Here’s a handy checklist to make starting out on a low carb high fat (LCHF) eating plan easy! Consult this list often. Print it out and tape it to your bathroom mirror, refrigerator and carry a copy in your purse.
A quick note before you begin:
If you are on medications of any kind or have a serious condition such as diabetes, do NOT begin a LCHF diet without first checking in with your physician and obtaining their consent. It is very likely that your medication dosage may need to be adjusted as you lose weight. Insulin-dependent diabetics may need less insulin once they start eating LCHF and losing weight, and should not decrease their carb intake or lower their calories without first checking with their doctor!
If you are on medication, hopefully you have a physician who has read the most recent scientific literature and will be willing to work with you as you change the way you eat. Unfortunately, there are many physicians who would rather prescribe medication than recommend that you improve your diet. These physicians would rather treat a condition with drugs than cure it completely and the pharmaceutical industry makes a killing (pun intended) from patients who are prescribed medication after medication. Sad but true.
If your doctor doesn’t recommend following this dietary approach, challenge him or her by asking why. Barring some extremely rare circumstances, this diet is highly suitable for almost everyone. You may wish to recommend that they read a book written by medical doctors about LCHF eating which explains how a LCHF diet can reverse pre-diabetes, diabetes, and associated conditions like high blood pressure and high triglyceride levels. See Jeff Volek PhD, RD and Stephen Phinney MD PhD’s book. Wheat Belly, written by cardiologist William Davis, is another recent physician-written best seller that we highly recommend. Your doctor may also wish to consider the thousands of testimonials online from patients whose health was transformed with the adoption of a LCHF diet. Enough said. You get the point.
- Allow yourself a few days of preparation time. Read through our LCHF Nation website, learning pages and blog posts. Sign up for our FREE 8 day email course. There’s a wealth of inspiration and useful information there, and grab youself a copy of one of our awesome easy to use LCHF cookbooks which contain all the basic recipes you need to succeed.
- Clean out your cupboards and refrigerator. Get rid of the following: sugar, honey, soda, wheat flour, cornstarch, pasta, rice, grains, oatmeal, granola, snack foods such as potato chips, sweetened hot cocoa mix, ketchup, mayonnaise made with soy bean oil, all vegetable oils except for olive oil, canned beans, anything processed in a box, sweetened yogurts, cereals, low fat anything (milk, cheese, yogurt – these contain extra carbs), candy, protein bars (they’re full of sugar!), anything that contains high fructose corn syrup, food colorings and artificial unpronounceable ingredients.
- Go shopping and pick up the following foods: Unsalted butter (preferably pastured/grass-fed), olive oil, expeller pressed coconut oil (a neutral oil for cooking), pastured or free range eggs, heavy cream, hard cheeses, organic or pastured ground beef, ground pork, ground turkey, sugar-free bacon, chicken pieces, steak, canned non-BPA tuna, full-fat sour cream, mayonnaise made with olive or expeller pressed canola oil, full-fat Greek yogurt, avocados, cauliflower, green beans fresh spinach, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes (including canned tomato products), onions, garlic, fresh herbs, organic deli meats, sausages without fillers and carbs. Almonds, macadamias and other nuts (except cashews which are to high in carbs), coconut milk (full fat). Optional: Blanched Almond flour, coconut flour and erythritol powder if you like to bake. Blanched almond flour is a very versatile ingredient and can be substituted for breadcrumbs in recipes such as meatloaf and for coating chicken before baking or pan frying. It also makes superb cookies. See our awesome LCHF dessert recipes in our cookbooks.
- For the first week or so keep your food very simple: eggs cooked in butter and cream for breakfast (Classic Scrambled Eggs) or our Egg Muffins or a Cheese Omelette, tuna salad with plenty of homemade mayonnaise, avocados or some nuts and cheddar cheese for lunch and beef or chicken with cauliflower roasted in plenty of olive oil, coconut oil or butter for dinner. Forget fancy and focus on eating the correct foods like the ones on our low carb food list. Remember that this is a lifestyle change and it will take you a week or two to feel comfortable with eating this way and to become fat adapted. Once you become fat adapted, you’ll be able to last long stretches of time without eating. You won’t need to eat lunch. That’s the joy of eating LCHF.
- Eat the same breakfast and snack every single day! Keep it simple: Think eggs cooked in butter with cheese, cream or avocado for breakfast. Make breakfast high in fat and moderate in protein, choose a simple high fat, low protein, very low carb snack for early afternoon eg a slice of our Cranberry Walnut Bread and a piece of cheddar or one of our Apple Cinnamon Muffins or some nuts. Drink tea or no calorie sparkling water between breakfast and dinner.
- Make dinner your biggest most creative meal. Each weekend choose a few make-ahead meals from our cookbook such as meatloaf, Crustless Quiche, Tuna Salad or one of our easy to prepare casseroles like Chicken and Peanut Butter Stew or Chicken Cacciatore or Chili Verde (all from Cookbook #2) that you can eat with an easy side of veggies roasted in fat. Being prepared by having some ready made meals you can heat and eat will make all the difference and will enable you to dive right into this way of eating and will guarantee your success! See our cookbooks for inspiration. They contain all the basic recipes you need.
- Find out how many calories and how many grams of fat, protein and carbs YOU personally need to eat to succeed at losing weight. Order our Personal Calorie and Macro report and we’ll tell you exactly what YOU need to eat for your age, height, activity level and health status. Its your personal roadmap to success!
- But what do I eat instead of bread or rice?? Check out our LCHF easy substitutions list. This is your new way of eating! No need to be confused. Remember – everything you need is in our cookbooks. We’ve gathered 6 years of cooking, eating and weight loss wisdom in our cookbooks to make life easier for you. There’s no need to struggle or re-invent the wheel. We’ve done all the work for you. All our recipes are delicious, fully tested and contain full calorie and macro counts so you can choose what suits your needs (this are the recipes we use every single day).
- Visit your doctor and request a full blood work-up. This is an ESSENTIAL step if you are currently on any type of medication. Have your doctor measure your blood pressure, triglyceride levels, cholesterol (LDL and its specific composition – small dense Type B damaging particles vs. larger, fluffier, Type A unharmful particles), HDL and fasting blood sugar, insulin levels and A1C levels. After a few months of eating this way you are going to be astounded at how much better your blood markers will be.
- Ask your doctor to also order a full thyroid panel (TSH, T3, T4 and thyroid hormones) to detect any underlying hypothyroidism which, if untreated will make lsoing weight almost impossible! Don’t neglect this – especially if you’re someone who puts on weight easly or has difficulty losing weight.
- Similarly, if you are a woman over 40, have your reproductive hormones checked and get them in balance. Women entering perimenopause, going through menopause or who are menopausal put on weight much more easily due to low and imbalanced levels of estrogen and progesterone. Without adequate estrogen, your body will fight to hold onto its body fat. Do not neglect these hormones. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is now safe for most women. Trying to lose weight without these hormones in balance is like trying to drive a car with the brakes on!
- If you’re planning to lose weight, after checking with your doctor, order online or pick up the following vitamins and supplements: A high quality multi-vitamin, D3 (ask your doctor to check your levels – many people are deficient), iron if you need it, magnesium citrate or glycinate, potasium, Omega 3 supplments (Nordic naturals is a great brand), a pro-biotic to repopulate your gut with health bacteria (this will help some people to lose weight more easily).
- Record your weight, take your measurements. If you follow the LCHF plan, in just one week you’ll see a substantial decrease in your scale weight and your body measurements, particularly your waist measurement.
- Create a free online FitDay account, or a similar online food recording/diet analysis system, and log your daily foods to ensure you meet your recommended calories and macros for weight loss. Note that everyone has different calorie and carb requirements depending on their age, height, gender, unique physical characteristics and health status. We will help you determine what calorie and carb level is right for you depending on whether your goal is weight loss or maintaining your weight and simply eating healthier.
- Tell your friends that you’re embarking on a new way of eating and ask them to support you. Even better, ask them to join you! Remember you are doing this for YOU. Stick to your guns and don’t be swayed by what others say or do.
- Be patient! it can take a while for your body to heal after sustaining metabolic damage from eating high sugar/starch foods and that such healing is often a necessary first step to losing weight.
Preparation and planning ahead is they key to success especially when starting a new unfamiliar way of eating.
We recommend you take a day or two in advance to do all the things we have mentioned above; i.e., start up a FitDay account, do some reading here on our LCHF Nation website, clean out your pantry, do some shopping, make an appointment with a doctor who supports LCHF eating, order your vitamins, and do some cooking ahead of time. A good idea is to cook in bulk on weekends and freeze casseroles, meatloaves, curries and other dinners for Monday to Friday when you’re rushing around and don’t have time to cook. We have cookbooks full of time tested easy to prepare recipes to make life easier for you. Our LCHF Nation cookbooks are a convenient electronic download so you will receive it immediately. All our recipes are listed in imperial and metric measurements so everyone around the world can use them.
Be prepared to succeed!
If you liked this article you may also like these informative articles: the amazing health benefits of eating a low carb high fat diet and 10 Easy low carb high fat substitutions for common high carb foods.