Welcome to our Low Carb Forums!
This thread is a collection of low carb hints, tips and other useful low carb information such as links to helpful threads on the forum for our members new to low carb or still researching their chosen low carb diet plan.
Low Carb Diet Plans
Firstly, one of the first things you should do, is do some research and choose a low carb diet that suits you. Once you have chosen a plan, buy the book and read it from cover to cover. We have a list of some of the various low carb diets here:
Low Carb Diets.
The low carb plan that this forum is most familiar with, is the Atkins diet due to its popularity at the time this forum was first created - thus you will find that a lot of the information here especially from our earlier years comes from Atkins. However, Bodytrim and LCHF have become popular in recent years and there is now a lot of posts around the forums on the Bodytrim Diet. Most recently in Australia, the Paleo diet has been increasing in popularity.
I have also made up a page of how to start low carb that takes the good from everything and omits the not so good, you may find it helpful. Its simply based on my observations and experiences since joining here in 2002: Low Carb Diets: Everything you need to know to get you started
Ketosis and Ketosticks
Some low carb diets like Atkins, emphasise the need to be in ketosis and the measuring of it through the use of keto sticks. I find that the usefulness of these sticks is individual, some love them and some hate them. The most important thing to remember, is that they only measure excess ketones. Therefore, it is very likely that even though you get a negative reading on the stick - if you have been eating clean and exercising and have not experienced an overnight water gain, you're most likely in ketosis. The difference, is that you’re using up all of your available ketones for energy and thus, there is not enough excess ketones spilt into your urine for the sticks to measure. If you have any questions, feel free to read or ask a question in our ketosis and ketosticks forum.
Low Carb Food Diary
Next, start a diary and record everything such as what you’re eating, your exercise, how you feel and your weight loss. What this does, is provide a history for you to look back on plus, if you put it online such as in our members diaries forum, then it will also provide a way to receive input from other more experienced members and perhaps help other current or future new members with similar goals as to yours whom happen to come across your diary. You can find some ideas of what to record in your diary here: Start a Weight-loss Diary/Journal. We have made the diary forum private so only registered users can see it, this it to give everyone a little privacy.
Counting Calories and Carbohydrates
Although, some low carb diets like Atkins don't really address this, a useful tip is to get into the habit of counting your calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates, especially if you stall or are losing slowly. The reason being, is that counting makes it a lot easier for you to make adjustments as needed, because it will take some of the guess work out of the equation. You don't have to do this forever, even a short time is beneficial as it gives you an idea of the values of various foods, which make it easier to eat more intuitively.
A good little tidbit to remember is that approximately 1 gram of protein or carbohydrate equal 4 calories and 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories.
First things first, you should know that American nutritional information is a lot different to ours, for example Americans include fibre into their carbohydrate totals on their product labels whilst we do not, because our food standards already do this when they calculate carbohydrate data. Our food standards also subtract other things like ash which often cause our databases to show lower carbohydrate counts even after fibre is subtracted from American information - making Australian nutritional information even more accurate. Thus, American diet books and websites can cause some confusion for Australian low carbers.
So unless the product is from America do not subtract fibre from the total carbohydrate count. This also applies to food databases that you may find online. If they are American, then you need to subtract the fibre yourself whereas if they are Australian you do not. HOWEVER this may not apply if the database on an Australian website is relying on the USDA database which is American, so please make sure to keep an eye out for that. For this reason I recommend you use the Australian and New Zealand’s Food Standards NUTTAB 2010 whenever possible.
Note: This used to be an issue for the Australian Calorie King website but they have since updated their fresh foods database to our Food Standards making them much better now. However, keep in mind that some unusual ingredients such as coconut flour, linseed meal etc may not be using Food Standards due to not being on their database. If you're ever in doubt, double check with Food Standards.
There will be times where you will not find the information you need there and will need to use another database, and that is fine, just remember that you will most likely need to subtract the fibre. I recommend Nutrition Data.
You may find our list of carbohydrate counts helpful, you will find it here
How Many Calories Can I Eat?
Next you need to count what you eat each day with the nutritional information. I can't tell you how much of what to eat as that’s highly individual but a good starting guide is to eat in this percentage range, 65-80% fat, 15-30% protein and 5% carbs of your total daily calorie intake.
A good link to help with calories: BMR and Calories
There are three very good ways you can do the counting; firstly there is a web site a lot of people like to use, including myself (but its been several years now since I last used it). This site is free and provides an online food journal for you to add your daily foods. This contains it’s own database as well as a custom foods database, where you can add all your foods as custom foods using the nutritional information from labels or food standards. It also has many other features such as pie charts that show your Protein, fat and carbohydrate percentages as well as weight loss graphs and exercise tools. It's very easy to use and takes a lot of the work out for you. But because it is an American site I can't stress enough to not use their own food database but to add your foods in as custom foods.
Here is the URL: Fitday
It might be even better now to use the Australian Calorie King as I believe it is now free to set up food journals but I can't guarantee. Feedback from others that use it so I can update this page is most welcome!
Low Carb Food Spreadsheets from Members'
Secondly, you can make your own spreadsheet to record and calculate your daily intakes.
Here's two examples that we're posted by members':
Nina's Daily Planner
Other Weight-loss Tools
We also have weight loss graphs that have been shared by members' as well other weight loss tools here:
Low Carb Foods?
One of the first questions newcomers tend to ask is, what foods am I allowed to eat on a low-carb diet?
Whilst, for the sake of accuracy the answer to this depends on the actual low carb diet that you’re following, the allowable foods on Atkins induction make a good starting point which you can find here:
A Rundown on Atkins Induction
We also have a list of some of our low carb pantry / staples which you can find here: Low Carb Food Staples, as well as a shopping planner that was contributed by one of our members which you may also find useful: Pensull’s Shopping Planner
Low Carb Goodies
Our low carb goodies section is just a place where you may be able to find something that low carbers commonly use to make our lifestyle easier and also contribute towards the costs of this website. Because of the theme/goal of this website, it wont contain a bunch of stuff or be plastered everywhere, but rather just some basics tucked away in its own section in case you need it. Recommended low carb foods / books
Popular Low Carb Threads
Some other useful threads:
What’s in Your Shopping Basket?
Low Carb Food Shopping Lists / Staples
The next most common question is meal/menu ideas; here are some threads that have been posted on our forum that may help:
LC Menu Planning Made Easy
Low Carb Meals / Menus
Handing You The Keys To Success
Food Courts....what do you eat there?
Low Carb Take Away
Low Carb Price Special
Low Carb Products Foods we Buy in Australia
Money Saving Ideas for Low Carb Eating
Low Carb Drinks - What are you drinking?
Xylitol vs. Maltitol vs. Splenda vs. Other Sweeteners
Some Awesome Low Carb Videos
Bodytrim Diet 2 (first post has links to some popular threads)
Bodytrim in a nut shell
The post was edited 9 times, last by Sherrie: add link and general tidy ().