How to Lose Weight Fast: A Proven 3-Step Plan That Works

Fit Woman Holding a Scale And an AppleThere are many ways to lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time.

However, most of them require you to be hungry and unsatisfied.

If you don’t have iron willpower, then hunger will cause you to give up on these plans quickly.

The 3-step plan outlined here will:

  • Kill your appetite.
  • Make you lose weight fast, without being hungry.
  • Improve your health at the same time.

Step 1 – Eliminate Sugars and Starches

The most important part is to remove sugars and starches (carbs) from your diet.

These are the foods that stimulate secretion of insulin the most. If you didn’t know already, insulin is the main fat storage hormone in the body.

When insulin goes down, fat has an easier time getting out of the fat stores and the body starts burning fats instead of carbs.

Another benefit of lowering insulin is that your kidneys shed excess sodium and water out of your body, which reduces bloat and unnecessary water weight (1, 2).

It is not uncommon to lose up to 10 pounds (sometimes more) in the first week of eating this way, both body fat and water weight.

This is a graph from a study comparing low-carb and low-fat diets in overweight/obese women (3).

Weight Loss Graph, Low Carb vs Low Fat

The low-carb group is eating until fullness, while the low-fat group is calorie restricted and hungry.

Cut the carbs, lower your insulin and you will start to eat less calories automatically and without hunger (4).

Put simply, lowering your insulin puts fat loss on “autopilot.

Bottom Line: Removing sugars and starches (carbs) from your diet will lower your insulin levels, kill your appetite and make you lose weight without hunger.

Step 2 – Eat Protein, Fat and Vegetables

Each one of your meals should include a protein source, a fat source and low-carb vegetables. Constructing your meals in this way will automatically bring your carb intake into the recommended range of 20-50 grams per day.

Girl Eating Kebab

Protein Sources:

  • Meat – Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, bacon, etc.
  • Fish and Seafood – Salmon, trout, shrimps, lobsters, etc.
  • Eggs – Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are best.

Protein is the macronutrient that contributes most to fullness and eating adequate protein can raise your metabolism (5).

Low-Carb Vegetables:

Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Swiss Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Cellery
  • Full list here.

Don’t be afraid to load your plate with these low-carb vegetables. You can eat massive amounts of them without going over 20-50 net carbs per day.

A diet based on meat and vegetables contains all the fiber, vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy. There is no physiological need for grains in the diet.

Butter CurlsFat Sources:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Lard
  • Tallow

Eat 2-3 meals per day. If you find yourself hungry in the afternoon, add a 4th meal.

Don’t be afraid of eating fat, trying to do both low-carb AND low-fat at the same time is a recipe for failure. It will make you feel miserable and abandon the plan.

The best cooking fat to use is coconut oil. It is rich in fats called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). These fats are more fulfilling than others and can boost metabolism slightly (6, 7).

There is no reason to fear these natural fats, new studies show that saturated fat doesn’t raise your heart disease risk at all (8, 9).

To see how you can assemble your meals, check out this low carb meal plan and this list of low carb recipes.

Bottom Line: Assemble each meal out of a protein source, a fat source and a low-carb vegetable. This will put you into the 20-50 gram carb range and drastically lower your insulin levels.

Step 3 (Optional) – Exercise 3-4 Times Per Week

Dumbbells

You don’t need to exercise to lose weight on this plan, but it is recommended.

The best option is to go to the gym 3-4 times a week. Do a warm up, lift weights, then stretch.

If you’re new to the gym, ask a trainer for some advice.

By lifting weights, you will burn a few calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight (10, 11).

Studies on low-carb diets show that you can even gain a bit of muscle while losing significant amounts of body fat (12).

If lifting weights is not an option for you, then doing some easier cardio workouts like running, jogging, swimming or walking will suffice.

Bottom Line: It is best to do some sort of resistance training like weight lifting. If that is not an option, cardio workouts work too.

Optional – Do a “Carb Re-feed” Once Per Week

Overweight Man Eating Cake

You can take one day “off” per week where you eat more carbs. Many people prefer Saturday.

It is important to try to stick to healthier carb sources like oats, rice, quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruits, etc.

But only this one higher carb day, if you start doing it more often than once per week then you’re not going to see much success on this plan.

If you must have a cheat meal and eat something unhealthy, then do it on this day.

Be aware that cheat meals or carb refeeds are NOT necessary, but they can up-regulate some fat burning hormones like leptin and thyroid hormones (12, 13).

You will gain some weight during your re-feed day, but most of it will be water weight and you will lose it again in the next 1-2 days.

Bottom Line: Having one day of the week where you eat more carbs is perfectly acceptable, although not necessary.

What About Calories and Portion Control?

Apple And Calculator

It is NOT necessary to count calories as long as you keep the carbs very low and stick to protein, fat and low-carb vegetables.

However, if you really want to, then use this calculator (opens in new window).

Enter your details, then pick the number from either the “Fat Loss” or the “Extreme Fat Loss” section – depending on how fast you want to lose.

There are many calorie counters you can use to track the amount of calories you are eating. I like Cron-O-Meter – it is free and easy to use.

The main goal is to keep carbs under 20-50 grams per day and get the rest of your calories from protein and fat.

Bottom Line: It is not necessary to count calories to lose weight on this plan. It is most important to strictly keep your carbs in the 20-50 gram range.

Other Weight Loss Tips to Make Things Easier (and Faster)

Meat

Pretty much all you have to do is the 3 steps:

  1. Eliminate high-carb foods.
  2. Eat Protein, Fat and Veggies.
  3. Exercise 3-4 times per week (optional, but recommended).

However, there are a few other tips that you may find useful if you want to speed things up even further.

None of these are old wives’ tales, they all have scientific evidence to back them up.

Drink Water, Coffee or Tea: Satisfy your thirst with water. If you’re a coffee or a tea drinker, then by all means drink as much as you want as both can raise your metabolism slightly (14, 15).

Use Smaller Plates: Studies show that people automatically eat less when they use smaller plates. Strange, but it works (16).

Sleep Like a Baby: Poor sleep is associated with weight gain and obesity, taking care of your sleep is important (17).

Reduce Stress: Being stressed can elevate the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause fat accumulation in the belly (18).

Good sleep and reduced stress levels can also help prevent cravings, the dieter’s worst enemy. There are many other tips to prevent cravings in this article.

Bottom Line: It is most important to stick to the three rules, but there are a few other things you can do to speed things up.

You Will Become a “Fat Burning Beast”

Doctor With Thumbs Up

You can expect to lose 5-10 pounds of weight (sometimes more) in the first week, then consistent weight loss after that.

I can personally lose 3-4 lbs per week for a few weeks when I do this strictly.

If you’re new to dieting, then things will probably happen quickly. The more weight you have to lose, the faster you will lose it.

For the first few days, you might feel a bit strange. Your body has been burning carbs for all these years, it can take time for it to get used to burning fat instead.

It is called the “low carb flu” and is usually over within a few days. For me it takes 3. Adding some sodium to your diet can help with this, such as dissolving a bouillon cube in a cup of hot water and drinking it.

After that, most people report feeling very good, positive and energetic. At this point you will officially have become a “fat burning beast.”

Despite the decades of anti-fat hysteria, the low-carb diet also improves your health in many other ways:

  • Blood Sugar tends to go way down on low-carb diets (19, 20).
  • Triglycerides tend to go down (21, 22).
  • Small, dense LDL (the bad) Cholesterol goes down (23, 24).
  • HDL (the good) cholesterol goes up (25).
  • Blood pressure improves significantly (26, 27).
  • To top it all of, low-carb diets appear to be easier to follow than low-fat diets.

Bottom Line: You can expect to lose a lot of weight, but it depends on the person how quickly it will happen. Low-carb diets also improve your health in many other ways.

You Don’t Need to Starve Yourself to Lose Weight

If you have a medical condition then talk to your doctor before making changes because this plan can reduce your need for medication.

By reducing carbs and lowering insulin levels, you change the hormonal environment and make your body and brain “want” to lose weight.

This leads to drastically reduced appetite and hunger, eliminating the main reason that most people fail with conventional weight loss methods.

This is proven to make you lose about 2-3 times as much weight as a typical low-fat, calorie restricted diet (28, 29, 30).

Another great benefit for the impatient folks is that the initial drop in water weight can lead to a big difference on the scale as early as the next morning.

Here are a few examples of low-carb meals that are simple, delicious and can be prepared in under 10 minutes: 7 Healthy Low-Carb Meals in 10 Minutes or Less.

On this plan, you can eat good food until fullness and still lose a ton of fat. Welcome to paradise.

203 Comments

  1. Another good article, if I was gonna nitpick, 20-30g carbs can be quite low for many people to adhere to, and probably isn’t even necessary… to be that low…

    Again, good stuff though.

    • I agree. This article is mainly about “fast” weight loss – I get asked about this all the time. In those cases, I recommend going into the 20-50 gram range.

      For people who want to take things slower, 50-150 grams and sometimes even more is fine. It all depends on the individual.

      • Mark Shields says:

        Ahh yes, that didn’t cross my mind ;)

      • Hi all, I’ve been intrigued by this WOE and have been following it very closely and counting and tracking carbs and I also count calories, just in case, but I am not losing. I stay under 20 gr carbs. I dont want to go back to eating carbs as I have issues with them, I pig out when I allow myself to eat them, my moods are terrible and my depression seems worse when I consume carbs. I dont have much to lose and I lift weights and do HIIT but my weight is just standing still, any help or advice will be very helpful.

        • Hello Karen. I think you will find some answers here:

          http://authoritynutrition.com/15-reasons-not-losing-weight-on-a-low-carb-diet/

          • Kris, thanks – I actually went through that and I am at wits end as I stick to everything exactly with no luck! Is it possible that some people just don’t get result with a low carb program?

          • It’s definitely possible. Low-carb isn’t for everyone. But some people have a hard time losing weight on any diet.

        • Mark Bousquet says:

          I know it’s been several months but I was wondering if Karen drinks any alcoholic beverages regularly? Whenever I drink dry (low carb) wine my weight loss slows down. I understand the body stores alcohol as fat. Cutting down to maybe a glass a week to none at all may help speed up weight loss.

          I guess you could make that #16 if you wish, Kris.

          • Mark Bousquet says:

            OH yeah, make sure you are eating more fat than protein or else your liver will convert the protein to carbohydrates through gluconeogenesis and your insulin levels will be higher. A lot of people miss this one.

      • Hi. I have a quick question. I recently had a full colectomy, no bag, and have 65 pounds to lose. Would you recommend this program for me?

    • I agree with Mark and Kris, this is a fast weight loss plan (that works). 20-30g carbohydrate can be tough… In my experience anything around 50g/day works very well without some of the negative side effects that go along with super low carb intake.

    • Peggy Holloway says:

      It is very important for those of us with really compromised metabolism, even if we aren’t trying to lose weight. I can’t handle more than 20 grams a day and have been restricting to that level for nearly 15 years. I have lately been restricting protein as well and eating mostly fat to stay in ketosis. Gives me great energy and I don’t eat very often or very much. I can cycle for miles every day without changing this nutritional style.

      • Suzanne says:

        Couldn’t agree with you more Peggy, except for the energy. My energy levels have not changed much since going low carb 4 years ago. Not so much weight loss either since going through menopause.

        But I can’t understand how Kris can advocate fruit. It’s actually one thing I object to + the fact that eating more than 100 grams of carbs a day is by no stretch considered low carb.

      • Jennifer Morris says:

        For eight months I did low carb, high fat and felt better, had better numbers but did NOT lose. Then I went to see a doctor who believes in LCHF and bought Dana Carpender’s Fat Fast Cookbook. Now, finally, I’m losing. I was making glucose out of protein, and still hungry. Now, I eat less protein and higher fat while keeping calories under 1200 per day.

        I can do this because I am NOT hungry in deep ketosis. I’ve also figured out how to eat pretty tasty stuff. I also agree, this lowering of carbs seems to be individual. I can’t tolerate much at all. I eat very few vegetables, rare fruit… the BEST berries, no grain, great fatty meats, the best butter I can find, high fat cheese and so forth.

        It’s a great relief not to thinking about food all the time because of hunger and losing weight. We older women seem to have the hardest time with weight loss.

        • I didn’t see that Kris mentioned cheese at all. I’m glad to hear that cheese is allowed. I’m going to try eating this way for sure.

  2. Love this, I love the low carb diet but with IBS there are several low carb vegetables that don’t agree with me. :(

  3. Just wanted to add that everyone is different and different carb levels work for different people. If you are type 2 diabetic or pre-diabetic or if your metabolism is badly messed up from eating sugar and junk food for years then you may find that you need to stick to 20-30g of net carbs per day for the long term. That’s where I am. If I go over 20-30g a day I start to gain weight and crave high carb foods. My partner, on the other hand, can eat about 100 – 150g carbs a day and not gain weight.

    Dr Atkin’s idea of starting out at 20g net carbs a day for 2 weeks and then slowly increasing your carb intake till you find the carb level that works for you seems the best way to go.

    • Peggy Holloway says:

      Great advice! I love the Atkins phases and think everyone should try them as a sort of “elimination diet” to find the proper carb level for the individual.

  4. I have trouble stopping eating even if I am full. So, I find is more effective to count my calories and net carbs. I know myself, and if I didn’t have to count calories I would eat double the appropriate portions, especially for beef or pork. I find it works pretty well for me to shoot for 1500ish calories on non-exercising days and 1700ish on weightlifting days. I’m not rigid about this but it is my guideline. I always try to stay under 30 net carbs.

    Unfortunately, without fail every 2-6 months I go crazy and gain all the weight back that I had lost. Maybe someday I will learn how to stick to it.

    • Laughing at the comment… every 2 to 6 months I gain it all back.

      You sound like me but I only gained part back and for the last 3 months I have been steady at bout 20 pounds above my race weight.

      I have toyed with idea of low carb… but can’t talk myself into doing it.

      I am failing the last 3 months at weight loss… SO… maybe I will have to try the count the calories and try the 20 G of carbs a day for a month and see how I feel etc.

  5. Want some really fast weightloss? Eat nothing but potatoes for 5-7 days. Satiety scores for potatoes are through the roof. Potatoes contain a complete amino acid profile, even better than ground beef. Zero fat–you will burn your own fat.

    This ends up being a high-fat diet due to endogenous fat stores being burned and the resistant starch of the potatoes being converted to short-chain fatty acids in the gut. Guaranteed ketosis by day 2.

    .5-1 pound per day almost assured.

    Just eat potatoes, cooked however, but no added fats, meat, or other food sources. Well-documented.

    • I’d rather eat bacon and eggs thanks.

    • Peggy Holloway says:

      My insulin levels would go through the roof, I’d be constantly famished, and have no energy. My son went to a yoga retreat where the mainstay was potato soup and he nearly went crazy. He also lost visible amounts of muscle mass. For those of us with insulin resistance, eating potatoes, which turn to sugar the minute they enter your mouth, that is utter insanity.

    • It may be well-documented, as you say, but you failed to give any links to such documentation. Any links to studies or reliable documentation for your claim?

  6. Louise Steyn says:

    You are a genius! I have shared this link on my page.

    Thanks man!

  7. What’s your opinion on eating carbs after high intensity workouts? Healthy choices of course; fruits, rice and legumes mostly. I’m trying to lose weight and add muscle at the same time and been reading from various sources to achieve it.

    • It all depends on your goals. If you want to gain muscle, then eating carbs around your workout is a good idea.

      It doesn’t take a lot of carbs to knock someone out of ketosis though, so if that’s your goal then it might be a problem.

  8. That’s how I started my “primal” lifestyle: this diet exactly. I shed a good 24-25lbs in less than 3 months. But I reached homeostasis after that, like my body telling me: man, that’s your ideal weight, no need to shed further fat, I am fine like that. However, even though I was much leaner, I still carried a bit of belly fat (subcutaneous – often called stubborn fat).

    Only one thing to do: trick the body into believing that this fat had to be burnt as well -> heavy weight lifting, high intensity interval training and low fat – higher carb reloading at days with intense work-out. And most of all: PLENTY OF SLEEP! That did it :)

  9. Christine says:

    When I was younger, I could go low carb and would feel great after a couple of days. Now, for some reason, that I’m into my 50′s and menopausal, if I eat low carb, I have terrible anxiety. Sweet potato, rice, etc., are not helpful on their own. It’s rather frustrating.

    • Sounds like you are a sugar a holic. Try moving from where you are slowly to less and less carbs… rather than cold turkey.

      • Christine says:

        Thanks for the reply “Lean”. I consume very little sugar. I eat wheat, corn and rice pasta products a couple times a week to level things out. Not ideal, but it keeps me from feeling crazy. I don’t eat carbs for breakfast, lunch or snacks:)

  10. Lowcarbers says:

    Wondering about the weight loss thing. Husband, daughter and self went low carb < 20 g per day 9 months ago. Husband lost substantially (25 lbs) – he is most active too.

    Daughter lost pounds (25 lbs), inches and her weight distribution shifted. My weight loss was 5 lbs at first then went back, have some muscle, and now legs esp. thighs are larger – seemingly no more weight loss.

    What happened? High fat, low carb adherence, no cheating. Any thoughts?

  11. Lowcarbers says:

    So, is heavy cream considered a culprit? Fat, yes, protein/carbs no.

    And, does there come a time when weight just doesn’t really come off anymore, even when the person is not considered very thin? Basically sturdy, strong, fleshed out, but not skinny.

    What happens to the weight then? If carbs are kept to a minimum, say under 20 g per day… is weight loss necessarily to continue indefinitely until the person is stick thin?

    • Heavy cream can be a problem, yes. It’s easy to eat so much that it causes you to stop losing weight.

      At some point, you will reach a healthy set point weight, which may be a little above what you had hoped for. This applies to all weight loss methods. When this happens, you can start counting calories, doing more intense training, intermittent fasting, etc. to try to get the last few pounds off… but it’s tough.

  12. Spot-on, as always, Kris!

  13. Hi Chris, I was working on a blog post about a well-known author trying to lose weight when I read this article which totally tied in to what I wanted to write about, but better…

    I referred to your website and another of your articles. I always like what you have to say.
    Sandy

  14. It’s been 4 months for me, my husband and 2 beautiful kids on this lifestyle. I even created my own website to help my family and friends understand this diet. http://www.organicmomskitchen.com

    My size dropped from 14 to 8 and I feel so good. It’s been a long time when I felt hungry, my husband reduced his blood pressure from 180 over 130 to 145 to 90 and still working on it and lost 31 lb in 4 months. Life is good.

  15. Another home run article by Kris.

    Thanks bro,

    Etienne

  16. Mary Garstang says:

    Have I missed something?
    What about cow’s milk?

  17. Katie Noakes says:

    Hi, Great article! What would you recommend having for breakfast? That’s the main meal I struggle with, any ideas?
    Thanks :)

  18. Michelle says:

    Hi Kris

    It is wonderful that you keep plugging this way of eating, because it works. Thank you for all your efforts.

    I do want to add that sometimes emotional eating can sabotage someone’s commitment to this way of eating, because occasionally the emotions that can trigger a carb binge are far more powerful than the urge to eat well and lose weight; tackling these emotions helps tremendously.

    If anyone is struggling to stick to a low carb/paleo diet it could be because of the damaging issues you have created around food through-out your life.

    Additionally, you have to regulate the size your food portions. You may be able to eat more with this way of eating, but if you are struggling to lose the pounds then you have to understand that in this instance calories do matter. I’m not advocating calorie counting, but just know enough to be aware of what a portion looks like.

    I’ve learned all of this through 2 years of struggle to not only to enable me to stick to this way of eating but to finally lose weight.

    I now have 1 cup of coffee with heavy cream at 7am and then have 2 meals a day with the first one at 11am and then the second at around 6pm. I have a small snack at 9ish and that’s it. I do have some treats; high fat Greek yogurt and raspberries, dark chocolate and sometimes macadamia nuts.

    The best advice I can convey is to eat more fat.

    My philosophy is to tell yourself you may be eating in a more restrictive way whilst you lose the weight, but when you get to your target you can start introducing some more carby stuff, such as sweet potatoes and fruit.

    Oh, one more thing, I’m never, ever hungry :)
    Michelle

    • I agree, Michelle. While a person is dieting certain sacrifices need to be made such as counting calories or at least being more mindful of portion sizes, as well as improving the nutritional composition of the diet.

      Once you have achieved your goal, most people can afford to consume an extra 300-500 calories a day so that they are at maintenance level calories instead of being in a deficit. Assuming their metabolism isn’t compromised from the dieting and their activity level hasn’t changed too much, they would be in a position to reintroduce some “carby stuff” into the diet if they so choose without ill effects.

  19. Tapati says:

    This is really a nice article Kris! Keep up the good work.

  20. Tracey says:

    I have been drinking skimmed milk in my tea, so should I switch to full fat or just stick to skimmed? Just skimmed has more sugar in than full fat. Thanks.

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Tracey

      Have you tried unsweetened coconut milk? In the UK supermarkets sell it in the UHT milk aisle and the fresh in the fridge. However, the UHT kind is lower in carbs. It tastes great in tea and it is dairy free.

    • If you’re trying to cut carbs then full-fat is better.

  21. When I try to go low carb, I get very weak and shaky (hypoglycemic?) Could you please comment?

    • Maybe try easing into it instead of cutting all the carbs at the same time. When you manage to adapt to the low-carb diet, your blood sugar and energy levels should be stable.

  22. Sharon says:

    Hi, I have been trying to lose 1 stone. I started low carbing on March 30th and so far have lost 8lb. My typical diet has 109g fat, 70g protein and 35g carbs which is approximately 70:20:10 % on 1400 cals/day. Female 5ft 3 and 140lb.

    I feel much much better eating this way, even though losing is slow. My query is, should I be in ketosis or not to lose weight while eating this amount of fat? Thanks.

    • Yes, you should definitely aim for ketosis. That’s the place to be if you want to reap the full benefits of low-carb eating.

      • Kris

        Maybe you could come over here and beat some sense into the GPs at my practice! If I hear once more “You’d not be sick if you’d stop all this low-carb nonsense…” Followed by a lecture on the dangers of fat, how I’ll end up obese/with CHD/diabetes, etc. I’m then given a leaflet with pretty pictures of the eat well plate. I’ve a stack of about 2 dozen or so now…

        My GP has been doing slimming clubs all the time I’ve known her; in that time, she’s gone from a UK 14/16 (US 10/12) to a UK 20/22 (US 16/18). She blames it on her lack of chronic cardio.

        My refusal to adhere to a LFHC diet is actually HINDERING any attempts I’m making to access healthcare (as if my autism wasn’t doing that well enough).

        WTF should I have to go back to eating what I believe – no, I KNOW – to be an unhealthy diet just so that I can find out what’s making me sick…?!

        That’s the problem with the NHS these days; everyone says it’s a wonderful thing – and maybe it is if you’re prepared to remain brainwashed and follow the ‘carbs good/fat evil’ mantra; but, as soon as you learn the truth, lose weight, stop being diabetic, etc., they don’t want to know.

        There are GPs who believe in LCHF but they’re PRIVATE – they HAVE to be because, if they were caught preaching LCHF on the NHS their fitness to practice would be called into question and their licence would, most likely, be revoked. I’m on benefits (welfare) due to my autism, I can’t afford to go private. I could – just about – afford a basic insurance policy, but NO insurer will insure someone who can’t work.

        I can’t even get support to fight my corner because everyone in this country is so fecking BRAINWASHED that NOBODY believes me! I honestly feel I’m lying here waiting to die.

        Things I used to be able to eat (EVCO, coconut butter, MCT oil, butter, etc.) now make me EXTREMELY tired and, in the case of EVCO and MCT oil, actually throw up (before I learnt that they were what was making me throw up, I used to fall asleep and wake to find I’d actually been sick in my sleep!)

        If I was vegan, it’d be a different story; veganism MUST be healthy, because it’s – more-or-less – fat-free, feck the fact it almost nutrition-free, too!

        I’m 39. I spend my days lying in bed, exhausted, constantly hungry (I used to be able to IF for 48hrs straight) but I WILL NOT eat LFHC again. EVER!

        Ending my life constantly crosses my mind, because I don’t HAVE a life anymore…

        I firmly believe that my belief in the myth that (unfermented) soy was healthy (I used to drink soy milk by the gallon and eat tofu rather than meat) and the poor diet I had when I was sleeping rough are to blame.

        I’ve eaten. It has exhausted me, so I must kip again…

  23. Sharon, For me, 70 gm of protein is too much even though ‘they say’ .5-1 gm per kg body weight. I’m very insulin resistant. My doctor, a High Fat Low Carb MD has me eating between 1000-1200 calories per day, 80% or higher of fat. This is called ‘fat fasting’. Once I got Fat Fast Cookbook he recommended I understood how to do it. The book’s about $6 on Kindle.

    I can do this diet because I’m not hungry. So, breakfast coffee was coffee with coconut 1 T cream and 1/2 T coconut oil, blended. I’m not hungry again until 2 or 3pm. Salad, lots of oil and vinegar, with about 3 oz grilled creamy goat cheese. I eat four or five times per day some days, about 200 cal each meal. I’m only happy in ketosis because I’m not hungry, and I’m losing nicely. Plus, my asthma symptoms are now gone, spring allergies too, and really feel better over all.

  24. Joshua says:

    How many carbohydrates should be eaten on the re-feed day?

    • There’s no specific guideline. Just eat a high carb diet that day instead of low-carb. For example, oatmeal in the morning, lots of potatoes at dinner, etc.

  25. A few questions/concerns:

    1) What about salad dressing, I prefer Ranch and Italian as my 2 favorite, I make the Italian from the Italian Good Seasons packets and I use red wine vinegar and a little less oil than it calls for (I like the vinegar taste) and I like Ranch from certain restaurants (depends on where I am at) but I love to dip my celery and cucumbers in it… what is your opinion on these?

    2) I love the skin on my baked chicken and I love the fat from a rib-eye steak, can I eat that?

    I am sure I have more questions but cant think of them right now, I will have to get back with ya!

    • 1) Read the label. If it has lots of sugar or carbs, avoid it. If it’s mostly fat, then you can eat it.

      2) Yes, you can eat that on this diet.

      • What is the limit on sugars a day, and that is not coming from candies and cookies because I don’t plan on eating those, but from the dressings and fruit… what do you recommend be the maximum limit of sugar?

    • Mark Bousquet says:

      1) I’ve used bleu cheese and ranch dressings in the past without problem, just don’t drown your salads in them. They go great on cheeseburgers (without the bun) also!

      2) I saved chicken skin from another recipe once and then fried it up in olive oil with salt and pepper. DELICIOUS! Pork rinds are great also and can be used in recipes as a substitute for bread crumbs (or croutons in salad).

  26. Hi Kris! Thanks for a great article that inspired me to cut my carbs. I haven’t been on for long, but so far I feel really well, and I don’t miss my bread, potatoes and trans fat just yet.

    I am 164 cm tall and my weight is around 47 kgs. I’d love to drop 5 of those, and I really needed a lifestyle change. I have a few questions – I used to snack – a lot, I would rather have a snack here and there than eat “meals.” Part of it because I have a bumpy work schedule. Now I’ve been snacking smoothies, Full natural yoghurt, a bit of Xylitol sweetener and frozen raspberries – I would rather have a big smoothie than make a lunch – is this okay? Can I have two of these a day?

    I also used to drink a lot of soft drinks, recently I’ve added frozen raspberries to my water instead – to still have some taste, but not falling for the good old coca cola again, can I have as much as I want of this?

    Since I started I feel like I’ve been eating more, because I’ve wanted to do it properly, I used to just grab a piece of bread here and there – because I’ve never had the time, or taken the time to spend in the kitchen – is that good for my weight? That I’m currently eating more but better than before?

    Sorry for being a total nag, I’m just really new to this and now that I feel like I’m doing well I don’t want to mess it up.

    Kind Regards
    Sandra

    • Hello Sandra.

      You really need to log your food intake for a few days to get a feel for how many carbs you are eating. Berries are okay in small amounts, but if you eat them constantly then the carbs will quickly add up.

      Aim for 20-30 grams of net carbs per day (net carbs = total carbs – fiber).

      Whether it matters if you eat “more” than before or not depends on how many carbs and calories you end up eating.

      Btw, this article here can give you some ideas on how you can assemble your meals: http://authoritynutrition.com/low-carb-diet-meal-plan-and-menu/

    • Sandy, you already sound pretty lean! Are you sure 42 kg is a healthy goal weight for you?

    • @Sandy you are 103 lbs at 5’4″? Why in the world do you want to lose 5 lbs? Your weight is severely underweight for your height, as is. 11 pounds underweight on the low end of what is recommended for a small frame female.

      Sounds like you are at risk for disordered eating and have body dysmorphia. Concentrate on eating whole foods (ditch the bread) and healthy exercise (weight training) and ADDING (not losing) healthy weight (i.e. muscle mass).

  27. The doctor’s picture under “You Will Become a “Fat Burning Beast” heading is so common. I saw it in so many places on internet :D

  28. Hi Kris,

    This is a great article. I would like to point out that in some cases, a low carbohydrate diet is only part of the weight loss puzzle for some people.

    For anyone who is trying to adhere to a low carbohydrate diet without success, it may be beneficial to consider that there may be a problem in the gut, ESPECIALLY if you are suffering from depression, constipation, or having symptoms of autoimmune disease. In this case, it may be necessary to fix the gut issues before any weight loss can take place.

    Good probiotics are often the missing link in many diets, but they can produce tremendous results in addition to a lower carbohydrate, healthy lifestyle with lots of green, alkaline vegetables and low-carbohydrate fruits (i.e. cranberries, kiwi, strawberries, grapefruit).

  29. Hi Kris, I have been trying to lose weight on a low carb diet for like 2 months, to no avail. I am a member of sparkpeople and use it to track my meals. Only today did I realize I was misinterpreting my carb intake.

    In short I was having way to many carbs, hence the stagnance. I entered a meal plan that currently stands at 49g of carbs. No sugars or starch is included.

    How can I get in low carb vegies and keep my carbs <50g? The math doesn’t add up. I would like to use this meal plan everyday.

  30. Hi Kris – came to your website via the Oil Pulling article and as usual weight loss articles caught my attention. At 47 I’ve had 30 years of weight loss and weight gain. I’ve always lost large amounts of weight – the largest weight loss was about 130 lbs using the Atkins method about 14 years ago. I stopped eating in the prescribed way and have 60 lbs and in the last month. I have started to eat healthy but at the back of my mind I know that I the best way for me to lose the 70 lbs I should is to go back to this way of eating. Well I’m off to start the journey of weight loss once again.

  31. Carol Harkness says:

    I didn’t expect Avocados to be included in a low carb salad? (but I’m delighted it is) I always thought (as a general rule of silly thumb, that anything that can easily be mashed, is generally high in carbs).

  32. Great post! I bookmarked your site so I can look around when I have more time. I’m looking forward to it :)

  33. Hi Kris,

    First of all I want to say I LOVE this site!!! I can’t believe I have not found this sooner!!!

    I have been low carb dieting for years. I’ve tried other methods of weight loss without success. I recently gained back at least 20 pounds and physically and mentally I feel terrible. I am irritable and unhappy a lot of the time, especially when I look at how I sabotaged all my hard work just because of unhealthy food choices. I keep asking myself “how can you let Swedish berries and toast run your life”?

    My first encounter with low carb eating was on the South Beach Diet, my fertility doctor recommended it because I am insulin resistant and he said it could be a factor in me not getting pregnant. It was a success, I lost a whopping 40+ lbs. I regained most of it back after I had my son. Then one day I had enough and tried a protein diet which also worked very well, but it was expensive because you need to buy packets of food.

    I don’t want to be a slave to packets of food, I know what to do, I just need the motivation.

    Questions: What do you recommend I eat when I am totally famished? That when I tend to grab something I wish I didn’t? Also, what is your thoughts on protein shakes?

    • Hey Holly, thanks. It’s best not to let yourself get totally famished in the first place, but if you’re desperate it can help to have some snacks around like cheese, full-fat yogurt, a bit of leftovers, maybe some fruits or baby carrots.

      Protein shakes are fine. Not something you need, but as long as there’s no sugar added then they are okay.

      I think you might have food addiction, you should check out this page here and my free e-book: http://authoritynutrition.com/food-addiction/

  34. Thanks Kris, I think you’re right about the food addiction. :-( I will be reading that book tonight.

  35. Hi Kris,

    How long does it take to get into ketosis and how will I know?

    Thanks.

    • It can take a few days. It’s hard to tell for sure, but you can buy urinalysis strips called Ketostix that can tell you whether you’re in ketosis or not.

  36. Lillian says:

    I can’t find the high fat yogurt in my supermarkets. Is there another kind of yogurt I can eat? Thanks.

  37. I use lemon juice concentrate from the bottle for ALOT of things I eat, however, the bottle says it has 0 carbs but other places I have noticed else says that lemon juice does have carbs, please tell me what I’m supposed to go by.

  38. My husband and I are senior citizens, both of whom have packed on a few pounds over the last few years. We tried the “self control” method, but were always discouraged at the lack of results. Stumbled across your website by accident three weeks ago. Once we grasped the concept of how our bodies naturally prefer carbs for energy, but will use the stored fat if carbs are denied, it’s a no-brainier! We each have about 25 pounds we’d like to she’d and are well on our way towards our goals. And the best part is that I’m having so much fun creating tasty recipes that make each meal something we can look forward to.

    Thank you, Kris. You have changed our lives!

  39. Hi Kris, love this website!! So many useful tips. I’ve been in ketosis for a month consistently now. 20 carbs a day, moderate fat. So far I’ve lost 21 lbs. And looking leaner all over. Feeling energetic and rarely hungry. Hoping to continue losing.

    I’m currently 197 down from 219 & my goal is 160. I’m 5’5 and medium build. Last time it took me 2 years to go from a size 14 to a size 7 & I was 160 then also. Seems like a lot for my height but I looked great. Wasn’t doing LC then though. So this time its coming off faster & actually easier. How do u think I’m doing? Any tips?? Thanks!!

    • Wow… 21 lbs in only a month is insane. Congrats!

    • Hi Susan,
      I am 5’5, and currently weigh 219 and my goal is 135. Oh how I would love to lose 21 pounds in a month… can you give me ideas of what foods your day would consist of? I started LC last week and gained a pound, it’s so discouraging and it makes me just want to quit. Thank so much!

  40. Hi Kris, thank you for sharing all this information with us. I love your website. I stumbled on it by looking for new ways to improve my diet.

    I started the low carb diet on the first of this month so 20 days ago and I really watch what I eat. Only protein, fat and veggies. I usually exercise 3-4 days a week doing mostly cardio.

    But so far, I haven’t lost one pound. I haven’t gained either but I thought that I could lose a few pounds because I’ve been trying since January to lose at least 10 pounds but so far nothing. So what can I do to speed things up? I love this plan because I don’t have any cravings anymore and eat really 3 times a day now. Any tips will be greatly appreciated.

    Keep the good work.

  41. Jessica says:

    Okay, so this information is odd. Eating fat is a great thing to do… except they say eat butter, lard etc… that’s incorrect. You want to eat fats yes, but not saturated fats. You want to eat poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats. These are healthy fats needed for protein synthesis. The other fats are crap.

    • It’s true Jessica that we all get told that saturated fats are bad. But did you know that there has never been any scientific study that can show any correlation between consumption of saturated fat and heart disease. Actually there is no risk in eating butter and lard and these fats are actually very good for you.

  42. Whenever my wife tries low carb she gets pain in her side, a bit like her appendix is playing up. As you can imagine this puts her off. Does anyone have any ideas about this?

  43. Can I eat low carb fruit on this diet? ie berries?

  44. I am new at this and starting today. I really hope it works. My metabolism is like a snail.

  45. Can I eat tomatoes?

  46. Hi Kris,

    Thanks for the article. Sounds all fine so far for me. I changed my normal “Western” diet to a low carb one and feel a lot better.

    BUT there is one thing I am concerned about. A high intake of animal products such as meat, fish, eggs etc. raise the acidity in the body a lot. This leads again to other diseases in the long term.

    What to do? I will get my ph-level checked as well but what would be a good way to combine a basic / non acidic way of eating and low-carb diet as described by you.

    Looking forward to your answer.

    Greetings,

    Markus

  47. Kathy young says:

    Quick question: I like the recommendation to use Coconut Oil for cooking, I just purchased some “Coconut Butter” – is this the same thing?

    Ok one more question: POPCORN? I love it, can I still eat it? Air popped no butter or oils… or popped in Coconut oil/Palm oil? No butter…

  48. What about dairy? Is a glass of milk (almond/soy/cow’s) ok? Cheese and yogurt?

    • Hello Krystal,

      If weight loss is your goal, then I would not have any kind of dairy at all. Once you reach your ideal weight, you can add some dairy (butter, yogurt) but I would make sure of the following:

      - Organic grass fed only.
      - A2 type only (better beta-casein type than A1).

      Whey and casein (the milk proteins) are very insulinogenic but in the absence of carbs, this is mitigated by the release of glucagon in order to have a stable blood glucose. So when you eat dairy, avoid glycemic carbs at the same time.

      • And I would stay away from soy by the way.

        • Why stay away from soy? I buy bio tofu natural, has 1g carbs on 100 g tofu. Bio soymilk non-sweetened the same. Anything else in this products to avoid? Greets, Markus.

          • Markus,

            I am not a anti-carb advocate and that is not why I would stay away from soy. Consumption of soy has some nasty health risks. See for example Mercola (I am not a fan of this guy but there are references in there):

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/soy-health_b_1822466.html

            If I had to drink some milk that is not from ruminants, I would choose coconut milk (Aroy-D makes some very decent stuff, and it is packaged in BPA free cartons).

            You can also make your own almond milk, it is quite easy.

          • I don’t see any references in there. Most of the links are to his own articles, which don’t contain references either.

            Working on an article about soy and I’m having trouble finding actual studies in humans that confirm all these purported health risks…

          • Thanks! Will check the paper in more detail, but a quick glance seems to reveal that soy protein is beneficial if anything. Have you read this paper?

          • I have skimmed it, but you know, I am not really versed into the biochemistry and other technical stuff, that’s more your domain :)

            What I know is that when I have to chose my protein source, soy is not it. This said, I read somewhere that natto is good stuff because it is fermented soy. Maybe that makes a difference (fewer anti-nutrients, etc ?).

            In the end, I see soy like wheat: not needed in the diet but I am an omnivore …

  49. Peggy Holloway says:

    Cycling is also a wonderful form of exercise that is easy for older folks like me. My partner, who is 71, and I, age 60, biked over 3000 this summer including a century ride two weeks ago. We both follow a very low-carb, ketogenic diet.

    Just last night, I was thinking about the fact that over the past few months, we both lost weight even though we did not set out to do so. I was thinking about some acquaintances that seem to be struggling so much to “diet and exercise” and appear to feel challenged and deprived and discouraged by the slow progress they are making. The remarkable thing is that we actually made an effort to add more fat to our diets, pouring butter, coconut oil, olive oil, cream, and sour cream on everything. Neither of us made any attempt to “diet” or restrict “calories” and we both eat until full/satiated.

    I find myself eating twice a day most of the time and often bike for several hours in the morning before eating – so cycling 50+ miles after an 18 hour IF is not uncommon. HFLC, nutritional ketosis is truly a miracle for us. Hope many more will try it and see what a difference in can make in general well-being, weight management and even physical performance.

  50. Peggy – interesting you mention cycling. I’ve been LC for 4 months now and every Saturday and Sunday I go on 40-60 mile rides with a bike club keeping a 16-18mph pace. Certainly not breathtaking numbers – but milestones for me.

    The things my riding partners find fascinating is that I do these rides in a a fasted state too – and during the ride I just suck on electrolyte enhanced water from my camelbak – no powerbars, no carb boosters, no sugar loads. They all squirting gels and munching on carb loaded stuff during climbs – and me – just water.

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