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.
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?

Some keto cookies or a keto brownie can certainly be delicious, but if you’re looking for a dessert that’s a little more interesting, then you have to try this chocolate chia pudding! I love chia seeds for a number of reasons. They’re high in antioxidants, vitamins such as calcium, potassium and magnesium, Omega-3 ALA, dietary fiber and even protein. So, while this dish feels like a dessert, you’re receiving plenty of necessary nutrients. Enjoy guilty-free!
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.
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.
Many people starting out go by the rule of 5g carbs per 100g. I totally empathise with you about fearing the fat. I slowly reduced my carb and slowly increased my healthy fats until I got to a comfortable level (which may be different for everyone). Don’t overdo the fat, we want to be using our bodies fat stores, but we do need to eat enough to keep us full and keep the carbs away. So eat healthy fat until full, eat meals until no longer hungry, and remove processed food from your diet and you almost become low carb by default.

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.   


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!
Your body uses carbohydrates as its main fuel source. Complex carbohydrates (starches) are broken down into simple sugars during digestion. They're then absorbed into your bloodstream, where they're known as blood sugar (glucose). In general, natural complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly and they have less effect on blood sugar. Natural complex carbohydrates provide bulk and serve other body functions beyond fuel.
I was on long acting insulin at 44 units twice daily. Short acting insulin three times daily at 25 units each. It was through the lchf eating changes I was able to get down to 5 units twice daily of the long acting and 3 units of short acting twice daily.Quite a difference in med changes. Cholesterol readings went from over 400 down to little over 200. A1c from over 9 to 7. All in a 30 day period. I had only been doing lchf for 30 days when tested. Lost 13 pounds. Stressful times hit me and started eating again. Just now getting back to lchf eating because I know this works. I need this for myself. I felt better, got around better, was much happier. It took time and constant monitoring to reduce my insulins under medial supervision. Was told to keep doing whatever it was I was doing by my pimary care as well as my endocrinologist.
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.)
Oh, by the way : We are prematurely killing our beloved pets with carbs. Dogs and especially cats need to eat meat, but commercial pet food is mostly corn & wheat, which was bad enough before being poisoned by weed killer (“Round-Up” which is soaked into all American grain today) …. Huge numbers of cats and dogs now suffer & die from kidney failure, and the only explanation is what we are feeding them. My kitties now get chicken and tuna, which is a lot cheaper than any ‘gourmet’ canned food. Cooking for them is kinda fun, for that matter.
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