I wanted to write this to help people who wonder what to eat on a low carb diet. I’m not sure how you first heard about these diets, but a lot of people, especially we Americans, have eaten a carb based died for so long that it’s difficult to identify what’s good to eat and what’s not. Have no fear, I am here!
What to Eat on a Low Carb Diet
When I first started cutting carbs, I was excited to read that I could eat steaks, chicken, fish, or pretty much any other meat and lose massive amounts of weight. Oh! And Bacon! I was so excited that I found a diet that not only allowed me to eat bacon, it recommended it!
To be honest, it’s awesome for about the first couple days. You know, eating plates of bacon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (I’m only joking… kind of) sounds like magic.
But eventually, you’ll want to know what else is out there. You’ll ask yourself – and Google – what to eat on a low carb diet.
Let’s take a macro-level look at what’s required for these diets. These are the general rules:
- High fat (oils, creams, butter, cheese)
- Moderate amounts of protein (bacon, steaks, grilled chicken, eggs, turkey, shrimp… just scroll below for a longer list)
- Low-to-no carbohydrates (Some vegetables, no breads, no sugar, no fruits, no sodas, no juice)
Those are the basics of what you can on an LC diet. If you can stick to these general guidelines, then you’ll be fine.
If you’ve been doing carb nite for a while, then you probably already know that. If so, then you’re probably want to know how to apply these rules to your three main meals.
What you can eat for each meal
Here are some ideas for each meal. I’m taking a lot these straight from one of my favorite cookbooks, Transforming Recipes: The Ultra Low-Carb Edition, for which I’m currently writing a review:
- Quiches (coconut flour)
- Avocado and Egg
- Decaf Coffee
- Crepes (coconut flour to make the crepes)
- Steak & Pepper Hash
- Ham & Swiss Skillet
- Almond Flour Pancakes (pancakes!)
- Baked Eggs
I start most of my mornings with a decaf (there’s a reason for decaffeinated beverages, but I won’t get into all that here) coffee full of heavy cream and Splenda. This is really the perfect way to start your LC day, but if you have more time in the mornings I would suggest trying out one of those incredible dishes.
Next up are a few ideas for what to eat on a low carb diet for lunch. Most of these come from the aforementioned book, but I also threw in some of my favorites from this trendy BuzzFeed article.
Lunch & Dinner Entrees
- Chicken Avocado Salad with Lime and Cilantro
- Stuffed Peppers
- Italian Style Meatballs
- Bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken breast
- Cajun Chicken
- Chicken Parmesan
- Chicken Fajita wraps (you can easily find LC wraps at the grocery store)
- Coconut Fried Shrimp
- Shrimp Stir-fry
- Steak and Eggs
- Ribs (you can make your own sugar-free BBQ sauce or eat the ribs unsauced, which is what I do)
- Ground Beef
- Pork Ribs
- Taco Salad
If you’re like I was when I first discovered what types of foods were LC, then you’re probably thinking that this diet can’t be that bad. In fact, now that I’ve been on this diet for quite some time, I don’t really look at it like a diet anymore – it’s simply a new way to eat that shreds body fat.
As you can see, there are a lot of options for what to eat on a diets like carb nite and you can really get creative by combining them. One of the best things I did was experiment with “rice” – basically you put some cauliflower in food processor and then fry it like it’s real rice. It does a great job as a rice replacement and you can use it for lunch and dinner as well.
Maybe you’re looking for what to eat on a low carb diet for snack and appetizer options. There are plenty of LC things you can do for this as well and here they are:
Appetizers, Snacks, and Sides
- Bacon-wrapped Jalapenos
- Mini Bacon-wrapped Sausages
- Deviled Eggs
- Shrimp Kebabs
- Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Rolls (I absolutely love these!)
- Pepperoni Chips (basically you cook some pepperonis and drain them of grease)
- Cucumber Salad
- Cauliflower Rice
- Fried Cauliflower Rice (trust me, this recipe will shock you!)
- Cheese Biscuits (I haven’t done this one but I’ve read that they amazing. This is next on my list)
- Roasted Broccoli
- Sesame Broccoli
- Cheese and Broccoli Bake
- Tomatos (not too many of these, though. And stay away from ketchup)
As you can see, there are plenty of options for sides and appetizers. A lot of these are also great for non-LC people as well so don’t be afraid to set these out during the big game.
Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for – what about the desserts!
I’m sure most of you think that cutting carbs means you can’t enjoy desserts anymore, but that simply isn’t true. In fact, I’m willing to bet that once you try some of these LC, high fat recipes you’ll believe that fatty desserts are far superior.
Most of these sugar-free desserts can be found in this desserts book that I’m currently reviewing, Transforming Recipes: Ultra Low-Carb Desserts.
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Pies (with coconut flour crust)
- Chocolate Tarte
- Key Lime Pie
- Smore Pie
- Chocolate Mousse
- Ice Cream
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream
- Espresso Ice Cream
- Chai Creme Brulee
- Chocolate Mint Pudding
- Butter Cookies
- Donuts (I know, I know… these do taste incredible, though)
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Chocolate Truffles
I bet you didn’t know that you can eat all these wonderful desserts on a diet!
Now that you Know What to Eat on a Low Carb Diet…
It’s time to go grocery shopping! You’ll find that just because you’re on this diet, it doesn’t mean you have to live a life that’s low in taste.
All of these recommended dishes come with LC substitutes for all of the high carb ingredients. You may think that substituting those ingredients will make it not taste as well as the high carb counterparts, but that’s simply not true.
You can search the internet for LC versions of every dish I’ve mentioned above or you can get the cookbooks that I used to create this list. Both of these books do a wonderful job of breaking it down step by step – and they even include some awesome photos!Transforming Recipes: The Ultra Low-Carb Edition Transforming Recipes: Ultra Low-Carb Desserts