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09 February, 2009

How To-104: "How to Make Low Carb Dieting Simple and Easy"

How to Make Low Carb Dieting Simple and Easy

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Most books make low-carb too complicated and time-consuming for real people to stick to. And we have to survive eating out. Here are some practical shortcuts for human units in a hurry.


  1. Realize that the essence of low-carb is weeding out all the refined starches and sugars from your diet. That's all.
  2. You don't need to buy extra stuff, special-made products etc. Just cut out the starches and sugars.
  3. The remaining fat, protein and non-starchy vegetables you eat will satisfy your hunger sooner and for longer.
  4. Water is your friend. Fill a pitcher of it first thing in the morning instead of coffee or other drink. You'll be surprised; drinking water will slake your appetite not just your thirst. Add a couple lemon slices for flavor. Carry some in a sports bottle wherever you go. Drink more whenever you think of it, and especially whenever you get a snack craving. Miracle of miracles, it will ease that urge.
  5. Make egg the mainstay of your breakfast. Just soft-boil one or fry in oil. If that doesn't satisfy you add a few bacon strips or a couple sausages or half a grapefruit. That should do ya. Forget all about cereal. Sugar-free yogurt is OK if there's no starch added (read labels!)
  6. For lunch, munch on some lunchmeat without bread. Put it in lettuce or eat carrot sticks or other raw veggies. Drink water. Again simple is better.
  7. Base your dinner on meats/fish you like, plus salad/vegetables. Avoid potato, it is just a starch ball. Focus your appetite and limited time on the easiest of all, like pan-frying a steak, oven-roasting a chicken or ground meat/veg medley. First of all your appetite will be less if you've stayed low-carb earlier in the day; second of all, meat done well is unbeatably delicious. Don't trim off the fat, it adds flavor that keeps you satisfied.
  8. When you are not at home, keep focused on the mantra: don't order stuff containing refined carbs or sugar; or if they come with the dish, leave them there. At a restaurant, ask for veggies instead of the potato. Skip the bread, fries and dessert. Scrape the breading off the veal or shrimp. Eat the pizza toppings but leave the crust on your plate. Eat the chili but leave the beans behind. And so on.
  9. Take vitamins when you get up, and before you go to bed. If nothing else this will calm any worries about whether you've taken in enough "nutrients". (You have, and ya ain't missed nuthin' by skipping refined carbs! But the critics will harp on this one).


  • Cheese is OK too, in moderation. It adds wonderful flavor.
  • Become a salad lover. Nothing better than steak and salad. Buy pre-chopped salad fixings to save time. Its expensive but you're worth it.
  • Butter is fine, but margarine isn't - because it usually contains trans fats, which are very damaging to health. Read labels, and avoid like the plague any product that mentions partially-hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil/fat (= trans fat).
  • Nuts and beans are borderline. They are around 60% starch. Sesame seeds are nice on salads. For snacks, first drink water and see if the urge goes away. If not, take only about 10-15 nuts at a time, don't carry the whole can or bag off with you. It will haunt you.
  • Fruits contain sugars too, though small berry-type fruits are the lowest in carb and are OK every now and then, e.g. to flavor yogurt. Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry are OK. Avoid cherry, its higher sugar. You can buy frozen any time of year. The occasional apple or orange is OK.
  • Use artificial sweeteners if you must, e.g. to sweeten your tea or yogurt.
  • Fast food joints are a reality of our zip-go lives. Just order the standard burger, not the monster burger combo meal. The standard hamburgers can easily be eaten low-carb if you just munch the meat in the middle. Use the bun as a 'holder' but just wedge the meat part into your mouth. Then rotate and do it from the other side etc. till the meat is eaten and just trash the empty bun. With a little practice this can be done in a dignified way so even your mother wouldn't notice (though your 5-year old probably will).
  • Remember: fast food fries are loaded with trans fats as well as carbs. Very evil.
  • Drink your own water later in the car, or if you must stick to a sugar free drink (e.g. diet cola).
  • Reward: within a week you should feel better, look better. Stick with it, add exercise and in a few months if you squint you'll start to see shades of Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie forming in the mirror!
  • Low carb diets are often successful, but only temporary. A low carb is ideal for shifting the last stubborn areas that bug you everyday but should be followed as a life long legacy.
  • After reaching your goal weight on a low carb diet, it is acceptable to start introducing low GI carbs. An easy way to identify which carbs are good and which are bad is the following : White - BAD Wholemeal - GOOD!!
  • This means brown bread (in moderation) sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, etc


  • If you have doubts about your health, see your doctor and get testing done before and a few months after. Many doctors are supportive of low carb dieting now and realize when followed correctly, it is a healthy way to eat. Gage how you are feeling. Generally you will go through an adjustment period in the first week, but it does pass then you feel amazing.
  • Chocolate, alcohol and coffee will stall your weight loss. When you get those urges, quick grab a glass of water or fix yourself some tea!
  • Get as many temptations out of your house as you can. If you're living with carb eaters, this may not be possible so keep that water pitcher close as you can. It keeps a lot of demons at bay.

Things You'll Need

  • Lunch meat (turkey)
  • Eggs
  • Chicken in all its forms (whole, breast, wings, drumsticks etc.)
  • Frozen and occasionally fresh fish
  • Olive Oil for stovetop pan frying (safflower or sunflower oil are the healthiest; olive oil is great for salads)
  • Leafy greens
  • Carrots, celery
  • Green beans and some tomatoes (careful, they contain some natural sugar)
  • Onions and garlic (these provide the flavor for many low carb main dishes, they go so well with meat - even though onion contains small amounts of natural sugar - just don't overuse it)
  • Water pitcher, and lemons to flavor it
  • A good leak-proof sports water bottle you can carry with you everywhere
  • A determined attitude

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