By Jessica Lewandowski
Any exercise or workout can be taxing on the body, no matter what level you’re working at. It’s important to give your body nutrients before and after your workout, so your body doesn’t eat away at your muscles for energy. It’s always a good idea to have a light snack that is dense in quality nutrients before heading to the gym. Below are the best choices for those on a LC or Keto diet.
There are many nuts easily accessible at grocery stores that are low on carbs and high in healthy fats and protein. Generally, nuts make a great snack (especially before a workout) because they’re full of nutrition without filling your body temporarily with empty calories. There are many nuts that are also known for improving your body’s HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and reducing LDL cholesterol (the bad kind).
Which nuts should you be grabbing a handful of on your way to the gym while on a low carb diet? Brazil nuts and pecans both have only 4g of net carbs per 100g of munchies. These will be the healthiest option. Walnuts and peanuts are also good choices, at only 7g per 100g. Other popular nuts, like pistachios and almonds, start to tip the scale. While it’s okay to include a small amount of higher-carb nuts in your meals, they’re not the best choice eating a handful of.
The best part about a low carb diet is you can still eat addictive cheese! String cheese makes a great snack before a workout because it’s mainly composed of fats and protein and hardly any carbs. Eating one or two before you change into your gym shorts will provide you with slow burning energy that you can use throughout your workout.
When selecting string cheese at the grocery store, make sure to pick the whole milk brands. Check the ingredients list to make sure you’re picking 100% real cheese and not one of those sneaky brands that tricks you into thinking it’s all natural.
Eggs are a staple of any high protein diet. While frying up a couple eggs before a workout may not be convenient, preparing hard boiled eggs in advance makes an easy go-to snack you can pop in your mouth before you break a sweat!
At the beginning of the week, you can hard boil a dozen eggs for an easy snack. Beet-pickled eggs are also a delicious snack that takes hardly any time to prepare. If you’re just trying to add extra protein to an existing meal, slice up a cooked egg over your afternoon salad. Just make sure you chew a piece of minty, sugar-free gum before you chat up your friends at the gym!
There are many great snack recipes you can find on CarbManager, from easy to more complex and flavorful options, that will be friendly to your ketogenic diet and any low carb lifestyle. Always make sure to stay hydrated during your workout and refuel when you’re done!
By Jessica Lewandowski
Since the ketogenic diet requires a lot of healthy fat and a lot of protein, one of the easiest ways to satisfy both those needs is with meat. A diet doesn’t seem so bad if you can still eat steaks, pork chops, and chicken, right? It’s easy to get carried away, and many people don’t know what the actual recommendation for consumption of meat is. Use this handy guide to plan your weekly meals and still enjoy your favorite foods.
Fish is notoriously known as one of the healthiest meats you can eat on any diet, but particularly for ketogenic diets. Fish provides the body with Omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight bad cholesterol. The meat on fish is also incredibly lean and low in saturated fat. While you can feel safe eating just about any store-bought fillets, the healthiest fish to choose are salmon or tuna.
How often should you be eating fish? The American Heart Association suggests limiting your seafood intake to twice a week.
Unfortunately, you still need to avoid eating fried chicken (sorry, KFC), but chicken is another lean protein that can be enjoyed every week. The healthiest way to devour your poultry is to grill or bake skinless, white meat. Chicken breasts or thighs will be the most health-conscious cuts. Also, try to remove any extra fat before cooking your bird.
Poultry in general is safe to consume 2-3 per week. This includes turkey or game birds.
Red meat can be a tricky subject for dieters, since there is so much to choose from. What cuts of meat are healthy and which aren’t? How much beef should a person really consume? Typically, “lean” ground beef has only 15% fat content or less. Anything higher should be avoided. Also, look for cuts of meat that have “loin” in the name, like sirloin. Additionally, seek out the “choice” and “select” grades of beef. While “prime” grades are technically higher in quality, there is more saturated, unhealthy fat.
Red meat should typically be eaten no more than twice per week. Each serving should be about 3 ounces. You heard that right, the AHA suggests each serving of red meat be about the size of a deck of cards.
The question everyone wants to know the answer to: is bacon healthy for you? The short answer is: it’s okay. Moderation is key when it comes to pork. Pork is one of the lesser healthy options for anyone trying to lose weight, whether they’re on a low carb diet or not. Similar to red meat, you should stick to cuts of pork that have “loin” in the name. Ribs and, yes, bacon have much more saturated fat. While they’re not terrible options for ketogenic diets, they’re not the best choice.
Typically, most should limit their pork intake to once per week. Don’t go over two servings of pork per week.
For non-vegetarians, it’s easy to get large doses of protein in your diet. However, it’s easy to go overboard! Pay close attention to portion sizes, and you can healthily consume your favorite proteins every week.
Carb Manager is the easiest and most powerful way to count carbs and live the low carb life. In this blog, we've invited experts on LCHF to contribute their views on everything low carb.