A little planning and prepping go a long way towards success on a ketogenic diet. It's all about creating a weekly routine that is simple, brings a variety of flavors and healthy ingredients to your diet, and is simple to follow so you aren't left feeling overwhelmed.
Studies show that food variety (which helps you get all your <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-micronutrients-why-they-are-important/">**micronutrients**</a> in), diet quality, and body weight all improve when you cook meals in bulk<sup>1</sup>.
Meal prepping can seem overwhelming if you’ve never done it. If you’re new to the keto diet, you may not know where to start. Or perhaps, you’re just undecided on which <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/">**keto-approved recipes**</a> to try first.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of meal prepping on a keto diet. The goal isn’t to equip you with an arsenal of recipes for this weekend. For those, pop over to the Warrior Made <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/">**recipes page**</a>.
Instead, we’ll look at how to easily plug an effective meal prep <i>system</i> into your weekly routine. This way, any recipes you choose will fit right in.
<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">The Basics of Keto Meal Prep</p></h4>
A ketogenic diet encourages you consume food in three categories, quality fats, a moderate amount of protein, and very few carbohydrates. These are referred to as your "macros" and are essential for reaping all of the benefits of a low carb diet. Plenty of articles on our site can help you to better understand the in's and outs of the keto diet, but here, we’ll focus on the three keys to a good keto meal prep system.
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<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Key 1. Grocery Shopping</p></h4>
Grocery shopping is the most overlooked, but important, part of meal prep. Without the raw materials (in this case, ingredients), you won’t be able to cook tasty, keto-approved recipes for the week ahead.
If you’re a grocery shopping pro, you may already know how this works. If not, here are some basic tips:
* **Make a grocery list based on what you plan to cook.** It’s very easy to succumb to the endless options at a grocery store if you don’t have a plan. You might end up buying non-keto-approved foods or too much food, which is a waste of money. Plan out recipes for the week ahead first, decide what you need, and then shop.
* **Shop once per week.** Shopping once per week is time-efficient and saves money (so, it turns out, so does shopping with a <i>full</i> stomach<sup>2</sup>). Clear out your freezer so you have room to store extra meats or whatever else you find. Store extra for future preps.
* **Always keep staple ingredients on hand.** In the keto diet, staples include things like quality fats (coconut oil, olive oil), spices, green vegetables, and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com">**superfoods**</a> like garlic and ginger. That’s not an exact list, but the idea is to never run out of things that make food tasty.
* **Shop at multiple stores.** You don’t <i>have</i> to do this, but you’ll save money by doing your research to find deals on specific foods like chicken or coconut oil at certain grocery stores.
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<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Key 2. Keep It Simple!</p></h4>
The second most important thing about good keto meal prep is making it work for you. The truth is, meal prepping is something you <i>must</i> plan. Your effort will certainly pay off in the long run, but the additional work on the front end is something you have to get used to.
When getting started and whenever possible, <i>keep it simple</i>.
One way to keep things simple is to decide how many times per week you’ll cook. Decide, then schedule it. Here’s an easy model you can try and eventually adjust to your (and your family’s) needs.
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Meal Prep #1. The Sunday “Big” Cook</p></h5>
Treat Sunday (or Saturday) as your big meal prep day for the week. Perhaps this is also the day you shop for your <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-beginner-grocery-list/">**keto-approved groceries**</a>. Plan out three separate meals, including whatever you have in mind for your keto <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/what-do-i-eat-for-breakfast-on-the-keto-diet/">**breakfast**</a> meal prep.
Use cookie sheets to bake or a large pan to cook enough food. Mix up the healthy fats you cook with. Storage, as you’ll learn soon, is also essential to good meal prep.
If you don’t mind leftovers, you can easily do a big enough keto dinner and keto lunch meal prep on Sunday to hold you over until Wednesday. If you prefer variety―some people don’t like eating things like chicken after a few days―you may opt for the three meal approach found below.
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Meal Prep #2. The Midweek “Baby” Cook</p></h5>
On Tuesday or Wednesday, do a second “baby” meal prep. The difference between Sunday’s prep and the midweek one is you’re only cooking for one- or two days’-worth of recipes instead of three or more. Meal prep #2 should also take half the time or less.
In fact, you can make your midweek meal prep insanely easy. How? Bust out the Crock-Pot.
The <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/slow-cooker-pot-roast/">**slow cooker**</a> is the perfect low-cost tool for keto dieters, especially if you have a busy schedule. You can set it to “Low” before work (or overnight) and wake up to perfectly cooked chicken, beef, or vegetable recipes that just need to be divided up and stored.
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Meal Prep #3. (Optional)</p></h5>
Basically, this is another midweek meal prep for people who like variety, prefer to eat fewer leftovers, or can’t stomach things like chicken after a few days in the fridge.
Again, emphasize a short (sixty to ninety minutes), tasty, and simple meal prep. Something to get you through to the end of the work week and your next grocery shop.
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<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Key 3. Storage Matters</p></h4>
There are really three separate components of meal prepping: shopping, cooking, and storing. All three are equally important if you’re going to make this keto diet meal prep stick.
What’s the current state of your Tupperware shelf like? Hopefully, it’s organized, but you wouldn’t be the first to discover that sixteen Tupperware lids are missing their container when you take a headcount.
Calculate how many storage containers you need for your bigger Sunday meal preps and recipes. Buy that amount, plus some extra. Storage containers have a funny way of getting dirty, breaking, or disappearing forever.
Jokes aside, having enough storage containers on hand is essential. It keeps meal prepping simple and organized. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or the whole family, the organization is essential to making this work.
<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Warrior Made and Meal Preps: Make It Work for You!</p></h4>
Collating a week’s worth of recipes and preparing meals a few times a week takes some effort on your part. But if you are looking to transform your body, the science (and plenty of people) shows that meal prep is worth it.
A good keto meal prep is simple, includes tasty recipes, saves you time and money, and will help you achieve your health goals. Use the simple outline for your keto meal prep in this article to get started, and then tweak it based on your needs. Practice makes perfect!
To learn more about meal preps and how Warrior Made helps people transform their lives, visit <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com">**our home page**</a>. Our newest pieces of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/">**nutritional advice**</a> (as well as plenty of keto recipes) are completely changing how people think about losing weight, slimming down, and feeling better!
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Resources</p></h5>
1. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5288891/">Meal planning is associated with food variety</a>
2. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/evewoman/article/2001262861/10-ways-to-save-money-when-grocery-shopping">Money
How to save money when going for grocery shopping</a>