How to lose weight, part 3 of 17

Do you want to lose weight? Here’s part 3 of a 17-part series of blog posts. You can read all the posted tips on the How to Lose Weight-page.

The first and most important advice was to choose a low carb diet. The second to eat when hungry. Here’s #3:

3. Eat Real Food

Another common mistake when eating a low carb diet is getting fooled by the creative marketing of special “low carb” products. Remember:  An effective low carb diet for weight loss should be based on real food, like this:

Real LCHF food

Real food is what humans have been eating for thousands or (even better) millions of years, e.g. meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, butter, olive oil, nuts etc.

If you want to lose weight you’d better avoid special “low carb” products that are full of carbs. This should be obvious but creative marketers are doing all they can to fool you (and get your money). They will tell you that you can eat cookies, pasta, ice cream, bread and plenty of chocolate on a low carb diet, as long as you buy their brand. They’re full of it. Don’t be fooled.

Here are three examples of what to avoid:

Fake low carb products

  1. Atkins’ Fairy Tale Cookies
  2. Julian Bakery’s High Carb Low Carb Bread
  3. The Dreamfields Pasta Fraud

These three companies are not unique. There are thousands of similar companies trying to trick you into buying their “low carb” junk food, full of starch, sugar alcohols, flour, sweeteners and strange additives. Two simple rules to avoid this junk:

  • Don’t eat “low carb” versions of high carb stuff, like cookies, bars, chocolate, bread, pasta or ice cream – unless you are SURE of the ingredients (perhaps by making it yourself).
  • Avoid products with the words “net carbs” on them. That’s usually just a way to fool you.

Focus on eating good quality, minimally processed real food. Ideally the food you buy shouldn’t even have a list of ingredients (or it should be very short).


Read all posted tips on the How to Lose Weight-page.


  1. Charlie
    Hi! How many proteins should a young woman eat every day? ( 22 yrs ) I do not want to loose weight... just be healthy ^^ ( I'm 46 kg- 101 pounds and 164 cm tall)
    I love living LCHF !!!
  2. Charlie
    *lose weight
  3. David Tromholt
    Wow, Atkins sell low carb cookies? That's embarrassing, but I guess they'd do anything to get that $$$

    Charlie, that depends on your physical activity levels, are you doing lots of conditioning, weight lifting, both?

    I guess if the general LCHF recommendation is approx 70% from fat, protein should make up 20-30% percent of your calorie intake, depending on whether you eat any carbs or not.

    I think it's a bit different for bodybuilders who obviously require a lot of protein for hypertrophy, but still I wouldn't be surprised if future studies will show us that the common recommendations of 1-1.7 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, is ridiculously exaggerated, even for bodybuilders.

    Any LCHF bodybuilders/weightlifters who can chime in on this?

    Reply: #4
  4. Charlie
    Thanks David! I'm not a bodybuilder. My exercise is mainly based on walking, light body exercise, and sometimes some cycling... I'm a law student who would like to have more time for sports but time it what it is... However, I did a lot of exercise in the past (swimming) and thanks to that I'm pretty fit now (17 % body fat ). I eat around 20-25 carbs a day. I read on the internet different things about proteins... someone says to eat 1 gr per kg, Dr Phinney says 1.2/ 1.7 gr per kg( if I remember right ), so I do not know actually which advice to follow... and above all, is it true that we can eat as much fat as we want ( without gaining weight) if we keep protein moderate ( the thing is how much is that moderate?) and carbs low?
  5. David Tromholt
    Well since you aren't practicing any type of grueling exercises, break down of muscle tissue would hardly be an issue for you. Hence if what you are eating now maintains your weight and doesn't make you feel weak, I don't see any reason to change anything. But again I haven't seen your complete diet..

    For non-high level trainees I'd focus a lot more on getting essential vitamins & minerals, than eating high protein. The upside of protein is that it has a high satiety factor, the down side is that too much of it effects insulin secretion, just like carbohydrates.

    Let me tell you this though, if you eat 1.2 - 1.7 gram pr kilo bodyweight you won't suffer from muscle catabolism (break down of muscle tissue) with your current level of activity.

    You mention that you wish you had more time for sports, have you thought about taking up Calisthenics aka bodyweight training? You can do that at home whenever you feel like it, it's the most time-practical way to train, bar none, and it's exactly what I've been doing with great success for the past 6 months.

    You can accomplish amazing things with just a simple pull up bar installed between your door frame, and also doing things like pushups, decline pushups, one arm pushups, squats, lunges, pistols (one legged squats) hanging leg raise, bridges, V-Sits, planks etc. the list is endless.

    "is it true that we can eat as much fat as we want ( without gaining weight) "

    Yes and no. I believe the reasoning behind that statement (which I've heard from Taubes, Sisson, and Eenfeldt as well I think) is that since both protein, fat and green vegetables have such high satiety levels, you'd be hard pressed to overeat when practicing this LCHF lifestyle.

    Theoretically though, I guess you could overeat and gain weight if you drank several liters of melted butter & cream throughout your day, but you'd have to go completely bananas with it, which would make people throw up.

    I'd love to see someone get fat on LCHF, I have no idea how I would accomplish it, other than doing what I described above :-p

    Reply: #6
  6. Charlie
    I think you're right, I just have to be sure to take the right amounts of vitamins and minerals. It is not necessary being so focused on proteins while not bodybuilding. 48-78 grams of proteins are gonna be ok for me, I just don't have to worry too much about them. Thank you so much for your tips!
  7. Ondrej
    Well, according to reasonable advice from bodybuilder/ nutritional expert Brad Pilon who understands studies and analyses them, even wrote a book on the topic called "How much protein" : 70-120 g protein a day is enough to support any growth. Average American consumes 90g anyway:-)
  8. Sarah
    Hi there:

    I have been on a strict LCHF diet for 10 days now and after some initial hick-ups I am now doing fine.

    My dilemma is that I have GAINED weight in those 10 days. I'm really frustrated and don't know what to do. I eat lots of fat, salty food, keep the protein low and the carbs under 50 grams a day, drink about 3 liters of water a day.

    I am hungry often as I very rapidly digest food (has always been like this) so I eat about 3500 calories a day (I'm 1,66m at 80 kg / 5'6 at 176 lbs). I do work out about three times a week. I do feel my basal metabolic rate, meaning the rate at which I expend energy when resting, is high, maybe even higher now that I'm so low-carb.

    I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.

    Reply: #11
  9. wickedchicken

    What about coconut flour? I came across this 'detox retox' primal bread today, analysed ingredients and bought it.... I may have to do some Andreas style blood sugar experimenting. See link above, seems ok to me...?! If only I had a ketone tester... Need to fine one of those! ((people already think I'm mental enough with a blood sugar monitor))

  10. 1 comment removed
  11. sophie

    The problem with LCHF is that fat packs more calorie per volume than carbs and protein. Eating LCHF means eating less volume if you maintain the same number of calories.

    LCHF is not the gospel for everyone. I personally have lost better with very low carb, moderate fat and adequate protein.

    There were times when my fat ratio was really high, but it makes me feel so uncomfortable that I don't really care to do that again.

    50 g of carbs to me seems quite high to qualify as low carb, and for weight loss.

    We often forget to say that we can be slightly overweight and healthy, in which case the body just wants to maintain itself and will not lose weight. Losing weight means unsettling your body's balance. If I were you, I would probably decrease the carbs as much as you can, eliminate all sugar including fruit and grains.

    When I initially started my low carb life, I also gained a bit of weight. I was not very strict with myself and had not realized I needed to eat much less!!! I lost my weight with Dukan, which is much more drastic than Atkins and LCHF. It calls for no fat but I did eat fat.

    3500 calories seems like a lot. Were you on a diet before? If so, you may need to re-learn how hunger and satiety feel like. Zepp, another LCHFer here, says that your appetite is your built in calorie counter! You have to learn how to use it.

    Bottom line: eat less, get volume from green veggies, eliminate all sugar, and learn how hunger and satiety feel like.

    Good luck!

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