High Protein, Low Carb Meals

Delicious & Nutritious foods to fuel your body

Fact Checked Approved on Feb 22, 2024
Our stories are all thoroughly reviewed and fact-checked by The Low Carb Grocery team to ensure that any health related recommendations made in the article are completely unbiased, accurate and reflect the latest relevant research and health guidelines. That being said, you should always consult your doctor before making significant dietary changes.

Tasty high protein, Low carb foods

If you’re pursuing a fitness-oriented eating plan, where each rep counts and every calorie matters, you’ve probably learned that low carb, high protein diets aren’t just a fad. They’re a fantastic way to ensure you’re achieving optimal wellness and providing your body with the building blocks it needs to sustain muscle growth. Foods such as lean meats, fish, and legumes not only power your workouts but aid in muscle repair and growth, making them indispensable for fitness enthusiasts seeking peak performance.

Nutrient Dense, Delicious Meals Made Easy

Our goal is to provide you with an all-inclusive guide to eating a diet packed full of nutrient-dense meals that actually taste good and leave you feeling satisfied. Forget bland diets and tasteless meals, we’re here to add zest to your fitness journey. It’s easy to integrate these foods into your daily diet. Whether you’re aiming to shed excess fat, pump iron, or chase those washboard abs, these low carb, high protein options are your new allies.  Get ready to transform the way you eat and excel on your fitness journey.

What Is a Low Carb and High Protein Diet?

Essentially, you are swapping most of your daily carb intake for protein. There is no set macronutrient amount, so you can experiment a bit to see what diet works best for your body. There is no one-size-fits-all diet, so don’t feel pressured to do a full 180 switch immediately. Small, gradual changes to your diet will help your body adjust and increase your chances of success.

Most low carb diets limit the daily carb intake to under 26% of your total daily calories. So, if you are eating 2,000 calories a day, you would consume fewer than 130 grams of carbs. Some more extreme low carb diets limit their intake to under 10%.

In terms of your protein intake, many high protein diets recommend getting at least 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Therefore, if you weigh 140 lbs, you’d want to consume at least 84 grams of protein a day.

Many low carb, high protein diets have a higher fat content, but don’t let that scare you. As long as you’re getting your fats from healthy sources, such as olive oil or avocado, you are eating right!

The Benefits of a Low Carb, High Protein Lifestyle

When you embark on a low carb, high protein lifestyle, you’ll give your fitness regimen a serious boost. We know that the pursuit of fitness isn’t only about muscle gain – it’s about fueling your body to be able to conquer whatever life throws your way.

By eating more protein and lowering your carb consumption, you’ll fight off hunger pangs and power your muscles. Additionally, you’ll say goodbye to any post-carb slumps and after lunch fatigue. Many people have found success shedding the last few stubborn pounds by switching their diet over to low carb, high protein.

If you find it difficult to track your macros and meals, you can try an app such as Carb Manager or MyFitnessPal.

  1. Body Composition

For many people, it can be very difficult to lose weight while gaining muscle mass. However, the greater your muscle mass, the higher the number of calories being burned while your body is at rest. High protein diets can aid in preserving muscle mass while allowing you to lose weight. Sometimes, these diets can even improve muscle mass.

In order to do this, you’ll want to make sure you’re not in a severe calorie deficit, instead try cutting 500-750 calories a day.Remember, diet changes take time to reflect on the scale or in body composition. Don’t give up, give it time to work!

  1. Weight Loss

Of all macronutrients, protein is the most filling. Additionally, it helps to decrease food intake and hunger. High protein foods can help to lower hunger hormones, such as ghrelin. They also improve levels of fullness hormones.

Diets high in protein also help to improve the thermic effect of food, which determines how many calories are burned during digestion. Additionally, these diets can lead to improved ketone body production and improved secretion of glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone created by your pancreas that enhances the feeling of fullness.

When you reduce your carb intake, your body shifts from burning stored fat for fuel, leading to improved weight loss for many. Reducing carbs is associated with a range of other benefits such as reduced risk of chronic diseases, increased HDL (good) cholesterol, better mental clarity, higher energy levels, and improved digestion.

High protein, low carb diets may also provide the following health benefits:

  1. Bone health – high protein diets may reduce fracture risk and help prevent bone loss.
  2. Blood sugar regulation – low carb and high protein diets have both shown an improvement in the long- and short-term markers of blood sugar control.

High Protein, Low Carb Foods That Energize Your Exercise Routine

If you’re ready to embark on a high protein, low carb diet, check out some of the powerhouses below to help fuel your workouts and maintain peak performance:

  • Lean meats – Poultry such as chicken and turkey breast, as well as cuts of beef like sirloin or tenderloin typically contain about 20-30 grams of protein per three ounces. They are naturally low in carbs, with less than one gram per serving. If you’re looking to switch up your snacks, why not give bison snacks a try?
  • Eggs – Eggs are a great source of protein as they contain all the essential amino acids the body needs for various functions, such as muscle growth, muscle repair, and immune function. A single large egg contains around 6-7 grams of protein and less than one gram of carbs. Not to mention, eggs are just so versatile! Check out our Low Carb Egg Breakfasts for some inspiration!
  • Greek yogurt – This creamy and delicious addition to breakfasts, snacks, or savory dishes undergoes a straining process that removes much of the liquid whey and milk sugar, which results in a thicker consistency with a higher protein concentration and lower carbohydrate content. As a general rule, Greek yogurt packs twice as much protein per serving compared to regular yogurt. Pair it with a fruit sidekick such as fruit or jams for a delicious snack on the go or between meals.
  • Legumes – Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas are all plant-based foods with rich protein content. They boast ample dietary fibre, which contributes to their low carb makeup. Substitute your grain pasta with chickpea pasta or make some bean salad for easy nutrition on the go.
  • Tofu and tempeh – These plant-based foods are made from soybeans and are low in carbs, high in protein, and low in fat. Tofu comes in many different firmness levels, making it a very versatile, easy way to pack extra protein into your meals.
  • Nuts – Walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews, and pistachios are all plant-based, carb-sparse foods that are full of protein and healthy fats.
  • Seeds – Other examples of plant-based foods with notable protein amounts are chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds. Add them to salads, smoothies, and baked goods to bump up your daily protein intake.
  • Fish – A three-ounce serving of cooked salmon or trout typically provides around 20-25 grams of protein. Additionally, salmon and other fish provide heart-healthy fats such as omega-3.

High Carb Foods to Avoid

  • Sweetened beverages, such as juice, soda, iced tea, and more
  • Sugary desserts or snacks, like pastries, ice cream, and candy
  • Beer
  • Milk
  • Simple carbs such as bread, pasta, corn, and cereal
  • Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, and taro


Eating Low Carb Can Be Easy!

By basing your diet on low carb, high protein foods, you’re providing your body with the essential nutrients it needs to thrive. Besides aiding in muscle repair and growth, protein maintains bone health and improves immune function. It also reduces appetite by increasing feelings of fullness, improves metabolism, and prevents sugar crashes.

While it might initially feel very daunting to limit your carb intake, especially if you’re used to having bread, rice, or pasta with every meal. However, there are some great substitutions available so you can still enjoy the foods you love.

Love French fries? Check out our recipe for delicious Low Carb Jicama French Fries here!

Learn how to make our Amazing Low Carb Nachos.

Many different meal plans and cuisines can be incorporated into a low carb diet depending on your palate and preferences.

Eating Well has a great, easy-to-follow 7-day high protein, low carb meal plan to help you get started.

Additionally, here are some of our favourite recipes:

Eating low carb, high protein doesn’t mean saying goodbye to all the foods you love. It’s all about exploring different recipes, shopping at low carb dedicated grocery stores such as Low Carb Grocery, and getting creative!

We hope we’ve inspired you on your culinary adventures to better health.

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