Low-Carb, Real-Food Based Diet For Beginners

LCRF is a way of eating, a lifestyle change that is based on scientific evidence and that can give you real, lasting results.

It involves eating a low carbohydrate diet, based on foods that humans have evolved to eat for hundreds of thousands of years.

There is scientific evidence that proves that many of the most common diseases today can be prevented and reversed using simple changes in diet.

The Basics

Do your best to avoid: sugar, gluten grains, trans fats, seed oils and highly processed foods.

You can eat unlimited amounts of: meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit, tubers and high-fat dairy.

If you have a medical condition then speak to your doctor before trying this. Changing your diet in this manner can reduce your need for medication.

Why Low Carb?

There is a lot of scientific evidence that carb restriction leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake and effortless weight loss, without portion control or calorie counting.

Lowering carbohydrate intake is the easiest, healthiest and most effective way to lose weight.

Despite what you may have heard, a reduction in carbohydrate intake improves most major risk factors for disease, including:

  • LDL Cholesterol.
  • HDL Cholesterol.
  • Triglycerides.
  • Blood Sugar.
  • Insulin Levels.
  • Blood Pressure.
  • Body Fat Levels.

How to Lose Weight

If you need to lose weight, then I recommend that you reduce your carbohydrate intake to less than 100 grams per day.

If you want to lose weight as fast as possible, then going under 50 grams per day can get you results even quicker.

Carbohydrate restriction leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake and effortless weight loss. Most people who do this do not need to count calories and can eat until fullness at every meal.

If you simply want to improve your health, then sticking to the food selection above and disregarding the amount of carbohydrate you eat should give you great results.

Dietary Recommendations

Foods to Avoid

  • Sugar: Added sugar (and High Fructose Corn Syrup) is fattening and is likely one of the main causes of the metabolic syndrome.
  • Gluten Grains: Gluten is the main protein found in wheat, spelt, rye and barley and may lead to health problems in susceptible individuals.
  • Trans Fats: These are fats found in many processed foods and are very harmful for the human body.
  • Seed Oils: Often considered health foods, seed and vegetable oils like soybean and corn oil are processed, contain excess Omega-6 fats and should be avoided.
  • Low-Fat Foods: Anything labelled “low-fat” is likely to be highly processed and filled with sugar or artificial chemicals.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Several epidemiological studies suggest that artificial sweetener consumption is associated with weight gain and the metabolic syndrome.
  • Highly Processed Food: Foods that are highly processed are likely to be void of nutrients, filled with unhealthy ingredients and artificial chemicals.

You MUST read ingredients labels. Even foods disguised as health foods may contain unhealthy substances like added sugar.

Foods to Eat:

  • Meat: Humans have been eating meat for hundreds of thousands of years. Grass-fed is better than grain-fed. Go for the fatty cuts of grass-fed meat.
  • Fish: Extremely healthy and especially rich in heart-healthy Omega-3 fats. Eat every week.
  • Eggs: Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Eat the yolk, which is the most nutritious part of the egg.
  • Vegetables: Vegetables contain fiber and various nutrients that are necessary for the human body.
  • Fruit: Add variety to the diet, easily portable and require zero preparation. Eat in moderation if you need to lose weight.
  • Nuts and Seeds: High in some nutrients, fairly calorie dense. Eat in moderation if you need to lose weight.
  • Tubers: Starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes are generally healthy and nutritious. Avoid if you need to lose weight.
  • High Fat Dairy: Grass-fed dairy products are very rich in Vitamin K2, a nutrient that is often lacking in the modern diet.
  • Fats and Oils: Butter, coconut oil, lard, olive oil and some others.
  • Fish Oil: If you don’t eat fish at least two times per week, then supplement with a tablespoon of fish oil every day.

Macronutrients:

  • Protein: The building blocks of the body, vital for life. If you eat plenty of animal foods above then you will get all the protein your body needs.
  • Carbohydrates: A source of quick energy to fuel high intensity workouts. Should be minimized if weight loss is your goal.
  • Fat: A great source of energy for the human body and vital for life. Avoid processed seed oils and trans fats. Most natural sources of Omega-3, Saturated and Monounsaturated fats are healthy and nutritious.

Why Does it Work?

Evolution: Humans evolved as hunter-gatherers. Our diet changed vastly 10.000 years ago during the agricultural evolution and changed even more in the last 100 years when we started producing food in factories.

Modern hunter-gatherers do not suffer from the diseases of civilization. This suggests that something about the modern environment causes these diseases.

Eating in a way that is similar to our hunter-gatherer genetic heritage leads to weight loss and vastly improved health.

Insulin: Carbohydrates are the nutrient that causes the greatest amount of insulin release into the blood.

Insulin regulates blood sugar levels, but it also signals to fat cells to build and store fat. A resistance to the hormone insulin, common in western populations, leads to chronically elevated levels of the hormone.

Reducing carbohydrates in the diet reduces insulin levels, and this is believed to “free” the fat from the fat cells, making it more easily available for the cells to use for energy.

Probably the most damaging carbohydrate in the diet is excess fructose from added sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Controversial: The exact mechanism behind the effectiveness of low-carb diets is a matter of intense debate and is not fully known at this point.

What About Fat?

Saturated Fat was demonized by politicians a few decades ago, based on politics and a few poorly conducted research studies.

Despite all the propaganda, saturated fat has never been proven to be harmful to humans. In fact, humans have been eating saturated fat for hundreds of thousands of years. Saturated fat is a healthy source of energy for the human body and should not be feared.

The only fats you should strive to minimize are Trans Fats and Polyunsaturated Omega-6 Fats.

Sample Meal Plan

Day 1 – Monday:

  • Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables, fried in coconut oil.
  • Lunch: Chicken Salad.
  • Dinner: Boiled Salmon with vegetables.

Day 2:

  • Breakfast: Bacon and eggs.
  • Lunch: Full-fat grass-fed yogurt with blueberries. A handful of almonds.
  • Dinner: Cheeseburger without the bun. Serve with vegetables and salsa sauce.

Day 3:

  • Breakfast: An omelet with various vegetables, fried in butter.
  • Lunch: Leftover cheeseburgers from the night before.
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken wings.

Day 4:

  • Breakfast: Again, stir fry with eggs and vegetables. Fry in coconut oil.
  • Lunch: Smoothie with coconut milk, blueberries, strawberries, almonds and a raw egg.
  • Dinner: Pork Chops, with some vegetables.

Day 5 – Friday:

  • Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs.
  • Lunch: Leftovers from night before.
  • Dinner: Steak with mashed sweet potatoes.

Day 6 – Saturday:

  • Breakfast: Omelet with various veggies.
  • Lunch: Chicken Salad.
  • Dinner: Pork Loin.

Day 7 – Sunday:

  • Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs.
  • Lunch: Leftovers from night before.
  • Dinner: Roasted chicken.

Try to include a variety of vegetables every day.

What about snacks?

Eating a real food based diet can cause problems when you’re out and about. Fast food and junk is everywhere, healthy food is not.

If you are far from home and hungry, go find a fast food place that serves bacon and eggs or a chicken salad.

It’s a good idea to take some snacks with you.

Ideas:

  • Yoghurt.
  • Fruits.
  • Baby Carrots.
  • Nuts.
  • Leftovers in a box.