Meal prepping has become all the rage lately in the fitness and dieting community for a multitude of reasons, ranging from time-saving to money-saving, to not having excuses to hit the nearest fast food joint on your way home. Aside from all of these reasons, there are ketogenic specific reasons that you should try out meal prepping!
Before I get into why to meal prep, I want to talk about my method of prepping and how to succeed with your preps. First off, meal prepping is just like cooking for a big family. If you are like me, and are used to cooking for 8 or 9 people, this will be fairly easy for you. However, if you’re only used to cooking for yourself and maybe a spouse, this might take a little bit of practice before it comes out in the right sized portions.
One sure fire way to help you cook the right portions and divide your preps equally is by using meal prep specific containers to package your food. I prefer stackable microwave safe containers so I can actually fit them in my fridge and not make more dishes to clean in the process. At first, I tried using regular tupperware but they were too bulky and harder to fit in the fridge. I then tried some meal prep containers but the first set I tried were too small for the portions we were needing to eat. I tried a third set and these are perfect for what we need! They come in a pack of 15, so it’s enough for all 3 meals or enough for a single meal and 3 different people! I love that they are stackable, microwave AND dishwasher safe, which makes my life a hell of a lot easier! If you want to buy a set for yourself, I recommend these containers over any of the other ones I’ve tried. Check the containers out HERE!
The great thing about meal prepping, is that if you don’t make enough, it’s easy to add some extra bulk to your meal. You can always boil some eggs and re-portion accordingly. If you cook too much, yay leftovers! I always shop for the week on saturdays and cook for the 5 week days on sunday afternoon. This works great with my schedule and still gives me plenty of relax time on sunday when all I need to do is toss something in the oven.
I’ve also learned to find foods that are meal prep friendly. Remember: not all keto-friendly foods are friendly to meal prepping. Avocados, as an example, do not keep when sliced. If you want to go out of the way to eat avocados with your meal, you can always slice and pit them at the time of eating, but meal prepping is supposed to save you from having to prep anything at the time of your meal. Of course, this is your preference and if you wanted avocado, you can find a way!
Certain vegetables I’ve found work very well in meal preps such as broccoli, where as asparagus tends to get stringy and mushy by the end of the week. It’s all in the experimentation of what does and doesn’t work for you, so I urge you not to give up if you are not successful the first few times you try to meal prep! Practice makes perfect!
Hitting your macros
The first reason I advise to try meal prepping with your Keto diet is to consistently hit your macros. If you are like me, and eat freely during the beginning of the day, then struggle towards dinner when you realize you have a LOT of fat macros to make up, meal prepping is a GREAT way to consistently keep yourself on track for your macros.
On saturday, you can calculate your macros in the meals you’ll be preparing. If you need more protein, add an egg! More fat? Make some fat-bombs to eat after lunch! We even have a great fat bomb recipe you can use, which I’ll link below. By calculating your daily macros before you even eat them, you can be sure that you’ll be on target EVERY DAY. Staying in ketosis will be a breeze without accidental carb intake or missing your macros too many times.
Meal prepping is a super easy way to help you get into and stay in ketosis, especially if you are just starting your keto journey and struggle with the macro aspect.
Bigger portions mean bigger workouts
If you pair your ketogenic diet with a work-out regimen like I do, then meal prepping can seriously help you put on that extra muscle mass. I recently read that putting on muscle is 20% working out, and 80% what you are putting into your body. In order to get bigger and stronger, you have to eat like a big strong person, which means bigger portions!
By meal prepping, you can consistently eat equal portions when you need to. Bigger breakfasts and smaller dinners are typically the way to go when eating healthy, and pre-making your food will really help you stick with your eating schedule. Meal prepping is also great if you are a snacker, like myself. I consistently needed snacks and things to munch on because I wasn’t eating big meals like I needed to. I would eat a small breakfast and then be ready for something else to eat within a few hours. By beginning my meal prep routine, It caused myself to eat bigger portions less often, which is a lot better for you than grazing throughout your day.
Fasting with meal prep
With meal prepping, it also makes intermittent fasting loads easier to accomplish. Pre-making your one or two big meals of the day makes it a lot simpler for people who work a 9-5 job and don’t have use of a kitchen to cook themselves a big meal in the middle of the work day. As long as you have access to a microwave (or maybe you just like cold food?), meal prepping is a great resource for sticking to your fasting schedule!
Like i mentioned before, meal prepping really helps cut back on snacking tendencies throughout the day, which also makes fasting a lot simpler and easier to stick with. Meal prepping always seems to help me stick with my fasting when I’m doing it, it’s almost like a reward after your fast to eat a warm home cooked meal that you’ve prepared!
Fasting also has many ketogenic benefits, which you can read about in our Fasting article, which I’ve also linked below for you guys to check out. Happy Meal prepping!