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 University of Exeter Medical School conducted a two-year study comparing low-carb, low-fat, and Mediterranean-style diets. The results: increased weight loss and maintenance from those who followed a low-carb meal plan. From breakfast to dinner and salmon to margaritas, there is a recipe on this list for everyone.
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.
Get the recipe from I Breathe, I'm Hungry.
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.
Get the recipe from Creme de la Crumb.
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!
Get the recipe from Gimmie Delcious.
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?
Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.
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.
Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
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.
Get the recipe from Sassy Kitchen.
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!
Get the recipe from Deithood.
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. Check out these 20 Post-Workout Recovery Recipes.
Get the recipe from Cookie and Kate.
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.
Get the recipe from A Happy Food Dance.
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. And don't forget to check out these 25 Best Foods for a Toned Body.
Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.
GRILLED HARISSA SHRIMP SKEWERS
Nutrition: 284 calories, 21.8 g fat (3.4 g saturated), 526 mg sodium, 1.8 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 21 g protein
Each gram of shrimp packs a whopping 25 percent protein and on serving dishes up 80 percent of your DV of vitamin B12, which assists in protein and fat metabolism. Not to mention shrimp is also an excellent source of the antioxidant mineral, selenium. We doubt we need to do much more convincing to get you to skew this noteworthy seafood this weekend.
Get the recipe from A Beautiful Plate.
CHICKEN AVOCADO BURGER
Nutrition: 285 calories, 17.2 g fat (3.7 g saturated), 81 mg sodium, 4.7 g carbs, 3.4 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 28.2 g protein
Whether you don't consume red meat or are just over beef and turkey burgers this chicken version won't disappoint. It's got 28 grams of waist-whittling protein, which boosts caloric burn, satiety, and muscle mass.
Get the recipe from The Laughing Spatula.
BROCCOLI CRUST PIZZA
Nutrition: 279 calories, 15.8 g fat (8.4 g saturated), 546 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 3.8 g fiber, 3.1 g sugar, 25.5 g protein (calculated without salt)
Low carb and pizza are rarely ever in the same sentence—unless the we're talking veggie crust AKA this broccoli version. Just make sure to make it without added salt, get in a sweat sesh, and drink lots of fluids to counteract the sodium content.
Get the recipe from Gimmie Delicious.
Nutrition: 145 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 100 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 0 g protein
As temperatures climb, there is nothing more relaxing than sitting on a beach with a cocktail in your hand. Unfortunately, most alcoholic beverages aren't so kind to your waistline. Most….meaning we've found one that is. P.S. Research suggests that the agavins (natural sugar) found in margarita's signature booze help you lose weight. After scientists had given a group of mice agavins into their water, they reported that the mice had lower glucose levels and were fuller longer. Sip on this skinny marg guiltfree.
Get the recipe from Well Plated.
PARMESAN GARLIC MASHED CAULIFLOWER
Nutrition: 172 calories, 8.9 g fat (5.9 g saturated), 302 mg sodium, 9. 2 g carbs, 2.3 g fiber, 4.5 g sugar, 16 g protein
If you haven't tried subbing in cauliflower for traditional spuds, you're missing out. All the flavor and one fifth of the carbs.
Get the recipe from Running in a Skirt.
ZUCCHINI SPAGHETTI FRIED EGGS
Nutrition: 213 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated), 90 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 11 g protein
Zoodles don't have to be limited to lunch and dinner. They've earned a spot on your breakfast menu too. And don't even think about ditching the yolks. Research at Wake Forest University reviewed more than 30 egg studies and found no link between egg consumption and heart disease. In fact, a study in the journal Metabolism found that eating whole egg could improve lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity. For the best morning grub, check out these 50 Best Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss—Ranked.
Get the recipe from Inspiralized.
CREAMY SPINACH AND FETA TORTILLA WRAPS
Nutrition: 210 calories, 14.7 g fat (5.8 g saturated), 210 mg sodium, 13.1 g carbs, 6.5 g fiber, 1.5 g sugar, 7.6 g protein
Beachin' this weekend? Skip the concession stands' nutritionally-void menus and pack these divine spinach and feta wraps instead. Not only are they low in calories and carbs, but they're easy to carry and won't spoil in your bag.
Get the recipe from Diethood.
DOUBLE CRUNCH OVEN BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES
Nutrition: 126 calories, 1.9 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 137 mg sodium, 22.7 g carbs, 2.7 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 4.4 g protein
Just because these fries aren't "fried" doesn't mean they're any less of a food orgasm. Whip up this sweet potato recipe and see for yourself.
Get the recipe from Laughing Spatula.
PESTO SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH ROASTED TOMATOES
Nutrition: 257 calories, 19.5 g fat (4.8 g saturated), 226 mg sodium, 12.8 g carbs, 3.3 g fiber, 3.1 g sugar, 12.2 g protein
Pesto and roasted tomatoes add pizazz to the traditionally bland squash. We are big fans of this recipes because it's free of questionable additives (unlike some jars you find on grocery store shelves). All you'll find in this recipe are natural ingredients like basil, olive oil, cheese, and raw nuts. It doesn't get more "clean" than that.
Get the recipe from A Happy Food Dance.
THAI ZUCCHINI AND CUCUMBER NOODLE COLLARD GREEN WRAP
Nutrition: 206 calories, 14 g fat (1 g saturated), 485 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 9 g protein
It's true that once you go almond butter, you never go back. Aside from being a weight loss God, almonds deliver an impressive dose of vitamin E and disease-fighting flavonoids. Plus, they're full of metabolic supporting nutrients like riboflavin, magnesium, and manganese. But to be completely honest, you had us at Thai wraps.
Get the recipe from Inspiralized.