KISS! Keeping It Simple on a Low Carb Diet


 

I used to cook daily but my kids are grown now and I live alone, and I also travel a lot. I have a busy lifestyle, just like you! I read a few other low carb blogs and I swear they must LIVE in their kitchen.

Who’s got time for THAT?! πŸ˜›

I don’t spend hours shopping (I usually shop online – it’s faster, and things get delivered straight to my door!). I don’t do time-consuming meal planning or preparation. I don’t make complicated recipes – in fact, I hardly EVER cook. I simply “make food” now and then, lol. “Simply” being the key word. πŸ˜‰

Tons of prepping & meal planning is not necessary to succeed on a Low Carb Diet (thank goodness!). I’ve had several people tell me that alone made them hesitate to get started. If you told ME I had to plan and prepare a week ahead, I’d fail before I ever got started

Eating Low Carb Can Be Super Easy!

  • You don’t have to drink BPC (Bullet Proof Coffee).
  • You don’t have to eat bacon. (*gasp*)
  • You don’t have to make complicated recipes.
  • You don’t have to eat “Fat Bombs”.
  • You don’t have to eat a stick of butter.
  • You don’t have to do a lot of meal planning & preparation…

… to be successful with a healthy Low Carb Diet.

  • You also don’t have to go “all organic” or be a total health nut to lose weight and get healthier.

Keeping It Simple To Start…

My plates are simple. I like very easy real foods, such as: avocado, pecans, eggs and salmon. Here’s an example of one of my meals while eating out at a restaurant. I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich without the bun, asparagus instead of fries (which I like to dip in mayo), and a side of avocado slices:

Low Carb Lunch

 

For someone just starting out, or if you’re frustrated with your low carb diet, I recommend keeping it super easy: just stick to 20 net carbs a day to start.

When I first started years ago the ONLY thing I focused on was eating 20 net carbs a day or less. I kept it THAT simple – and that’s what I recommend for anyone just starting out. The less complicated the better.

You want to read labels, and Google anything without a label. If it’s produce, I use this site to get nutrition data. You can track your foods easily using MyFitnessPal. It makes it very easy to stay on track, and tracking also keeps you accountable to your goals. πŸ˜‰

It’s THAT easy.

Ignore The “Fancy Stuff” and Dogma

You’ll see a lot of acronyms and fancy ideas when you start eating low carb. Things like BPC, Fat Bombs, Fat Fast, etc. See Low Carb Lingo to familiarize yourself with some of the common terms.

You don’t need any of that. Just eat real food, and stay under 20 net carbs a day.

Of course, you can try BPC (Bullet Proof Coffee) if you want to, or make fancy recipes even. That’s totally up to you! I’m just saying that you CAN make it easy and keep it simple if you prefer. πŸ˜€

You can also ignore the people that tell you a Diet Coke will kill you. πŸ˜› You’ll quickly discover there are a lot of dogmatic beliefs around food and health. I call them “food religions”, lol.

Let the “health nut” in you come out naturally, on it’s own.

There are a lot of things that are not good for you, that you can easily eat on a low carb diet. Examples include artificial sweeteners, diet sodas, Atkins bars, protein shakes, fake pasta – the list goes on and on.

Some people are more sensitive than others, have different medical/health issues to consider, etc. I say if you are just starting out, do whatever it takes to make the transition. Once you get over the hump, get the hang of this way of eating, lose some weight and start become more aware (just by reading labels and tracking foods)… you can start making healthier choices.

Sure, I agree that diet soda isn’t “good for you”. Being fat isn’t good for you either – so start by losing the weight and becoming more conscious of your food choices. It’s a natural progression. Don’t feel like you have to go “all organic” or be totally perfect to start. While you want to become your healthiest happiest self, it’s one step at a time. Do whatever it takes to get that ball rolling!

Your Journey Is Your Own!

It’s important to keep in mind that we are all at a difference place on our health journey. Once someone starts eating healthier and losing weight, learning all the other great things about food and health will come as a natural progression. We have to try not to be judgmental – it discourages people who are likely already discouraged and feel defeated by their weight and/or eating issues. (If you’re that discouraged person, IGNORE the “food preachers” that feed you hell, fire & damnation for enjoying a packet of Splenda in your coffee!)

I admittedly started out as a “low carb junk food eater” and learned about my health, and healthier food choices along the way. But I had to lose that initial weight first and get over the hump, gain confidence, battle my overeating issues (the mental/emotional side of it), and make progressive changes at my own pace. So I always recommend anyone just starting out to KEEP IT SIMPLE. When you are ready to go to the next step, there are plenty of people willing to encourage and educate.

Meal Planning & Extreme Preparation Are Not Necessary.

It helps, yes. But some people will tell you that you’ll FAIL if you don’t plan & prepare. That’s simply not true. I’m walking proof of that (literally – I love to go for walks!) I’m a very spontaneous eater…

I don’t cook. And I don’t eat those “convenience foods” like Atkins meals or shakes. Well sometimes I’ll have a shake – but I haven’t had one since summer. I very rarely have a protein bar either, but when I do I enjoy Quest Bars. I often have 1/3 cup of pecan halves for breakfast. Real food, no cooking required. I do boil eggs, usually 6 at a time – then cream up two whole eggs with mayo & salt. It makes for a quick meal, or a great side to any meat.

Last week I went out for dinner with friends. I ordered grilled chicken with steamed broccoli and a side of avocado slices. No cooking.

 

Another non-cooking example: When I crave something sweet I take a tablespoon of cream cheese and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar free preserves and eat a little of each together. Tastes like cheesecake! It’s creamy and delicious, satisfying, only takes a second to grab it out of the fridge, and doesn’t dirty up a bunch of dishes. YUM. πŸ˜€

I don’t do preparation or meal planning at all. The key is just to eat low carb – which is easy enough, no matter where you are. Like the pub, in the picture above. Or the restaurant meal I shared earlier – the chicken sandwich sans bun.

If you told me I had to plan and prepare a week ahead, I’d fail before I ever started.

I just don’t have time for all that. Some people will tell you it’s KEY. But some people DO prepare, and still don’t make healthy food choices. That’s simply a matter of want-to, willpower & determination. I could have had a cheeseburger at the pub, but did not choose to order that. THAT is the key. πŸ˜‰

Being successful on a low carb diet is all about the right mindset. Period. No matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, no matter how busy your life is or how much stress you have – it’s just a matter of deciding what you put in your mouth, how you choose to feed your body.

Low Carb is actually a very simple way of eating, if you don’t over-complicate it.

When I do cook, I’m big on very simple one-skillet meals. I prefer to eat real food and keep it super easy to track. Things I keep on hand include: frozen broccoli, frozen cauliflower, eggs, pecan halves, real butter, Daisy Brand cottage cheese (fewer ingredients than any other brand on the shelf!), blocks of real cheese, avocado. Honestly, I could live on most of those things alone. Especially given I eat out so much!

Yesterday I had grilled chicken and roasted broccoli. Twice later in the day I had a turkey roll-up with colby jack cheese and a dill pickle with a bit of mayo (easy!). I had a handful of pecan halves for a snack. And I made the mock danish just to try it out, but I didn’t really like it (ate it anyway) and it dirtied up more dishes than I care to wash. πŸ˜› Today I had coffee, then made three fried eggs with a slice of (real) colby jack cheese.

I own exactly one skillet, and like it that way!

Anyway- I just wanted to give you permission to take a deep breath, stop complicating it, relax, and ENJOY easy real foods with zero guilt. And no complication or confusion. Keep it simple and you’ll enjoy it a lot more. πŸ˜‰

Best,
Lynn Terry, aka LowCarbTraveler

About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
This entry was posted in Weight Loss. Bookmark the permalink.

 

59 Responses to KISS! Keeping It Simple on a Low Carb Diet

  1. kim bowman says:

    Can you suggest a good web site that gives you a list of foods and the carb content?

  2. Mary-Ann says:

    I did low carb 2 years ago and lost 60 lbs with in 2 year off of low carb i gained it all back. Well been back on it two weeks and find lunches my hardest thing when i am going to school full time and leave at 7am and return at 515. Any suggestions on lunches that don’t include eatting lettuce wraps.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      It’s very easy to gain the weight back if you go back to your old habits – that put on the weight in the first place. For me, low carb is a way of life. Not just for weight loss, but for all the other health benefits!

      I’ve been there though. I gained weight back after being sick so long, and more so after my surgery. It’s tough.

      Do you eat out for lunch? I do like the Hardee’s low carb burger (wrapped in lettuce). I usually get take-out from restaurants though. That’s super easy – meat & greens. You can also pack a lunch!

  3. Chris says:

    Everything you say is true. It’s just that simple. You can make it a lot more complicated, but why?
    Btw, your pictures are really looking great!

  4. Kristi says:

    Lynn, your always so helpful right when I need it!

  5. Barbara says:

    This is so true. I would always get overwhelmed when I would read low carb message boards. It really is very simple.

  6. Sheryl says:

    You are such an inspiration! Thank you for the great advise.

  7. Kim G says:

    I think I love you. Thanks so much for your encouragement and simple “get real” message. I hate to cook, my hubby does it all and he is a meat and potatoes guy. Ground beef is our friend. 20 carbs, I can go back to doing that. I lost 25 pounds before Christmas and got lost in all the other “helpful information.” 20 carbs! Yay!!!!!

  8. Jeannie says:

    Thanks for your read on keeping it simple. When I first started I did keep it simple and did well but let myself get too complicated with thinking we needed a new recipe ever other night and stalled out. I love to cook which is what got me here in the first place so trying all the groovy new recipes was a dream. Now I need to get back to the kiss way of eating low carb, and maybe trying out a recipe or two on weekends.

  9. Tonya says:

    Hi.

    I just wanted to say that I have been trying this low carb/high fat thing for a few weeks with some lackluster results, trying to make everything and do everything like everyone else is doing it. You just summed up everything I needed to do in a few paragraphs and it makes total sense! I have already used the myfitnesspal hack you provided and it works perfectly. THANK YOU, for keeping it so simple! You are FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!!

  10. Donna says:

    Thank you…I needed to hear that! Keep it simple, I can do that!

  11. Suzie says:

    Thanks, Lynn, for all your great ideas, recipes and encouragement! Just a quick question – when figuring net carbs, do you subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols, like swerve or xylitol? Or just fiber?

  12. Christine Gilman says:

    I like to know what the best thing to put in cottage cheese . I dont like it alone.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Christine,

      I like Cottage Cheese by itself, but sometimes add crushed pecans and a few slices of berries. You can add a dash of Atkins vanilla shake and some crushed nuts for a nice sweet crunchy taste. πŸ˜€

    • Debbie says:

      Lynn does something similar that got me hooked on this recipe: 1/2 c frozen blueberries – 40 seconds in microwave. Add 1/2 pkg of Stevia. 1/2 c of cottage cheese. Sprinkle cinnamon on top, then add 1/3 c of broken pecans. Yum!!!

  13. This is GREAT advice. I often stress myself out trying to do everything by someone else’s rules ~ that I lose sight of the simplicity! Quick question ~ how do you handle pizza (as when everyone else is eating it around you)? Do you just eat the toppings & cheese and leave the crust? That is probably my biggest downfall!! Thanks for all you do ~ you truly are an inspiration!!

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  17. Mary says:

    Thanks for the great site! I’m a traveler too, and I’m really glad to find someone else on the low carb journey that is also a road warrior!

    Mary

  18. Grace says:

    I just want say thank you. Thank you for taking the stigmas of low carb out the of equation. KISS I’d the way to go. I just need to get out of my own head and follow that rule.

  19. Marchelle says:

    Thank you for this article – I am on week 3 of this WOE and have only lost 5 pounds – I am not upset because I feel fantastic. I have only lost 5 pounds but my clothes are fitting better. I am pretty sure that I am eating more than 20 net carbs, but I want a lifestyle change and not feel like I am on a diet with the 20 carbs. Will I still lose at 30 carbs a day?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Sure, Marchelle – and you’re obviously proving that. πŸ™‚ Don’t be discouraged if you notice a “brief hold” or even slight fluctuations during week 3 or so though – it’s just your body adjusting to the initial weight loss.

      Tracking is key though. Not only for carb counting, but also to make sure you aren’t eating “high protein” and “low fat”. I totally stall out eating too lean. Here’s what you need to know on that: http://www.travelinglowcarb.com/7006/macronutrients/ *cheers*

  20. amanda says:

    Thanks so much! this is the best post I read since I started low carb. I was ready to give up because the first week I lost 4.5. this week I gained 1.7 of it back. not sure what im doing wrong, maybe the diet sodas. This post encouraged me not to give up. thanks

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I’m glad, Amanda! Never give up. πŸ˜‰ The second and third week are weird, with stalls and fluctuations. That’s totally normal – it’s your body adjusting to the initial weight loss. That’s all! Keep repeating exactly what you did during week one. And track super close – so you can always go back and see what you may have added or stopped, that makes it easier to identify culprits.

  21. Karen says:

    Thank you Lynn for all that you share, including this message to KISS. I am one of those people who’s been feeling discouraged and defeated by my weight (have been 30-40 pounds overweight my entire life!) and all of the info on Facebook & Instagram from those I call “keto Nazi’s” has made it seem overwhelming to get started, but this makes me feel so much better that it really is something that is do-able without all the planning, prepping and perfection that others feel are necessary.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      LOL Karen, I run into those mean keto people all the time! Or just mean people in general in the “food circles” or on the TOPIC of food. It’s like a religion or a “food cult” or something. πŸ˜›

      I just ignore them. Like the rude tweet I got today on Twitter. πŸ™‚ I say keep it simple: 20 net carbs max, 70% fat minimum. I’ve lost weight so well doing that, and never have to stress over a million details. πŸ™‚

  22. Gaye Miller says:

    Hi Lynn….so glad I’ve discovered your site. I have one quick question. I’ve lost 6 lbs in the first 10 days starting with Atkins Induction Phase 1. I’ve installed the Fitness Pal app. Since I’m just starting and with a lot to lose (about 80lbs), should I use the same formula that you use? Also, due to arthritis, I will be doing low impact exercising, with some bike riding.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Gaye,

      You’ll discover eating this way should really help with your arthritis. Depending on what kind it is. I was in chronic pain prior to going low carb. πŸ™‚

      I basically do “phase 1” – I just don’t do phases or programs. But it’s the same: 20 net carbs max, 70% fat minimum. I say keep doing what’s obviously working!

      You’ll usually see a “hold” or even fluctuations in your weight during weeks 2 and/or 3. Don’t freak out. It’s just your body adjusting after losing so much weight so fast (6 pounds in 10 days is a lot to any body!). It’s totally normal. πŸ™‚

  23. Patti says:

    Hey There! I just wanted to thank-you for relieving much of my anxiety with regard to seating this new WOL/WOE. Your thoughts, advise and tips are truly appreciated. You are lovely inside and out. Thank-you!

  24. Angela says:

    Thank you so much for the information! Just started looking at this last week. I can’t seem to get my fat up to 70%… I’m using myfitness pal. I’ve been taking some vitamins that I mix in water…yesterday morning I decided to check and see if they had carbs…oh my! One has 10.5 and the other 3…needless to say I’m not using those anymore!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Ack, good catch Angela! πŸ™‚

      Fat is easy. I publish my daily food diaries here, so you can see how I easily get 70% fat daily – and often 80%. Good low carb sources for healthy fats include: pecans, walnuts, salmon, avocado, real butter, real cheese, natural peanut butter. Choose fatty meats like ribeye and bacon and salmon. I love avocado sliced and salted, and fried/browned in real butter – that’s delicious!

  25. Sheila Sibo says:

    I just four your webite and FB. So sorry you aren’t feeling well. Wishes & prayers for speedy recovery and less stress! THANK YOU for the “KISS” post – you may have saved my life. The other complicated sites were killing me! LOL Best wishes : )

  26. franna says:

    Hey I am stalking your Web site lol. Thank u for the encouraging words u sent me few days ago. This has made me really calm down I have thyroid issues pcos and insulin resistance ugh. I need will power and this site is it. I also follow u on IG. Thanks

    • Lynn Terry says:

      You’re welcome Franna πŸ™‚ Great to hear from you again! There are a lot of us that have certain medical issues or medications or what have you. Eating healthy is the BEST thing we can do for ourselves – and our bodies.

      The mental part behind it all, the willpower and motivation and discipline, those were the hardest parts for me too. I discovered in the end… that losing weight is the EASY part. πŸ™‚

      The other – it’s all about lifestyle change, habit change, forcing change even, and is the MOST REWARDING thing about it all!! I love being leaner and healthier… but mostly I love being HAPPIER and STRONGER. πŸ™‚

  27. Tammy Kingston says:

    I have pretty much been stalking you on IG for several months, but finally looked at your website and found this article. THANK YOU!!! I did low carb in my early 20s (am now 53), and lost 65 pounds, and it was so simple, because low carb was so simple then. I gained it back and then some after my dad died, and now weigh more than I ever have. I have tried to go back to low carb/high fat several times, but I believe I set myself up for failure, because I read so MANY blogs and hear so much about the “bad” foods, and keeping it organic, and throwing out the DC, and learning to plan, plan, PLAN!!! My life is not as simple as it was a year ago. I travel between two towns during the week and have two jobs. I have tried the meal prep, and that works, but then I end up wasting food because I get so bored with the same meals over and over again. I love to cook, but we recently moved, and my new kitchen is much smaller than my old one, and it is just more difficult. Plus, I spend all my time at home (which is not much) in the kitchen, when I would rather be on my screened in porch, or doing something fun. You are a literal breath of fresh air for me right now, and while I will still meal prep a meal or two, I am stopping the insanity of trying to cook every meal, and am going to keep it simple.

    Thank you again. You are an inspiration!!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Tammy πŸ™‚ It’s great to see you here at the blog! Apologies for missing your comment when you wrote it last month… two trips and a birthday later, and I’m just now catching up -lol.

      I am SO glad you found this helpful. I totally get what it’s like to be on the go and have a busy lifestyle – and just want to ENJOY what little downtime you have… and NOT in the kitchen πŸ˜› lol.

      Fortunately there are tons of simple foods, easy options, and even restaurants and fast foods for when you’re on the go. And thank goodness, or this would never work for me. πŸ˜‰

  28. Judy says:

    Hi Lynn, I have never read ur introduction on how to do it simply…before I found myself trying these recipes and not liking it after I spent half a day making it..that’s just for one recipe. I quit, too much cooking, time and cost and I would throw it out…feeling unworthy to do this, I would quit. I love ur style on this…I told hubby before I don’t want or have the time to do this…it’s like having a second job. Thank you, so much..now, watch me go!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I’m so glad, Judy – that makes my day! I would get frustrated and quit too, if I had to be shopping & cooking all the time… and especially if I didn’t end up liking the recipes. πŸ˜› Ack!

      It’s SO easy to eat low carb without all of that though. Especially if you just stick to the basics: meat & greens + healthy fats. πŸ˜‰ Welcome aboard!!

  29. Ramsmom says:

    Thank you – so glad I found you. I have totally bought into the concept but am completely overwhelmed by the prep and ‘rules’ lol. Also, I have to be mom and wife to non-keto interested family! Anyway – thanks again so very much.

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