I'd done low carb off and on for about 3-4 years, but didn't get really serious about it until the summer of 2002. Up until then, I'd lose a few pounds then get stuck or a holiday would come along and I'd get off track. When I finally decided that I was going to make this work last July, I weighed 167 pounds at 5'7" tall. Because I already had a lot of good, reliable low carb recipes, and I knew what I should and shouldn't eat, I decided not to count my daily carbs at all this time around. I'm not necessarily recommending that everyone do it this way, but I found that it got too complicated trying to plan every single meal and thing I put in my mouth. I've avoided low carb desserts, sweeteners and diet soda. I just stick with simple recipes, lots of veggies and salads and I drink nearly a gallon of water per day. I really like eating low carb. Even though I've lost 50 pounds and have reached my ideal weight, I will eat this way for the rest of my life. There is enough nutrition and variety to this way of eating that I can't even think of going back to eating bread, pasta, rice and such. To me they are just filler and not necessary for a satisfying meal. When I do occasionally have a treat, I ask myself if the thing is good enough to risk gaining a little weight or if it's just not that good. Very few things are worth the indulgence if you really think about it. You'll also find, after you've been on this diet for awhile, that foods you thought you could never live without really don't taste all that good anymore.

Like I said above, I don't count my carbs, but I'm guessing that I do eat under 30 per day. I eat only when I'm hungry and stop when I am full even if I've only eaten a small amount. I'll put what I haven't finished in the fridge and reheat it later if I get hungry again. That means I don't necessarily have just 3 meals per day. If I'm hungry, I eat something. One thing I did during my weight loss, that lot of people say to avoid, is that I ate Atkins-type bars (not the candy ones, the nutritional ones). I never ate a whole bar though. I'd cut them each up into very tiny pieces (about 20 per bar) and keep them in a little container in the fridge. If I started to feeling a bit hungry between meals, I'd eat 2 or 3 little pieces and that was enough to keep me from grabbing something I shouldn't eat.

Linda before & after
I think one key to sticking with this way of eating is to really make an effort to stick with it for the first couple weeks or a month or so. After that, you'll realize that it's not hard to do and that you don't really miss those things that aren't good for you anyway. Make a commitment to yourself to take it one day at a time and try not to "cheat" at all if you can. I think it's also important that you like, or at least eat, vegetables. This would be a very difficult diet if you were limited in the veggies that you'll eat. I'd be more concerned about getting enough good veggies than eating more meat/protein. In fact, I don't eat a huge amount of meat. I do try to always have several casseroles or quiches or things like that on hand in the fridge so I'm never in a position of having to find something that I can eat when I'm suddenly hungry.

My husband started low carbing about a year after I did and he lost over 30 pounds. When he saw how successful I was, he finally decided to try it for himself. I told him that I would not count carbs for him and that he'd have to do it the way I'd been doing it. Of course I pack his lunches and serve up his meals so he doesn't have to keep track of what he's eating anyway, but it is definitely working this way for him too. Men typically lose much faster and easier than women though.

Last updated June 2013