The purpose of a meal plan is more than just to ensure you are sticking to the rules of the Keto diet, for it is also meant to help you control your food budget and develop the right eating habits. It might take you some time to get used to preparing a meal plan once a week or – at the very least – twice a month, but once you do, you will realize how much easier your life is. To help you get started on the Keto diet, we have devised four ideal 7-day meal plans for you using the recipes found in the succeeding chapters of this book. Notice that the meal plans call for the same types of dishes every other day. The reason for this is to help minimize the cost and time you need to prepare your Keto-friendly meals. In other words, each recipe that calls for 4 servings, for example, literally means you will be preparing up to four meals. By doing this, you would only have to cook once for four days’ worth of dinners, thus minimizing the effort you need to put into preparing your meals. With all these in mind, you should not keep food for more than 3 days inside the refrigerator and you must never reheat the food more than once. Therefore, if you are cooking for yourself, then you can halve the recipe measurements, if you like, so that you can only cook one meal for immediate serving, and another for reheating the following day or two days from the time you cooked it. Lastly, notice that the meal plans recommend at least 5 meals: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and the optional dessert. This is because eating five meals a day will prevent you from getting unhealthy cravings for the high-carb food your body was used to before you started the Keto diet. The idea is to be one step ahead of your cravings by having carefully prepared food ready and by sticking to a solid meal schedule. Try to have eat every 3 to 4 hours throughout your waking day. For instance, if you tend to pm, you can have your lunch. After that, 4:30 pm is your afternoon snack time. Dinner should be ready by 7:30 pm, followed by a dessert, if you wish. All in all, you need to remember the following guidelines when it comes to planning meals for the Keto diet: Plan your meals ahead, at least once a week. Cook in bulk to save time, energy, and money. Store prepared meals up to 3 days in the refrigerator; reheat only once. Eat five small meals per day. Maintain fixed meal times with each meal spaced 3 to 4 hours apart.

Carla Rodrigues
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