There are many ways to get started on low carb, but I’ve found the easiest is to throw myself into it with very low carbs for three days. After day two or three, your cravings should subside and you can begin to introduce additional low carb options and will find your appetite is naturally diminished and your cravings for carbs have gone away. Here is my plan. I do not advocate this for everyone or doing this long-term, as it is very restrictive.
I do not limit quantities the first three days, eating as much and as often as I like. I do severely limit types of foods allowed. This is not really a completely healthy diet as it includes some processed and frankenfoods, so please do not eat this more than three days and take a good multi-vitamin.
I’m not in any way a doctor. If you have concerns for your health or this diet, you should definitely consult with your doctor first. However, many doctors do not like the low carb concept, so the final choice is yours.
All kinds of meat, but be cautious. Read labels. If you plan to include lunch meats, watch out. Some contain sugar and all contain sodium. I do include hot dogs (no bun of course) but I buy Hebrew National. Do not go for fat free anything as sugar is almost always added. Bacon? Sure. Same thing, watch the sugar and fillers. Sausage? Go for it. It is for three days. You aren’t going to eat bacon every day for the rest of your life, although if you did, I bet you would still be healthier than if you stuffed Twinkies in your face every day for the next three years. (Have you noticed how much smaller the new Twinkies are? Not that we’re eating them, of course.)
Eggs and Cheese
Eggs (yes you can have the yolks). Now, Atkins recommended limiting cheese. I never have limited myself in this area, though. This is one of those things that differs with each person. It can really clog you up, if you know what I mean, and this is worse for some people. Others find it stalls them. I prefer a sharp cheddar or American cheese, so perhaps those are easier on my system.
Fats fill you up. Add them these first few days to fill yourself up and keep yourself from eating carbs. Butter, extra virgin coconut oil (one of my favorite healthy fat sources), olive oil, avocados, full fat mayo (watch out for that soy, though) and olives.
Drink up. Don’t like water? I use Crystal Light and have never had a problem. Some people say it sets off cravings. You can try it. These first few days, it is best to cut caffeine but if you feel bad, add it back. It is good to get away from but not worth having a nervous breakdown over.
SF Jello and Pork Rinds
I have a raging sweet tooth and when I have had carbs and need to get back in the groove, SF Jello saves me from binging on sweets. I don’t think about what it is made from. I just eat it and move on. Add some homemade whipped cream made with Splenda and heavy whipping cream if you’d like.
Pork rinds are another thing that is gross if you think about what it is but can save you if you’re craving that salty crunch. Dip them in full fat French onion dip or Ranch dip or any other kind of low carb dip. I also use pork rinds as a fried chicken coating, etc.
Here are some menu ideas for those who are still at a loss:
- Breakfast: Omelet with ham and cheese
- Lunch: Chicken breast, boiled egg, sf jello
- Snack: Pork rinds dipped in French onion dip
- Dinner: Steak and lots of it, fry it in butter if you want
- Snack: Leftover sliced chicken
- Breakfast: Leftover steak and eggs fried in butter of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO) If using EVCO, you must get at health food store and get cold pressed. I like Nutiva brand. Walmart’s is not cold-pressed and is not good for cooking. You get what you pay for.
- Lunch: Selection of cold cuts and cheeses
- Snack: Scrambled eggs
- Dinner: Pot roast and lots of it with sf jello for dessert
- Breakfast: Omelet with cheese
- Lunch: Fried pork chops (use pork rinds if you want a breading and fry in butter)
- Snack: sf jello
- Dinner: Roasted chicken (as much as you want)
Please, only do this for three days to kill your cravings and give your body a kick start. Even though some people believe we can live on meat forever, I really believe that God gave us all natural foods for our health. Add back in whole foods after three days.
If you are doing induction, you can add 20-30 grams a day of green vegetables. Here is what I would add after three days and stay on for weight loss. If I am in a maintenance mode for a period of time, I will add in some helpers like Low Carb tortillas and some sf candies.
I do not lose weight when adding those and am getting ready to cut them again as I am trying to reach my goal this year.
After Three Days I Add These Foods
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries) in moderation (maybe 1/2 cup a day)
- Nuts (again in moderation – a handful is fine but an entire can of nuts is not)
- Seeds (moderation, please)
- Green veggies of all kinds
- Whole tomatoes
- Diet sodas (trying to kick this habit, actually)
- Low carb yogurt (Kroger has CarbMaster. They are hard to find. Most yogurt has too many carbs, so watch this. Greek yogurt sometimes works)
- Heavy whipping cream (can have this on induction, too)
Low carb is really hard to stick to. My husband and I did great about a year ago and lost 30 pounds each. We’ve allowed non-low carb foods back into our diet and I’ve not lost a pound. I’m trying to get back on it now, so you’ll be making this journey with me if you decide to give it a try.
If you’re really serious about giving low-carb eating a go, I recommend investing in a good low carb eating book, such as the ones by Dr. Atkins. Sugar Busters is another good one. There are many different low-carb and even carb cycling plans out there, including Chris Powell’s Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution
and Dr. Phil’s The 20/20 Diet: Turn Your Weight Loss Vision Into Reality. It just depends on which one works best for you.
Feel free to leave your own tips and struggles in the comments section below.