LCHF for Beginners

Do you want get healthier and leaner, just by eating real food, with no hunger? Then LCHF and this page is for you.

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Dietary advice – in 29 languages
  3. How LCHF works
  4. Tips and recipes
  5. Recommended cookbooks
  6. Learn more
  7. Frequently asked questions

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1. Introduction

An LCHF diet means you eat fewer 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, beans and potatoes).

Eat when you’re hungry until you are satisfied. It’s that simple.

Skaldeman's fish soupYou do not need to count calories or weigh your food. And just forget about industrially produced low fat products.

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, drop. This increases 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 dose of insulin as you did prior to adopting a low-carb diet 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.

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    2. 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 organic eggs.
    • Natural fat, high-fat sauces: Using butter and cream for cooking 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: Great for a TV treat instead of candy (ideally in moderation).
    • Berries: Okay in moderation, if you are not a super strict or sensitive. Great with whipped cream.

    LCHF-mat1-vibr-ffffff2-800x276

    Read the nutrition label in the grocery store.
    No more than 5% of carbohydrates for a food is a good rule of thumb.

    LCHF-mat2-vibr-ffffff-648

    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. Legumes, such as beans and lentils, are high in carbs. 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.

    badfood

     

    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 on most days

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

     

    countries3Advice on LCHF in other languages

    Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, (pdf) (another version), Croatian, Czech, Danish (Word), Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian (pdf), Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish (pdf), Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish (Word), Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian

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

     

    3. How LCHF Works

    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. Only 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.

    insulineng

    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

    An 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 complaints in 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 more 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 a 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 bigger the effects on 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:

    LustigYT
    Low Carb Explained

    Low Carb Living
    The Science of Low Carb

     

    4. Tips and recipes

    Breakfast suggestions

    Skaldeman breakfast

    • 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 sour cream
    • Sandwich on Oopsie-bread
    • Cheese with butter
    • 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

    Skaldeman-FiskBacon

    • 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. Or get an LCHF cookbook
    • Drink water with your meal or (occasionally) a glass of wine.

    Snacks

    On 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
    • Babybel cheese

    Olives and nuts may replace potato chips as great TV snacks. 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. Ask for extra butter.
    • Fast food: Kebab can be a decent option (avoid the bread). At 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 are 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 grocery store:

    • Butter
    • Heavy cream (40% fat)
    • Sour cream (full fat)
    • Eggs
    • Bacon
    • Meat (minced, steaks, stew pieces, fillets, etc.)
    • Fish (ideally 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 difficult cravings / sugar addiction, it is smart to throw out (or give away) sugary and starchy foods, low-fat products, etc. These include:

    • Candy
    • Potato chips
    • Soft drinks and juices
    • Margarine
    • Sugar in all forms
    • Bread
    • Wheat flour
    • 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 work poorly. They have prevented weight loss for loads of people. They’re commonly full of carbs once you see through the creative marketing.

    Carb FictionFor example, Dreamfields’ “low carb pasta” is almost pure starch, which is absorbed more or less like any pasta, albeit slowly:

    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 blood sugar and insulin. The rest of the carbs ends up in the colon, 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 for 4 minutes for soft-boiled or 8 minutes for hard-boiled. Enjoy them with mayo if you like.
    2. Fry eggs in butter on one or both sides. Add salt and pepper.
    3. Melt butter in a frying pan and add 2 eggs and 2-3 tablespoons of heavy 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 upper surface turns solid 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 (optional)
    ½ teaspoon baking powder (optional)

    • Separate the eggs, with the egg whites in one bowl and the egg yolks in another.
    • Whip egg whites together with 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 want, 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 have an Oopsie as a sandwich or use it 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 to make a swiss roll: Add a generous layer of whipped cream and some berries. Enjoy.

    Instead of potatoes, rice and 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.
    • LCHF-middag: LaxSalads 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. Bake 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.

    More healthy tips

    5. Recommended 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 cookbook:

    The Low-Carb Gourmet

    And two more:
    SkaldemanengLow-Carb Living

    Good luck with your new LCHF life!

    6. Learn More

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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?

    Improve this page

    Do you have suggestions to improve this page? Have you spotted any mistakes in my grammar or spelling? Please let me know in the comments below!

    3,975 Comments

    1. sebastian
      Hi,
      I really want to start this diet, I fall under the skinny fat person, meaning I get fat around my chest and lower belly. I was doing heavy workouts but my eating habits were terible the success was not achived. Now I stopped working out and I been consuming tons of alcohol felt my "man boobs" got bigger, not a good time, I just spent 2 weeks in the Caribbean and going to the beach has been embarrassing. Going to get back on my weighlifting program and give this diet a go, hopefully I can shed that unwanted stubborn fat and build muscle, does this diet work for muscle bulking as the over all calories must be increased?
    2. v
      I have hypothyroidism - many years of weight gain struggle. I have followed LCHF for 7 weeks diligently. I keep a daily food log ,use FITDAY.com . keep to 20 grams carb per day - eat nothing white. use ketostixs - 2nd bottle - no sign of ketosis. I make my own healthy meals and sauces and soups and watch portion size and ingredients . I have now gained 8 pounds... I measure weekly - stayed the same. I am confident I am sticking to the plan. do I keep going and eventually it will start to work for me? I understand with damaged adrenal glands it takes longer for some. is there hope for me -anyone experience this?
    3. Linda
      I am also curious as to the reply to this post, as I also have hypothyroidism. I haven't really gained any weight but I also haven't lost any either. I stay on the diet because I feel better, but I really need to lose at least 15 pounds.
    4. Carm
      Hi
      I have been doing LCHF for nearly 3 weeks now, Ketonix tells me I'm in ketosis (yellow 6-7 blinks or red 1 blink) I am eating I believe right my fitness pal shows average 67% fat 26% protein 7% carbs over a week, I excercise 3-4 x/week and yet no weight loss yet, is this normal? I sometimes do not feel like eating come meal time, should I eat anyway?
      Also, after the first 3 days I felt fantastic, full of energy on top of the world, it was great, then I over did my carbs on about day 5 and lost that feeling, I've been very strick since, but can't get that feeling back..... I want that feeling back, any suggestions? Thanks
    5. Tanya
      Hi all. Thank u for taking the time to help.... I would like to know what spices are allowed in cooking and can one use salt. Also what do I use for oil to cook with, must I use coconut oil?
    6. Forky
      Hi Folks,

      Does anyone know of a list of Doctors in the UK (ideally Scotland) who promote the LCHF diet?
      I am sick of my current Doctor looking at me like a fool.
      I am not a medical person, but since following this dietary lifestyle for the last two years I have lost over 8 stone without too much difficulty (I changed from the Carb lunacy to only organic fat and protein).
      I am completely bemused as to why society just does not accept the fact that large quantities of sugar in any form is a bad thing???

      However, foolishly (I know its my own fault, I was weak and everyone looked so happy), I enjoyed lots of Carbs and Sweets during the Christmas Holidays and a 20 year old Gallbladder issue has reared its ugly head again (or so I think at least), I would rather not lose my Gallbladder despite everyone saying I can live without out it.
      If I could live with out it, why was it put there in the first place?

      I think everyone knows that the tonsils were once thought as expendable but have since been proven to provide a first line of defense against infection in the throat and lungs.

      Anyway, I digress, I am looking for a proper, enlightened Doctor which is worthy of being called one (how can any person call themselves a professional if they don't have the first clue about Human energy systems?).
      I wouldn't be allowed to get away with it in my line of work (I am assessed every 3 months to make sure I am following current Electronic and Safety practices).

      Apologies for the outburst, I am fed up with our current perception of competence.

      Many thanks,

      Reply: #3979
    7. LOW CARB FOOD
      I am trying to loosed some weight, and wondered what some high protein low carb foods were. Besides eggs and tuna.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwh1alb53gk
    8. Hilary
      Just interested in the answer to Lewie0075, who asked about his cholesterol going higher. I have been thinking about going lchf, but this was my main worry. My levels are low, but on small does of statin, just cut back to only 3 days per week, but don't want to have to increase, looking to get away from pills.
      So, somebody, anybody got an answer?
    9. Dar
      for anyone interested this video is about cholesterol going up and why,, it is very interesting and you can just look on youtube for it if this link doesn't open,=== A/Prof. Ken Sikaris - 'Does LCHF Improve Your Blood Tests?' ===it isn't negative at all, it explains it very well
    10. Michael Alward
      Dr. Eenfeldt:

      I enjoyed watching your presentation from the Ancestral Health Symposium 2011 and have shared it with many friends.

      One graph in your presentation showed the recent DECLINE of Sweden's obesity rates. That is very encouraging ! Can this really be attributed to the adoption of a higher fat diet ? Can you please let me know - what is the source of this Swedish obesity data ? Where can it be found ? If it is not readily available, can you add it to this website ?

      Thanks very much,

      MJA
      Canada

    11. Lynn
      I need help here.

      I have been on the HFLC diet now for 5 weeks and I have not lost a thing. If anything I have put on weight.

      I have not had any sweets, flour. bread, pastas or any carbs . I have had a small amount of nuts each day for fibre and I have a small amount of Camembert cheese each day as a treat.
      I eat bacon and eggs for breakfast with a fried tomato and black coffee.

      I have cold bacon for lunch and some tomatoes as I am not hungry at all. I have some salmon with a small salad some days.

      Dinner I have small amount of cabbage . a small piece of pumpkin, and two small lamb chops.

      I feel as if it is all a waste of time even though I enjoy it,,,,I might as well be eating bread and fruit that I enjoy.

      I have a spoon full of dollop cream with some blackberries as a desert.

      I am so depressed over this as I hated doing the fast for 2 day diet where I was soooo hungry.
      Can some one tell me where I am going wrong as I have been ever so faithful to this diet.
      thanks
      Lynn

      Reply: #3980
    12. Desi
      Have stalled, no more weight loss. Due to having back surgery the only thing I have been doing different. Is I haven't been able to exercise , is exercise a must?
      Was very interested to hear about the effects that Stress Hormones have on weight loss.
      Should I restart with a FAST? Where can I find a LCHF program to follow.
      Can anyone help this Aussie girl by posting some meal ideas.
      I hope someone can help.
      Desi from Australia
    13. Eric
      Lynn -- it could be that you are not eating enough (or not paying attention to the cheating you are doing). When you don't feed your body enough calories over a long period of time, it will slow down your metabolism and reduce your hunger (which you said has happened) in an effort to keep you alive longer (this is a survival mechanism). When that doesn't work, you'll lose weight all right, but it will be because you are forcing your body to burn it's own muscle for energy (and end up looking like Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyer's Club - perfect modern-day examples of healthy lean people ravaged by starvation and malnutrition due to undereating for long periods of time). Muscle catabolism is a BIG no-no. I don't think this is the kind of weight you want to lose ;)

      By eating a proper amount of calories (and correct lchf macros) for your daily expenditure, you are telling your body that the famine is over and that it is now okay to rev up your metabolism, spare your lean muscle tissue, and release the fat stores.

      Eat adequate protein, eat lots of nutrient-rich green veggies with each meal (LOTS of salad veggies for instance), ditch all processed, man-made garbage, and eat a good amount of fat (at least 50% of your diet, but higher to start and get you going down the right path).

      This is not a low calorie diet! EAT!!

    14. Eric
      Desi, if you are eating the same calories as when you were exercising, THAT could be the reason for the stall. Re-evaluate the diet you are eating. Get adequate (but not too much) protein, eat lots of green salad veggies (they are so low net carb these should be where you get the majority of your carbs because of the high fiber), and keep those carbs between 50g and 100g daily, right in the sweet spot for effortless fat loss. Keep fat intake at least 50% of your diet, maybe even higher, and don't undereat either.

      If you can't exercise, just adjust the diet. Getting lean and trim is probably 80% or more getting the diet (calorie amounts and macros) dialed in.

      Getting ripped or generally having higher fitness ability is a different story though ;)

    15. Eric
      Desi - foods for meal ideas...

      Today (so far) I've had:

      3 Large Brown Eggs from Cage-Free chickens (nice orangy yolks - yum!) - zero net carbs -
      8 oz. of Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon (great protein source and high omega 3 content - super important!) - zero net carbs -
      2 oz. of Walnuts - 4 net carbs -
      4 oz. of Almonds - 12 net carbs -
      1 can of Spinach (cuz I am what I am) - 6 net carbs -
      4 pats of Kerrygold Grass-Fed Butter to cook and flavor the eggs and fish - zero net carbs -

      That's roughly 1750 calories and I'm about to eat dinner which will consist of about 3 oz. of cheddar cheese and a big bowl of various salad veggies (no dressing) putting me somewhere in the 2000 calorie range which is actually a little higher than need be today (been sitting around all day - too cold outside to go anywhere).

      My Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio is about 4:1 today which is acceptable to me.

      It's so easy. My hunger has been mostly blunted today even though I'm on the internet reading article after article about FOOD and diets, etc lol.

      Hope this helps a little.

      Reply: #3967
    16. Lynn
      Thank you Eric for your reply and answer.
      The only thing I do not do that you suggest is eat a lot of veggies and salad except for tomatoes and shallots. I eat pumpkin and cabbage with butter on them.
      One thing that I have not done is cheat......I only wish ....as I am desperate to get this off and stay true.
      I am not a sweet tooth so sweet things I do not eat and never have but I put the weight on with savoury stuff like pies, and potato chips , bread and stews and lots of grazing.

      I have not eaten processed food since my heart attack nearly 3 years ago and now I cannot stand it ...lol.
      I have tried so many diets and I cannot lose anything much ....whether it is the medication I am on or not much exercise I do not know.
      Anyhow, I shall get into the salads as I quite enjoy them as it is very hot here in Australia right now.
      thank you again Eric ...I will let you have an update
      Lynn

      Reply: #3968
    17. Desi
      Hi Eric,
      Thanks for your helpful & encouraging reply.
      Interesting that Lyn & I have having a similar problem at the moment.
      I do need to increase the amount of salad vegies. I should be eating & as Lyn said I have no excuse as it's very hot here in Oz at the moment. Perfect salad weather.
      Have not been able to get to the shops, but I managed to go today & bought some Pork Belly.
      Because I saw a video about it that said it's one the most LCHF friendly meats the is. Apparently the fat to lean mean ratio is just right.
      Also bought some cauliflower which I intend on roasting with olive oil & garlic.
      Desi
    18. Desi
      Hi Lyn,
      Some low carb sites suggest we take it easy on the tomatoes as they are high in fructose & low in fibre.
      Desi
    19. Lynn
      Hi Desi

      Thank you for that information. I checked it out and you are correct. I will stop eating as many as I eat a lot of them. I have one fried for breakfast and I buy a pack of little ones and have them as a snack....silly me.
      I am so glad I dropped a note on here as I am sure I will get this right at last.
      What State are you in ? .....I am in Queensland
      Thank you again
      Lynn

      Reply: #3970
    20. Desi
      Hi Lyn,
      Pls'd to be able to help.
      I live Sth West of Sydney in the Macarthur Region.
      I'm determined to get this right. This is my lifestyle now.
      I have managed to get my blood pressure back to normal & I'm now working on getting my cholesterol down.
      I have dropped about 5kg but I started low carbing about 3mths ago, Nov 2014.
      So there was Xmas, New Years & 2 cruises in that period. So I guess I'm not doing too bad.
      Happy to share as I think as I think we can all learn from each other's successes & mistakes.
      Desi
    21. LYNN Z.
      Can I start this LCHF diet as I have gallstones if I am underweight?
      Reply: #3972
    22. Desi
      Hi Lyn Z.
      Everything I've read about LCHF would indicate you can & that it will improve your health.
      LCFH is a lifestyle not just a weight loss diet. Sure those of us who are carrying extra fat lose it, that's one of the benefits.
      But if you haven't got extra fat, that's fine. Your body will continue to burn what ever you're putting into it & if you're following the LCHF lifestyle. That will be the fat you're eating.
    23. Lana
      Hello,
      I and my husband first started on Atkins diet 7 weeks ago, shortly after a New Year celebration with our friends, when we ate uncontrollably and both felt overwhelmingly heavy. We were sitting in the kitchen and I started looking up different diets. Atkins attracted attention because it made sense, so we both agreed to start it literally the next morning. Today my husband is 19 lbs (9 kgs) lighter and I managed to lose 7 lbs (>3 kgs). We were both happy and feeling well when I found info about high-fat version of low-carb diet, and so now we will be transitioning to higher fat/lower protein intake.

      We started strictly at below 20 grams of carbs a day and by now increased it gradually to about 40 gr. We have added a 100 grams of berries (blackberries, strawberries or raspberries as berries are much lower in carbs than fruits), occasionally a tablespoon of ricotta cheese, a medium tomato, a little bit of beets, and so on, but we regulate carbs so that if we ate beets, we won’t eat berries that day. You kind of become so accustomed to this regime that it becomes easy to follow without even looking up the carbs in different products. The main thing is to try and eat whole foods, naturally grown veggies, whole fat diary (not milk), etc.

      Main points:
      1.don’t count calories, just eliminate carbs as advised
      2.if you crave sweets, which was my problem, get coconut or almond flour and start making cookies with stevia as a sweetener, it’s all natural and yields literally no carbs. There are ton of recipes for low-carb sweets on line, just google them. One of my favorites are walnut cookies, which only contain walnuts, stevia, eggs, vanilla and baking soda—they are so good! Once I did them, I then wasn’t afraid to experiment with making cookies using almond and/or coconut flour (organic).
      3.for snacks, we can eat one or two hard-boiled eggs, chopped with some cilantro and scallions, added spoon of mayo and fresh cucumbers or celery, cut in cubes – delish! Or you can have celery dipped in sour cream (full fat), or just almond—about 15 of them. Olives are good for snacking too. We are now only using sea salt.
      4.fry using ghee or coconut oil. Google ghee—you can make it yourself or buy in Whole Foods stores. Both can take high heat and are good for your health. Olive oil is good for salads.
      5.all spices are good. I use them all the time, making delicious sauces. We are not big on eating steaks, so I may pan fry chicken, then into the oven with some great sauce based on ghee, sour cream, dry wine and spices.
      6.when I quickly lightly pan-fry veggies, I always pore bitten eggs over them or add cheese, or even both eggs and cheese, so they become a real meal with no need for meats. This is a great alternative when you are fed up eating meats.
      Now, we are not losing much weight—it still going down, but much slower, a pound a week, and we know it’s because we went up on carbs. I do believe after reading a lot and researching that by adding more fat and lowering protein, the diet becomes healthier. We now started eating macadamia nuts, which are the highest in fat and are very healthy. I bought them on line, a big bag at very reasonable price.

      Good luck to all of you on your journey to losing weight and getting healthier! :-)

      Replies: #3974, #3975
    24. Desi
      Hi Lana,
      Thank you for sharing. Like you & your husband I started this lifestyle with Atkins in Nov 2014.
      I am frustrated sometimes just wanting the weight to drop off. I have lost about 5kg.
      Like you I don't count calories, just carbs.
      Have introduced Macadamia nuts recently & find them very satisfying.
      I look forward to hearing of your progress.
      Keep well, Desi
    25. Carla
      Hi Lana,
      did you follow up some LCHF Meal Plan or did you create your daily meal plan by your self ?
      I would love to start it, but I'm afraid to eat at wrong way.
      I live in China and the Nutrition Doctors here are not fans of a LCHF Diet.
      I don't need to lose to much weight only 11 pounds.
      Please let me know if you can help me about that.

      All the best for you.

      Carla

    26. Lana
      Thank you, Desi!
      Carla, you can do it on your own without a doctor: there isn't really much to it. My goal is exactly like yours, 10-11lbs. All you have to do is totally, without compromises, eliminate all breads, grains, sweets, sugar, starchy vegetables (beets, carrots and the like--especially at the induction phase), flour, all legumes, and fruits. Berries can be added after you drop off half of you goal weight. Focus on green-leaf vegetables (spinach, lettuce, etc.), cucumbers, scallions (not onions in the beginning), herbs (cilantro, dill and such), cauliflower, mushrooms, and broccoli. This gives you a good veggie choice. Later you can also add green beans.
      Meats and fats should be organic/natural if possible, as well as eggs and fish. You can have coffee or tea with heavy cream and stevia. NO milk, but fermented whole milk products, like whole fat sour cream or kefir/yogurt as they have very low carbs. Main thing is to drink a lot of fluids like tea and water and use salt. You can have beef or chicken broth with meat in it or by itself. Meats and fish should be unprocessed, so no hotdogs or sausages, rather clean-cut pieces of meat, fried, simmered, added to salads or made into casseroles with added cauliflower, broccoli or mushrooms.
      Most people eat eggs, cheese, butter for breakfast, but if you throw a few florets of cauliflower on the pan and pore eggs over it, it makes a great variety.
      The induction phase, when you have to stay under 20 grams of carbs a day lasts usually around 2-3 weeks, from all that I have read about it and from how we did it ourselves. You will see pounds shedding off very quickly--great motivation! Some of them because of the water loss, as your liver and kidney get used to a new way of eating and your liver starts using your fat to turn it into energy as opposed to using carbs.
      After induction, the weight loss is not as fast, but you will still see it going down. Per Atkins diet advices, you can start adding carbs back, but only in a way of veggies and berries, such as eggplants, beets, carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, etc. Add them one a week and see how your weight is: if you added a couple of pounds back, then you know which food caused it and cut it back, introducing another one instead.
      Nuts become an important part of the diet from the beginning, but only macadamia, walnuts and almonds as they are lowest in carbs and healthier than other kinds for different reasons. Have them for a snack or add them to your salads.
      Again, prepare everything that requires heat using coconut oil or ghee. You can find on YouTube how to make ghee--I make it from organic butter. In it, there are no any traces of milk left, not casein--milk protein that is not too good for health, but rather pure clear fat. It doesn't burn like regular butter and tastes much better. Fry your eggs or fish using it. I am still getting used to coconut oil, but love using ghee.
      Please let me know if this is helpful. I'll be happy to get you more info if you need.
    27. Desi
      Thank you Lana,
      I haven't had Milk, Bread, any foods containing sugar, flour or Grains of any kind since starting ANA in Nov.
      I find this way of eating very simple & I'm not missing those things at all.
      I now only drink water during the day. My only treat is a carb free cola after 5pm.
      I occasionally will have a herbal tea or an Atkins shake for a snack.
      I used to make myself wait until after 5pm to strengthen my will power. Now I can take it or leave it.
      I have always cooked with olive oil. Now I also cook with butter or coconut oil.
      I find if I use coconut oil on it's own it's smokey! So I add a little olive oil.
      I am recovering from spinal surgery. I was walking for 30+mins daily, then only when my back allowed it.
      But now I am almost sedentary I'm finding my weight loss has almost stalled.
      I have 18kg to lose to put me back into the normal weight category. So I'd like to lose 20kg or more to give me some lee way.
      Would you mind giving us an example of a typical days menu for you at the moment. I would find that very encouraging.
      Also Atkins tells us we can have boiled eggs with a bit of Mayo on them. But I can't find a sugar free mayo here in Australia & I'm not interested in making my own.
      Do you use commercially made Mayonnaise? If so what brand?
      I look forward to hearing from you. Desi :)
    28. Lana
      Hi, Desi!
      Incidentally, I am recovering from acute lower back pain for 2 weeks now, and so haven't moved at all the first week, with this week still moving only around the house and having to alternate sitting and standing, with some walking--tough! I, too, haven't lost weight during these 2 weeks, but I haven't gained any either, while eating all the same.
      I, by nature, get bored with all the same foods, so I try to alternate recipes every day and will give you a few of each: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
      Breakfast: a piece of low-carb bread with butter and cheese and a cup of tea with stevia and lemon (this piece of low-carb bread is the last thing I have to get rid of--it has 6 gr of carbs in it and is really tiny, so it's a little cheat that we sometimes do); or 2 fried eggs with scallions and spinach (first fry scallions and spinach, then pore eggs over); or low-carb pancakes (less frequent, mostly on weekends), which include eggs, coconut flower, a couple of tablespoons of buckwheat flower, sour cream or heavy cream, cinnamon, baking soda and stevia).
      Snack before lunch: coffee with heavy cream and stevia and 10-15 almonds or 5 macadamia nuts; or macadamia nuts with a 100 gr of berries; or even a cup of tea with lemon and 2 coconut or almond flour chocolate cookies (I buy organic unsweetened cocoa and always use stevia for sweetening);
      Lunch: pan-fried veggies (cauliflower, spinach or broccoli) with pored-over eggs and/or cheese; or a piece of salmon with all-greens salad; or chopped greens, cucumbers, and green pepper mixed with full-fat sour cream; or hard-boiled eggs with cucumbers, scallions, and celery, mixed with mayo. For frying I use mostly ghee, as I mentioned before. I used to always fry on olive oil, but lately learned that olive oil, though healthy, better eaten with salads as it can't take high heat and becomes more harmful than beneficial. I also learned that cold-pressed oils are the best, so now I pay attention to the information panels more.
      After lunch, which is usually around 11:30-12:00, I get hungry around 5 pm--that's when I have my last meal of the day--dinner.
      Dinner: soup (meatball or chicken "soup" with spices and herbs and a little bit of tomato sauce--nothing else in it), with green salad with added olive oil and apple cider vinegar; or a piece of chicken with baked veggies and also green salad with olive oil; or salmon with veggies, fresh or pan-fried or baked. Another good salad is cabbage salad: shredded cabbage, scallion, and dill, salt, pepper, add olive oil and apple cider vinegar--it's really good with any meat!
      After that, I am usually full until morning, my breakfast is usually around 6:00, so I have a full 12-hour rest/fast.
      I drink mineral water, filtered water or tea between all meals, and I don't normally drink during lunch or dinner.
      Mayonnaise: we in USA have full-fat mayo with 0 carbs. Look for a full-fat version: most of them don't have carbs/sugar in them.
      I use a lot of herbs--cilantro and dill are a big part of my salads, they add flavor and are healthy. We now also allow a small tomato in our salads.
      Reply: #3983
    29. Mary
      I'm a fellow Scot living in South Africa. Lost my gall bladder in 1990 - myself and many others on the Banting 7-Day Meal Plan are without our gall bladders and banting is not causing any problems. Quite the opposite in fact. I started banting mid Dec and have lost 25lbs so far. Blood sugar down (I'm prediabetic) and BP down.
    30. Mary
      Lynn - are you having enough fats? If banting, we eat butter, use coconut oil for cooking (or lard) and eat hard and soft cheeses. Instead of milk in your coffee (must be pure coffee), have some cream. Never take anything labelled low-fat, fat-free or slimmers. Go easy on fruit which is high in natural sugar. And last, but not least, are you drinking enough water? 2 litres a day. Good luck.
    31. Sam
      Can you still do LCHF if you don't have a gall bladder?? I recently started LCHF (Its been 6 days). I feel great! I read somewhere that people who don't have a gall bladder can't go into ketosis, so I'm worried LCHF won't work for me :-( Do you really have to limit the amount of cream you use? Read that somewhere too. I've been using a lot of cream to get my daily fat intake, so not sure if thats okay. Any info on Fats and how much fats I should be eating would be greatly appreciated. I know some people have mentioned 50% fat, but how do you know how much that is? stupid question I know.
    32. Mary
      Please help me with labels. I'm trying to keep a log of my protien, carbs, and fat. I do not understand which fat I write down. Label says TOTAL FAT 16g 25%
      SAT. FAT 6g 30%
      TRANS. FAT 0G
      CALORIES 180 FAT.CAL.140
      Thank you
    33. Desi
      Hi again Lana,
      Well unfortunately we have our back as our something in common.
      Thank you for the meal ideas. I hopped on the scales today & YAY!!! I dropped .9 of a kg!
      Mayonnaise: I read every label in our Aussie supermarkets & can't find one single Mayo that has no or low carbs. I've read about Hellman's but can't find it here.
      So I go without! I have a recipe for homemade & I'll make it when I'm desperate.
      Sine starting the LCHF lifestyle I only eat between 8am & 6pm & drink water if I want anything after this time.
      I used to have breakfast at 5.30-6am Morning tea 9.30-10am lunch 12.30-1pm & dinner at 6.30-7pm.
      But since my 1st surgery I've not been able to work. So now I usually get up between 7am + 7.30am as I don't need to get up so early.
      I read if we reduce the hours of the day in which we eat. We may find it easier to manage what we eat & it works for me.
      Breakfast for me today was a 2 egg omelette with cheese cream & mushrooms + water.
      Morning snack: A Babybel cheese & water.
      Lunch: 2cups of salad greens & roast chicken + water.
      I plan to have Pork Spare Ribs, Salad greens + Roasted Cauliflower with garlic for dinner tonight + water.
      I also only use Olive or Macadamia Oil + Vinegar on my salads.
      Cheers, Desi
    34. JJ
      Dk y my weight has platued for past 3 weeks, been eating about 120g of fat, +70g of protein, and about 20 or less grams of carbs and about 2100 calories, what m I doing wrong?
    35. Lana
      Hi, Desi!
      It's so great you lost more weight! :-) We are having a very snowy and cold winter this year, so I can't wait for the spring and the time when we can start walking. That will help with faster dropping weight too.
      You eat everything great! Sorry you don't have 0 carb mayo--Hellman's is the one I usually use. Actually making a salad today with eggs, turkey breast, pickles and herbs with mayo. Keep me posted on your progress! Hope you recover rather quickly!
    36. Lana
      JJ, I am not a big specialist in high fat diet yet as we started first with Atkins, but with Atkins, the weight was dropping much faster than when we started transitioning to higher fat intake. I think, first because we did increase intake of carbs from berries, but also, just logically speaking: when we go super-low on carbs, our liver starts looking for the source of energy and starts using our stored fat as a fuel...right? So if you give it the fat from outside, with food, maybe liver just uses that fat instead of burning your own. What I am trying to say is why don't you try a little experiment and go on high protein, low fat/low carb for a couple of weeks and see if that helps? It's not going to destroy your diet, you still eat low carb, just switch from so much fat to much more protein for a while. If that works, then once you burn all of your body's extra fat, you can transition to high fat diet again. Just a suggestion...:)
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