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.

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.   


Hi, just found your site, and it seems very helpful so far, so Thank you! I quit smoking a year and a half ago, and have subsequently gained 35 pounds, although I needed to lose a bit before that. (Too much wine, sugar and carbs)! I also have entered peri-menopause, which has wreaked havoc on my energy level and sleep. I am targeting a 55 pound weight loss, and luckily my husband has jumped on board so I don’t have to be purchasing/cooking different things for him.


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 Sara, it depends on if your husband eats cold food or not. The lunch suggested here is great to take to work, the chicken can be enjoyed cold, or he can reheat it in a pan if his office has a small kitchen. If he doesn’t like cold chicken and he has no option to reheat you could change the lunch and dinner options suggested in this meal plan. He can eat the egg and salad for lunch. It’s a great lunch to enjoy cold and then the chicken and baby spinach for dinner instead. Great cold lunches that are keto friendly in general are always hard-boiled eggs with veggies, or turkey/cheese roll-ups and raw veggies, or salad greens with shredded chicken or shredded pork with homemade mayo on the side to then mix up at the moment as a salad dressing. 

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.

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.


If you’re not sure after your initial test, explore other healthy diets such as clean eating and always have in mind that your number 1 goal should be to avoid overly processed foods (keeping this definition fairly broad of course, as we live in the 21st century and have to adapt to modern age as well, where hardly any of us have time to spend 12 hours a day evolving around food production, gathering and cooking).
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, don’t know if you are still wondering about brands for coconut cream, BUT if you are in NZ go for the Kara brand 🙂 Just come into pak n save store not long ago and is BRILLIANT. I couldn’t understand why people love coconut cream so much by itself and how theirs was going so thick in the fridge (I would only use mine for curries and berry icecreams). Then our store finally brought in the Kara brand about a month ago, and OMGosh what a difference to the cheaper brands it is! It is beautiful and I think (from memory) is really high in fat. Really worth the little extra you have to pay 😉

"One of the primary places where you are going to see metabolic changes on any kind of diet is in your gastrointestinal tract -- and that can include a change in bowel habits often experienced as constipation," says Sondike, who is also credited with conducting the first published, randomized clinical trial on low-carb diets. The reason, Sondike tells WebMD, is that most folks get whatever fiber they consume from high-carb foods such as bread and pasta. Cut those foods out, and your fiber intake can drop dramatically, while the risk of constipation rises.
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?
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.
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.)

Eat fat only until full. Don’t eat any more than you can handle. Sometimes people think they have to eat lots of fat whereas it is really eating the fat that naturally comes with a meal (i.e:not trimming a fatty steak) and adding as much fat as feels right to your meals through sauces and cheese for example. I don’t go our of my way to eat extra fat. If you are still hungry though but don’t feel like the heavy feeling some fat brings, add some coconut cream to your smoothies.
Exercise reduces appetite. It is good for general cardiovascular fitness and strength, but is a hard way to lose weight. If you find it hard to exercise, simply moving more has significant health benefits and can increase your metabolic rate. Get up and move around every half hour, walk don’t take the bus, stairs instead of lift…Get a pedometer and try to increase your steps by 10% each week.
The reason why low-carb plans so often fail most of us is that they're not sustainable for the long term. They often fail to provide a "fallback" plan for what to eat when low-carb foods aren't readily available. Birthdays, holidays, work functions … there's likely at least one scenario in which you'll find yourself eating high-carb foods that don't necessarily "fit" into your plan.
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.
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.
Keep up electrolytes. The major electrolytes in our bodies are sodium, potassium and magnesium. Because a low carb diet (especially a keto diet!) reduces the amount of water you store, this can flush out electrolytes and make you feel sick (called “keto flu”). This is temporary, but you can avoid or eliminate it by salting your food liberally, drinking broth (especially bone broth), and eating pickled vegetables. Some people also choose to take supplements for electrolytes, but it’s best to first consult a doctor that understands and supports keto/low carb lifestyles.
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
Another mineral you may want to supplement is potassium. While there is no concrete evidence that a dramatic potassium loss occurs on a low-carb regimen, Sondike says to ensure against problems he recommends patients use Morton's Light Salt -- a potassium chloride product that he says can add back any of this important mineral that's lost. Eating a few almonds is also a good way to supplement this mineral without adding carbs to your diet.

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.

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