Meal planning is when you plan out what meals and snacks you are going to eat in advance.
Depending on your schedule, you can either plan out your meals but make them the day of it or make all of the meals in advance, put them in a freezer, and reheat them up later on in the week.
No matter what approach you prefer, meal planning is a great way to make sure you stick to your diet, even on the days when you feel tired.
How to Meal Plan
Do you ever think you’re going to eat healthily, but your plans are derailed by a busy week? Whether you have had a busy day at work or don’t feel good, it might be difficult to stick to your diet when the realities of life come knocking at your door. That is where meal planning comes in.
Meal planning takes a lot of the stress and pressure away from preparing your meals. It forces you to plan your meals so that you don’t have to think about food on your working or busy days. No matter what diet you prefer, meal planning is a great way to make sure you stick to it and hold yourself accountable for eating healthily.
Meal Planning and Meal Prepping
Meal planning means planning your meals in advance. Most people like to meal plan on a Saturday or Sunday when they don’t have as much work to do. This makes it much easier to eat healthily on the days that you are busy with work and other pressures of life.
To meal plan, come up with the meals and snacks you intend to eat for the week. Depending on what you have in your pantry, you may need to go to the grocery store to get any ingredients or items. You may want to write down the recipes or ideas for the week, so you don’t forget later on.
The beauty of meal planning is that you have ample time to figure out what you want to eat. This gives you plenty of time to look online or on Pinterest for yummy ideas that you are dying to try.
Some people like to take meal planning a step further and try meal prepping as well. Meal prepping is when you also make the meals in advance. Most people will make meals on a Sunday and then put them in the freezer. As the week goes on, you pop the frozen meals into the microwave or oven for quick and easy homemade meals.
Meal prepping is great for those who know that they are having a busy week. It means you won’t have to take the time even to make the meals later on.
Steps for Creating a Great Meal Plan
Creating a meal plan is pretty easy. It really only takes four steps, and most of them you already do. You just might not do them as organized or keto centric as I am recommending.
1. Find Recipes
When you meal plan, you need to think of your recipes in advance. Look in keto cookbooks or online for keto recipes that you can try out. Remember, look for recipes that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates.
The only way you will stick to your diet is to find that eating keto is enjoyable and satisfying. Try different recipes to find your favorites. Don’t eat the same thing every day because you will quickly grow bored of it and potentially get mineral deficiencies.
Try a variety of recipes to keep yourself feeling happy, full, and satisfied with your diet. I will offer recipes at the end of this book but feel free to look online for other sources and recipes.
If you have a favorite meal, try to find a keto version of it. Today, there are so many options that allow you to eat exactly what you want while still maintaining your diet. Remember: the keto diet is a lifestyle. Try to incorporate it into your life as best as you can.
More than just your meals, also meal plan for snacks and desserts. So many pesky carbs and calories are hidden in snacks. Prevent yourself from overeating on snacks by meal planning accordingly.
2. Target Recipes for Your Ratios
Once you know what recipes you might be interested in, come up with a plan every week for how you want your meals to go. This includes selecting recipes that match your intended ratios. Make sure that your weekly plan consists of a variety of vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy.
For example, if you have spinach and chicken on Monday, you might want to opt for steak and peppers on Tuesday. This gives you a variety to look forward to that is also healthy and packed full of fat and vitamins.
3. Get Ingredients
After you have decided on what meals you intend to make throughout the week, get all of the ingredients and items in advance. Waiting until the day of to get your ingredients is a surefire way to ruin your diet since there might be some days when you don’t want to go to the grocery store.
You may even want to mark what meals the ingredients go with in advance. This will make it super easy to cook the meals whenever the time comes. No matter what style you have for storing your ingredients, just make sure you get them in advance to be more motivated to cook later on.
4. Make Meals
You will need to make your meals at some point. If you don’t have a busy week coming up and know that you enjoy cooking, then make your meals the day of. This is a great way to keep fresh and tasty food flowing for your life.
On the other hand, there may be some weeks when you know that you will be too busy to make meals. Go ahead and meal prep so you can take away the hassle later on. Make the meals as you normally would, but store them in the refrigerator or freezer so that you can heat them later in the week.
The trick to meal prepping is making sure that you make enough food to last you the entire week. You also might want to opt for two different meal options so that you aren’t eating the same thing every day of the week.
Meal Plan Ideas
Meal planning for the keto diet can be stressful at first. I have put together some meal plan ideas to make the process a bit easier. In this chapter, I talk about how to create a meal plan. This includes looking at your ratios and variety of food.
If you look at your meal plan as a way to strategize your diet, you are more likely to stick to it. Here is how to create a meal plan that you stick to and get the most out of:
Though the keto diet is low carb, you will still eat some carbs, nonetheless. You cannot completely remove carbs from your diet while still remaining healthy. Breakfast is the best time to incorporate carbs into your day.
Eating your carbs earlier in your day will allow you to burn them off and go
into ketosis over the night.
Even though breakfast is a good time to eat carbs, also try to pack your breakfast with fats since they keep you feeling fuller longer. If you eat them during the morning, you are less likely to munch throughout the day.
For a killer breakfast meal plan idea, consider a small portion of berries paired with a morning sausage and egg. This will allow your breakfast to be high in fat and protein while still refreshing from the berries.
You may also want to incorporate avocado into your breakfast. These fruits are great for the keto diet and taste delicious. Avocados are great for adding a creamy texture to just about anything. Sprinkle on Everything But The Bagel Seasoning to add a savory twist to the avocado as well.
Like breakfast, you might want to add some carbs to your lunch. If you ate carbs at breakfast, though, you might want to avoid them the rest of the day. Many people like to opt for a nice veggie with protein at lunch because it will keep you full without overstuffing you. Try to avoid overeating during lunch to keep you energized during the midday.
Consider adding grilled chicken or a fatty fish to your lunch. These high-fat foods are tasty and filling, but they won’t leave you overstuffed either. As a side, consider a small portion of green veggies. These veggies will give a few carbs, but they primarily give you fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
You might want to meal prep your lunches so that you don’t have to make them the morning of. This will make your mornings go smoother and encourage you to eat healthier foods for lunch instead of fast food.
Try to avoid carbs at night. Since you will be fasting as you sleep, make sure you don’t have excess carbohydrates in your system so you can go into ketosis during the nighttime. Look for high fat and high protein meals for dinner.
If you have followed our other meal plan ideas, then you should avoid carbs at dinner. Instead, look for extremely high-fat foods like red meat or pork.
Pair the meat with cheese or peppers for low carb sides. You can also consider adding avocado to dinner as well.
On days when you have eaten almost no carbs and have exercised thoroughly, it is perfectly fine to reward yourself with a keto treat after dinner. There are keto ice creams and desserts you can try out on these days.
You probably get hungry throughout the day. Instead of eating chips or another processed, high carb food, opt for nuts or seeds. Almonds and walnuts are great options because they are filling, tasty, and healthy. You can also opt for things like a freshly sliced bell pepper with cream cheese.
If you absolutely love chips, then you can make your own keto chips in advance. Avocado and cheese are two ingredients that are often used for keto chips. These chips will still be tasty, salty, and crispy, but they don’t come packed full of carbs.
When meal planning for your snacks, just make sure they are low carb and fulfilling. If you only eat bell peppers, for example, you will quickly become hungry again. Pairing snack veggies with something like cream cheese ensures that you remain satisfied without breaking your diet.