If you have made the hard choice to try Ketogenic diet and join the Keto lifestyle, then I congratulate you. Soon enough when you see results and experience the myriad benefits associated with the diet, you will start proclaiming the diet to others as well.
However, living the Keto lifestyle has its own set of challenges. And, a common one at that is the unavailability of Keto-specific food items in restaurants or grocery stores. Since, most of the food industry is crafted around carbs, it is really hard to get your way through.
Thus, most Keto dieters prefer to cook the meals for themselves. Even we do! So, we compiled a list of helpful tips for beginners and veterans alike to ease the process and get the most during their meal prep.
Helpful Tips for Keto Meal Prep:
1. Cook Once for Multiple Meals:
The most common reason why dieters have failed to sustain the Keto lifestyle is because they complain of the lack of supply of Keto foods. Either when you have to rush in the morning to work or when you come home tired from work in the evening, it gets extremely hard to muster the time and effort to prepare an authentic Keto food.
Thus, we recommend that you cook once to cover multiple meals. Eating leftovers is actually a great eating habit for dieters. (Find out why)
Also, when you at a rush or just tired, you wouldn’t have to worry about breaking the diet. Just reach out to your refrigerator and you are good to go.
2. Make the Most Of Weekends:
To give yourself more time and choices, give yourself a slight lead over the weekend. Make a general idea or list of meals you plan to eat over the week and act accordingly. If you are planning specific salads, then cut the veggies beforehand and store them in an airtight bowl. On the day of preparation, you wouldn’t have to worry about cutting them. In fact, you’ll more time to experiment with dressings.
If you are planning on some new chicken or meat recipe, marinate the chicken or meat over the weekend so that is softer and more succulent the day you are going to prepare it.
Caution: Apply this tip with only a 3 to 4 day window. Anything stored or refrigerated beyond that may either go stale or lose its nutrition value.
3. Make the Sides in Advance:
Make sure you have sides prepared in advance or overnight. Often it can get difficult to work on the sides on top of your regular meal for both lack of time and energy. Thus, it is better that you prepare a large serving of the Side in advance at least for the next few days.
4. Keep Keto Snacks Handy:
Similar to the sides, it is also good to keep Keto Snacks handy whenever you get hungry. Believe me, all the snacks and foods available at the workplace or outside is usually either loaded in trans-fat and salts or sugar.
Since, most fruits are also not allowed on Keto. It is good to keep snacks such as nut-related snacks, fat bombs, boiled eggs, bacon or kimchi, handy all the time.
5. Add Magnesium to Your Meals:
A big drawback of Keto diet is that it is usually deficient in essential nutrients such as magnesium and sodium. Mostly because of the restriction on fruits and starchy vegetables.
Thus, it is highly recommended that you include magnesium-boosted salt or related supplements while preparing your meals.
Nuts are also a good source for magnesium.
6. Replace the Ingredients You Don’t Like:
If you are new to Keto, you’re probably relying on some recipe book to prepare your meals. But, many of these recipe books are extremely strict on what the ingredients are. In fact, there is a dearth of vegan recipes for Keto in the market.
In such cases, just replace the ingredients you don’t like with similar Keto-approved foods. For example, if you’re a vegan just replace the chicken or meat with tofu or cottage cheese or mushroom. The dish will still turn out well.
Even otherwise, you might replace pork or beef with fish. The options are many, be experimental. However, stick to the Keto-approved food list at all times.
7. Don’t Eat When You’re Not Hungry:
This is a weird one but believe me this can happen. More often than not, we don’t eat out of hunger but we out of habit. So, before you even start preparing, especially if it’s only for you, ask yourself whether you’re really hungry or not!
If not, just nosh on some nuts or eat some fruits or drink water to kill the urge.
8. Keep An Eye On Macros:
Whatever meal you are preparing, always keep an eye on the macros. Note that you don’t want to under-do or over-do the proteins, fats or carbs. Just focus on reaching your daily requirements and be true to it. Remember if you consume more than you need, the scale is going to move the unfavorable way!
Proteins are typically a safe bet because a bit of excess doesn’t affect ketosis. Neither does fat. However, carbs need to be strictly regulated.
Settling down to the Keto lifestyle can be difficult especially due to the dearth of Keto-centric foods. Additionally, constraints on time, energy, and access can force you to fall off the wagon for no good reason. Try these tips to make sure you stay true to your new found miracle lifestyle.