate quite a collection of keto-friendly recipes in a short period of time and then draw on them to create your weekly meal plans. The more recipes you have to work with, the more variety you’ll enjoy in your diet and the less likely you’ll become bored and start to cheat. Whatever it takes to stick to your macros, make it happen!
By now you have the knowledge you need to make meal prepping work for you and your ketogenic diet. So, put what you’ve learned here to work and get cooking!