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High Carbohydrate & Protein Meals

author image ShandyTorain, RD
Shandy Torain began freelance writing in 2010. She is a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer with over 10 years of experience working in corporate, community, and commercial fitness centers. She enjoys developing healthy recipes and nutrition education seminars. Torain has a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology, exercise nutrition and wellness.
High Carbohydrate & Protein Meals
Chicken skewers and brown rice: perfectly balanced high carbohydrate and high protein meal.

High-carbohydrate and protein meals may be important for labor workers, bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts and endurance athletes. High-carbohydrate and protein meals provide a balance of nutrients than improves energy levels and stamina throughout the day. A high-carbohydrate and protein meal is appropriate for helping the body recover after a long hard day of work or after an exercise session.

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The importance of starting your day off right with a balanced, high carbohydrate and protein meal will fuel your day ahead and stabilize your blood sugars after an evening fast. Healthy options include slow cooked or steel cut oatmeal and egg whites; a breakfast burrito with a whole wheat tortilla, eggs and low fat cheese; or whole grain pancakes topped with blueberries and low sugar syrup served with a side of lean turkey sausages. Other unique grains, such as cooked buckwheat or bulgur or puffed millet or muesli cold cereals, can be experimented with for breakfast. Sweeten your grains naturally with a touch of cinnamon, honey, stevia, brown sugar or molasses. Vegetarian protein options for breakfast include low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese, tofu, legumes, nuts and seeds.


High-carbohydrate and protein lunch options include whole grain sandwiches with lean deli meat, tuna or nut butter; vegetable based soups and stews that contain lean poultry or beef; tacos with whole wheat or corn tortillas and lean poultry or meats; or a wok stir fry with rice, vegetables and tofu or seafood.


High-carbohydrate and protein dinners include flank or bottom round steak and sweet potatoes or yams; brown rice and skinless chicken breast; brown rice or whole wheat penne pasta tossed with grilled chicken; spaghetti made with whole wheat pasta, lean ground meat and marinara sauce; quinoa and grilled fish; or wild rice and legumes as a vegetarian option.


High-carbohydrate and protein snacks are important to eat in between meals to stabilize energy levels and control cravings. In fact, the Mayo Clinic website recommends incorporating snacks into weight loss programs as snacks prevent an increased appetite for the next meal. Fruits are an excellent source of carbohydrates for a snack. Ideally, consume 2 to 4 cups of fruit per day. Protein containing snacks include string cheese, yogurt, nuts and seeds. High carbohydrate and protein snack examples include: peanut butter and jelly sandwich; trail mix made with dried fruits and nuts; whole grain crackers and low fat cheese; fruit and yogurt.

Serving Sizes And Grams

A high-carbohydrate meal would contain 2 to 4 servings of a carbohydrate source. One serving example would be 1 slice of bread; 5 whole grain crackers; 1/2 cup of cooked pasta, hot cereal or rice; 1 small piece of fruit. Each serving provides anywhere from 15 to 30 g of carbohydrates. A high-protein meal would consist of 3 to 6 oz. of lean protein, such as chicken, fish, turkey, beef, bison, eggs and low -fat dairy products. Each ounce provides approximately 7 g of protein and a high-protein meal would total 21 g to 42 g of protein. Vegetarian options would be lower in protein and may only yield about 21 g of protein at the most. Overall dietary recommendations include a balanced diet consisting of 45 percent to 60 percent carbohydrates, 10 percent to 30 percent protein and less than 30 percent fat.

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