Tips For Starting a Low-Carb Diet

Changing your diet can be a huge endeavor. You have to figure out what you are removing from the diet, what diet plan or routine is best for you, and how you will get started. If you have never made a significant diet change in your life, then you may hit a few stumbling blocks. To overcome these stumbling blocks, and make your low-carb diet work for you, you will need some tips along the way.

Here are a few that should get you started.

One of the first and best tips for anyone starting a low-carb diet is to try swapping out carbs for other foods.

Try Swaps

One of the first and best tips for anyone starting a low-carb diet is to try swapping out carbs for other foods. For example, you can swap out buns on hamburgers for portabello mushroom caps. Simple swaps like this can change your eating and keep you eating food that you love. You can also try vegetable-based pasta swaps.

An example of this would be using zucchini cut into noodles. This can take the place of normal pasta noodles and still allow you to have the type of food you love to eat, and the same pasta feel as you would normally have.

Go Slow

Low Carb Plan. Don't remove all the carbs at once. Instead, remove just bread first and then move your way up to a total reduction or significant reduction of carbs. #lowcarbdiet

Don’t remove all the carbs at once. Instead, remove just bread first and then move your way up to a total reduction or significant reduction of carbs. This will help you stay on a diet and not go off track because of a craving. Make sure that you are also trying to replace those carbs as you remove them.

This means you have a backup or replacement for each item, like the hamburger buns that were previously mentioned, and you don’t feel like you deny yourself anything. This is about food denial; it is about food differences and changes.

Keep a Journal

Low Carb For Beginners. It may sound odd, but keeping a journal can be helpful. You don't have to do it daily, but keeping a routine journal can help on so many levels. #lowcarbdiet

It may sound odd, but keeping a journal can be helpful. You don’t have to do it daily, but keeping a routine journal can help on so many levels. You can keep track of how much you are eating, the problems you are having, and a pattern that may be coming up that is keeping you from staying on track. You can use the journal as a tool to help stop problems before they start or sort out what is triggering your cravings that are making you want to leave the low-carb diet entirely.

By keeping these tips in mind and incorporating them into your daily diet routine, you can get on the right track and stay on it. Remember, if the low-carb diet you choose is not working out for you then try a different one. As long as you stay on the low-carb diet track, you should still meet your goals.

Low-Carb Veggies

Low Carb Weightloss. Trying to create a low-carb meal plan and shopping list can be a big endeavor. You have to make sure that everything you put into your body is low-carb to stay on the diet plan. #lowcarbdiet

Trying to create a low-carb meal plan and shopping list can be a big endeavor. You have to make sure that everything you put into your body is low-carb to stay on the diet plan. This is true regardless of which low-carb diet plan you are on. Keeping that in mind, you may be concerned about choosing the right vegetables to go along with your meals. Here are a few of the most common low-carb plants that you can get virtually year-round at most supermarkets and farmers markets.

Bell Peppers

If you have the need for spice and texture in your food, but you need to keep the carbs low, then bell peppers may be the ideal option for you. These peppers are readily available year round and can be a welcome addition to most meals. You can add them for texture, flavor, spice, and color.

They are inexpensive to buy, and they are easy to cook if you choose to eat them that way. You can also eat them raw as a snack. Bell peppers come in the two common varieties of red and green and can even be found packaged and ready to go diced, sliced, or whole. Bell peppers are 9 grams of carbs per cup.

Broccoli

Broccoli is incredibly easy to get year round, and you can eat it raw, steamed, baked, or boiled. Broccoli can even be added into dishes easily. The carb amount of broccoli is 6 grams per one cup serving. This makes it a go-to grab for most people on low-carb diets.

This is especially true since it can be added to salads or full meals and can be helpful for the digestive system which is essential when you are first changing a diet plan.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are very versatile to a low-carb diet. One of the things you can do with mushrooms, specifical portobello, is to add them as the bun for burgers. This can give the burger a more earthy taste, the ability to feel like a real burger, and taste even better. You keep the meal low-carb, and you get the health benefits of the mushrooms. Mushrooms tend to carry only 2 to 4 grams of carbs depending on the type of mushroom you are eating.

You can add these vegetables to a daily juice, smoothie, or as part of balanced meals. Just keep in mind, there are other low-carb vegetables out there. These are just a few of the ones to look out for and to keep on your healthy meal plan and shopping list.

Low-Carb Fruits

Low Carb Food List. When you start meal planning for your low-carb diet, you may think that any fruit is low-carb and you can just stack them on. The truth is, this is a total misconception. #lowcarbdiet

When you start meal planning for your low-carb diet, you may think that any fruit is low-carb and you can just stack them on. The truth is, this is a total misconception. There are some fruits that are explicitly listed as low-carb and will fit your low-carb diet better than others. If you aren’t sure which ones would be best and which ones to reach for year round, then here is a list to get you started.

Watermelon

Watermelon is on the top of the list for low-carb fruits. The reason is that it holds the lowest amount of carbs across the board. It contains only 7 grams of carbs which makes it ideal for all of the top low-carb diets. Watermelon is also mostly water. This means you are getting a filling fruit that hydrates you, delivers a variety of vitamins and minerals, and keeps your carb count very low.

You can have this fruit and still add on more carbs if you are going for even the small amount of 20mg per day. You can also find some form watermelon in most grocery stores year round.

Strawberries

Strawberries are something that most low-carb diets suggest to grab. The first benefit is the ability to grab a few of these berries and eat them on the go or add them to different meals, including breakfast. Other benefits of strawberries include their vitamins and minerals that can be delivered quickly into the digestive system. The key to adding strawberries to your daily routine and low-carb diet comes in with the low amount of carbs in strawberries.

They have about the same as watermelon, coming in at 7.6 grams per serving. If your local store doesn’t carry strawberries year round, you can grow them in small strawberry pots or hydroponic units in your own home.

Avocados

Avocados are on nearly every list out there for protein, diets, and good fats. There are not many diet plans that do not have avocado on the list. The reason that it hits the low-carb fruit list is that each avocado only has 8.64 grams of protein. That means you are getting the benefits of avocados, the healthy oils, and the multiple ways you can use avocados along with keeping it low-carb.

Peaches

Peaches are something that many people do not think of when they think of a low-carb fruit. The reason for this varies, but overall peaches can be a very versatile option for a low-carb diet. They come in at just under 10 grams of carbs per peach. They can be added to cottage cheese, dehydrated, or eaten as is. It all depends on what you like and how you want to eat them. They are also easy to carry with you on the go.

You can use all of these fruits, some of them, or mix them up during your meal planning routine to give you that jolt of energy and sweetness you are looking for. You can also dehydrate these fruits or juice them directly into your daily juicing routine to get the same benefit.

Low-Carb Crockpot recipes

Low Carb Recipes. Using a crockpot is one of the ways that many people provide wholesome and healthy meals for their family when scheduling is tight. #lowcarbdiet

Using a crockpot is one of the ways that many people provide wholesome and healthy meals for their family when scheduling is tight. You can use the crockpot to make everything from casseroles to meat-based meals while you are at work or out of the house running errands.

In four to six hours you can end up with the full meal, but some of these meals end up being loaded with carbs. If you want to use your crockpot, but stick to a low-carb route, here are some crockpot recipes to consider.

Chicken and Bacon Chowder

Chowders are a go-to meal for crockpots, especially during football season and for a game weekend. The trick to this low-carb meal is to make a swap from potatoes to chicken. Cube the chicken the way you would potatoes for the chowder. Add in bacon bits and use a traditional chowder recipe base. Cook for four hours on high and add cheese if you would like for flavor. This is a meal you can eat that day, or you can freeze to have later.

Chicken Carnitas with Pepper Cups

You can have a low-carb filling meal with just some seasoning, chicken breast, and hulled out bell peppers. Place a few chicken breasts into the crockpot and barely cover them with water. Add taco seasoning and cook until the chicken is fork tender. Drain the excess water and shred the chicken with forks. Fill the hulled out peppers with the chicken and enjoy.

Sausage with Beans and Greens

If you have leftover canned beans, sausage, and some greens on hand, then you have what you need to make an easy crockpot meal that can be ready in less than four hours. Just cut up your sausage and place it in the bottom of the crockpot. Add your beans and then place fresh greens on top. Add some chicken or beef stock and cover. Allow it to cook until most of the water has been absorbed. Add spices to taste.

Buffalo Chicken Cups

Buffalo chicken cups are super easy to make and require only three ingredients. Place boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot. Barely cover them water and allow the chicken to cook until fork tender. Drain the excess water and then shred the chicken with two forks. Toss the chicken in pre-made buffalo wing sauce. Place the mixture into salad wraps or cups and serve.

These recipes all contain ingredients you can find easily at most local grocery stores and farmers markets. These meals also take between four and six hours to cook in a crockpot. Four hours is for the high setting while six is for the low or medium setting.

5 Healthy And Portable Low Carb Meals

So you’ve made the decision to eat low carb. However, you may soon realize that it can easily become a lot more difficult than you anticipated; at least without diligent thought and preparation.

So you’ve made the decision to eat low carb. However, you may soon realize that it can easily become a lot more difficult than you anticipated; at least without diligent thought and preparation.

So What’s To Be Done?

Let’s face it – we all have jobs (or at least I hope so!) and it can be quite the task to wake up very early in the morning to prepare food, then struggle through morning commute for who knows how many more hours. Then, as soon as you reach into work, you run down to the vending machine and pick up a Snickers. Whoa there! You’re off to a bad start.

What if I told you, that you can carry your food with you? Yes, I know you won’t be spending hours in the kitchen before work, but there are ways you can expedite preparation time, and have delicious, healthy and most importantly portable low carb meals at your disposal.

First, A Few Quick Tips:

• Do the bulk (or all) of your preparation on weekends- you can easily cut veggies for salads, marinate and grill meat, and even portion off entire meals, all over a Sunday afternoon.

• Make a List of All the Likely Needed Food for the Week- you’re more likely to fall off a diligent plan if you have nothing to eat! So, stock up, and cook happily!

• Don’t Go Condiment Heavy – by this, we mean try to limit or restrict the amount of condiments added to these otherwise healthy and low carb meals. Condiments are loaded with hidden carbs and sodium, which can leave you scratching your head wondering where you’re going wrong.
With That Out Of The Way, Here Are Some Great, Healthy And Portable Low Carb Meals Ideas

Bread-less Sandwiches: finding it hard to forego your delicious bread based sandwiches? For many people, bread forms a very important meal base, around which endless varieties of sandwiches can be concocted. Going cold turkey on bread when on a low carb diet can drive you bananas! But, luckily, you can use lettuce to substitute as bread slices, or even in the case of bun less burgers! Sandwiches are the ultimate portable food, and this can be a godsend. Fill with lean meats, onion, ranch dressing for a zesty kick (which coincidentally is low in carbs wink wink!) and, in limitation, a bit of cheese. You can try a new type of lettuce sandwich everyday if you like!

Stir Fried Veggies And Seafood: don’t like to cut up and prepare veggies on the weekend? (Lazy, aren’t you!) Then, still no reason to stress. You can just as easily pick up a bag of frozen veggies from you supermarket freezer isle, and easily whip out a few for a tasty stir fry. Add shrimp in the mix, or even canned tuna, and what you’ve got is a powerful and portable meal rich in heart healthy Omega-3 Fatty acids and lots of Zinc (watch out for that libido increase!)

Low Carb Bento Boxes – bento boxes may be unknown to you, but they can be a very nice way to spruce up a boring or visually dead diet. The way food looks plays an important part in its perceived taste, and this is especially where bento box low carb meals excel. All you need is a lunch bowl with 3-4 compartments, and fill with various foods in each. Typically, Japanese Bento contains rice, but low carb substitutions are a quick and easy fix. You can fill one compartment with seasoned or stir fried veggies (your choice; I love the way stir fried Brussels sprouts taste!), one compartment with a lean meat of your choice, or even better fish; and a boiled egg or two in the other compartment. Sprinkle a little soy sauce over the dish and you will have a delectable meal that looks stunning too.

Smoked Or Grilled Kebabs – love a good Fourth of July weekend? So do we! Well, now you can have your mini healthy low carb barbecue whenever you need! Just fire up that grill (gas or charcoal) and make your own kebabs on skewers! Accessorize with sweet bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, maybe some bacon, and even the occasional pineapple chunk. A very low carb portable meal as long as you do not go overboard with the pineapple.

Good Old Salads – nothing beats a nice salad when it comes to health, and convenience. Salads take a mere minutes to prepare, can be done however you like, and are filling too. Load up with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and lean meats of your choice (turkey works well here). Hey, if you like pack two servings for a long day!
Now that you’ve seen the simplicity of packing a healthy low carb meal, there’s no longer a reason to not carry yours from home.

The portability of these meals is unmatched; you can likely fit them in your handbag or even pocket!

BREAKFAST RECIPES

Remember, if the low-carb diet you choose is not working out for you then try a different one. As long as you stay on the low-carb diet track, you should still meet your goals.BREAKFAST STUFFED PEPPERS

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Total Time: 60 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 2 cups bell peppers
– 2 eggs
– ¼ cup milk
– ¼ tsp salt
– 1 tablespoon green onion
– ½ cup spinach
– ¼ cheddar cheese
– ¼ cup ham

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F
2. In a bowl combine spinach, green onion, eggs, salt, milk, cheese, ham and whisk well
3. Lay the peppers in a greased baking dish
4. Divide the green onion mixture between the peppers and sprinkle with cheese
5. Bake for 50 minutes or until eggs are done
6. When ready remove and serve

AVOCADO TOAST AND EGG

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 2 eggs
– 2 slices bread
– 1 avocado
– 1 tsp lime juice
– 1 tsp salt
– parsley

DIRECTIONS

1. In a skillet fry eggs, meanwhile, prepare toast bread
2. Mash avocado and combine with salt, pepper and lime juice
3. Spread avocado mixture on each slice of toast and top with a fried egg
4. Add parsley and serve

PEANUT BUTTER CHIA SEED PUDDING

Serves: 1
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 10 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 2 bananas
– 1 cup low-fat milk
– ¼ cup peanut butter
– 2 tablespoons chia seeds

DIRECTIONS

1. In a blender place all ingredients and blend until smooth
2. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight
3. Serve in the morning

BANANA OATMEAL CUPS

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
– ½ cup almond butter
– ½ cup maple syrup
– 2 bananas
– 2 zucchinis
– ¼ cup almond milk
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 cups oats
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– ¼ tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
2. Spray a muffin tin with cooking oil and set aside
3. In a bowl combine bananas, zucchini, almond milk, vanilla extract, almond butter, maple syrup, and flaxseed
4. Add cinnamon, salt, baking powder, oats, and stir well
5. Spoon mixture into muffin cups and bake for 22-25 minutes
6. When ready remove and serve

GLUTEN FREE GRANOLA

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 3 cups gluten-free oats
– 1 cup almonds
– ¼ cup brown sugar
– ¼ tsp cinnamon
– ½ cup canola oil
– ¼ cup raw honey
– 1 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS

1. In a bowl combine oats, almonds, sugar, canola oil and cinnamon
2. In a saucepan heat oil over medium heat
3. Pour the oats mixture and cook for 30 minutes or until crisp
4. When ready remove and serve

BERRY BREAKFAST PARFAITS

Serves: 1
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 10 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 1 cup Greek Yogurt
– 1 cup strawberries
– ½ tsp blueberries
– honey to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. In a jar, layer ¼ cup Greek Yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, and repeat layering process
2. Add honey and sprinkle with cinnamon
3. Serve when ready

SPINACH WITH BAKED EGGS

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 2 tsp olive oil
– 8-10 cups spinach
– 2 tsp garlic
– 1 cup shredded cheese
– 2 eggs

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F
2. In a skillet heat oil, add 1 tsp garlic, spinach and sauté for 3-4 minutes
3. Add ¼ cup cheese and divide mixture into 2 ramekins
4. Crack one egg over each spinach mixture
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes
6. Add salt, pepper and serve

CHOCOLATE OVERNIGHT OATS

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 1 cup oats
– ¼ cup Greek yogurt
– ¼ cup milk
– 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS

1. In a bowl combine all ingredients and mix well
2. Refrigerate overnight
3. When ready remove and serve

MORNING CINNAMON SMOOTHIE

Serves: 1
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 10 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 1 banana
– 1 scoop protein powder
– ¼ cup yogurt
– ¼ tsp cinnamon
– ¼ cup almond milk
– 1 cup ice cubes

DIRECTIONS

1. In a blender place all ingredients and blend until smooth
2. Pour smoothie in a glass and serve

BREAKFAST EGG MUFFINS

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 4 eggs
– salt to taste
– ¼ cup spinach
– ¼ cup cooked bacon
– ¼ cup cheddar cheese
– parsley

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
2. In a bowl combine eggs with cheese, bacon, spinach and mix well
3. Divide the mixture among the muffin cups
4. Bake for 18-20 minutes
5. When ready remove and serve

QUINOA BERRY BOWL

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 1 cup cooked quinoa
– 1 tablespoon coconut oil
– 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
– ½ cup berries
– coconut milk

DIRECTIONS

1. In a saucepan cook quinoa
2. Drizzle coconut oil and add coconut sugar, mix well
3. Add berries and strawberries
4. Drizzle a little bit of coconut milk and serve

ZUCCHINI QUINOA CUPS

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 1 cup cooked quinoa
– 2 eggs
– 2 egg whites
– 1 cup zucchini
– 1 cup cheddar cheese
– 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
– ¼ cup ham
– ½ cup parsley
– 1 green onion

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
2. In a bowl combine eggs, quinoa, egg whites, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, zucchini, parsley, ham, and green onions
3. Pour mixture into muffin cups
4. Bake for 12-15 minutes
5. When ready remove and serve

GRANOLA BARS

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– 1 cup dates
– ¼ cup maple syrup
– ¼ cup peanut butter
– 1 cup almonds
– 1 cup oats
– chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

1. Blend dates until smooth
2. In a saucepan add peanut butter, honey, and cook on low heat
3. Stir in oats, almonds, and dates
4. Transfer to a baking dish and down until flattened
5. Place in the fridge for 18-20 minutes
6. When ready remove and cut into 8-10 bars and serve

BAKED EGGS

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

– ¼ tsp garlic
– ¼ tsp thyme leaves
– ¼ tsp rosemary leaves
– 1 tablespoon parsley
– 1 tablespoon Parmesan
– 6 eggs
– 2 tablespoons heavy cream
– 2 tablespoons butter
– salt

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the broiler for 5-6 minutes
2. In a bowl combine parsley, parmesan, garlic, thyme, rosemary and set aside
3. Crack 2 eggs into each of 4 bowls
4. Place 4 ramekins on a baking sheet
5. Place cream and butter in each dish
6. Pour 2 eggs into each one, sprinkle with herb mixture
7. Place under the broiler for 5-6 minutes
8. When ready remove and serve