This fourth piece of advice is one of the most controversial – and most important – things to keep in mind.
Reduce unnecessary snacking
On a low-carb diet you should aim to eat when hungry, until you are satisfied… but just as important if you want to become lean: Don’t eat if you’re not hungry. Needless snacking will stall your weight loss.
This can be a problem on low-carb too. Some things you eat unnecessarily just because they’re tasty and easily available. Here are three common traps to watch out for on LCHF:
- Dairy products such as cream and cheeses. – They work well in cooking as they satisfy. The problem is if you’re munching a lot of cheese in front of the TV in the evening… without being hungry. Be careful with that. Or lots of cream with dessert, when you’re actually already full and just keep eating because it tastes good. Or another common culprit: loads of cream in the coffee, many times per day.
- Nuts. It’s very easy to eat until the nuts are gone, regardless of how full you are. A tip: According to science, salted nuts are harder to stop eating than unsalted nuts. Salted nuts tempt you to more overeating. Good to know. Another tip: Avoid bringing the entire bag to the couch, preferably choose a small bowl instead. I at least often eat all the nuts in front of me, whether I’m hungry or not.
- LCHF baking. Even if you’re only using almond flour and sweeteners snacking on baked goods and cookies usually provides extra eating when you’re not hungry… and yes, this will slow down weight loss.
Feel free to skip meals
Do you have to eat breakfast? No, of course not. Don’t eat if you’re not hungry. And this goes for any meal.
On a strict LCHF diet the hunger and urge to eat tends to decrease a lot, especially if you have excess weight to lose. Your body may be happily burning your fat stores, reducing the need to eat.
If this happens, be happy! Don’t fight it by eating food you don’t want. Instead wait for the hunger to return before you eat again. This will save you both time and money, while speeding up your weight loss.
Some people fear that they will lose control if they don’t eat every three hours, thus making them eat thousands of calories and blowing their diets completely. So they snack obsessively all the time.
This obsessive snacking may be necessary to control hunger cravings on a diet high in sugar and processed carbs, but it’s usually completely unnecessary on an LCHF diet. Hunger will only return slowly and you’ll have plenty of time to prepare food or grab a snack.
To lose weight quickly and sustainably: Eat when you’re hungry – but only when you’re hungry. Forget the clock and listen to your body instead.
All 16 tips on the page How to Lose Weight.