Strict diets like keto rely on continuous adherence to its principles. One single carb-filled day and you’ll be thrown way out of ketosis to square one, faced with the necessity to go all the way through ketoadaptation all over again.
To avoid this strenuous scenario, here are some things you should plan ahead to make your keto success unavoidable.
Tip #1: Plan your meals
Keto-friendly meals are quite unusual for the average Westerner’s diet that’s riddled with carbs and lacking protein. In other words, there’s a good chance that the meals you’re used to eat are far from ketogenic. Time to fix this.
Take your time, browse through some keto websites and save, print, or note down at least 16 keto-friendly recipes — four for each meal time (breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner). Pick the ones that sound REALLY delicious in your opinion: this will ensure you’ll be looking forward to eating these specific meals and not some easily available junk food around the corner.
Then, write down a full-blown meal plan for the whole week, from breakfast to dinner. Nurture expectation and look forward to your next keto meal.
Tip #2: Plan your shopping sessions
After writing down your menu for the week, it’s time to buy the ingredients needed. Write down all everything necessary to cook your keto meals and commit to buying only these items. Make a promise and stick to it.
Remember that grocery stores are built and filled in a way that subconsciously persuades its visitors to buy more than they initially had planned to, so stay strong and stick to the ingredients needed for your keto meals.
Whenever possible, buy in bulk. As a rule, this results in less money spent and a freezer full of keto-friendly ingredients for your next meals. Also, keep an eye on seasonal discounts and everything of the sort.
Tip #3: Plan your cooking sessions
Now, after you’ve bought everything needed, you have to actually cook the stuff. And, in case you didn’t know, this process can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on the complexity of your meals, so give yourself time to do it right.
Statistically speaking, the best time to cook your keto meals are either Saturdays or Sundays for obvious reasons.
Tip #4: Plan your containers
This might come as a no-brainer for some folks, but we’ll still say it out loud: food containers matter. If you ever find yourself in the position when the meals are cooked but you have nothing to put them into and plan your busy day ahead, it’s VERY likely that your keto diet will be compromised.
During the keto diet, food containers will be your best friends, so get used to this thought as soon as possible. A great way to dive into the whole process is to visit the MealPrepSunday subreddit.
Tip #5: First steps matter: when is the best time to go keto?
Okay, imagine this.
You’ve learned everything you need to know about the keto diet, mastered your recipes, cooked your meals beforehand, started the diet itself… And then the dreaded Keto Flu strikes.
You’re constantly tired, doing your best to stay functional with all this brain fog — and it’s Monday, with the whole working week ahead of you. Five business days in a state of lethargy, with your workload piling up on your poor shoulders.
Although not everyone catches the Keto Flu, it’s better to minimize its potential impact in case it actually falls upon you. In other words, if you have a full-time job with standard working days Monday through Friday, the best day to start keto is Friday. This way, even if you get the keto flu, you’ll have a few days to alleviate it through proper water and salt intake.
If possible, going keto while you’re on a vacation at home is even better than starting this on a Friday.
Tip #6: Plan your testing
Ketone bodies are a measurable parameter, so it’s exceptionally important that you test them regularly — at least every 1-2 weeks or so. This will allow you to adjust your diet to your body’s needs and reach ketosis as fast as physically possible in your personal case.
Planning ahead and sticking to this plan is one of the most important components of going keto. From the stage of choosing your recipes to the point of actually starting your keto die, every single phase heavily relies on how well you plan your next steps.
In other words, planning is key for success, at least when it comes to a successful ketogenic diet. Don’t underestimate it!