For the past couple of weeks, my husband and I have been getting serious about working out everyday and watching what we eat throughout the week. We have been trying to stick to a healthy low-carb diet and planning ahead is key to staying on track each week. Every Sunday or Monday, I plan out the dinners for each week night and a handful of lunch/breakfast options that I can make ahead. I've found that if you have a plan for every night of the week and purchase all your ingredients ahead of time, there is no excuse to eat anything else! I try to pick dinners that are relatively quick and easy (all 30 minutes or less and most you can prep ahead), especially since we usually work out right before dinner.
In addition to watching the carbs in your foods, be sure to pay attention to the sugar as well! There are added sugars in just about everything and they will sabotage all your hard work quickly. For example, if I have a good amount of fruit for breakfast, I try not to also have it for lunch. Also don't forget to pay attention to what you are drinking. Try to stick to just water, coffee, and/or tea (the sugar tip goes for these too- don't add extras if possible!) La Croix, sparkling water, and flavored green teas are also fine if you are craving something with a little fizz. I've never been a coffee drinker, and I LOVE soda, so I've been getting my caffeine fix with Starbucks Non-fat Iced Lattes (pretty much the lowest carb/sugar option available besides plain coffee). Beware of ordering any kind of drinks from restaurants without checking the nutrition facts online first (you can usually just google them). For example, you might think it would be ok to get an iced green tea from Panera (and it's delicious), but it has over 30 grams of sugar! That's on par with the sugar in some soft drinks! Of course that is fine as a treat every once in a while, but not something you want to be drinking every day.
We are having more success than we have ever before in sticking to these habits because we are actually viewing them as more of a mindset change rather than a temporary diet. We know it's ok to have cheat meals or weak moments but there's no reason to throw away an entire day because of one meal- you can still get a good workout in and stay on track for the rest of the day. Whereas before we would have entire cheat days and just throw everything out the window! I am a very picky eater and normally carbs are my most favorite and main food group, so this is definitely a challenge for me, but if I can do it, anyone can! Below I have listed some of my top picks for low-carb meals for the entire day as well as links to recipes.
Eggs or Omelets
Bacon or Sausage
Hard Boiled Egg + Fruit
Greek Yogurt with strawberries, blackberries, and/or blueberries (check your yogurt to make sure it's not super high in sugar)
Low Carb BLT wraps (could also add grilled chicken to these)
Lunch meat or cold cuts, cheese stick, fruit, + nuts (some tips + examples for packing easy lunches like this here- not everything listed there is low-carb but you can sub out to you specifications)
Low carb pasta salad (with zucchini noodles)
Salads (some ideas: Cucumber Greek Salad, Cobb Salad, Chicken and Avocado Caesar salad)
Greek Porkchops with Veggies (sub out a different non-starchy vegetable for potatoes)
Crockpot Pulled Beef Tacos (serve as taco salad with Creamy Jalapeno Dressing)
Greek Steak Salad (serve without garlic toast)
Crockpot Balsamic Roast Beef (serve with a side of asparagus or vegetables of your choice!)
Laughing Cow Wedge or Babybell Cheese + Apple Slices
Carrots + dip
Hard-boiled eggs (many groceries sell them pre-made too!)
Nuts- some are higher carb so eat sparingly (lowest carb options: Brazil, pecans, + Macadamia nuts- see a full list here)
Fruits (lowest carb options: raspberries, watermelon, strawberries)
String Cheese/ Cheese stick
Salami or Prosciutto