Low carb lunch recipes are what saved Dragos and I when we started eating healthy, and needed great ideas on what to bring to work. All of this post is crafted and thought out specifically for lunch, and lunch only. We’ll cover the rest of the meals in future posts and link them here.
Table of Contents
Low carb lunch recipes – 5 principles to use
We’ll get to the recipes/ideas, but we need to understand the principles of putting together this kind of meal.
- Although this is a low carb diet, try and straight up avoid all carbs for your main meals. This is because you’re getting some carbs from your sweetened coffee/tea (even if it’s just a tsp), from some graham crackers you had this morning, from your breakfast, etc. So keep this in mind when you think up your lunch.
- Half your plate should be greens and/or veggies. Even if the other half end up just being protein, veggies and greens bloat you so much less, and are much easier on the stomach. So always think first what greens/veggies you want to pair your protein with.
- Some fats are okay. I mean olive oil, fish oil, avocado, coconut butter, nuts and seeds, and so on are all alright to combine in this kind of diet. Actually, they’re kind of mandatory if you want the full properties of fresh veggies to come out – vegetables need some form of fats/oils to give you all their vitamins and minerals !
- When in doubt, get a salad.
- Your protein should come as clean and simple as possible. Boiled, baked and grilled is better than pan-seared, and they’re all better than dipped in batter and then fried. Try to find a ‘naked’ one.
Low carb lunch recipes – some actual ideas of what to eat !
This won’t be a how-to, I have full trust in you that you can make simple basic meals. This will, however, be a tweak and adjust kind of list, wherever you might need to change the traditional cooking process. Some of these are actual lunches we brought to work.
- Spinach w/baked chicken breast – just don’t add the flour to thicken it up. Stew it some more so it dries out to the consistency you want. The sour cream is still okay in this.
- Salads w/protein – add nuts and seeds, some herbs like oregano and rosemary and please consider adding some spicy peppers(dried or fresh), it changes everything !
- Salad dressings – stick with clear ones, preferably the ones you can easily break down mentally like oil+ vinegar/tomato juice/lime/lemon + a bunch of spices you love. Switch sugar with honey.
- Cauliflower puree w/salmon
- Steamed brown rice w/sauteed mushrooms
- Turkey w/buttered peas
- Ratatouille w/chicken drums
- Maple duck legs w/stir-fry veggies
Low carb, high fat recipes – here’s a twist !
While popular belief might be that fats are just as bad as carbs, we need to talk a bit about this. They main reason people steer clear of fats is actually because they do a lot of damage when combined with carbs – so greasy pizza, fries, a whole burger, taters and short ribs, french toast, the vast majority of desserts, including pancakes (I’m sorry).
So just fats, by themselves, are pretty much okay. They give you calories to burn, but they’re not transformed into glycogen like carbs and protein – so they don’t give your body much nutrients. That means you can combine some high fat foods into your diet ever few days. Not all day every day, but from time to time it can be a weight loss boost.
Low carb diet for fat loss – how it helps
If you’re already eating like this, or considering eating like this, then you know this helps with losing weight. But let’s take a quick look into how and why this works, so you can remember this next time you see that steaming lasagna winking at you.
The science behind this is ridiculously complex, but for the sake of this article we’ll keep it short.
Basically, your body needs every macro nutrient out there – but carbs it needs in very little quantities, especially compared to what most pre-made meals give us. So, in order to burn fat, actual body fat, your body must not have any other option.
That means we don’t give it any (or barely any) carbs to transform into body fat. So now all it can do is use its own fat for energy.
Remember this quick note: every ounce of carb you eat prevents your body from burning an ounce of body fat.
And there you go, you’re on your way to great weight loss !
Low carb diet results
We’ve had great results with this, and it’s actually the kind of diet we keep anyway. Well, after a while it stops being a diet and becomes your lifestyle for good. Especially if you want to maintain your weight.
Combine it with regular exercise or gym workouts, and a steady disciplined eating routine, and there’s a very slim chance you’ll gain weight (ha, see what I did there ?)
The most dramatic results we’ve had were with our clients in Europe. We’ve had ladies in their 40s and 50s drop 5, 8, 12 lbs per month with this kind of diet and barely any exercise. And honestly we’ve very proud of them, because most of them managed to keep this lifestyle even after they got to the weight they wanted.
If they made it so can you ! Good luck and stay healthy.
In the mean time you can check our other articles, like: