The low-carb route is one many women choose to take in an attempt to lose body fat and get in shape for beach season. When you cut carbs it's vital you increase your intake of good fats and protein. Your body can use fat for energy, according to nutritionist Mark Sisson, so when carbs are lower, you need a little more good fat to keep you from feeling tired. A study published in a 2008 edition of "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" showed that eating more protein can aid weight loss and satiety.
Fish and Vegetables
A meal composed just of fish and vegetables might not sound too appealing, but there's so much scope to vary this dish. Oily fish is your best bet, as not only is it high in protein, but you also get the benefit of the heart-healthy omega-3 fats. These fats can lower your risk of heart disease, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and help manage triglyceride levels. Pick salmon, mackerel, sardines or trout. Accompany the fish with low-carb vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, kale, carrots, eggplant, radishes, sprouts or leeks.
They may be a breakfast staple, but any time of day is a good time for an omelet on a low-carb diet. Eggs contain protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, and the idea that they increase your levels of bad cholesterol is a myth. Keep your omelets low-carb by adding in vegetables such as peppers, onions, mushrooms or chillies and cook them over low heat using a little olive or coconut oil if needed.
Chilli may have a reputation for being high in calories and carbs, but this needn't be the case. Base your dish around a lean meat, such as chicken breast, ground turkey or lean steak. Add plenty of low-carb vegetables and keep the carb content down by skipping the kidney or pinto beans. Instead of serving it with rice, tacos or tortillas, just have a mixed salad or extra veggies on the side. To add in some good fats, top it with a little guacamole.
Any meal based around meat, fish or even low-carb dairy products such as cottage cheese or a vegetarian protein like tofu or tempeh can be made into a low-carb, good fat and protein meal. Simply reduce the starchy and sugary items and replace them with more healthy fats, such as oily fish, olive oil, avocados or nuts and seeds. This works with stews and casseroles, salads and even pasta dishes if you substitute pasta for more vegetables.
Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.