F ollowing working and successful keto meal planning methods can and likely will be one of the reasons that you either progress on your ketogenic journey or give up in frustration and go back to the carbs.
A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This may have not have been in relation to the study of the ketogenic diet and easy keto meal prep, however these wise words apply to and resonate with followers of the keto diet all the same. You see most dieters can read blogs and browse Pinterest all day long and digest any new diet change or hot tip for that matter. Yet all too often this does not help them really become good at easy keto meal prep. Why is that? It is because there is so much more to meal prep than just reading tips and often conflicting blogs.
The reality is that the most rewarding tips and useful practical information has come to me over time; not from blogs and guru misinformation but from real people. From actual conversations in the flesh and in Facebook groups and email conversations about low carb meal prep methods that genuinely work.
As was the case with learning the best keto meal prep method. You see by devoting some time to performing a measure of extra work initially to find out what really works. Then engineering each week to be on autopilot when it comes to food is a truly remarkable thing. Afterwards I was in a much better place and ready to pass on what I had learned to other keto dieters like you.
Learning The Best Keto Meal Prep Method
Through these ongoing conversations about low carb meal prep, I gradually learned how to keto food prep like an absolute pro. I discovered also that doing so, not only massively free’s up your time to do other things. Like for instance; hanging out with your kids, going for a walk or getting to that workout class you’ve kept putting off. It also takes away those hungry food decisions. Choices that lead to bad diet pathways, plus it saves you oodles of money and hugely increases your chances of sticking to this new way of eating and living over the long term. After all the longer term is why we are all here and getting good at our keto weekly meal prep simply gets us to where we want to be faster.
You must also know by now that keto dieting done properly is no ‘get thin quick plan’ (even though many do try this approach.) Becoming a master of keto meal preparation is really part of a wider strategy and reaching out towards realising a larger set of goals. Efficient keto meal planning brings home and empahizes what I say to all my keto group members time and time again. You need a strict plan and strategy to succeed, lack of strategy is just mayhem in waiting. Lack of planning is precisely why most keto dieters predictably give up the ghost prematurely and in absolute frustration. That is such a total shame and I hope that this article helps you avoid many of the common pitfalls that lead to this.
In this guide to professional meal planning on a keto diet we’re going to show you step by step how to get started on your weekly meal prepping keto journey. More importantly we are going to show you how to make meal planning fun, affordable and effective all year long. In short you no longer have any excuse for not being good at keto food prep. You got this!
My Number One Keto Meal Planning Method
Remember this site’s moniker is KetoFirst; so follow these keto meal prepping methods and you will be leaps and bound ahead of everyone else. Now some essential ingredients and basic equipment are a great place to start for successful meal prepping to help you whip up some quick and Keto recipes in your kitchen.
The Keto Meal Prep Toolkit
Now a big part of following the best keto meal prepping method is having the proper recipe preparation equipment to hand in your kitchen. So let us look at a typical keto dieters toolkit to learn about what we need to acquire in order to succeed.
This list is not exhaustive but is a pretty decent place to begin. It comprises keto appliances, cooking aids and other productivity devices for your kitchen. Look at what you have already at home and draw a list of what you now need to go and purchase for your kitchen.
Cast Iron Skillet: ( just like this one ) to have at least one is an absolute, bonus points if you have a few in different sizes.
Finding a high quality cast iron skillet will get the best bang for your buck. Generally speaking you will find that these cast iron skillets will last for years to come and are safer to use than the low cost Teflon-covered cheap pans. The take home here is that cast iron skillets are very good investments indeed. Expect to enjoy countless hours of cooking with your new purchase. Many times you will find that cast iron skillets can be purchased in sets. This gives you a range of pan sizes for every type of food group and ingredient.
Kitchen Scale: ( just like this one ) Now be quite certain not to get the kitchen scale confused with the bathroom scale ok.
In fact weighing your food out is great in the beginning to really give yourself more of an idea of what you’re truly eating and to help get you into ketosis fast, it also stops you from mindless over snacking. Of course you should get rid of non keto snacks entirely but I know that is not always possible when there are others in the house. There are loads of digital scale models available on Amazon and some scales are digital whereas other kitchen scales are classically designed like the model pictured. It is easy to buy one that matches the design of your kitchen if this is important to you.
Food Processor and Blender: ( just like this one ) A food processor and blender saves so much time working with your favourite recipes.
In fact a decent food processor or blender really opens up the door to loads more tasty recipe possibilities like; nut butters, cauliflower rice, light smoothies, yummy salad dressings, condiments and even blending butter in your coffee. Now if you do not aspire to the thought of browsing through countless appliance review sites looking for the best food processor and blender we have done all the hard work for you. All you need is a spare five minutes of personal time to read through our very long ( and detailed ) best food processors for keto dieters. Do take a look as I assure you that reading this guide is time that is well spent.
With a top food processor also you can do simple tasks also such as grating cheese and even breadcrumbs for soups and coating meats. I find Ninja and Cusinart to be great brands; offering good quality products at affordable prices and you can get both the processor and blender set with some models. Note that there are many price points and sometimes you can easily pay more for features you will never use. Think about the kind of recipes you intend to prepare and/or any other members of your family will benefit from using a food processor also.
Vegetable Spiraliser: ( just like this one ) though this is not absolutely necessary I thought I’d add it on the list as it makes all the difference.
These spiralizers are generally as cheap as chips also. Sometimes a great vegetable spiralizer tool can also be the difference between peeling your hands or peeling the veg and I know which I prefer! A spiralizer helps with being able to easily home make veggie spaghetti like courgetti or zoodles and helps you to get a good amount of all important low-carb veggies into your diet too. There are lots of great keto recipes that use zoodles for instance; so this is a worthwhile and super cheap investment that you are bound to really appreciate for a long time to come.
Pressure Cooker / InstantPot: ( just like this one ) I try to consume soups and bone broth every day, one way or another. Eating this way on a regular basis just would not be possible without the ease of my slow cooker. You see a pressure cooker enables me to make a batch of soup or tasty chicken broth weekly. I simply drop all of the ingredients into the pressure cooker for about 10-12 minutes and leave it overnight, job done! If you love make ahead keto meals then you must have a pressure cooker.
Naturally a pressure cooker is ideal for all one-pan meals too and you can just leave the pot to happily simmer across the day, what a fantastic invention right! The good news is that we also have an in-depth guide to the best pressure cookers that you should really read before you do anything else.
Food Containers: ( just like these ) are the best method for portioning your lunches off for the week into a container for each day to take with you to work. Any decent food container can easily be stored in the fridge ready for immediate use. You can also batch prep some recipes also known as make ahead keto meals.
Try making dishes such as cauliflower rice or courgette noodles for the week and then keep them in large containers in the fridge or freezer. So much less hassle for you! These are all fabulous make ahead keto meals and keto batch cooking is definitely one strategy I recommend you learn to get good at!
Pro tip: Glass food containers are a superior option to plastic food containers since they’re safe to pop in the microwave and keeps you away from harmful chemicals found in plastic you can absorb through your food. The downside is they may not be as portable depending what you are doing and where you are going with your make ahead keto meals.
Quality Knife / Set: ( just like this one ) Chip, chop now and remember that a home kitchen just isn’t complete without a good quality chef’s chopping knife and cutting board.
You can can score some immediate extra bonus points for a whole knife set. Seriously, have you ever tried slicing meat or chopping tomatoes with a blunt knife? If so, perhaps you prefer chopping fingers over carrots and trust me when I say that we don’t want to go there. Cutting corners ( no pun intended ) adds way too much time onto prepping and cooking tasty keto meals for my liking. You can purchase knife sets for cooking and food preparation at a range of prices. Be prepared to provide I.D if purchasing online from some outlets.
Loading Your Kitchen Cupboards and Fridge For Success
It’s time to get your kitchen stocked up on some vital keto foods that will turbo charge your meal prep efforts. The goal here is to make food shopping and eating much easier, as well as reducing food waste, so pick your favourites and don’t go too crazy, you don’t need everything at once! Everyone shops at different supermarkets and grocery outlets for low carb prepared meals and ingredients. Take a slow and measured approach, it can get expensive if you go too fast after all.
You may find that for some harder to source ingredients you need to head online. A lot of people shop at Walmart but find that locating stuff around the store can be a real hassle. So we tried to help take the pain out of keto shopping at Walmart also.
The Three Step Meal Prep Process
Everyone has different meal prep routines, but starting with this basic three step meal prep structure in place will help you on your way to success. It can be hard to simply start choosing the first low carb prepared meals and recipes to get you off the all important launch pad.
If you get totally stuck then KetoRush is my own digital cookbook and has over 130+ tasty keto recipes, enough for months and months of keto weekly meal prep. Shameless plug I know but if you are stuck it has all you need and more for rapid enjoyable fat burning..
Step #1 : Selecting Your Keto Meals and Recipes
I usually sit down early on a Sunday morning and do my keto food prep. This involves working out what I want to eat for the following week. Sometimes I can get carried away and meal prep for several weeks but at least one weeks advance keto food prep is recommended. Determine which recipes you can batch cook and note how long food stuffs generally last in the chiller also. Make ahead keto meals are all well and fine so long as they will keep fresh.
For Breakfast: I prefer an easy keto breakfast since I am generally an early riser. This way I can make the most out of my morning; so I go with bulletproof coffee, a light smoothie or speedy bacon and eggs. If I have more time I might try a yummy egg loaf breakfast recipe for example. Sara’s egg muffins taste similar also but are super quick to make. Any of these low carb breakfast ideas are awesome fun and will fill you up fast, ready to face the day!
For Lunch: I will often meal prep a “hearty salad ” into my plastic lunch boxes for each day and drizzle with lots of olive oil on the day I’m going to be tucking in. Most salad ingredients will also keep for a week or longer in the chiller. If you are short of ideas for keto lunch meal prep stick with basic ingredients or try this salad Nicoise.
For Dinner: For my keto dinner meal prep I’ll try and batch make dishes like our Chicken Curry with Zucchini or Shredded Beef and Broccoli and I’ll try and consume these recipes across several different nights of the week. By following this method I only have to cook two or three times during the week and then maybe experiment with fun dishes on the weekend when I have more free time to play around.
For Snacks: I’ll make cookie snacks and finger cakes on the Sunday that can keep in the freezer or the chiller as an option if I prefer to. I’ll also make a batch make my favourite soups on the Sunday too in our pressure cooker, to either drink or include in cooking throughout the remainder of the following week. `Personally I am a bit of a cookie king since they are quick, portable and just easy keto meal prep ideas. If you love cookie recipes also be sure to check out our big cookie recipe collection.
For Beverages: Keto drinks are awesome because you can have them across the day and even when fasting in most cases. Be sure to check out my unique 24 hour keto fasting strategy based on the OMAD fasting method also. Drinks can include bulletproof coffees, teas, flavored waters and even plain old tap water; nothing wrong with that.
One excellent idea is to retain a fixed copy of keto meal prep recipes and meal plans pinned onto a board in the kitchen or taped to the inside door of your most frequently used cupboard. I also keep a photo of my meal plans and make ahead keto meals for batch cooking on my cell phone ( mobile phone, ) you know, just as a nice reminder so I remember what’s on the cards each day of the week. There are also numerous smartphone apps that will make these keto food prep tasks way easier if you like going completely digital. More and more keto dieters like to use these apps and new ones are springing up all the time.
Do remember to keep your meals packed with whole fresh foods, fresh green vegetables like broccoli and kale. Plus, meats, proteins and nutritious fish full of healthy oils such as salmon. The ketogenic diet is not healthy after all if you don’t decide to personally eat healthily on the diet. I know you understand this.
Step #2 Building Your Keto Shopping List
Keep your keto shopping list simple and elegant at all times. Then write down the ingredients for each recipe that you’ll need, compiling your shopping list. When planning my next round of low carb prepared meals you can go visit the store to get your groceries and ingredients. Or simply purchase online depending on circumstances and needs.
I often find that if you know the layout of your local grocery store or supermarket then it’s way easier to shop when you list the foods into rough categories on your shopping list. Try to start the list with all fresh vegetables if that’s what you first encounter first of all at your supermarket. This is less important if you tend to shop online, although many apps and online groceries will allow you to save orders to your account; so that you can use them over and over again to save time.
A general rule of thumb when working with my best keto meal prep method is to try to stick to the perimeter of your supermarket where all the real, whole foods like the fresh veg are usually found. It can differ as you move between Walmart, Aldi, Costco and so on but I find these places share a lot of commonality overall.
Only include on the list the exact groceries that you need to cook the meals you’ve planned for as part of my best keto meal prep method. You will find that this will save money and food waste. Why buy more than you need or end up throwing stuff out for no good reason?
Step #3 Cooking All The Tasty Keto Recipes
Finally, time to head to the kitchen and actually get cooking some tasty keto meals! If you’re not a big fan of cooking, do not stress out. This is why we have recipe sites after all!. Plus cooking on keto gets easier with practice and we’ve got some awesome tips here for easy keto meal prep to speed up the learning curve.
Read over the ingredients list for each recipe and have everything you need out ready to be used. Most recipes have an easy print option or you can just jot them down ready to start cooking. Once you have made a recipe successfully the first time it only gets easier going forward. Decide whether you are going to batch cook any make ahead keto meals or make them as you need them.
However you choose to prepare the recipe notes, be sure to read over your recipe instructions and prepare the food accordingly. Get ready to peel, chop, grate, process, blend etc each ingredient as per the recipe notes. It is a good idea to place all the prepared fresh food onto plates/bowls (separate the meat from the veg) so you can follow the instructions with ease and without getting flustered. Pay attention to the ingredient quantities as European and American metrics will often differ depending where you found the recipe.
Anything you’ve meal prepped for the week ahead, separate into your plastic or glass food containers and store in the fridge or freezer ready to have to hand as you need them over the days to come. Remember to check your use by dates for all of your make ahead keto meals.
My Final Thoughts: Best Keto Meal Prep Method
There you go, meal preparation on a ketogenic diet does not have to be complete mayhem at all. Just a recipe for success when done properly. Knowledge is power and when you are properly armed with my best keto meal preparation method; that is exactly what you have to succeed right here time and time again. Do let me know in the comments what you thought of these easy keto meal prep tips and share your own cooking experiences in the kitchen with our readers.
Complimentary Keto Meal Prep Infographic
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