This is the only way my kids will eat Brussels sprouts! It’s actually great for me because this dish is fast, easy and healthy, and it makes a lovely side. Quick-cooking Brussels sprout halves are available in the prepackaged salad aisle at the grocery store. They’re a timesaver if you can find them, but you can always just buy whole ones and slice them in half. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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!
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.
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.
Fruit is something that should be limited because of the high fructose content. It is natures candy. Yes, fruit has vitamins and healthy nutrients, but you will be getting far more nutrients from your increase veggie intake. Choose nutrient dense, low carb fruits such as berries. Fruit such as pineapple, mango, and especially dried fruits, should be avoided. Also, avoid ALL fruit juices. They have an incredibly high glycaemic index, which will make your insulin spike (and start storing fat again). “If you are overweight, fruit is not your friend”.
Hi, I’m still a bit skeptical, I have seen some of my friends do the keto diet, and have had good results. Though I am still not sure about the idea of the fats being eaten. They say they eat meat with the fat and must do so, is this correct? Also isn’t this not good for the body especially for the kidneys? Second, can a diabetic do this diet? There are many questions running through my head.
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.
You mentioned ketone strips. If they are the urine strips they are useful to see if you are in ketosis, fat burning mode, but be aware they are not completely accurate but are a good guide to how you are doing. The blood strips are way too expensive but more accurate. I have a blood glucose monitor and went through a phase of testing to see how I react to dairy, protein, cream, coffee etc. I rarely do it now as I want this way of eating to be as simple as possible, but again, a useful tool starting out.
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).
Which leads us to your personality. You need to be VERY strong willed to follow this diet. It follows very strict rules and you need to be able to commit to this. It makes it hard to eat out with friends or eat with friends in general. It’s hard to find food that fits this diet in common restaurants, but and this takes us to the next point, your health goals might be more important.
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.
There are vegetables that are high in carbs and others low in carbs. The keto diet recommends sticking to the ones low on carbs but encourages you to eat a lot of them. Best vegetables are all green ones to make it easy. And vegetables that grow above the ground (e.g. lettuce) are always better than the ones that grow below the ground (e.g. potatoes)
We are home from our spring break getaway, and I am excited to get back into the kitchen and cook for my family. After a week of mostly eating out, a yucky virus that spread to 3/4 kids, and eating off plan having the predictably of a meal plan is what I need to get back on track. Recently, I slimmed down the weekly keto meal plans to dinner only, to be more intentional with my time. I have a considerable keto/low carb recipe index with tons of ideas for easy meals if you need further inspiration for low carb breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipes.

Hi, I’m still a bit skeptical, I have seen some of my friends do the keto diet, and have had good results. Though I am still not sure about the idea of the fats being eaten. They say they eat meat with the fat and must do so, is this correct? Also isn’t this not good for the body especially for the kidneys? Second, can a diabetic do this diet? There are many questions running through my head.
Hi Gigi, Low carb and keto is about the balance of macronutrients eaten (fat, protein and carbs), not specifically meat or lack thereof. Most people on keto do eat meat, though some people do vegetarian keto. Fat is actually necessary for many body processes. There is no issue for the kidneys with a high fat diet, but if you eat too much protein that isn’t great for the kidneys. It’s a common misconception that keto is high protein (it isn’t). Keto is great for diabetics as it naturally helps stabilize insulin. All of this being said, please know I’m not a doctor and you should consult your doctor on any medical questions or before starting any diet. If you have more questions that aren’t medical questions, I recommend our low carb & keto support group here.
Start the Atkins 40 program by eating 40 grams of net carbs, 4 to 6-ounce servings of protein and 2 to 4 servings of fat per day. As you approach your weight loss goals, start to increase your carbohydrate portion size. By offering flexible eating options and a variety of food choices, it is simple to follow and easy to lose weight on Atkins 40 from day one. Your daily carbs can come from all food groups and you can choose to eat anything from the Acceptable Foods list below. With Atkins, you have the opportunity to customize your diet plan to achieve your weight loss goals in no time.   
This is a wealth of information. My husband and I are starting the keto diet tomorrow and I knew nothing about it. When I sat down to look up information about it, I found this. Thank you! This is everything I need to know in one place. We are not as healthy as we’d like to be and I am optimistic this will help us obtain our goals, along with an exercise plan.
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.

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 pancreatitis, well controlled, which is the way I want to keep it. The biggest difficulty I have with keto is this: I eat a small portion of steel cut oats in the morning. When I don’t, within two days , I start having bleeding, dark in colour. My endrocrinolagest feels that I need the roughage in the steel cut oats to replete the bowel lining. I have great difficulty loosing weight, always have, even though I eat very clean, no junk food, never eat out, don’t like pop, don’t crave sugar, cook all food fresh. Any comment? Willing to try anything you can suggest.

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?


Atkins 40 is an easy low carb diet plan based on portion control and eating 40g net carbs per day. If you have less than 40 pounds to lose, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or want a wider variety of food choices from the first day of your diet, Atkins 40 could be a great fit for you. With Atkins 40 you can enjoy a range of food that you choose from. From protein and veggies to pasta and potatoes, there is an extensive list of food to plan your meals around while still losing weight and feeling satisfied.
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