Everyone has heard of the Keto diet and its potential benefits. Following a keto diet means eating super low-carb, high in fat, or rich in protein foods and there are many different keto recipes you can make at home that are super delicious. But if we’re being honest, many of these recipes can take a little extra time to prepare and when you’re on the go, this can be a bit of a hassle.
Luckily, there are plenty of healthy, tasty, and simple keto recipes that you can prepare ahead of time to make it easier for you when you’re in a hurry. So if you’re looking for some healthy keto lunch recipes to make quickly and easily on the go, we’ve got you covered.
To talk about the pros and cons of the keto diet, we must start by explaining what makes a Keto meal. The keto diet has been around since the 1920s but has gained enormous popularity in recent years. Initially, it proved effective in reducing seizures in children with epilepsy. Some doctors still prescribe this type of diet for the same purpose, while today it has become popular as a method to lose weight.
The keto diet consists of eliminating carbohydrates and eating more saturated fat. It suggests getting 75% of your calories from fat such as unprocessed nuts, oils, butter, and avocado, 20% of calories from proteins like eggs, meats, and cheese, and only 5% calories from carbohydrates like non-starchy and low-carb vegetables, and some leafy greens. The keto diet excludes carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread, pasta, grains, beans, fruits, and starchy vegetables.
Following this type of diet, after a certain time, causes the body to activate a mechanism called ketosis when your body begins to burn fat instead of carbs for energy.
As with any diet, there are both pros and cons to adopting a Keto lifestyle.
The keto diet includes some types of high-fat foods that many people enjoy, such as fatty fish, red meat, cheese, nuts, and butter, while still losing weight. This is one of the reasons why this diet has become so popular.
Weight reduction on the keto diet isn’t just a result of the fat burned through ketosis, but also comes from reducing calorie intake by eliminating certain food groups. In addition, people who follow keto diets report they feel less hungry than with other types of restrictive diets. This is because the keto diet is high in fat and fatty foods take longer to break down in the body.
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High-performance athletes and bodybuilders often use this diet to eliminate fat in short time frames. In addition to reducing seizures in patients with epilepsy, the keto diet is currently under study to determine its effectiveness in alleviating certain symptoms of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. However, much more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits. To find out more about how to eat healthy when traveling follow this link.
With its heavy restrictions, the keto diet can deprive the body of certain vitamins, minerals, and fibers that come from some legumes, fresh fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. The deficiency of these nutrients in the body, especially in the early stages of the keto diet, can lead some people to feel tired and drowsy, a symptom known as “the keto flu.” The lack of fiber in this diet can also lead some people to suffer from constipation.
Ketosis can be somewhat challenging to achieve, like turning a switch on or off. People who generally manage to stay in ketosis are those who closely monitor their dietary intake. But, the truth is that the only way to know if you are in ketosis is through a blood test. The strict restriction margins imposed by the keto diet make it somewhat difficult to stick to it completely. This can lead to yo-yo dieting. In addition to this, the healthier versions of the ketogenic diet are often quite expensive, even inaccessible.
It can be a mistake to track your food intake too closely since you run the risk of disconnecting from what your body asks for. When you use external numbers to determine what to eat instead of listening to what your body tells you, you can negatively impact yourself, such as psychological stress, guilt, or shame. Excessive restrictions in eating can lead to bingeing, and then a return to restrictions, which can create a cycle that is not healthy for the body.
Some people may experience dehydration when they are on a keto diet as this diet removes glycogen, which retains water from the bloodstream. Additionally, reports suggest that kidney disease patients who follow a keto diet may increase their risk of requiring dialysis due to the additional ketones that their renal system must process.
The high-fat nature of the keto diet could hurt heart health. While doctors recommend keeping your saturated fat intake between 5% to 6%, the keto diet raises your intake a lot more than that. Although fighting fire with fire can work for certain periods, there is also evidence showing an increase in the blood fat or lipid profile in patients following a keto diet after 6 to 8 weeks. This can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
To make the keto diet work for you, the first thing to do is define how you want it to work. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process in the body that can lead to several health benefits. During ketosis, the body converts fat into ketones to use them as an energy source. Some studies show that diets that promote ketosis can promote appetite suppression and be beneficial for weight loss. There is also evidence to suggest that ketosis can help with type 2 diabetes and some neurological disorders.
Reaching a state of ketosis requires planning and work and is a bit more complex than simply cutting carbohydrates out of your diet.
Here are a few things you can do to make the keto diet work for you:
If your purpose for adopting a keto diet is to lose weight, you should know that monitoring your calorie count is just as important as eliminating carbohydrates. The keto diet is effective for weight loss because people who eat this way end up eating far fewer calories than before without even realizing it. It doesn’t matter so much how many grams of fat you eat or how much you restrict carbs, the key to a keto diet is to reach a caloric deficit. The keto diet allows you to eat fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its weight while filling you up and avoiding hunger for longer. If you have been on the keto diet for a while and you do not see results or feel stuck at some point, you may need to adjust your lifestyle and your way of eating to enter a caloric deficit and thus begin to lose weight.
To stay in ketosis, you must eat very low-carb foods. This can be tricky, so it’s good to keep track of the card index of the food you want to eat since some healthy foods such as fruits also come with a load of sugars and carbohydrates. To enjoy the benefits of eating satiating foods and staying in ketosis, we recommend keeping your carb intake below 20g per day. Ideally, you should avoid foods such as tubers, fruits, sugars, and grains or cereals. There are a lot of foods that you can eat and delicious recipes that you can prepare with ingredients such as meats, high-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, low-carb vegetables, avocado, and berries. You can use sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit and can also consume other types of fat such as saturated fat, high-fat salad dressings, and coconut oil. Coconut oil can help ketosis as it contains MCTs or medium-chain triglycerides that can quickly enter the liver and be converted into energy or converted into ketones.
Data suggests that we underestimate how many calories we eat and that the difference between the estimated calorie intake versus the actual calorie intake is quite significant. You may think you are eating much less than before, but you could be gaining weight. The best way to avoid weight loss plateaus or feeling as though the keto diet isn’t working is to use a calorie tracking app and consistently weigh yourself. This way, you can be more careful about what you eat, and you will have the information you need to start losing weight steadily.
We should not downplay or ignore the impact our food environment can have on our diet and progress. Even with the best calorie tracker app and the best scale, it’s tempting to cheat your diet, especially if you have easy access to cheat foods at home. To help yourself stick to your diet and avoid cravings, you can do the following:
Try to have only keto-friendly food in your house or wherever you stay. Hunger doesn’t care if the food in front of you is keto or not. For this reason, try to have only healthy and keto-friendly foods in your pantry or foods that require some type of preparation or effort to eat. In this way, cheat meals will be less tempting, and you will end up consuming fewer calories.
Plan your meals ahead of time. Having a plan is an excellent way to avoid temptations and cravings. If you’re traveling, make sure you pack snacks, pre-made meals, other keto-friendly options, and a plan that provides only the nutrients you need.
Avoid convenient foods or those that can cause you to binge. When food is convenient and tasty, we will generally be inclined to eat more of it. Therefore try to avoid such foods. Even keto-friendly ice cream or keto bake goods. Anything you eat in excess, no matter if it’s keto, can affect your progress.
Eat only food that you measure and track. Try not to stray too far from the food you measure and track, as it is crucial to keep track of your macronutrients. If you add a little extra oil, cheese, meat, etc. it may end up taking you to the point where you gain back the weight you’ve lost.
Eventually, you’ll get used to the keto diet as your new lifestyle. By consistently applying these strategies, your brain and body will choose healthy foods naturally. This will make it much easier to lose weight than gain it back.
One of the most underrated diet tips is to use social support to your advantage. Sharing your struggles, questions, concerns, and accomplishments can make it much easier for you to stick to the diet and get the results you want.
When you go from a non-carb-limiting diet to a ketogenic diet, many changes will occur in your body that may be difficult to deal with at first. This happens due to the rapid loss of fluid and minerals such as sodium. As a result, many people starting a keto diet experience flu-like symptoms, known as the keto-flu. Some of the symptoms you may feel are:
- Sugar cravings
- Mental fogginess
- Stomach aches
- Poor attention and concentration.
- Muscle pain
Fortunately, most of these symptoms go away by drinking plenty of water, supplementing electrolytes, and eating mineral-rich foods.
Now that you know what foods to eat to follow an effective keto diet, it is best to eat at home and prepare your food whenever you can. In this way, you will be able to better control the nutrients and calories you eat, which will allow you to obtain better results.
Many people believe that the keto diet is too expensive, but the truth is that this is more a myth than reality. The truth is, you can cover an entire day’s worth of keto meals for less than $8. It all depends on the strategies you use to buy and the places where you buy the ingredients. You can also use coupons, look for deals, make keto recipes that last for more than one meal, among other things. By using the right strategies, you will be able to cut costs and stay keto without breaking the bank. If you play your cards right, the keto diet will end up being cheaper than your previous diet.
Weight loss on the keto diet can become unpredictable after the first week. The number of calories you will eat daily can vary, resulting in weight loss that does not follow a strict pattern. Some weeks you may lose a lot of weight, others not so much. The key to long-term weight loss is sticking to the plan, not getting discouraged, and most of all, being patient. You can help yourself in this process by trying intermittent fasting. You can also track your food and calorie intake. Trying to stay in a caloric deficit and calculating your macronutrient needs each month can also help you remain consistent with your ketogenic diet. If these strategies don’t work at all, you may have a food allergy, or one of the foods you’re eating contains more carbs than you think. In that case, try to read the labels of the products you eat thoroughly.
The main benefit of healthy keto lunches on the go is that they allow you to continue your keto diet no matter where you go or if you don’t have much time to stop for lunch. Plus, eating this way will leave you feeling energized and ready to tackle the rest of the activities you have to do. When the body enters ketosis, it begins to trigger a series of potentially beneficial effects on health, such as:
The ketogenic diet may improve metabolism and promote weight loss in several ways. Evidence shows that the ketogenic diet may reduce the production of hormones that stimulate hunger.
Some studies suggest that the ketones generated during the keto diet could have neuroprotective properties, which strengthen and protect brain cells.
This is one of the oldest uses of the keto diet. The Epilepsy Foundation suggests that ketosis might reduce seizures in people with epilepsy, especially those who do not respond to other treatments. A 2019 study supports the theory that the keto diet could help people with epilepsy by reducing some symptoms through varying mechanisms. However, more research is still needed to validate these beliefs fully.
Although acne has various causes, it could be directly related to diet and blood sugar levels. Diets high in processed and refined carbs can upset the balance of gut bacteria, causing blood sugar to rise and fall significantly. These variations could negatively affect the health of the skin. There is evidence suggesting that lowering carb intake on the keto diet may help reduce acne symptoms in some people.
The effects of the ketogenic diet on the human body could help prevent or help treat some types of cancer. Evidence indicates that the keto diet causes more oxidative stress in cancer cells than in normal cells, inducing the death of harmful cells. This evidence suggests that the keto diet may be safe and complementary to use in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation therapy in people with certain types of cancer. Another study suggests that the keto diet may reduce the risks of complications from insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar and links to certain cancer types. Although there is evidence that the ketogenic diet may have some benefits for cancer treatment, researchers need to conduct more studies to fully understand the potential benefits of the ketogenic diet concerning cancer prevention and treatment.
This can be relative and depends on the food choices made by the person following the keto diet. There is evidence suggesting that avoiding unhealthy fats like bacon or pork rind and eating healthy fats like avocado may lower cholesterol and improve heart health. Other studies on animals and humans showed a significant drop in total cholesterol levels, LDL or bad cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and an increase in HDL cholesterol, or good cholesterol. The keto diet can reduce the risks of heart complications due to its effects on cholesterol levels. Either way, the research concludes that the positive effects of a keto diet on heart health depend mainly on the quality of the diet. That’s why it’s vital to eat nutritionally balanced and healthy foods when following a keto diet.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder that leads to excessive male hormones, ovarian cysts, and ovarian dysfunction. High-carb diets could negatively affect people with PCOS, such as weight gain and skin problems. A 2005 study found that the keto diet could improve PCOS markers such as weight loss, hormone balance, ratios of luteinizing hormone, or LH, to follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH, and fasting insulin levels. Another study from 2019 suggests that the keto diet may have some benefits for people with hormonal disorders such as PCOS and type 2 diabetes. However, these studies are not specific enough to recommend the keto diet as a general treatment for PCOS.
Preparing your food at home can go a long way in helping you maintain your required daily nutrient goals when following a keto diet. You can make your daily meal preparation easier by preparing ahead of time for cooking and eating time.
Whether you are a seasoned keto home cook or just a keto enthusiast, there are always a few things you can do to save money and time and avoid the hassle and exhaustion of meal prep. This way, you make the process of preparing food more enjoyable, which can help you stick to your diet, reach your goals, and cultivate better habits in the long run. To get prep for healthy keto lunches when you are on the go, you can do the following:
Entering the kitchen with a clear idea of what you will prepare can save you a lot of time. Before you start cooking and even going to the store to buy the ingredients, choose which recipes you want to prepare so you have a clear idea of what you will need. After you have your ingredients, you can do two pre-production steps that will make your lunch hours much easier:
Cook keto recipes in batches. This involves cooking entire keto recipes in large batches, dividing them into individual meals, and storing them in the freezer or fridge for reheating later.
Bulk prepping keto ingredients. You can cook individual keto-friendly ingredients separately, like keto proteins, low-carb vegetables, high-fat sauces, and then portion these ingredients to build your meals for the week.
Whichever food and method you choose to prep, cook, and portion your meals in advance will save you a lot of time, money and sharpen your cooking skills.
Mise en place is a French term that means “everything in its place” and is vital for meal prep. Practicing mise en place means organizing all the ingredients and utensils in your kitchen before you start cooking. Try washing and cutting all the vegetables and herbs, marinating the proteins, preparing the sauce, or locating the seasonings that you will use. Use the mise en place time to organize yourself and ensure that you have all the ingredients you need to carry out your recipes. In this way, you will make it easier for yourself when cooking. After cooking, let your preparations cool and then portion ahead of time for easy-to-heat portions throughout the week.
Regardless of whether you’re prepping for the entire week or just for your next lunch, it’s essential to get quality meal prep containers. Try to get containers of the right style and size for the preparation you wish to store. Get some containers with individual dividers and also large containers for prep ingredients for your meals.
Now that you know what you need to plan your keto diet and everything you need to prepare your keto lunches, it’s time for some keto lunch preparation ideas for when you are on the go.
Give a tasty and creamy twist to your usual salmon with this exquisite recipe for salmon patties, and give it that extra flavor with a spicy and vibrant chimichurri sauce. To prepare this tasty recipe for keto salmon patties, you need the following:
- 16 ounces of fresh salmon.
- Spray oil.
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 1.5 tablespoons flax seeds, ground.
- 1 cup onion, in small cubes, sauteed.
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic.
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup of liquid whole eggs.
- 4 tablespoons of chimichurri sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the onions into squares and sauté in a pan over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until caramelized. Stir constantly and sprinkle with a bit of water if needed to help caramelize. Take a bowl and add the chopped parsley and ground flax seeds. If you don’t have ground flaxseed, grind the flaxseed in a food processor.
- Use your hands to break the salmon into smaller pieces. Then put the salmon in your processor and pulse a couple of times until it is in the form of a paste. Add the liquid eggs, avocado oil, ground flax seeds, granulated garlic, and chopped parsley to the processor. Season with a bit of salt and black pepper, pulse a couple of times to integrate the mixture of your salmon patties, and then transfer the mixture to a bowl.
- Separate the mixture into 4.2 oz portions and shape your patties by rolling each portion into balls and then pressing them to make the patty shape. Now transfer the patties to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, and then place 5 minutes under a broiler, so your patties are crusty and golden brown. You can serve them immediately or wait for them to cool completely before storing them.
- Add the chimichurri sauce as close to when you will eat the patties as possible. Add a tablespoon of chimichurri to each patty, and voila! Ready to eat!
This is a super simple keto recipe that allows you to prepare your favorite staple healthily by combining low-carb flour and a source of high fat, the perfect combination for a keto lunch prep. To prepare this rich keto chicken recipe, you need:
- 4-3 oz (12 oz total) chicken breasts
- 2 cups avocado oil, for shallow frying
- 2 whole eggs beaten.
- 3/4 cup of almond flour.
- 4 tablespoons of grated mozzarella cheese.
- 1.5 cups Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon of oregano.
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder.
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste.
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder.
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red bell pepper (optional)
- 4 tablespoons Romesco sauce.
- Set the oven to preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the breast into a butterfly shape by cutting crosswise in half one piece of chicken at a time, then season both sides with black pepper and salt.
- Heat the avocado oil in a skillet over low heat until it reaches 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Break the eggs into a bowl and mix. Take another bowl and add the almond flour. In a different bowl, mix the Parmesan, mozzarella, and spices. Coat the chicken with almond flour, then with the beaten egg, and then with the cheese and spice mixture. Set aside for a moment on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- After you cover the chicken, carefully place it over the hot oil. Fry each side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. After searing each side of the chicken breast, transfer them to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 7 to 8 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
This keto taco casserole recipe is likely to become your new favorite Tex-Mex lunch prep dish. Casseroles are one of the tastiest and easiest ways to prepare low-carb, one-pan meals and help you get everything set up for quick weekday lunches. To prepare this delicious keto taco casserole you need:
- 16 ounces of ground beef.
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup cauliflower rice, uncooked
- 1 cup zucchini, sliced
- 1/4 cup beef or chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon of oregano
- 1 to 2 cup sauce
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of taco seasoning.
- 2 cups of grated cheese
- 1 teaspoon cumin
To serve (optional):
- 1 cup of sauce.
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup of sour cream.
- Gather all the ingredients and cut the vegetables you will use for this recipe. Cut the zucchini and cut the onion and red pepper into small cubes.
- Mix ground beef with chopped onion and taco seasoning. You can add other seasonings like onion powder or chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro if you like.
- You can make this saucepan in two different ways. You can combine all the vegetables with the meat and mix them, or you can make two layers by layering the meat mixture first, then topping with sauce, vegetables, cheese, and then repeat. Then put more cheese on top, and you can add sliced jalapeños if you like. Take the pan to the preheated oven and let it cook for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is golden and melted.