How to Plan Low Carb Meals

Eating a low carb mealLow carb meals can be some of the tastiest and satisfying meals you can make, when you know how to plan them. Following a low carbohydrate food plan doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor or walking around feeling hungry all day. There are several different types of diet, so they can be tailored to fit your tastes, making it way easier to stick with the plan.

When starting out, you’ll need to figure out exactly what low-carb means, so you’ll know what you can and can’t eat. Then you can choose the diet that’s right for you, with the added benefit that you know you will enjoy what you eat. Eating low carb means restricting your daily carbohydrate intake. So you will eliminate the foods that are highest in starch and sugar. These foods include bread, pasta, rice, sugar, potatoes and even some fruits such as bananas which are high on the glycemic index (having more natural sugars in them than others).

That may seem like a large group of foods that you can’t eat. However there is still plenty you can eat that will help you feel full and will taste real good. Examples of foods you can eat include eggs, avocado, poultry, meats, fish, olive oil, cheese, and most vegetables. Seasoning vegetables like garlic and onions are usually fine, and spices are allowed in unlimited amounts so you can pack every bite with flavor.

So how do low carb meals help you lose weight? Well, these specific foods let your body use fat for fuel, instead of storing excess calories as fat. That’s what happens when you eat sugary, floury foods. So eating this way can leave you slimmer, with better muscle tone and more energy. These are the benefits that most people shoot for when reducing their food intake.

Now is the time to choose your plan. You can pick either a high fat low carb diet or a low fat low carb diet. Whichever one you choose you will still have a large range of choices. However, with the low fat, low carb plan you will have to stick with lean meats without skin, cook everything in less oil, and use low fat dairy foods. This is likely to leave you feeling hungrier through the day, which makes it harder to stick with the plan.

So for most people, unless you can keep up a high level of motivation, it’s better to eat more fat. This doesn’t mean you have to slather everything in butter. But you eat the delicious crisp skin of roast chicken, the rind on the bacon, and have full fat cheese.

After you choose a plan you can start finding recipes for some tasty low carb meals. Breakfast is easy because you can have eggs, bacon, sausage or whatever you like. (Check that there is no flour or other added high carbohydrate ingredients in your sausage.) Lunch could be a salad with some delicious dressing, chicken and avocado. For dinner, pick something that tastes really good and will fill you up. Otherwise you may get hungry in the night and wander out to the kitchen to snack, which can really sabotage your diet – although even this is okay if you are sure to snack on low carb foods.

Another good choice for lunch, or for an appetizer at dinner time, is a simple soup. Packaged soups contain lots of carbs and tons of sodium, so you’ll need to avoid those. But you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make a home made soup that reduces the carbs without losing any flavor.

Start by making a chicken stock: boil water and left over chicken bones in a pot, then reduce and cover, letting it simmer for 30 minutes. Once it’s done, drain it to remove the bones, then add your choice some low carb vegetables, like peppers or mushrooms, and cook again until they are done. You can either blend it all together in a food processor, or leave the vegetables chunky. To make it into a full lunch meal, add some cooked chicken in the last few minutes.

cauliflower cheese photoAnd how about the main course? That can be very simple too. First pick out the meat or fish that you will have as the center of the dish, then add vegetables from your low carb meal plan. You can cook them any way you like. Add spices for a Tex-Mex dish or a curry. Thicken sauces with ground flaxseed or another choice from your plan.

If you can’t face giving up mac’n’cheese, try it with cauliflower or broccoli instead of the macaroni. You’ll need less milk for the sauce because you won’t add flour, but it can be delicious with lots of cheese grated over the top. And have you ever thought of adding tuna?

There are tons of possibilities when it comes to low carb meals. They can be both fun and satisfying, and you can enjoy delicious flavor while seeing the results you want on the scale. What’s to lose? – only that belly fat!