When I first started getting in shape 10 years ago, my biggest challenge wasn’t the gym. I had no problem working hard and sweating for an hour.

 

Nor was it even quitting smoking.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong. Quitting smoking was a huge challenge. Even today, 10 years later, I’ll get an occasional craving that I have to metaphorically punch in the face.

 

No. My biggest challenge was learning how to make healthy food that I enjoyed eating.

 

I didn’t know how to cook, which is partly what had led to my poor eating habits in the first place.

 

So I started reading every book I could find about healthy nutrition. I also started reading recipes online to see if I could make healthy versions of food I already enjoyed.

 

After months of research and experimenting, I’d managed to come up with a bunch of delicious low carb meals, especially low carb dinners.

 

Why more low carb dinners? Because most of us eat the same breakfast and lunch every day. It’s only at dinner that we crave variation.

 

Low carb dinners are perfect if you’re trying to:

 

– lose body fat.

– bring your insulin levels under control.

lean bulk. If you’re on a lean bulk, feel free to add half a cup of cooked white rice or a small sweet potato to the below dinners, as long as you’ve lifted weights that day. Omit the carbs if you haven’t.

 

Speaking of lifting weights: these meals are all high in protein and are therefore better suited to people who strength train on a regular basis.

 

You don’t need to stick to the exact recipes. Maybe you prefer more veggies and less meat. Or maybe you want to switch one green veggie for another. And you can even use frozen veggies instead of fresh.

 

I’ve deliberately been vague with the amounts of ingredients too. We all need different amounts of protein and fat depending on our size and fitness goals. Figure out what works best for you, as long as it brings you closer to your fitness goals.

 

You can also leave a comment at the bottom with your current stats, exercise regime, and fitness goal, and I’ll help you figure out how much of each ingredient you should use.

 

 

LOW CARB DINNERS: GET LEAN AND BUILD MUSCLE WITH THESE SIX MEALS

 

 

1. Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry

150-300g beef stir-fry strips

½ bell pepper (any colour), chopped

¼ medium onion, chopped

½ head broccoli, chopped

A piece of ginger half the size of your thumb, finely diced (or ½ tsp ginger powder)

2 cloves garlic, sliced (or ¼ tsp garlic powder)

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp fish sauce

½ tsp chilli flakes

 

Heat your wok or frying pan on medium-high. Add the coconut oil and allow it 30 seconds to get hot. Fry the beef for 2 minutes, then add the bell pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, and broccoli. After 1 minute, add the fish sauce. Once the liquids have reduced (5-7 minutes), remove from the heat. Serve

 

 

RELATED – 6 Fat Burning Breakfast Ideas

 

 

2. Roasted Chicken and Veggies

2-4 skinless chicken thighs or 1-2 chicken breasts

1 small onion, chopped

½ bell pepper, any colour, chopped

1 cup Brussels sprouts, halved

2-4 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp each: rosemary, thyme

2 cloves garlic, sliced (or ¼ tsp garlic powder)

Sea salt

Black pepper

 

Mix the veggies in a bowl. Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss and transfer to a baking tray. Rub the chicken with 1-2 tbsp olive oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Lay on top of the vegetables. Bake everything at 350 for 25-30 minutes (until cooked through).

 

 

3. Thai Prawn Curry

200-300g king prawns, raw

¼ medium onion, diced

½ bell pepper, sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced (or ¼ tsp garlic powder)

2-4 tbsp olive oil

¼ tsp chilli flakes

Sea salt

 

Sauce (combine in a bowl)

¼ can coconut milk

½ tbsp almond butter (or peanut butter)

Juice from a ¼ lime

½ tsp ginger, minced (or dash ginger powder)

1 tbsp fish sauce

 

Garnish

1 tbsp each (chopped): fresh basil, fresh cilantro

1 green onion, chopped

Optional: small jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and diced

 

Mix the prawns, 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, salt and chilli flakes in a bowl. While marinating, fry the onion and bell pepper in olive oil on high until soft. Remove from the pan. Fry the prawns until pink (around 2 minutes per side). Remove the prawns from the pan.

Now add the onions and bell pepper back to the frying pan. Pour in the sauce. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to low, and allow to simmer until the liquid reduces by half. Turn off the heat. Mix in the prawns. Garnish with basil, cilantro, green onion and jalapeño pepper.

 

 

4. Basil Parmesan Burger

150-300g lean or extra lean ground beef

25g parmesan, grated

½ tsp basil

4 large basil leaves, chopped

1-3 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt

Black pepper

2-3 cups kale, steamed for 5 minutes

 

Mix the beef, parmesan, basil (both kinds), sea salt and pepper by hand in a mixing bowl. Make 1-2 hamburger patties. Fry the patty in olive oil on medium-high for 3-4 minutes, covered. Flip the patty and immediately sprinkle the parmesan on top. Fry for a further 3-4 minutes, covered. Remove from the heat and leave to sit for 3 minutes, covered Serve with kale.

 

 

5. Lemon Thyme Salmon

1-3 salmon fillets

2-4 tbsp butter, melted

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp dried thyme OR 1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped

Sea salt

Black pepper

2-3 cups kale, steamed for 5 minutes

 

Put the salmon into a package of aluminium foil, but don’t close it up yet. Pour the melted butter over the salmon along with the lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper. Close the silver foil package. Place on to an oven pan. Bake at 350 until cooked (15-20 minutes). Serve with the steamed kale.

 

 

6. Steak

1 steak of your choice

2 tbsp butter

½ cup mushrooms, chopped

Sea salt

Black pepper

½ head broccoli, chopped and steamed for 5 minutes

 

Heat the butter on high in a frying pan. Season the steak with sea salt and pepper. Cook the steak to your liking (I prefer medium rare, which requires 2-3 minutes cooking per side). Leave the steak to sit for 5 minutes immediately after cooking to retain maximum flavour. Meanwhile, fry the mushrooms on high. Serve steak with mushrooms and steamed broccoli.

 

 

Those were six of my favourite low carb dinners. Do you have any of your own that you enjoy? Leave a comment below.