I see people eating portions that are ridiculous for their size. Food sizes have increased over the years (and so have people!). People make the mistake of eating out and thinking that the restaurant-sized portion on their plate is the portion that they should entirely eat. They trained their brains and stomach to want MORE MORE MORE. Chances are, you should eat half of it or a third of what is there. I always get a take away box up front, divide the food up and put it in the box and then only eat what is on my plate. Out of sight, out of mind! If you eat a sandwich, think about it. ONE slice of bread is about 15g or more carbs. If you eat a whole sandwich, there are two slices of bread. Chances are the protein portion is about 3 times too big to lose weight. And then people eat potato salad or chips and you just can’t do that if you want to lose weight. You will put weight on, not take it off.
If you want to lose weight, here is what worked for me and most people on low carb diets. It is very simple:
50 to 100 carbs a day, closer to 50, the better!
Learn to measure. Size does matter! This is what I learned from the pros and worked for me. After a week or two, you will be able to just eyeball stuff and know the weight or size.
1. I ate protein 6 times a day, about every 2 to 3 hours. Don’t let a lot of time pass in between. Starving yourself in between meals slows down your metabolism and you will not lose weight. You have to BURN! If you eat chicken, turkey, meat, soy (6 ounces of soy), 1/3 cup of a veggie burger–your protein choice shouldn’t weigh more than 4 ounces at each meal. You can also do low carb protein bars or a small greek yogurt. Just saw a Dannon lite one with 8 carbs, with fruit at the bottom at Costco, and at other markets. String cheese and lite mini Baby Bells. Protein bars like Power Crunch or Nature Valley Protein Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate are lower in carbs, but be careful, some are high. Protein drinks are good too, check carbs. Trader Joes has two and they are about 4 or 5g carbs each (better chilled).
2. I ate 2 cups of lettuce two times a day (lunch and dinner). Fat free dressing and look on the label for the carbs and factor that into your day’s allotment of carbs.
3. I ate roughly about a cup of any vegetable twice a day. If it is an onion or carrots, only half of a cup. If you can stay away from most root starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams. Too many carbs and they spike up your blood sugar. Look up a recipe online or on my blog history on how to make cauliflower-based “mashed potatoes” without the potatoes. Tastes great. NO CHIPS!
(to make life easier, I made a salad twice a day that had my lettuce, a protein and my veggies in it (I would do something like half a cup of tomato and 1/4 cup of carrots in my salad to do a smaller mix of two rather than just eat one at each meal. And this way, two proteins were accounted for with a salad.)
4. Diet drinks. Coffee can have non-dairy creamer, but if you use milk, that is a protein. Look at the carbs for it and factor it in as one of the six proteins for the day. 1 cup is 12 carbs. I gave up milk in my coffee, and I carried non-dairy creamer cups in my car because I didn’t want to give up a meal just to put milk in my coffee. Use the creamer sparingly, there are carbs, but not nearly as much as milk.
5. Each fruit has different amounts of carbs and you need to eat two a day. I lost little weight with apples and bananas, as they are high in carbs, so I stuck with a citrus fruit or a cup of berries like strawberries or blueberries (you can put them in your yogurt).
6. I stayed away from bread, oatmeal and cereal. You can have bread or a grain twice a week in place of a fruit. But, they are high in carbs (one slice is usually 15g or more carbs and a cup of strawberries is only 11g carbs. So choose wisely. In fact, Julian Bakery in stores like Whole Foods or online orders has very low carb bread. Western Bagel makes a bagel that is 10g net carbs (Perfect 10). So you can have your grain twice a week and if you get the right one, you can keep losing weight. Before I found out about the low carb breads and I had a normal slice of bread (despite counting carbs), I would get stuck in my weight. So, I tended to avoid the grain substitution altogether because I wanted to lose weight!
7. A dessert after dinner would be one of my six proteins, but done 2 or 3 hours after dinner to keep your metabolism running better. I would have Carbolite frozen dessert and count the carbs. 8 ounces had 16 carbs. Or I would look at a Skinny Cow dessert or something that had a milk or something yummy to it so it felt like a dessert, but it was a protein. Look at the label and make sure it has protein. The more protein, the better. There are lite chocolate puddings, etc. You don’t want to feel deprived, but if you do it in a way that still follows the rules, then you can lose weight. Cheesecake Factory has a low carb cheesecake now that is about 35g carbs. That is still a lot, but think about only eating half or sharing it with a friend. I think there is a low carb one at Whole Foods too.
8. A way to kick start your metabolism is to eat some carbs for a day or two and then, do ONLY proteins for 3 days. Nothing else. Just the three proteins, every 2 to 3 hours–along with beverages. Then, start the above plan.
9. If you want pancakes or pasta as a protein to break up the monotony, then look at low carb websites for low carb replacements. Lindora.com ( you don’t have to be a member) has a protein infused pancake mix and a pasta. They are really good and worth the money. They will let you lose weight. But, keep the carb content in mind as you factor it into your day. An egg is only one carb, so that might have to be your lunch or snacks to balance it out. I did this a couple of times a week and stuck mostly to meat and eggs as my protein. Jenny O Chicken Sausage is a VERY low carb delicious way to get your protein!
–Important! Do not use regular syrup if you want to lose weight. ONLY 2 tablespoons of most maple syrups are about 50g carbs. INSANITY. So, look at lite syrups. I believe Aunt Jemima Lite is not that lite at about 21g carbs per 1/4 cup (a lot more than 2 tablespoons), when you compare it to some like Walden Farms lite at 10g carbs per 1/4 cup or IHOP Lite Syrup at 5g carbs per 1/4 cup.
10. Exercise! Even if you can just walk. But do it! It helps you burn and you will burn. You will be going into ketosis, where your body is now burning fat. (Rules for ketosis, including checking with your doctor and making sure you are ok to do this weight loss planhttp://www.livestrong.com/article/132636-ketosis-weight-loss-rules/. )
AND REALIZE THAT IF YOU DON’T ADOPT THIS AS A LIFESTYLE. AND YOU GO BACK TO EATING A LOT MORE THAN THIS (OUTSIDE OF ADDING IN A LITTLE BIT MORE OF FRUITS, VEGGIES AND PROTEIN),….
AND YOU GO BACK TO REGULAR MAPLE SYRUPS AND DESSERTS, AND YOU DON’T COUNT CARBS PER DAY, YOU WILL PUT IT BACK ON. LEARN TO MAKE DIFFERENT THINGS LIKE MY CAULIFLOWER BASED PIZZA RECIPE AND DELICIOUS TURKEY MEATLOAF AND YOU WON’T FEEL SO DEPRIVED. IF YOU FEEL DEPRIVED, YOU WILL CHEAT.
This is not a punishment. This is actually what you really should be doing. You trained your body to eat too much before, and now you have to train it to eat right and balanced.