Low-carb, low-stress. This easy-to-follow meal plan is the perfect way to get organized for the week ahead, and it’s under $45!
Jenny Chang / Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed
BuzzFeed spoke with Brian St. Pierre, MS, RD, CSCS, director of performance nutrition at Precision Nutrition and Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, of Real Nutrition NYC about what it means to be on a low-carb diet, and if/when low-carb dinners might be appropriate or helpful. Both agreed that any nutritional plan with fewer than 25-30% of calories from carbohydrates can be considered a low-carb. Both also stressed that, no matter how many carbs you're eating, the majority of them should be whole, unprocessed carbs like fruits, vegetables, legumes, potatoes, and whole grains.
But the low-carb route isn't for everyone. “If you're an athlete or a highly active individual, you're going to need more carbs,” St. Pierre says. “If you’re someone who just walks around the neighborhood and doesn't do any high-level activity or exercise, you don’t need as many carbohydrates.” Get more in-depth information about low-carb diets here.
That said, eating a low-carb dinner can be beneficial for several reasons. “One of my easy tricks [for weight loss and weight maintenance] is to really focus on low-carb dinners,” Shapiro says. “Carbs are our main source of energy, and we don't really need energy to sit on the couch and go to sleep.” St. Pierre, on the other hand, says that, “there's nothing magical about having less carbs at night vs. during the day, but it can benefit you by helping you keep your total daily carbohydrate intake in check.” So, whether or not you're on a low-carb diet, eating a low-carb dinner can be a healthy and easy way to keep your overall calorie and carbohydrate consumption in check.
All five recipes serve two people and are simple enough for a beginner cook. One serving of each recipe has 10 – 20 g carbohydrates, 30 – 40 g protein, and 350 – 400 calories. The recipes and grocery list can easily be doubled if you're feeding four people.