More and more people are becoming carbohydrate conscious.

It seems the penny is finally dropping: the less physically active you are, the less carbohydrate you need on a daily basis.

This doesn’t mean that carbohydrates are in anyway bad for you, just that for best weight management results you should generally try and time their consumption around your most active periods. So – assuming you have not just had a monster workout – here are a couple of lower-carb alternatives to family favourites.

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Low Carb Courgette Lasagne – serves 4

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Ingredients:

400 grams of lean mince beef

1 finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large courgettes cut lengthways into thin slices

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato puree

2 teaspoons sweet or smoked paprika

1 clove crushed garlic

Fresh chopped basil to taste

50 grams of grated mature cheddar cheese

25 grams butter

2 tablespoons of English or French mustard (optional)

2 tablespoons sieved plain flour

300 millimetres of skimmed milk

Directions:

Heat the oil, add the mince and onions and cook until the mince is browned and the onions have softened.

Add the tomatoes and tomato puree, garlic, spices and herbs. Cover and leave to simmer for 10 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, pour the milk into a pan and heat until simmering. Add the flour, mustard if you are using and the butter and stir until thickened. If your sauce is too runny, add a little more flour. If it’s too thick, add a little more milk. Keep stirring to avoid any lumps.

Spoon about one third of the meat into a baking dish and place a layer of courgette on the top. Add another layer of meat and another layer of courgette. Continue until you run out of ingredients.

Next, pour the white sauce mixture over the top and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Place in a preheated oven set to 180 degrees centigrade/gas mark 4 and bake for 30 minutes. Serve with a large mixed salad.

Nutritional Values per Serving:

Calories 380, Protein 30 grams, Carbohydrates 18 grams, Fibre 1 gram, Fat 21 grams.

Low Carb Baked Chocolate Cheese Cake

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Ingredients:

250 grams low fat cottage cheese

½ cup low fat chocolate flavoured milk

4 scoops chocolate flavoured whey protein

5 heaped tablespoons organic peanut or almond butter

1 tablespoon of sieved cocoa powder

Directions:

Place the cottage cheese and chocolate milk in a blender and whizz up until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the protein powder and then the peanut butter.

Combine until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Pour the mixture into one large or four small oven-proof ramekins and place them on a deep-sided baking tray.

Fill the tray with water half way up the side of the ramekin(s).

Place in a preheated oven set to 180 degrees centigrade/gas mark 4 and bake for 40-60 minutes. A knife inserted into the centre of the mixture should come out clean when the cheesecake
is ready.

When cooked, remove from the oven and when cool to the touch place in the fridge for 4 hours or, preferably overnight.

Sprinkle with anti-oxidant rich plain cocoa powder and serve.

Nutritional Values per Serving:

Calories 337, Protein 41, Carbohydrates 14 grams, Fibre 3 grams, Fat 13 grams.

Keep arranging your low carb meals alongside your low activity periods and you’ll start to see the changes in both your weight and overall well-being.

 Read more from Expert Patrick Dale.

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