Diet & Weight Magazine

How to Stay Low Carb Or Keto When You Don’t Want to Cook

By Dietdoctor @DietDoctor1

How do you stay low carb or keto when you don't want to cook? It may be that you come home late, are tired, or that you are unexpectedly unprepared.

The options below show you how to stay low carb when you don't feel like cooking at all, or only have time for minimal cooking.

1. Drink tea or coffee

How to stay low carb or keto when you don’t want to cook

Tea or coffee is the simplest suggestion and may be just enough to curb your appetite, especially if you add plenty of heavy cream or melted butter. This may take you to your next planned meal, with no cooking.

2. Eat low-carb snacks

Fill your pantry with low carb essentials and make a platter with 1 or 2 low carb snacks instead of cooking.

  • Canned fish (tuna, salmon, sardines)
  • Variety of cheeses
  • Beef jerky, pork crackling (with no sugars or wheat)
  • Avocado
  • Nuts (Which are the best? Check out our guide.)
  • Frozen berries
  • Cream
  • Pate
  • Deli meat (off the bone)
  • Full fat yoghurt
  • Olives
  • Mayonnaise
  • Healthy oils - like olive oil - to drizzle over snacks such as mozzarella

3. Reheat leftovers

Get in the habit of making double, or even triple meals and vegetables. Freeze the leftovers. A meal is waiting, ready to reheat, when you don't want to cook. Leftovers are superb for lunches too.

4. Do minimal cooking

Boil an egg, fry a steak or buy a hot cooked chicken (without bread stuffing or sweet sauces). Add a bag of salad, a selection of cheeses and homemade mayonnaise. Dinner can be ready in 10 minutes. Get creative with salads and use your low-carb pantry essentials.

You could also use our simple keto plates, like the keto smoked salmon plate? Check them all out below:

5. Learn to love your slow cooker

How to stay low carb or keto when you don’t want to cook

If you know you will be home late but have time in the morning (or even the night before) use your slow cooker. Slow cookers are a fabulous way to cook cheaper cuts of meat into tender meals. This is easy 'set and forget' cooking.

6. Fast intermittently

How to stay low carb or keto when you don’t want to cook

Are you really hungry? Learn to understand your appetite and eat only when hungry. This may not be an option for a family but is great for individuals. And there is no faster or simpler option.

Intermittent fasting for beginners


Whilst these are simple ideas, try to be prepared so you're not in this position very often. Plan meals for the week or even few days at a time. Try to set time aside each evening to cook, or batch cook once a week.

Low-carb recipes

Please leave a comment below on how you stay low carb when you don't want to cook.


This Diet Doctor guide was written by Libby Jenkinson, a registered pharmacist, mother of 3 children, and the founder of, the leading low-carb website in New Zealand and Australia. Editing by Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt.

More guides

Visual low-carb guides

What are your best tips for how to stay low carb when you don't want to cook? Please let us know below.

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