1. KEEP YOUR MEALS SIMPLE
When you’re just starting out, the most important tip is to keep things simple. The best way to start keto* for beginners is to think simple with macro nutrients (protein, carbs and fats). Cook up your favorite quality protein, whip up some lower carb veggies and add good-for-you fats. Here are some great examples for each:
- Pick your protein: Chicken, beef, pork, turkey, fish, seafood, protein powder, tofu, eggs, etc.
- Pick a (lower-carb) veggie: Cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc.
- Add good-for-you fats: Avocados and avocado oil, extra-virgin olive oil, tahini, nuts and seeds, etc.
2. ORGANIZE YOUR KITCHEN
When starting any new eating plan, it’s really important to get organized before you begin. Ensure you have the kitchen essentials to make your eating plan that much more convenient for you. Here’s a list of the top keto*-friendly kitchenware items to keep on hand!
- Storage containers
- Large reusable glassware with lids for salads and leftovers
- Small reusable containers for portable snacks
- Reusable rubber bags to store your prepped food items conveniently and sustainably
- Portion control measuring items
- Measuring spoons & measuring cups
- Can opener
- Citrus juicer
- Kitchen scale
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting boards
3. STOCK YOUR FRIDGE
Once you’ve organized your kitchen, it’s time to restock the necessities of a keto*-friendly diet. Here are a few fridge items you’ll want to keep on hand:
- Full-fat dairy (cheese, heavy cream, plain Greek yogurt, Ratio Food KETO* Friendly Dairy Snacks)
- Good-for-you fats (avocado oil, extra-virgin olive oil and tahini)
- Leafy greens (lettuce, spinach and kale)
- Low-carb fruit (avocados, raspberries and coconuts)
- Low-carb vegetables (broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower and asparagus)
- Meat (lean beef, lamb and pork)
- Poultry (chicken and turkey)
- Seafood (fatty fish like salmon and shellfish)
4. PREP YOUR PANTRY
Once you’ve stocked your fridge, it’s time to get your pantry in order. Some items are higher in carbs than others on this list, a reminder that you don’t have to give up carbs entirely on a keto*-friendly diet. Modify the list, and choose items to add to your cart that suit your personal keto*-friendly diet goals:
- Herbs & spices (pepper, Italian seasoning, dried basil, dill and cinnamon)
- Low-carb condiments (mayo, hot sauce and mustard)
- Nuts & seeds (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds)
- Sugar-free sweeteners (erythritol, monk fruit and allulose)*
- Low-carb flours (almond flour, coconut flour and flaxseed meal)
- Sugar-free beverages (water, coffee and tea)
- Quick keto-friendly snacks (Ratio Food KETO* Friendly Bars, Granola and Cereal)
*For those sensitive to these style of sweeteners, keep your preferred sugar source (like honey, maple or date and agave syrups) on hand. Use as needed to flavor recipes.
5. PLAN AND PREP YOUR MEALS
The key to any successful eating plan is meal planning and prepping. And when practicing a low-carb lifestyle like the ketogenic diet, planning your meals ahead of time is crucial. Some people plan meals a week at a time while others just plan a day ahead. Some choose a day and prep their main proteins and veggies, while others may find prepping them before cooking works best for their lifestyle.
Planning and prepping your meals might feel difficult and time consuming at first, but the most important thing you can do is find what method works best for you and your lifestyle. One method that tends to work for many keto* followers is the build-your-own (BYO) concept of meal planning. Simply choose two or three meals that have similar ingredients so you can cook once and eat twice, customizing as you go.
This could look like prepping chicken, two veggies, and two sauces on Sunday so it’s ready to go for the week. Turn the cooked chicken into a Cauliflower Rice Chicken Enchilada Bowl with the ingredients you have for dinner on Monday and a Buffalo Chicken Salad on Wednesday. The possibilities are really endless (and customizable) when you plan and prep ahead!
6. LEARN YOUR PORTION SIZES
As you start to become a meal-prepping pro, you’ll begin to feel what the proper portion sizes are for you and your nutritional needs. But to help you portion things out at first, get yourself a kitchen scale, measuring cups and measuring spoons. You don’t have to be militant about measuring, but simply learning what a true tablespoon of nut butter or 1/3 cup of rice looks like is helpful for the long run.
Here’s another tip to try: When prepping quick snacks, try to put together snack portions that are only a few grams of total net carbs. This will make it so much easier to grab and go without exceeding your daily carb goal. These snacks could include things like deli meat, hard-boiled eggs, cubes of cheese, yogurt and raw vegetables for crunching or even dipping in your yogurt.
Choosing the right snacks will keep you fueled and ready to hit your goals. Discover a wide range of tasty KETO*-Friendly Snacks from Ratio Food.
7. LOOK FOR KETO-FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVES WHEN EATING OUT
When cooking for yourself, you have full control over your portion sizes. But you won’t always have the time to cook every meal at home. So, when you’re heading out to a restaurant, try looking up the menu online beforehand. This will help you spot keto*-friendly meal possibilities so you’re not overwhelmed when the server comes to your table.
When it comes to ordering, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Asking for minor meal changes might feel like a major inconvenience, but most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate.
For example: Ask for your burger wrapped in lettuce versus a bun. Ask the server if they can bring the meat without the sauce (or put it on the side). Or see if you can substitute extra broccoli and cauliflower for potatoes. And if all else fails, just ask the waitstaff what low-carb or keto-friendly menu options they would recommend.
KETO-FRIENDLY SNACKS FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE
No matter what your ketogenic diet plan looks like, don’t forget that the snacks you choose to eat matter just as much as the meals. Discover a wide range of delicious KETO*-friendly snacks from Ratio Food.
*Always consult your physician before starting an eating plan that involves regular consumption of high-fat foods.