If you’re looking for a weight loss strategy that will give you serious results you can count on a low carb diet. Low carb diet plans have been shown to be especially effective for women even when other plans have failed. But sometimes creating a low carb menu can be tricky, especially if you’re a beginner. Since most low carb plans for weight loss recommend a range of 50-150 carbs per day these low carb recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner will help you create a low carb meal plan to help you lose weight fast and improve your overall health.
For decades studies have shown low carb diets are effective healthy, budget-friendly ways of losing weight and improving overall health. Today, I’m going to share a little low carb 101 with you and then we’ll move on to the best and easiest low carb recipes for weight loss! In case you’re wondering who I am or why I’m so enthusiastic about the low carb lifestyle I’ll give you a little Heather 101 too. Just over seven years ago I was around 120 pounds OVER weight, miserable, and depressed. I started a low carb diet as a last ditch effort to get myself off the couch & back into my children’s lives. Well, it worked, and it worked fast enough for me to gain enough confidence to start (slowly) exercising & (slowly) reclaiming myself. You can read more about that here if you’d like.
How Many Carbs is “Low Carb”?
That’s a fabulous question that just doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. You see, there are several different varieties of low carb diets, and they all come with a different set of guidelines. A basic low carb diet cuts carbs back to 50-100 grams per day. More moderate forms allow for more carbs per day (100-150 grams), these are usually for more the more active and lean after they have experienced weight loss. More strict low carb diets like the ketogenic diet (keto) require keeping carbs under 20 grams. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to check with your doctor before taking on any new diet-especially if you have health issues or you are expecting.
Why Low Carb Diets Work
Low carb diets have appetite suppressing effects meaning you won’t feel hungry all the time on a low carb diet. If you’ve ever experienced the I just started my diet & now I’m starving effect you’ll appreciate this benefit! Source
Another fab feature? Low carb diets decrease cravings for carb-heavy foods like pasta and sugary treats-especially in women.
Better Heart Health: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. Low-carb diets help improve lipid (cholesterol) profiles by increasing the HDL or “good cholesterol” and decreasing triglycerides which are a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Migraines: If you suffer from headaches, as I did-before I started the keto diet-then you’ll be pleased to know that low carb diets like the ketogenic diet have been shown to reduce the occurrence of chronic migraines. How is this possible? When you’re on the keto diet, your body uses ketones as fuel instead of glucose. Ketones are water soluble and less demanding and inflammatory than glucose.
Epilepsy: The ketogenic diet was created by a physician in the 1920’s to treat children who suffered from epileptic seizures by providing an alternate fuel source to glucose.
Alzheimer’s: By shifting the body’s fuel source from glucose to ketones, the ketogenic diet has shown to have promising effects on patients who have dementia.
More Weight Loss: Low carb dieters lose weight faster. Up to 2-3 times more weight loss to be exact. In the first two weeks of a low carb diet, you can expect to lose a significant amount of weight. Skeptics love to point out this initial weight loss may be all H2O. Like it’s a bad thing.
What Can I Eat?
While every low carb diet has its own set of rules, these are a few traditional low carb diet staples.
Meat: Chicken, Beef, Pork, Lamb= 0 grams of carbs (Try to use Grass-fed & Organic if possible)
Fish: Shrimp=0 grams of carbs, Salmon, Tuna (Fatty Fish is best-Avoid breading)
Eggs: 1 Egg=0 grams of carbs
Dairy: Real Butter, Sour Cream, Heavy Cream, Cheese (Always Use Full-Fat Versions)
Nuts & Seeds: 1 oz Almonds=6 grams of carbs
Healthy Fats: Butter, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Ghee, MCT Oil
Vegetables: [Non-Starchy, Green Leafy Veggies are the Best] Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Peppers, Spinach, Tomatoes, Zucchini
Drink: Water, Infused Water, Coffee, Tea
Foods to Avoid
Sugar & Sweets: Avoid all sugar! No fruit juice, candy, pastries, cakes, cereal
1 12 oz Cup of Unsweetened Apple Juice=48 grams of carbs
1 Milk Chocolate Candy Bar=28 grams of carbs
Bread: 1 Slice White Bread=15 grams of carbs, 1 Slice Wheat Bread=12 grams of carbs, 1 Bagel=48 grams of carbs, 1 Corn Tortilla=13 grams of carbs
Fruit: 1 Banana=27 grams of carbs, 1 serving of Mango=28 grams of carbs, 1 Pear=28 grams of carbs
Starchy Vegetables: Beets, Parsnips, Potatoes, Peas, Sweet Corn, Winter Squash
Pasta: 1 Cup=43 grams of carbs
White Rice: 1 Cup=45 grams of carbs
Beans & Legumes: 1 cup Black beans or Kidney beans or Pinto beans or Chickpeas=40 grams of carbs
Low Fat & Fat Free Salad Dressing: 2 Tablespoons Fat Free Ranch=12 grams of carbs
Soda: 1 Can=39 grams of carbs
Beer: Also known as liquid bread-1 12oz can=12 grams of carbs
If all of this sounds do-able and you’re ready to start losing weight yesterday I have selected the best low carb recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for you to begin your weight loss journey. Below you’ll find healthy, low carb recipes organized by meal. Click on the image or the link to see the full recipe! Enjoy!
Meal prep these low carb, high protein egg muffins in less than 30 minutes & you’ll have breakfast for an entire week! [9 grams of protein, 0 carbs] Find the recipe on Fit Foodie Finds
“…as close to low-carb breakfast heaven as you can get.” Amen to that! Get the recipe on Living Chirpy
Sub almond flour for all-purpose to make these low carb blueberry muffins with only 3.5 grams of carbs each! Grab the recipe from Savory Tooth
Hands down the most delicious high protein, low carb breakfast bowl-ever! Get the recipe on Half Baked Harvest
Start your day low-carb style with a refreshing & fruity breakfast with benefits! Details on Low Carb Yum
The perfect on the go breakfast! Easy to customize, budget-friendly, & freezable! And only 4 net grams of carbs per serving! Yes! Get the recipe on Joy Filled Eats
A very healthy spin on a classic egg breakfast with less than 10 grams of carbs per serving! Get the recipe on Two Purple Figs
Make life and busy mornings easier with this low carb breakfast recipe made in the slow cooker! Only 5 grams of carbs! Get the recipe on All Day I Dream About Food
A most delightful & delicious low carb breakfast with less than 1 carb per serving! Get the details on Cafe Delites
Sounds too good to be true, but this Starbucks Chonga Bagel copycat recipe is most definitely real & low carb with only 6 grams of net carbs! Find the recipe on Peace, Love and Low Carb
Packed with healthy fats & filling protein these hunger busters make a fabulous low carb breakfast or mid-morning snack! Get the recipe on Ruled.Me
Here’s an easy and versatile salad that’s anything but boring-with less than 2 net carbs per serving! Find the recipe on That’s Low Carb?!
This low carb twist on a Mexican favorite is not just easy to make-it’s incredibly delicious with only 6 net carbs per serving! See it now on Hey Keto Mama
Yes, you can eat pizza & lose weight! Just swap out the carb filled crust with this healthy version from One Little Project
This healthy, low carb lunch idea is packed with veggies & perfect for meal prep! Get the recipe on The Girl on Bloor
A low carb tuna melt without the bun-or the carbs! Only 2.5 net carbs in these gems! Get the recipe on Beauty and the Foodie
Loaded with Southwestern flavor, this low carb lunch is easy to prep & is ready to eat in less than 30 minutes! Grab the recipe on Salt & Lavender
Packed with protein these perfectly portable mason jar lasagnas make it easy to stay low carb during your lunch break! Only 10 net carbs per serving! Get the recipe on Food Faith Fitness
Try combining healthy cauliflower with shrimp to make an ordinary salad extraordinary! Only 5 net carbs! Get the recipe on I Breathe I’m Hungry
You won’t miss the bread or the prep work! Only 3 grams of carbs! From Organize Yourself Skinny
You’ll love this low carb version even more than the original! Get the recipe on The Honour System
Need a low carb lunch-ASAP? Try this fabulous recipe that manages to mingle all of the savory flavors of pizza into a 2 minute microwavable muffin! Get the recipe on My Montana Kitchen
Prepare to become a flank steak fan. Get this low carb dinner recipe on How Sweet Eats
Sliced eggplants stuffed with spinach & cheese rolled up to create a guilt-free, low carb dinner with only 8 grams of carbs per serving! Get the recipe on Not Enough Cinnamon
Low-carb doesn’t mean low flavor & this recipe proves it with only 2 net carbs! Grab the recipe on Buns in My Oven
Bring on the healthy omega-3’s with this amazing salmon baked in foil! See the recipe on LittleSpiceJar
Fast, easy, & full of flavor! Serve over cauliflower rice to make a complete low carb dinner! Get the recipe on Fox and Briar
Let’s be real. Everybody wants pizza on the weekends. It’s facts. This low carb recipe has you covered with only 2 carbs & a 10 minute prep time. Get the recipe on 730 Sage Street
Seriously, this one skillet recipe is a total game changer! Healthy & ready to go in 10 minutes with no carbs! Get the recipe on Valentina’s Corner
This may be the ultimate low carb comfort food casserole! Dinner in under an hour? Yes, please! Get all the details on Cotter Crunch
Looking for a little comfort food? These pot pies will not disappoint! Grab the details on It’s Cheatday Everyday
Low carb Tex-Mex that’s good to go in 15 minutes with only 7 net grams of carbs per serving! Get the details on Lowcarb-ology
Everyone loves these low carb spinach stuffed chicken breasts-especially the cook. Only 10 minutes to prep! Get the recipe on Basil + Bubbly
Use cauliflower instead of the traditional macaroni. Seriously Delicious & only 7 net grams of carbs per serving! Get the recipe on Gluten Free Daddy
This quick & easy low carb recipe is a lifesaver on busy weeknights: you can have dinner served within 30 minutes! Get the recipe on Low Carb Maven
Here’s a 5-ingredient low carb comfort food you can have on the dinner table in less than 30 minutes with only 4 net carbs per serving! Get the recipe on Wholesome Yum
Bonus! 3 Low Carb Snacks
Keep these no-bake protein balls on hand in case of a snack attack! Get the recipe on Diabetes Strong
For an amazing snack-breakfast-or even a dessert! This blueberry vanilla smoothie will give you energy and curb cravings with only 3 carbs! Get the recipe on Fat For Weight Loss
Remember, (healthy) fats are your friend on a low carb diet! Eat these between meals to keep hunger at bay & curb any craving for sweets! Get the recipe on Low Carb Yum
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