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Old 04-24-2013, 08:57 AM   #1
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Stuck

Hi all, I posted about a month ago. Need a little support.

I'm 23 about 125. 5'2. Run 3-4 times a week. cardio and some weight lifting nothing crazy. No supplements, powders, etc.

I didnt write out my menu but usual breakfasts are eggs. Scrambled, egg whites, frittatas, you name it, with a meat and asparagus with hot sauce. Cup of almond milk.

Snacks are usual almonds or natural pb and celery or tuna on celery.

Lunch ill have like ground turkey and veggies sandwiched between leaves as well as 4 cups of greens with oil dressing.

I have a k cup with minimal half and half.

Dinner is usually a fish or meat with a veggie

Portions are watched.

For years I just couldn't hit 1000 calories. I'd eat 800-900 no problem. For the past month, in increments, I can get 1200-1400. I didn't name my daily or monthly menu but I track.

So what's the problem? I'm not losing water weight or much of anything. I drink about 60 oz a day. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:04 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jswope View Post
Hi all, I posted about a month ago. Need a little support.

I'm 23 about 125. 5'2. Run 3-4 times a week. cardio and some weight lifting nothing crazy. No supplements, powders, etc.

I didnt write out my menu but usual breakfasts are eggs. Scrambled, egg whites, frittatas, you name it, with a meat and asparagus with hot sauce. Cup of almond milk.

Snacks are usual almonds or natural pb and celery or tuna on celery.

Lunch ill have like ground turkey and veggies sandwiched between leaves as well as 4 cups of greens with oil dressing.

I have a k cup with minimal half and half.

Dinner is usually a fish or meat with a veggie

Portions are watched.

For years I just couldn't hit 1000 calories. I'd eat 800-900 no problem. For the past month, in increments, I can get 1200-1400. I didn't name my daily or monthly menu but I track.

So what's the problem? I'm not losing water weight or much of anything. I drink about 60 oz a day. Any suggestions?
Well, just from what you said... that's a lot of carbs for me. The carbs in nuts add up, and especially the PB. I'd sub out the half and half for heavy whipping cream, because half and half has a lot of carbs in it as well. Whether you're using a minimal amount or not it could make a difference! 4 cups of greens is a lot of greens as well, and I see lots of veggies... it's possible you may be overeating carbs and not getting enough fat.

It could also be your exercise. Excercise and weight loss are not especially tied together, and in fact can slow one another down. Often if people want to lose, they cut out or cut down their exercise to minimal levels... and if they want to focus on fitness, they often give up somewhat on seeing weight loss and focus on that. It's possible that while you're not losing on the scale, you're still losing body fat and replacing it with muscle... muscle weighs more than fat.

Try upping your water intake too... that's not even half of what I drink, and I don't do any of that exercising! Your body may be holding onto water because you're not giving it enough.

At 125 though, how much more are you looking to lose? Sounds like you should be pretty close to goal... people's weight loss often slows down as they get closer to goal. That could also explain things a bit!
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:20 AM   #3
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Thanks for replying. Ill try taking out half and half. Ad I don't have nuts everyday I said snacks are something like nuts or celery or whatever.

I have avocado and nuts and pb but not all three everyday. I thought you should be consuming a lot of greens. I have a protein at every meal. And incorporate good fats.

My starting weight is 125. I want to lose 5. I realize that's harder. But I should see something, no?
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:53 AM   #4
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Thanks for replying. Ill try taking out half and half. Ad I don't have nuts everyday I said snacks are something like nuts or celery or whatever.

I have avocado and nuts and pb but not all three everyday. I thought you should be consuming a lot of greens. I have a protein at every meal. And incorporate good fats.

My starting weight is 125. I want to lose 5. I realize that's harder. But I should see something, no?
It really depends on what plan you're following. I eat under 10 total carbs a day myself, not subtracting fiber or anything like that... so I don't eat a lot of greens at all anymore. I find that no matter what the carb (in my experience) it's still going to affect me. And while greens are definitely better than something like beans or corn or carrots... they're still carbs, and they should be minimized while on a low carb diet trying to lose weight. YMMV again, but I'm pretty carb sensitive and seem to be MORE carb sensitive now that I'm closer to goal... so I've cut back even more lately to compensate. As a rule of thumb though no, you don't HAVE to eat veggies at all necessarily.

You may be getting too much protein as well. The formula I use for calculating protein levels for a particular body frame (found over on the NK board, but also widely across the net) has 81-82g of protein as your absolute upper level for 120 pounds. Your range should be somewhere between 55-82g daily. If you're eating protein at every meal you may be going over this number as well, and since the body can't store excess protein for use later an excess of it can sometimes create an insulin response in people which is akin to eating too many carbs. I eat a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet which balances all three things rather nicely

I don't see TOO much fat in your menu, so upping fat may also help. I eat 130-140g daily and that's where I see the best losses... there's a reason most LC plans aren't low fat. In the absence of carbs we need extra fat to fuel our bodies and fuel our weight loss

Also, I'd definitely increase that water intake... 60oz isn't a lot really for even sedentary folk, and you're exercising. Sometimes something as simple as increasing your liquids can help you break a stall! Your body WILL hold onto excess water if you're not giving it enough, so that's something easy to try.

Beyond that, I'd say just keep tweaking things to see if something works. My best guess would be to lower carbs and protein in favor of increasing fat... that's what worked for me, and what works for many.

It's also possible your body is just comfortable with that weight at that level of activity, and you may not see any significant loss. I'd recommend measuring yourself fairly regularly if you don't already... sometimes when the scale won't budge, you're still losing fat and losing inches!

See this post especially: Article: Why the Scale Lies

And this post: Don't put all your eggs in one basket, or why the scale doesn't tell the whole story
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:03 AM   #5
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I wouldnt give up exercising! You dont want to lose muscle weight... you seem to have a healthy amount of exercise (not overdoing it).

Quote:
For years I just couldn't hit 1000 calories. I'd eat 800-900 no problem
Have you had your thyroid checked? Thats a pretty low amount of calories for a young woman. You are short, so granted your calorie needs are going to be a little lower, but that seems really low, for someone who was maintaining a weight of 125 lbs on that.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:05 PM   #6
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I agree that it may very well be the carb intake.
I too am sensitvie to carbs. I usually can stay in OWL, albeit slowly if I stay at <50 g's per day. But if I need to drop a little quickly, like I do now (new pants), I'll go to <30 g's per day for a few days, and I have always droped a couple pounds by doing that.
A big surprise for me, was that it didn't really matter if I ate alot of calories.
I am a firm believer in the Taubes paradigm that "all calories are not created equal"
I can eat alot of meat for example, and not gain at all. But if I eat the same amount of calories in dairy I'm in trouble. Even too many veggies will tip me over.
If you are like me, then you can eat some calorie dense food and still lose.
Weight loss is all about limiting carbs.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:23 PM   #7
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Honestly, I would find it odd for a young woman to be that sensitive to carbs, when is is never overweight that she mentions and who is fairly active (exercise improves insulin sensitivity). Generally that degree of "carb sensitivity" is found in people who are older, more overweight, history of diabetes in the family, abdominal girth larger than hips - i.e. components of metabolic syndrome.

The only exception I can think of is if she has PCOS - but again, you can generally see the characteristics of PCOS just by looking at the person = overweight, "apple shape" as opposed to pear shape, and of course the ancanthosis nigrans, irregular periods, high blood pressure. I suppose its something she could look into, if she feels she fits the description of PCOS at all.


I have a feeling she is basically at a good weight for her height and build, and its just going to be extremely difficult to lose a few pounds, esp being a shorter female.

Last edited by Strawberry; 04-24-2013 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:18 PM   #8
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The only exception I can think of is if she has PCOS - but again, you can generally see the characteristics of PCOS just by looking at the person = overweight, "apple shape" as opposed to pear shape, and of course the ancanthosis nigrans, irregular periods, high blood pressure. I suppose its something she could look into, if she feels she fits the description of PCOS at all.

I have a feeling she is basically at a good weight for her height and build, and its just going to be extremely difficult to lose a few pounds, esp being a shorter female.
It's NOT always easy to see the characteristics of PCOS... believe me! There are what we call "thin-cysters" who are skinny as a rail, who don't have excess facial hair, or any other physical signs of the disease. Heck, you don't even have to have ovarian cysts to have PCOS. Most people don't know that

I do agree though that she's probably at a good weight for her height and build and her body is likely rebelling against losing anymore right now, especially with the exercise/toning of muscle going on. That's not to say she won't lose more FAT... but it seems like with that level of activity there's going to be muscle replacing the fat which is a positive thing, but also will result in no scale movement.

I believe in order to see a more significant movement of the scale at that weight, something's going to have to give... and honestly, I still think it's either carbs or protein! Fat and calories are definitely not the culprits
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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My friend was a thin-cyster.We all wondered why she had fertility issues and pcos never occurred to us as she was about a US size 2.She had lovely skin,no hair growth issues etc.A doctor was eliminating things and found that sure enough,pcos.

In the case of the OP here I think she is so close to her perfect weight that the amount of muscle she could easily build at the gym could easily hide her total desired weight loss.I would stick to the gym and use tape measure and clothes fit rather than weight.

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Old 04-24-2013, 02:54 PM   #10
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Your description of you menu seems very low on fat.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:48 PM   #11
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It's NOT always easy to see the characteristics of PCOS... believe me! There are what we call "thin-cysters" who are skinny as a rail, who don't have excess facial hair, or any other physical signs of the disease. Heck, you don't even have to have ovarian cysts to have PCOS.
You do make a valid point...Perhaps its worth a trip to the doc for a simple exam and a few blood tests? r/o PCOS and thyroid.

I do find it odd that she would not be losing weight if she was really eating 900 cals/day and has now upped it to only 1200-ish cals/day. Her menu looks pretty clean... a couple extra carbs from almonds or peanut butter occasionally shouldnt be having that huge an effect
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:59 PM   #12
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With a BMI of 23 if your frame is anything other than small you may just be at the smallest healthy weight your body will go.
If you starve yourself you can go underweight but if you are eating healthily there is an effective bottom limit.
Also muscle weighs more than fat so 125 and fit may be the same size as 110-115 and sedentary.
Is there any reason you chose 120 as your goal weight or was it just an educated guess?
You may just already be perfect
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:13 PM   #13
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You do make a valid point...Perhaps its worth a trip to the doc for a simple exam and a few blood tests? r/o PCOS and thyroid.

I do find it odd that she would not be losing weight if she was really eating 900 cals/day and has now upped it to only 1200-ish cals/day. Her menu looks pretty clean... a couple extra carbs from almonds or peanut butter occasionally shouldnt be having that huge an effect
I don't find it strange at all. Being an active person, I would guess at 1200 calories a day she's still eating at too great of a deficit... if you eat at too great a deficit you won't lose either, actually. When I was eating 1200-1300 calories myself at my weight, I couldn't lose at ALL. When I upped it to 1500-1600 I started to lose finally

I just didn't suggest upping her calories because she was mentioning what a struggle it was to get them up as high as they are... but that'd be another recommendation from me.

There are also people who are just more carb sensitive that aren't hypo and don't have PCOS, it's just really hard to say what's going on without tweaking a lot of things and trying something new in my opinion.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:08 PM   #14
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It sounds like she already upped her calories.

According to a BMR calculator, her BMR (23 female, 5'2'', 125 lbs) is 1382 cals/day

Obviously, real BMR can vary quite a bit.... but assuming those numbers are correct, she is eating to her BMR (which is generally suggested to not go way below that). So given that she is a reasonably active person, she should be able to lose weight at that calorie level, unless she has a very slow metabolism for some other reason.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:00 AM   #15
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It sounds like she already upped her calories.

According to a BMR calculator, her BMR (23 female, 5'2'', 125 lbs) is 1382 cals/day

Obviously, real BMR can vary quite a bit.... but assuming those numbers are correct, she is eating to her BMR (which is generally suggested to not go way below that). So given that she is a reasonably active person, she should be able to lose weight at that calorie level, unless she has a very slow metabolism for some other reason.
BMR in my experience is complete crap honestly, which is why I said that's probably still too big of a deficit. The BMR had me at some number that wanted me to essentially eat around 1300 calories to maintain my weight, not even lose... and like I said, I couldn't lose until I upped my fat and upped my calories. There's a reason I follow NK BMR imo only works for people on a standard lower calorie low fat diet, and LC generally just is not one of those diets. To me, when you start using fat as a primary fuel source that seems to change the rule book entirely... now if you were using GLUCOSE for energy still, sure. Maybe the BMR is correct. But you shouldn't be using glucose for energy if you're low carb, and that in and of itself would be the problem.... in which case "lower carbs, check protein, watch fat" would be good advice because the person likely isn't in ketosis at all which would render losing near impossible for someone close to goal more than likely.

That being said, at that weight and at that exercise level I still think it's probably correct that her body is comfortable at that weight and it'll be very difficult to lose assuming she wants to continue the same activity level... unless of course something drastic gets shaken up and actually works, but again... in my experience when you're eating at or under your BMR on a LC diet, if calories are the culprit in your stall it's not because they're too high. It's because they're too low! Especially in someone so active.

Just my two cents though. I'd suggest the OP steers her way to the NK board to see what's up over there. We have people within 5 pounds of goal close to her weight who broke stalls doing just what I recommended... so maybe it'd help her too
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:01 AM   #16
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I ea fewer carbs and more fat, but I like that diet. There is no point in cutting carbs to lose weight if you cannot maintain it for the long haul.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:11 AM   #17
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Thanks everyone for the support and quick replies.

You ask why I chose 120? I was at 116-118 back in November magically? And I felt really good then. Then I went back to my usual 125 - and I want to go back. I understand 5-8 is hard to lose but it's just a personal preference.

It is very hard for me to reach 1200 a day. I've been eating under for all these years and have probably damaged my metabolism. This is not on purpose just listening to my body - eating when I'm full. It just so happened that 900 was what my body was ok with. And I've maintained all these years.

I wonder what would happen if I could up my calories, I'd be scared but I'm open to suggestions. I'd like to follow high fat/low carb/moderate protein. Could someone list food suggestions?

I will try to cut out the half and half but otherwise I feel like my menu is pretty clean. I don't have pb and nuts everyday like my post appears those were just examples of snacks to inform you I'm not eating crap haha.

I think ill try to up my cal and up my fat - need help! And ill cut back on protein as well but only a little because I'm in the 80-100 range now. And raindroproses (thank you) suggested for my weight 50-80. You're all great!
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #18
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Just want to wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes...

I really want 5lbs off too, and its not easy when you are already at a lower weight!
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:53 AM   #19
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Thanks everyone for the support and quick replies.

You ask why I chose 120? I was at 116-118 back in November magically? And I felt really good then. Then I went back to my usual 125 - and I want to go back. I understand 5-8 is hard to lose but it's just a personal preference.

It is very hard for me to reach 1200 a day. I've been eating under for all these years and have probably damaged my metabolism. This is not on purpose just listening to my body - eating when I'm full. It just so happened that 900 was what my body was ok with. And I've maintained all these years.

I wonder what would happen if I could up my calories, I'd be scared but I'm open to suggestions. I'd like to follow high fat/low carb/moderate protein. Could someone list food suggestions?

I will try to cut out the half and half but otherwise I feel like my menu is pretty clean. I don't have pb and nuts everyday like my post appears those were just examples of snacks to inform you I'm not eating crap haha.

I think ill try to up my cal and up my fat - need help! And ill cut back on protein as well but only a little because I'm in the 80-100 range now. And raindroproses (thank you) suggested for my weight 50-80. You're all great!
You're welcome, I hope something works for you too! If you're interested in checking out NK (high fat/moderate protein/low carb essentially) do check out the Nutritional Ketosis board here. Lots of great information, and great people there! And like I was saying, I know of a couple people who are about 5 pounds from goal and on the lighter side as well and they were able to break their months long stalls by trying NK

I know I linked you up to those two threads earlier which really gives you the basis for what NK is and isn't... you can also check out on the Nutritional Ketosis board the monthly thread, which a lot of people use to post their daily menus and such. You can really get a feel for what people are eating to keep their fat up and protein moderate if you head over there, but there's a lot of off topic chatting as well to weed through

Also, I don't COMPLETELY agree with what this guy says (he's not a strict follower of NK by any means, and some of his information in my opinion is false) but if you check out this link (which I THINK is okay to link up because he's not selling anything and there aren't a ton of ads everywhere) there's a food list that's FANTASTIC imo for seeing what's keto-friendly, and what isn't.

Joseph Arcita: A Guide to Ketosis

For a really quick list though, highly ketogenic high fat foods that I can think of off the top of my head are: coconut oil, butter, bacon grease, heavy whipping cream, macadamia nuts (I replaced my almonds with them a while back!), avocados (but watch the carbs... on NK though you're allowed up to 50 TOTAL per day, although some cannot tolerate that high of a number. This is without deducting fiber. I try to stay under 10, but always am under 20.) Also eggs of course, cheese, sour cream... just watch your dairy intake because it does stall some people out

Anyway, I hope that helps a bit! We'd love to see you over on the NK board too if you do decide to try it... lots of really smart, well informed people over there, so there'll be no shortage of advice or help at the very least! I really think it'd help you a lot though, because when you say you think you damaged your metabolism from all the years of under-eating... NK is pretty much SPECIFICALLY for those with shoddy metabolisms that need jump starting, and many find that after a while they can ONLY lose while following it
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:11 AM   #20
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Raindroproses -
How on earth do you stay so low on carbs? What's a menu sample of yours?
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:59 AM   #21
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Raindroproses -
How on earth do you stay so low on carbs? What's a menu sample of yours?
Easy! I don't eat veggies, fruits, or grains on most days Never fruits or grains, veggies just sparingly. Lately I've only eaten a few black olives here and there for veggies... when I do eat more (1 serving of broccoli or asparagus or something like that) I'm always below 20 total grams per day, without deducting the fiber from the plants. When I eat only meats, dairy, and healthy fats primarily... I'm generally under 10 total like this past week or so

I also don't eat peanut butter (very very very rarely, and even then it's a teaspoon added to something else) so my only carbs usually come from what little veggies I'm having that day (sometimes I do eat a salad, I just only use about 1-2 cups of lettuce) and the tiny amounts in HWC, eggs, cream cheese, sour cream, etc. And the tiny amounts that occur in some meats

Here's a sample menu from days ago (since I doubt you want to hear about how I've been eating chicken hearts the past two days )


Breakfast - bulletproof tea with 1T of coconut oil and 1T of HWC, 2 slices of lower sodium bacon

Lunch - bulletproof tea with 1T of coconut oil and 1T of butter, 2 slices of lower sodium bacon, 1/2T of mayo

Dinner - 6oz of venison steak pan seared and sliced, 1 package of miracle rice (shirataki rice), 1oz of pepperjack cheese, 2T of sour cream, 2T of Herdez salsa ranchera, 2t of bacon grease (to fry the meat in and make a sauce)

Snack - 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk with SF Torani syrup added, 1T of coconut oil, and my tiny little daily piece of dark chocolate

I also drink apple cider vinegar tonics 3x a day, and obviously take my supplements. That day worked out to be only about 7 carbs TOTAL. And I was beyond full, believe me

Hope that helps a little! I eat a lot of the same things sometimes, so I'll post another menu if I find one that'd fit the bill and is different enough
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:03 AM   #22
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Aha, here we go! Here was another day... this one worked out to be 10 carbs total


Breakfast - bulletproof tea with 1T of coconut oil and 1T of HWC, 1 hard boiled egg

Lunch - 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk with 1/2 scoop of chocolate protein powder, 1 Kraft Jalapeno string cheese

Dinner - 8oz of ground beef (75% fat) fried in a pan and served over 1 package of miracle rice, and a sauce made from 2T of butter, 1T of HWC, 2t of Worcestershire sauce, and a touch of minced garlic

Snack - 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk with SF Torani, 1T of coconut oil, daily piece of dark chocolate
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:45 PM   #23
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thanks for menus, verrrry interesting . . . I think I could do something similar and be very satisified. I am learning so much!
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