Despite what you may have heard, the Keto Diet does not solely consist of avocado toast (sans toast) topped with olive oil, served with a side of butter.
Fats are a major component of the Keto (pronounced KEY-toe) Diet, but the most important piece of the diet is consuming enough fats for effective weight loss. The suggested fat intake per day is around 75% of your food consumption. This should be paired with roughly 20% protein and 5% carbohydrate intake (1). These are basic guides, but using a Keto Calculator is a great way to personalize your intake and even see a long-term forecast for your weight loss.
OK, you get it. You know you should increase your fat intake so your body can focus on burning that, versus putting effort into burning carbs. But how do you make that shift without chugging heavy cream twice a day?
As with any specific diet or healthy eating, food prepping sets you up with premade meals and snacks for the week that fit into your diet plan. The key here is having something (many things) to grab when you’re hungry or having cravings, so you won’t even think about an alternative because it was just easier. Check out some additional benefits to meal planning below:
…Because who wants to give up any more of that? Before you embark on your weekly grocery store adventure, you should have an idea of what you’ll be eating for each meal. Quickly jotting down a plan (even a basic list in Notes on your phone) will make your actual grocery shopping go much faster, and planning dinner each night will be a non-factor. You can cook these meals in batches at the beginning of the week so you have a source to grab from as the crazy kicks in during the week.
Once you’ve mapped out some options for the week, you will start to see opportunities for “overlap ingredients” that can be used in multiple meals. For example, you can buy a family size package of chicken for pan fried lemon chicken (4) dinners, lunch with avocado-chicken salad (3), and slow-cooker BBQ pulled chicken (5) on the weekend. You’ll find it easier to buy fewer items and use them in a variety of ways.
Initially, you will probably find yourself cooking the same (safe) meals each week. These meals are good for simple, go-to staples but likely won’t provide the variety you’ll miss from your old diet. Meal planning will help get you thinking ahead and give you time to explore ways to switch up your recipes. You can start with a single recipe and plan out the rest of your meals for the week based on utilizing those ingredients.
It’s easy to see how meal planning will arm you with a strong plan going into each week to stay on track with your Keto plan. Make sure to equip yourself with easy-access resources like cheat sheets and reference sites. These will help you cross-check your grocery lists and restaurant choices against the foods that are Keto-approved. Happy Planning!