How to Eat 30 Carbs Per Day

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Focusing on fiber, lean protein and healthy fats will keep your energy up.
Focusing on fiber, lean protein and healthy fats will keep your energy up. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Low-carbohydrate diets have taken center stage in the health and fitness industry in the last decade and are based around the idea that the human body works better without difficult grains and sugars to digest. Eating under 30 grams of carbohydrates per day can be difficult. Grains and sugars are a large part of the modern diet because they are widely produced, accessible and inexpensive. You can still eat under 30 grams of carbohydrates a day by focusing on vegetables and lean proteins while avoiding Western staples like bread, pasta, high-sugar fruits and dairy products.

Things You'll Need

  • Pan
  • Olive oil
  • Mixed vegetables (your preference of mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers and green beans) washed and chopped into quarter-sized pieces
  • 2 bowls
  • Spatula
  • Fresh green lettuce or spinach
  • Grilled chicken breast or canned chicken, salmon or tuna
  • Lean protein like chicken breast, beef, lamb or pork

Breakfast

Cook a low-carbohydrate omelet for breakfast by lightly sautéing vegetables before incorporating them in the omelet. For the vegetables, heat up half a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, add your washed and chopped vegetables and cook on medium heat until the vegetables are slightly soft and very lightly browned. Put the vegetables in the bowl and put the pan back on the stove with another half tablespoon of olive oil for the eggs.

Scramble the eggs in another bowl and make sure the pan is hot when you pour the eggs in. Sprinkle your vegetables in the pan with the eggs and allow to cook until the eggs near the edges of the pan begin to look dry. Use your spatula to fold the omelet in half and gently transfer to a plate. Pair your breakfast with black coffee or tea and water.

Build your lunch salad by tossing the lettuce with your mixed vegetables, another half tablespoon of olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Sprinkle your grilled chicken breast or canned chicken, salmon or tuna on top of your salad.

Cook your lean protein by heating half a tablespoon of olive oil in your pan on medium-low heat, adding the meat and cooking until browned on both sides. Adding spices like salt, pepper, sage and/or basil will add dimension and flavor to the fillet.

Finish cooking your dinner by cooking a heaping pile of vegetables just like in step one. The key to keeping your carbohydrate intake below 30 grams of carbohydrates is larger volumes of vegetables and regular amounts of protein and fiber to keep you feeling full and energized.

Measure out 1/4 cup of almonds, cashews or Brazil nuts for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack if you feel hungry. Be careful not to eat more nuts than this, as it is very easy to go over 30 grams of carbohydrates as well as your recommended amount of daily calories with snacks like nuts.

Measure out half a cup of a lower carbohydrate fruit like blueberries or raspberries if you have consumed less than 30 grams of carbohydrates and feel like eating something sweet after dinner. Again, be careful not to eat too much, as fruit tends to be much higher in sugar than vegetables or lean proteins.

Tips & Warnings

  • When making your lunch salad, adding cheese, balsamic vinegar or typical salad dressing might push you over 30 grams of carbohydrates for the day, but these ingredients are good for adding flavor.
  • Low-carbohydrate diets often leave people feeling tired if they are not used to getting most of their energy from lean proteins and healthy fats. Eating less than 30 grams of carbohydrates per day is not recommended in general, and particularly not for athletes or people who live very active lifestyles, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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