Low-Carb Diet Plan for Men

Men who reduce their carb intake, especially those who get plenty of dietary protein, are often able to achieve weight loss. Protein may help increase feelings of fullness and boost daily energy expenditure, according to a review published in 2008 in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Limiting carbs can also help control blood sugar levels. However, consuming too few carbs has drawbacks for men.

Low-Carb Basics

Low-carb diets generally contain 50 to 150 grams of carb daily, reports a review published in 2007 in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” The Institute of Medicine recommends that adult men get at least 130 grams of carbs every day to meet their daily nutrient needs. Meeting this recommended dietary allowance helps fuel your body and prevent unpleasant side effects associated with very low-carb diets, such as fatigue, nausea, headaches and bad breath.

Carbs in Foods

While on a low-carb diet, men should limit or avoid refined grains, sugary drinks, baked goods and other added sugars. Choose fiber-rich, lower-carb vegetables -- such as leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus, peppers and celery. It’s generally a good idea for men to include at least some foods that are rich in carbs, including milk or yogurt, whole grains and fruits, to ensure they are meeting their daily nutritional needs.

Protein and Fat Needs

When choosing a low-carb diet plan, men should focus on protein and healthy fats. The Institute of Medicine notes men need at least 56 grams of protein daily and should obtain 20 to 35 percent of their calories from fat. For a 2,000-calorie diet, this means 44 to 78 grams of fat per day. Examples of protein-rich foods include lean meats, seafood, poultry, eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, reduced-fat cheeses and soy products. Nuts, seeds and nut butters are good sources of protein and healthy fats. Plant-based oils are also heart-healthy fats.

Sample 1,500-Calorie Weight-Loss Menu

The following menu is a low-carb weight loss plan for men containing 1,501 calories and 132 grams of carbs. For breakfast, try four egg whites, one slice of whole-grain toast, 1 cup of honeydew melon and 1 1/2 teaspoons of peanut butter. A healthy midmorning snack might include 1/2 cup of apples and 1 ounce of reduced-fat cheddar cheese. For lunch, try 3 ounces of canned light tuna mixed with 1 tablespoon of light mayonnaise, two slices of whole-wheat bread, 1 cup of cherry tomatoes and 1 ounce of almonds. An afternoon snack may consist of 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese. For dinner, try 3 ounces of grilled chicken breast, 1/2 cup of brown rice, 1 cup of steamed asparagus and 2 teaspoons of olive oil. For an evening snack, try 1 cup of fruit-flavored Greek yogurt.