Best Way to Cook and Eat Steak When You’re Dieting

how to eat and cook steak on a diet
(Last Updated On: October 23, 2019)

Dieting does not mean that you need to cut out that tasty, juicy steak. In fact, low-carb, high-protein diets are trending at the moment which means that steak is definitely on the menu. Some diets (like the Banting Diet) don’t even want you to trim the fat.

However, the way that you prepare and cook your steak and eat it is still important if you want to keep shedding that extra weight. A few steps and ways to cook a steak that is healthier for you include:

1. Choosing the Right Steak

steak at a butcher shop

You want to select a lean cut of meat rather than one that is lined with fat and has that big tasty bit on the side. Leaner cuts of steak include:

  • The fillet is a very tender cut of beef with a very low fat content which is easy to prepare and cook although overcooking can be a problem. Also called a tenderloin or Chateaubriand, this may not provide the meatiest flavor but is the premium cut for dieting and comes at premium price.
  • Top Sirloin steak is very low in calories but does not compromise all that much on flavor.
  • Top Round steak from the hip of the beef is also low on calories and is the most tender for a round steak while retaining plenty of flavor.
  • Eye of Round steak contains all the flavor, is low in calories but is very tough and may have some extra special cooking requirements.

2. Choose Your Serving Size

When you are on a diet, moderation is key to losing weight so don’t go for that man-sized steak and try to stick to the serving size recommended in your diet. On average, a weight of around 3 ounces (when cooked) is the recommended size for a single steak serving at one sitting.

3. How to Cook the Steak

As per most diets, it is important to understand the don’ts before expounding on the healthier cooking options:


  • Fry your steak in vegetable oil.
  • Deep fry your steak, especially in vegetable oil.
  • Do not marinade your steak with any sauce that contains oil, sugar or any other healthy ingredients.
  • Overdo the salt.


a steak cooks on the grill

  • Grill, barbecue, oven or pan roast or steam your steak.
  • Marinade or baste your steak with your own, healthy, homemade sauce.
  • Use plenty of herbs and spices to compliment the flavor of your beef.

If you are choosing a tougher cut of meat that has a more meaty flavor, it is recommended to marinade the meat before cooking.

There are a couple of tasty sauce recipes below that are healthy and will help tenderize that tougher cut. Vacuum packing the steak in a marinade and refrigerating for a day can also reduce toughness.

It is also important to keep safety in mind and always cook your steak to a minimum temperature of 120 to 140 degrees F. It is therefore recommended to cook on a lower heat setting for longer and turn regularly rather than a high heat and flipping once or twice. It is best to seal the steak in a pan at a high temperature to keep all the yummy, succulent flavor inside and then lower the temperature.

Remember that cooking time will vary according to the thickness of the steak.

Steaming may not seem like the ideal option for cooking a steak but if it is done the right way, it can provide a tender and tasty meal. It is very important not to overcook and place some herbs and spices in the water to add to the flavor.

4. Eating Your Steak

a woman gets ready to eat a meal with steak as the main dish

It is recommended to allow you steak to rest for a couple of minutes of cooking.

This will allow the fibers to relax and make for a far more enjoyable meal.

It is also advisable to eat your steak with lots of green, leafy vegetables or a salad rather than bread, potato or other carbs – especially if you are following a low-carb diet.

Guilt-Free Recipes

1. Yogurt Marinade

Yogurt breaks down the fibers in meat and is therefore the ideal marinade for those tougher cuts. Use natural, unsweetened yogurt and add some freshly chopped garlic as well as the spice of your choice to season to taste. Allow to marinade for a couple of hours or even overnight before cooking.

2. Lemon And Garlic Marinade

There is nothing quite like lemon and garlic to compliment the flavor of beef. Simply chop up some fresh garlic and add to lemon juice along with the seasoning of your choice. Let it stand for a an hour or two before cooking. The lemon juice will break down the toughness and let the flavor shine through.

3. Oven Roasted Steak

Place the marinated steak on tin foil (in an oven proof pan or dish) in a oven that has been preheated to 120 degrees F. Allow to cook for 8 minutes each side. Rest the steak for 10-15 minutes before enjoying.

4. Pan Roasted Steak

pan roasted steak

Warm your pan to a high heat and place your marinated steak in the pan for about 30 seconds to a minute on each side to seal it. Your steak should sizzle when it hits the surface of the pan.

Griddle pans are ideal. Turn the temperature down and allow to cook for about 8 minutes on each side or until the desired temperature is reached. Remember to turn often to prevent the steak from burning.

Allow to rest for 10 – 15 minutes before eating.

5. Steamed Steak

The ideal way to steam a tasty steak is to do so over the grill or on the barbecue. Place the steak in a tinfoil package with the top open. The package should be shaped to hold the juices from the meat, your chosen marinade or water for steaming. Allow to cook for 15 minutes and then rest for the same amount of time.

6. Pan-frying

If you simply must fry your steak, opt for a healthier oil. Just half a teaspoon of coconut oil is ideal for frying a steak and is healthier than using other types of oils.

Final Thoughts

Steak can be a great meal for people who are dieting, when cooked and eaten properly, especially for those following a low-carb diet plan.

Using the tips and recipes above are some a few examples of how you make steak apart of your diet plan when trying to lose weight.


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