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.
Good Morning – I am a subscriber of your newsletter/updates. I recently joined WW on-line and recently have been very sick. BP started to rise, something I have never had to worry about, hopefully the medication. Any way, my doctor suggested low carb/atkins diet to jumpstart my need to lose 30 lbs. All is so confusing!!! I have cancelled my WW subscription, not doing well with that and really can’t afford to continue. Anyway, what is the difference in your plan and Atkins. As I said, all confusing. Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks!
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 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?
In the plainest of terms: These simple sugars fuel our organs. While protein, fat and carbs break down into smaller molecules to provide energy, glucose (the simplest sugar molecule) is the preferred source. Our very smart and energy-saving bodies do everything in their power to provide enough glucose to get stuff done, including using fat and protein when necessary.
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.
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.
Good Morning – I am a subscriber of your newsletter/updates. I recently joined WW on-line and recently have been very sick. BP started to rise, something I have never had to worry about, hopefully the medication. Any way, my doctor suggested low carb/atkins diet to jumpstart my need to lose 30 lbs. All is so confusing!!! I have cancelled my WW subscription, not doing well with that and really can’t afford to continue. Anyway, what is the difference in your plan and Atkins. As I said, all confusing. Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks!
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.)
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).
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.
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.
If you want to lose weight, then cut the carbs down until you start dropping. It’s always a balancing act. After decades of Weight Watchers and other crazy diets I now don’t count a single thing. It is the most intuitive way of eating for me for over 3 years now. I pretty much stay at goal weight and still enjoy my red wine, 90% chocolate at weekends and some occassional low carb baking.
You’re very welcome, Judy! I’m glad it’s helpful. If you are keto (as opposed to low carb), unfortunately peaches would not allow you to stay in ketosis. You can check my keto food list to help determine what is keto friendly. Of course, there are worse things than fresh fruit 🙂 but in the end our bodies still see the sugar. That being said, it doesn’t mean you sabotaged the whole day. Just pick up again – you got this!! (And for next time, try some fresh berries in moderation when you’re craving fruit.)
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.
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.
Bread, pasta, potatoes, sugar etc. There is no nutritional value in these foods. You may argue that there are fibre and B group vitamins, true, but you gain so much more fibre and vitamins by increasing your vegetable intake and stopping the leaky gut that wheat creates which also reduces your vitamin/nutrient absorption. There is no known bread or pasta deficiency in medicine!
Low-carb diets may improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride values slightly more than do moderate-carb diets. That may be due not only to how many carbs you eat but also to the quality of your other food choices. Lean protein (fish, poultry, legumes), healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and unprocessed carbs — such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products — are generally healthier choices.
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.

Dinner: In a small sauce pan bring 2-3 cups of water to the boil. Cook a large egg in rolling boil for 5 minutes, then transfer to ice bath (a bowl with cold water and ice cubes in it). Wash and spin dry butter lettuce, top with sliced avocado and hemp seed. Serve soft boiled egg with cherry tomatoes, butter lettuce salad and mayonnaise as dressing.
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).
Dinner: In a small sauce pan bring 2-3 cups of water to the boil. Cook a large egg in rolling boil for 5 minutes, then transfer to ice bath (a bowl with cold water and ice cubes in it). Wash and spin dry butter lettuce, top with sliced avocado and hemp seed. Serve soft boiled egg with cherry tomatoes, butter lettuce salad and mayonnaise as dressing.
Hi, I buy my raw, grain free cat food from http://www.naturalpetstore.com.au. Their dehydrated raw food (with all the yucky bits that they need) literally saved my kitty’s life after we accidentally poisoned her with a Yucca plant. 4 vets were useless (wanted to operate or change her diet to their grain filled products). She had never had grains so I wasn’t about to start. I also gave her digestive enzymes which I think Deb at natural pet foods now stocks.
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.
Hi Kristy, that is great that you have discovered us and you have a LCHF nutritionist on board. You are ahead of the game already! This will be an exciting time ahead for you as you will really learn so much about nutrition and your health. You will discover new ways to cook, which will eventually become your new favourites. You will lose weight and gain so much energy. You will also lose that constant feeling of guilt associated with eating, which is what I had. Eat too much, feel guilty, eat less, then overeat because you’re starving, feel guilty, and so the cycle continues. My weight has remained below my weight watchers goal for 2 years now without counting a single thing, how refreshing and healthy. You will gain control of your appetite and actually want to eat nutritious foods. Wheat and sugary foods no longer appeal (this is from me who used to buy 5kg bags of flour for my baking).
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!

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.

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!

I am grateful for stumbling upon this website…I think my biggest challenge will be removing my favorite International Delight Coffee creamer from my daily cup of coffee…I can do that gradually. I am glad that you stress “STRIVE FOR IMPROVEMENT, NOT PERFECTION”…that’s real life. I do have weight loss goals but my main goal is to avoid Type 2 diabetes. Thankfully I have been working out regularly since the beginning of the year. Again many thanks I will be visiting your site often. God Bless you!

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.
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.
Hi Libby, I have been trying to find my way within the LCHF world for a few months and I am just not winning .. I eat a good hearty breakfast and a cup of coffee with cream and I’m good for the day till dinner when i’ll have a salad with chicken or steak .. most days my meals don’t vary (i’m easy that way).. problem is the weight is maintained and I’m just lost 🙁 please would you assist me .. anything would be appreciated 🙂
Welcome Denise and that is great news that you have discovered low carb to help with your T2 diabetes. Read this post which may really explain how diabetics especially can be helped by lowering their carbs, how it may lower your insulin resistance and improve your control. Where you set your carb limits will depend on how high your current carb intake is and current medication. You may need to be seen by a diabetes educator, dietician or health professional as your need for medication may need to be reduced in conjunction with lowering your carbs. Ensure they are low carb friendly practitioners.
I know you posted a few months ago, but I thought I would reply just incase its still relevant. After having a daughter who LOVES veges, I then had my son who at a year old suddenly refused veges. It was getting so bad he would make himself throw it up if we forced him. But we kept on going trying everything we could while getting extremely frustrated (While also being told by everyone he was too small and sickly (Which he always was but got worse when he stopped eating the veges)
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

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, I buy my raw, grain free cat food from http://www.naturalpetstore.com.au. Their dehydrated raw food (with all the yucky bits that they need) literally saved my kitty’s life after we accidentally poisoned her with a Yucca plant. 4 vets were useless (wanted to operate or change her diet to their grain filled products). She had never had grains so I wasn’t about to start. I also gave her digestive enzymes which I think Deb at natural pet foods now stocks.

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 Barb, That can definitely be it. Losing when you are close to goal can be more difficult. It could also be that your body’s healthy weight is a little higher than what you’d like – which doesn’t mean you can’t lose, but makes it more difficult. If just eating Keto foods isn’t working, double check the macros for your weight and see if the amount you’re eating needs to be adjusted. You’ll find more help and support in our support group here.
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.

Hi Sam, it won’t work. You will be incredibly hungry and you won’t have any energy. The idea of the keto diet is to get your body used to use fat to burn energy not carbs. Since you won’t be eating carbs energy has to come from “something” and it can’t be protein. I can’t recall what happens when you have too much protein when doing Keto but it was something scary. In general, I do not recommend the Keto diet without some sort of supervision by your doctor or nutritionist that can watch your process and progress.


I have been LCHF for 4 weeks 20g or less carbs daily track everything but my blood ketone 1.3 -.3 – .6 To get benefits of ketone my reading shld be at least 1.5 My foods have included live yoghurt 1 TB milk = 1 tsp per 3 cups of tea 50 g raspberries . Cld these be interfering? To work out my macros I based my cals/day 1300 I thought fat amount is remainder of cals after 20g carbs and 90 g protein. Is 90g protein too high.Female 60 20mg to lose mod active. I feel very fatigued How can I get my blood ketone up? Thank you plse can you email me

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.

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.
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.
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.
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