While some low-carb diets allow for the carbohydrates found in plant-based foods, others restrict them almost entirely — namely, the ultra-trendy ketogenic diet. Since these foods contain the highest amount of water and dietary fiber, it's crucial to consider both the short-term side effects (constipation) and the long-term ones (increased risk of GI cancers and decreased immune function).
Little known fact: Carbs are actually in almost everything we eat, but in very trace amounts. Let's start with some basic biochemistry: Dietary carbs are made up of sugar molecules called saccharides. Saccharides break down in order to be digested and absorbed in your body, where they are responsible for literally everything: metabolism, tissue and organ function, even the synapses your brain is firing right now!
It will take a while to trust and adjust to your new appetite. I personally found when I was low fat and on Weight Watchers, I was ravenous all day long, so to be told eat what you like was difficult to understand. By eating more healthy fats especially, will keep you fuller for longer. And depending on how long you have been dieting for, and how insulin resistant you are, will depend on how long it takes for you to adjust appetite and weight. The odd person gains weight when they start because they don’t listen to their body. Remember to eat until 80% full (it takes a while for your stomach to register you have eaten your meal) and only eat when hungry. Don’t snack if you don’t have to. Are you really hungry or thirsty (similar feelings).
Sugar and flour – if you give up these 2 things, you will improve your health, weight and nutrition beyond belief. People may say it is restrictive and you are giving up entire food groups, but what you are giving up is food products. It is only because flour and sugar are made into so many products that it appears to be restrictive. Even just 10 years ago, these products weren’t available. Supermarkets looked very different from how they do now.
I am starting on low carbs as I have been advised that my body doesn’t deal well with carbs and I am at risk of diabetes. I also need to lose weight. I understand your principles of ‘doing the best you can’, avoiding processed foods etc, but wondered if there is a general rule of thumb to go by when reading food labels, such as aiming for food with no more than 2% carbs?
Drink lots of water. This is especially crucial on a low carb or keto diet. Why? When you eat carbohydrates, your body stores the extra as glycogen in the liver, where they are bound to water molecules. Eating low carb depletes this glycogen, which allows you to burn fat – but it also means you are storing less water, making it easier to get dehydrated. Instead of the traditional recommendation of 8 cups of water per day, aim for 16 cups when following a low carb lifestyle.
I’ve tried low carb on and off over the years. It’s never stuck, and I’ve read a lot of advice that just hasn’t make it any more livable for me. I’ve settled on a lowER carb diet, ditching all flours, grains, dairy, and most sugars. I never eat junk food, and cook nearly everything myself. I eat enough fibrous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower…) and leafy greens to stay somewhat full. Water and black/green tea are my only beverages. Even though I gave up fruit for three whole months before, it wasn’t worth it for me. I will never give up fruit again, and the whole fruit-in-moderation advice didn’t work for me, either. Fresh fruit is the very last true culinary enjoyment I have left, and my quality of life without fresh fruit–berries, citrus, melons–plummets. I don’t eat dried fruit, and I work out five to six days a week with high intensity, focusing on large muscle groups; and walk with friends or alone nearly every day. I’d rather exercise more than give up fruit. I just came back from a session with my trainer and after a lean, nutritious lunch working at my desk, just had a snack of about 3/4-cup blueberries before meeting up with a friend in about a half hour for a 5-mile walk. And that snack (I’d have had more if I’d had more berries in the fridge) made today’s workout worth it for me.
I personally don’t count anymore as I want this to be as easy and sustainable as possible. I have had years of counting calories and points, and this is incredibly liberating. I just don’t eat any sugars, grains or high carb foods any more so I am incredibly low carb all the time. When I was starting out I counted, just to see where my carbs were coming from and it was an eye opener. And yes you are correct, to go into ketosis anywhere between 20-50g carbs/day. Find out what works for you.
Hi Danielle, yes, most Keto Recipes I’ve seen on social media don’t look very appealing to me either. I have a Keto Breakfast Casserole and a Green Smoothie on the blog you can use the search bar in the menu, just enter “keto” and they’ll all appear. I am also working on a 21-Day Keto Challenge e-book at the moment. If you’re interested in being notified when it’s ready I recommend signing up for my newsletter, safest way to not miss it.
Note: Many of the meals on this page include a side of healthy vegetables or healthy fruits. Although fruits and veggies are typically not low carb (under 10 g of total carbohydrates), that doesn't mean that they aren't good for you. Even if you're following a low carb diet, you should still eat plenty of fruits and veggies. In addition, you should consult with your doctor before embarking on a low carb diet. 
Keep up electrolytes. The major electrolytes in our bodies are sodium, potassium and magnesium. Because a low carb diet (especially a keto diet!) reduces the amount of water you store, this can flush out electrolytes and make you feel sick (called “keto flu”). This is temporary, but you can avoid or eliminate it by salting your food liberally, drinking broth (especially bone broth), and eating pickled vegetables. Some people also choose to take supplements for electrolytes, but it’s best to first consult a doctor that understands and supports keto/low carb lifestyles.
I have just moved from South Africa, where lchf is commio and very supported, to the Isle of Man, where people just don’t seem to be in the know. I am BATTLING to find my foods, especially grain-free beakfast ‘cereal’, mixed seeds and psyllium husk for baking into crisp breads. Can anyone let me know where to get them, please? Is there anywhere online that would supply them?
Pumpkin is a starchy vegetable and carrots do indeed grow below the ground but aren’t as high in sugars as pumpkins. Take a look at this list of carbs in vegetables to see the comparisons. I also eat beetroots which are higher in carbs but they are so packed with nutrition, I allow it. Nothing is out of bounds, depending on your level of carb intake you want to reach.
The easiest place to start: Try GH's SuperCarb Diet, which includes starchy veggies, fruit and 100% whole grains. These plant-based foods will help with long-term weight loss and contribute to a lower risk of chronic disease. Remember: Filling up on nutrient-dense foods with a little bit of indulgence now and again is key to losing weight for the long run — not temporary quick fixes!

Keep up electrolytes. The major electrolytes in our bodies are sodium, potassium and magnesium. Because a low carb diet (especially a keto diet!) reduces the amount of water you store, this can flush out electrolytes and make you feel sick (called “keto flu”). This is temporary, but you can avoid or eliminate it by salting your food liberally, drinking broth (especially bone broth), and eating pickled vegetables. Some people also choose to take supplements for electrolytes, but it’s best to first consult a doctor that understands and supports keto/low carb lifestyles.
Keep up electrolytes. The major electrolytes in our bodies are sodium, potassium and magnesium. Because a low carb diet (especially a keto diet!) reduces the amount of water you store, this can flush out electrolytes and make you feel sick (called “keto flu”). This is temporary, but you can avoid or eliminate it by salting your food liberally, drinking broth (especially bone broth), and eating pickled vegetables. Some people also choose to take supplements for electrolytes, but it’s best to first consult a doctor that understands and supports keto/low carb lifestyles.
My numbers are all excellent. Take a look at my page on the cholesterol myth where I summarise some fabulous books on the subject. Once you go low carb, your triglycerides drop, HDL goes up and LDL becomes the larger fluffy type instead of the small oxidised destructive type. This is an incredible simplification but have a read and see what you think.
I am wheat & dairy free for other allergy related conditions so find it hard to stick with the low carb diet. I simply cannot do any cream or milk products & tolerate small amounts of cheese. I find food very boring & then fall back on the gluten free junk. I have added coconut cream/ yoghurt & almond milk to smoothies with berries or a banana plus protein powder for breakfast. I know the banana not great but really miss real fruit. Frozen berries for most of the year not really doing it for me. Any ideas for snacks and treats that r still low carb so I don’t feel like a total ‘food leper’ my husband’s tongue in check explanation for me.
Now if you're thinking you'll just handle the problem by brushing and flossing a little more often, guess again. Since the breath odor is coming from metabolic changes and not necessarily a dental-related condition, traditional breath products are not likely to provide long-lasting relief. On the other hand drinking more water intake can do the trick.

Hi Libby. Re foods to eat. Still a newbie and exploring all this. Re the foods for example cocnut cream- is there a specific brand or type you,should buy? Same with butter and meats- re grass fed versus grain fed. Coconut oil- is there ones you should or shouldn’t use brand wise. Lchf site says grass fed meat and butter. Does it have to say organic on the butter. Labelling is really bad in regards to this. And your cheeses- re Brie for,example- are they all they same or are there certain ones of them you have to buy ? This goes for all cheese that you can have to- are there ones better for you than others?
Little known fact: Carbs are actually in almost everything we eat, but in very trace amounts. Let's start with some basic biochemistry: Dietary carbs are made up of sugar molecules called saccharides. Saccharides break down in order to be digested and absorbed in your body, where they are responsible for literally everything: metabolism, tissue and organ function, even the synapses your brain is firing right now!
Firstly read the “How to start” page which will cover how to start slowly and give up the most obvious places of sugar first, then cut back on all carbs such as bread, pasta, rice, starchy vegetables etc. You must also cut back on all seed oils such as canola, sunflower, margarine, spreads etc. These cause inflammation. Go back to healthy fats such as olive oil, butter, coconut oil, etc. Take a look at the lists on the page. To make your own meal plan, take a look at all my breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes. Choose which ones are easy to start with such as scrambled eggs for breakfast, salad and last nights dinner for lunch, and dinner meals made the low carb way. Join us on Facebook and Pinterest too for more ideas and suggestions. Good luck xxx
Second: Most of us eat too many carbs to begin with. About half of our calories should come from carbs, according to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans. That's about 250 grams per day for a 2,000 calorie diet, or even fewer if you're eating less than that. When you consider all of the grain-based foods and sneaky sources of added sugar, it's easy eat a whole lot more than the recommended amount.
When weight loss stalls something needs to change. Firstly it could be that you are near your goal weight and so you have found a natural balance, secondly other things might be creeping back in that you have forgotten to count (for example too many creamy coffees or an extra glass of wine). Take a look at how much you are eating for breakfast and dinner, are they too big and actually the same size as 3 meals just eaten in 2? Nuts, dairy and alcohol are generally the biggest culprits in stalling weight loss. Sometimes we just have to remind ourselves of the health benefits of LCHF rather than the weight loss. It will happen, albeit slower than we would wish. For me it is about no longer counting anything, no longer being on the sugar roller coaster, improved nutrition and no longer having any guilt surrounding every meal or snack. Good luck and be patient my friend 🙂
In one week my husband lost 1.5 kg because of Keto diet and recipes. Thank you for the insights and tips. I would like to have a complete recipe for meals everyday and hoping by subscribing I will receive try my mail. I will keep u posted. It takes 2 to tango. The one who wants to diet must be cooperative with the plan and execution while the other person who is preparing the food must be patient to the dieting person. Its not easy to change meals so patience is required
I’ve tried low carb on and off over the years. It’s never stuck, and I’ve read a lot of advice that just hasn’t make it any more livable for me. I’ve settled on a lowER carb diet, ditching all flours, grains, dairy, and most sugars. I never eat junk food, and cook nearly everything myself. I eat enough fibrous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower…) and leafy greens to stay somewhat full. Water and black/green tea are my only beverages. Even though I gave up fruit for three whole months before, it wasn’t worth it for me. I will never give up fruit again, and the whole fruit-in-moderation advice didn’t work for me, either. Fresh fruit is the very last true culinary enjoyment I have left, and my quality of life without fresh fruit–berries, citrus, melons–plummets. I don’t eat dried fruit, and I work out five to six days a week with high intensity, focusing on large muscle groups; and walk with friends or alone nearly every day. I’d rather exercise more than give up fruit. I just came back from a session with my trainer and after a lean, nutritious lunch working at my desk, just had a snack of about 3/4-cup blueberries before meeting up with a friend in about a half hour for a 5-mile walk. And that snack (I’d have had more if I’d had more berries in the fridge) made today’s workout worth it for me.

Have a hamburger but not the bread bun, load it up with veggies and cheese. Instead of a sandwich, have the fillings on a salad or wrapped in nori (seaweed) sheet, wrapped in slices of ham or other deli meats. And instead of cheesecake with a biscuit base and sugar-laden filling, have a base made of ground almonds topped with cream, cream cheese, and berry filling.
But even if you’re not trying to lose weight, the keto meal plans might appeal to you. By limiting sugars and processed grains, you lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating an array of heart-healthy fats, like nuts, olive oil and fish, can decrease your risk of heart disease. And while some people stick to a super strict keto diet, with 75 percent of their diet coming from fat, 20 percent from protein and just five from carbs, even a less intense, modified version can help you reap the keto diet’s benefits.
×