No Sugar No Starch


“No Sugar, No Starch” Diet: Getting Started

This diet is focused on providing your body with the nutrition it needs, while eliminating foods that your body does not require, namely, nutritionally empty carbohydrates. For most effective weight loss, you will need to keep the total number of (net) carbohydrate grams to fewer than 20 grams per day. Your diet is to be made up exclusively of foods and beverages from these instructions. If the food is packaged, check the label and make sure that the carbohydrate count is 1 to 2 grams or less for meat and dairy products, 5 grams or less for vegetables. All food may be cooked in a microwave oven, baked, boiled, stir-fried, sautéed, roasted, fried (with no flour, breading, or cornmeal), or grilled.

(Athena63's food tips)

 Foods you can have

Breads, Grains, Cereals, Pasta, Rice
Meat and Fish
Fruit and Fruit Juices
Vegetables and Legumes (e.g. Beans)
Dairy Products - Milk, Cheese, etc
Eggs and Egg Substitutes
Nuts and Seeds
Fats and Oils
Herbs, Spices, Sauces
Others, Snacks, Sweets, etc

Not OK

 How To Follow No Sugar No Starch:


Meat: Beef (including hamburger and steak), pork, ham (unglazed), bacon, lamb, veal, or other meats. For processed meats (sausage, pepperoni, hot dogs), check the label—carbohydrate count should be about 1 gram per serving.

Poultry: Chicken, turkey, duck, or other fowl.

Fish and Shellfish: Any fish, including tuna, salmon, catfish, bass, trout, shrimp, scallops, crab, and lobster.

Eggs: Whole eggs are permitted without restrictions.

You do not have to avoid the fat that comes with the above foods.

You do not have to limit quantities deliberately, but you should stop
eating when you feel full.


Salad Greens: 2 cups a day. Includes arugula, bok choy, cabbage (all varieties), chard, chives, endive, greens (all varieties, including beet, collards, mustard, and turnip), kale, lettuce (all varieties), parsley, spinach, radicchio, radishes, scallions, and watercress. (If it is a leaf, you may eat it.)

Vegetables: 1 cup (measured uncooked) a day. Includes artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans (string beans), jicama, leeks, mushrooms, okra, onions, peppers, pumpkin, shallots, snow peas, sprouts (bean and alfalfa), sugar snap peas, summer squash, tomatoes, rhubarb, wax beans, zucchini.

Bouillon: 2 cups daily—as needed for sodium replenishment. Clear broth (consommé) is strongly recommended, unless you are on a sodium-restricted diet for hypertension or heart failure.


Cheese: up to 4 ounces a day (115 grams). Includes hard, aged cheeses such as Swiss and Cheddar, as well as Brie, Camembert, blue, mozzarella, Gruyère, cream cheese, goat cheeses.

Avoid processed cheeses, such as Velveeta. Check the label; carbohydrate count should be
less than 1 gram per serving.

Cream: up to 4 tablespoonfuls a day. Includes heavy, light, or sour cream (not half and half).

Mayonnaise: up to 4 tablespoons a day. Duke’s and Hellmann’s are low-carb. Check the labels of other brands.

Olives (Black or Green): up to 6 a day.

Avocado: up to 1/2 of a fruit a day.

Lemon/Lime Juice: up to 4 teaspoonfuls a day.

Soy Sauces: up to 4 tablespoons a day. Kikkoman is a low-carb brand.

Check the labels of other brands.

Pickles, Dill or Sugar-Free: up to 2 servings a day.Mt. Olive makes sugarfree pickles. Check the labels for carbohydrates and serving size.

Snacks: Pork rinds/skins; pepperoni slices; ham, beef, turkey, and other meat roll-ups; deviled eggs.


On this diet, no sugars (simple carbohydrates) and no starches (complex carbohydrates)
are eaten. The only carbohydrates encouraged are the nutritionally dense, fiber-rich vegetables listed.

Sugars are simple carbohydrates. Avoid these kinds of foods: white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, corn syrup, beer (contains barley malt), milk (contains lactose), flavored yogurts, fruit juice, and fruit.

Starches are complex carbohydrates. Avoid these kinds of foods: grains (even “whole” grains), rice, cereals, flour, cornstarch, breads, pastas, muffins, bagels, crackers, and “starchy” vegetables such as slow-cooked beans (pinto, lima, black beans), carrots, parsnips, corn, peas, potatoes, French fries, potato chips.


All fats and oils, even butter, are allowed. Olive oil and peanut oil are especially healthy oils and are encouraged in cooking. Avoid margarine and other hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats.

For salad dressings, the ideal dressing is a homemade oil-and-vinegar dressing, with lemon juice and spices as needed. Blue-cheese, ranch, Caesar, and Italian are also acceptable if the label says 1 to 2 grams of carbohydrate per serving or less. Avoid “lite” dressings, because these commonly have more carbohydrates. Chopped eggs, bacon, and/or grated cheese may also be included in salads.

Fats, in general, are important to include, because they taste good and make you feel full. You are therefore permitted the fat or skin that is served with the meat or poultry that you eat, as long as there is no breading on the skin. Do not attempt to follow a low-fat diet!

SWEETENERS AND DESSERTS (Chris: I recommend against using fake sweeteners.)

If you feel the need to eat or drink something sweet, you should [wait until the feeling passes] select the most sensible alternative sweetener(s) available. Some available alternative sweeteners are: Splenda (sucralose), Nutra-sweet (aspartame), Truvia (stevia/ erythritol blend), and Sweet ’N Low (saccharin). Avoid food with sugar alcohols (such as sorbitol and maltitol) for now, because they occasionally cause stomach upset, although they may be permitted in limited quantities in the future.


Drink as much as you would like of the allowed beverages, but do not force fluids beyond your capacity. The best beverage is water. Essence-flavored seltzers (zero carbs) and bottled spring and mineral waters are also good choices.

Caffeinated beverages: Some people find that their caffeine intake interferes with their weight loss and blood sugar control.With this in mind, you may have up to 3 cups of coffee (black, or with artificial sweetener and/or cream), tea (unsweetened or artificially sweetened), or caffeinated diet soda per day.


At first, avoid alcohol consumption on this diet. At a later point in time, as weight loss and dietary patterns become well established, alcohol in moderate quantities, if low in carbohydrates, may be added back into the diet. However, continue to monitor your progress.


Eat when you are hungry; stop when you are full. The diet works best on a “demand feeding” basis—that is, eat whenever you are hungry; try not to eat more than what will satisfy you. Learn to listen to your body. A low carbohydrate diet has a natural appetite-reduction effect to ease you into the consumption of smaller and smaller quantities comfortably. Therefore, do not eat everything on your plate just because it’s there. On the other hand, don’t go hungry! You are not counting calories. Enjoy losing weight comfortably, without hunger or cravings.

It is recommended that you start your day with a nutritious low carbohydrate meal.

Note that many medications and nutritional supplements need to be taken with food at each meal, or three times per day.


The following items are NOT on the diet: sugar, bread, cereal, flour containing items, fruits, juices, honey, whole or skimmed milk, yogurt, canned soups, dairy substitutes, ketchup, sweet condiments and relishes.

Avoid these common mistakes: Beware of “fat-free” or “lite” diet products, and foods containing “hidden” sugars and starches (such as coleslaw or sugarfree cookies and cakes). Check the labels of liquid medications, cough syrups, cough drops, and other over-the-counter medications that may contain sugar. Avoid products that are labeled “Great for Low-Carb Diets!”


What does a low-carbohydrate menu look like? You can plan your daily menu by using the following as a guide:

Meat or other protein source (usually eggs)
Fat source—This may already be in your protein; for example, bacon and eggs have fat in them. But if your protein source is “lean,” add some fat in the form of butter, cream (in coffee), or cheese.
Low-carbohydrate vegetable (if desired)—This can be in an omelet or a breakfast quiche.

Meat or other protein source
Fat source—If your protein is “lean,” add some fat, in the form of butter, salad dressing, cheese, cream, or avocado.
1 to 11/2 cups of salad greens or cooked greens
1/2 to 1 cup of vegetables

Low-carbohydrate snack that has protein and/or fat

Meat or other protein source
Fat source—If your protein is “lean,” add some fat in the form of butter, salad dressing, cheese, cream, or avocado.
1 to 11/2 cups of salad greens or cooked greens
1/2 to 1 cup of vegetables

A sample day may look like this:

Bacon or sausage

Grilled chicken on top of salad greens and other vegetables, with bacon, chopped eggs, and salad dressing

Pepperoni slices and a cheese stick

Burger patty or steak
Green salad with other acceptable vegetables and salad dressing
Green beans with butter


Start by checking the nutrition facts.
• Look at serving size, total carbohydrate, and fiber.
• Use total carbohydrate content only.
• You may subtract fiber from total carbohydrate to get the “effective or net carb count.” For example, if there are 7 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fiber, the difference yields 4 grams of effective carbohydrates. That means the effective carbohydrate count is 4 grams per serving.
• No need to worry—at this point—about calories or fat.
• Effective carbohydrate count of vegetables should be 5 grams or less.
• Effective carbohydrate count of meat or condiments should be 1 gram
or less.
• Also check the ingredient list. Avoid foods that have any form of sugar or starch listed in the first 5 ingredients.
Sugar by any other name is still sugar!

All of these are forms of sugar: sucrose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, glucose, honey, agave syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown-rice syrup, molasses, evaporated cane juice, cane juice, fruit-juice concentrate, corn sweetener.
  by member Athena63
I have been wanting to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight for 17 years (my older son is 17). I've lost 20 lbs so far with another 25 or so to go. In 2009, I ran my first 10k, in 2010 my first marathon, and in 2011, I finished a Half Ironman Triathlon. ...
member since: 17 Oct 11

More No Sugar No Starch Info

Recent Recipes

FatSecret members recently rated these recipes for No Sugar No Starch:
average member ranking
Sausage Egg Muffins with Green Chilies
Low carb breakfast muffin.
cals: 158kcal | fat: 10.34g | carbs: 2.17g | prot: 13.14g
view more recipes

Athena63's top tips

1.Use to record what and how much you eat every day. Collecting good information will help you assess how well your diet is working and what kind of adjustments you might need to make.
2.Weigh and measure your food for at least a week to educate yourself about portion size.
3.Start your meal planning with green vegetables and then add protein and healthy fats.
4.Make sure you eat enough fat and protein. Keep your carbs below 150 grams per day. If you're not losing weight, try 50 to 75 grams per day for several days and see whether that makes a difference.
5.If you think you're still hungry after a meal, have a cup of herbal tea or bouillon.
6.If you have trouble sticking with your plan, then perhaps you need some more support. Find someone to be a diet buddy or coach. Look at what brain-training you might need. Consider cognitive-behavioural training. I recommend The Beck Diet Solution, Emotional Brain Training, and Weight Loss Hypnosis by Roberta Temes

About / History

adapted from Lifestyle Medicine Clinic
Duke University Medical Center

  Why choose "No Sugar No Starch"?
 Promotes long term weight loss
 Promotes rapid weight loss
 A healthy living alternative
 Provides an energy boost
 Improves mood and outlook
 Reduces the risks of diet-related diseases
 A roadmap for a healthier lifestyle

features in a nutshell