LCHF for Beginners

Do you want to eat real food (as much as you like) and improve your health and weight? It may sound too good to be true, but LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat) is a method that has been used for 150 years. Now, modern science backs it up with proof that it works.

There is no weighing your food, no counting, no bizarre “meal replacements,” no pills. There is just real food and common sense. And all the advice here is 100 percent free.

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Dietary advice  (in 26 languages)
  3. Theory
  4. Tips and recipes
  5. Cookbooks and more
  6. Frequently asked questions

Introduction

A LCHF diet means you eat less carbohydrates and a higher proportion of fat. Most importantly you minimize your intake of sugar and starches. You can eat other delicious foods until you are satisfied – and still lose weight.

A number of recent high-quality scientific studies shows that LCHF makes it easier both to lose weight and to control your blood sugar. And that’s just the beginning.

The basics

  • Eat: Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables growing above ground and natural fats (like butter).
  • Avoid: Sugar and starchy foods (like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes).

Eat when you’re hungry until you are satisfied. It’s that simple. You do not need to count calories or weigh your food. And just forget about industrially produced low fat products.

Real food. Add some good fat (like butter).

There are solid scientific reasons why LCHF works. When you avoid sugar and starches your blood sugar stabilizes and the levels of insulin, the fat storing hormone, drops. This increases your fat burning and makes you feel more satiated.

Note for diabetics

  • Avoiding the carbohydrates that raise your blood sugar decreases your need for medication to lower it. Taking the same pre-low-carb diet dose of insulin might result in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). You need to test your blood sugar frequently when starting this diet and adapt (lower) your medication. This should ideally be done with the assistance of a knowledgeable physician. If you’re healthy or a diabetic treated either by diet alone or just with Metformin there is no risk of hypoglycemia.

Dietary Advice

Eat all you like

  • Meat: Any type, including beef, pork, game meat, chicken, etc. Feel free to eat the fat on the meat as well as the skin on the chicken. If possible try to choose organic or grass fed meat.
  • Fish and Shellfish: All kinds: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring are great. Avoid breading.
  • Eggs: All kinds: Boiled, fried, omelettes, etc. Preferably choose organic eggs.
  • Natural Fat, High-Fat Sauces: Using butter and cream when you cook can make your food taste better and make you feel more satiated. Try a Béarnaise or Hollandaise sauce, check the ingredients or make it yourself. Coconut oil and olive oil are also good options.
  • Vegetables that Grow Above Ground: All kinds of cabbage, such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, olives, spinach, mushrooms, cucumber, lettuce, avocado, onions, peppers, tomatoes etc.
  • Dairy products: Always select full-fat options like real butter, cream (40% fat), sour cream, Greek/Turkish yogurt and high-fat cheeses. Be careful with regular milk and skim milk as they contain a lot of milk sugar. Avoid flavored, sugary and low-fat products.
  • Nuts: Good to eat instead of candy in front of the television (preferably in moderation).
  • Berries: Okay in moderation, if you are not a super strict or sensitive. Good with whipped cream.

Basic tip for beginners: Maximum 5 grams of carbohydrate (excluding fiber) per 100 grams of food

Avoid if you can

  • Sugar: The worst. Soft drinks, candy, juice, sports drinks, chocolate, cakes, buns, pastries, ice cream, breakfast cereals. Preferably avoid sweeteners as well.
  • Starch: Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, French fries, potato chips, porridge, muesli and so on. “Wholegrain products” are just less bad. Moderate amounts of root vegetables may be OK (unless you’re eating extremely low carb).
  • Margarine: Industrially imitated butter with unnaturally high content of omega-6 fat. Has no health benefits, tastes bad. Statistically linked to asthma, allergies and other inflammatory diseases.
  • Beer: Liquid bread. Full of rapidly absorbed carbs, unfortunately.
  • Fruit: Very sweet, lots of sugar. Eat once in a while. Treat fruit as a natural form of candy.

Once in a while

You decide when the time is right. Your weight loss may slow down a bit.

  • Alcohol: Dry wine (regular red or dry white wine), whisky, brandy, vodka and cocktails without sugar.
  • Dark chocolate: Above 70 % cocoa, preferably just a bit.

Drink most days

  • Water
  • Coffee: Try it with full-fat cream
  • Tea

More healthy tips

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Advice on LCHF in other languages

Do you have another translation or a significant improvement of one of the earlier ones? E-mail me (more info).

The Theory Behind LCHF

What are you designed to eat?

Humans evolved over millions of years as hunter-gatherers, without eating large amounts of carbohydrates. We ate the food available to us in nature by hunting, fishing and gathering all the edible foods we could find. These foods did not include pure starch in the form of bread, pasta, rice or potatoes. We have only eaten these starchy foods for 5 – 10 000 years, since the development of agriculture. Just a limited adaptation of our genes takes place in such a relatively short time.

With the Industrial Revolution, 100 – 200 years ago, we got factories that could manufacture large amounts of pure sugar and white flour. Rapidly digested pure carbohydrates. We’ve hardly had time to genetically adapt to these processed foods.

In the 80s, the fear of fat gripped the western world. Low-fat products popped up everywhere. But if you eat less fat you need to eat more carbohydrates to feel satiated. And it’s at this time in history that our disastrous epidemics of obesity and diabetes started. The most fat-phobic country in the world, the USA, was hit the hardest and is now the world’s most obese country.

Today, it’s clear that the fear of real food with natural fat contents has been a big mistake.

The problem with sugar and starch

All digestible carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars in the intestines. The sugar is then absorbed into the blood, raising the blood glucose levels. This increases the production of the hormone insulin, our fat storing hormone.

Insulin is produced in the pancreas (pictured to the right). In large amounts insulin prevents fat burning and stores surplus nutrients in the fat cells. After some time (a few hours or less) this may result in a shortage of nutrients in the blood, creating feelings of hunger and cravings for something sweet. Usually at that point people eat again. This starts the process again: A vicious cycle leading to weight gain.

On the other hand, a low intake of carbs gives you a lower, more stable blood glucose, and lower amounts of insulin. This increases the release of fat from your fat stores and increases the fat burning. This usually leads to fat loss, especially around the belly in abdominally obese individuals.

Weight loss without hunger

A LCHF diet makes it easier for the body to use its fat reserves, as their release is no longer blocked by high insulin levels. This may be one reason why eating fat gives a longer feeling of satiety than carbohydrates. It’s been shown in a number of studies: When people eat all they want on a low carb diet caloric intake typically drops

So, no counting or food weighing is necessary. You can forget about the calories and trust your feelings of hunger and satiety. Most people don’t need to count or weigh their food any more than they need to count their breathing. If you don´t believe it, just try for a couple of weeks and see for yourself.

Health as a bonus

No animals in nature need the assistance of nutritional expertise or calorie charts to eat. And still, as long as they eat the food they are designed to eat they stay at a normal weight and they avoid caries, diabetes and heart disease. Why would humans be an exception? Why would you be an exception?

In scientific studies not only is the weight improved on a low carb diet – the blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol profile (HDL, triglycerides) are also improved. A calm stomach and less cravings for sweet food are also common experiences.

Initial side effects

If you stop eating sugar and starch cold turkey (recommended) you may experience some side effects as your body adjusts. For most people these side effects tend to be mild and last a just few days. There are also ways to minimize them.

Common during the first week:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Irritability

The side effects rapidly subside as your body adapts and your fat burning increases. They can be minimized by drinking some extra fluids and by temporarily increasing your salt intake a bit. A good option is to drink some broth every few hours. Alternatively, drink a few extra glasses of water and put extra salt on your food.

The reason for this is that carbohydrate-rich foods may increase the water retention in your body. When you stop eating high-carb foods you’ll lose excess water through your kidneys. This can result in dehydration and lack of salt during the first week, before the body has adapted.

Some people prefer to decrease their intake of carbohydrates slowly, over a few weeks, to minimize the side effects. But the “Nike way” (Just Do It) is probably the best choice for most people. Removing most sugar and starch often results in several pounds lost on the scale within a few days. It may be mostly fluids but it’s great for the motivation.

How low to go?

The less carbohydrate you eat the more pronounced the effect on your weight and blood sugar will be. I recommend following the dietary advice as strict as you can. When you’re happy with your weight and health you may gradually try eating more liberally (if you want to).

The Food Revolution

This presentation I gave at the Ancestral Health Symposium 2011 summarizes the history and science behind the ongoing LCHF revolution.

More theory and practice

Here four of the world’s biggest experts on the subject explain the theory and practice of carb restriction:

 

Tips and recipes

Breakfast suggestions

  • Eggs and bacon
  • Omelet
  • Leftovers from last night’s dinner
  • Coffee with cream
  • A can of mackerel and boiled eggs
  • Boiled egg with mayonnaise or butter
  • Avocado, salmon and crème fraiche
  • Sandwich on Oopsie-bread
  • A piece of very thin hard bread with lots of butter, cheese, ham, etc.
  • Cheese with butter on it
  • Boiled eggs mashed with butter, chopped chives, salt and pepper
  • A piece of brie cheese and some ham or salami
  • High-fat yoghurt with nuts and seeds (and maybe berries)

Lunch and dinner

  • Meat, fish or chicken dishes with vegetables and a rich full-fat sauce. There are many alternatives to potatoes, such as mashed cauliflower.
  • Stews, soups or casseroles with low-carb ingredients.
  • You can  use most recipes in cookbooks if you avoid the carbohydrate-rich ingredients. It’s often a good idea to add fat (e.g. butter, cream) to the recipe.
  • Drink water with your meal or (occasionally) a glass of wine.

Snacks

When you eat a low-carbohydrate diet with more fat and a bit more protein you will probably not need to eat as often. Don’t be surprised if you no longer need to snack. Many people do well on two or three meals per day. If you need a snack:

  • Rolled-up cheese or ham with a vegetable (some people even spread butter on cheese)
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • A piece of cheese
  • A boiled egg from the refrigerator
  • Canned mackerel in tomato sauce

Olives and nuts can replace potato chips in front of the TV. If you always get hungry between meals you’re probably not eating enough fat. Don’t fear fat. Eat more fat until you feel satisfied.

Dining out or meals with friends

  • Restaurants: Usually not a big problem. You can ask to have potatoes/fries switched for a salad. With meat dishes, ask for extra butter.
  • Fast food: Kebab can be a decent option (preferably avoid the bread). In hamburger chains the hamburgers are usually the least bad option. Avoid soft drinks and fries, obviously. Drink water. Pizza toppings are usually OK, and the stricter you are the less of the pizza crust you will eat.
  • If you eat strictly everyday it’s less of a problem to make a few exceptions when you are invited out. If you’re not sure what will be served you can eat something at home before you leave.
  • Nuts or cheese is good “emergency food” when there are no other adequate options to be found.

Shopping list for beginners

Print this list and bring it to the store:

  • Butter
  • Heavy cream (40% fat)
  • Sour cream (34% fat)
  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Meat (minced, steaks, stew pieces, fillets, etc.)
  • Fish (preferably fatty fish like salmon or mackerel)
  • Cheese (preferably high-fat)
  • Turkish yoghurt (10% fat)
  • Cabbage (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, etc.)
  • Other vegetables that grow above ground
  • Frozen vegetables (broccoli, wok vegetables, etc.)
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts

Clean out your pantry

Want to maximize your chances of success? Especially if you have difficulty with cravings / sugar addiction, it is smart to throw out (or give away) sugary and starchy foods, “light” products, etc. These include:

  • Candy
  • Potato chips
  • Soft drinks and juices
  • Margarine
  • Sugar in all forms
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Everything that says “low fat” or “no fat”
  • Ice cream
  • Cookies

Why not do it now?

The Serpent in Paradise

Be very skeptical of special “low-carb” products such as pasta or chocolate. Unfortunately these products usually stink. They have prevented the weight loss for loads of people. They’re usually full of carbs once you see through their creative marketing.

For example, Dreamfields’ “low carb pasta” is almost pure starch that’s absorbed more or less like any pasta:

How about low carb bread? Be careful: if it’s baked with grains it’s certainly not low carb. But some companies still try to sell it to you as a low-carb option. Here’s an example:

Low-carb chocolate is usually full of sugar alcohols, which the manufacturer does not count as carbs. But roughly half of these carbs may be absorbed, raising the blood sugar and insulin. The rest of the carbs ends up in the large intestine, potentially causing gas and diarrhea. Furthermore any sweeteners can maintain sugar cravings.

If you want to be healthy and slim, eat real food instead.

RECIPES

Easy ways to cook eggs

  1. Place the eggs in cold water and boil 4 minutes for soft-boiled or 8 minutes for hard-boiled. Eat them with mayo if you like.
  2. Fry eggs in butter on one or both sides. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Melt some butter in the frying pan and add 2 eggs and 2-3 tablespoons of cream per serving. Add salt and pepper. Stir until done. Add some chives and grated cheese on top. Serve with fried bacon.
  4. Make an omelet batter with 3 eggs and 3 tablespoons of cream. Add salt and spices. Melt butter in the frying pan and pour in the batter. When the omelet solidifies on top you can fill it with something tasty. For example one or several kinds of cheese, fried bacon, fried mushrooms, good sausage (read the ingredients) or left-overs from last night’s dinner. Fold the omelet in half and serve with a crispy salad.

Instead of bread

Will you have a hard time living without bread? Ooopsies are a good option. It’s a “bread” without carbs and can be eaten in a variety of ways.

Oopsies
6–8 depending on size.

3 eggs
100 grams (3.5 ounces) of cream cheese
a pinch of salt
½ tablespoon fiberhusk / psyllium seed husks (can be excluded)
½ teaspoon baking powder (can be excluded)

  • Separate the eggs, with the egg whites in one bowl and the egg yolks in another.
  • Whip the egg whites together with the salt until very stiff. You should be able to turn the bowl over without the egg whites moving.
  • Mix the egg yolks and the cream cheese well. If you choose, add the psyllium seed husk and baking powder (this makes the Oopsie more bread-like).
  • Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mix – try to keep the air in the egg whites.
  • Put 6 large or 8 smaller oopsies on a baking tray.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven at 150° C (300° F) for about 25 minutes – until they turn golden.
  • You can eat Oopsies as bread or use them as a bun for a hotdog or hamburger. You can also put different kinds of seeds on them before baking them, for instance poppy, sesame or sunflower seeds. One big Oopsie can be used for a swiss roll: Add a generous layer of whipped cream and some berries. Enjoy.

Less strict: some bread
Can’t live without real bread? Then have a thin piece of bread and add lots of butter and toppings. The more butter and toppings the less bread you need to feel satisfied.

Instead of potatoes, rice, pasta

  • Mashed cauliflower: Divide the cauliflower into smaller pieces and boil them with a pinch of salt until soft. Remove the water. Add cream and butter and mash.
  • Salads made from above-ground vegetables, perhaps with some kind of cheese. Try out different kinds.
  • Boiled broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts.
  • Vegetables au gratin: Fry squash, aubergine and fennel (or other vegetables you like) in butter. Add salt and pepper. Put in baking dish and add grated cheese. Heat at 225° C (450° F) until the cheese melts and turns golden.
  • Vegetables stewed in cream, e.g. cabbage or spinach.
  • Cauliflower rice: Grate cauliflower, boil for a minute or two. Great substitute for rice.
  • Avocado

Snacks and dessert

  • Mixed nuts
  • Sausage: Cut it in pieces, add a piece of cheese and stick a toothpick through them.
  • Vegetables with dip, Try cucumber sticks, red, yellow or green peppers, cauliflower, etc.
  • Cream cheese rolls: Roll some cream cheese in a piece of salami, air-dried ham or a long slice of cucumber.
  • Olives
  • LCHF chips: On a baking tray, form small piles of grated Parmesan cheese. Heat in oven at 225° C (450° F). Let them melt and get a nice color (be careful – they burn easily). Serve as chips, perhaps with some dip.

Cookbooks

There are a million cookbooks with low-carb recipes. Just avoid books that are unnecessarily scared of fat. Remember: If you avoid carbs you have to eat more fat or you’ll be hungry. Don’t fear fat. Fat is your friend. Add fat until you feel satisfied.

Here is a good example:

Good luck with your new LCHF life!

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Further reading

Do you have more questions about LCHF? See my page with common questions and answers.

Do you want to lose weight as effectively as possible? See How to Lose Weight.

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3,377 Comments

  1. Nana Morken
    Natosha:

    Having constant bowel movements after eating is not good! Your electrolites can easily get way out of balance. If everything is flushing right through, your body isn't absorbing what it needs. Along with eating very few carbs, I believe it is essential to make sure you have healthy gut flora. Look at Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBrides's site (http://gapsdiet.com/uploads/FAQS_Listing.pdf) and see how to introduce healthy probiotics to your system so you can have normal bowel movements and your body can absorb all the nutrition and chemicals it needs. In my experience headaches that came to me in ketosis were helped when I was sure to have enough sea salt and lots of animal fat. Wishing you wellness.

  2. natosha
    true, i get so ill after a meal i like eat this nice high fat loaded meal example
    3 tblspoon butter pure unsalted butter with nice small serving size of maybe two drumsticks andthen salt substittute tiny bit blk pepper and cayenne then cup of broth or two

    then after 2-3 more cups broth with salt subs in it and that drink sickens me full feel like water balloon for 30-40 mins then when it does cause me going and when i go everything easily comes out then i feel empty again

  3. Char
    I started eating a low carb-high fat diet about 8 years ago. I kind of made it up as I went along. My reason for doing this was to control a yeast problem that was way out of control. Within the first couple of months my yeast problem was gone and shortly after that I started dropping massive amounts of weight. I actually became concerned because it seemed like I was getting smaller by the day. It scared me so bad that I started eating foods with high carbs in them. My weight kept plummeting, but finally plateaued and, you guessed it, skyrocketed within six months of stopping the diet. The only difference between this diet and the one that I used years ago was that I did not eat any type of dairy, except eggs and goat cheese. I have to admit that I was very satisfied with everything since I was never hungry and the excess weight loss was my only issue. I was on the diet for over 10 months at the time. I recently eliminated sugar and starches from my diet again (this time to lose weight and feel healthier) and after reading the information on this web site, I have a better understanding of what changes need to be made if I feel that the weight is coming off to quickly...Thank You!
  4. Narain
    No amount of exercise-90 minutes of yoga 4 times a week, and earlier 90 minutes of brisk walk on 4-5 days a week - and disciplined amounts of eating has helped my diabetes. My glycosylated Hb is above 8. As a strict vegetarian - no fish, no eggs, no meat - I find it difficult to embark on any of the diet programmes you recommend. How can I eliminate carbs from my diet? Please help.
  5. Maggan A
    Narian

    I think it is impossible to eliminate carbs if you are a strikt vegetarian. All vegetables contains carbs more or less. You have to find the ones with less - and that mostly means veggies that groes above ground.

    I recommend brassicas instead of potatoes, rice, pasta and bread - lots of vitamin C and fibre, very satiating and not to much carbs.

  6. Narain
    Maggan A

    Thank you for your response.
    Let me try adding more vegetables to my diet, although even now my diet is mostly vegetables, some lentils and one roti - Indian flatbread.
    Are textured vegetable proteins allowed...the ones made from soy?

  7. natosha
    so far doing great been eating chicken drumsticks 6 a day 2 for each meal

    and about a stick butter a day and 3/4-1oz of cream cheese little seasoning

    kept like that with warm water all day feel great bit hungry sometimes

    my question i need a good replacement for the drums another meat thats maybe high fat but low protien and that isn't to bad with calories even tho not counting want to keep it about same or less

  8. Chris
    Hi

    I have just had a service after doing this diet for 6 months. I have loosed 13 kgs but here is my blood tests, does not look to good. but my weight is going in the correct direction.

    2003-03 2011-02 2012-01 2012-06
    Total Cholestrol 5.7 5.5 5.7
    LDL 3.2 3.6 3.9
    HDL 1 0.9 1.1
    Triglycerides 2.1 2.3 2.4
    Glucose 5.3 5.8
    Weight 119 kgs 125 kgs 113 kgs

  9. Chris
    I will try again to get it readable

    Total Cholestrol
    2003-03 = 5.1
    2011-02 = 5.5
    2012-06 = 3.7

    LDL
    2003-03 = 3.2
    2011-02 = 3.6
    2012-06 = 3.9

    HDL
    2003-03 = 1.0
    2011-02 = 0.9
    2012-06 = 1.1

    Triglycerides 2.1 2.3 2.4
    2003-03 = 2.1
    2011-02 = 2.3
    2012-06 = 2.4

    Glucose
    2003-03
    2011-02 = 5.3
    2012-06 = 5.8

    Weight
    2011-02 = 119 kgs
    2012-01 =125 kgs
    2012-06 =113 kgs

  10. Krystle
    I have a couple of concerns. First, I'm curious about Stevia. Is this natural sweetener allowed? What about any other sweetener like Splenda or Equal?

    I'm also wondering about nitrates in things like bacon and sausage. The higher fat may be going in the right direction, but aren't nitrates still bad for you?

  11. Maggan A
    Narain and Krystle

    Dont ask what is "allowed". You deside for your self what you want to eat.

    LCHF means low carb high fat - wich means keep the carbs low and replace them with good fat.

    A good rule of thumbe is to stay away from all food that contains more than 5% carbs/100gr - just read the lables and you will find out. God fat is all kinds of animal fat and coconut- olive- and rapeseedoil.

    Stevia is a natural sweetener and so are erytritol. Im not familiar with Splenda so I can not answer about it.

    nitrates in bacon and sausages is not god and should not be eaten every day, I enjoy my bacon only on weekends :-)

  12. Maggan A
    natosha

    of course you are hungry - you eat to little. Eat more meat and more fat and eat untill you are satisfied. Forget about counting calories - if you want to starve yourself to a lower weight I suggest Weight watchers.

  13. natosha
    i've decided try new approach well right now was three meals

    meat drumsticks chickne 2 with butter andlots ofit like butter soup

    all day only one ounce cream chese

    and water all day

    now new approach take meat break

    and use shirtaki no calorie noodles for meals with butter as idea love butter

    but fig do more 80-90 percent fat diet instead

  14. Maggan A
    natosha

    God luck what ever you try - even though it does not sound much like LCHF....

    LCHF means eating real natural food like meat and fat.

    Water and shirataki is not food!

  15. Bookwyrmb
    Splenda is not a real food, is highly processed and, if I remember correctly, is an excititoxin. Rapeseed or Canola oil is not a good oil, by the way. Stick with natural oils that you could make in your own kitchen with tools found in kitchens somewhere in the world a hundred years ago, like a mortar and pestle. Nothing says you have to make it that way, but if it would be impossible to do so, it is probably not healthful. Lard, butter, tallow, goose fat, olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, palm oil: these are natural, healthful fats and oils.
  16. Bookwyrmb
    Oh, and Equal is even worse than Splenda. Coconut crystals are good in small doses as is honey snd maple syrup. Reserve for rare treats. Stevia, erythritol, and Lo Han
    juice extract are good sweeteners.
    I have read somewhere that the nitrates need not be feared as much as we are told. Look further online before you eliminate bacon and sausage. Avoid MSG, though, and hidden glutamates sometimes labeled as 'natural flavors'.
  17. yasminee
    Can you please put up some links to the research articles you are referring to, I would love to get to read them as this sounds brilliant. Such an easy way to loose weight!!

    I only hope I can stick to it so I don't gain weight again like every one says they do when they go back to 'normal eating'.

    Cheers,

    Yasminee

  18. Krystle
    Thanks for the replies. I was able to find nitrate free bacon and sausage, so I'm not really worried about that. Makes me really happy because I'm able to use the bacon grease/fat left over for other cooking as well. :D

    I only asked about Stevia because I'm curious if it affects your blood sugar. Just because it's natural doesn't mean it's necessarily okay to have. Pineapple and bananas are natural, but that would be too much carb/sugar for low carb. I wouldn't want to have anything like Splenda or Equal in my diet, they're processed to hell...Stevia seems like a good option as long as I know it doesn't interfere with the ketosis state in your body.

  19. natosha
    started my diet almost done with meat going to more of a 85-90 percent fat diet loving it so far slowly finishing up protein to lower that see what the diff would be from a 70 to going alot more fat in my diet then protein
  20. About Stevia Krystie...I have been doing LCHF for 8 months now and have lost about 18 kilos. I have also used Stevia the entire time. The research says that stevia does not cause insulin levels to fluctuate or blood sugar to spike. However it may keep your 'sweet tooth' alive and kicking. I would like to lose another 6 kilos but rather than give up Stevia I think it's better I eat less nuts and greek yogurt (mixed with berries and a pinch of stevia powder.) BEWARE of the NEW stevia products on the market--which are mixed with Erythritol, a natural sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in fruits and fermented foods. This is marketed as TRUVIA. I prefer organic natural Stevia.
  21. Anne
    How do you give up sugar? I tried multiple times and failed miserably each and every single time! I know its bad for me and I would love LOVE To stop but I just feel like I can't do it every single time... Starch I could give up pretty easily but sugar (ice cream and cereal especially) I just can't :( any tips?
  22. Anne. I was the biggest sugar addict around, even if I didn't eat cookies or candy, ice cream was my nemesis. Stevia helped me. But most of all you have to decide you CAN and quit telling yourself you can't. Also once your insulin is in control you won't' experience the mad cravings for sugar-especially if you eat enough fat! Cereal IS starch btw. I used to eat cereal and ADD maple syrup! I've now lost a full 20 kilos and yes, it's taken 8 months but I feel confident that I can keep it off. If giving up sugar is what it takes that is what it takes. Good luck.
  23. Anne
    Sigh..I guess its really just a matter of willpower. Did you gove it up immediately and completely all at once or was it small gradual change? And stevia is okay? I thought l artificial sweetners are bad
  24. I took part in a cognitive psychology study for the first month which allowed only 20 grams of carbs a day AND kept me honest. If you want to break your addiction to sugar I think it really does have to be cold turkey! Stevia is not an artificial sweetener (except for the new versions like Truvia, which mix natural stevia with sugar alcohols). I think that the main reason the Diet Doctor doesn't recommend stevia is because it keeps one's sweet tooth alive and kicking. Yet, I've found it useful. Maybe I would have lost more weight quicker had I not used it, we will never know.

    I would also suggest reading or watching the research on the negative health effects of sugar. I found the evidence compelling and evidence based research can have productive effects on one's 'willpower'.

    I don't know how old you are or what your circumstances are but for me it was a matter of making a choice about how I wanted to live the next 50 years of my life and how long I can stay alive, as much for my own sake as the sake of my newborn child!

  25. I'mafan
    I have become very unsure of how many grams of carbohydrate one can take per day to still lose weight on LCHF. I use Dr. Atkins Induction diet as a basis and simply add carbs to the total amount of 60g per day, but when I read through the comments it seems as if LCHF allows more carbs per day to still lose weight. Can anyone clarify for me please?
  26. Zepp
    No one cant say how much carbs you can eat and still lose weight!

    Its up to your own experiance.. the good thing is that you now must know that your body dont need a lot of carbs to feel fine`

    Its depends on your own sensibility.. and as I do remember from Atkins.. one can put some more carbs to ones meal if one want.. up to that amounts one dont lose any weight anymore.

    Then one know!

    You know, there is no magical about this, no differens about Atkins and LCHF.. diferent wrighters how try to explain how the biochemical around it.

    And if you is sensitive.. its your insulin levels how blocks yor body from taking from fat cells.

    Soo.. how much carbs can you eat and have a normal insulin level.. thats the question.

  27. natosha
    curious ok is it true full fat will never make u fat

    for example if someone ate pound butter no carbs and very little protein but lets just say the butter

    so pound butter
    another ate pound protein pure
    another ate pound carbs

    what would be one that wouldn't pack on the pounds

    because i know fat is never to make you fat on low carb
    and if u jut have that as i've been doing seems clean my colon well just curious tho if u ate too much of it what would happen
    would be better effects or about the same

  28. mindy
    i've been following adkins plan for 5 1/2 weeks. i measured the ketones in my urine this morning and still barely if any a trace shows up. i've only lost 2 lbs. i'm frustrated....also, trouble with bowel movements
  29. Nana Morken
    Anne:

    Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (author of GAPS) recommends taking butter with a bit of raw honey (must be raw) when cravings hit (cravings for not only sugar, but for other addictions, too) - I've done this and it works like a charm. This keeps your blood sugar even and eventually you find that the space between cravings starts to lengthen and finally the cravings completely disappear. I also learned from reading her stuff that if our guts are out of balance and unhealthy (more than one person has mentioned constipation on this site), then chemical messages are sent to our brains telling us to keep feeding the bad bacteria that is taking over in our guts - they want carbs in particular. There really is a war going on in our guts. If we heal our guts and feed ourselves lots of animal fats, bone broths, and good low carb food, our good guys will win and give us a healthy immune system and a healthy body.

    Here's Dr. Natasha's site: http://www.gaps.me/preview/?page_id=32. She answers a lot of questions about all kinds of physical and mental illnesses that begin with a weak immune system which is caused by unbalanced gut flora.

  30. I'mafan
    Thank you Zepp. That was very helpful indeed. But say someone wants to start on the LCHF way of eating and asks me how she should start... what do I say to her? What amount of low carb does one start with in order to eventually determine your own critical level of carbs? I don't like to advise Atkins Induction, it is too drastic, but it is a point to start... Hope you can help with this too.
  31. natosha
    please respond

    i wondering if its ok to go high fat low carb but enjoy 8-10 oz cheese with high calorie diet high fat plan

    i never had issues with eating so much cheese so wondering if it be ok

    other then that doing alot butter too

  32. Maggan A
    I´mafan

    The best way to start is to avoid ALL sugar, bread, potato, rice and pasta. Replace it with good fat and eat normal amounts of protein and above ground veggies. That is simple and plaine LCHF ;-)

    natosha

    Yes it is ok. Cheese rolls with butter is a very good snack if you get hungry between meals - it is like a cheese sandwich without the bread ;-)

  33. natosha
    wow all day felt guilty, but hearing u say its ok thank you so much i love cheese and love butter lol

    :)

  34. Maggan A
    natosha

    No need to feel guilty. cheese and butter is very healthy fastfood and will prevent you from loosing controll and go crazy on the "junk" ;-)

  35. mindy
    please respond....i've been following adkins plan for nearly six weeks. i've only lost 2 lbs. i excersise 3-4 times a week. also, having trouble with constipation
  36. natosha
    TRUE I'M LITTLE UNSURE I THINK I STILL LACTOSE INTOLERANT TODAY WAS FIRST DAY GORGING ON DAIRY CHEESE FROM WHILE BEFORE CAUSE BEFORE IT ALL CAME BACK OUT

    SO THE TEST PROVES IT THE FOOD WELL MOZZ I CAN TELL CAME BACK OUT AND THE NO CALORIE FIBER NOODLES TOO LOL GUESS THATS NOT GOOD WELL I GUESS I CAN KEEP GORGING ON CHEESE STILL NO MATTER WHAT WON'T CONSTIPATE ME LOL

    BUT TY I SO WAS LIKE MISSING SOMETHING AND CHEESE HIT THE SPOT I WAS CRAVING FRUIT OR CARBS AND THEN JUST DID CHEESE AND NOW NO MORE CRAVINGS LOVE IT

    TY

  37. I'mafan
    @ Maggan After everything I've learned here I realised (after your comment) that I was still (old-style) tying myself in a knot with regimens and disciplines - this was because I started off with Atkins. It is only now that I realise how "free" this way of eating is! And what a release! So thank you very much for your comment.
  38. I'mafan
    @ Mindy. I've copy/pasted a few paragraphs out of a recipe book that I've written about the LCHF way of eating. I hope this helps a bit. You may suffer from a condition known as Insulin Resistance.

    What is insulin resistance?

    Insulin is known as the fat-storing hormone. One of the functions of insulin is to cause the cells of the body, particularly the muscle and fat cells, to remove and use glucose from the blood. Insulin resistance happens when the glucose is unable to access the cells so the glucose levels in the blood get higher and higher. In the body’s frantic efforts to get rid of the excess glucose in the blood, it is stored as fat.

    What causes insulin resistance?

    Over a period of time our cells have become coated in fat, so that glucose in the blood cannot access our cells to nourish them; so our cells become starved of nourishment. The body tries to adjust for its own survival and causes carbohydrate cravings in the hope that even just tiny amounts of the glucose produced may be able to enter the cells and nourish them. The tiny bits of nourishment of the cells do not last long, however, and we end up having to eat again and again and again. In other words, this causes carbohydrate addiction and consequently weight gain.

    The solution for some is to lose weight

    Losing weight, and therefore some of the fat that is coating our cells, will allow better nourishment of the cells and less glucose in our blood, which will mean less craving for carbohydrates but, of course, this becomes a question of what is first, the chicken or the egg?

    The dilemma of the overweight person

    Our dilemma is that, literally being forced to overload on the carbs to provide the glucose that our cells so desperately seek, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to lose weight.

    How can we overcome insulin resistance?

    You may try to do the “Atkins Fat-fast” If you decide to do the fat-fast, be sure to take 1 baby aspirin per day to reduce possibility of blood clots in some people.

    If all else fails, then follow the LCHF way of eating in any case for overall better health and well-being. Whatever you do, don’t give up.

    THE ATKINS FAT FAST

    You start the Fat-fast with 5 x 200-calorie meals per day for 4 or 5 days. Each item equals approximately 200 calories:

    The Fat Fast is a tool to force ketosis for those…

    • who are insulin resistant, to get into the state of ketosis,

    • who experiences a weight loss plateau,

    • who have gone off the track like, for instance, a high-carb weekend.

    According to Dr. Atkins, eating 4 or 5 mini-meals rather than 3 regular meals is better for our bodies while doing the Fat Fast.

    Here are some one-portion fat-fast ideas:

    • One ounce of tuna or chicken salad with two teaspoons of mayonnaise served in one-quarter of an avocado

    • Two ounces of Cream Cheese

    • One ounce Macadamia Nuts

    • One mug of coffee with ¼ cup thick cream and sweetener. (Drink hot in winter and pour into ice-trays in summer for a quick coffee ice.)

    • Four strips of bacon

    • Two and a half ounces pork rinds

    • Blend the following ingredients in a small bowl for 1 portion:
    One-ounce cream cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar free peanut butter, 1 tablespoon heavy or whipping cream, 2 - 3 crushed sweetener tablets, 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

    • Half ounce Crumbled pork rinds with 2 oz sour cream.

    • Strain chicken broth made from chicken wings and thighs. ¾ Cupful of broth is 1 portion.

    • Two tablespoons sour cream, 1 teaspoon sugar-free peanut butter, 1 – 2 crushed sweetener tablets.

    • Quarter cup heavy or whipping cream, 1 tablespoon gelatine and ½ cup sugarless fruit squash. Allow to gel in refrigerator.

    • Half cup heavy cream whipped into ½ packet sugar-free jelly made with ¼ cup boiling water.

    • Deviled eggs made with two teaspoons of mayonnaise.

    • Two ounces of sour cream and two tablespoons black or red caviar.

    Sorry for the length of this comment!! (I am not an expert on all the facets of the LCHF, so I will appreciate any input about what I have written above - negative or not. Thanks.)

  39. natosha
    curious about nuts and nut butters
    what types and how much is too much
  40. Maggan A
    I´mafan

    Well thank YOU because your comment made me se the same. I havent really thaught of it before.

    This way of eating has indeed very little to do with character, regimen, dicipline, suffering, hungering and swetting, I think that is one of the reasons why the critics dont like it. It is just to simple and easy - loosing weight and gaining health with LCHF is almost like cheating ;-)

    natosha

    Be carefull with nuts because they contain quite a lot of carbs, if you eat to much of them they might put your weightloss on a halt.

    The same with nutbutters - especcially if they contain added sugar. Read the labels and try to find sugarfree.

  41. natosha
    is the 20-30 carb limit ok guideline or should be lower
  42. Maggan A
    natosha

    we are all individuals and have our owne individual limits. You have to try and find out what works for you. I suggest go ahead with 20- 30 for a while and if nothing happends on the scale try to go lower.

  43. natosha
    ok ty :)
  44. natosha
    wonder about all natural fats

    is it best whole dairy products then lowfat and fat free?

    and if one ate pure high fats 90 percent fat diet 5 percent protein 5 carbs
    would they be able to still receive benefits of low carb ?

    high fat butter
    cream cheese
    whip cream
    oils

  45. Lydia
    If the idea is to eat natural healthy food, things that are available and whole, then how can you go wrong by eating say a Banana? Surely one of if not the most natural source of energy.
    I would love to believe all this works but am struggling as you can probably tell...
  46. natosha
    also another question is ok to just say one day or few eat rotissierie u get from supermarket plain or the lemon flavor thats not loaded with carbs but lowest ones and enjoy that

    mainly original

    and just eat with buttter or cheese all day one 2.5 pound bird and extras or is that bad option?

  47. Bookwyrmb
    Lydia:
    Yes, the idea is to eat natural and healthful food and if there is nothing wrong with your metabolism, then eating the banana is a great idea. However, if you are obese or have Type 2 Diabetes or hypoglycemia or Metabolic syndrome, then you are carb intolerant to some extent and need to curb your carb intake. How much depends on your degree of carb intolerance. Bananas are a high carb fruit. Eat what you like, but you can call it LCHF correctly only if it indeed is truly low carb and high fat. This web site is for folks who need to eat a diet for carb intolerance. Thus, you won't find many of us having a whole banana very often, if ever.
  48. natosha
    do u really need too much fat decided dial down to having example day

    bf ounce cheese, two chick legs
    snk 2 chick legs n butter
    lunch same
    dinner same

    might snk again not sure

    but fig go light on added fat but is that bad
    imean i love more butter but i got so bloated from eating alot fat that cut carbs bit n up protein cals at 2000 tho before when doing that was at 2500-2800 tho not sure if can eat back there since bloated

  49. Debbie
    I am just about to embark on the low carb diet, but feel very frustrated as I am also unable to tolerate dairy foods or eggs...anyone out there lactose intolerant following this diet? Any good suggestions for how to increae the fat content without using milk, eggs, cheese?
  50. Bookwyrmb
    Debbie: 2 words, 1 item - coconut oil!
    Also, there should not be any lactose in cultured butter or in ghee. Additionally, some lactose intolerant folks are able to enjoy other cultured dairy products that have neen produced from raw dairy.
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