12 Low-Carb Dinner Switches to Help Cut Down on Calories

Updated 04/28/19

We love carbs as much as the next person, but if you've been loading up on pasta, grains and bread a bit too much recently, it can leave you feeling sluggish, bloated and generally a bit blah.

But it's not all bad news. One of the easiest, quickest and cheapest ways of feeling lighter and brighter is to make some simple dinner switches. That's right—you don't need to cut out carbs completely to feel instantly better. Just switching out your evening meal is enough to see results.

Limiting your carbohydrate intake in the evening not only helps you de-bloat, but it also helps you sleep better too. Heavy carbs post 4 p.m. can cause your body strain, as they're harder to digest, meaning your digestive system is still in overdrive throughout the night. So lighten up your dinner and you'll reap the benefits come morning.

Keep scrolling for 12 easy, quick and cheap low-carb dinner ideas for you to make this January…

The Spaghetti Swap

@libbylimon

One of the easiest (and most delicious) low-carb switches to make is by using courgette, rather than your go-to carb-heavy pasta. This Sicilian courgetti with sardines recipe by nutritionist Libby Limon is one of the tastiest around, plus it's packed with omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamin D. 

Skinny Stir-Fry

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Another easy way to cut the carbs without sacrificing taste? Say hello to the skinny stir-fry. Whip together your favourite ingredients as usual; just ditch the noodles. Amp up your veggie portion and it's surprising how much you won't even notice the lack of carbs.

Asian Greens

@lily_soutter_nutrition

This Asian avo, prawn and greens salad is perfect for a lunch-box special or can be amped up for dinner. With pickled ginger, long-stemmed broccoli and cooked king prawns, it's both tasty and super healthy. Check out the full recipe here.

Smoky Fish Stew

@libbylimon

In need of something hearty and warming? This smoky fish stew is the one. If you're not a fan of fish, swap in lean meat like turkey, or, if you're vegetarian, load up on beans. Full recipe here.

Not-Dogs

@libbylimon

We came across these not-dogs on nutritionist Libby Limon's Instagram page, and now we can't wait to try them ourselves. The vegetarian beetroot not-dogs are available from M&S, but you could easily swap these out for your favourite porker instead! Ditch the hot-dog bun for a fresh salad leaf and you'll get extra no-carb bonus points.

Courgetti Take Two

@lily_soutter_nutrition

Courgetti doesn't have to be used in place of spaghetti. Use as a base to a hearty meal, like this wild salmon fillet with roasted veg. Taaaaaasty. 

Cauli-Pizza

ourbestbites via pinterest

Yep, pizza is not off-limits—you just have to be clever when cooking! This recipe uses cauliflower as a base instead of your traditional pizza dough. The result? A gluten-free, low-carb and delicious dinner. Full recipe here.

Shakshouka

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Shakshouka is an easy one-dish meal that's vegetarian, healthy and full of goodness. Thanks to the protein in the eggs, it's filling too. Sure, we love to dunk in a slice of sourdough, but if you're zero-carbing it, it's just as good without.

Stuffed Peppers

dearcrissy via Pinterest

These ground-turkey stuffed peppers are seriously delicious. They do contain a small amount of rice to bulk up the filling, but if you're wanting to go zero-carb (rather than low-carb), switch out the rice with a vegetable alternative. Also, if you're wanting to super-skinny the recipe, hold back on the cheese or use an extra-mature cheddar for bags of flavour.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Pinchofyum via Pinterest

This vegetarian and gluten-free fried rice recipe uses cauliflower as a carb substitute and only takes 15 minutes to make. Add in chicken or prawns to beef up the recipe even more.

Cashew Chicken Wraps

tastesbetterfromscratch via Pinterest

If you're craving takeout, then these cashew chicken lettuce wraps are an amazing guilt-free alternative. They take less than 30 minutes to make and taste seriously good. 

Naked Burrito Bowl

movenourishbelieve via Pinterest

This naked burrito bowl can be made with pretty much anything you have in your fridge and tastes so good. Mix beans or chickpeas with turkey or beef mince to keep you fuller for longer. 

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