Carbs’ rep is always changing. Either they’re the most adaptive macronutrient or scientists can’t seem to get it right.
The truth is carbohydrates are part of a balanced diet. However, following a low carb meal plan has been shown to improve health and increase weight loss. In fact, the DIRECT study found that those following a low-carb diet plan benefited from increased weight loss and maintenance. From breakfast to dinner and salmon to margaritas, there is a recipe on this list for everyone.
1- ASPARAGUS LEEK PANCETTA TART
Nutrition: 201 calories, 12.7 g fat (6.8 g saturated), 226.7 mg sodium, 14.9 g carbs, 1.4 g fiber, <1 g sugar, 6.9 g protein (calculated without salt)
“Gluten-free and perfect for brunch,” this sassy tart is a crowd and belly pleaser. Not to mention asparagus is packed with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and health-promoting antioxidants. It’s also one of the best vegetables for rapid weight loss.
2- BAKED SALMON WITH CREAMY AVOCADO SAUCE
Nutrition: 257 calories, 16.8 g fat (3.1 g saturated), 54 mg sodium, 5.3 g carbs, 3.5 g fiber, <1 g sugar, 23.1 g protein (calculated without salt)
Wild salmon is the Beyonce of proteins. Packed with metabolism-boosting omega-3s and protein, a nutrient that increases post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent, it’s forever stealing the spotlight.
3- PALEO BANANA BREAD MUFFINS
Nutrition: 165 calories, 11.6 g fat (3.3 g saturated), 164 mg sodium, 12.2 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 4.5 g sugar, 5 g protein
Muffin-tops aren’t in style during crop top season…. or ever. But that doesn’t mean you have to completely ditch the food they’re named after. The Paleo Diet is all about consuming nature’s bounty so this version contains eleven wholesome ingredients. It’s got just 165 calories and 12.2 carbs per serving. Now that’s a flat belly muffin we can bite into!
4- PHILLY CHEESESTEAK ZUCCHINI BOATS
Nutrition: 238 calories, 13.8 g fat (5.3 g saturated), 226 mg sodium, 8.9 g carbs, 2.6 g fiber, 4.6 g sugar, 21 g protein
Zucchinis are one super versatile veggie! From zoodles to zoats to zucchini boats, they’re transforming our diets. Who knew Philly cheesesteaks could be more appetizing on a veggie than on a nutrient-void white roll?
5- HEMP CRUSTED BAKED CHICKEN TENDERS
Nutrition: 388 calories, 14.6 g fat (1.2 g saturated), 232 mg sodium, 3.5 g carbs, 1.7 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 60.5 g protein
You’re not imagining that this recipe contains 60.5 grams of satiating protein. Hemp seeds are packed with omega-3s and slimming fiber, transforming the traditional diet-sabotaging chicken tender. And according to studies, marijuana’s edible, non-intoxicating cousin, fights heart disease, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.
6- ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH MARJORAM, PINE NUTS, LEEKS & LEMON
Nutrition: 129 calories, 9 g fat (2.2 g saturated), 240 mg sodium, 11.8 g carbs, 3.3 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 3.1 g protein
Cauliflower may have been a veggie that you passed up in the past, but what we’re about to tell you will have you asking for seconds. The cruciferous veggie is boasting with fiber and vitamins B and C, making it both detoxifier and body regulator. And although C has an immunity-boosting rep, it’s also been shown to elevate mood and counteracts the stress hormones that trigger the storage of belly fat.
7- COBB SALAD
Nutrition: 211 calories, 11 g fat (2.6 g saturated), 275 mg sodium, 10.7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2.5 g sugar, 18.4 g protein
Save 449 calories, 39 grams of fat and 695 milligrams of sodium when you whip up this low carb cobb over the one on Panera’s menu. Consuming nearly a day’s worth of sodium at lunch can lead to high blood pressure and water retention. Steer clear!
8- RAW BEET SALAD WITH CARROT QUINOA SPINACH
Nutrition: 189 calories, 11.9 g fat (1.7 g saturated), 80 mg sodium, 16.5 g carbs, 4.2 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 6.4 g protein
If you’re on an athlete’s eating plan, you’ll want to pay close attention: A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that runners who ate baked beets before a 5k ran five percent faster. This salad may not be baked, but its performance-boosting effects are just as lethal. And don’t forget how important nutrition is after an exhausting workout.
9- CHIMICHURRI CHICKEN SKEWERS
Nutrition: 356 calories, 23.8 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 247 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 1.1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 33.2 g protein
These chicken skewers are drizzled with a chimichurri sauce made with fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and cilantro. The cilantro in this recipe does much more than take your taste buds south of the border; it promotes detoxification by helping to remove heavy metals from the body that tend to hide in fat cells. These heavy metals can disrupt normal tissue function and, as a result, prevent your body from healing and functioning properly. By reducing overall toxins in your body, you can help get rid of excess stored fat, which can help lessen the appearance of cellulite.
10- TURKEY TACO LETTUCE WRAPS
Nutrition: 185 calories, 11.2 g fat (4.1 g saturated), 243 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 1.2 g fiber, 1.7 g sugar, 18.1 g protein
Taco Tuesdays might need a makeover if you’re still sporting that winter bod. With all the flavor and none of the empty calories, these lettuce wraps got you covered.