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.
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.)
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.
My numbers are all excellent. Take a look at my page on the cholesterol myth where I summarise some fabulous books on the subject. Once you go low carb, your triglycerides drop, HDL goes up and LDL becomes the larger fluffy type instead of the small oxidised destructive type. This is an incredible simplification but have a read and see what you think.
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.

Hi Kelly, All packaged foods will have a nutrition label that list the macros per serving, including fat, protein and cabrohydrates. Net carbs, which is what most people look at for low carb and keto, are total carbs (the amount on the label) minus fiber and sugar alcohols, as explained in the article above. I have a low carb food list here that gives you a full list of all the foods you can eat, and the net carbs in each. You can also sign up above to be notified about the meal plans, which are a great way to get started.
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)
Hi Kelly, All packaged foods will have a nutrition label that list the macros per serving, including fat, protein and cabrohydrates. Net carbs, which is what most people look at for low carb and keto, are total carbs (the amount on the label) minus fiber and sugar alcohols, as explained in the article above. I have a low carb food list here that gives you a full list of all the foods you can eat, and the net carbs in each. You can also sign up above to be notified about the meal plans, which are a great way to get started.
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.
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.
Hi Silvy, these are quite common concerns when starting out low carb. By increasing your healthy fats you will feel full and satiated for longer, than quick burning carbs. You will also reap all the health benefits from lowering your carbs, eating good quality protein and increasing your fats from healthy sources. It may take a while for your appetite to adapt to be running on more fat than carbs, but it is so incredibly wonderful to finally be off the high/low sugar roller coaster. Good luck with starting out and join us on Facebook for daily tips and subscribe for free recipes when I post them. Libby 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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