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What do you eat if you are very low carb?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 29, 2012 at 12:04 AM

I'm hoping to get back to the basics of paleo and start with a couple of weeks going very low carb (<20 if I can stand it, <50 if I can't). I'll bring some more carbs in after that. I'm feeling pretty shitty because I've been cheating quite a bit lately. So, what do you eat when you are very low carb? I've only ever done low carb when I was eating dairy. I ate a lot of meat and cheese during that time. I'd like to eliminate dairy for the next 30 days at least, so what do I eat? Meat, obviously, but what else (I know you can have some veggies, but I'm not sure how much and what veggies to avoid, aside from potatoes and starchy vegetables)? Any links to low-carb paleo articles would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 31, 2012
at 04:36 PM

In my opinion low carb is better if you ease into it gradually. It's an easier way to learn if low carb or even zero carb suits you. It's also easier to figure out what you are going to eat.

2ece7f80625d8dada98eb7ea33a1f470

(115)

on May 30, 2012
at 02:44 PM

Mandy, this is one of my favorite cabbage recipes: http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/02/25/sausage-n-cabbage-noodles-with-fried-apples/ I play around with different meats and spices. Typically I make it more Asian flavored. Sarah's recipes are great, I will pin a couple more of my favs on pinterest!

0d892cb232c3c7d59699fd10c995595a

(809)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:51 PM

paleo mayo+shredded cabbage, carots, drop of vinegar= paleo coleslaw shred cabbage in your food processor, and just sautee it with ghee or butter; you can use steamed cabbage leaves instead of pita bread to make taco or pita braead wraps/substitutes....whatever, experiment

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:08 PM

I am the most successful when I set attainable goals. I figure that I can stick with anything for two weeks. If vlc doesn't agree with me, then I have the option to increase my carb intake without feeling like I failed at it. If it works out and I feel good and function well on less carbs, then I can continue with it.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:55 AM

Very helpful, thanks!

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:53 AM

I don't think I've ever bought a cabbage. Kind of weird because I cook a lot and I like cabbage. Do you have any recipes for it?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:52 AM

Everything you wrote sounds delicious!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 29, 2012
at 06:16 AM

What is the point of doing this for two weeks?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 01:43 AM

Cool, thanks! Carb cycling might be worth a try. Are you doing zero carb on your rest days then? Not sure I could do that, but moving in and out of vlc and lc might work for me after these two weeks.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 01:15 AM

Following! Thanks!

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 01:13 AM

No kidding. The last time I tried to go really low carb, I did it for three days and I really micro managed it by using fitday. I think I might do better without knowing my calories (I think I was around 1200 a day when I was counting). I've read about people saying they do well on very few calories. Interesting. How long do you fast?

5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on May 29, 2012
at 01:09 AM

Keeping fat intake high will keep your calories up. But you might discover that you do just fine on far fewer calories than you think you need. I do VLC/HF, with IF, and my calorie intake on any given day is 800-1600 (usually around 1100-1400). Once a week I give myself a day where I can eat all I want all day long, but even then I have a hard time breaking 2200cals. I'm not trying to restrict calories; it just happens on its own. The lack of hunger on so few cals. really amazes me.

2ece7f80625d8dada98eb7ea33a1f470

(115)

on May 29, 2012
at 01:08 AM

Absolutely! Mine is all paleo so there's plenty of "treats" on there. http://pinterest.com/misskarat/p-is-for-paleo/ If you're worried about getting enough calories than you are probably not incorporating enough fat. I read something once about how coconut oil aids in ketosis? I love the Tropical Traditions gold label, it's great on veggies and for high heat cooking. Nuts will also help add calories, as will avocados. Red meat, bacon, chicken skin also add lots of nutrients and calories.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 12:56 AM

Oh, Pinterest...I'm an addict. I have a paleo board already:) Yes, that's exactly it, I'm worried I won't be getting enough calories, I'll eat only chicken and broccoli, and I won't be able to sustain it due to hunger and bordom. I think the key for me will be making extras when I cook so I have left overs. Love taco boats. We had those yesterday,actually! Do you mind sharing your pinterest name so I can follow your low-carb board?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 12:49 AM

No, I think that's good advice! I googled the atkins induction phase and found a great resource. As another person said, just look at the list and eliminate dairy and whatever else isn't paleo. My only issue is that I feel like I won't get enough calories eating low carb. I guess I'll see how it goes. Anyway, thanks!

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10 Answers

best answer

8
85f91220dc9fe7486eec8c4305139c7e

(383)

on May 29, 2012
at 12:32 AM

Take the food list from your favorite source such as the Atkins Induction List, the Protein Power book, the GAPS diet and eliminated any foods that are not paleo. Use a food tracking program such as fitday or myplan and see how many carbs are in what you eat.

What I eat when very low carb are mostly meat and eggs and a salad or two a day.

There you go.

Beth

best answer

5
5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on May 29, 2012
at 12:44 AM

This isn't strictly paleo advice, so I'm probably going to get downvoted, but if you look at the Atkins diet "induction" food list that might be really helpful. The induction phase is VLC (~20g net, once fiber is subtracted), and the list at the Atkins website includes carb counts for servings of various veg, plus recommendations of what to limit or avoid.

Unfortunately, Atkins does allow things like industrial seed oils, artificial sweeteners, and diet sodas, but the basic induction list is mostly whole foods and can be easily paleo-adapted.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 01:13 AM

No kidding. The last time I tried to go really low carb, I did it for three days and I really micro managed it by using fitday. I think I might do better without knowing my calories (I think I was around 1200 a day when I was counting). I've read about people saying they do well on very few calories. Interesting. How long do you fast?

5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on May 29, 2012
at 01:09 AM

Keeping fat intake high will keep your calories up. But you might discover that you do just fine on far fewer calories than you think you need. I do VLC/HF, with IF, and my calorie intake on any given day is 800-1600 (usually around 1100-1400). Once a week I give myself a day where I can eat all I want all day long, but even then I have a hard time breaking 2200cals. I'm not trying to restrict calories; it just happens on its own. The lack of hunger on so few cals. really amazes me.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 12:49 AM

No, I think that's good advice! I googled the atkins induction phase and found a great resource. As another person said, just look at the list and eliminate dairy and whatever else isn't paleo. My only issue is that I feel like I won't get enough calories eating low carb. I guess I'll see how it goes. Anyway, thanks!

3
2ece7f80625d8dada98eb7ea33a1f470

(115)

on May 29, 2012
at 12:51 AM

I am in the exact same boat as you right now!! Of course it really is a no brainer- meat, eggs, fats and green vegetables.. but if you're anything like me you are wondering how to not eat chicken breast and broccoli all day. I've been doing a tiny bit of dairy (cheese) but I feel like that isn't the end of the world for me personally, my body tends to handle dairy well. I buy rotisserie chickens to throw into salads or just to snack on. Costco has an already cooked turkey breast(comes as a whole breast) that is easy and moist. I also love their little romaine heads for lettuce wraps. There are a million options with lettuce wraps depending on what you pair it with. My favorite is little "taco" boats with hamburger, mexican spices, and guac. Fajitas, stir fry, mexican chicken (peppers, green chili's), etc.. During the day I snack on boiled eggs, cucumbers, meat, nuts, cauliflower or green veggies.

If you haven't checked it out yet, try pinterest.com and type in "low carb" or "paleo." Of course not all low carb pins are going to be paleo and not all paleo pins are going to be low carb.. but it's definitely a great place to look because it's very visual and might help you dream up you own ideas!

2ece7f80625d8dada98eb7ea33a1f470

(115)

on May 29, 2012
at 01:08 AM

Absolutely! Mine is all paleo so there's plenty of "treats" on there. http://pinterest.com/misskarat/p-is-for-paleo/ If you're worried about getting enough calories than you are probably not incorporating enough fat. I read something once about how coconut oil aids in ketosis? I love the Tropical Traditions gold label, it's great on veggies and for high heat cooking. Nuts will also help add calories, as will avocados. Red meat, bacon, chicken skin also add lots of nutrients and calories.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 12:56 AM

Oh, Pinterest...I'm an addict. I have a paleo board already:) Yes, that's exactly it, I'm worried I won't be getting enough calories, I'll eat only chicken and broccoli, and I won't be able to sustain it due to hunger and bordom. I think the key for me will be making extras when I cook so I have left overs. Love taco boats. We had those yesterday,actually! Do you mind sharing your pinterest name so I can follow your low-carb board?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 01:15 AM

Following! Thanks!

1
65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on May 29, 2012
at 02:15 AM

I eat vlc- about 20 carbs a day.

Work week: Breakfast is usually tea with coconut milk and cinnamon, lunch today was home made beef jerky, some canned salmon and macadamia nuts, dinner was a taco salad with ground beef, cilantro, romaine, tomato and some jalape??o.

I'm deciding what to do with my last 400 calories today and I'm leaning towards a rooibos chai coconut milk latte and another handful of jerky or perhaps a hard boiled egg and olive oil.

sometimes my lunch is pot roast or chicken breast, and supper is almost always a salad with meat.

Weekend breakfasts are bacon and eggs... Dinners are the same as the week. Once a week I have a frozen banana with coconut milk and coconut oil with cinnamon- great treat!

Also: play with spices. Curry on chicken or beef is great, and ground beef with curry, coconut milk is my favorite. Look for simple prosciutto- sometimes I bake asparagus wrapped with prosciutto 15 mins at 400 degrees)

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:52 AM

Everything you wrote sounds delicious!

1
Ad97e2a867932d9068c5eccf0d81b728

on May 29, 2012
at 01:34 AM

I cycle low carb days for my "rest" days. I do a soy or whey protein shake for breakfast with coconut milk (bobs red mill and unsweetened respectfully). The rest of the day I eat meat. Workout days I keep carbs below 60, with mostly veggies and cup of fruit that I am craving that day.

Cheat day, or date night, I splurge. Working for me since nov '11, not ripped but down to 10% body fat. Off for Summer break so workouts are ramping up as I have free time, foreseeing a carb increase.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 01:43 AM

Cool, thanks! Carb cycling might be worth a try. Are you doing zero carb on your rest days then? Not sure I could do that, but moving in and out of vlc and lc might work for me after these two weeks.

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:23 AM

Mostly meat. Some eggs.

Strawberries for a little sweet (they are actually fairly low in sugar).

Otherwise green leafy veg cooked in quality fat (coconut oil or animal fat).

0
77fcbf8bece61c60e3ff430d4bb5de66

(383)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:52 AM

boiled eggs with lots of butter and a sprinkle of sea salt

full fat coconut milk & red thai coconut paste with lots of chicken/fish and veggies (i like courgettes, aubergines, brocolli, mushrooms, peppers) in this dish

mince meat with 1 can of vine tomatoes and throw in a load of low carb non starchy veggies (as above) to fill you up

smoothies - water, a few berries, full fat greek yoghurt, ground flaxseeds, and 1 scoop of whey protein, and a tablespoon of coconut oil

i get all my carbs from vegetables, i don't eat a lot of fruit as i find it makes me hungry

i also have full fat cream in coffee and tea

i allow myself high carb foods at weekends, as i am just trying to maintain now (but if u are trying to lose weight don't allow yourself high carb foods at weekends)

hope this helps,

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:55 AM

Very helpful, thanks!

0
0d892cb232c3c7d59699fd10c995595a

on May 29, 2012
at 03:21 AM

Along with the meats, lots of celery and carrots I know, limit carrots due to carb content) as snacks or sides to the meat for meals; Lots of salad; Cabage--my favorite!...there'e so much you can do with it--white regular or savoy cabbage--cooked/steamed cut in large pieces with little seasoning, my fave-- mixed red and white cabbage shredded in a food processor and sauteed with coconut oil, onions, paprica, garlic, s&p, whatever--change up the spices--it fills you up and is not carby. Avocados-I keep it to one a day

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:53 AM

I don't think I've ever bought a cabbage. Kind of weird because I cook a lot and I like cabbage. Do you have any recipes for it?

0d892cb232c3c7d59699fd10c995595a

(809)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:51 PM

paleo mayo+shredded cabbage, carots, drop of vinegar= paleo coleslaw shred cabbage in your food processor, and just sautee it with ghee or butter; you can use steamed cabbage leaves instead of pita bread to make taco or pita braead wraps/substitutes....whatever, experiment

2ece7f80625d8dada98eb7ea33a1f470

(115)

on May 30, 2012
at 02:44 PM

Mandy, this is one of my favorite cabbage recipes: http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/02/25/sausage-n-cabbage-noodles-with-fried-apples/ I play around with different meats and spices. Typically I make it more Asian flavored. Sarah's recipes are great, I will pin a couple more of my favs on pinterest!

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on May 29, 2012
at 02:49 AM

food.............

0
1aa42ad69e7a5ea23d748879e0b533d7

on May 29, 2012
at 12:13 AM

well, you've got very dark chocolate [90% cocoa is about 2g of sugar per 10g], you can have some nuts in small proportion [the best of all are macamadia and pecan nut, and hazel nut I believe] since they are about 20g of carbs for 100g; some meat in small proportion as well; you can switch to eggs and oily fishes; you can try green vegetables that usually are around 5g of carbs for 100g like spinach, broccoli and so on. If you allow bread, there are some crispbreads that are 6g of carbs per slice so that you can take one or two depending on the rest of your meal. wikipedia lists the compositions of a good deal of food.

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