A classic diet or a body builder usually consists of plenty of protein, a fair amount of carbohydrates, and very little fat. This macronutrient plan is where the classic 40/40/20 ratio comes from. While that tried-and-true diet has worked well for competitors and fitness enthusiasts alike, it isn’t the best strategy for everyone. In fact, some people can get into shape far easier on a much different-looking macronutrient plan.
A high-protein, high-fat, low-carb diet can make the difference for individuals struggling to lose fat and build muscle using the standard approach.
In order for this nutrition method to work, you need to get over the idea that fat makes you fat. It’s just not true. A high-fat, low-carb diet can actually be a healthy, sustainable way to get into shape and stay lean year-round. Low-carbohydrate diets can be effective for weight loss because, by restricting insulin production and promoting ketosis, they limit fat storage and encourage your body to use fat as its primary fuel source.
Even if you aren’t really interested in following a low-carb diet, you may want a few meals that are primarily protein and fat. To help you spice things up and keep your diet interesting, here are six low-carb, high-fat, high-protein meals.
1. Burgers With No Buns
Burgers are certainly great with a bun, but if you take away all that starch, you’ve got more calories to “spend” on tasty add-ons like bacon, guacamole, fried eggs, cheese, and even peanut butter! These fatty additions are a great way to make a plain burger patty taste restaurant-quality. If you add some bacon or avocado, make sure you measure and account for your total fat intake, as these calorie-dense items add up fast. There’s really no recipe here; just use whatever amount of ground beef fits your protein needs for that meal, and then add some of your favorite high-fat ingredients to the top. To make your burger taste better, don’t cook it quite so much. Far too many home cooks grill or pan-fry their burgers to death. It’s no wonder most people like restaurant burgers better than the ones they make at home!
2. Steak and Eggs
Bacon and eggs may be the quintessential American breakfast, but it’s hard to meet your protein needs with those items alone. To increase the protein content without getting too much fat, swap the bacon for a medium-sized steak. Almost any cut will do, but if you’re limiting your calories, stick to leaner varieties like sirloin and round.
Cook your eggs however you want! Some of the old-time bodybuilders swore up and down that raw eggs were best for building muscle and burning fat, but I don’t think the method of cooking matters much. Again, though, track the fat content of the butter, oil, or other fat you use to fry or scramble your eggs. This may be a low-carb, high-fat meal, but that doesn’t mean you can add unlimited amounts of fat.
3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake
Thanks to sugar substitutes and flavored protein powders, you can still satisfy your sweet tooth without also eating a lot of carbs. Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite shakes. Feel free to adjust the ingredient amounts as necessary to fit your macros. You can also substitute low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese if that’s what you’ve got on hand.
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup full-fat cottage cheese
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- 2 scoops low-carb chocolate protein powder
- No-carb sweetener to taste
Pour ingredients into blender.
Blend until desired thickness.