Meal Planning as You Go
Meal planning can be frustrating and stressful to plan when you’re on-the-go or in a time crunch. However, extensive meal planning is not necessary to find success with a keto diet. Using simple recipes, you can establish rough goals for your first meals of the day and save your calculations for dinner. Once you find a rhythm and meals that work for you, planning as you go is an effective way to eat to your macros without the stress of forethought.
Simplify Your Meals
Elaborate cooking projects that give you an exact balance of macronutrients can be stressful and time consuming. A much simpler alternative is to find or create easy-to-make meals to keep in rotation. The fewer ingredients, the better: less prep and less calculating. Read this article for tips and ideas on simple keto meals.
Eventually, you’ll find that your pantry will adapt along with you as you find meals that work best — which will take even more thought out of the process. Save the nutritional information of your regular meals and eliminate the need to calculate more than once.
Document First, Calculate Later
If calculating the nutritional value of every meal doesn’t fit into your schedule, the technique below can alleviate some of that burden. For breakfast and lunch, just jot down what you eat and save any calculation for dinnertime. This way, you can figure out exactly what you’ll need to meet your macros with your last meal of the day and save yourself a lot of work.
Come up with a rough calorie target for the first half of the day. If your daily goal is 1400kcals and you find that you can’t eat a dinner smaller than 600kcals without still feeling hungry, shoot for eating about 800kcals by the end of lunch.
Document what you eat, but don’t worry too much about getting exactly the right macro balance.
At dinnertime, you can assess what you’ll need to eat to reach your total goal for the day. If the meal you’re cooking is simple, the adjustments can be simple too. Using whichever tool you use to calculate and track, tweak your menu before you begin cooking until it’s just right for your macros.
Some foods lend themselves to this more easily than others. Sauteed Keto Intelligence-approved veggies are great for this, as it’s easy and delicious to add more fat to your skillet to meet your macros. It may take a bit to find a balance for your particular plan, but eating to a rough calorie goal for two meals (with keto-approved foods, of course!) is much easier than extensive planning for every single meal.
Meeting Your Macros with “Fat Bombs”
Sometimes, at the end of the day, you’ll realize you have a long way to go before you hit your fat macro — more than you can include in one meal given that you may be nearing your carb and protein macros. In these cases, try experimenting with some high-fat dishes, or “fat bombs.” Heavy cream is a very flexible ingredient and can be used in a variety of ways. Alternatively, if you are a coffee drinker, start taking your coffee with heavy cream for an early morning fix. If you’d like a resource for fat bomb recipes, try this book: A Year of Fat Bombs by Elizabeth Jane.
Lives, schedules, and commitments are different for different people. Likewise, solutions look different for everyone. If you need some help or suggestions, please let us know in your daily log or by email. Also, if you have some personal successes with meal planning, feel free to share them with us!