Do you need meal plans to start low carb?
When my daughter was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, my boyfriend’s sister pointed me toward a lot of sites for low-carb recipes. That alone can be overwhelming because there are so many sites, and so many recipes.
No one really told me how to calculate carbs, or at what amount was the best to regulate blood sugars. Most of the information was about losing weight. Some of the reason for this is because there are several low-carb “diets” out there, like Atkins, Keto, and South Beach. They are all valid and some might work better for one person than another.
Lets Keep It Simple
However, I think they way that Lynn Terry describes her approach to low carb makes the most sense no matter what your goal is – controlling blood sugars, or losing weight. It is a simple approach. Eat natural as much as possible and keep your carbs at 20 or less per day.
There are, as I mentioned, more than one type of diet plan – some say you can can have as many as 40 carbs per day. If you don’t want to do research into all of them, I think the simple plan is your best bet. For those of you need or want a plan to follow to help you with your meals on a day to day basis, here is a list of places to find meal plans for a week or month at a time.
- Start with this list of carb counts for most typical foods.
- Understand how to calculate your carb count based on a food label (or that above list). The number of carb grams – number of fiber grams = Net carbs per serving. You can also subtract any sugar alcohols. (sugar alcohols are not the same as sugars!)
carbs (minus) fiber = net carbs per serving. Can go one step further ; carbs (minus) fiber (minus) sugar alcohols = net carbs per serving
Example Meal Plans
- I Breathe I’m Hungry is a fantastic site for recipes. That said, not everyone can cook or wants to do much in the way of cooking. Here’s a sample plan from IBIH’s site.
- This one talks about carb cycling which is mostly for athletes, but there is a great form down the page to help you calculate what you need, along with a sample plan, and some non-athletes do well with carb cycling too.
You can do your own searching for more meal plans to get started with. However, whatever you find on the plan, double check that it really is low carb and that you can keep your total carbs for the day under your prefered amount. One plan said you should aim for 130 carbs a day! I hope it was a miss-print. I saw cereal listed on one plan, but I know darn well that there are more carbs in one serving of most cereals than you’d want for your whole week!
One last tip for yummy low carb food
Before you give up in hopeless boredom at the list of foods to eat, there are alternatives. This is one of my favorites – low carb pancakes– I eat these for breakfast, snacks and if you make them less sweet, and more savory; you can have them as sandwich!
Do you think you will do better with a weekly plan? In some ways, I do much better if I have things that are easier to eat than going out and grabbing an easy burger meal! Tell me in the comments below.