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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3,297 Comments

  1. Terry
    Susan, my experience is this. As long as I stick to the diet I lose weight. if I start adding carbs I stabilize and my weight lose slows or stops depending on the amount of carbs I introduce. If I add carbs in excess I gain. My body gains quite quickly with carbs, so I've learned it's better to moderate the carbs - never in excess. Gain is easier than losing in my experience so moderating is good! I'm diabetic so I avoid sugar as much as possible, but it has the exact same effect as carbs on weight, so swap carbs/sugar in what I've said as they will have the same effect on your body. If you exercise regularly you can afford a little of each, but still moderate it if you want to lose. If you're starting out, do your very best to avoid both sugar and carbs (i.e. try and stick to the 'Avoid if you can' list at the top) for as long as possible and you will see your weight reducing over time. Do your very best to only introduce more sugar or carbs once you reach your goal weight. If you must have carbs, try and make it a little (we're all human, it'll happen) and if you need something sweet go for fruit before chocolate! And make sure you mix your meat with veges on a plate for a meal instead of one meal that's just meat and one that's just veges. I always find I get a better fat burn if I do. Hope that helps, go for it!
  2. Terry
    Bea, others can address the age issue but I don't see any reason why that would be a factor against you. If you exercise a lot, just be thoughtful when. This diet keeps your blood sugar quite low and exercise has the immediate effect of burning the sugar out of your blood. If it's gets to low you can get dizzy, flake out (which is dangerous!) and other such side effects when your blood sugar is too low. So it's best to exercise reasonably soon after you've eaten to make sure your blood sugar level stays OK, Doing that will keep the blood sugar levels stable but it'll aid in the fat burn as well! Blood sugar usually stabilizes by about 2 hrs after you eat (before that it's high) so try and fit the exercise about 30 mins to 1 hr after you eat a decent meal.
    Reply: #3254
  3. Bea
    hey, i have another question , i'd like to take the LCHF as a lifestyle , will i be able to eat fruit because in the rules it says no fruit ??! and can i have my cheat days from time to time ?!
    Reply: #3264
  4. Bea
    Terry , thank you very much for the advice
  5. Tracey
    Hi All, there is a MAJOR storm brewing in South Africa with this lifestyle. Our Prof Tim Noakes is the biggest advocate here. He was, until a few years ago, a large advocate of a high card, low fat diet. He is however a Type II diabetic and started looking into the high fat scenario.

    Doctors here are crucifying him on this issue stating that he is taking this too far.

    However, If any of you still have doubts on this way of eating, buy and read the latest book "Big Fat Mistake" by Nina Teicholz who is an investigative journalist and puts to bed the myths associated with a high card, low fat diet. It is massively interesting. It is available in digital and hard copy format. It is SCARY to see what so-called medical people and scientists have put our world population through in terms of nutritive healthcare.

  6. Sonnett ZA
    Corn on the cob. ..... yes? No?
  7. erdoke
    Geese are force-fed with corn, so that they get fat and develop a huge fatty liver.
    Yes or no? What do you think? ;o)
    Goose liver fried in its own fat is delicious, btw.
  8. Laura
    Hi,

    I am doing induction (20g carbs daily) and really struggling without chocolate.......any tips to get me past this please????

    Replies: #3260, #3261
  9. Sonnett ZA
    :) ok then I guess it's gonna have to be a BIG, FAT..... NO! :)
    Thanx Erdoke!
    Reply: #3263
  10. Sonnett ZA
    Hi Laura

    Perhaps Tey making some Fat bombs. You can Google some great recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth and boost your fat intake

  11. erdoke
    My favorites at the chocolate department:
    Lindt 90 % Mild => suits everybody
    Lindt 99 % => suits chocolate enthusiasts only
  12. Laura
    Yes fat bombs might just do the trick!!! Would the Atkins chocolate truffles count? butter, cream, 85% dark chocolate, vanilla extract count as a fat bomb???
  13. Zepp
    How many do you eat?

    If one is healty and slim.. one have more choises.. and if one eat one or two whit lot of butter on a barbecue.. and let say it gives about 50 grams cocked corn.. its about wooping 10 grams of carbs!

    You know coocked corn on a cob is 75% water.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_corn

    Its corn flour and products frome that one should avoid in the first place.

    http://www.fineli.fi/food.php?foodid=29823&lang=en

    I think the butter are a bigger energy source on that cob?

  14. Terry
    In my experience occasional fruit is fine, especially if you are also exercising. Just don't over indulge cos it will slow you weight reduction since it has lots of sugar. And if you are starting out and need to lose lots of weight, try your best to avoid sugary things as much as possible at least initially till you get your weight down. Cheat days - no, don't do that. it will stall your weight loss immediately and depending on what you have can start to reverse it. What I do is once every 3 or 4 weeks if I feel I am doing well weight wise I give myself 1 takeaway meal and that doesn't stall the weight reduction. But here's the thing, this diet is quite satisfying in and of itself and the more you say no to the unhealthy stuff, where you have a replacement that is healthy, the more your body tells you you never needed the other stuff in the first place. Our bodies are creatures of habit, change the way you eat and your body will follow suit! Thats my experience (i.e. the cravings for the old reduce substantially!). So where you can, say no the the garbage and look for a health alternative to replace it and your well on your way. That's my big secret of success right there!!!
    Reply: #3265
  15. Bea
    Terry ,thank u for answering , but can you please answer more questions :) , how much fat and protein do you eat a day ?! and do you count calories ?! and how much weight did you lose ?!! and so sorry for asking so many questions . :)
    Reply: #3267
  16. Lee
    My hubby has started following the Tim Noakes Diet Plan and I have started reading up more on the LCHF plan. It makes sense to me. I have tried a variety of diets which all have worked with me ... as long as I follow the plan, maintain my goal and keep away from the sugars (I don't eat sweets but I love desserts and ohhh wine). The problem is when I stop I put the weight back on and the older I am getting the more weight I put on everytime I stop. SO... I think I am going to give this one a try as my husband says I have "everything to lose" and hopefully nothing more to gain. Pardon the pun. Its a mind change as much as it is taking that step. Goodluck and I will let you know how it goes. Thanks so much for sharing this information. Good luck everyone.
  17. Terry
    Folks, I'm sorry if this is long, somebody needs to kick me in another direction to post these comments if it's the wrong place for them. To answer your question…Firstly I never count calories. ever. I can't be bothered! what I do do is check my weight reasonably often (weekly is best cos daily it goes up and down, try it) and listen to what my body tells me when I eat or eliminate certain foods and proceed from there. The thing you need to understand about me is I never started on this diet a year ago when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes - which I now realize was caused by consuming way way too much sugar and carbohydrates and being over weight. I experimented with foods as I went after being diagnosed and I guess just by chance and by listening to what my body told me and advice from my doctor I arrived at a diet that almost exactly replicates what I have found here on this website only 2 weeks ago! I consider myself very lucky. So I will talk to you from experience more than theory cos my experience proves that this diet works! And I lost about 14 to 15 kgs in that 1 year process. It would probably be more if I had known this from the start, but I have to experience things to know. The great thing about this site is I am now understanding WHY I've lost the weight and it is equipping me to lose even more cos I'm getting the why. Excellent!
    Now the first thing I did was to completely eliminate sugar from my diet as much as possible. If you need sweetener in your coffee etc, that's fine, use a sugar replacement (e.g. Splenda, Stevia, try some an see what one you like). Just don't use any sugar/honey/maple syrup etc. That in and of itself will start your body losing weight. Stop eating chocolate and candy and give your body a rest from sugar for a while. I absolutely promise you, it will love and reward you for it!!!!!!! No fruit juice either, drink water instead, lots of it.
    Next, where you used to have high carb snacks (e.g. chocolate, muesli bars and yes, even pop corn!), find a healthy alternative. I like celery with some cheese on it, olives, thin slices of cheese with a slice of tomato & slice of pickle on it, a hard boiled egg from the fridge, A big mouthful of lettuce leaves with some sliced ham around it etc. Go to the supermarket and spend at least a couple of hours looking for and planning on alternatives. Don't gorge on snacks though, only have them if your hungry in between meals.
    Breakfast, this one's a challenge for me cos I like a lot of milk in my coffee and I can tell you now, it aint good. It restricts weight loss cos it 'sticks' and I can feel it slows things up so I'm working on that. I'm a bit of a flavor fanatic so I've been messing with flavored teas and such, but a couple of eggs and some meaty bacon doesn't seem to stuff me up diet wise.
    Lunch, again a little challenged in that I like to put my meat and veges between a bit of bread. So I exchange carbs for fat here. It's not ideal though so I'm working on alternatives as soon as I have more time to plan and experiment a bit more.
    Now the dinner plate. Never eat rice! Can't believe how that sticks to the ribs. Get rid of starchy high carb veges. The best dinner for me is a decent piece of meat and a load of above soil veges on the side. By the next morning I can feel the burn. It amazes me cos I leave the fat on my pork loins, eat scotch fillet steak which has a high fat content, never take the skin off my chicken and quite often mix interesting flavors into greek yoghurt and use it as a dressing. All works for me!
    Extras… I have the occasional muffin, but only as a reward if I seem my weight is going down, and I always make them with a sugar alternative to help keep the carbs down. And fruit, once in a while I think is Ok, but try and manage those things as a reward against weight loss. I have an apple every other day at the mo cos I'm nearing my goal weight.
    Lastly - exercise. Do it if you can. You'll lose slowly but surely if you don't is my experience, but if you want to get the weight off quicker then start even at 10mins every other day and build from there. The more the better though, it totaly enhances the fat burn of the diet.
    I found this link to be excellent and very reflective of what I had already learned prior to finding this site. Thanks Zepp!
    http://www.fitintegrity.com/uploads/9/5/1/6/9516119/no_sugar_no_starc...
    Reply: #3268
  18. Bea
    Thank you very much for everything it's my day two and i feel awesome and you are so kind for answering so many questions , and thank you for the link too , it's so much help
  19. Tomas Rippl
    Hello,

    I am LCHF beginner, I have watched and read some articles and discussions on this web and I started to eat according to the plans in the Recipes section of this page. But I am still wondering - do I get it right that I do not have to eat any vegetables for breakfast (just eggs/meat/fat)? And how much of it should I eat for lunch/dinner? Is there any minimal/maximal amount of vegetables? When I watched "The Food Revolution - AHS 2011" movie above, at 27:48 there is a meal that contains maybe a handful of vegetables. Is this amount sufficient when it comes to all the micronutrients our bodies need? Also, what kind of sauce is that? Does anybody have a recipe?

    Thanks,
    Tomas Rippl

    Replies: #3271, #3282
  20. Linda
    Hi.

    Does anyone have a low carb recipe for pancakes? I would love to pack my kids lunch boxes with small pancakes which contain healthy fillings

    Thanks.
    Linda

    Reply: #3272
  21. Zepp
    Eat as much above ground veggies (low starch) you like.. to any meal!

    Perticaly green leafs!

    You know.. its not veggies one shall cut out.. its sugar, flour and such things at first!

    Heres a good program!

    http://www.fitintegrity.com/uploads/9/5/1/6/9516119/no_sugar_no_starc...

    And ofcourse.. LCHF is mostly about carbs and fat.. but there are always any other nutrients to take considerations about!

  22. Zepp
  23. Reeni
    Zep,I once came across an article on Diet Dr which if I remember correct,mentioned that for a person who has high LDL eating more carbs is helpful..i have been unable to trace this article again..would you have any idea how i can get hold of this article again?
    Reply: #3274
  24. Zepp
    I dont think soo!

    Its rather high carb that promote more small atherogenic LDL!

    Listen to this seminar instead, he explain the whole thing!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuj6nxCDBZ0

  25. Tracey
    Hi ... Watch this ... Amazingly informative. Prof Tim Noakes :
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D0GSSSE4l8U
  26. Mary
    What about coconut sugar? I use a tsp in my coffee 2x a day..
    what do you think?
  27. Mariam
    hey,
    i want to know some things about the diet , will eating so many calories can cause me weight gain ?!! and if not , will this diet help me lose about 10 lbs of fat in 2 weeks , i know i will take this as a lifestyle but i need to see progress in my body shape fast , i'm not overweight but my body shape makes me feel bad , i'm already on a low carb - low fat diet but it doesn't seem to work , i lost 3 lbs in a month and i exercise daily , that was so depressing ,and when i found this site and how much weight people lost and some of them without exercising it was pretty cool and made me feel positive about the diet but i wanna know will i be able to lose weight fast on this diet ?!!!
    Reply: #3279
  28. Susan
    Thank you will have a look. Lost 1kg this week so going well.
  29. Zepp
    Well, eating too many calories make moste people gain weight.. thats true!

    But LCHF is not about eating too many calories.. its about making fat ones major energy source!

    Low carb low fat is nothing but starvation.. one lose weight.. and healt!

    Losing a pound a week is a very fast veightloss!

    http://www.fitintegrity.com/uploads/9/5/1/6/9516119/no_sugar_no_starc...

  30. Tracey
    Hi Miriam,

    Firstly, this lifestyle is not about calories - it is about eating proper food until you are FULL. Doing this will alleviate the need to eat all the time (like with low carb, low fat diets where one is CONSTANTLY hungry and often having cravings). As a result of this, you will automatically consume less.

    Secondly, no diet is a miracle, get thin quickly and KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF FOREVER scenario. This is a lifestyle. I believe that by making the change you will lose weight, but as you say you are not overweight so you need to consider whether 10 lbs is realistic.

    Thirdly, losing 10lbs in two weeks ??? Do you REALLY think that that's realistic?

    Lastly, STOP WEIGHING - this is ruling your life. Enjoy the changes you will feel on your body. Because you up your fat you will be losing centimetres and belly fat... Try and find the article on this sight about the scale and why it is detrimental to most people's body image of themselves.

    Just some thoughts... hope they help.

  31. Tracey
    Hi, if this website has already been mentioned here as a source of info, apologies. Although I have been following this lifestyle for a year, new websites are always a great source of info.

    This web also enables you to create an eating plan for yourself, especially for newbies.

    It contains great food lists for all food groups showing net carbs (there are carbs in everything !!!!)

    http://Www.originaleating.org

    Enjoy

  32. Terry
    Tomas, I'm with you, I'm inclined to want some veges with my breakfast too. Even if it's just for psychologyical reasons, and there's nothing wrong with it, it won't raise you blood sugar at all and that's the main thing - so your body can go on burning up it's fat reserves so you lose weight because you've stopped feeding it with the sugar and carbs that are the primary reasons the weight goes on. Just remember that if you eat a lot of meat that's high in protein, the excess can go back into the bloodstream as sugar, so for the main meals I always try and have a mix of the 3: Meat, above ground veges and fat. Then for the snacks I usually have a mix of fat and vege cos the fat makes you feel full and the vege has good nutrition, it meets the bodies demands but neither raise the blood sugar so the body keeps burning the fat. Now I'm going to say something that might be considered a little controversial, but I can get away with having a decent piece of meat and a lot of vegetables and not need to introduce too much fat (of example I just leave the fat on the meat and maybe add a fatty dressing over the veges using greek yoghurt as the base) and still feel satisfied. I've checked my sugar levels after this and they are still very stable - which means (and I can feel this by the next morning) I get an excellent burn of fat reserves out of my body because my body's using energy to process the meal, but its taking the fat from my body instead the plate! Now this works most effectively if you've been through the 2 to 6 week no sugar/carbs period (listen to the beginning of the 'Low Carb Living' video to understand this) because - and this is 100% my experience - the body has undergone a change where because you've stopped feeding it with sugar and carbs orally, it's made a shift to start pulling it from the bodies fat reserves instead (so by this stage you've started losing weight). It's pretty amazing to experience all this I must say, and LCHF really does work, I am living proof of that! It's critical you stay off sugar and carbs though, otherwise the diet won't work. Try and find zero carb sugar alternatives if you need it, that's what I did.
    NOW, if you do find that you feel hungry after your main meals then re-introduce more fat back in and that will help satisfy those cravings. The slight reduction in fat is a way I've learned to lose weight more rapidly, but maybe Jepp or somebody else has something to say about it cos it's a little off the beaten path.
  33. Tracey
    I decided to check myself this morning. I re-calculated my macros. They are 4% carbs (20g), 17% protein (78g) and 79% fat (163g).

    I plugged these figures into the Myfitnesspal app. 78g of protein equates to 3 eggs and a small piece of meat, a little cheese and some avocado.

    My weight loss has plateaued and now I know why... I was WAY over on protein and I am simply eating too much. Also, It honestly completely slipped my mind that ALMOST ALL food contains some form of carbs. It has been so easy for me to go over my carb intake too.

    But, I have neglected my fat inTake AND THIS BROUGHT BACK INTO PERSPECTIVE THAT I NEED TO CONSCIOUSLY EAT MORE FAT eg in oils, butter etc.

    I have used the excuse of not counting calories, but have overstepped the mark somewhat.

    Moral of the story ... Don't become anal about calories etc, but it was good to just do a quick check to bring myself back in line... I have some work to do ;)

  34. Edi
    There's nothing in your post about pure honey, pure maple syrup, lemons or limes, almonds and corn on the cob. Are these ok to eat then?
    Reply: #3287
  35. Edi
    Oh and quinoa? It's high in protein I believe but also has a reasonable amount of carbs
  36. Tracey
    Hi Edi

    Honey and maple syrup are really just 100% carb (82g / 100g) and should be avoided if at all possible. Consuming these will not get rid of the need for carbs and sugar.

    Some say that corn on the cob slathered in butter is ok, but I personally think that the carb content is way to high (although, my carb goal may be different to yours).

    Quinoa is high in carbs - 64g/100g.

    Dont be fooled by the sour taste of lemons and limes - they have the same carb content of oranges (between 10 and 12g / 100g).

    If i can make a suggestion - always read nutritional values on the packets or use Google - its your friend :-)

  37. Zepp
    Honey and maple syrup are sugars.. pure sugars.. read the lable!

    Lemons and lime are about 10% sugar.. how many do you eat per day?

    One ofte squise some lemon or lime on food.. dont bother on those carbs.. cant be many grams!

    Eat a corn on the cob.. whit a lot of butter on it on barbecue.. if your not that sensitive!

    Avoid Quinoa.. take your protein frome animal sources!

    And that goes for beans and lentils too!

    Whats the problem eating a real beef??

  38. Edi
    Thanks Tracey and Zepp. I eat a lemon a day because I'm currently doing the master cleanse. Also its so great for my skin. As for reading labels I don't eat a lot of processed or modified food. Im in Africa, its all fresh n organic. Honey is 100% pure. Quinoa and maplesyrup I have to order usually from the US. But I'll lay off them now that I know. I'll leave quinoa and stick to zoodles or butternut squash. Thanks again.
  39. Don
    can muffins made with flaxseed meal be eaten for breakfast.
    Replies: #3290, #3291
  40. erdoke
    Nutritional Facts for One Minute Flax Muffin - Low Carb

    Serving Size: 1 (87 g)
    Servings Per Recipe: 1
    Amount Per Serving% Daily ValueCalories 268.4 Calories from Fat 18970%Total Fat 21.0 g32%Saturated Fat 3.1 g15%Cholesterol 186.0 mg62%Sodium 261.2 mg10%Total Carbohydrate 11.1 g3%Dietary Fiber 9.0 g36%Sugars 0.6 g2%Protein 11.5 g

    Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/one-minute-flax-muffin-low-carb-295649?oc=...

  41. Zepp
  42. Terry
    I've got a bit of a sweet tooth, which these days I try not to encourage cos being diabetic it can get me into all kinds of trouble - but sometimes you just goth have it!

    I found a place a while back that sells hard candies which is great cos the sweet hit lasts a while in the mouth, and with 0carb, 0sugar. I wondered tho, can anybody see anything in the ingredients that's in conflict with LCHF? Seems Ok to me.

    Ingredients: Isomalt, Citric Acid (330), Artificial Sweetener (950), Flavor, Color (123)
    Nutritional Information:
    Serving size: 10g (brackets are per 100g)
    Energy 123 kJ (1230kJ
    Protein 0g (0g)
    Fat 0g (0g)
    Saturated 0g (0g)
    Carbs 0g (0g)
    Sugars 0g (0g)
    Sodium 0g (0g)

    Reply: #3294
  43. Diane
    I know this says High fat, but i can't get my head around why - i'd always choose the low fat option - I am diabetic (type 1) so usually try to go for the low carb option. Could somebody explain to me why I should go for full fat rather than low fat or fat free ?
    Replies: #3295, #3296, #3299
  44. erdoke
    Terry,
    Sweetness must come from either artificial sweeteners (not good) or from polyols. Either way these can induce an insuline response in some people, so it is better to remain cautious with anything sweet.
    My experience is that after a few weeks of completely removing sweet foods from the diet the craving goes. Nowadays I just take some fruits between meals from the low GI camp. For example two cups of watermelon feels like the right choice instead of sweets.
    Reply: #3297
  45. erdoke
    Diane,
    Your body needs essential amino acids from protein and essential fatty acids from fats. Minerals and vitamins are also essential. On top of these there is of course some energy needed to run your body, and it can come from both carbs and fats. In your – and by the way in most – case(s) carbs are better to be limited and the metabolism of fats to be preferred. So what any diabetic should make sure to achieve:
    - Get enough protein to be able to build muscles, enzymes, collagen, etc.
    - Get enough essential fatty acids and also others that technically are not essential, but humans are not effective in producing them.
    - Fill up remaining energy (calorie) demand with fats, ideally eating all kinds, namely saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
    - Limit carbs to a level that keeps insuline response/need low.
  46. Zepp
    I gonna get your head around it!

    First its about E%, (Energy percentage).. soo, HF is about high of your energy intake!

    And its not recomended to eat more then ones energy demand!

    Soo.. if one eat ones energy demand.. and goes for low fat.. one eat either carbs or protein as energy.

    And we do eat our energy demand anyhow.. otherwise we get very hungry!

    Carbs rise blood sugar.. and that is no problem if one is healty.. if its comes frome real food, but if one have an impaired glucose metabolism it can be a problem.. perticaly if its high carb.

    Soo.. its about to chose full fat and real food.. one dont ad that much fat.. and one dont eat fat by spoon!

    Why then.. its about that fat is our bodys prefered energy source.. and high carb cut of our fat burning.

    Its an old hypotese that fat was the evil.. its not true!

    “I Was Wrong, We Should Be Feasting on Fat”

    http://www.dietdoctor.com/wrong-feasting-fat

    And heres Dr Bernstein.. he is type 1 seens his youth!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdxPfxIbKqo

  47. Terry
    Right there with you erdoke, I generally find fruit to be more satisfying than sweets these days oddly enough and I attribute that to the sweet craving reduction and change of habit as you've described as I've been on a no sugar diet and something very close to LCHF for about the last year. So the sweets I've described are very occasion, I never desire more that 1 or 2 now and then - but that fruit comment is a good reminder to keep my focus so thanks!
    Are there some comprehensive lists of low GI fruit floating around please? Also, the comment about artificial sweeteners invoking and insulin response - that intrigues me and I'd like to find out more about it as I still use it in my coffee. Is there some research I can read?
    Replies: #3298, #3300
  48. Zepp
    First of all.. one fruit now or then if one not that sensitive is seldome any problem!

    Its this that one shall bulk on fruits thats totaly wrong.. its gonna be a lot of carbs anyhow!

    If one take a fruit as dessert after a real meal.. and not that sensitive.. thats the proper way to get some sweet things.. and dont overdo it!

    Heres an list to search and use!

    http://www.fineli.fi/foodclass.php?classif=igclass&lang=en

  49. Terry
    Diane, I haven't watched any of the references above, so I might be repeating stuff, but yes, it is a bit of a dilemma, especially since society and marketing tells us the high fat is bad - but you know what? It's because every body is conditioned now days to eating so much sugar and high carbs that low fat is the only way they've figured out to try and compensate for that! So this requires a change of mind, and experience.
    From a diabetic point of view you will be supplementing your low fat with a higher amount of some kind of carb so you don't feel hungry all the time. You'd have to. But what happens is when you increase the carbs, the blood sugar is more prone to spike and that's really no good for any diabetic. It's just what you don't want. And that's also the reason you need the insulin, to control the spikes.
    So what happens is when you back the carbs right off, then increase the fat to help alleviate the hunger and make sure you have a good daily intake of protein and lots of low carb veges, you don't see the kind of spike in blood sugar that carbs caused after you eat. I certainly haven't, not once and I test often. I always stay within 4mmol/L (72 mg/dl) and 6 mmol/L (108 mg/dl) after I've had a full meal. It kind of astounds me actually. Now that is good news for any diabetic because what happen is your body says to itself, Hey - stop producing insulin you don't need it' and so the demand for insulin drops and over time it starts to repair itself. That at least is my experience and I am very sensitive to spikes even within the 4 top 6 range. Since changing my diet I genuinely feel completely different within myself because the spikes don't really happen now.
    Perhaps watch the video 'The Food Revolution' at the top of the page and especially around 29:00, it demonstrates a typical meal in the blood stream. Thats the healing power right there!
  50. erdoke
    Recently I have adopted a daily plan consisting of 2 regular and a fruit meal in between. This way the insuline response is fully separated from other carbs taken as part of the regular meals. In fact I take fruits closer to the second meal (call it early dinner?), because hunger usually shows up after 1.5-2 hours of eating fruits. It doesn't seem to be a good idea to add fruits at the end of a protein and fat rich meal, rather take it when the stomach is again empty. Also, it makes sense to wait until the BS peak is over even if it was not a big one. Although I'm not diabetic, I try to limit the sugar load and the subsequent insuline peak by choosing lower GI fruits and controlling serving sizes.
    GI and glycemic load of different fruits can be found here:
    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/76/1/5.full.pdf (p. 30-33)
    Or a shorter one here:
    http://www.lowglycemicload.com/glycemic_table.html
    Reply: #3301
  51. erdoke
    It goes without saying that diabetics should opt for even lower GI/GL varieties and be more careful with serving sizes. When I take 2 cups of watermelon, it might be only one for a diabetic. It all depends on your condition and goals.
  52. Lt Col George.V.I. (Retd)
    First time on LCHF. Sounds great.No problems on heart.?,
    Replies: #3303, #3304
  53. erdoke
    LCHF usually improves heart health by a good margin. Depending on how low carb intake you end up with, maybe thyroid function needs a check every 6 months or so.
  54. Zepp
    All you want to know about fat and blood lipids!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuj6nxCDBZ0

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