Create a delicious dinner that is good or you, too!
Anyone eating a low-carb, high-protein diet knows that dinner can get pretty boring after a while. It can be challenging to find casseroles and one-pot dinners that don’t involve starches. Plus, you can only eat chicken, steak, and pork chops so many times before they begin to get really old. This week, spice things up by creating your own mix and match low carb, high protein meals! By adding a little excitement back into your eating plan, you’ll increase your chances of long-term adherence and therefore, success!
How Do You Do A Low-Carb, High-Protein Plan?
All you need to do to create a low carb, high protein meal is combine one entree and one side dish each day. Paired together, they create the perfect combination to help you reach your weight loss or muscle-building goals! We’ve included carb and protein counts for each recipe, so it will be easy to meet your macronutrient goals too. If you’re wondering what your target intake should be, learn more about how to calculate macros for weight loss.
What Are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are the “puzzle” pieces that make up the food you eat. These are protein, carbohydrates, and fat, each of which comes along with a specific number of calories per gram. It’s just as important to figure out the right balance of macronutrients for your goals, as it is to consume the right amount of calories. This is widely due to the fact that each macronutrient plays a specific role in your body! Note: Figuring out the right number of daily macronutrients will then give you how many calories you should be eating; there’s no need to calculate both!
As far as “roles” go, protein helps to increase fat burn and repair/build muscle, while carbohydrates provide energy. Fat is important for brain, skin, nail, and hair health. In the absence of carbohydrates, fat will also act as the primary source of energy.
So, why is this important? Anytime you’re dieting, it’s crucial that you eat a minimum amount of calories for your body. Under-eating can be dangerous and unproductive to reaching your goals. Dieting should never be synonymous with starving. In fact, eating the correct amount of macronutrients (and calories) will actually help you reach your goals quicker and maintain optimal health!
Related: 21 Ways to Make a Power Bowl
What Food is High in Protein but Low in Carbs?
Several foods are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Here are some examples:
- Chicken breast: Skinless, boneless chicken breast is an excellent source of lean protein with minimal carbs.
- Turkey: Similar to chicken, turkey provides a good amount of protein and is low in carbs.
- Fish: Most fish, such as salmon, tuna, and cod, are high in protein and low in carbs.
- Eggs: Eggs are a versatile source of protein and contain very few carbohydrates.
- Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is higher in protein and lower in carbs compared to regular yogurt.
- Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese is another dairy product that is high in protein and relatively low in carbs.
- Tofu: Tofu, made from soybeans, is a plant-based protein option that is also low in carbs.
- Tempeh: Like tofu, tempeh is a plant-based protein with minimal carbohydrates.
- Seitan: Seitan, a meat substitute made from wheat gluten, is high in protein and low in carbs.
- Lean beef: Lean cuts of beef, such as sirloin or tenderloin, can be a good source of protein without too many carbs.
Remember that while these foods are relatively low in carbs, the exact amount of protein and carbs can vary depending on the specific product and preparation method. Always check the nutrition label or use a reliable food database to get accurate nutritional information. Additionally, it’s essential to balance your diet with other nutrients and consult a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized dietary advice.
What is the Most Filling Low Carb Food?
The most filling low carb foods can vary from person to person, as individual preferences and metabolic responses differ. However, certain low carb foods are known for their ability to provide a sense of fullness and satisfaction due to their high fiber, protein, and healthy fat content. Let’s explore some examples of low carb high protein foods:
- Avocado: This creamy fruit is packed with healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber, making it a satisfying and filling choice.
- Chia seeds: These small seeds are high in fiber and have the unique ability to absorb liquid, expanding in your stomach and promoting a feeling of fullness.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and other nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats and protein, keeping you feeling full for longer periods.
- Eggs: As a fantastic source of protein and healthy fats, eggs are an excellent option for a filling low carb meal.
- Greek yogurt: High in protein, Greek yogurt can contribute to feelings of fullness and satisfaction throughout the day.
- Non-starchy vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and kale are low in carbs and high in fiber, helping you feel fuller for longer.
- Fish and lean meats: Protein-rich foods like fish, chicken, and turkey can help control hunger and provide a lasting feeling of fullness.
- Cottage cheese: With its high protein content, cottage cheese can serve as a satisfying snack or addition to any meal.
- Tofu and tempeh: These plant-based protein sources can promote a sense of fullness while following a low carb diet.
- Flaxseed: Rich in fiber and healthy fats, flaxseeds make a filling addition to smoothies or meals.
It’s important to remember that individual responses to foods can vary, so it’s crucial to find what works best for you. By incorporating these filling low carb foods into a balanced diet and practicing portion control, you can achieve your dietary goals while maintaining a sense of satisfaction throughout the day.
What Are Some Low-Carb, High-Protein Meal Combinations?
We’d recommend using something like a bullet journal to plan out the entire week’s menu ahead of time. It’s an easy way to stay on track and set yourself up for success before you even get started! You can also get yourself a white board or chalk board and write the weeks low carb high protein meals down at the start of the week! This way everyone in your household will know what’s for dinner without ever having to ask!
There are plenty of nutritious main course options for your low carb high protein meals. Here are seven of our favorite dinner ideas:
- Super Easy Pork Tenderloin With Garlic and Rosemary (0g carbs, 35g protein)
- Low-Carb Turkey Club Lettuce Cups (2g carbs, 33g protein)
- Easy Skillet Cilantro Lime Chicken (3g carbs, 46g protein)
- “Melt in Your Mouth” Italian Baked Chicken (5g carbs, 46g protein)
- Skinny Slow Cooker Italian Beef (6g carbs, 24g protein)
- Salmon Teriyaki with Snow Peas (6g carbs, 41g protein)
- Skinny Mississippi Pot Roast (6g carbs, 49g protein)
Choosing the right side dish for your low carb high protein meals will make your dinner more flavorful and satisfying. Here are 7 great side dish options to pair with the main courses above:
- Oven Roasted Mushrooms (5g carbs, 3g protein)
- Dijon Roasted Garlic Asparagus (6g carbs, 3g protein)
- Super Easy Cauliflower “Fried Rice” (7g carbs, 3g protein)
- Root Vegetable Coleslaw (9g carbs, 1g protein)
- Easy Garlic Lemon Green Beans (9g carbs, 2g protein)
- 15-Minute Zucchini Noodle and Tomato Salad with Balsamic Dressing (10g carbs, 2g protein)
- Balsamic Glazed Whole Roasted Cauliflower (10g carbs, 3g protein)
What tasty combos of these low carb high protein meals are you going to try first? Let us know in the comment section!
If you enjoy these healthy dinner recipes, we think you’ll want to try these 15 High-Protein Breakfasts for Getting Fit, 10 Clean & Lean Low-Carb Lunches, and these 13 Easy Dinner Ideas, too! Also, be sure to give us a follow on Pinterest and subscribe to our daily eNewsletter for more yummy recipes.