As the name suggests, following a low carb diet involves eating meals with reduced carbohydrates. People who follow this diet instead focus on consuming healthy fats, vegetables, some fruits and lots of protein-rich foods.
Low carb is not as restrictive as other diets like the ketogenic diet or the banting diet. Yet, despite being easier to following, eating low carb by removing carbohydrates and highly processed foods is a healthy way to support weight loss. If you're interested in diving into the the science, around carbohydrate restriction and weight loss, you can read more here.
Because the low carb diet envolves restricting carbohydrate rich foods, creating a low carb meal plan can feel overwhelming for some people. While there is some flexibilty, the vast majority of people who follow low-carb avoid foods like: bread and pasta, pastries and foods with added sugars.
Hands down, the main reason most people follow a low carb meal plan is to help with weight loss. However, many people use low carb meal planning to help with other chronic health issues such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. While the science is far from settled, many reputable scientific studies report promising results managing type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome using a low carb diet protocol.
Eating low carb isn't as scary as it seems at first glance, trust us. The main thing to focus on is changing refined, processed carbohydrates for healthy unprocessed options.
By doing this alone, you're already eating a vastly different diet from the typical 'Western' or Amercian diet which is largely composed of processed, prepackaged foods. Below is some guidance about what to eat and what to avoid with low carb.
It's tempting to take a black and white approach with low carb (as with any diet). We're not aiming for zero carbohydrates here, the aim of the game is to significantly reduce overall carbohydrate intake. When you do consume carbohydrates make sure they're inside protein rich foods which aren't highly processed.
Here's an example shopping list covering a typical week's ingredients for a low carb meal plan, this assumes you're cooking for a family of three.
Want some ideas to start cooking and eating low carb? Below are some sample recipe ideas to get your tastebuds rumbling.
Keto Coco Coffee
Sausage and Spicy Dip
Crispy Prosciutto Salad
Steak Bites with Cheese Sauce
Thai Shrimp Saute