Aaron Sta Maria
Written by Aaron Sta Maria

Reviewed by Dr Jessica Gunawan

Looking to Try Keto Diet? Here’s How to Prepare a Weekly Menu

A fast and healthy way to lose weight, find out what a keto diet is and learn different ways to build a healthy meal plan for the week.

A piece of salmon fillet, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, avocado, and oil being displayed on a marble surface

A ketogenic diet — more commonly known as a keto diet — involves consuming high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carbohydrate foods. By drastically reducing your carb intake and replacing it with fat, your body is put into ketosis. In this metabolic state, your body burns fat for energy and turns fat into ketones in the liver, supplying energy for the brain.

The primary aim of adopting this diet is to promote healthy, rapid weight loss. This diet can also improve health biomarkers that are associated with disease risk. For example, it can help to reduce blood pressure and regulate blood sugar, reduce triglycerides, and increase HDL cholesterol levels (good cholesterol). 

Here are 5 ways to prepare a hassle-free keto diet meal plan for the week. 

Choose Easy-to-Prepare Keto Recipes That Fit Your Schedule

It’s crucial to consider how much time you have available each week to prepare your meals. In addition, you should also look into the possibility of preparing meals that can cook on their own while you get other tasks done.

You should also choose recipes with ingredients you have on hand and recipes that require simple preparation or minimal ingredients. Weight gain or obesity is not just due to an unhealthy diet or a lack of physical activity but dependent on a person’s body constitution. Eu Yan Sang physician Vong U Chan says, “people who tend to gain weight more easily, so people with qi deficiency, yang deficiency, I categorize them under endomorph.” 

“For a phlegm-dampness constitution, I would categorise it as meso-endomorph. So, this group of people may be a little bit more obese. The body shape is what we call an apple shape. Their weight is mainly focused around the abdomen area. While for blood stasis, this group of people can either be skinny or obese,” adds physician Vong. In this regard, they should consider consuming foods or traditional Chinese remedies that align with the guidelines of a keto diet to promote healthy weight loss.

For instance, notoginseng (San Qi), walnuts or Chinese Angelica (Danggui) is suitable for blood stasis. Herbals like Poria mushrooms (Fu Ling), tangerine peel and white atractylodes (Bai Zhu) are keto-friendly ingredients. They can help do away with a phlegm-dampness body constitution.  

On the other hand, you can manage a qi deficiency with astragalus roots (Huang Qi). In contrast, you can include ingredients like chives, cinnamon and garlic in recipes to help with a yang deficiency. 

Prepare Your Grocery Shopping List

A young Asian couple having a light conversation in the kitchen while holding fresh produce
Doing a grocery shopping list can align your focus on getting ingredients for your keto diet meal plan.

Once you have decided on these recipes, make a shopping list of the ingredients you need for your weekly plan. Cross-check your list with items that you already have in stock to avoid making unnecessary purchases. 

Be sure to also include a chlorella supplement as part of your shopping list, as it provides several health benefits. These include the ability to purify your blood by toxin elimination, balance the body’s pH levels, increase energy levels and enhance the immune system.

Organise Your Ingredients

The storage method is one of the most overlooked yet essential components of weekly meal planning. The first step towards efficient food storage is to separate fresh foods that you need to freeze or refrigerated from dry foods. Next, write the date of storage on each packaging. 

When storing fresh foods, place the newly bought foods at the bottom or back of the compartment. You can bring older foods to the top or front. On the other hand, you should store dry foods in a dry place, such as a spice rack or drawer. 

A staple pantry, olive oil, should be one of the most fundamental to have in your repertoire of ingredients. Olive oil contains polyphenols, which is associated with reduced morbidity and a lowered risk of developing cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. It is important to note that you shouldn’t use olive oil to cook over high heat or fry foods.

Develop a Spreadsheet of Meal Ideas and Recipes

Grilled chicken fillet with fresh salad on a black plate placed on top of a wooden tray
Experimenting with different recipes is one of the best ways to inject excitement into your dietary consumption.

It will take some time before you become accustomed to preparing keto-focused meals for an entire week. During that time, you should develop a spreadsheet that consists of meal ideas and recipes.

As time progresses, your database of recipes and meal ideas will expand. Then you will be able to separate those that are delicious and easy to prepare from the ones that are downright distasteful. You may also choose to include recipes or meal ideas that use hawthorn vinegar. 

Hawthorn vinegar can give you a pleasant lingering aftertaste. It can support the practice of a keto diet by promoting healthy weight loss and encouraging antioxidant activity through its anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-thrombotic, and vasodilatory actions.

Develop Theme-Based Meals for Every Day of the Week

Consider preparing specific meals for different days of the week. This can help ensure that you’re aware of how much time it will take to prepare a week’s worth of meals. It can also help you avoid consuming the same meals every week. This is a big reason why many people fail to adhere to a diet plan. 

You should consider theme-based meals. They can give you a chance to experiment with different flavours whilst ensuring that you meet all your keto diet needs. For instance, you can work on developing meals and focus on the consumption of avocados, unsaturated and saturated oils like coconut, palm or olive oil, and red meat.

You can also throw fruits and green vegetables like blueberries, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, kale, or broccoli into the mix, albeit in lesser amounts. But you should avoid consuming grains like barley, flour, oats, and rice, as well as legumes. 

Adherence to a keto diet for weight loss or improving your well-being is dependent on your ability to remain consistent. Keep this guide on hand to help you improve your meal planning routine and do the things you want.

References

  1. US National Library of Medicine. 2020. Ketogenic Diet. [Accessed 13 July 2021]
  2. US National Library of Medicine. 2020. Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols. [Accessed 13 July 2021]
  3. Harvard T.H. Chan. Meal Prep Guide.[Accessed 10 June 2021] 
  4. Science and Education Publishing. The Metabolic Effects of Hawthorn Vinegar in Patients with High Cardiovascular Risk Group. [Accessed 13 July 2021]
  5. Harvard Health Publishing. 2020. Should you try the keto diet? [Accessed 13 July 2021]
  6. ATKINS. Helpful Tips: Ketogenic Foods to Avoid. [Accessed 13 July 2021] 

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