Meal Planning on a Keto Diet – Five Step Checklist
You’ve been walking up and down each aisle at the grocery store for nearly an hour now, trying to figure out which ingredients will help you stay in ketosis.
You haven’t even thought about if the food will taste good… You’re frustrated, tired, and confused.
And I’ve been there, too. Thankfully, meal planning on a keto diet can minimize a lot of that frustration and confusion.
- Spending hours at the grocery store each week
- Preparing meals that you aren’t sure will meet your macros
- Worrying about your meals not tasting good
Meal planning allows you to…
- Save tons of time (and money) by only going to the grocery store once per week with a detailed shopping list
- Optimize your macros to keep you in fat-burning ketosis
- Eat yummy food using recipes tested (and approved) by hundreds of other keto-dieters
So let’s jump right in.
What Is a Keto Diet?
The purpose of a keto diet is to get into ketosis.
Ketosis is when you no longer rely on sugars/carbs for energy, but instead burn fat for fuel.
What do I need to do to get into ketosis?
You’ll need to reduce your carb intake to get into ketosis. When you eat fewer carbs, your body doesn’t have enough glucose (which comes from eating carbs/sugars), and your body is forced to burn fat for energy instead.
What should I eat to get into ketosis?
Ketosis is mainly reliant on reducing your carb intake. So make sure to eat less than 25g of net carbs per day. Then you’ll eat a moderate amount of protein and a lot of healthy fat.
- Low-carb vegetables
- Free-range meat
- Wild-caught fish or seafood
- Low-carb fruits
- Tons of healthy fat.
Do NOT eat these:
- Processed foods
- Sugary fruits
- All types of grains (yes, including rice)
- All starchy vegetables (yes, even sweet potatoes)
Is a Keto Diet Right For You?
Although you now know what the keto diet is and what you’re allowed to eat when following a keto diet, that doesn’t mean you should jump right in.
Before you read on to the meal-planning checklist, you first need to determine if the keto diet is right for your life.
Five Step Keto Meal-Planning Checklist
1. Have snacks in all your “common places”
I’m starting with snacks because snacking is often what inhibits people from being successful on keto.
Here’s what usually happens:
You’re out running errands, traveling, at work, or at a non-keto friend’s house for a party. And you’re hungry.
First thing’s first, we know that when you’re hungry, non-keto foods are even more tempting.
So, you think that one or two cookies or some potato chips won’t hurt anyone.
Until you find yourself inevitably wondering why you’re not losing weight or feeling better…
That’s why I recommend you always have keto snacks available for those tough situations.
Keep keto-friendly snacks in your “common places”:
- At home
- At work
- In your gym bag
- In your purse
- In your backpack
- In the car (if it’s not too hot)
- In your travel bag for vacations
For more keto snack ideas, check out this list of keto snacks here.
2. Use a three-step formula for lunch/dinner…
Lunch and dinner is where it can get complicated on keto.
You want delicious food, of course. But, searching for recipes to make every night for dinner can be exhausting…
Spending hours in the kitchen is such a chore… And spending hundreds each week on expensive ingredients will quickly burn through your bank account…
There’s an alternative way that’s much easier.
For those of you that don’t want to make intricate recipes every night, use this simple formula to craft meals that aren’t bland or overly complicated.
Step 1: Pick your favorite meat
Step 2: Pick your favorite vegetable
Step 3: Pick a sauce/seasoning
Step 4: Pick a method of cooking
For example, you can pick beef, broccoli, tamari sauce, and sauteing. Then you’d end up with a delicious Keto beef and broccoli stir-fry.
Or if you pick fish with spinach, celery along with garlic and basil seasoning in a stew form…then you’d get a quick and nutritious fish stew.
3. Cook a one-pot dish to make for easy cooking and cleaning…
The most important thing for me when it comes to cooking?
I want every part of the cooking process to be easy. From buying the ingredients to cleaning the last pan. And one pot recipes make the cooking process easy.
My favorite part is that there’s only one pot to clean up. My second favorite part is that one pot recipes can make enough food for plenty of leftovers!
Don’t know any keto one pot recipes? Don’t worry, just do a quick google search and you’ll find tons of ideas.
4. Don’t EVER make breakfast in the morning…
Mornings are stressful enough. And then add cooking a full-blown breakfast on top of that?
To me that sounds like a recipe for disaster…
Instead of cooking breakfast in the morning, it’s much easier just to warm up a pre-cooked breakfast. That’s why I recommend you make your breakfast in advance. When you wake up, all you’ll have to do is open your fridge/freezer, throw it in the microwave, and enjoy.
For example, egg muffins (pictured above) are one easy breakfast dish that you can batch cook and then just reheat each morning. Homemade sausages are another great option!