A Low-Carb Diet for Beginners


A Low-Carb Diet for Beginners

Do you want effortless weight loss? Or type 2 diabetes reversal and other health benefits? Then a low-carb diet could be right for you.

You can eat all you need to feel satisfied – there’s no calorie counting required, ever. No products. No pills. No surgery. Just real food.

A low-carb diet restricts sugary foods, and starches like pasta or bread. Instead you’ll eat delicious real foods, including protein, natural fats and vegetables.

Low-carb diets just work, they’ve been used for over 150 years and there are tons of success stories. Dozens of scientific studies prove that compared to other diets, low carb is more effective.

This guide contains everything you need – what to eat, what to avoid, and exactly how to do it. Choose a topic or keep reading below.
 
 

 

 

Introduction

A low-carb diet means you eat fewer carbohydrates and a higher proportion of fat. This is often called a low-carb, high fat diet (LCHF).

Most importantly you minimize your intake of sugar and starches. You can eat other delicious foods until you are satisfied – and still lose weight.

Many high-quality scientific studies show that a low-carb diet makes it easier both to lose weight and to control your blood sugar. And that’s just the beginning.

Learn more about the benefits of low carb

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).

Skaldeman's fish soup
Eat when you’re hungry, until you’re 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.

There are solid scientific reasons why low-carb diets 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.

Is low carb right for you?

checklistMost people can start any kind of low-carb diet right away. But in these three situations you may need extra preparation or adaptation:

If you’re not in any of these groups, you’re ready to go. Great!




 

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What to Eat on a Low-Carb Diet

Here’s a quick visual guide to low carb. For details check out the links below. Let’s start with the foods you can eat all you like of, until you’re satisfied.

Low-carb diet foods: Natural fats (butter, olive oil); Meat; Fish and seafood; Eggs; Cheese; Vegetables that grow above ground

 
All the numbers are grams of digestible carbs per 100 grams (3.5 ounces). Fiber is not counted, you can eat all the fiber you want.

All the foods above are below 5% carbs, as you can see. Sticking to these foods will make it relatively easy to stay on a strict low-carb diet, with less than 20 grams of carbs per day.

More detailed low-carb foods list

What to drink on low carb: water, coffee, tea, wine

So what do you drink on low carb? Water is perfect, and so is coffee or tea. Ideally use no sweeteners, and a modest amount of milk or cream if you like (beware of caffe latte!).

The occasional glass of wine is fine too (low-carb alcohol guide).

Avoid if you can

Here’s what you should not eat on low carb – foods full of sugar and starch:
Foods to avoid on low carb: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, beer, soda, juice, candy

 
The numbers are grams of digestible carbs per 100 grams (3.5 ounces), unless otherwise noted.

More detailed list of foods to avoid

 

Visual low-carb guides

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).

Here are three examples of how a low-carb meal can look, depending on how many carbs you eat per day:

 
 
A strict low-carb diet is sometimes called a ketogenic (or “keto”) diet.
 
 

countries3Advice on LCHF in other languages

Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, (pdf) (another version), Chinese, Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Danish (Word), Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian (pdf), Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Latvian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish (pdf), Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Ruthenian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish (Word), Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Uzbek.

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


 



 
 

Success Stories

Here’s inspiration: 100+ success stories. Slide image below horizontally to see more stories.

 


 

All success stories





 

How Low-Carb Diets 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.

Insulin

Insulin is produced in the pancreas. In large amounts it prevents fat burning and stores surplus nutrients in fat cells. After some time (a few hours or less) this may result in a perceived 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 produces a feeling of longer-lasting 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.

Here are the most common benefits:


 


 

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 side effects 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.

The most common problems on low carb


 
All low-carb side effects & how to cure them

The Food Revolution

This talk from 2016 summarizes the history and science behind the ongoing LCHF revolution.

More theory and practice

Here several of the world’s biggest experts on the subject explain the theory and practice of carb restriction:

Dr Westman’s Guide to LCHF 2/5: How to Become a Fat-Burning Machine4.7 out of 5 stars5 star82%4 star8%3 star3%2 star2%1 star2%128 ratings12811:30The 5 common mistakes on LCHF4.7 out of 5 stars5 star85%4 star8%3 star2%2 star1%1 star1%109 ratings10909:25

 How to Do an LCHF Diet – Dr. Eric Westman4.6 out of 5 stars5 star78%4 star12%3 star5%2 star1%1 star1%105 ratings1051:00:45 LCHF for Obesity and Diabetes – Dr. Jay Wortman4.8 out of 5 stars5 star88%4 star7%3 star3%2 star0%1 star0%51 ratings511:03:45



 


 



 

Low-Carb Tips and Guides

Choose a topic below for a thorough low-carb guide on it.
 

 

Low-carb breakfast

Breakfast is a great time to eat low carb – think eggs & bacon with coffee. And there are many more great options. Below are a few of our most popular low-carb breakfast recipes.

No fan of eating breakfast? On low carb you may not feel hungry in the morning. If so it’s fine to skip breakfast – many people do.

Low-carb meals

There’s no end to the amazing food you could have for lunch and dinner on low carb. These are the currently most popular low-carb meal recipes:


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

For all of our low-carb recipes check out our main low-carb recipe page.


 


 

Learn More

 



Low Carb is Fantastic for Reversing Type 2 Diabetes and Normalizing Blood Sugar

Do you have type 2 diabetes? If not you most likely know someone who does. And low carb is fantastic for treating type 2 diabetes.

DiabetesTestF9-reversedIt only make sense that eating less of what turns into blood sugar (carbohydrates) makes it easier to keep the blood sugar down. Low carb may be so effective that people with diabetes need to reduce their medication – especially insulin doses – immediately.

Better blood sugar from day 1. Less need for medication. And weight loss as a bonus. Low carb is a fantastic treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Learn more about Low Carb and Diabetes

PS: People with type 1 diabetes can also benefit from a low-carb diet. Learn More



How to Lose WeightHow to Lose Weight

Losing Weight Effortlessly
on Low Carb

Some people lose weight fantastically well on low carb, immediately on the first try. Perhaps the weight even stays off forever.

For others it can be a more of a challenge. Do you want to lose more weight or lose weight faster? There are many things you can do to improve your chances.

Read more about How to Lose Weight

 
 


Blood Pressure

 

Normalizing Blood Pressure on Low Carb

An elevated blood pressure reliably drops on low carb. This can be clearly seen in scientific trials, and it’s a very common experience for people trying it.

In fact, this effect can be so marked that people on blood pressure medication may end up feeling dizzy and tired from too low blood pressure. They’ve basically become too healthy for their medication!

If this happens you’ll have to reduce the dose of your blood pressure medication, or stop taking it completely, with guidance from your doctor.

Learn more about Blood Pressure and Low Carb



 

Side Effects on Low Carb

Avoiding Side Effects on Low Carb

Do you struggle when starting low carb? Do you get a headache, leg cramps, constipation or any of the 6 most common side effects? It’s usually possible to avoid them – and feel great while losing weight.

The main solution to most common problems when starting low carb is to increase the intake of water and salt. It’s even better to do it preventatively during the first week. If you do you’ll most likely not experience any of these problems, or they’ll only be minor.

Learn about the 6 common side effects on low carb – and how to cure them

 



 

Times 1984 and 2014


1984  Fear of Fat →
2014  “Eat Butter”

Chances are you’ve heard that a low-carb diet will kill you. This as a low-carb diet normally means we eat a higher proportion of fat instead.

This old idea is based on the belief that natural fat is not good for us. Even though humans have always been eating fat, somehow it was supposed to mess up our bodies, raising our cholesterol and giving us a heart attack.

The good news is we now know this idea was simply wrong. Check out these two covers of TIME magazine. The first one is from 1984 – the start of the intense fear of fat. Instead of natural food we got lots of low-fat products, loaded with added sugar and starch. This, not so coincidentally, marked the start of the modern obesity epidemic.

The second cover is more current, from 2014. It says “Eat butter” and the story is about how scientists are now realizing they were wrong to fear fat. What a difference 30 years make!

Just about everybody already knows that low-carb works for weight loss (and some other things). The good news is we now also know it’s safe… and likely even a very healthy way to eat.


Learn more about the obsolete fear of fat

Learn more about the causes of the obesity epidemic

 



 

Cholesterol

The unnecessary fear of fat and cholesterol started the epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Modern science shows what the mistake was.

We thought that all cholesterol was harmful. That a low cholesterol was always good, and that a high cholesterol was always bad. This was wrong. The truth is – as usual – more complicated.

More important than having a low cholesterol is to have a good cholesterol profile. To have a lot of the good protecting HDL-cholesterol, for example. And how do you get that? Well, the easiest way is to avoid sugar and flour, and instead eat enough fat to feel satisfied.

Cholesterol

Avoiding fat and instead eating a lot of easily digestible carbohydrates often causes a dangerous cholesterol profile: small, nasty, dense LDL particles and a shortage of protective HDL-cholesterol. This is probably why low-fat foods seem to cause more heart disease.

Read the science showing how low-carb high-fat improves the cholesterol profile

Read all blog posts on cholesterol
 

 
 

The Answers to Your Questions

Low-carb questions and answers

Do you have questions about anything low-carb related? We have ready answers to all common questions – and more.

Low-Carb Questions and Answers
 
 
 


 
 

Next

Keep reading about What to Eat on a Low-Carb Diet

 



 

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Do you have any suggestion – big or small – to improve this page?
Anything that you’d like added or changed?
 
Comment below or e-mail me at andreas@dietdoctor.com.

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4,295 Comments

  1. Nana Morken
    Natosha:

    Having constant bowel movements after eating is not good! Your electrolites can easily get way out of balance. If everything is flushing right through, your body isn't absorbing what it needs. Along with eating very few carbs, I believe it is essential to make sure you have healthy gut flora. Look at Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBrides's site (http://gapsdiet.com/uploads/FAQS_Listing.pdf) and see how to introduce healthy probiotics to your system so you can have normal bowel movements and your body can absorb all the nutrition and chemicals it needs. In my experience headaches that came to me in ketosis were helped when I was sure to have enough sea salt and lots of animal fat. Wishing you wellness.

  2. natosha
    true, i get so ill after a meal i like eat this nice high fat loaded meal example
    3 tblspoon butter pure unsalted butter with nice small serving size of maybe two drumsticks andthen salt substittute tiny bit blk pepper and cayenne then cup of broth or two

    then after 2-3 more cups broth with salt subs in it and that drink sickens me full feel like water balloon for 30-40 mins then when it does cause me going and when i go everything easily comes out then i feel empty again

  3. Char
    I started eating a low carb-high fat diet about 8 years ago. I kind of made it up as I went along. My reason for doing this was to control a yeast problem that was way out of control. Within the first couple of months my yeast problem was gone and shortly after that I started dropping massive amounts of weight. I actually became concerned because it seemed like I was getting smaller by the day. It scared me so bad that I started eating foods with high carbs in them. My weight kept plummeting, but finally plateaued and, you guessed it, skyrocketed within six months of stopping the diet. The only difference between this diet and the one that I used years ago was that I did not eat any type of dairy, except eggs and goat cheese. I have to admit that I was very satisfied with everything since I was never hungry and the excess weight loss was my only issue. I was on the diet for over 10 months at the time. I recently eliminated sugar and starches from my diet again (this time to lose weight and feel healthier) and after reading the information on this web site, I have a better understanding of what changes need to be made if I feel that the weight is coming off to quickly...Thank You!
  4. Narain
    No amount of exercise-90 minutes of yoga 4 times a week, and earlier 90 minutes of brisk walk on 4-5 days a week - and disciplined amounts of eating has helped my diabetes. My glycosylated Hb is above 8. As a strict vegetarian - no fish, no eggs, no meat - I find it difficult to embark on any of the diet programmes you recommend. How can I eliminate carbs from my diet? Please help.
  5. Maggan A
    Narian

    I think it is impossible to eliminate carbs if you are a strikt vegetarian. All vegetables contains carbs more or less. You have to find the ones with less - and that mostly means veggies that groes above ground.

    I recommend brassicas instead of potatoes, rice, pasta and bread - lots of vitamin C and fibre, very satiating and not to much carbs.

  6. Narain
    Maggan A

    Thank you for your response.
    Let me try adding more vegetables to my diet, although even now my diet is mostly vegetables, some lentils and one roti - Indian flatbread.
    Are textured vegetable proteins allowed...the ones made from soy?

  7. natosha
    so far doing great been eating chicken drumsticks 6 a day 2 for each meal

    and about a stick butter a day and 3/4-1oz of cream cheese little seasoning

    kept like that with warm water all day feel great bit hungry sometimes

    my question i need a good replacement for the drums another meat thats maybe high fat but low protien and that isn't to bad with calories even tho not counting want to keep it about same or less

  8. Chris
    Hi

    I have just had a service after doing this diet for 6 months. I have loosed 13 kgs but here is my blood tests, does not look to good. but my weight is going in the correct direction.

    2003-03 2011-02 2012-01 2012-06
    Total Cholestrol 5.7 5.5 5.7
    LDL 3.2 3.6 3.9
    HDL 1 0.9 1.1
    Triglycerides 2.1 2.3 2.4
    Glucose 5.3 5.8
    Weight 119 kgs 125 kgs 113 kgs

  9. Chris
    I will try again to get it readable

    Total Cholestrol
    2003-03 = 5.1
    2011-02 = 5.5
    2012-06 = 3.7

    LDL
    2003-03 = 3.2
    2011-02 = 3.6
    2012-06 = 3.9

    HDL
    2003-03 = 1.0
    2011-02 = 0.9
    2012-06 = 1.1

    Triglycerides 2.1 2.3 2.4
    2003-03 = 2.1
    2011-02 = 2.3
    2012-06 = 2.4

    Glucose
    2003-03
    2011-02 = 5.3
    2012-06 = 5.8

    Weight
    2011-02 = 119 kgs
    2012-01 =125 kgs
    2012-06 =113 kgs

  10. Krystle
    I have a couple of concerns. First, I'm curious about Stevia. Is this natural sweetener allowed? What about any other sweetener like Splenda or Equal?

    I'm also wondering about nitrates in things like bacon and sausage. The higher fat may be going in the right direction, but aren't nitrates still bad for you?

  11. Maggan A
    Narain and Krystle

    Dont ask what is "allowed". You deside for your self what you want to eat.

    LCHF means low carb high fat - wich means keep the carbs low and replace them with good fat.

    A good rule of thumbe is to stay away from all food that contains more than 5% carbs/100gr - just read the lables and you will find out. God fat is all kinds of animal fat and coconut- olive- and rapeseedoil.

    Stevia is a natural sweetener and so are erytritol. Im not familiar with Splenda so I can not answer about it.

    nitrates in bacon and sausages is not god and should not be eaten every day, I enjoy my bacon only on weekends :-)

  12. Maggan A
    natosha

    of course you are hungry - you eat to little. Eat more meat and more fat and eat untill you are satisfied. Forget about counting calories - if you want to starve yourself to a lower weight I suggest Weight watchers.

  13. natosha
    i've decided try new approach well right now was three meals

    meat drumsticks chickne 2 with butter andlots ofit like butter soup

    all day only one ounce cream chese

    and water all day

    now new approach take meat break

    and use shirtaki no calorie noodles for meals with butter as idea love butter

    but fig do more 80-90 percent fat diet instead

  14. Maggan A
    natosha

    God luck what ever you try - even though it does not sound much like LCHF....

    LCHF means eating real natural food like meat and fat.

    Water and shirataki is not food!

  15. Bookwyrmb
    Splenda is not a real food, is highly processed and, if I remember correctly, is an excititoxin. Rapeseed or Canola oil is not a good oil, by the way. Stick with natural oils that you could make in your own kitchen with tools found in kitchens somewhere in the world a hundred years ago, like a mortar and pestle. Nothing says you have to make it that way, but if it would be impossible to do so, it is probably not healthful. Lard, butter, tallow, goose fat, olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, palm oil: these are natural, healthful fats and oils.
  16. Bookwyrmb
    Oh, and Equal is even worse than Splenda. Coconut crystals are good in small doses as is honey snd maple syrup. Reserve for rare treats. Stevia, erythritol, and Lo Han
    juice extract are good sweeteners.
    I have read somewhere that the nitrates need not be feared as much as we are told. Look further online before you eliminate bacon and sausage. Avoid MSG, though, and hidden glutamates sometimes labeled as 'natural flavors'.
  17. yasminee
    Can you please put up some links to the research articles you are referring to, I would love to get to read them as this sounds brilliant. Such an easy way to loose weight!!

    I only hope I can stick to it so I don't gain weight again like every one says they do when they go back to 'normal eating'.

    Cheers,

    Yasminee

  18. Krystle
    Thanks for the replies. I was able to find nitrate free bacon and sausage, so I'm not really worried about that. Makes me really happy because I'm able to use the bacon grease/fat left over for other cooking as well. :D

    I only asked about Stevia because I'm curious if it affects your blood sugar. Just because it's natural doesn't mean it's necessarily okay to have. Pineapple and bananas are natural, but that would be too much carb/sugar for low carb. I wouldn't want to have anything like Splenda or Equal in my diet, they're processed to hell...Stevia seems like a good option as long as I know it doesn't interfere with the ketosis state in your body.

  19. natosha
    started my diet almost done with meat going to more of a 85-90 percent fat diet loving it so far slowly finishing up protein to lower that see what the diff would be from a 70 to going alot more fat in my diet then protein
  20. About Stevia Krystie...I have been doing LCHF for 8 months now and have lost about 18 kilos. I have also used Stevia the entire time. The research says that stevia does not cause insulin levels to fluctuate or blood sugar to spike. However it may keep your 'sweet tooth' alive and kicking. I would like to lose another 6 kilos but rather than give up Stevia I think it's better I eat less nuts and greek yogurt (mixed with berries and a pinch of stevia powder.) BEWARE of the NEW stevia products on the market--which are mixed with Erythritol, a natural sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in fruits and fermented foods. This is marketed as TRUVIA. I prefer organic natural Stevia.
  21. Anne
    How do you give up sugar? I tried multiple times and failed miserably each and every single time! I know its bad for me and I would love LOVE To stop but I just feel like I can't do it every single time... Starch I could give up pretty easily but sugar (ice cream and cereal especially) I just can't :( any tips?
  22. Anne. I was the biggest sugar addict around, even if I didn't eat cookies or candy, ice cream was my nemesis. Stevia helped me. But most of all you have to decide you CAN and quit telling yourself you can't. Also once your insulin is in control you won't' experience the mad cravings for sugar-especially if you eat enough fat! Cereal IS starch btw. I used to eat cereal and ADD maple syrup! I've now lost a full 20 kilos and yes, it's taken 8 months but I feel confident that I can keep it off. If giving up sugar is what it takes that is what it takes. Good luck.
  23. Anne
    Sigh..I guess its really just a matter of willpower. Did you gove it up immediately and completely all at once or was it small gradual change? And stevia is okay? I thought l artificial sweetners are bad
  24. I took part in a cognitive psychology study for the first month which allowed only 20 grams of carbs a day AND kept me honest. If you want to break your addiction to sugar I think it really does have to be cold turkey! Stevia is not an artificial sweetener (except for the new versions like Truvia, which mix natural stevia with sugar alcohols). I think that the main reason the Diet Doctor doesn't recommend stevia is because it keeps one's sweet tooth alive and kicking. Yet, I've found it useful. Maybe I would have lost more weight quicker had I not used it, we will never know.

    I would also suggest reading or watching the research on the negative health effects of sugar. I found the evidence compelling and evidence based research can have productive effects on one's 'willpower'.

    I don't know how old you are or what your circumstances are but for me it was a matter of making a choice about how I wanted to live the next 50 years of my life and how long I can stay alive, as much for my own sake as the sake of my newborn child!

  25. I'mafan
    I have become very unsure of how many grams of carbohydrate one can take per day to still lose weight on LCHF. I use Dr. Atkins Induction diet as a basis and simply add carbs to the total amount of 60g per day, but when I read through the comments it seems as if LCHF allows more carbs per day to still lose weight. Can anyone clarify for me please?
  26. Zepp
    No one cant say how much carbs you can eat and still lose weight!

    Its up to your own experiance.. the good thing is that you now must know that your body dont need a lot of carbs to feel fine`

    Its depends on your own sensibility.. and as I do remember from Atkins.. one can put some more carbs to ones meal if one want.. up to that amounts one dont lose any weight anymore.

    Then one know!

    You know, there is no magical about this, no differens about Atkins and LCHF.. diferent wrighters how try to explain how the biochemical around it.

    And if you is sensitive.. its your insulin levels how blocks yor body from taking from fat cells.

    Soo.. how much carbs can you eat and have a normal insulin level.. thats the question.

  27. natosha
    curious ok is it true full fat will never make u fat

    for example if someone ate pound butter no carbs and very little protein but lets just say the butter

    so pound butter
    another ate pound protein pure
    another ate pound carbs

    what would be one that wouldn't pack on the pounds

    because i know fat is never to make you fat on low carb
    and if u jut have that as i've been doing seems clean my colon well just curious tho if u ate too much of it what would happen
    would be better effects or about the same

  28. mindy
    i've been following adkins plan for 5 1/2 weeks. i measured the ketones in my urine this morning and still barely if any a trace shows up. i've only lost 2 lbs. i'm frustrated....also, trouble with bowel movements
  29. Nana Morken
    Anne:

    Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (author of GAPS) recommends taking butter with a bit of raw honey (must be raw) when cravings hit (cravings for not only sugar, but for other addictions, too) - I've done this and it works like a charm. This keeps your blood sugar even and eventually you find that the space between cravings starts to lengthen and finally the cravings completely disappear. I also learned from reading her stuff that if our guts are out of balance and unhealthy (more than one person has mentioned constipation on this site), then chemical messages are sent to our brains telling us to keep feeding the bad bacteria that is taking over in our guts - they want carbs in particular. There really is a war going on in our guts. If we heal our guts and feed ourselves lots of animal fats, bone broths, and good low carb food, our good guys will win and give us a healthy immune system and a healthy body.

    Here's Dr. Natasha's site: http://www.gaps.me/preview/?page_id=32. She answers a lot of questions about all kinds of physical and mental illnesses that begin with a weak immune system which is caused by unbalanced gut flora.

  30. I'mafan
    Thank you Zepp. That was very helpful indeed. But say someone wants to start on the LCHF way of eating and asks me how she should start... what do I say to her? What amount of low carb does one start with in order to eventually determine your own critical level of carbs? I don't like to advise Atkins Induction, it is too drastic, but it is a point to start... Hope you can help with this too.
  31. natosha
    please respond

    i wondering if its ok to go high fat low carb but enjoy 8-10 oz cheese with high calorie diet high fat plan

    i never had issues with eating so much cheese so wondering if it be ok

    other then that doing alot butter too

  32. Maggan A
    I´mafan

    The best way to start is to avoid ALL sugar, bread, potato, rice and pasta. Replace it with good fat and eat normal amounts of protein and above ground veggies. That is simple and plaine LCHF ;-)

    natosha

    Yes it is ok. Cheese rolls with butter is a very good snack if you get hungry between meals - it is like a cheese sandwich without the bread ;-)

  33. natosha
    wow all day felt guilty, but hearing u say its ok thank you so much i love cheese and love butter lol

    :)

  34. Maggan A
    natosha

    No need to feel guilty. cheese and butter is very healthy fastfood and will prevent you from loosing controll and go crazy on the "junk" ;-)

  35. mindy
    please respond....i've been following adkins plan for nearly six weeks. i've only lost 2 lbs. i excersise 3-4 times a week. also, having trouble with constipation
  36. natosha
    TRUE I'M LITTLE UNSURE I THINK I STILL LACTOSE INTOLERANT TODAY WAS FIRST DAY GORGING ON DAIRY CHEESE FROM WHILE BEFORE CAUSE BEFORE IT ALL CAME BACK OUT

    SO THE TEST PROVES IT THE FOOD WELL MOZZ I CAN TELL CAME BACK OUT AND THE NO CALORIE FIBER NOODLES TOO LOL GUESS THATS NOT GOOD WELL I GUESS I CAN KEEP GORGING ON CHEESE STILL NO MATTER WHAT WON'T CONSTIPATE ME LOL

    BUT TY I SO WAS LIKE MISSING SOMETHING AND CHEESE HIT THE SPOT I WAS CRAVING FRUIT OR CARBS AND THEN JUST DID CHEESE AND NOW NO MORE CRAVINGS LOVE IT

    TY

  37. I'mafan
    @ Maggan After everything I've learned here I realised (after your comment) that I was still (old-style) tying myself in a knot with regimens and disciplines - this was because I started off with Atkins. It is only now that I realise how "free" this way of eating is! And what a release! So thank you very much for your comment.
  38. I'mafan
    @ Mindy. I've copy/pasted a few paragraphs out of a recipe book that I've written about the LCHF way of eating. I hope this helps a bit. You may suffer from a condition known as Insulin Resistance.

    What is insulin resistance?

    Insulin is known as the fat-storing hormone. One of the functions of insulin is to cause the cells of the body, particularly the muscle and fat cells, to remove and use glucose from the blood. Insulin resistance happens when the glucose is unable to access the cells so the glucose levels in the blood get higher and higher. In the body’s frantic efforts to get rid of the excess glucose in the blood, it is stored as fat.

    What causes insulin resistance?

    Over a period of time our cells have become coated in fat, so that glucose in the blood cannot access our cells to nourish them; so our cells become starved of nourishment. The body tries to adjust for its own survival and causes carbohydrate cravings in the hope that even just tiny amounts of the glucose produced may be able to enter the cells and nourish them. The tiny bits of nourishment of the cells do not last long, however, and we end up having to eat again and again and again. In other words, this causes carbohydrate addiction and consequently weight gain.

    The solution for some is to lose weight

    Losing weight, and therefore some of the fat that is coating our cells, will allow better nourishment of the cells and less glucose in our blood, which will mean less craving for carbohydrates but, of course, this becomes a question of what is first, the chicken or the egg?

    The dilemma of the overweight person

    Our dilemma is that, literally being forced to overload on the carbs to provide the glucose that our cells so desperately seek, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to lose weight.

    How can we overcome insulin resistance?

    You may try to do the “Atkins Fat-fast” If you decide to do the fat-fast, be sure to take 1 baby aspirin per day to reduce possibility of blood clots in some people.

    If all else fails, then follow the LCHF way of eating in any case for overall better health and well-being. Whatever you do, don’t give up.

    THE ATKINS FAT FAST

    You start the Fat-fast with 5 x 200-calorie meals per day for 4 or 5 days. Each item equals approximately 200 calories:

    The Fat Fast is a tool to force ketosis for those…

    • who are insulin resistant, to get into the state of ketosis,

    • who experiences a weight loss plateau,

    • who have gone off the track like, for instance, a high-carb weekend.

    According to Dr. Atkins, eating 4 or 5 mini-meals rather than 3 regular meals is better for our bodies while doing the Fat Fast.

    Here are some one-portion fat-fast ideas:

    • One ounce of tuna or chicken salad with two teaspoons of mayonnaise served in one-quarter of an avocado

    • Two ounces of Cream Cheese

    • One ounce Macadamia Nuts

    • One mug of coffee with ¼ cup thick cream and sweetener. (Drink hot in winter and pour into ice-trays in summer for a quick coffee ice.)

    • Four strips of bacon

    • Two and a half ounces pork rinds

    • Blend the following ingredients in a small bowl for 1 portion:
    One-ounce cream cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar free peanut butter, 1 tablespoon heavy or whipping cream, 2 - 3 crushed sweetener tablets, 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

    • Half ounce Crumbled pork rinds with 2 oz sour cream.

    • Strain chicken broth made from chicken wings and thighs. ¾ Cupful of broth is 1 portion.

    • Two tablespoons sour cream, 1 teaspoon sugar-free peanut butter, 1 – 2 crushed sweetener tablets.

    • Quarter cup heavy or whipping cream, 1 tablespoon gelatine and ½ cup sugarless fruit squash. Allow to gel in refrigerator.

    • Half cup heavy cream whipped into ½ packet sugar-free jelly made with ¼ cup boiling water.

    • Deviled eggs made with two teaspoons of mayonnaise.

    • Two ounces of sour cream and two tablespoons black or red caviar.

    Sorry for the length of this comment!! (I am not an expert on all the facets of the LCHF, so I will appreciate any input about what I have written above - negative or not. Thanks.)

  39. natosha
    curious about nuts and nut butters
    what types and how much is too much
  40. Maggan A
    I´mafan

    Well thank YOU because your comment made me se the same. I havent really thaught of it before.

    This way of eating has indeed very little to do with character, regimen, dicipline, suffering, hungering and swetting, I think that is one of the reasons why the critics dont like it. It is just to simple and easy - loosing weight and gaining health with LCHF is almost like cheating ;-)

    natosha

    Be carefull with nuts because they contain quite a lot of carbs, if you eat to much of them they might put your weightloss on a halt.

    The same with nutbutters - especcially if they contain added sugar. Read the labels and try to find sugarfree.

  41. natosha
    is the 20-30 carb limit ok guideline or should be lower
  42. Maggan A
    natosha

    we are all individuals and have our owne individual limits. You have to try and find out what works for you. I suggest go ahead with 20- 30 for a while and if nothing happends on the scale try to go lower.

  43. natosha
    ok ty :)
  44. natosha
    wonder about all natural fats

    is it best whole dairy products then lowfat and fat free?

    and if one ate pure high fats 90 percent fat diet 5 percent protein 5 carbs
    would they be able to still receive benefits of low carb ?

    high fat butter
    cream cheese
    whip cream
    oils

  45. Lydia
    If the idea is to eat natural healthy food, things that are available and whole, then how can you go wrong by eating say a Banana? Surely one of if not the most natural source of energy.
    I would love to believe all this works but am struggling as you can probably tell...
  46. natosha
    also another question is ok to just say one day or few eat rotissierie u get from supermarket plain or the lemon flavor thats not loaded with carbs but lowest ones and enjoy that

    mainly original

    and just eat with buttter or cheese all day one 2.5 pound bird and extras or is that bad option?

  47. Bookwyrmb
    Lydia:
    Yes, the idea is to eat natural and healthful food and if there is nothing wrong with your metabolism, then eating the banana is a great idea. However, if you are obese or have Type 2 Diabetes or hypoglycemia or Metabolic syndrome, then you are carb intolerant to some extent and need to curb your carb intake. How much depends on your degree of carb intolerance. Bananas are a high carb fruit. Eat what you like, but you can call it LCHF correctly only if it indeed is truly low carb and high fat. This web site is for folks who need to eat a diet for carb intolerance. Thus, you won't find many of us having a whole banana very often, if ever.
  48. natosha
    do u really need too much fat decided dial down to having example day

    bf ounce cheese, two chick legs
    snk 2 chick legs n butter
    lunch same
    dinner same

    might snk again not sure

    but fig go light on added fat but is that bad
    imean i love more butter but i got so bloated from eating alot fat that cut carbs bit n up protein cals at 2000 tho before when doing that was at 2500-2800 tho not sure if can eat back there since bloated

  49. Debbie
    I am just about to embark on the low carb diet, but feel very frustrated as I am also unable to tolerate dairy foods or eggs...anyone out there lactose intolerant following this diet? Any good suggestions for how to increae the fat content without using milk, eggs, cheese?
  50. Bookwyrmb
    Debbie: 2 words, 1 item - coconut oil!
    Also, there should not be any lactose in cultured butter or in ghee. Additionally, some lactose intolerant folks are able to enjoy other cultured dairy products that have neen produced from raw dairy.

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