Questions & answers
about the low-carb challenge

  1. Questions specifically about the challenge
  2. General low-carb questions


 

Challenge questions

I’m not ready to start on Sunday, I want to postpone the challenge and do it next week, or later.

To postpone the Low-Carb Challenge, please press “unsubscribe” at bottom of any Challenge email. Then, during the week before the Sunday you want to get started, go to the Low-Carb Challenge page and sign up again.

I’m cooking dinner for one person but the recipe says 4 servings (e.g. the first Sunday dinner). What do I do?

Change to 2 servings to get the appropriate amounts. You need one serving for tonight, the second as leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Of course, if you’ve printed the recipe you can’t change the number of servings automatically, you’ll have to do it manually. Or print the recipes again, with the appropriate number of people:

I’m cooking dinner for two people but the recipe says 4 servings, what do I do?

You should use the same amounts, four servings. You’ll need two tonight and two as leftovers for lunch tomorrow. 2 + 2 = 4 servings.

If I’m cooking for two and the recipe says 1 serving, what do I do?

You should multiply the amounts by two if it’s breakfast or four if it’s dinner (so there’s leftovers for lunch tomorrow).

I wonder if the servings are too big – too many calories – will I really lose weight eating this much food?

You should only eat as much as you need to feel satisfied. If there’s too much food for you, then save the leftovers for later. If there’s too much every day you can of course reduce the amounts a bit.

As long as you stick to the challenge and only eat when you are hungry, your chances of losing excess weight are very good. There’s no need to count calories on this diet, because your appetite will be reduced and because you may even burn around 300 more calories per day.

Should men and women eat the same amount of food? Do I have to adapt portion sizes for men or women?

Eat until satisfied. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat.

That takes care of all differences between sexes and all differences between people.

I’m still hungry after a meal, what do I do?

The serving sizes are calculated so that most people should not feel hungry after eating. But everyone has different needs, so if you’re a big person you need to add more food. What should you add? Add fat. Add butter, mayo, olive oil etc., until you feel satisfied.

What do I do if I’m hungry between meals? What snacks are allowed?

Most people get way less hungry on this kind of diet, meaning there is zero need to snack between meals. In fact, if you’re really hungry between meals you’re probably not doing it right. You may want to eat more at mealtime. Specifically, you should consider adding more fat to your food. Like butter or olive oil.

We recommend no snacking between meals during this two-week challenge. After these two weeks you may want to add in the occasional low-carb snack, even if you choose to stay on low carb. Not because you need it, because you likely won’t, but simply because it can be enjoyable.

We recommend that you wait until after the challenge is done, though.

How much weight will I lose during the challenge?

Most people with excess weight lose 4-8 pounds (2-4 kilos) during the two-week challenge. Some lose much more. But it is impossible to know the exact answer in advance.

I’m taking the challenge and it’s working great, I’m not hungry at all. I really want to skip a meal. Can I?

Yes. Just make sure you have leftovers prepared for the next day if you’re skipping dinner.


 

General low-carb questions

Here are common questions and answers about low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) nutrition and health:

Is saturated fat dangerous?

No. That is an old and disproven theory. It’s been a mistake from the beginning. More.

I started eating LCHF / very low carb and I feel dizzy / a headache / tired?

Dizziness / headaches and similar symptoms are common in the first week as your body adapt to a very low carb diet. These symptoms usually go away in a few days.

Adding a bit more carbs to meals reduces the symptoms but can slow down the adaptation (and weight loss).

Another possibility is that you are dehydrated or low on salt. When starting a very low-carb diet there is extra loss of salt and fluids through the kidneys in the first weeks, until the body adapts. Drinking more fluids and putting some extra salt on your food during the first week can help avoiding this problem and often cures the symptoms. Alternatively, you can drink some bouillon a few times a day.

Do you use blood pressure medication? A very low-carb diet can lower high blood pressure, and medication may need to be reduced in that case. Low blood pressure may result in dizziness.

I have other beginner’s problems on low carb

Check out our full guide on common low-carb side effects and how to cure them. Alternatively, you can jump right to the section that interests you. Here are the most common early problems:

I have longer-term problems on low carb

All common low-carb side effects and how to cure them

Why are Asian people eating rice often thin?

Probably because they do not eat a lot of sugar or refined starch. More.

I’m eating a low-carb diet but I’m not losing as much weight as I’d like. Why?

There may be many reasons. Follow the checklist on the How to Lose Weight Page

Can you breastfeed on a low-carb diet?

Yes, but you should probably eat a more moderate low-carb diet with 50+ grams of carbs per day. It’s also important to eat enough food.

It’s not recommended to eat a strict low-carb diet or to starve (restrict calories) due to a rare, but serious, risk of complications

What about gallstones and LCHF?

High-fat food can give you short-term trouble if you already have gallstones. Low-fat food gives you gallstones in the long run. More.

Can you eat LCHF if you’ve had your gallbladder removed? Yes.

Can you eat low-carb cookies / bread / pasta and lose weight?

That is probably not a good idea:

Do you get cancer from eating red meat?

Highly unlikely, although favoring unprocessed meat is the healthiest choice. Replacing meat with processed carbs may be one of the worst things you can do for your health and weight. More. 

Do you need to eat resistant starch on low carb to feed your gut bacteria?

Unknown, but there appears to be some potential benefits of doing so

Do you get hypothyroidism on a very low carb diet?

No, hardly on a well-formulated low-carb diet, meaning you replace the energy from carbs with more fat. In scientific studies on LCHF there are no problems with the thyroid and I see no new thyroid issues in my patients going strictly low carb.

However, starvation can lead to hypothyroidism, and if you remove carbs AND fat from your diet you will be starving. So you do need to eat carbs or fat to fuel your body.

Bottom line: A, LCHF diet is fine for your thyroid. More.

Is there scientific proof that LCHF is good for weight / blood sugar / cholesterol / blood pressure?

Yes.

Are studies showing better weight loss on low-carb diets sponsored by the meat industry or the Atkins foundation?

Yes, a few of them are. But repeated independent studies show the same results.

Does insulin play a role in weight gain / loss?

Yes, it’s absolutely crucial in most cases. Some bloggers have objections but they do not change biochemical facts. More.

Can you drink alcohol on LCHF?

Sure, in moderate amounts. But beer and sweet drinks need to be avoided. Choose wine or non-sweetened liquor. More.

Is salt dangerous?

No. At least not in moderate amounts. More.

What’s a good low-carb breakfast except for eggs?

Lots of Low-Carb Breakfasts

Can you eat fruit on LCHF?

Only occasionally, as an exception, if you want to be strict and get the maximum effect. Fruit contains a lot of sugar. Fruit is candy from nature.

Why are Americans obese?

This is why.

More knowledge

This talk by our founder, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, summarizes the history and science behind the ongoing revolution in diet and health.

 

Return

Return to Preparations

Return to Week 1 overview

Return to Week 2 overview

 
 

More questions

Did you not find the answer to your question about the challenge here? Comment below or email me at kristin@dietdoctor.com. I can’t guarantee personal answers to questions, but we’ll read everything and adapt the challenge or add to the Q&A above whenever needed.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

377 Comments

  1. Amber
    How do I convert ounces of butter to tablespoons? I've always used tablespoons so ounces is throwing me off as it seems like a lot more ?
    Thanks
    Reply: #367
  2. Samantha Goddard
    Hi Peter,

    I watched that BBC programme you suggested, the truth about carbs. I did the cracker test and it turned sweet straight away, which is what I expected as ive always been able to eat carbs and stay a steady weight. My question then is, is the keto diet the right diet for people who are good with carbs? I totally accept keto and logic tells me its the thing for all of us, but is it possible that people who are good with carbs, actually need carbs?

  3. Una
    Is there an app to access the challenge rather than go to google or how do you get into it on I phone?
  4. Patti
    Please help, I am struggling. I am eating when I drive to stay awake. I have a very unusual schedule. I am up at 3am and begin work on the computer, then I go to my son's and take his two BIG dogs to the dog park while he gets the little one up and ready. The walk is 1-2 miles up and down big hills. When I come back the dogs go sleep and I have a 4 year old to entertain for the day - except a very few days where he goes to camp/school. After a half day of school, we go to a park or on a playdate. While he is at camp/school, I work on quilts and other sewing projects and orders. When we get back to my home it is about 3-4 and he has usually fallen asleep for about an hour. Then we are on the go until his Dad tells me he is home from work between 7-9. I have to complete my computer work - two nights a week until 11. Right now I keep trying to do this keto, because I know it works, but I find myself needing to eat to stay awake. Example: I have been working since 4 this morning, have to walk a dog I babysit for and get to speech therapy. I am pooped and am not sure how to stay awake. PLEASE anyone with suggestions PLEASE< PLEASE < PLEASE hand them out. Thank you. I plan to START AGAIN this weekend.
    Reply: #371
  5. PAVAN NIHALANI
    Pure vegetarian so from where to start?
    Day 1
  6. Chelle
    Can someone advise what the portion size is for each meal? If I'm cooking for two people, do I have to weigh the total amount then half it? We're used to having portion size and 100g macro info in the UK. I don't think eyeballing the portion size will cut it.
    Thanks
  7. Marcelle
    is eating so many eggs bad for you?
    Reply: #358
  8. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Marcelle!

    We think eating many eggs is good for you. :-)

    is eating so many eggs bad for you?

  9. Paula Tully
    Would it be possible to group like questions under categories or include a search box so it would be easier to find answers to questions.
  10. Cyndi
    Ive just started the challenge. However some of the recipe measurements are confusing as I'm unclear if the measurements refer to weight or volume. For example, does 375 grams of green cabbage and 300 grams ground beef refer to the weight of these items or the volume of these items. Thanks.
    Replies: #362, #370
  11. Daniel
    What's the opinion on kombucha? We make our own and carbonate it with 1/4 cup of fruit juice per 2 cup bottle. My wife and I split one bottle between us per day. It's my understanding that the sugars are eaten up by the culture.
    Reply: #369
  12. Daniel
    Grams are a measurement of weight.
    Reply: #368
  13. Elizabeth
    Hi there everybody ,I would just like to say how wonderful this program is ,very informative and so easy to follow ,I'm in the middle of doing the two week challenge which is so easy ,I'm never hungry ,I did have a few of the side effects ,like tiredness,bad breath and constipation which are all easing up now ,I'd like to say thanks to everyone involved in getting this program together ,so thank u 😁
  14. Liz
    Are there certain times you should eat (and not eat)? Thanks.
  15. Margaret McQuillan
    Hello, can I drink bullet coffee in thr morning?
    Reply: #366
  16. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Margaret!

    If you drink bullet coffee instead of breakfast it should be fine.

    Hello, can I drink bullet coffee in thr morning?

  17. Una
    Amber, tablespoons of butter or any spoon ful of butter will never be as accurate as weighing, and be different each time if it's not liquid. As I have not eaten butter for forty years, a bit of a leap of faith to eat any, and then in such large quantities! I would just weigh - that shouldn't throw you. Good luck with the diet! 😆
  18. Una
    Yes! Not millilitres!!!
  19. Una
    What? Fruit juice is full of sugar! 😆

    What's the opinion on kombucha? We make our own and carbonate it with 1/4 cup of fruit juice per 2 cup bottle. My wife and I split one bottle between us per day. It's my understanding that the sugars are eaten up by the culture.

  20. Una

    Ive just started the challenge. However some of the recipe measurements are confusing as I'm unclear if the measurements refer to weight or volume. For example, does 375 grams of green cabbage and 300 grams ground beef refer to the weight of these items or the volume of these items. Thanks.

    Grams are metric weights, and fractions of litres are for liquids! Get yourself a decent kitchen scales and you won't go wrong!

  21. Una

    Can someone advise what the portion size is for each meal? If I'm cooking for two people, do I have to weigh the total amount then half it? We're used to having portion size and 100g macro info in the UK. I don't think eyeballing the portion size will cut it.
    Thanks

    I'm from England, but don't understand what you mean by 100g macro? Just get the ingredients for whatever number - say two, so assuming you are doing the fortnight challenge (two weeks for Americans! 😆 ) It's all converted in the ingredients. As far as the method of making is concerned, it will say it's for four people at the top, even though you Might have changed the recipe or two. So cooking two portions each time - one each for dinner and one each for lunch - means the method is correct. I am cooking for one so two portions as per fortnight challenge.

  22. Fran
    Hi,

    I'am doing IF already and low carb so I do not eat until lunch . Can I still do the Diet Challenge?

  23. Fee129
    Could anyone advise me on what to eat... as although I'm vegetarian I eat fish but am allergic to onion and garlic as well....
  24. Dee
    For someone who doesnt eat beef or pork can you substitute with turkey or chicken?
  25. Chikaodili
    Can I eat nuts
  26. Svetlana
    Dear Dietdoctor,

    I am a vegetarian. Do you have a two week challenge for vegetarians? Just asking. Your website is really good, so that I can use what's already there, if there is no special vegetarian 2 week challenge..

    Thanks for all the inspiration and best,
    Svetlana

    Reply: #379
  27. Sonya
    Can we have coffee with stevia during the 2-week challenge?
    Reply: #378
  28. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Sonya!

    Yes you can, but we recommend that you avoid sweeteners at least on daily basis.

    Can we have coffee with stevia during the 2-week challenge?

  29. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Svetlana!

    Sorry, we don't have a vegetarian two week challenge. But in the member area we have vegetarian meal plans.
    (First month as member is free with no obligation no continue.)

    Dear Dietdoctor,
    I am a vegetarian. Do you have a two week challenge for vegetarians? Just asking. Your website is really good, so that I can use what's already there, if there is no special vegetarian 2 week challenge..
    Thanks for all the inspiration and best,
    Svetlana

  30. Danni
    i know its best to just drink water, but is it ok to have coke zero or powerade zero while doing the 2 week challenge?
    Reply: #381
  31. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Danni!

    It's OK. But we don't recommend to use sweeteners on a daily basis.

    i know its best to just drink water, but is it ok to have coke zero or powerade zero while doing the 2 week challenge?

  32. Michelle
    Is it necessary to start on Sunday or can I start tomorrow?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Leave a reply

Reply to comment #0 by