Keto Meal Prep: A Complete Guide for Beginners
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” -Eleanor Roosevelt.
This same philosophy reigns true in most of life’s goals and ambitions, including nutrition and dieting. You may wish to lose weight, wish to exercise more often or wish to become a healthier individual, but without a solid plan on how to execute those wishes, you are likely setting yourself up for failure.
By putting in the work upfront, you will be inclined to stick to your nutrition plan, therefore, resulting in a more successful outcome. The Keto diet is no different. Meal prep is the best way to adhere to the keto guidelines and ultimately reach ketosis faster. Not only does keto meal prep help you plan your meals and snacks in advance, it also saves time, money and effort, so you’re less likely to fall off the wagon and reach for carb-loaded foods or a sugary snack.
In this guide, we will look at ways to better prep your keto meals, discuss money saving tips and show you some kitchen tools that will make the keto lifestyle easier.
Keto Meal Prep Research
In decision making and psychology, decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making. It is now understood as one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision making. This idea is applied to many facets of daily life, but in dieting, it’s what drives a person to reach for that leftover pizza in the refrigerator or grab fast-food on the way home from work instead of taking the time to cook a healthier meal.
Keto followers can combat decision fatigue by taking the time in the morning or at the beginning of the week to plan out their meals.
Keto Meal Prep Saves Money and Time
On the keto plan, you’re only supposed to eat about 20 grams of carbs a day, and that includes fruits and vegetables. The diet is very strict on its no sugar policy and even dairy products, including milk and yogurt, are a no go. That’s why keto meal prep is so essential to the success of the diet, as it ensures every item you buy matches up with the plan. It also saves time on shopping, cooking and choosing meals, plus planning ahead saves money and prevents food waste.
Keto Meal Prep: How to Get Started
Choose the right kitchen tools:
There are some basic kitchen items you’ll need to prepare quick and easy keto-friendly meals.
High quality knife
A good knife is a life-changer for any meal prep, especially in keto diet prep. Low-quality knives can slide, making them hazardous. Look for a proper chef’s knife that will allow you to easily chop and slice your ingredients.
A food processor can help prepare a wide variety of foods including keto salad dressings, smoothies, etc. Although this product can be expensive, choose a brand that offers both the processor/blender combination for your convenience.
This tool allows you the option to enjoy your favorite fried foods using keto-friendly oils. The air fryer is great because you don’t have to use a lot of oil, and since the keto diet encourages the use of premium oils which can become expensive, it’s nice to use less in this type of fryer.
A slow cooker is the perfect way to set and forget your keto meals as they cook. It’s easy to throw in the ingredients and let the appliance work its magic while you do other tasks. It is also a great and useful tool for quickly making homemade bone broth and soups.
Glass Food Containers
Glass containers let you break up recipes into individual servings to quickly grab and go. Be sure to opt for glass over plastic because it’s microwave safe, and keeps harmful chemicals out of your body.
Decide on meals:
Once you’ve gathered some of the essential kitchen tools, choose one day per week to sit down and research recipes, and then outline your meal plan for the next 7 days to include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for in between.
Here are some great recipes to choose from:
You can really use any type of organizational tool to keep track of your daily meals, whether it be an app on your phone, writing them down on a dry-erase board or putting them on the family calendar.
Write a list and shop:
Next, write down all of the ingredients that you will need to shop for and cook the meals. You can keep things simple by doubling a recipe and enjoying the leftovers, instead of preparing 7 separate meals. A great tip to follow is to choose recipes that have similar ingredients containing the same vegetables or meats. This cuts down on your shopping list and can be less overwhelming if you’re not in the mood to spend hours at the store.
Simply break down your list down by categories, starting with foods you encounter first at your grocery store. This helps to streamline the process once you enter the store. Make sure to stick to the list and try to shop for whole foods like eggs, vegetables and meats, steering clear from most packaged products. Basically, the grocers’ butcher area and produce sections will be where you will find the majority of your ingredients.
Keto Meal Prep Money Saving Ideas
If your goal is to stick to a budget, there are ways to keep things from getting too expensive. For instance, if you can, visit a local farmer’s market and purchase any in-season vegetables and fruits from them. Not only will they be fresher, they are more likely going to be cheaper as well.
Avoid packaged foods as they are almost always more expensive. Save money by opting to chop your own lettuce instead of buying the bagged kind. Sure, it seems more convenient, but you can save a lot of money by cutting your own vegetables.
Look for special offers and cut coupons when you can. Search the internet or look for deals at the store or in the mail. Buy in bulk. Bulk items such as chicken or ground meats are often cheaper per pound, and you can freeze them to use as needed.
Cook Your Keto Meals
Now that you’ve done all of the heavy lifting in the form of prep work, it’s time to get started with cooking. A good rule of thumb for starting is to divy up your produce first and chop the items that need to be chopped. Pre-prepare any meats you’ll need for the particular recipes you’ve chosen. For instance, if you need to cook a chicken, get that started first so you can prepare the other ingredients while you wait.
Once your meals are cooked, separate them into containers so they’re ready to go and easily accessible during the busy week. You can even label each container to make identifying the meal that much easier.
Choose Ketoned Bodies Meal Delivery Service
If cooking just isn’t in your repertoire, you can always opt to purchase keto friendly meals from us and we’ll deliver them right to your doorstep. Select the keto friendly meals you want from the menu with no preparation necessary. All of our meals come fully prepared and can be stored in either the refrigerator or freezer. When you’re ready to eat, simply heat them in the microwave and enjoy!
Keto Meal Prep = Success
Successful meal prep requires a little extra time and effort on your part, but by doing so, you’ll save both money and the aggravation each week. Plus, you’re far more likely to stick to the keto diet if you have a set plan in place.