Some people on a keto or low carb diet choose to count total carbs instead of net carbs. This makes it more difficult to fit in more leafy greens and low carb vegetables (which are filled with fiber), so you should only try that if you don’t get results with a net carb method. And, start with reducing sugar alcohols and low carb treats before deciding to do a “total carbs” method.
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!
Use our premium meal planner tool (free trial) to access tons of weekly meal plans, complete with shopping lists. You can adapt the diet plans to your liking, skipping any meal, choosing how many people you’re cooking for, and the shopping lists adapt. You can even start a new plan from scratch (of from pre-existing ones), tailor them completely and save them.
You made me smile with the food leper reference. Love it. As for snacks, there is a page here and here to look at and here is my snack finder. Boiled eggs, avocados, pork crackling, nuts, fat bombs, calamari, granola bars, cold meats … I hope these give you some ideas. Eventually the goal is to stop snacking, but in theme time, these might help you out.
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).
Hi Cyn, The numbers are general guidelines but will vary depending on many factors, such as activity level, insulin resistance, weight and more. There is no single magic number, just conventional recommendations that are a good starting point. I will have a macro calculator coming soon that will help determine what is best for each person, but even then it’s an approximation. The only way to know for sure is to test. If keto is your goal, it’s usually best to start lower and then see if you can stay in ketosis when increasing. 

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?


Bread probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the ketogenic diet because it’s generally full of carbs. But, if you replace your store-bought bread with a homemade keto bread recipe, it can fit seamlessly into your keto low-carb, high-fat diet. How does bread even become keto-friendly? With almond flour, a lot of eggs, cream of tartar, butter, baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
Weekends can be difficult if you are surrounded by others not eating this way, or eating out. Take little bags of nuts with you, cubes of cheese, slices of deli meat, squares of dark chocolate or go for creamy coffees, they tend to keep me full for hours. When eating out, go for simple dishes such as steak and blue cheese with veggies, salads but no croutons, think meat’n’veg and no sauces is an easy way to continue when out. Some cafes sell frittatas with no pastry, quiche, etc. Even if you buy a huge meat and salad wrap then deconstruct it and eat the filling is another good option. Once you start getting the idea, you can adapt most things. Good luck Shireen 🙂
Good question. There is no doubt that grass fed, free range, organic is best but it is simply out of the price range of so many. What is more important to start with is to eat real whole food as best as you can find. I certainly don’t buy organic all the time. Do what you can when you can. It is more important to change from cereals to eggs rather then getting hung up on a perfect source of egg. Take a look at my food brands page. It needs updating as I change brands all the time as I find better ones, but is helpful. I really try and make this as easy on ourselves as we can. We shouldn’t need a degree in nutrition to eat well. Some sites complicate things far too much. My motto is “do the best you can as often as you can”. I agree, labels are pretty poor and not standardised (net vs total carbs for example). Good luck 🙂
The Mediterranean-style low carb diet approach, which we recommend in The Blood Sugar Diet, is a low sugar diet, low in starchy, easily digestible carbs, but packed full of disease-fighting vitamins and flavonoids. It is rich in olive oil, fish, nuts, fruit and vegetables, but also contains lots of lovely things that down the years we have been told not to eat, such as full fat yoghurt and eggs.
Each day, we've given you an idea for breakfast, lunch, healthy dinner recipes, and snacks. You will love how easy and delicious these low carb recipes are to make. If you follow this low carb meal plan, you will definitely be on the right path towards a healthier lifestyle. These low carb diet recipes include options the entire family will love, too.
Hi Maya. I LOVE your site!! Interesting, informative with fab recipes and ideas. Hubby and I have just started eating low carb and I have to say, we are not finding it too difficult and I already feel sooo much better!! I find the hardest part is choosing low carb veg, I feel as if we are not eating enough. Any suggestions on how to get more veggies into our diet?
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 too have been a yo-yo dieter for decades and I ended up paying WW to actually put ON weight. Then I discovered LCHF and well … the rest is history as they say. The main difference between Atkins and LCHF is Atkins never really focussed on whole foods (just think of their range of shakes, bars, candy etc) they are also reported to eat much higher protein and most of their phases aren’t actually keto, more of a low-carb “ish” plan and may include some sugars and grains. Why not join the FREE support group (no money required) and learn all the tips and tricks and my stepwise method to get you back on track. Welcome aboard!
Hi Kelly, All packaged foods will have a nutrition label that list the macros per serving, including fat, protein and cabrohydrates. Net carbs, which is what most people look at for low carb and keto, are total carbs (the amount on the label) minus fiber and sugar alcohols, as explained in the article above. I have a low carb food list here that gives you a full list of all the foods you can eat, and the net carbs in each. You can also sign up above to be notified about the meal plans, which are a great way to get started.
Another option is to decrease the intake of carbohydrates slowly, over a few weeks, to minimize side effects. But the “Nike way” (Just Do It) may be the best choice for most people. Removing most sugar and starch often results in several pounds lost on the scale within a few days. This may be mostly fluids, but it can still be great for motivation.
Hi my name is Laurie yes low carb works I have been on a low carb diet for 8 weeks now started beginning of March my weight was 163 lbs. I now weigh 149 lbs. and I hope to be at 130-135 lbs. by sometime in July then say there. This diet if you follow it right you will be healthy and many pounds lighter its the carbs that we over eat that pack on the pounds. Just check out the low carb sites they will guide you I say at below 50 carbs a day if you eat the right foods meat,oils, veggies and fruit you will not be hungry one other thing eat only when hungry. Good Luck.
Absolutely go for the wine! As long as you go for an unsweetened wine and limit yourself. I only have a glass at the weekends as I know all my good intentions go out the window once I’ve had a glass and it’s harder to say no to more dark chocolate. If your weight loss ever stalls, you may need to reassess how many glasses you have as the alcohol will always be metabolised before anything else so weight loss will often stop. As for gluten, all my recipes are naturally gluten free because all my recipes are grain free. Read my post on Gluten free vs Grain free to truly understand. Beware of GF products because they are so high in carbs because they are made with rice flour, tapioca starch etc. And remember, gluten free junk is still junk 😉 Good luck Mary, keep coming back and asking questions.

Super low carb or Carb free are the only diet that worked me and it was HARD…I became a raging beast during the 1st 2 weeks. But for 3 months straight, I lost about 30lbs. Unfortunately my weight all came back and then some when I started going back to school and eating carbs again due to stress and lack of prepping ahead of time. Now I definitely want to go back and stay low carb as much as possible. Reading this is helping to motivate me 🙂 thank you.
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.
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. 
Hi. I stumbled on your site via FB. I follow a lot of the advice you offer already. I typically eat scrambled eggs with turkey, a piece of wholebread toast and coffee for breakfast, salad and breast of chicken with vegetables for lunch and something similar (chicken or red meat or salmon) for dinner, with 2 snacks of 3 rice cakes with 150 gr. of turkey and a protein shake if I go to the gym (weights training 3x week). In the first 3 months of eating like this my % fat went down from 17.5 % to 14 % (44 yr old male), while keeping weight constant, but another 4 months later I stay the same. I wanted to ask, if I want to continue to lose fat, should I:

It is very interesting to read about the keto/low card diet.I love to change my lifestyle as I an TYPE 2 Diabetic.I subscribed for a free printable low carb meal .The initial email stated that that I will receive an email for instructions to access the members area .Your free download will be there.However it is very deceiving ,I never got the 2nd email with instructions which is frustrating and not good .Hopefully this is not a way to get us to pay to get the printable version.


Absolutely go for the wine! As long as you go for an unsweetened wine and limit yourself. I only have a glass at the weekends as I know all my good intentions go out the window once I’ve had a glass and it’s harder to say no to more dark chocolate. If your weight loss ever stalls, you may need to reassess how many glasses you have as the alcohol will always be metabolised before anything else so weight loss will often stop. As for gluten, all my recipes are naturally gluten free because all my recipes are grain free. Read my post on Gluten free vs Grain free to truly understand. Beware of GF products because they are so high in carbs because they are made with rice flour, tapioca starch etc. And remember, gluten free junk is still junk 😉 Good luck Mary, keep coming back and asking questions.
"Your body will often shift metabolism when you do something different to it -- but it equalizes -- you see a rapid shift and a return to normal -- and the longer-term studies show normal results in this area," says Sondike. Still, he tells WebMD it's a "smart idea" to take a calcium supplement beginning at the start of your low-carb diet to safeguard against a possible deficiency. Tofu can also be a good source of calcium.
Hi I’m new to Keto. I have been reading about it, and understanding what to eat and what not to eat. My problem is I’m not sure if I’m doing it correctly. I’m constantly hungry whereas information reads that I will never be hungry. I use fats as required along with topping up with vegetables in my meals yet this does not fill me up. I haven’t experienced the Keto flu and I’ve even put on weight! I have been doing this for about 3 weeks now. Any ideas where I am going wrong.
Net carbs is simply total carbs minus fiber and non-digestible sugar alcohols, like erythritol. (This doesn’t apply to high glycemic sugar alcohols, like maltitol.) We don’t have to count fiber and certain sugar alcohols in net carbs, because they either don’t get broken down by our bodies, are not absorbed, or are absorbed but not metabolized. (Read more about sugar alcohols here.)

Hi Courtney, I’m currently working on a 21-Day Keto Meal Plan. Unfortunately, it’s super time-consuming. And after buying a keto cookbook yesterday and returning it the same day because it wasn’t well researched and the recipes clearly not created specifically for the Keto diet you wouldn’t want me to rush this. I want to make sure the Meal Plan is SPOT on and the recipes complement each other and make eating Keto easy. Give me another month or two and I’ll hopefully have more news on progress. Currently working on a rough sketch but still have to test all recipes and photograph them, too. You definitely don’t need nuts to be able to eat Keto. For now, I recommend to keep it as simple as possible. You can eat my 1-day meal plan 4 days a week and find other recipes you like to build another similar day and then keep switching between mine and the other.
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.
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