Sunday, July 7, 2013

Free Low-Carb Meal Plan

Dieters gravitate to a low-carb program because cutting carbs found in processed foods significantly boosts weight loss. The best way to begin your low-carb meal plan is to toss all sugar- and starch-laden foods--including cookies, baked goods, white rice and pasta. Replace those items with low-carb options that you can eat throughout the day, such as fresh vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy. For best results, aim to eat 1,200 to 1,500 low-carb calories per day for maximum weight loss.

Eat Breakfast Every Day

    Don't think that skipping breakfast will help reduce your overall daily caloric intake. This couldn't be further from the truth, especially when counting carbs. You must jump-start your metabolism every morning to begin burning calories.

    Select a low-carb breakfast such as two eggs, scrambled or over easy, two slices of turkey bacon and a glass of tomato juice, coffee or water. Or make an omelet with one piece of low-fat cheese, diced vegetables and ham. Another low-carb egg dish is a breadless eggwich. Pile your egg combination on a large piece of lettuce, top it with salsa, wrap it and close it with a toothpick.

    Another low-carb option is a cup of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tsp. ground flax seeds and a packet of artificial sweetener.

Low-Carb Lunch and Dinner

    Cut the carbs in your mid-afternoon and evening meal by integrating a piece of lean meat during every meal. Choose 3 oz. grilled or baked pork, chicken or fish. Every now and then have steak, but stick to white meat to be on the healthier side.

    You should also eat 1 or 2 cups of vegetables with every afternoon and evening meal to fill up and reduce cravings. An easy way to get your servings is to buy bags of frozen vegetables and measure 1 or 2 cups. Steam them in the microwave and top them with non-fat butter spray and seasonings.

    You can also roast vegetables to create an entire meal. Wash and cut non-starchy, sugary vegetables such as broccoli, squash or cauliflower. Toss them in an oven-safe pan with 1 tsp. olive oil and sea salt. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes and top it with shredded, non-fat mozzarella cheese.

Snacking, Low-Carb Style

    Snacks are an important way to keep your cravings at bay and on track with your low-carb lifestyle. Select foods such as low-fat cottage cheese, string cheese, sugar-free plain yogurt, sugar-free gum and sugar-free hard candy to satisfy afternoon or late-night cravings.

    Raw, cut vegetables partnered with sugar-free dressing is another way to snack without guilt. Eating nuts and seeds are also considered low-carb, but be mindful how many you eat in one sitting. Nuts are loaded with calories and fat.


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