A Low Carb Diet Meal Plan and Menu That Can Save Your Life

This is a detailed meal plan for the low-carb, real-food based diet (LCRF). What to eat, what not to eat and a sample low carb menu for one week.

The low carb, real food based diet involves eating natural, unprocessed foods with a low carbohydrate content. For a detailed overview, read this.

There is a lot of scientific evidence that this type of diet is the best option for people who want to lose weight, optimize health and lower the risk of disease.

Simple Meal Plan

Photo by Adam Fields.

A Low Carb Diet Meal Plan

What foods you should eat depends on a few things, including how healthy you are, how much you exercise and how much weight you have to lose.

Consider all of this as a general guideline, not something written in stone.

The Basics

Eat: Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, high-fat dairy, fats, healthy oils and maybe even some tubers and non-gluten grains.

Don’t Eat: Sugar, HFCS, wheat, seed oils, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, “diet” and low-fat products and highly processed foods.

Foods to Avoid

Overweight Man Eating Cake

You should avoid these 7 foods, in order of importance:

  • Sugar: Soft drinks, fruit juices, agave, candy, ice cream and many others.
  • Gluten Grains: Wheat, spelt, barley and rye. Includes breads and pastas.
  • Trans Fats: “Hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
  • High Omega-6 Seed- and Vegetable Oils: Cottonseed-, soybean-, sunflower-, grapeseed-, corn-, safflower and canola oils.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Cyclamates and Acesulfame Potassium. Use Stevia instead.
  • “Diet” and “Low-Fat” Products: Many dairy products, cereals, crackers, etc.
  • Highly Processed Foods: If it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it.
You MUST read ingredients lists, even on foods labelled as “health foods.”

Low Carb Food List – Foods to Eat

You should base your diet on these real, unprocessed, low-carb foods.

Woman Holding Salad

  • Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, chicken and others. Grass-fed is best.
  • Fish: Salmon, trout, haddock and many others. Wild-caught fish is best.
  • Eggs: Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are best.
  • Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and many others.
  • Fruits: Apples, oranges, pears, blueberries, strawberries.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • High-Fat Dairy: Cheese, butter, heavy cream, yogurt.
  • Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, butter, lard, olive oil and cod fish liver oil.

If you need to lose weight, be careful with the cheese and nuts because they’re easy to overeat on. Don’t eat more than one piece of fruit per day.

Maybe Eat

Sweet Potato

If you’re healthy, active and don’t need to lose weight then you can afford to eat a bit more carbs.

  • Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes and some others.
  • Non-gluten grains: Rice, oats, quinoa and many others.
  • Legumes: Lentils, black beans, pinto beans, etc. (If you can tolerate them).

You can have these in moderation if you want:

  • Dark Chocolate: Choose organic brands with 70% cocoa or higher.
  • Wine: Choose dry wines with no added sugar or carbs.

Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and may provide health benefits if you eat it in moderation. However, be aware that both dark chocolate and alcohol will hinder your progress if you eat/drink too much.

Glass of water

Drink

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Water
  • Carbonated soda without artificial sweeteners.

Watch This Video

If a picture is worth a thousands words, a video is worth a million.

This short video explains everything you will ever need to know about “real food.”

A Sample Low-Carb Menu For One Week

This is a sample menu for one week on a low carb diet plan.

It provides less than 50 grams of total carbs per day, but as I mentioned above if you are healthy and active you can go beyond that.

Mother And Daughter Cooking

Monday

  • Breakfast: Omelet with various vegetables, fried in butter or coconut oil.
  • Lunch: Grass-fed yogurt with blueberries and a handful of almonds.
  • Dinner: Cheeseburger (no bun), served with vegetables and salsa sauce.

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: Bacon and eggs.
  • Lunch: Leftover burgers and veggies from the night before.
  • Dinner: Salmon with butter and vegetables.

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables, fried in butter or coconut oil.
  • Lunch: Shrimp salad with some olive oil.
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken with vegetables.

Thursday

  • Breakfast: Omelet with various vegetables, fried in butter or coconut oil.
  • Lunch: Smoothie with coconut milk, berries, almonds and protein powder.
  • Dinner: Steak and veggies.

Friday

  • Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs.
  • Lunch: Chicken salad with some olive oil.
  • Dinner: Pork chops with vegetables.

Saturday

  • Breakfast: Omelet with various veggies.
  • Lunch: Grass-fed yogurt with berries, coconut flakes and a handful of walnuts.
  • Dinner: Meatballs with vegetables.

Sunday

  • Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs.
  • Lunch: Smoothie with coconut milk, a bit of heavy cream, chocolate-flavoured protein powder and berries.
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken wings with some raw spinach on the side.

Include a variety of vegetables in your diet. If your goal is to remain under 50 grams of carbs per day, then there is room for plenty of veggies and one fruit per day.

If you want to see examples of some of my go-to meals, read this:
7 Healthy Low-Carb Meals in Under 10 Minutes.

Again, if you’re healthy, lean and active, you can add some tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes, as well as some healthier grains like rice and oats.

Mother And Daughter Eating

Some Healthy, Low-Carb Snacks

There is no health reason to eat more than 3 meals per day, but if you get hungry between meals then here are some healthy, easy to prepare low-carb snacks that can fill you up:

  • A Piece of Fruit
  • Full-fat Yogurt
  • A Hard-Boiled Egg or Two
  • Baby Carrots
  • Leftovers From The Night Before
  • A Handful of Nuts
  • Some Cheese and Meat

Eating at Restaurants

Female Waitress

At most restaurants, it is fairly easy to make your meals LCRF-friendly.

  1. Ask them to fry your food in real butter.
  2. Tell the waiter that you are intolerant/allergic to both sugar and gluten. This avoids annoying questions and weird looks.
  3. You can replace bread and potatoes with extra vegetables.

A Simple Low-Carb Shopping List

A good rule is to shop at the perimeter of the store, where the whole foods are likelier to be found.

Organic and grass-fed foods are best, but only if you can easily afford them. Even if you don’t buy organic, your diet will still be a thousand times better than the standard western diet.

Try to choose the least processed option that still fits into your price range.

Mother And Daughter Buying Groceries

  • Meat (Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, bacon)
  • Fish (Fatty fish like salmon is best)
  • Eggs (Choose Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs if you can)
  • Butter
  • Coconut Oil (Choose Extra Virgin)
  • Lard
  • Olive Oil
  • Cheese
  • Heavy Cream
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt (full-fat, unsweetened)
  • Blueberries (can be bought frozen)
  • Nuts
  • Olives
  • Fresh vegetables: greens, peppers, onions, etc.
  • Frozen vegetables: broccoli, carrots, various mixes.
  • Salsa Sauce
  • Condiments: sea salt, pepper, garlic, mustard, etc.

I recommend clearing your pantry of all unhealthy temptations if you can: chips, candy, ice cream, sodas, juices, breads, cereals and baking ingredients like wheat flour and sugar.

Where to Find More?

Please take a moment to subscribe to free updates from this website.

I’ve compiled a list of 101 low-carb recipes that are both simple and delicious. You can find them here: 101 Healthy Low-Carb Recipes That Taste Incredible.

There is an entire world of information out there on low-carb eating. Just google “low carb recipes” or “paleo recipes” and you will find a ton of stuff.

Here are some excellent real food recipe blogs:

413 Comments

  1. Thank you for the “do & don’t “lists. I’m very literal and I love a list to go by. I use Coconut oil but my area supermarkets do not carry the extra virgin oil. Is there a big difference in the two? Thanks again for your info. Very user friendly and easy to understand. God Bless, K.

    • It probably doesn’t make any major difference whether it’s organic/extra virgin or not, as long as it doesn’t say “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on the label.

      • Kris my understanding of oils is this (I live in Australia where the labelling may be different). Organic means that it has not been subjected to any chemicals during growing or processing. Virgin or extra virgin in Australia means that the oil has come from the first or second cold pressing – no heat is used to extract the oil which means that it retains all of its nutritional value. Once you get labels such as “Pure Olive Oil” you can pretty much bet that the oil has been extracted using heat and or chemicals.

        I recently attended a low carb conference and one of the speakers from the U.S. was having the time of his life because he could get double cream and full fat everything, he was so excited. Also we can get avocados all year round and he had to drive 2 hours to get one!

        I don’t do well on a really low carb diet such as the one in your meal plan but I try to limit my carbs and only eat wholegrain foods. I have gone back to eating butter, coconut oil, olive oil, chicken with the skin on and full fat dairy after a life time of low fat eating and my weight is rock stable! (Although I would still love to lose a few kg!!!)

      • Hi all,

        I’ve lost weight very successfully in the past on low-carb and always felt it was the best way to go in terms of metabolism and energy. However, after a few years of so-called “healthier” eating and a sedentary lifestyle, I have let an extra 30 pounds creep onto my 5’8″ frame. I started low carb 5 days ago and have been excellent as far as not “cheating,” but so far I haven’t lost a single pound. I am in BKA because I bought the strips. When should I start to see results on the scale?

    • There really is no such thing as ‘extra’ virgin coconut oil… that is strictly a marketing ploy. If you’d like to learn all about coconut oil check out this website. They’ve also written a book about it.

      http://coconutoil.com/the-coconut-oil-myths-exposing-some-common-myths-surrounding-coconut-oil/

  2. This is such a helpful article for people starting out on the LCRF lifestyle! I’ve been and “LCRFer” for four months today and I’ve never felt better or enjoyed food more. Plus, I’ve lost 14 pounds! Keep it up, Kris, you’re doing a great service.

  3. Great info, Kris! I always look forward to your updates.

  4. What breakfast do you suggest for people that can’t tolerate eggs?

  5. I’ve been eating low/carb since 2 months and lost 10 pounds so far. I’m wheat free and only have berries every second day and some dark chocolate (80% cacao) once in awhile, this is my sugar intake. I started this way of eating because I suffer from Lipoedema/Lipedema which is a rare fat disorder affecting mostly women and I was told that it would help manage my condition and it does!

  6. Sarah Willard Gray says:

    Kris, I have pernicious anaemia, diabetes and high blood pressure, but my doctor was amazed this week at my monthly injection visit when my blood pressure had gone from 156/95 to 120/60 after only 3 weeks on the low carb diet.
    Keep the good news going.
    Sarah

  7. Kris, can I eat unlimited calories on the fatty stuff? I’m vegan so I’m indulging on olive and coconut oils (best quality). I consume 400 calories above my normal intake since going low carb. HFLC is challenging being vegan but I’m doing it. I’m often under 50 grams of carbs a day and in and out of ketosis fairy easily.

    • Well, I wouldn’t say unlimited calories. The thing is, for almost everyone who is overweight and adopts a low-carb diet, they start to automatically eat less calories than they burn. The appetite goes down and weight loss happens automatically as long as the carbs are kept low. It is possible to overeat on a low-carb diet, but very difficult.

      I don’t have any experience with vegan low-carb diets though. Chances are that you can still lose weight even eating 400 calories more than normal, but it’s impossible to predict. You’ll see soon enough I guess.

    • I imagine that a vegan must eat a lot of soy or tofu to get enough protein, which has its advantages because it is very filling and low in calories. My experience has been that tofu tastes best after marinating or generously seasoned, then fried or baked in coconut oil.

    • Wow! that is awesome! Do you mind me asking what your daily menu would look like? I am vegetarian… wanting to go vegan again (I was a very unhealthy vegan for 5 years)… I would love to make this work for me. Thanks for any advice you can offer!

  8. This is awesome! Finally an easy black and white low carb plan. This is the answer to my prayers, thank you Kris :D

  9. What do you mean by “salsa sauce” i’m from Chile and in spanish salsa means sauce. To me you are saying “sauce sauce”. Did you mean tabasco or some spicey sauce?

  10. Hello Kris.

    What do you think of Sukrin? I use it sometimes instead of Stevia because I don’t like Stevia at all.

    Jeanine

    • That’s based on Erytrhitol right? Haven’t seen any research on it but I think it’s alright.

      • You can read all about it at: http://sukrin.org/

        Except from the price it’s alright by me. It really looks and tastes a lot (better than Stevia) like sugar. Stevia is only alright when it’s not enriched with maltrodextrine. Trying to find Stevia without that in for example a supermarket isn’t easy.

        Jeanine

  11. Kris, I do not like Stevia at all either. I have tried and tried and just can’t take it. I have to start my day off with coffee and I like just a little sweetness. Are you familiar with EZ Sweetz? It is liquid Spenda. Is that a total NO NO? It is great to cook with also. What sweeteners do you recommend?

    • I haven’t heard of EZ sweets and I haven’t done any research on Splenda so I can’t really give you a definitive answer.

      I think you should just try it out and see if it works for you. A little bit of self experimentation is always fun and it’s hard to give yes or no answers to such things because we’re all different.

      • Tammy Edwards says:

        I did the low carb diet. I lost 53 lbs and I used Splenda for sweetener. I don’t think it hurts to use it. I lost weight with it and I also eat a piece of bread a day because I have learned if you cut your bread completely and you decide to eat it again in the future you will gain weight fast and add extra pounds in the process.

        • I removed gluten from my disabled child’s diet and was told by a specialist that unless I was CERTAIN he didn’t tolerate gluten well (he doesn’t) that removing grains isn’t good, especially in children, because trying to eat them later causes a lot of issues since their body isn’t used to it.

          I can attest that when I, as a sympathizer, removed grains, it hurts my stomach to add them back. But I have found in the past that grains DO contribute to weight gain for me, and now as woman entering menopause, it all went to my belly!

          So possibly, after losing 45# by removing all grains, staying off them for awhile, then adding them back – I did what you stated: I gained almost 20# back. I am trying to be mostly paleo, and love how I feel on it, but have only in recent days felt I should become more conscious of carbs.

      • Heather says:

        Splenda is a sugar molecule, split and combined with a chlorine molecule. So it tastes similar to sugar, but, similar to Equal and other chemical sweeteners, your body does not recognize it as food and does not process it. Almost as bad as the others, but not quite. Still unhealthy, as chlorine is highly toxic (table salt is sodium and chlorine, yes, but they cancel each other out via chemical reaction, this is lacking in Splenda).

    • Kayla Kasprzak says:

      I would recommend Truvia… It’s like Stevia but it tastes a lot better.

  12. Orn Baldursson says:

    Is this diet in any way different from the Atkins diet?

    • Yes. The Atkins is mostly about low-carb, the emphasis on “real foods” isn’t as great. Eating real foods is a biggie.

      This one is also pretty individualized to your goals and needs, especially regarding carb intake and certain high-carb but generally healthy foods. There are some more details here: http://authoritynutrition.com/how-to-eat-healthy/

      Btw, I haven’t even read the Atkins book. I have bought the New Atkins For a New You book but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

    • In addition to what Kris said, Atkins is also a much stricter version of a low-carb diet.

      You have to count your carbs carefully, and there are 4 phases which start out with a lower carb quota and slowly ramp it up.

      Also, there is a big emphasis on weight loss and weight control, and less emphasis on good health. Like many other diets, it caters to women trying to get a supermodel look.

      You don’t need to adhere to Atkins to eat low carb. Simply know what foods are low carb and which ones are not, read the ingredients label on everything, and eat real, low carb food.

  13. Margret S. Palsdottir says:

    Hi Kris.
    I do a lot of mountain hiking. The standard snack for me there is slices of bread put together with cheese or something and tea to drink with it. With what can I replace the sandwich? A handful of nuts, a banana e.g is not enough – and as I asked somewhere else in Icelandic, I ask you now what to you think about rapeseed oil in cooking?

  14. Thanks for sharing all this! I recommend it to all of my friends but often they look at me as if I am going nuts. Full fat? Eggs? You say what? Light soda is the only way I can drink soda without gaining weight…..hahahaha. Yeah right. I’m feeling healthier than ever, I’m losing weight…so I am one happy person. And really….getting rid of all the (hidden) sugars wasn’t easy (in every way)….but it’s not impossible.

    Jeanine (from The Netherlands).

  15. I loved your article on 7 Mistakes and I also like this menu plan. Today is my first day giving up carbs so wish me luck. The intention is weight loss and I will keep you updated on any progress made. My question is: 2/3 days of the week we are vegetarian and I need to find Veg options that can substitute the Meat with out adding any carbs to my meals. Eggs are not vegetarian to us so that is not an option. Is Tofu / Lentils / Beans a good substitute?
    Secondly, what is your opinion on Protein (with Whey?) Shakes?
    Thanks for all the useful material and making this freely available.

    • A lot of protein shakes contain artificial sweeteners, so watch out!

    • Whey shakes depend on the brand. Try to find one without sugar or artificial sweeteners.

      I don’t know about the vegetarian options but you can find tons if you google “low carb vegetarian recipes.”

    • I am a dedicated vegan and I couldn’t live without my Morningstar Farms crumbles. My family has no idea they are eating vegan lasagna or spaghetti because the crumbles have the texture of hamburger! Find it in the frozen specialty foods section of your store. They have other vegan products as well (like bacon!!)

  16. I’m curious about the more athletic types who follow the Paleo Diet. I’m a CrossFitter, I train 3 times a week and because of digestive issues I tried the Paleo Diet which cured those issues so no grains for me. I’m tall and lanky though I have packed on some muscle since eating a clean diet and doing CrossFit for 2 years.

    I feel like I’ve hit a plateau with my strength and size gains and even lost a few pounds which is a big deal for someone built like me because it is so hard to gain weight. My fiance’ is a Biochemist so is savvy with this sort of stuff, she also eats Paleo.

    She thinks I’m undergoing Gluconeogeneis because of not getting enough carbs to support the intensity of CrossFit and the strength lifting I do before a CrossFit workout. It makes sense. I started eating 1-2 sweet potatoes a day, along with gluten free rice and increased my fruit intake and after a few weeks of it I feel stronger and gained the pounds back. Is this the way I should continue?

    I’m a 30 year old male, 6’2 180 lbs. Currently I take in 3100-3300 calories on training days with about 45% being carbohydrate (260-290g usually). On off days I’ll be under 3000 but not by much. Those days my carb intake will be lower and I’ll focus more on protein and fats. I’d love your feedback on my approach. Thanks.

    • If you exercise then you can afford to eat a lot more carbs. I think you’re good.

    • Hermann says:

      I think you would benefit from reading Martin Berkhan’s (from leangains.com) approach to eating carbs. I must say though that what you’ve described sounds very similar to what he eats (minus the intermittent fasting). More carbs on training days and less on non-training ones. Just my two cents.

    • Hello Jimmy, why don’t you check with Robb Wolf on his page and ask him? http://robbwolf.com/

    • I’ve heard another cross fitter complain of the same problem, and solved it from adding carbs, basically following the Zone Diet. Cross Fit is an excellent regime for endurance and getting fit, but I’ve known people who have lost strength and muscle size after they had diverted from powerlifting or body building into cross fit.

      I agree that you need more carbs if your energy levels are low, but if you’re still not meeting your goals after adding carbs to your diet, then you may want to separate your cardio and weight routine to separate days or separate sessions in a day. If you must do both exercises in one session, then research shows that the best results are from weight training before cardio exercise for fuel burning efficiency.

  17. Janice Windle says:

    I understood that porridge made with water and unsweetened once a day is good for keeping the heart healthy. Is this not the case?

    • Oats are one of the healthy grains. If it works for you, do it.

      • Justmeint says:

        Sad to say oats in my body react just like any other carbohydrate does – and spikes my sugars which I am trying to stop happening. Type 2 diabetics who consume the amounts of carbs suggested by the diabetes associations will continue to have sugar/insulin spikes. I really try to stay around 30g carb per day and that keeps my sugars in the healthier range.

  18. How many grams of protein per day?

    Also, I am having trouble deciding how many carbs I should eat. I have 30lbs to lose, which I’d like to do before my 30th birthday (in 9 months), so I don’t have to lose weight all that quickly. However, faster weight loss is more motivating, so I keep waffling.

    • Just eat some animal foods and you don’t have to worry about your protein intake. 1-1,5 grams per kilogram of body weight is fine.

      You might do well by going under 100g of carbs per day. That should get things started at least.

  19. I see that fruit juices are listed as to avoid. Are freshly squeezed juices included in this? If so, why the difference between fresh fruit and its juice?

    Also where does milk stand?

    • The thing with fruit juices is that there’s no fiber and there’s basically just as much sugar as in soft drinks. Fruit is fine, fruit juice can be a disaster if you drink much of it.

      Regular milk is pretty high in carbs, personally I prefer fattier dairy like cheese, cream and butter.

      • I just found your site and am very impressed! I have tried the atkins but can’t seem to stick with it as I love fruit. I am not terribly overweight but would like to lose 20 pounds. How much and what kind of fruit is allowed on your plan? Thank you so much!

      • Katrina says:

        Plus, I remember hearing that the added energy expended to chew and digest a piece of fruit and the time it takes to hit your digestive system makes whole fruit a better alternative to fruit juice.

        • Fructose is processed by the liver. Since fructose is found in about 75% of the 600,000 items found in supermarkets, your liver tends to work hard and is often overtaxed. Once that happens, the remaining fructose is converted to fat.

          Like Kris said, whole fruit has fiber, which slows down the release of fructose, allowing the liver to do its job naturally. So modest amounts of whole fruit is okay. Fruit juices can be like sugar bombs. BOOM!

          BTW, it must take a lot of effort for Kris to continue to answer questions and remain engaged with this post, so thanks to him, and everyone else who contributes. I continue to learn a lot from you all.

  20. Why only one fruit per day?

    The meal plan confuses me, I would normally expect your dinner recommendations actually be lunch since it sounds like a more substantial meal?

    How many calories per day does this meal plan contain approximately? I am reading it and I can’t help but think it’s really, really scarce! Or, maybe I’m just eating WAY too much.

    Thanks for your time!

  21. Krrazyredhead says:

    So what’s your stance on juicing veggies? I’m one who has a difficult time disciplining myself to eating them, especially greens. I’ve been using Sun Warrior’s Ormus Supergreens (which is fermented?) to supplement my lack of veggie consumption, but have thought of juicing a bunch of random veggies as a short term alternative, but keeping carrots and beets on a lower percentage. Granted, you don’t get the fiber, but….

    • Hi! Really loved the article, thank you! I have been a vegetarian for almost two years now, and sometimes eat eggs (maybe once a week) and love organic butter and white cheese. I have been a stable 60-63 kilos with 173 height for these three years of cutting out white flour, white sugar and meat from my diet.

      Also wanted to mention, that a better way to go instead of juicing is making smoothies, as smoothies don’t rid your fruit and veggies of their precious fiber – Lots of great recipes out there! Really glad so many people are fighting for their good health! :D

  22. NewToNutrition says:

    I’m wondering what you should eat if you are overweight and pregnant, but wishing to be healthier.

  23. I really like your website, there seems to be a lot of really logical information on here. However, I think that encouraging people to eat this much meat, every day, in this day and age, is ethically reprehensible. I know you said in the intro your system is not derived from ethics – but I’ve been over the site, and I can barely find a mention of lentils, or other vegetarian protein alternatives. Surely there have been cultures throughout evolution that have not had such abundant access to meat?

    M

    • Hogwash! It’s not eating meat that drains the earth of its resources, it’s unsustainable agriculture. Why not read Lierre Keiths book – the Vegan Myth.

      Those of us adhering to the LowCarb way of eating do not overeat on proteins. Some, if not most actually eat less than before.

    • Justmeint says:

      LENTILS and LEGUMES … are anathema to me my digestive system will not tolerate them. Not only do I breakout in skin rashes from them I also have severe bowel issues with them as well. What is your angst against real meat/fish? I cant touch soy either. Meat/fish/eggs are my ‘normal’ protein sources, just like my ancestors ate. I am omnivore.

  24. Wonderful article, thanks for the info!

  25. Is high-oleic sunflower oil ok? It contains only 6,7g/100g poly-unsaturated fats and 76,6g/100g monos.

  26. OK I have read a few articles on your site and I can’t disagree with anything you have said. I’m going to give this meal plan a try. I’m tired of spinning my wheels getting no place trying to eat right and get healthy. Time to try something different!

  27. Kris: Your site is fabulous…so well-organized and visually-helpful. Your info is solid and easy to understand. Thanks for the great, science-based articles that are legit, but not too heady. I’m using LCRF to correct adrenal-fatigue and the weight-gain, low-energy and mental-fog that came with it. I own a personal training studio, and I am convinced that LCRF is the answer to so many health issues. I recommend your site to anyone who is ready to take control over their health. Thanks so much!

  28. Hi Kris, I’m going to give this “low carb” a try but my concern is, if you are an active person in going to the gym and burn approx 1500/week in just exercising/strength training will this give you enough calories/fuel to manage that? I think I won’t have enough calories to sustain that activity… therefore my body will think I’m “starving” it… Please advise, as I am trying to keep to only oatmeal for Breakfast and then no carbs (except 1 fruit and the rest veggies) for the day…

    Thanks
    Debbie

    • Yes, you should be fine. It can take a few days/weeks to adapt to the low-carb diet though, you might experience worse performance in the beginning.

      I wouldn’t worry about “starvation mode” – it is not going to happen unless you literally starve yourself. Just eat until you are full.

  29. Dr. Bill Friend says:

    For 64 years I thought I was pretty healthy. I had an active lifestyle, participated in sports. Yet I always seemed to have a weight control problem, although I shunned candies and sweet desserts for the most part. I bought into the “healthy whole grains” mantra for years. What a shock when I suffered a major heart attack this past June and required a triple heart bypass. I had been “borderline” diabetic (prediabetic) but this event caused a major problem and I required insulin injections.

    Then I discovered “paleo” and “wheat belly”. I paid scrupulous attention to these concepts and by November I was off injectable insulin and am now only on oral medication for that. In addition I have dropped about 25 pounds without even trying, and my recuperation is progressing in the right direction. I did the research myself, and am grateful that there is a website like this spreading the word in a way people can easily understand it.

    I recommend Gary Taubes “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, for those interested in the nutrition wars and the egos, politics and special interests involved in promoting the faulty research of Ancel Keys and his lipid hypothesis that became national dogma. I recommend Robert Lustig’s “FAT Chance” for an explanation of the danger of sugar. I recommend William Davis’s “Wheat Belly” to explain why “healthy whole grains” are far from that. Lastly I recommend a newly released book by Michael Moss “Sugar, Fat, Salt” which details how the corporate food industry has ignored the health of the nation in favor of profits.

  30. How about cottage cheese and kesam or their light versions? Are they ok?

  31. These tips & tricks are absolute perfection! I will be referring people to this site whenever they ask me about Healthy Low Carb Dieting! :)

  32. Hey Kris. First off I want to thank you for posting some great info here. I really appreciate you taking your time to help others however I do have some questions for you. I recently started the low carb diet and I am consuming between 1400-1500 calories a day and a total of 45 carbs per day. The problem I am having is that using the my fitness pal app to track my consumption, it appears that I am going over my cholesterol levels by 305mg (@ 605mg should be 300mg per day) and my sodium levels by 258mg (@ 2758mg should be 2500mg per day). I am eating frozen Atkins meals for breakfast and lunch to save time which appears to be the majority of the cholesterol and sodium.

    1.) Since I am working out 6 days a week (60 minutes on the elliptical trainer on 4 resistance), is this overage a big issue?
    2.) Would you have any other recommendations to my diet? I currently weigh 263 and my height is 6′.
    3.) What would be the best target heart rate while working out to achieve maximum fat burning?

    Once again, Thanks!!

    • 1. I don’t think there is any reason to worry about a little excess cholesterol or sodium. Your sodium requirements go up on low-carb and cholesterol in the diet doesn’t raise blood cholesterol.

      2. I wouldn’t eat processed Atkins foods. That’s not real food.

      3. Doesn’t matter.

  33. Hi Kris:

    Love your site. I lost 75 plus#s eating low carb and exercising. Need to lose 30# more. Have stalled for the last 7 months, tried eating less/lowering carbs/exercising harder. Just stuck. Any advice? Thanks much.

  34. Hello all, I just started going to the gym about 2 1/2 weeks ago… yay. I’m looking to lose approx 60 lbs. I do 30 mins M-F treadmill/elliptical along with some beginner strength training.

    I have changed my “diet” dramatically ie- cutting out sugars… I was an addict! While I understand that going LCRF will help me out (lots), should i continue with the strength training or hold off for a few weeks?

    After the workouts I’ve been using jay robb’s whey protein shakes w/o sugar, stevia is used instead. Should I continue to use this also? Thank you all for support and letting me rant :) Ken

  35. I’m even more confused than normal. You are a personal trainer and in medical school so you are obviously smart and invested in your career and people. So, given that, you are repeating something very similar to Atkin’s. I thought the Atkins diet was discredited by everyone from the veggie lovers (McDougall, Campbell) to the American Dietetic Association) – not that I trust any government agency.

    The only reference I’ve found that suggests eating meat is healthy came out of Stanford a few years ago. But even it suggested that the long term benefits of this approach are unknown.

    So, can you please point me to scientific study that supports your views.

    Thank you for your site and your well voiced opinions,
    Mike Gregg

  36. Hey looking for a recipe for the coconut milk smoothies? Also what about blending veggies as a smoothie? I tried low carb b4 but did all the Atkins shakes…. I don’t want to do that again!

  37. Hey, so that YouTube video you posted repeatedly says to avoid a picture of milk, but you recommend high-fat dairy. Do a lot of paleo people not do dairy at all?

    • Many paleo folks are cool with high-fat dairy products, especially butter.

      But a strict paleo diet would eliminate dairy since it wasn’t available in the paleolithic period.

      If you can tolerate dairy then I see no reason to avoid it completely.

  38. I’m 18 and am doing exams at the moment.

    I’m almost 11stone and would like to lose weight before the summer.

    I have a 9am-9pm day so it’s difficult to do much. I was just wondering would this diet suit?

    I’d be hopefully looking to drop half a stone, but more if I could

    Just wondering would you have any suggestions?

    Thanks

  39. Chillie says:

    Chris,

    I am diabetic and landed in the hospital about 3 months ago with extremely high sugar levels. I have been on a low carb diet and regularly exercising since and have eliminated most of my meal shots, lost 18 lbs.

    I started looking at your site because my best friends mom just had her leg amputated 1/2 half calf and I wanted to be able to give her a reference to help herself change her diet too. Thank you for the information and helping myself and others LIVE a healthy long life.

  40. Hi Kris. Thanks for all the great info. 2 questions for you. 1. Is butter better to use than Smart Balance? I’ve only used SB for several yrs now, so that will be a tough switch. I use the SB light with omega 3 & flax seed. 2. Is coconut milk light ok instead of milk for smoothies or an occasional beverage? I do need to lose weight, not trying to just maintain. Thanks again for all the info.

  41. Hi Kris,

    All my life, I have had rice, curries, yogurt as my main food as I am from south India. I recently switched to quinoa and eat rice only 1-2 days a week. Is it ok to eat quinoa and follow this diet? I really like this diet and I’d like to start following this but, if I follow this diet for say 1-2 months and then introduce bread, rice, moderate sugar into my diet, will I gain back my weight?

    Please let me know
    Thanks
    Monica.

    • If you start eating the same old diet again, then you will likely gain weight again. That’s how it is with any diet.

      Quinoa is okay, but then you won’t be doing a low-carb diet. Quinoa is too high in carbs, but I suppose it’s okay to eat every now and then.

  42. Great site! I get confused with the carb count on food labels. You can subtract what from the carb count to know the actual carbs? Sugers? Fiber? I see a carb count of, say 20 g, for an example, then it has sugars at 19g. Then the actual carb is 1 ? Help :)

    • You can extract the number of fiber grams from the total amount.

      Net carbs = total carbs – fiber.

      So if you have 20 grams of carbs in a product, but 2 grams of fiber, then you will have 18g of net carbs.

  43. You are talking about “scientific evidence” but there is none about artificial sweeteners. Despite being heavily scrutinised for more than 30 years, there is no whatsoever evidence that aspartame is dangerous.

    I like Diet Coke. Well, not Paleo? Come on, it’s not about being religious – or you’ll be like those vegan zealots.

    Thanks for all of the other clear and concise information which I find very useful.

  44. What is the calorie count for each of these meals?

  45. Hi Kris, Thank you for your fantastic site. I am so glad I happened to come across it today. I had a question or two if you don’t mind. You mention bananas as an okay to eat food but aren’t they high on the carb & glycemic index for sugars?

    I love them but avoid them at all costs due to the sugar in them. I typically eat around 20-50 grams of carbs a day (weight loss mode here). Does it matter where your carbs come from if you stay at a low range?

    So for example, a Joseph’s Flax/Oat Pita has 7 grams of carbs but it is bread. But it has flax & fiber in it too. I start getting confused and “carb disoriented” in a way when I start to introduce foods that seem like they are okay like these small pita breads. Like steel cut oatmeal – I love it but am afraid to eat it.

    Thanks and again, great space!

    • I would minimize bananas if you’re trying to lose weight on a low-carb diet, although one per day is unlikely to do any harm as long as you account for the amount of carbs in it.

      Having small amounts of grains is fine as long as you don’t go over your carb limit, although I personally prefer to use my “carb budget” for more nutritious foods like vegetables.

      At the end of the day, do what works for you. It’s important to experiment, we’re all unique.

  46. I’m going to give you my menu on what I eat almost everyday and would love to know your opinion.

    Breakfast: Green smoothie, contains Spinach, Pineapple, and Mango w/water and ice.
    Lunch: Mediterranean Sandwich, contains Alfalfa Sprouts, Tomato, Cucumber, 2 Tbsp Avocado, Red pepper, 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, and 2 slices of Ezekiel Bread.
    Dinner: Chicken Salad.
    Snack: Green Smoothie.

    I workout 4 – 5 times a week, 1 hr intense circuit cardio and 30 mins of weight training. I had a couple of people tell me that I was not eating enough, but I seem to maintain my weight. Thank You!

  47. Sorry Kris I forgot to mention, I also eat 4 egg whites w/2 slices of Turkey Bacon. I drink the smoothies before my workout, after my workout, after my breakfast, and before bedtime. 2 cups each time.

  48. Hi, thanks for this! I’m staying at a college so it’s really limited on what I can choose to eat or not, especially when I need a pre-packed lunch as sandwiches are the only option available. Are multigrain breads alright if I only eat them once a day? What kind of cereals do you recommend for breakfast?

    Also, I dance about 2 times a week for 2 hours per session, and I do brisk walks to and from Uni for about half an hour daily. In addition, I sometimes do video workouts for toning if I have the time, would you consider that as active?

    Thanks!

  49. I find it a bit strange that you include fruit in your LC-version. Fruit is mostly sugar and contains very little in the way of nutrition and our LC gurus here in Sweden more often than not do not recommend even one fruit a day. Berries in small amounts are OK though.

  50. Low carb is awesome combined with intermittent fasting, I fast for 16 hours a day. I gotta get back on low carb and lose the 30 ugly pounds.

    This plan is solid, I also weight train 6 times per week, take dessicated liver pills, vitamin D, and eat lots of virgin coconut oil cook with it too. I have since dropped the olive oil, and also dropped all other supplements. I hate Whey protein it’s just awful, people get so much bloating and gas from it.

    Lets see how things go, I will need some carb ups. I usually feel very bad in deep ketosis, but if I allow myself 50g of carbs per day from frozen fruits it might be different. Great website, great info and great articles, thank you.

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