How To Start Low-Carb

how to start low-carb

What to enjoy & What to avoid

How To Start Low-Carb

In this article you will find:

  • Low-carb, the basics
  • Low-carb FAQ
  • Follow the “Stepwise approach”
  • Low-carb easy healthy recipes
  • FREE 5-Day Meal Plan & Shopping List

How To Start Low-Carb: The basics

If you switch to whole food unprocessed food, you will become low-carb, almost be default. 

All digestible carbohydrates are turned into glucose in your blood. It doesn't matter whether it's a glass of fruit juice, organic wholemeal bread, rice, pasta or chocolate. They all raise your blood sugars.

When blood glucose is raised, insulin is required to help lower the glucose and prevent damage that high glucose can cause throughout our bodies.

Insulin is also our fat storage hormone.  

Carbs → Glucose → High insulin demand → Fat storage and stop fat burning ⇒ WEIGHT GAIN + INCREASED APPETITE

So when you eat a high-carb meal, your blood glucose become elevated, there is a high insulin demand, fat storage is enhanced, fat burning stops, the insulin causes glucose levels to fall, promoting hunger again.

When you enjoy a nutrient dense low-carb meal, your blood glucose will be more stable, you may have lower insulin requirements, and so fat storage has been reduced, fat burning will begin much more rapidly and hunger will be controlled.

You will become a fat burner, not a sugar burner.

And when you add plenty of healthy fats to your meals, you will feel fuller for longer, your snacking will diminish, portion sizes will slowly decrease and weight will begin to drop effortlessly.


Low-Carb: FAQ

If you are just starting out, it's OK to be filled with questions such as:

  • Why is my doctor making me go low-carb?
  • Why sugar and grain free?
  • Why high fat?
  • Isn't weight loss about calories?
  • Do we need carbs to think and move?
  • What about alcohol?

To answer all your questions, head to this page. 


How To Start Low-Carb: 2 Methods

There are two main methods to start low carb. 

  1. Immediately - do a full pantry clear out
  2. Stepwise - slowly begin to reduce your sugar and carbs 

Which method you choose is completely up to you. Some people find it quite cathartic to remove all junk food, sugar and ultra processed carbs from their kitchen. And some may have a medical condition which requires them to drastically reduce the carbs instantly.

Others find it easier to begin using my Stepwise method and reduce sugar and junk food from their daily diet one meal at a time, one snack at a time. 

For many, beginning stepwise makes the transition easier (especially if you have a family) more sustainable in the long-term.

What To Avoid - Stepwise? 

Begin by cutting back or stopping the highest sugar items first.  

  1. The first thing that should stop is sugary sweetened drinks. Whether it is sugary fizzy drinks, energy drinks, flavoured milks or juice, they all have to go. 
  2. The next high sugar item, is chocolate, sweets and candy. You can still enjoy high cacao low-sugar chocolate and low-carb sweet treats when a sweet craving hits.
  3. Baking, cakes and cookies are the next to go. But don't worry, there are plenty of low-carb and keto cakes, cookies and cheesecake recipes for you to try.
  4. All cereals, porridge, granola and breakfast products. You guessed it, they are all high carb. Cereals and granola are high in sugar, ultra processed and spike blood sugars.
  5. Sugar and flour. Once you give up all sugars (added and naturally occurring) and flour, you will be living on whole unprocessed whole food that is nutrient dense.

What To Enjoy & What To Avoid 

What To Enjoy

  • Protein - enjoy quality meat, eggs and fish that has been properly raised and is unprocessed as possible. Chicken, beef, lamb, duck, salmon, tuna, mackerel, mussels, oysters etc. Eggs any which way. Scrambled, fried, poached or boiled. Enjoy the fat that comes along with meat and fish. Do not trim the fat from steak,  do not remove the skin and fat from chicken, enjoy all the healthy fatty cuts of meat that were previously recommended to avoid. 
  • Vegetables - avoid all root vegetables and enjoy all non-starchy vegetables. ie: avoid all vegetables grown below the ground and enjoy all vegetables grown above the ground. Enjoy leafy greens, spinach, lettuce, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, courgettes and avocados.
  • Healthy fats - enjoy extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, lard, macadamia oil, avocado oil, butter and full-fat dairy.
  • Dairy - all full fat cheeses, full-fat milk and cream, parmesan, full-fat cream cheese and butter.
  • Nuts and seeds - avoid cashews but enjoy nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and macadamias in limited quantities.
  • Fruit - enjoy low-sugar fruit in limited quantities such as berries.

What To Avoid

  • Sugars - all forms such as table sugar, honey, dried fruit, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave and fruit syrups
  • Sugary drinks - sugary sodas, juice, smoothies, flavoured milks, energy drinks
  • Starchy vegetables - all root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes and avoid sweetcorn
  • Ultra processed meats - they will be full of wheat, starches, unhealthy oils and offer very little nutrition. Buy meat that has minimal processing and minimal additives.
  • Grains - no wheat flours, gluten free flours. Both high in rapidly absorbed carbohydrates.
  • Seed oils - avoid seed oils because they are ultra-processed, easily oxidised and promote inflammation. Throw away (and avoid products made with) canola oil, sunflower oil, rice bran oil and margarine.   
  • Fruit - avoid all high sugar fruit such as tropical fruit, dried fruit, juice and bananas. Avoid fruit juice, smoothies and dried fruit. They are all high in natural sugars.  
  • Cakes, cookies, pastries, pies - a toxic combination of high sugar, high carb, unhealthy oils.


It's easy to remember NO sugars, NO grains, NO seed oils.

Enjoy whole food that is nutrient dense and as close to nature as nature intended it.


How To Start Planning Low-Carb Meals

Base your meals on quality proteins such as meat and fish, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds and low-sugar fruit such as berries.

Include plenty of healthy fats such as butter, lard, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, macadamia oil and avocado oil for example.

No sugars. No grains.  It's that simple.

Start planning some simple low-carb recipes. Just look at how delicious they are. 


Your FREE Meal Plan & Shopping List

free low-carb meal plan

So you can get started straight away, you can download a free 5-day low-carb meal plan, shopping list, tracker and pantry guide. 


Ditch The Carbs



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  • Jonette Brown says:

    A great explanation
    I am Jonette Brown Taupo NZ
    My husbabd and I about to start our new lifestyle journey. Keto..

    • Libby Jenkinson says:

      Hey there Jonette. Welcome to Low-Carb Practitioners. You are lucky enough to live near Dr Glen Davies in Taupo who is completely revolutionising Taupo healthcare and reversing T2D with low-carb nutrition. Enjoy your journey to a new you.

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