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 27 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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3,666 Comments

  1. DONNA
    ty
  2. oliverlemon
    thx zepp, so taking soy milkl or tofu is not helping LCHF diet rite? what about whey protein? i see many shakes contain this stuff
  3. Zepp
    Well, one can do LCHF on junfood if one want.. but its not healty anyway!

    One can altso ask wy LCHF says to be in the Paleo sphere.. its becuse we do promote everyone to eat real food!

    And what is real food.. well if they eat it in paleotime.. its probably healty.. or not unhealty!?

    And some of them was eating a lot of carbs.. but they didnt have our metabolic problems I presume?

    What about eating real food?

    If you need extra protein.. eat meat.

    One shouldnt drink the food.. its probably one of the problems to eday.. drinking and eating stuff with a lot of calories how dont give that much satiety.

  4. DONNA
    CURIOUS LIKE IF ONE

    PUT IDEA OF GLUCOSE PREVENTION FROM PROTEIN TO ACTION IS IT POSSIBLE TO NEVER GAIN.. EVEN IF U EAT A TON..

    EXAMPLE

    LIKE TAKE 2 CHICKEN THIGHS ROASTED WITH OIL
    THEN SERVE WITH 3TBLSPOONS BUTTER.

    SO LIKE A 2:1RATIO OR MAYBE EVEN 3:1 RATIO
    FAT TO PROTEIN

    IF U ATE LIKE THAT ALL DAY WOULD IT BE IMPOSSIBLE TO GAIN?

  5. Zepp
    No, there is noting magic att all with LCHF!

    If one eat more then one do burns.. one gain weight independent of what one eat!

    With a high fat diet.. one often feel satisfied for less and eat less calories.. often becus one dont get any blood sugar roller coaster!

    And the moste benefit of an high fat diet is that one come to learn about ones bodys signaling about hunger and satiety!

    Reply: #1373
  6. Hi

    Is Soda stream good for the diet?

  7. DONNA
    peanut oil i was thinking to use to fry in is that safe to use?
  8. Lorenzo
    A question for Dr Eenfeldt and everyone who would like to answer:

    If on low-carb diet you can avoid counting calories, where do excess calories go?

    I mean if I eat 4000 calories/day am I going to lose weight anyway?

  9. Zepp
    Calories do counts.. but dont bother to count them.. your apetite system supose to do that for you!

    The thing about low carb is that your body is not ocupied with lowering glucose levels and storing it in every place it can find.

    Becuse high glucose levels are toxic.

    And ofcourse, if one persist to stuff a lot of calories in ones body, despite ones apetite system say one shouldnt, then it gonna be stored, preferly in your fat cells.

    There is no magic thing about it at all, its a way to get away from having your body dominated by glucose/insulin and shift to make it dependant on fat/glukagon/ketosis!

    And if one have a damaged apetite, then one have to count calories anyhow!

    But moste peopel do have an normal apetite regulation if they only take the time to restore it.

  10. Zepp
    Chris.. if you dont put any sugary things in the water, then you can use soda stream if you want some bubbles in your water.
  11. Zepp
    Donna.. use coconut oil or lard instead!
  12. Tks

    This link shows them as low but I do not think it is true.

    http://www.sodastreamusa.com/TasteNutritionInfo.aspx

  13. Zepp
    But this is only nesesery if you persist to have the sweet taste!

    I my self drink mineral water, does one can by on bottles.

    Or ordinary tap water, with som lemon slice or cucumber slice, in it.

  14. Nadine
    I drink tea with fresh stevia leaves in it all day and for workouts iced water with lemon and stevia again. I can´t stand the "taste" of water. Not drinking apple spritzer anymore was the worst for me about LCHF. But I´m down to like 75 g of carbs per day and I feel good.

    The bad thing is: I don´t loose wait. Well, I lost 400 g in two weeks but that´s nothing, those 400 g come and go all the time. But there´s still fat that really could go away...

    But I realized, that I start to get thinner in weird places. My rings and my watch are getting loose, altough they´ve been on my fingers and my wrist for like 15 years, fitting pretty well. It´s not that I had fat there, my fingers and my wrists have always been pretty bony... Isn´t that weird?

    Reply: #1374
  15. Annelie
    I usually don't count calories and only concentrate on a low carb intake. However, since I started adding coconut oil in my coffe, or making egg milk of 1 egg and 20-25 grams of butter or so, I realized that I might not eat enough during a day. Since I'm never ever hungry eating LCHF, I'm practicing an involuntary intermittent fasting; my first meal of the day being my coconut/ egg milk coffee at 2pm and then dinner at 7pm when I come home. I don't have exact numbers, but I doubt that I reach more than 1000 calories a day! You guys think I'm starving myself? My weight loss side doesn't complain in the calories in calories out way of thinking, but my efficient weight loss side wonders if I slow down my metabolism by doing this? Since it is sooo hard for me to force myself to eat when not hungry (a problem I didn't have when my past life concisited of fast food and doughnuts), I pray for someone to tell me that low calorie intake on LCHF does not slow down your metabolism in the same way as when you starve yourself in the calorie count way... In worst case I could add a serve of yogurt with cinnamon, which is the only thing I can think of eating when not actually hungry, but that'll only add another 160 calories or so, max!
  16. Annelie
    Nadine #1364

    I'm not an expert at all, but I think that the stevia might raise your insulin even if it's not containing carbs as such. I've read that sweeteners tend to do that in some people, Dr Eenfelt had a post in Swedish some years ago when he tested his blood sugar after drinking a can of Pepsi Max, and it was spiking! And if you have high insulin levels, your body won't burn fat.

    Regarding the water, I totally feel you! Having moved to Australia a couple of years ago, the tap water was just weird and awful! I refused to drink water and only drank diet coke and Pepsi Max. Then I started to drink water with a LOT of lemon, when you don't eat any sugar the lemon tastes so sweet and fresh! Then I went on to sparkling water an became an addict! After a while I actually started to drink tap water without noticing and I don't drink anything else now, besides the occasional glass of beautiful Aussie wine that is!

  17. I've been doing LCHF for 10 months now and have lost 22 kilos altogether with another 3-5 to go. I maintain a carb intake of under 100 grams a day. I have also been using stevia on a daily basis the entire time. From the research that has been done stevia does NOT cause insulin levels to spike. It's a natural sweetener with zero calories and although it has recently gone on the mainstream market one must beware because they have added sugar alcohols to it. Look for PURE ORGANIC STEVIA rather than those with erythirol or xylitol.

  18. Annelie
    #1367

    Congratulations on your weight loss, really impressive! I have to be more restricted in the carb intake to see any results at all. Personally, when it comes to sweeteners, I don't now if it raises my insulin, but everything sweet triggers my sweet tooth so bad so I must be really careful with that too. Guess that's my punishment for damaging my body with all that sugar my whole life an ending up as a sugar junkie...

  19. Nadine
    @Annelie: As far as I know, Stevia is the only natural sweetener and therefore different to the chemical ones used in Coke light and so on. I thought that it does not effect insulin.... I found this:

    "Stevia preloads significantly reduced postprandial glucose levels compared to sucrose preloads (p < .01), and postprandial insulin levels compared to both aspartame and sucrose preloads (p < .05)." (Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels)

    And it also is good for the teeth, because it prevents dental plaque.

    Maybe I should buy keto-sticks in order to test if I´m in ketose. But I do feel the dizziness, the headaches and the thurst that was described by others here. I´m usually never thursty during normal days (without workout) and I have to force myself to drink at all, but on this diet I actually drink like a cow ;) In the office I drink 1.5 to 3 liters of tea - that is not normal for me at all. Before LCHF I could spend the office day not drinking at all.

  20. Nadine
    By the way, I don´t have any cravings for sweet stuff otherwise. If I could drink pure water (without throwing up afterwards, because of the horrible non-taste ), I would drink that. But I can´t. So I need some of the stevia leaves in order to drink the tea - which I wouldn´t either without some sweetness. But I´m not craving for other sweets anymore. Which I was like a sweetness-junkie before LCHF. I would crave for cakes, choclate and sweets all day. That is gone.

    What I really don´t like about LCHF is that it makes workouts so much harder. Sometimes I fell really weak and I don´t fell at all like moving on some days. That´s new to me.

    Maybe I´m not loosing weight because I´m not really overweight (BMI 19), just far away from a six pack?

  21. Ocean
    I've been doing LCHF for a bit now, and understand that protein should be unlimited, however I think I'm eating too much protein. Is there any kind of formula for determining how much is 'ideal'?
  22. Zepp
    1-2 grams/kilo or 0,5/1 grams/pound says to be safe!

    The lower value for a sedentry person, the higher value for an activce persons.

    Or 15-25E% protein on a regular basis over a longer period.

    Its about our demands for essentiall amino acids, and for som glukoneogenes for peopel on a ketogenic diet!

  23. eric
    Not true....you are eat too litle (under your rmr) with such a high carb content that you can become fat. Studies of third world countries show high levels of obesity yet they have low calorie comsumption with high levels of calorie expenditure from daily activity. It is from mostly a grain or high carb diet with little fat or protein.
  24. barry
    Nadine #1364: "I start to get thinner in weird places. My rings and my watch are getting loose, altough they´ve been on my fingers and my wrist for like 15 years, fitting pretty well. It´s not that I had fat there, my fingers and my wrists have always been pretty bony... Isn´t that weird?"

    no! you usually lose excess body fat in the opposite order from how you added fat. if you first added fat around the waist or butt, then legs and arms and face and fingers, then when you shed weight you'd lose the fat in the fingers first. so continue what you're doing to lose weight and you'll start to see less fat elsewhere too.

  25. Carlotta
    Hi everyone,

    I'm an Italian 22 years old girl who has been constantly reading this web site for 2 weeks by now. I found It very, VERY impressive. I just want you to know my story, in order to let you give me some tips if you can ( if the Doc could answer me too it would be fantastic! ^^)
    So... 2 years ago I really did not know what eating healthy meant, at least not in its wider meaning. I can even say that my family is and has always been organic food addicted, I mean...they really care about what kinds of food enters our home, but I used to eat to much, without any sort of limitation. Prosciutto, salami, pasta, cakes, kebabs, pizzas, bread, etc etc (no need I continue listing...you got the point! ^^ Actually, however, my weight was totally normal. I was not overweight at all since I just weighted 58/59 kg ( I'm 164 cm tall) My blood analysis also were preatty good even if I was not so focused following a good and healthy diet as my parents wanted me to follow. I used to eat at 11 am pizza, sweet snacks and so on ( as my friends did) during the break time from lessons. Then at 1.30 lunch at home! Thanks to my metabolism my body was able to manage all these stuff I was able to eat without so much difficulties ( I usually say that I weighted almost nothing compared to what I used to eat! ) However I was not very lean, certenly my body fat % was not like an athlete( I was very sedentary too due to school ( I really like studying), and the Conservatory of music, I did not have so much time for sports ( however, I did swimming for 13 years till I was 14 then I stopped because I did not have enought time for school, piano and sports all together and maybe also because I was a bit lazy) So, by then I started gaining weight, not so much as I said before, but I gained some arriving to 58/59 kg. Then, one day, when I was 18, I just decided to stop eating everything I wanted without control and I started with the advice of a doctor, a low carb carb ketogenic diet. From 58/59 kg I moved to 50 kg in a very short term ( only 2 weeks or a bit more). this low carb diet was primerely based on lean meat-chicken-fish, eggs, no starch, no sugar, vegetables no high in sugars, no dairy too however, and some low carb biscuits I had to eat ( breakfast, morning snack and afternoon snack). After the weight loss I reintegrated my diet with all the kind of food I have not been eating during those 2 weeks of diet... fruit, some bread and then pasta. After this period I did not begin eating badly again, and I moved from low-carb period to more "easy-going" periods gaining a bit of weight ( just little) . The fact is that in low carbs periods I used to limit fat too, I used to buy lean meet, no fat milk, no fat yogurt, I did not eat cheese but cottage cheese and ricotta. I used some times following doctor dukan advice, but not always. Therefore, I continued losing weight, till I arrived to the weight I am now : 46/ 45.9 kg. All the muscle was not lost, I'm fit and I could say I'm not so skinny but very lean ( my abs are visible without training them). Then, all by by chance, I looked at this website and I thought EUREKAAAA!! Finally I found the answer to all my questions. So I moved from not eating fat to love fat. Changed my usual 100/150 gr of daily carbs (with which I felt most of the time tired, with low blood pressure, but especially very tired and with cravings ,maybe because I used to eat relatively low carb but also low fat, I did not have very regular menses too) to 20 gr of carbs and high fat. I did not went through any sort of difficulties, it has been very easy, I don't feel tired anymore, my brain perfectly works and I can also have one hour or more bicycling without any sort of problem almost every day. So everything seems turned perfect, however ( and after I don't know how many lines I'm finally getting to the point : sorry about that) I don't know if I'm eating the right amount of carbs ( maybe 20 is to little?), enought fat, and maybe too much proteins. Moreover, it is necessary for me gaining some weight, (in order to have regular menses again) or it is enough just to eat fat ? And then, as my final question, if I eat too much fat, or more carbs, am I going to gain weight ?

    Thanks to everyone for your kind attention and sorry again for the lenght of my comment!
    Byeeeeee ^^

  26. NM
    curious if one binged on low carb would they be less likely to get fat then on a high carb diet

    for example if ones diet was just meat and fat
    and anothers was starches and fruits

    one ate 5 meals a day all being ( coconut oil used to fry chicken thighs) 2-3 three thighs maybe 10 a day total

    then another ate 5 meals all being( bagel with orange juice) like one large bagle and 1 cup oj

    would it be bad for both? or no?

    and does eating at different amounts each day depending on hunger a good thing or is that a binge?

  27. gallier2
    @NM
    hypothetically, it would be probably bad in both scenarios, but in reality you won't be able to sustain the 5 meal of 2 thighs a day for long. I doubt even you could do it more than 2 days. That is the real magic behind LCHF.
  28. joseph
    The wicked witch lives in a house made of the sugar-lobby.
    Lotte Reiniger 'silhouette film': (10:32)
  29. j
    ant truth that if 1 ate say meat no calorie count and low carb veggies but no weight loss .. then add like cream butter cheddar (no count cals)..they would lose weight
  30. Weight Loss
    I do believe all of the ideas you have offered on your post. They are very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are too quick for

    beginners. May you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  31. j
    heart burn after 1:1 ratio

    protein n fat
    50% each

    if i added cream/butter/cream cheese =full fat or maca nuts
    will having that help rate of weight lost
    keeping same amount food..just adding 800 or so more fat to the day?
    and maybe will it even cause less growling tummy and hunger symptoms.lol

    but what would you say

  32. Garth Hope
    What do people think of Goat's milk? That seems to be low in Carbs. So far, since being on this diet I have lost 17kg's. Still got a way to go but I'm getting there.
  33. me
    tried a 50 protein/50 fat approach ok stable, no lose

    so now add fat bring to 66percent fat
    see if the extra fat added to what i normally eat will help

    more food but yum might tame my hunger i get fast after 1.5 hours

    eat 5 meals so might help me out:)

  34. Helen
    Thanks for this great starter information. Dr. Wortman suggested I start following your blog and Twitter accounts. A newly diagnosed Type II diabetic (my initial fasting blood sugar was 7.2) with a long history since age of sixteen of severe hypertension. There are plenty of issues with diabetes, renal and blood pressure issues in both my maternal and paternal families. I have a doctor who is okay with me following a LCHF diet, somewhat unhappy if it follows a true Atkins style but is willing not to put me on medications to control the diabetes for now.

    I need and want to lose weight and control my blood sugar and stabilize my hypertension but I have such little will power. This seems an easier diet than some of the national diabetes sites in Canada I have seen.

    What do you suggest is a good way to start - keeping a food journal and marking times of hunger and foods eaten? I don't think it would be too hard to cut carbs, but I'm scared to cut them completely and have negative reactions that will raise my blood pressure levels. Best level so far has been 130/110 and worst has been 178/135.

    Where can I find a good meal plan to begin a low carb diet .... say two weeks?

    Thank you!!

  35. rose
    Don't we need carbs before and after workouts? I wanna go low carb to lose some extra fat but I also workout intensely, also, what about julians paleo bread? Thanks
  36. David
    Hi, I am right in to ketosis at this moment, I am wondering would a can of Diet Coke knock me out of ketosis. Some web sites say they are carb free but I wonder ?

    Thanks :)

  37. me
    is cellulose ad in parmesan cheese from krast parm 100%
  38. me
    is cellulose added in parmesan cheese, from kraft parm 100% ok to have if no other cheese around the house?
  39. me
    what does avocado taste like alone? is it good?
    Reply: #1390
  40. Helen
    avocado tastes great on its own or with a little lemon juice and garlic or you can make it into a dessert with whipped cream and vanilla essence

    I like to add two tablespoons of sour cream to avocado, lemon juice, garlic and salt or greek yoghurt and eat this with my salads or vegetables like a dip ,,,, its really tasty!

  41. me
    TY:)
  42. Galit
    hello, I have started LCHF 10 days ago.I did not loose much weight yet, only 2 kgs and I have 20 to loose !! but I am really committed to try it for a longer period since the truth is I can't stand low calories low fat diets, they have too many restrictions for my taste and LCHF is much easier for me to follow and doesn't leave me with any frustrations, I enjoy every meal and definitly don't feel as hungry as I used to be with low fat diets (and I have tried them all...).
    I have 2 questions I didn't find answers to on the net or on this site ( my new bible for the last days):
    1. I understand that on low carbs diet you eat more proteins and according to studies they are the reason you are less hungry , and therefore you eat less calories. I do not understand thu why you can eat ( or need to eat ) a lot of fat with the proteins ? There are a lot of calories in fat cheese or cream or butter... Wouldn't it be more logical to avoid them or at least minimize them
    in order to loose weight? Please help me understand since it is important for me in order to go on with LCHF.

    2. I admitt I am a long time addicted to diet coke or pepsi max... zero.. , less carb is no problem for me ( love meat and cheese and green vegetables... ) but I am struggeling with the no diet cokes ! I have been drinking diet coke although i understand it is not recommended but as it is so hard for me , Is it an absolute NO ? If I do everything else right why drinking the diet Coke or pepsi can dammage my efforts in loosing weight ?

    Thanks a lot for your answers.

  43. Galit
    one more question ; I am taking Esto 10 mg ( cypralex) ... had been depressed lately and it helped me and I feel much better . I started with it 3 months ago and I am still on it . Can this drug interfer or slow down my weight loss ? Is it better for me to try to stop now ?
  44. me
    i notice i'm starving on this plan..
    i was having over 200g protein and not losing..so past two days went to having 90-100g protein
    and 120 fat.........but starving all day tummy growls like storm and head aches and stomach side pains, horrible concentration,blurry..

    so i'm upping fat today 180-240 grams, but calories will raise will that make a problem for weight loss?

    only ask cause lost a pound from starving, which wasn't fun...

    Reply: #1395
  45. Helen
    I only started this plan half-assed since last week. I haven't weighed anything I've eaten and not really calorie counting, just following basic guidelines and a few of the meal plans I have found. Staying away from carbs as much as I can but haven't noticed any weight loss. Just find I am eating less as my protein has increased, not sure I have the fat part of the diet down as I also had a headache yesterday.

    Perhaps you need to look at the other foods you're eating beside the protein, maybe they have more carbs than you actually suspect?

  46. rob
    Hi people, dont worry about how much fat you are consuming, if your feeling hungry still, just eat more fats, nuts, avacados, fish, meat, butter. . . anyhting with naturals unmodified fats. i i guarentee you will lose fat, i know it sounds crazy but stick to it. Loads if veg to help fill the gap.
  47. Candy
    Hello :) I am new here. I am starting LCHF diet on 22.09 . I am around 200/210 pounds/5'10 and I plan on losing 70-80 pounds. I also plan on going to the gym everyday and working out for 1-2 hours. I am going to eat 20-30 carbs (I done it before and I know I can do it) and I don't plan on eating dairy (because I dont really like it maybe once in a while). Do you have some advices for me or something to motivate me? Also roughly what do you think how long will it take me to lose 60-70 pounds I plan on losing? Do you think 7 months will be enough?
    Thank you :)
  48. Ranjine
    Hi I am new to LCHF diet. I really like your site and all the discussions. Helps me a lot. Thank you ! I am trying to eat lower than 20 g of carb a day (I am a vegetarian and eats eggs). I weigh 170 pounds (Height is 5'3"). I eat close to 75g of protein (0.45% of my weight) and 1.2 times of Protein + carb (=115 g) as fat.All my carbs come from vegetables (cooked and fresh). To be on Ketosis , I have to be under 20g of Carb. I feel like i am restricting my veg intake to keep carb to 20g. Is this okay ? I read everywhere that we can eat as much as vegetables we can . Please someone answer my question . Really appreciate it.
  49. Kevin
    I do a lot of endurance sports and we have always been trained on high carb diets for endurance. Consuming carbs during exercise such as high carb energy drinks, high carb snacks during exercise. How do I ensure I have enough sustained energy doing a 9 hour endurance mountain bike race if I am on the LCHF diet? What food types would I be consuming on the bike to give me sustained energy for this period of time?
  50. Jane2
    No one is answering so I will try. (Sorry for any mistakes in my English)
    One should eat about that amount of protein as your lean weight should be. This is: lenght minus 100 cm plus or minus 10%. Fat should be at least (fat burning index) 1,5 time as much as protein and carbs together.
    For example: If your are 170 cm, you can eat 63 grams of protein, 30 grams carbs; together it is 93 grams: so 93 times 1,5 = 140 grams of fat. The more fat you eat, the more ketogenic.
    When a person is wasted, you will gain some weight to build you up again.
    When you eat fat, you cannot grow fat. Only wrong foods can make you fat.
    The first kg's that you lose are from water. First 2 weeks you can feel unwell but you get over this.
    Read the labels of food and meat/fish you buy. Do not buy food with added sugars or grains (all forms)
    The first two weeks you can eat more protein to build your body. After that; stay on the track.
    1 gram or 0,8 gram or, in the end 0,5 gram of protein per kg leanbody mass is enough.
    Eat lots of healthy eggyolks (not done) they have the best protein, lots of vitamins, minerals and good fats (cholesterol) that your body needs.
    The best fat to eat are in pork, lard, bacon, butter, cream, coconutoil, nuts, avacado, olives.
    Do not use any form of vegetable oil. They are unhealthy and dangerous.
    Fish protein is less good then meat protein.
    Vegetables: green leef, cooked. Raw vegetables are (in my opinion) not healthy, and you do not need them for vitamins, these are in the animal products. Vit.D from 15 minutes of sunlight.
    Vit. C is (in other form) in meat.
    Extra fat you can make from bone broth. Very healthy. Also chickensoup, made of bones and so on, is very good.
    If you are hungry, you did not eat enough fat.
    Good luck.
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