14-day low-carb diet meal plan
- You can sign up for the free two-week low-carb challenge. There you will find a complete guide, including daily menus, easy shopping lists, daily emails to keep you on track, and more. Or…
- Just read on for some simple tips as well as a sample 14-day menu plan.
Helpful tips for cooking and meal preparation
Eating low-carb, high-fat includes getting back to wholesome, real, minimally food. Some have even called it vintage eating. If you like to cook, you’ll find delicious meals below to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Not so sure about doing a lot of cooking? Here are some helpful tips to make it easier:
- Take a break from breakfast: If you’re not hungry, feel free to skip breakfast and just have coffee (with some milk if you want it).1 Many people find that within a few days of eating low-carb, high-fat meals, cravings and hunger decrease significantly. This can make it easy to skip a meal, perhaps especially breakfast.2 Skipping a meal is cheap, fast, and might increase the diet’s effectiveness for weight loss and diabetes.3 See intermittent fasting
- Make bigger lots: cook two servings and save the second for lunch the next day. Now you only need to cook once per day!
- Freeze leftovers: Most of the recipes freeze well, too, so you can make up a casserole, divide it into smaller serving sizes and then freeze some to warm up later for a meal. Perhaps you don’t even have to cook every day?
- Repeat favorites: Crazy about scrambled eggs? Love steak? You can eat ’em everyday.4 We have more than 1000 low-carb recipes with a huge variety of ingredients and flavours so you never will get bored. If, however, you find a couple of meals that you love and you find easy, feel free to eat them as often as you like. You will get the same results.5
- Basic no-cook plates: Away from a kitchen or not wanting to cook for a meal? Sliced deli meats, cheese, and vegetables with dip make an easy lunch.6 Or boil up a dozen eggs and keep them ready in the fridge to grab for lunch or snacks. A can of tuna or salmon, with some full fat mayonnaise and vegetable crudités, is a simple lunch.7 Smoked oysters, sardines, herring with raw veggies or a salad are other easy no-cook choices.
Who should NOT do a low-carb diet?
A low-carb diet is safe for almost everyone.8 Rapid weight loss or dramatic changes in blood sugar, however, may require extra support and knowledge for people in three specific situations:
- Taking medication for diabetes: If you take insulin or other diabetes medications, learn more
- Taking blood pressure medication? Learn more
- Breastfeeding? If you are nursing a baby, learn more
This diet plan is for adults with health issues, including obesity, that could benefit from a low-carb diet.
Remember: water and salt
When eating a strict low-carb diet, make sure you drink enough fluids – water and/or sparkling water are the best choices. Make sure you are getting enough salt, too. When you’re starting out, drink one to two cups of bouillon each day or add more salt to your food; doing so can minimize the initial “low-carb flu”. 9
As mentioned above, feel free to adjust this diet plan to your liking, using any of our 1,000+ low-carb recipes.
Variety – hundreds of low-carb recipes
More low-carb recipes
Here are a few common questions about this low-carb diet plan. For more things that you may be wondering about, see our full low-carb FAQ.
These recipes provide too much food for me. Do I have to eat all of it?
No. Our servings are in general designed to provide enough food for most people. If you feel satisfied and not hungry before finishing, it’s a great idea to stop. Especially if you want to lose weight, try to only eat when you’re hungry.10
Any leftovers can be shared with others or saved for later. If you regularly find our servings too large (perhaps if you’re a fairly small person), feel free to reduce the amounts in the recipes!
As long as you follow the meal plan and only eat when you are hungry, your chances of losing excess weight should be good.11 You probably don’t need to count calories on this diet.12 Reduced appetite is a common experience and you may even burn around 300 more calories per day.13
I’m still hungry after eating some meals. What should I do?
Feel free to add more of any low-carb, high-fat food. The easiest way is to just add more protein or fat to your meal, like a double portion of steak, an extra hard-boiled egg, or a little extra butter, olive oil or mayonnaise.14 Top 10 ways to eat more fat
What if I’m hungry between meals? Can I snack?
Many people stay satisfied on a low-carb, high-fat diet, vastly decreasing the need for snacking.15 If you’re regularly hungry and need to snack, you may first want to make sure you’re reducing carbohydrates adequately. If so, you should probably eat more at the meals, more fat and enough protein.
However, if you really feel the need to snack occasionally, here’s our low-carb snacks guide
I don’t eat meat/dairy/[insert excluded food]. Can I still eat low carb?
For more, have a look at our low-carb foods guidelines
Can I drink alcohol on a low-carb diet?
Yes. But make sure to choose low-carb drinks, like dry wine or whiskey. Full low-carb alcohol guide
It’s often claimed that eating breakfast is good for weight control. That appears to be false:
Low-carb diets tend to reduce feelings of hunger:
Skipping breakfast with ease is what practitioners experience with their patients and a very common report from people trying a low-carb diet. This is based on clinical experience of low-carb practitioners and was unanimously agreed upon by our low-carb expert panel. You can learn more about our panel here [weak evidence] ↩
Intermittent fasting can help people lose weight. Note that many of the studies on this investigate restricting calories to very low levels for a limited time, like one or more days per week (e.g. 400 calories per day). Actual fasting means restricting calories to close to zero for a time, so it may or may not be even more effective.
JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports 2018: Intermittent fasting interventions for treatment of overweight and obesity in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis [strong evidence]
Intermittent fasting and type 2 diabetes:
JAMA Network Open 2018: Effect of intermittent compared with continuous energy restricted diet on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized noninferiority trial [moderate evidence]
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 2016: The effects of intermittent compared to continuous energy restriction on glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes; a pragmatic pilot trial [moderate evidence]
Do you worry about eating saturated fats or cholesterol? There’s no good reason to do so. While still a bit controversial, several modern systematic reviews find no benefit from avoiding saturated fats, or replacing them with unsaturated fats:
- Open Heart 2016: Evidence from randomised controlled trials does not support current dietary fat guidelines: a systematic review and meta-analysis [strong evidence]
- Nutrition Journal 2017: The effect of replacing saturated fat with mostly n-6 polyunsaturated fat on coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials [strong evidence]
Note that when including certain trials, some possibly inadequately controlled or not strictly randomised (the Finnish mental hospital study), there may be a small reduction in cardiovascular events from eating more unsaturated fats. Thus there is still some controversy surrounding this:
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015: Reduction in saturated fat intake for cardiovascular disease [strong evidence]
- PLoS Medicine 2010: Effects on coronary heart disease of increasing polyunsaturated fat in place of saturated fat: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials [strong evidence]
Here’s a study investigating if eating eggs for breakfast every day has any negative effects on cholesterol levels. They found none, but the egg-eating group reported greater satiety:
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2015: The effect of a high-egg diet on cardiovascular risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) study-a 3-mo randomized controlled trial [moderate evidence] ↩
According to this study, there is no evidence that higher variety in diet is healthier:
The evidence against eating red meat is very weak. Learn more
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2017: Total red meat intake of ≥0.5 servings/d does not negatively influence cardiovascular disease risk factors: a systemically searched meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials [strong evidence]
We hesitate slightly to recommend mayo. The reason is that most commercial brands are made with high omega-6 oils (like soybean, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, corn oils) and a high intake of omega-6 fats might not be healthy. Learn more
The main fear about lower-carb and higher-fat diets have always been an increase in the risk of heart disease. However, interventional studies so far indicate that if anything the risk appears to decrease:
- British Journal of Nutrition 2016: Effects of low-carbohydrate diets v. low-fat diets on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. [strong evidence for improved risk factors]
- PLOS ONE 2015: Dietary intervention for overweight and obese adults: comparison of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets. A meta-analysis. [strong evidence for improved risk factors]
- Obesity reviews 2012: Systematic review and meta‐analysis of clinical trials of the effects of low carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk factors [strong evidence for improved risk factors]
- Circulation 2010: Dietary intervention to reverse carotid atherosclerosis [moderate evidence for a reduction in atherosclerosis]
For more health controversies regarding a low-carb diet, have a look at this page:
But there’s also some support from this study that found only minor increases in side effects, while advising participants to drink bouillon:
After a similar two-week program on our site, 86% of people completing the program reported losing weight:
While calories count, you probably don’t have to count them for good results. Low-carb diets tend to result in more weight loss, even though most studies of it do not advocate counting calories:
British Journal of Nutrition 2016: Effects of low-carbohydrate diets v. low-fat diets on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. [strong evidence for more weight loss]
Learn more here: Should you count calories on a low-carb or keto diet? ↩
Appetite tends to be somewhat suppressed on low-carb diets:
Low-carb diets may increase metabolism by between 200 and 500 calories per day, at least under certain circumstances, potentially increasing fat burning:
Eating enough protein might sometimes be even more satisfying than eating more fat: