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Low Carb Diet Meal Plan

Low Carb Diet Meal Plan

With all kinds of diets and eating plans being advertised, it’s hard to know what is worth trying and what is a waste of time. If you are looking to lose weight, a low carb diet may be the answer you are looking for.

What is a Low Carb Diet?

A low carb diet welcomes foods high in protein like meat and eggs. Leafy green vegetables are also part of a low carb diet.

For decades we have been told that fat is bad for our health. New studies are proving quite the opposite. Studies now show that eating a low carb dietand higher fat diet can improve your health and help you lose weight. On a low carb dietmeal plan, you decrease your intake of sugar and starches, so your blood sugar stabilizes and your insulin drops. This increases fat burning in your body and makes you feel fuller, thus reducing the amount you eat while causing weight loss.

Benefits of Eating a Low Carb Diet

Benefits of Eating a Low Carb Diet

There are many benefits of eating a low carb diet other than the obvious: weight loss. A low carb diet can reverse type 2 diabetes since the diet normalizes blood sugar. The diet can also help manage type 1 diabetes. There are many testimonials from diabetics who have claimed that low carb eating helped them eliminate or manage their disease.

In addition, eating a low carb diet can help manage an upset stomach. Symptoms such as boating, indigestion, acid reflux, and stomach pain typically decrease with this diet.

A low carb diet also reduces sugar cravings. Sometimes it even eliminates the craving altogether.

Improved mental clarity and more energy are also benefits of following a low carb diet. A low carb diet can help improve one’s health not only physically, but mentally. Other benefits that have been reported are lower blood pressure, less acne, reverse PCOS, fewer headaches, and increased physical endurance when exercising.

Who Should Not Eat a Low Carb Diet?

Most people can safely start a low carb diet, and their bodies will naturally adjust. However, there are some people who should consult their doctors before starting a low carb diet. People who are taking medicine for diabetes or high blood pressure, and women who are breastfeeding should consult their doctors before starting a low carb diet.

Foods to Eat

foods to eat

These are all foods to eat on a low carb diet:

  • Meat (any kind)
  • Fish
  • Fruit (stick to berries)
  • Nuts
  • Eggs (a low carb dieter’s best friend!)
  • Vegetables (stick to green ones)
  • High-dairy fats (cheese, butter, yogurt, heavy cream)
  • Healthy oils and fats (coconut oil, olive oil, butter)

Foods to Avoid

ice cream

Avoid these foods on a low carb diet:

  • Sugar (candy, ice cream, soft drinks)
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Processed foods (No Pop tarts!)
  • Refined grains (wheat, barley, rye, cereal)
  • Diet and low-fat products
  • Starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn)
  • Trans fat (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils)
  • Alcohol (if you must drink alcohol, small amounts of dry wine are lowest in carbs)  

What to Drink

lemon juice

On a low carb diet, water will be your best friend. Not only will it keep you hydrated, it will help keep you fuller, so you won’t be hungry all the time. If you don’t like plain water, consider flavoring it with fresh lemon or lime. You can also drink unsweetened tea, coffee (black or with a little creamer), and sugar-free carbonated beverages. Always make sure you read labels and avoid drinks with extra carbs or sugar. Avoid alcohol and soft drinks.

A Seven-Day Low Carb Menu

This is a sample low carb dietmenu for one week. It provides less than 50 grams of total carbs per day. The average person consumes hundreds of carbs per day, so anything under 50 carbs is considered low. A general rule of thumb is to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. It’s that simple. If you are not hungry, don’t feel as though you have to eat. However, if you are hungry, adapt these meals as needed. If you need a third egg for breakfast, that’s no problem. If you need seconds at dinner time, eat up!

Monday

fried eggs

Breakfast: Two eggs fried or scrambled in butter; two pieces of bacon

Lunch: Shrimp salad with a little olive oil
 
Dinner: Cheeseburger (without the bun); green beans
 
Snack: A handful of almonds

Tuesday

grilled chicken

Breakfast: Three egg cheese omelet, fried in butter

Lunch: Leftover burger from yesterday (no bun)

Dinner: Grilled chicken with mixed vegetables
 
Snack: Two lunch meat and cheese roll ups

Wednesday

blueberry

Breakfast: Low carb blueberry smoothie – blend together 14 oz of coconut or almond milk, ½ cup frozen or fresh blueberries, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and ½ tsp vanilla extract
 
Lunch: Lunch meat (turkey, ham, roast beef, etc), cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo wrapped in a low carb tortilla
 
Dinner: Zucchini noodles with meatballs and marinara sauce; baked asparagus
 
Snack: Plain Greek yogurt with a few strawberries

Thursday

avocado

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs topped with cheddar cheese, 3 sausage links

Lunch: Leftover zucchini noodles and meatballs from yesterday
 
Dinner: Salmon cooked in butter, side salad with ranch dressing
 
Snack: An avocado sprinkled with salt

Friday

strawberry smoothie

Breakfast: Low carb strawberry smoothie – blend together 14 oz coconut or almond milk, ½ cup frozen or fresh strawberries, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and ½ tsp vanilla extract
 
Lunch: Fill your plate with sliced turkey, your favorite sliced cheese, an avocado, and a side salad with Ranch dressing
 
Dinner: Stuffed peppers with ground beef and cheese
 
Snack: Celery with peanut butter

Saturday

pepperoni pizza

Breakfast: Two hard boiled eggs dipped in mayonnaise; asparagus cooked in butter

Lunch: Greek salad

Dinner: Low carb cauliflower crust pizza with pepperoni and sausage

Snack: String cheese

Sunday

western omelet

Breakfast: Western Omelet (omelet filled with onions, pepper, tomatoes, ham, and cheese)  

Lunch: Grilled chicken Caesar salad (leave off the croutons)

Dinner: Sausage stir fry

Snack: ½ cup blueberries

Feel free to use this one-week menu as a guide and replace meals with other meals if you like. For example, you can swap out Tuesday’s breakfast for Wednesday’s breakfast; that’s no problem. Also, remember that you can save dinner leftovers for the next day’s lunch or dinner. That is a great way to plan meals and also save money. There are hundreds of low carb menus and meals on the internet. Just search away and you will be amazed at the variety of meals out there.

Snacks

If you are hungry between meals, snack on some low carb snacks. If you are not hungry, don’t worry about snacking at all. Here are some low carb snacks for you to enjoy in moderation. Try to limit snacks to two to three a day.

celery
  • Celery with cream cheese or peanut butter
  • Almonds (or any kinds of nuts)
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Peanut Butter
  • Lunch meat
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Pepperoni
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Fresh vegetables such as peppers and cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Dark Chocolate (limit to two squares)
  • Pork Rinds
  • Beef Jerky

Eating Out

Just because you’re eating a low carb diet doesn’t mean you can’t eat out from time to time. When you eat out, a basic rule of thumb is to order a meat dish, avoid the starches, and add a vegetable. For example, you could order a steak, but avoid the baked potato. Replace the baked potato with a fresh vegetable such as broccoli.

If you order a cheeseburger, forgo the bun. If you are eating at a Mexican restaurant, skip the chips, and order chicken or steak fajitas, but eat them without the tortillas, or you could always bring your own low carb tortillas. If you are in the mood for a salad, order a big one topped with meat such as chicken or salmon. Ranch dressing is usually a great option for low carb eaters. Many restaurants have low carb advertised items on their menus, so consider ordering from those.

Side Effects of Eating a Low Carb Diet

headaches cause by low carb diet

If you are addicted to carbs and sugar, starting a low carb diet cold turkey will be an adjustment on your body. For most people, these side effects are minimal and don’t last long. However, you may experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Light nausea
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness

The reasoning for this is because carb-rich foods will increase water retention in your body. When you eat low carb, you will lose any excess water, and this may result in dehydration. You can counteract these symptoms with drinking plenty of water and making sure you are getting salt in your diet. Pickles are great for a low carb dieter.

Conclusion

After a few days of eating a low carb diet meal plan, your body will adjust and you will naturally feel fuller from this way of eating. When you find low carb foods that you like, make double and then eat the leftovers the next day. You could also freeze the leftovers for a future date. Find which foods you like, stick to those, and you should be well on your way to the benefits of low carb eating.

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