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How to plan a low carb diet meal

2013-01-29   Views:3

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At first, adjusting to low-carbohydrate eating provides a challenge due to bread and other starches being staple foods and snacks in most settings. Avoiding doughnuts, chips, potatoes, rice, sweets and bread of all kinds takes getting used to. Focusi

How to plan a low carb diet meal

At first, adjusting to low-carbohydrate eating provides a challenge due to bread and other starches being staple foods and snacks in most settings. Avoiding doughnuts, chips, potatoes, rice, sweets and bread of all kinds takes getting used to. Focusing on the filling foods and tempting recipes that low-carb diets allow provides the key to navigating through these obstacles. Creating meals based on quality protein and fresh vegetables allows you to create satisfying food and banish hunger. Once you become familiar with a specific low-carb eating program and meal options, planning a low-carb meal becomes second nature.

Skill level:Moderately Easy

Instructions

1 Check how many carbohydrates you have available for the meal. Keeping a food journal or a running tally of carb counts for each day will help you stay on course and plan your meals. For example, if your target for the day is 60 carbohydrates and you've eaten 40 carbs and you want to save five carbs for dessert, plan on 15 carbs or fewer for dinner.

2 Build the meal around your protein choice, such as beef, poultry, pork or fish. Look up the number of carbohydrates for the desired portion size and preparation method and write it down. For example, according to "Dr. Atkins' New Carbohydrate Gram Counter," 170g (6oz) of roasted chicken breast counts as zero carbs. A name-brand chicken teriyaki skillet meal contains 42g of carbohydrate.

3 Choose vegetables for your meal from among low-carb types, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, French-style green beans or asparagus. Check the number of carbohydrates for the desired serving size and write it down. For example, 1/2 cup of steamed zucchini contains 1.5 carbohydrates. With 170g of roast chicken breast, that's 7.5 carbs.

4 Add a salad to your meal plan. One cup of loose-leaf or mesclun salad greens equals 1g of carbohydrate. Including 10 cherry tomatoes adds another 6g of carbohydrate. This brings the subtotal for dinner to 14.5g. Dress the salad with olive oil and white vinegar, a zero-carb dressing, to complete a meal plan with fewer than 15 carbs.

Tips and warnings

Most protein sources are low in carbohydrates as long as they're prepared without breading or sweetened sauces.

Avoid starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, yams, corn and peas for most low-carb food programs, unless you're in a maintenance phase or experienced with low-carb eating. If your goal is weight loss, starches may undercut your progress.

Plan a green salad without tomatoes and use a creamy dressy. Bleu cheese and other creamy dressings are usually low in carbs.

The South Beach Diet and later phases of the Atkins Diet favor complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits over simple carbohydrates in processed foods, desserts and products made from white flour.

Use the same process to create meals for higher or lower carb counts. For example, skip the dinner salad and have a second hot vegetable with a cheese sauce or a dressing you enjoy that fits your low-carb program.

Consult with your doctor about any health concerns and before attempting diet changes.

How to plan a low carb diet meal

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