Could you spend hours searching LC recipes sites, reading food labels, preparing fancy meals, etc., to get started on a LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) way of eating? Sure.
Do you need to do those things to get started? Nope.
The goal is to eat foods that do not raise your blood sugar OR require much of an insulin response from your body to avoid a rise in blood sugar. Insulin = fat storage. When hungry, eat foods that don’t raise your blood sugar/insulin, don’t eat again until you’re hungry again.
Clean out the pantry, fridge, and freezer and toss (or donate to a food pantry if unopened and not out of date):
- bread, buns, rolls, anything made by the Pillsbury Doughboy
- breakfast cereal, granola, oatmeal (that Quaker Oats guy does NOT have a halo)
- crackers, chips, pretzels, Cheez-Its (I know that’s a tough one!)
- potatoes, rice, pasta (even if it’s supposedly LC pasta), sweet potatoes
- corn, sweet peas, carrots
- wheat flour, sugar, brown sugar, agave nectar
- candy, cookies, pies, cakes (or pantry mixes to make these foods)
- ice cream, popsicles, frozen “diet” meals
- milk, coffee creamer, low-fat cheeses
- check condiments for sugar, corn syrup…particularly ketchup, sweet pickles, barbeque sauce, steak sauce
- salad dressings made with corn syrup, sugar, etc., “lite” mayonnaise or dressing
Great, got rid of the junk…now WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO EAT?!
First, do not measure, weigh, or otherwise pay attention to serving sizes of your proteins or vegetables.
When you’re hungry, eat. How much should you eat? Enough to make you feel comfortably full.
When should you eat again? When you’re hungry again.
GOOD LCHF FOOD LIST
PROTEINS: Beef, fish, chicken, pork, deer, buffalo, alligator, shrimp, lobster, scallops, duck, tuna, lamb and EGGS WITHOUT LIMITATION. Cook these any way that makes you happy, but don’t add breading which adds carbs.
NONSTARCHY VEG and SALAD GREENS: Eat a trough full of these if you want…they don’t have enough carbs to be problematic and they are loaded with nutrients. *Eat fat with your greens/veg so your body can benefit from the fat-soluble vitamins contained in these foods. Artichokes, asparagus, arugula, broccoli, cabbage (all), cucumber, eggplant, chard, collards, kale, all lettuces, peppers, onions, okra, mushrooms, tomatoes, green beans, wax beans, zucchini, spinach, etc.
NATURAL FATS: In spite of what you’ve been told your entire life, there is no need to limit healthy, natural fats in your diet. GOOD: Butter, olive oil, coconut oil, mayonnaise. Also the fats that naturally occur in nuts, egg yolks, ribeye steaks, pork chops, avocado, etc. BAD: Transfats, anything hydrogenated, margarines, vegetable oils, etc.
Things that make life worth living:
- Cheese – all kinds. Harder, aged cheeses are lower in carbs and offer benefits to healthy gut bacteria. Pay attention to the carb content of softer, less-aged cheeses (cottage, for example) since you may want to limit quantities of these.
- Cream – real, actual heavy cream for coffee, whipped cream, etc. NOT coffee creamers
- Mayonnaise – I live in the South so Duke’s is the deal here. Is homemade mayo healthier? Probably.
- Olives (up to 6 daily)
- Avocado (1/2 fruit daily)
- Lemon/lime juice (up to 2 T daily – nice on seafood or to flavor water)
- Pickles!! Dill pickles, dill relish, sweet relish (made with alternative sweetener), pickled peppers, pickled cauliflower…you get the idea
- Sugar-free gelatin, maybe with some whipped cream on top
- Pork rinds (good substitute for chips or for use to get egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad out of the bowl and into your mouth; can be used to bread chicken/fish)
- Pepperoni slices
- Sliced deli meat + slice of cheese. Roll it up like a cigar and enjoy this dipped in Ranch dressing
- Egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad
- Deviled eggs, hard-boiled eggs
- Cream cheese on…whatever
- Nuts & seeds – if you can eat a bit without overdoing it. Some can, some can’t.
- almonds,, coconut flakes (unsweetened), pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
What might a LCHF day look like?
Breakfast could include:
- Eggs, any way you want them – cook in butter, bacon drippings, coconut oil…
- Coffee with heavy cream and/or sweetener
- Sausage, bacon, ham (not low-fat versions of these)
- Leftover meat/veg/cheese from last night’s supper…scramble that up into your eggs and call it an omelet
- Make-ahead mini egg/sausage/cheese cups
- Nothing, if you find you aren’t hungry first thing in the morning. There is no need to eat something within the first ____ hours of awakening. Eat when hungry.
- If you need to run through a drive-thru for breakfast, choose the LC Breakfast Bowl at Hardee’s or get 2 Sausage Egg McMuffins, throw the muffins in the trash and make yourself a “sandwich” with the egg/sausage/sausage/egg. Get creative!
Lunch could include:
- Burger without the bun + side salad with ranch dressing
- Leftovers from supper the night before
- Deli meat/cheese roll-ups, dipped in ranch dressing
- Homemade cole slaw (so you know it’s sugar-free)
- Homemade soup/chili you make ahead and then have handy for work-week lunches
- Salad made with lettuces/greens, onion, tomato, peppers, meat (ham/turkey/tuna), cheeses, nuts, bacon, hard-boiled egg, and a dressing that is not sugar-based. Good dressing choices: Ranch, Caesar, bleu cheese, Italian, oil & vinegar. Bad dressing choices: French, Russian, Catalina, Thousand Island
- If you’re getting a salad from a drive-thru or restaurant, skip the croutons
Supper could include:
- Any kind of meat, fish, seafood, fowl – broiled, baked, roasted, fried, pan-seared, grilled, poached, braised…I don’t care how you cook it as long as you don’t add carbs (breading)
- Nonstarchy veg – boiled, steamed, roasted, grilled…especially delicious with melted butter or some fancy sauce if you’re into that sort of thing
- Salad, especially if you didn’t have that for lunch