There is a issue with meal preparation where carnivores aren't sure how to function when on the go to ensure maintaining the diet successfully. Definitely on the first few weeks at least this can be exceptionally difficult as you try to locate what will be appealing to you and easy to travel with and have available.
What is the best way to meal prep on a carnivore diet? The most effective manner for most standard meal prepping, going to work, would be to cook a weeks worth of food at one time. Then take this food and split it up equally between the 5 days you will be away from home. This will include around and up to a pound or more of food per meal.
So lets take a minute and dig in about meal prepping and why it is very beneficial to a carnivore to plan ahead. We will also go over other travel types, like when people need to live out of a hotel, and how you can ensure you are able to continue to follow your diet without interruptions.
Why should anyone look to meal prep when I know that I can just get a burger without a bun at the fast food stand close to me? Well the reason why is because you have no control over any of the quality of the meat they use nor any additional things they add onto them.
When you meal prep you know each and every ingredient you used in the actual creation and cooking of the meals. When you are looking to be the best and get the best results the only way is to ensure you cover and understand all the variables which can't be done when you eat out.
When you travel long distances, like maybe a salesman who travels city or state to state, you have a very different set of needs to manage your meal prep. Don't get me wrong it is typically pretty easy to find a steakhouse in most cities.
The issue with that style of approach is that, while easy, those places get to be very expensive when you get a ribeye more than one time a day. When you will more than likely need two meals at a minimum this can become exorbitant on the wallet.
The benefit to these restaurants can help you through the first day in a new city to get yourself organized. After this time you should try to find some of the best options for meat heavy, lower cost options.
Worst case you can always fall back on the local burger places, preferably good places and not a McDonalds if possible, to get high quality burger patties. These burger joints are more than happy in almost all cases to sell you multiple patties, just know you may pay more as the meat is typically the most expensive thing on the plate.
The reason to avoid them is more the lower quality of meat and less is known about the ingredients they choose to include.
If you are worried about this being low in calories for you then you can always look at adding on butter to the meats to provide additional calories and energy. The last resort should be fast food joints like Wendy's, McDonald's and the like.
If you are interested and love to measure your ketones to make sure you aren't eating a lot of hidden carbs then I would suggest using a Keto Mojo.
The Keto Mojo is the measuring device I have been using for the last 2+ years to spot check my ketones and glucose to make sure I am not impacted by hidden sugars.Josh
This measuring of your ketones can also help you to determine where your ketone levels are at, which has a high effect on energy levels on carnivore.
When you travel for your job you will get used to a form of "living" in the hotel. For many this means eating out a majority of the time while you are away from home, the enemy to most diets!
Don't get me wrong there is always the option of ordering room service but the main dishes are very rarely ever a meat only choice which means you waste money on food you will throw away.
I may even suggest when you first get into town the best option may be to get room service while you adjust to the area if no other options presented themselves on the way to the hotel. This may be fine at first but costs add up very fast when you use the hotel services for food.
If you know you will be there for a longer period of time I would suggest possibly finding a hotel with a kitchenette or looking into a Air Fryer or a Pressure Cooker to allow you to quickly cook your own foods from a store you could pick up on the way home.
While that may seem over the top and maybe even silly, eating out while in an extended stay can actually be quite expensive if you don't monitor your costs up front. After a few days you will be more cost positive allowing you to save a good chunk of your money.
If you are in a kitchenette or kitchen you will have access to plates and silverware, if not grab some paper plates and some utensils from the closest grocery store or similar. Also, it is possible to just go ask the kitchen for a plate and silverware at most hotels they will give them to you.
After you cook the meat in the pressure cooker or air fryer you can lengthen the meal even more by utilizing the fridge to store the food for multiple day use. If making a large amount overall you may want to invest in some cheap plastic storage or Ziploc bags to store them.
Plastic storage-ware also helps if you want to bring food with you to your work or meetings, obviously only when you anticipate everyone staying in the office space.
Now with all this said if you are bouncing hotels over your trip it may not be feasible to transport the stuff you buy all over and it may become less feasible, when this is the plan you will need to think about everything in a different light.
When I visited Houston I went through this issue as we didn't always get to stay in the same place which meant living in multiple hotels. This was due to me working remotely during the Houston Rodeo, which is amazing and makes it super busy.
I think over the rodeo I stayed in 6 hotels over the 7 days, check in and check out was life!Josh
Basically, this forced moving from hotel to hotel while picking up single rooms for single days. Not the best way to have to live and work but I was able to make it through it successfully.
I stayed at hotels that offered real breakfasts so I ensured my food in the mornings wouldn't require preparations as they had sausage, bacon, and eggs available. This higher fat and nutrition food availability helped me to not have the ability to make a bad decision later.
Then for lunch, if you are hungry you can search out a burger place and get patties only or my choice when I am traveling is Chipotle or someplace where I can get steak and some chicken together in a simple bowl for ease of carry and eat in peace away from the restaurant.
For dinners I would always recommend finding a nice restaurant which can cook you a proper steak for a high quality piece of meat. I don't like to depend on lower quality meats when possible due to their lesser nutritional value.
If you want to be able to cut back on costs you could always take a plastic container with you to the hotel when you go to breakfast and pick up enough to bring with you for lunch. This isn't how I typically roll but I understand that Chipotle or other lunch places can get expensive fast when done each day.
If you want to do this, steer clear of liquids, as you will find many plastic containers are not as well sealed as you may expect them to be. I found an awesome bento set that is leak proof on Amazon.
One of the most straightforward things for a carnivore dieter is to eat at a restaurant, order the meat that they have on the menu. When they have multiple sizes of meat options choose the one you want based on hunger.
Typically. I choose a more fatty cut aiming to get a good ratio of fat to protein in my meal, all protein and all fat aren't good for sustained energy and nutrition. If the cuts of meat are all pretty lean then ask for butter to be served with your meat so you can add in the fat calories to the protein, especially good on something like a chicken breast.
One thing you will need to adjust to is that when you order your steak they won't give you a "discount" for not having the sides. Since I am the one making a change to their menu I don't get upset, though I know some online will be perturbed.
Don't operate from the perspective that they won't accommodate you, ask them what options exist to substitute out if you don't want any sides. Some better places may float you a little more steak, some shrimp, or other options, just don't expect it.
Also, some places may not help you out at all and may charge you for a plate on each burger patty, in this case, you need to speak nicely, try to explain to them why you are leaving and walk out. While this may sound extreme it does happen at more restaurants than you would think.
Eating lunch while on the go has some different challenges and sometimes can be the least challenging depending on where you travel and how close to the travel housing you are or from the job location.
If you know ahead of time that your day will be highly on the go then plan ahead and order enough at dinner prior or at breakfast that can carry you through the day.
I don't typically cook one meal at a time, normally I tend to create at least 2 meals as I am not a big fan of being in front of a stove AT ALL. I am, most times, one of the worst anti-cooks in the world I believe.
Honestly, I know some people hate reheated eggs, I try to avoid it but when I make a lunch prep I will take everything I can that is breakfast oriented versus lunch meats and other stuff.
Learning to prepare more than one meal at a time will help you spend far less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying life.Josh
One thing most on a carnivore diet will come to find out is you lose lunch time hunger and really will just start to prepare less lunch foods. As your body is adjusting the hunger pangs most associate with a lunch meal will dissipate.
For those who love to have warm lunches you may want to look into options for cooking food at the hotel which you could come back to. There are plenty of warming containers out there you can use to keep food warm for lengths of time easily.
One of the core benefits to cooking your own food is that you know exactly what you put into it, or maybe honestly, exactly what you don't cook it in. This in many cases can be much more preferred than finding a place to eat, especially for convenience and cost.
One thing I hate is having to eat super low quality meat that is just a step above dog food, typically places like burger joints that are super large chain restaurants which typically feature lower beef qualities which just aren't appealing.
I don't know about you but I enjoy eating in the outdoors getting some sun and fresh air, not being stuck inside under the florescent lighting. Take the time to get outside, enjoy the sun, absorb the sunshine to get that vital Vitamin D!
I have long been a proponent of cooking a whole weeks worth of meals in a single go, that started when I began keto 3 years ago as it was just easier to manage when I had everything as a grab and go option.
Now as I am busier and busier I have migrated to having breakfast be prepped also as I find myself having less time in the mornings as my daughter grows up, making meals that aren't at family time were the easiest to compress.
In meal prepping a large amount of foods I have come to love the pressure cooker and air fryer I bought and they have been worth their weight in gold in preparing more foods simultaneously. I NEVER would have said that 3 years ago... I am a changed man.
I enjoy the fact that I can throw a 4 lb. chuck roast into my Instant Pot pressure cooker, set it to 90 minutes, and have meat so tender, it can easily be cut with a fork. The reason for this love is that if you choose to cook a roast in your oven, which will easily take hours, time I simply don't have to watch cooking food in the oven.
Additionally, if you hate hard boiling eggs, or like me always have them overcook and basically be impossible to get out of the shell without looking like a ravenous animal attacked them, this is amazing!
Meal prepping is super effective in helping you eat better along with helping you stay on course without diet cheats. If you want results you simply can't cheat, and if you don't know where the next meal comes from you can be tempted so much easier.
Take time before you are planning to be out all day, for a week, or even longer as to how you can maintain your diet. Build a plan and use the plan to get the results you expect from yourself, no one needs to fail their diet, more they make the conscious decision.
If you read this far you are amazing! I would love to hear from you in the comments below if I helped you gain knowledge and useful information, additionally I would like to know if I got anything incorrect that you believe should be researched more and updated. As always to get the word out please join our new Carnivore Rx group on Facebook and share this out on social media!