For those who eat < 50g carbs a day...what does your breakfast, lunch & dinner look like?

For those who eat < 50g carbs a day…what do your breakfast, lunch & dinners look like? Do you snack? Do you count calories to lose or maintain?

Any other tips to losing weight?

I’m specifically looking for LOW CARB meal plans, because that’s been the only way I can get decent #s.

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I eat low-carb for blood sugar control, not for weight loss (although it works too well for me on that front). Minimizing circulating insulin (whether endogenous or exogenous) is, in general, a very good way to lose weight, especially in combination with exercise. I had to increase my carbs (from <30g net to about 60-70g net per day) to stop losing weight about two months ago. But I can definitely share what I was eating when I was around the 50g per day level:

My “maintenance” calories vary between 2,000 and 3,500 calories per day, depending on whether I’m cycling and swimming (which I’m currently not).

Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee (2 cups coffee, 2 tbsp coconut oil, 2 tbsp butter, frothed); or an Omelette (Eggs, cheese, sometimes bacon); or Nuts (mixed nuts, or homemade buttered pecans are the best for me)

Lunch: Salad greens (a lot, maybe 170 grams) with Kirkland Rotisserie Chicken, blue cheese crumbles, oil and vinegar or blue cheese dressing

Dinner: Fake Stir-Fry: chicken breast (or pork, whatever protein is at hand), garlic, ginger, chili paste, onion, peanuts, soy sauce; or another salad with protein; or Fathead Pizza (look up on Google); etc.

Snacks: More nuts, some nuts, maybe some nuts. Or Kirkland protein bars if I’m working out (I consume an unconscionable amount of protein due to working out a lot), which are high on carbs, but low on digestible carbs (when you subtract the erythritol and some of the fiber).

I’m attaching a log from when I was eating about 2,000 calories a day during the winter and about 35g of net carbs. If you wanted to be below 50g of carbs total, you could take my ridiculous food log and not eat the protein bar I had for a snack. Substitute any kind of protein and fat to get back to whatever calorie goals you are aiming for.

edit: I should mention something about my weird numbers. It is actually really difficult, in my experience, to eat low-carb and gain or maintain weight. If one were to eat a lower calorie diet (and I do believe calorie tracking is very effective for weight loss), it would be easier to come in under the 50g of carb limit. My BG sensitivity to carbs fluctuates wildly depending on what kind of exercise I’m doing, so I’ve kind of learned to wing it and do pretty well in terms of avoiding spikes (usually). I also still have plenty of endogenous insulin left to work with, so that makes it easier.

What I’ve found to be nearly impossible is eating very low carb (like 25g net, which I was doing last year) and maintaining my bodyweight. I was eating 3,500 to 4,000 calories per day and rapidly losing weight. Some people can live off of fat; I apparently don’t digest or utilize dietary fat very well. That’s why I eat high protein, high fat, and low-carb. It’s the combination that enables me to have flattish BG while maintaining my weight and having enough energy to lift get through the day. I adjust my calorie intake to match my activity level and aim for maintenance weight: since increasing my net carbs from 25 to 60-70, I’ve stuck on 175 +/- 2.5 lbs, so I think it’s working pretty well for me. Unfortunately, it has led to an increased number of BG spikes (nothing over 200 for the most part), since I end up eating more carbs than my beta cells can handle on occasion (and unintentionally).


As for this, minimizing insulin needs will help, certainly. One way to do this is to lift weights, heavy weights. It’s far more effective than cardio (although cardio is good), because it changes your base metabolism rather than just burning some calories (and doing the heart some good). Weightlifting is intimidating to many people, but every gym in most of the world has friendly trainers willing to help. I’d suggest something like Stronglift 5x5 as a starting place.

The reasons are pretty simple:

  1. Maintaining (and building) lean muscle mass takes more calories than maintaining fat mass; thus, every ounce of muscle you gain increases your base metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn just being alive) compared to what it was the day before

  2. Lifting uses, when compared for time spent moving, more calories than cardio (unless you’re doing sprints, which are closer to lifting in terms of exercise physiology); it’s more efficient to “burn calories” by lifting than running/jogging/cycling; cardio is good to do anyways (for health)

  3. Lifting heavy weights burns an enormous amount of glycogen stored in your muscles; this means that any carbs you eat after lifting tend to be used preferentially to replenish glycogen stores in the muscles, rather than stored as fat or as glycogen in the liver (which is the primary fuel for the ever-dreaded Dawn Phenomenon)

So, for both maintaining good blood sugars and for losing (or gaining!) weight, lifting weights and serious exercise is a win-win-win-win. Probably 5 wins, actually.

The great thing about doing serious exercise (let’s call it “training” while we’re at it, training for a good life!), is that after the initial “OMG I CAN’T DO THIS,” it starts to feel really good for most people. I feel terrible when I do NOT exercise at this point. Of course, consult a doctor and all that good stuff. And pay the relatively small price for a gym membership and a trainer if you need to learn how lifting works and where to start.


Just curious, what is this app/software that you are tracking with?


I use My Fitness Pal, which has both a mobile app and a website which sync with a free account. You do get bombarded with in-app adverts, but the app is quite useful to me for tracking macros.

Thanks David. That’s exactly what I was looking for, as I just started down the low carb path a few weeks ago.


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