Meal prep is a “MUST” for anyone following any type of WOE, not just low carb.
Why? Let’s say you have a late day at the office. You get home around 8pm. Are you going to whip something up from scratch at 8pm and eat at 9pm?
Or are you going to call your favorite takeout place and go take a shower while you wait for them to bring you your food?
Taking a few hours out on the weekend to create a meal plan and cook your food will not only save you money, but it will help you to follow the WOE of your choice.
Things to remember:
- Guidelines – Always keep in mind your WOE basic nutritional guidelines. If you are on Atkins Induction, remember not to go over 20 grams of carbs. If you are following the Dukan diet remember to pick foods from the Dukan 100 approved foods list. ETC. Also keep in mind there are places online that you can buy meal plans.
- Variety. You don’t want to eat the same thing daily. I like to make 2 or 3 different things for breakfast, 2 – 3 meats for lunch / dinner (usually chicken, pork, beef) and 1 low carb dessert that can be kept in the freezer if I’m not in the mood for a dessert.
- If you don’t want to spend a lot of time planning a menu or cooking on the weekend, consider just making your proteins over the weekend. It is much easier to make a side dish of veggies after a long day at work.
- Containers. You can use meal prep containers or if you like to mix and match, consider buying a lot of small to medium-sized “see-through” containers. You should be able to easily see what is in each container. Or label the containers. If I make a lot of chicken or beef at one time. I like to label the container with masking tape with what it is and what the date is that I made it.
- Freezing your meals – consider freezing your meals. They will last longer than being stored in the refrigerator. I store lunch, dinner, and desserts in the freezer. Breakfast I keep in the refrigerator. I freeze desserts so that I have to defrost them to eat them, this keeps me from overindulging with my favorite low carb lemon tarts!
- Vegetables– they will only stay good a few days if you keep them in the refrigerator.
What to do if you didn’t meal plan and you are forced to eat out
If you’re constantly worried about which foods you can and can not eat, dieting can be stressful. Eating out while dieting can be a nightmare. Eating out on a low carb diet is the opposite. It is quite easy to accommodate food from just about any cuisine at any given restaurant to match the low carb way of eating.
Just remembering three things will keep you on track when you eat out:
- Become an expert in your WOE. Know what you can eat, and what to avoid!
- Plan ahead! – go online and look at the restaurants’ menu and choose what you will order. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call the restaurant to ask them how they prepare their food. Ask them if substitutions are available and free!
- Don’t give into temptation! If they bring bread to the table, tell them you don’t need it and send it back to the kitchen!
If it helps, consider your low carb diet the same as anyone that requires a special diet for a medical condition. Some foods you will just have to avoid. But there are plenty of good food that you will be able to enjoy!