Not So Deep Stuff (Carbs)

I can’t believe I’m about to blog my diet story, but since I’m going at it again for a second time and have had a number of people ask me for details, I might as well.

Long story short, two years after having Inch, I was still carrying an extra 20lbs. DH and I took the low carb approach and I lost 10 lbs in the first month and a total of 20 lbs by the end of 5 months. I kept that weight off for a year and only gained much of it back because I quit smoking and just went crazy over the holidays. This go round, I’m on day 24 and have lost 8-10 lbs. (I like to weigh myself in jeans and a sweater first and then lighter weight clothing thereafter to get a much-needed mental boost.)

I’ll break down the specifics in a moment, but what I have found to be most important is the need to become aware of what you are eating. I am still stunned when I check the carb count on foods that, previously, I would have wolfed down without a second thought.

The Numbers
First, let me define how I count carbs: Net Carbs = Total Carbs – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols. Note that this formula, as my grandfather has informed me, is not the same for people who monitor carbs for diabetic purposes.

Though we only loosely followed it, the Atkins plan starts off with an induction phase that limits daily consumption to 20 net carbs per day for the first 2 weeks. We targeted 30-40 net carbs per day for the first 2 weeks and then 70-100 per day for an indefinite maintenance phase.

To put these numbers in perspective, my average daily intake was between 300-400 net carbs, but on extreme days could exceed 500. For example, a single holiday meal could be over 600 carbs when you include dessert.

Primary Culprits
There are essentially 5 things you must all but eliminate from your diet if you want to reduce your carb intake enough to affect your weight. They are sugar, pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread (and most flour/wheat based products). I didn’t think that sounded so hard until I realized that 75% of my daily diet was derived from these 5 things!

Before & After Menus
For years, I ate high fiber cereal every morning for breakfast and sweetened my coffee with sugar and flavored creamers. This meant starting my day off with over 60 carbs. The rest of a typical day might include lunch from Subway, a banana, dinner with at least a hearty serving of pasta, rice or potatoes and rolls, and a late evening snack to meet my sweet tooth needs. Throw in a single coke or sweet tea, and I’ve easily surpassed the 300 mark!
To achieve my new daily goal of 70-100 carbs, breakfast is less than 3 carbs with 2 eggs and coffee sweetened with Splenda and sugar free creamer. Lunch might be a burrito, a sandwich or leftovers from dinner the night before (see secret weapons below). Dinner is more heavily weighted in veggies with much smaller portions of carbs. Snacks are low-to-no sugar candies or ice creams or an occasional yogurt (not low-carb, but not as bad as say a Little Debbie).

One of the things I’ve noticed on this diet is that carbs are highly addictive. The less I eat, the less I want. But if I get back into old habits, the more I eat, the more I really want. I still indulge every so often (like once or twice a week), but for the most part, I’ve made this work by planning meals and making better choices when I get tempted. Today, for example, I thought about treating myself with an individual-sized pecan pie.

I quickly changed my mind when I read that it was 60 carbs! I’ll conclude with some lists of foods that have really helped both DH and I survive the tougher days. I’ll happily share some specific recipes if you’d like…just let me know and I’ll send them to you.

One final note of importance – the downside to this diet (DH frequently points out that Atkins actually died from a heart attack) is the risk of increased cholesterol levels. I checked mine 6 months into it and was fine, though my levels were slightly higher than what they were previously. So, like anything, take care and be responsible about having such matters monitored.

Low-to-No Carb Foods
Real Mayo
Meats, seafood, poultry
Non-processed cheeses
Sour cream
Cream cheese
Almonds, sunflower seeds, some other nuts (NOT cashews!)
Peanut butter
Pinto beans/refried beans

Secret Weapons (stuff that actually doesn’t taste bad!)
They are only 3 carbs and are an excellent source of potassium and many other nutrients. I eat them as often as I possibly can on sandwiches, burritos, burgers, with chicken and anywhere else I can think of.

Breyers & Blue Bunny Low Carb Ice Cream Treats
4-10 carbs per serving and you won’t believe how good they taste!

Nature’s Own Wheat’nFiber Bread
@ 7 per slice, it’s nearly ½ the carbs of most breads; they also make 10 net carb hamburger buns and hot dog buns

Fifty 50 Sugar Free Strawberry Spread
I don’t care for their other flavors, but this makes for a great snack on a piece of NO Wn’F toast with real butter

Ole Extreme Wellness High Fiber Low Carb Tortillas
I’ve tried them all and can’t believe that as good as these taste that they are only 5 carbs! Watch out for their low-fat versions, though – they are much higher in carbs

Russell Stover & Dove Sugar Free Chocolates
Practically no carbs, but you shouldn’t eat more than 2-3 per day unless you want digestive problems

Cary’s Sugar Free Syrup

Breakfasts Ideas
Scrambled, fried or boiled eggs
Toast (NO Wn’F bread)
Bacon, Sausage, Ham
French Toast (using NO Wn’F bread & Cary’s syrup and/or with a cream cheese/splenda/sour cream filling)

Dinner Ideas
Shrimp scampi
Bacon-wrapped baked shrimp and/or scallops
Summer sausage
Elegant Chicken Avocado w/o rice
Grilled chicken
Baked chicken
Pork loin
Turkey & gravy
Gumbo w/o rice
Taco salad
Soft tacos
Meat burritos
Bean Burritos (lower carb count than canned beans if you make your own) Fajitas
Salads (we love using the chicken & avocado from the chicken avocado recipe)

Mashed Turnips w/ cheddar & butter (much better than I would have thought!)
Deviled eggs
Green Beans w/ bacon grease and garlic
Zucchini/garlic cream sauce
Carrots w/ cinnamon & splenda
Brussels sprouts


  1. came across your blog today. i am also doing the low carb thing…started on 1/4 and so far have lost 13 lbs. this is my 2nd time doing low carb. it is coming off more slowly than before. you are eating way more carbs than i am. i stick to 20-30 per day. i don't think i would lose any if i ate as many as you. thanks for posting. pat

  2. That's great progress, Pat! I've stalled after my initial loss, but have started running in preparation for my first 5K. Hopefully, the loss will resume. I'm also being a little more cautious with the cholesterol and have cut my egg consumption in half. Best of luck!

    1. It all depends on meiboaltc resistance. If your body has a low meiboaltc resistance you will lose more weight in 14 days than if your body has a high meiboaltc resistance. You can determine your meiboaltc resistance either being high, average, or low after 14 days of following the Induction Phase. Here is a list of the Degrees of Metabolic Resistance:Pounds you have to lose: High Average Low ResistanceLess than 20lbs: 2lbs 4lbs 6lbs20 50lbs: 3lbs 6lbs 9lbsOver 50lbs: – 4lbs 8lbs -12lbsAs long as you have 65% of total calories, if not, the body will still remain in glycolysis by converting 58% of excess protein into glucose (via gluconeogenesis). It takes minimum of 3 days to convert a body to ketosis, (but only one bite to convert back to glycolysis). People feel sluggish the first week but most feel better than ever thereafter.Simple carbohydrates (sugar, flour, bread, cereal, pasta, potatoes, rice) trigger insulin (the ONLY fat storage hormone). The more protein the more the fat burning hormone glucagon is released.Simple carbs are addictive can be disastrous to health. The best way to break the addiction is NO carbs for 3 days. Make a huge batch of deviled eggs, eat one every time you want something have huge omelets with bacon, sausage, peppers, mushrooms cheese. Pork chops smothered with peppers, mushrooms cheese pork rinds dip or tuna/chicken/turkey/egg salad steaks a huge sugar free cheese cake. Eat so much you won’t feel deprived of anything. By the 4th day, the addiction will be gone you can start making healthy choices.High insulin levels promote inflammation, weight gain, hunger unbalance other hormones. Controlling insulin levels will balance out other hormones allow human growth hormone (HGH) to be produced naturally so lean muscle will be gained even without exercise.Ground flax seed (2 Tbsp) 1/4 cup water, artificial sweetener, mix in a raw egg let sit 10 min. to absorb liquid, put some cream cheese in the middle nuke 2 min for daily fiber needs.Many people gain weight on high carb, do low carb to lose weight then are shocked when they return to high carb gain weight. Many people can return to moderate carb levels but very few can really eat all they want of sugar maintain weight or health.

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