Research suggests that eating a low-calorie, low-carb diet can help you lose weight. And while popular low-carb diets, like the ketogenic diet and Atkins diet call for super-low carb limits, you don't actually need to go that low in order to lose the weight. In fact, eating too few carbs can make weight loss harder, as you miss out on key nutrients (like fiber from whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables) that can help you to feel full and satisfied on fewer calories. In this easy low-carb meal plan, we keep the carbs low, but not so low that you'll miss out on those important nutrients. Plus, we made sure to include enough protein each day (over 50 grams) to help you feel satisfied while cutting carbs and calories. At 1,200 daily calories, this low-carb high-protein meal plan can help you lose a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week.
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
There is extensive evidence for the benefit of the Mediterranean style low carb diet, including cutting your risk of heart disease and diabetes. It has even been found to reduce risk the risk of breast cancer, compared with those on a low-fat diet. Consuming extra virgin olive oil (the fresh squeezed juice of olives) seems to be particularly beneficial when it comes to cancer, perhaps because it contains compounds such as polyphenols which are known to be anti-inflammatory.
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.
Last year while I was going grain free/LCHF, I decided to get him and his siblings gluten free (While planning to eventually get him completely grain free, however that hasn’t gone to plan yet lol!) The futher away from gluten he was, the more veges he started to willing eat. We just started him off with carrots as he seemed to like them more than other veges. He loves potatoes and meat so we would tell him have a carrot then you can choose to have a mouthful of potato/meat then have another carrot etc. We just kept perserving, adding in the other veges and adding in more (Eg you can have some potato after you have eaten 4 carrots etc) and now a few months ago for the first time he cleaned off ALL his veges before he even touched potato or meat without being asked. It hasn’t happened again since BUT he will eat all of one food group before having something else.
In general, a low-carb diet focuses on proteins, including meat, poultry, fish and eggs, and some nonstarchy vegetables. A low-carb diet generally excludes or limits most grains, legumes, fruits, breads, sweets, pastas and starchy vegetables, and sometimes nuts and seeds. Some low-carb diet plans allow small amounts of certain fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
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.
Disclaimer: Nothing contained on this Site is intended to provide health care advice. Should you have any health care-related questions, please call or see your physician or other health care provider. Consult your physician or health care provider before beginning the Atkins Diet as you would any other weight loss or weight maintenance program. The weight loss phases of the Atkins Diet should not be used by persons on dialysis. Individual results may vary.
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!
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?
Healthy fats & oils are back in too: Eating fat does not automatically clog the blood vessels in the way that poring oil down the drain will eventually block the drain. You make your own cholesterol and lipids and are more likely to increase your levels of the more damaging Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLD), which is made in the liver when you eat a high carbohydrate diet.
I’ve seen young body-builder types with grocery trolleys full of eggs, cans of tuna, lean beef and especially skinless/boneless chicken breasts – so I adopted that habit about 5 months ago. 2 or 3 eggs for breakfast, sometimes with cheese or bacon, a can of tuna with carb-free herbs for lunch, and then a steak or big chicken breast or even some meat-only hot dogs for dinner. I don’t purposely eat more fat than necessary, mostly because the calories are not needed. I have not been hungry AT ALL, even when sitting down to eat. No temptation to “cheat”, either. Result? I am approaching 100 pounds lost (not proud of being THAT fat, believe me) , blood pressure dropped from 170/100 to 122/80, acid reflux totally gone, any joint pain banished, and a closet full of clothes I can wear once again.
Low-carb diets, especially very low-carb diets, may lead to greater short-term weight loss than do low-fat diets. But most studies have found that at 12 or 24 months, the benefits of a low-carb diet are not very large. A 2015 review found that higher protein, low-carbohydrate diets may offer a slight advantage in terms of weight loss and loss of fat mass compared with a normal protein diet.
What a great post. I thought i would add about the selection of food you eat on keto and that everyone is different. Some food gives you energy and some doesnt, this varies person to person. I started and quit keto 3 times before i managed to find my balance. The first few times it made be poorly, from the shock of diet change. However, you can wean yourself into the diet which i did the last time when i had the most success.
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 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 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?
Forget the heavy casserole recipes and try this low-carb pot pie tonight! Nothing says comfort food like a chicken pot pie. This low-carb pot pie recipe skips the traditional gluten-filled dough of chicken pot pies and replaces it with cauliflower for a more low-carb option. I simply suggest switching out the cornstarch with arrowroot or tapioca starch.
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 🙂
Use fat as a lever. We’ve been taught to fear fat, but don’t! Both keto and low carb are high fat diets. Fat is our source of energy as well as satiety. The key to understand, though, is that fat is a lever on a low carb or keto diet. Carbs and protein stay constant, and fat is the one you increase or decrease (push the lever up or down) to gain or lose weight, respectively. So if your goal is weight loss, eat enough fat to be satisfied, but there’s no need to “get your fats in” once you’re satisfied.
What a fabulous start you are making. There is no denying the change will take some time. I know as I have a fussy 7 yr old who even used to hate roast chicken, and last night he went back for thirds!!! or cauliflower rice (makes me a happy mumma). If your daughter loves fruit that is great, but try and get her onto the less sugary fruits and nutrient dense ones like berries and add some cream to keep her full. Take a look at my Kids pages for more ideas and tricks. I always let my youngest choose 1 thing on the plate he doesn’t have to eat but he has to eat the rest, he thinks he has some control so is happy. Just keep trying and do the best you can and be proud of what you are able to change then look back to see how far you have come.
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.
Hi there Libby, just to let you and your readers know, I have been low carb for over a year now, ( sometimes I fall down and have processed carbs, mostly when I am travelling away from home) and the good news is I was diabetic, and now I am pre-diabetic, which is huge :O) I have also lost a small amount of weight in the process ( still more to go :O) but this eating plan makes me feel normal again, not always hungry, and I am a lot healthier than I was :O) now all I need to do is make exercise a habit :O) So thank you so much for all the time and energy you put in to this site, and all of these wonderful recipes :O)
Hi Jose, I don’t have cheat days at all. If I do ever splurge, it is possibly eating too many low carb goodies I make myself. I just have completely lost the taste for junk food. As for weight loss, eating lasagne and cheesecake, pizza, burgers and nutella can easily undo all your hard work for the entire week. Why not try to have a cheats meal rather than a cheat day? Part of the ethos of going low carb is to eat unprocessed food so I have recipes for all of these foods you still love and can enjoy them AND stay low carb. Try my sugar free nutella, low carb waffles, FatHead pizza, bunless burgers, cheesecake. I am sure a major reason for LCHF being so successful long term is because eventually we don’t actually want junk food, it’s not a treat anymore. This for me, is groundbreaking as someone who has dieted all my life.
When you’ve eaten all of the crustless spinach quiche and keto frittata recipes that you can, these keto everything bagels are another great breakfast staple. With their help, you don’t have to cut out your favorite breakfast sandwiches. You can also try a bread-less keto breakfast sandwich with chicken sausage patties as the “buns” when you’re craving a keto-approved breakfast option.
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.
my children regularly make themselves smoothies, bacon (2 minutes in the microwave covered with kitchen paper), scrambled eggs with cheese in the microwave (mix 2 eggs, cheese, milk – 1 minute, stir, 30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, stir). They used to moan and complain there are no cereals in the house, but they have learned to cook their own breakfasts and look for what ingredients we have rather than reach for a box of cornflakes
Lunch: pat dry chicken and cut into cubes. Lightly (!) salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium heat, once hot add coconut oil and fry chicken cubes until brown from all sides. Remove chicken, and add crushed garlic, curry paste and fish sauce to pan. Stir until fragrant and remaining oil in pan and curry paste are well combined. Then add coconut milk and whisk until well combined. Simmer and reduce sauce until desired consistency (1-3 minutes). Pour sauce over chicken and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with baby spinach.
Hi Mel, Assuming that your ranch dressing doesn’t have sugar added, you don’t need to worry too much about limiting it, but within reason. This is my homemade ranch dressing recipe, which has 0.9g net carbs per 2-tbsp serving. It would be hard to find a store bought one with much less than that, even though some round anything less than 1g down to 0g, which isn’t truly accurate. Also, keep in mind that if weight loss is your goal, some people find that too much dairy can cause a stall. Finally, make sure you aren’t using all your “available” carbs on ranch dressing – have it with some low carb veggies!
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.
Keto recipes that include nachos?! Oh yes. You’ll begin by making the fat head tortilla chips first. Did I mention you’ll use two types of cheese for this step? Delicious. Next, you’ll load them up with a meaty sauce and finish them off with your favorite toppings, like guac, salsa or sour cream. While these make a delicious keto snack, they’re frankly filling enough to share as a meal.
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). 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. Skipping a meal is cheap, fast, and might increase the diet’s effectiveness for weight loss and diabetes. See intermittent fasting
Carrie, I highly recommend a support group. I personally know a woman “Amanda Rose” who recently lost half her body weight through the Keto Diet and intermittent fasting. You should totally join her Facebook Group. It’s called “Eat Like a Bear” and you can find it by entering the group’s name in the Facebook search bar. She is so amazing and so supportive for people struggling to lose the weight.
Meal plan Cheese lovers, your time has finally come! It’s basic knowledge (among cheese lovers, at least) that cheese makes everything taste better, so we’re dedicating this week to this wonderful ingredient. You’ll enjoy various types of cheese such as mozzarella, cheddar, feta, goat cheese… and we won’t skimp on the cream cheese either. Not a member yet? Try it out 1 month for free.
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 🙂
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.
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.