As micki says, unless you are following a specific plan (then you should follow that plans rules), in general, here's some information I received from my workout club (MaxWork Club-Shin Ohtake) on low carb eating.
"Low carb diet does not mean a high protein diet. Too many people make the mistake that if you’re not eating as many carbs, you have to eat more protein. It’s simply not true. The amount of protein your body can metabolize also varies according to each individual depending on their genetic make up, type of activity, and lifestyle. The amount of protein I usually suggest is between 0.7 - 1g of protein for each pound of lean body weight (Calculate your lean body weight). Consuming more protein than that isn’t very useful (or recommended) in most situations - unless you’re involved in activities which requires lots of heavy lifting in which case you may need slightly more protein than suggest.
Here are the 3 Rules of low carb dieting that will make it easier and more enjoyable for you:
1. You’re not eating enough fat. This is the biggest mistake I see people make when embarking on a low carb diet. Too many people still believe fat is the culprit to gaining weight. If you’re used to eating a typical Western diet full of refined carb dense foods, you may be consuming between 300g - 500g (or more) of carbs a day. That’s equivalent to 1200 - 2000 calories! Now, when you go on a low carb diet, you’re going to want to cut your carb intake down to as much as 100 g a day, which is 400 calories. So you’re talking a difference of 800 - 1600 calories a day!! You simply can’t reduce your caloric intake that much, that soon and think you’ll be able to successfully stick to it. Of course I’m throwing out some pretty big numbers to make a point, but either way, you’re going to be cutting calories (some more than others) when you go on a low carb diet…which is one of the main reason why people INITIALLY lose a lot of weight.
BUT that’s the problem…it’s simply not sustainable. So the first thing most people do to try and make up for their calorie deficit is to increase their protein intake. BUT, your body can only handle so much protein and there’s no way that you can replace the number of calories from carbs to protein and still feel good…it’s not healthy and certainly not sustainable for the long run. So that leaves us with one other energy source - FAT.
Yep, fat is your savior when it comes to successfully maintaining a low carb diet. I know it goes against logic to think that you can eat fat and lose fat, but it’s true - as long as you stick to Rule #1. Eating fat is great when you’re not eating carbs. Think of them like oil and water…they don’t mix well. (Combining fat with low carb highly fibrous foods like green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables are an exception to this rule) That means no chocolate covered bacon. Doh!! Eating fat is recommended only when you’re on a low carb diet. When you eat carbs and fat together, it’s like rolling out the red carpet for your fat to be stored onto your body. It’s a basic rule that’s easy to remember and makes sticking to low carb diet much easier and enjoyable…and I’m mean who doesn’t love bacon!!
2. Being on a low carb diet doesn’t mean that you can’t eat carbs. In fact depriving yourself from all types carbs is probably another big reason why people can’t stay on a low carb diet for the long term. For the vast majority of time, your carbs should come from fibrous vegetables and fruits, but it’s fine to eat starchy carbs once in a while. In fact, you can eat starchy carbs more often if you stick to the Rule #2. Starchy carbs are fine to consume after a hard/intense workout. Now, I specifically mentioned the words “hard/intense” not to intimidate you, but to emphasize the point that you can’t just go for a leisurely walk and consider it a workout. You have to get your heart rate up and you need to workout with enough effort so you can use up the glycogen that’s stored on your muscles. This is what allows you to consume starchy carbs without worrying about spilling over into your fat stores. The more intense the workout, the more glycogen you’ll use up. Keep in mind that Rule #1 applies here as well, since your consuming foods that are more dense in carbs, you don’t want to consume any fat with it. You’re consuming higher carbohydrate foods like sweet potatoes, plantains and bananas to replenish your glycogen level quickly and fat only gets in the way.
3. One common “side effect” people experience on a low carb diet is low energy, lightheadedness, and general malaise. Generally, this is a low caloric problem and it can easily be fixed by upping your fat intake to increase your overall calories. But it may also be due to low sodium levels in your body. One of the effects low carb diet has on your body is increased absorption of sodium. This can lead to low sodium levels if you’re not getting adequate sodium in your diet. The problem with sodium is that it’s gotten a bad wrap for causing high blood pressure and so it’s been grouped in with foods that need to be avoided. Now this may be the case if you’re eating highly refined salty processed foods, but if you’re eating a healthy diet low in refined carbs along with whole foods with minimal processed foods, this is not the case.
In fact, when you start eating natural whole foods, it’s easy to go low on sodium since you’re taste buds completely change and you’ll notice that you start cooking with much less salt. BUT this can become an issue when you’re on a low carb diet…especially if you’re activity level is quite high. So if you’re feeling a little off and not quite like yourself, it may be that your low on sodium. And if that’s the case, you can either increase the amount of sodium you use when you’re cooking or you can use bouillon cubes (soup stock) and dissolve it in the appropriate amount of hot water and consume it as a dietary supplement. The amount of sodium you’re body needs will vary, but it can range from anywhere between 1 - 4g a day. The more active you are and the more you sweat, the closer you may be to the higher recommended range of sodium intake. But again it’s something you’ll need to find out yourself."
this damn tracker below hasn't been right in months! My current weight is 139!