Dinner Without Carbohydrates: Tips For Low Carb Dinners

You would like to eat low-carb? Here you will find tasty recipes for your dinner and tips about the calorie-free diet.

Carbohydrate-rich foods can promote cravings and fat deposits, which is why many prefer a low-carb diet.

A dinner without carbohydrates is an easy way to supply the body with sufficient protein and energy in the evening – without having to make major sacrifices.

But what are the benefits of foregoing carbohydrates in the evening? Which foods can you rely on with a clear conscience?

What are the benefits of foregoing carbohydrates in the evening?

Spaghetti all’Arrabbiata, a hearty snack, and the good old rice pan are popular fillers. However, they are also true carbohydrate bombs – and make it difficult to lose weight, especially in the evening.

This is because the body first obtains energy from carbohydrates. Blood glucose levels rise sharply and insulin is secreted to transport glucose from the carbohydrates into the cells and store it there.

The problem is that excess glucose is transported to the liver – where it is converted into fat cells. If you eat fewer carbohydrates in the evening, the body also stores fewer carbohydrates.

Fewer carbohydrates – more proteins

Another advantage of foregoing potatoes, rice, and pasta in the evening: the carbohydrates in the meal have to be replaced somehow – so the proportion of vegetables and proteins increases almost automatically. Vegetables are low in calories, packed with fiber, vitamins as well as antioxidants and thus create a lot of volume on the plate.

Proteins provide high-quality amino acids that promote muscle growth and also keep blood sugar levels constant. But what is even more decisive: If the protein content in the diet is increased while the calorie intake remains the same, fat can be reduced much more effectively.

The reason for this is the thermic effect of dietary protein: the body needs around 25 percent of the energy from proteins to make the protein available to the body in the first place. This means that it has to expend energy (i.e. burn calories) when you eat protein.

By comparison, this effect is only five percent for carbohydrates and fats.

Low-carb dinners: Suitable foods

If you now think a low-carb dinner means doing without and belly rumbling, you’re wrong. But what is “allowed” to land on the plate?

Green vegetables, leafy salads, cabbage, other vegetables, and mushrooms form the basis. They provide few calories, but fiber, vitamins, minerals, and cell-protecting antioxidants. Spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, lamb’s lettuce, arugula, zucchini, kale, savoy cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, cucumber, and celery are especially good.

Some vegetables, including beet, carrots, corn, and sweet potatoes, contain more carbohydrates and should therefore be used more sparingly.

For optimal satiety and indispensable for the supply of the muscles is the protein source. Completely carbohydrate-free are salmon, chicken breast, beef, and eggs.

Also perfectly suited are lupine products, tofu, tempeh, cheese, low-fat curd cheese, unsweetened soy yogurt, and legumes such as lentils and beans.

Nuts and seeds provide not only high-quality vegetable proteins but also healthy fats and important minerals.

Low-carb foods include almonds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, and pecans. Nut purees and tahini are also optimal for adding a finishing touch to low-carb dinners.

Healthy fats are also provided by olive oil, linseed oil, walnuts, hemp seeds, and avocado.

By the way, no one has to do without seasoning in their food: Spices and herbs are allowed without exception and absolutely desired.

Here’s what you have to watch out for in a low-carb diet

You don’t have to give up carbohydrates completely for a low-carb dinner. But: The ratio between protein, carbohydrates, and fat should be adjusted, carbs should only make up a small part of the meal.

In addition, these tips can help to compose the dishes:

  • Vegetables are better consumed boiled or steamed. Raw vegetables are difficult to digest in the evening and can lead to an unpleasant bloated belly.
  • Alcohol: Yes or no? In terms of carbohydrates, it is certainly possible to enjoy a glass of wine at a low-carb dinner – a glass of white wine contains “only” four grams of carbohydrates on average. Some drinks, such as whisky, gin, or vodka, on the other hand, contain no carbohydrates at all. However, alcohol stops fat-burning – even if it contains only a few carbohydrates. This is a particular hindrance to losing weight in the evening.
  • If you still feel like eating fruit in the evening, you should choose varieties that contain less fructose. These are not only lower in carbohydrates, but are also more digestible. Excessive consumption of fructose can lead to digestive problems. Blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, papaya, and quince are sweet low-carb snacks.
  • Some foods promote sleep: the amino acid tryptophan promotes serotonin production, which in turn releases the sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin shortens the period of falling asleep and intensifies the deep sleep phase. Salmon, milk, cashew, egg, and soy are particularly rich in tryptophan.

Good and bad carbohydrates

White flour products such as baguettes, toast, or pasta made from durum wheat semolina consist of simple sugar molecules and thus cause the blood sugar level to rise abruptly after consumption – and to fall again just as quickly.

As a result, you soon feel hungry again. This also applies to fruit juices, soft drinks, and sweets with a lot of sugar.

Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, have a more complex structure, as their name suggests. They consist of multiple sugars, so the body takes longer to break them down into simple sugars and digest them.

As a result, there is no explosive rise in blood sugar levels. Examples of this type of carb include legumes, whole grains, sweet potato, oatmeal, starchy vegetables, and quinoa.

Low carb dinners: Healthy and delicious recipes

Low-carb dishes in the evening satiate, strengthen muscles, support weight loss, and can even promote the process of falling asleep. Best of all, most of the recipes can be whipped up in no time.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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