The most important thing you can do to stay on track and save time, money and frustration with Banting can be summed up in two words:
By planning your Banting meals a few days ahead of time and making a detailed shopping list for each meal, you’ll be shopping only for the ingredients you need, and will be less tempted to pick up “extras” – these extras can really add up!
You’ll also be far less likely to waste food, as everything you buy is needed in one recipe or another. It’s also incredibly stress-relieving to have a meal plan. Knowing your dinner is already simmering in the slow cooker means far less worry during your workday, and far less temptation to call for pizza when you get home hungry and cranky.
The Banting Meal Planning Plan
Habit and change research shows that the best plans are detailed, yet not so long-reaching that they become overwhelming. Planning too far in advance (like a whole month of meals) is a lot of work, and what if you don’t feel like steak two weeks from Tuesday?
Planning for the next three to seven days is perfect…
You’re not expending effort thinking about what you’ll eat every single day, but it’s not so long that you feel married to the plan. It also helps your brain achieve some “small wins” quickly – successfully navigating your first few days of Banting meals is just the kind of milestone that gives you the self-confidence to keep going.
Base the number of days you’ll plan for on how often you can go to the grocery store; and how flexible you want to be with your food choices and your budget. After you’ve decided which meals to make, you can turn that into a detailed shopping list.
Pro Tip: To make creating your own meal plans and shopping list easier, get the Banting Meal Planner, or another low carb or keto App.
Look At Your Calendar
Check your calendar to get a feel for your week. Have a weeknight activity? Plan on a slow cooker meal or leftovers. Have an open day? Try something fancy and fun! Don’t forget about the rest of the family’s schedules! Especially if you are the one doing all the cooking.
Look At The Weather
Check out the weather for the coming week. Make meals that coincide with the weather. Is it going to be cold and rainy on a specific day? Make soup. Is it going to be really hot on a specific day? Make a salad or braai outside.
How To Put Your Weekly Banting Meal Plan Together
With a better idea of what your schedule and the weather is going to be like for the coming week, it’s time to fill in your meals!
Step 1: Stay On Track – Focus On Just One Banting Phase
Each phase has it’s own meal planning quirks, limitations, and challenges. Refresh your memory about the Banting Diet Phases HERE! Or use the table below.
Step 2: Choose Your Dinners
Head to your cookbooks, favourite banting blogs, or Pinterest for recipe inspiration.
Start filling in dinners first. Choose your protein (main dish recipe) and then the sides you want to prepare for each day. Doing this is fun when you are using the Banting Meal Planner App. Simply filter the recipes by Banting list and/or Banting phase. Click Add To Schedule, and you’re done.
Step 3: Choose Your Lunches
Fill in lunches after dinners so you can jot in “leftovers” if it applies. Or plan to meal prep your weekday lunches on Sunday.
Step 4: Choose Your Breakfasts
We love simple breakfasts. I’m 100% fine with scrambled eggs or fried eggs and either bacon or sausage for breakfast every day. But if you want to get fancier, go for it!
Step 5: Fill In Your Extras
This is where you’ll add in additional food to have on hand that wasn’t covered in recipe ingredients. Add in some fruits, vegetables, snacks, etc.
Step 6: Make Your Grocery List
After everything is filled out, go through and make your grocery list. If you are using The Banting Meal Planner App you can do this with a few clicks.. If not, you’ll have to check your recipes and list the ingredients you need that you don’t already have.
Step 7: Plan For Grocery Shopping Too
You should have a plan for grocery shopping, too!
First, give yourself plenty of time to grocery shop, especially if it’s a pre-Banting “stock your kitchen” kind of outing. Don’t go into the store thinking you’ll be out in your usual 20 minutes – reading labels and finding banting-friendly green and orange list ingredients takes time.
If you have kids, leave them at home if you can. Dedicating an hour alone to shop at your leisure will reduce any stress you might be feeling, and give you the chance to practise some of these guidelines before you shop again with kids in tow.
If your partner or spouse wants to shop and learn with you, even better – unless you’re afraid they’ll behave like a toddler, in which case you should probably leave them home, too. icon-smile-o
Tips For Planning Banting Meals
Breakfast is all about simplicity. Nobody wants to spend an hour making breakfast before work, and we’re not going to suggest you do that either! You want to do something that’s quick, easy, and tasty.
If you don’t have time for making breakfast in the morning, do the eggs the night before, let them cool down, and refrigerate. Pop them in the microwave the following morning for a quick 5-minute breakfast.
- Eggs – prepared any style, or
- Omelet – with ingredients.
- High-fat coffee or tea.
- Macro-balanced smoothie.
One more thing, who said breakfast has to be cereal, or pap, and juice. Shift your mindset around breakfast by making typical dinner meals, and lunch salads for breakfast.
Keep your lunches simple too. Most of the time, lunch will be salad and leftover meat, slathered in high-fat dressings and calling it a day. Don’t get too rowdy here. You can use leftover meat from previous nights or use easy accessible canned chicken/fish. If you do use canned meats, try to read the labels and get the one that uses the least (or no) additives!
You can also add herbs, spices, and seasonings to your salad to your liking. Just be careful with onion and garlic powder, but most other spices in small amounts have negligible carbs.
- Dinner leftovers, or
- Salad – leafy greens, colourful veggies, nuts, protein, dressing.
Put most of your meal planning effort into planning your dinners. Pick recipes and meals that are Banting green and orange friendly. (Our meal planning app makes doing this a breeze.)
Base your dinners on a combination of leafy greens and nutrient-dense vegetables with some meat. Again, go high on the fat and moderate on the protein.
- Protein and lots of vegetables with saturated fats.
Try to omit snacks, but if you feel hungry between meals in the first week or two, a hard-boiled egg is the best snack. Make them ahead and keep them in the refrigerator for immediate use.
- Hard-boiled eggs.
- Berries – strawberries are best.
- Dark chocolate – 80-85%.
- Fish – sardines in oil.
- Nuts – macadamias or pecans.