The easiest way to prepare low-carb meals is to have a weekly or monthly meal plan. Choosing a low-carbohydrate meal is easy because of the large list of allowable food choices. A good strategy is to choose menu items with nutritional ingredients while still staying within the allotted carbohydrate count for each meal. The objective is to build each meal around a wide assortment of proteins, natural fats and vegetables.
Eggs can be prepared in a multitude of low-carb ways. Scrambled eggs can be ready in less than five minutes. To be a bit creative, try adding chopped lean ham, chopped bell peppers and onions or mushrooms. Another breakfast choice without eggs includes fruit and brie kabobs with a whole-wheat muffin, Canadian bacon, skim milk, coffee or tea. A grab-and-go-breakfast can include a hard-boiled egg, a small 100 percent fruit juice box, string cheese, whole-wheat crackers, veggies and dip or peanut butter on a rice cake.
Lunch is the time to refuel, relax and replenish the fuel stores that keep the brain clear and the body moving. A low-carb brown bag lunch is a breeze to prepare and portable. Try choosing four items from the following list: a single-serving size of unsweetened applesauce, beef jerky, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, string cheese, a slice of Swiss cheese and lean ham, a lettuce leaf and sliced tomatoes. For those power lunches with co-workers, choose a low-carb meal consisting of a lean cut of chicken, beef or turkey with no breading, a small tossed green salad, steamed vegetables and coffee, tea or water with a lemon slice.
Dinner is the time to wind down and catch up on what was missed nutritionally from the morning, mid-morning, noon and mid-afternoon meals and snacks. With a target of 20 to 30 carbs per day, there should still be at least 10 carbs left for the last meal of the day. A nutritional choice could be baked catfish, cooked carrots, an avocado-orange salad and iced-tea or lemonade. For those who do not like fish, try spicy meatballs on a bed of lettuce with an artichoke ham salad, and marinated mushrooms and a fresh fruit cup for dessert.
Some people prefer to eat five small meals a day instead of three meals and two snacks. For snacks that are a bit more substantial and still under 5 g of net carbs, try cucumber boats filled with peanut butter and six whole-wheat crackers. Cheese and fruit kebabs or two chunks of melon wrapped in ham or smoked salmon also make a nutritious and filling snack.
- Low Carb Diet Recipes: Low Carb Meals Plan for 7 Days
- MayoClinic: Low-Carb Diet
- "Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies"; Katherine Chauncey; 2004