Snack ideas

If you get hungry between meals, have a snack. The foods below are fine to eat on the PoundforPound diet. Don't worry that they are high fat - they are low in carbs and that is all that matters.

Macadamia nuts are very nutritious and are useful to carry around with you when you know you might need a snack.

Roasted, salted Almonds.

Pork scratchings (pork rinds in the US).

Peperami snacks.

Chocolate – be very selective here. Make sure it is at least 85% cocoa and check net carbs. Just have a couple of pieces once or twice a week. A very welcome treat.
Green & Black's is our favourite chocolate.
Breakfast ideas
bacon mushroom low carb breakfast idea

Don't skip breakfast. Although you will be forgoing cereals and bread, the following foods are recommended for losing weight with the PoundforPound diet.

Make sure you don't eat anything on the foods to avoid list.

Although normal bread is to be avoided, you can have a couple of slices of  ‘Hi-Lo’ low carb bread.
This is available in the UK at some Sainsbury branches, and usually available for home shopping. Recently Hovis have introduced 'Lower Carb' bread. A couple of slices of Hovis Lower Carb Seriously Seeded loaf is acceptable.
Can be spread with Almond nut butter, or no sugar Peanut butter.
Other low carb breads such as Liv-Life are available, keep your eyes open, and check the ‘net carbs’ listed so you know you are OK.  Liv-life can be ordered online at

Eggs, boiled, fried, poached, scrambled. Can be had on low carb bread, or with ham or cheese. Bacon and eggs always goes down well for breakfast.

Omelettes are delicious. Plain or Add ham and cheese.

Fried breakfast: Eggs, Bacon, Mushrooms, Sausages (good ones, not stuffed with breadcrumbs!)

Don't skimp on the salt. You will be passing more salt than usual on this diet, so feel free to season to taste.

If you can't face breakfast, try a protein shake. They come in a variety of flavours, and are better than having nothing. Mix them with mainly water, and maybe a dash of milk. Check the carb count - it should be under 10 carbs per serving.
Main Meal ideas

You can come up with an endless variety of meals by referring to the allowed low carb food list.

If you need some inspiration, please have a look at our low carb recipes and meal ideas page.
Dessert ideas

Desserts are generally out as they contain sugar - the purest form of carbohydrate there is!
But the ideas below we find are very satisfying and totally allowed.
Our favourite dessert would be a type of fresh berry. Either Blueberry, Strawberry or Raspberry.  We eat this several times a week.

Add a big spoonful of cream – either clotted, crème fraiche, double cream.

We sometimes like to add a spoonful of ground flaxseed, and maybe a few pine nuts.

Sprinkle with a little powdered Splenda to sweeten if required.
low carb dessert idea fruit and cream

How about these low-carb chocolate brownies?

They are made with ground almonds and are delicious. As they contain a fair amount of artificial sweetener we tend to eat these occassionally.

You can found out how Kim made these on the PoundforPound recipe page.
low carb dessert idea chocolate brownies
We find Walden Farm zero carb sauces very tasty on fruit and cream. However, be a little careful. Generally, going low carb will reduce your craving for sweet things. If you have got a very sweet tooth, these products may make you crave cakes and sweets when you are out and about. The last thing we want is to make you crave sweet things even more!

Are Cheat meals allowed?

If you feel you want to, then you can have a cheat meal no more than once a week. For this meal, you can eat whatever you desire and even have a dessert if you wish. This can be handy for the occasional family get together or meal out. 

You will gain weight the next day, but this will be mainly water. Your body will store away all the sugar as glycogen in your muscles. Glycogen has the property of attaching a lot of water to itself, so don’t be surprised if the next day you weigh several pounds more.

All being well, by the same time the following week, the water weight will have come off, plus an additional pound or two.

Kim and Justin both had occasional cheat meals (no more than once a week) during their weight loss. We can’t go back in time and try it again without the cheat meals to see if we would have lost weight quicker - our hunch is we would have done. We will leave this decision up to you. We have read some versions of the low carb diet which have no mention of cheat meals, and others which do. 

And remember, don’t get on those scales every day – once a week to get the general pattern. We prefer doctor style mechanical scales as you don't tend to chase the digits, but you can see the trend.
Alcoholic Drinks

If you are partial to an occasional alcoholic drink, you will still be able to indulge in moderation and still lose weight.
Alcohol is unusual in that it is the ‘fuel of choice’ when present in the body.
But, we want to be burning fat as much as possible.
So be aware that for a period after drinking alcohol our fat loss will stall while the alcohol is used up.

We therefore recommend that you drink in moderation, certainly within the ‘safe limits’ suggested by health authorities. Perhaps once or twice a week.

If you don’t drink, or want to use the diet as an opportunity to cut down, that’s great.

Whilst alcohol by itself is not fattening in moderation, certain drinks do contain large amounts of carbohydrates and really must be avoided.

Spirits contain practically zero carbohydrates, so you can drink them neat or with a diet mixer. White wine is quite low in carbohydrates so is a good choice.
Beer is out though. It is packed full of fattening carbohydrates and is definitely on the ‘no go’ list. So are liqueurs and cocktails.

Click here to see list of carbs in alcoholic drinks
Drinks - non Alcoholic

It is necessary as part of this diet that you drink plenty of water. Really. Make it a point to have several large glasses throughout the day. Think of it (whether is strictly true or not) as flushing away the body fat. One thing it will do is help with constipation, which is a potential side effect of this diet. If you do suffer from constipation, take a supplement, such as Psyllium Husk power which can be obtained online or at a pharmacy.

All soft drinks which contain sugar are not allowed. Always choose the sugar free version of canned drinks.

Fruit juices are not allowed as they contain huge amount of natural sugars which will stop you losing weight.

Tea and Coffee are allowed. Do not sweeten with sugar - use Splenda instead.

Green Tea is very refreshing and lower in caffeine than normal black tea. Either plain green tea, or there are some delicious fruit flavoured green tea bags available by Twinings.

All zero sugar soft drinks are allowed.

Milk should not be drunk in any great quantity. Milk contains lactose. and the "-ose"  ending tells us this is a type of sugar. A splash of milk on tea and coffee shouldn't be a problem. If you would prefer try lactose-free milk.

Click here to see list of carbs in non-alcoholic drinks
Eating at Restaurants

If you enjoy meat, poultry or seafood, you really shouldn’t have any problem when eating out. Delicious steaks, fish, and even luxury foods such as lobster and crab are available to you. Just avoid the carbs laying around, such as bread. Instead of bread while you peruse the menu, perhaps ask for a bowl of olives instead.

For meals which come with potatoes or fries, most chefs will happily oblige a request to replace them with extra vegetables.

At Indian restaurants, just leave out the rice and breads. You’ll be surprised how much you enjoy curries without the rice, along with a side dish or two of vegetables. Carb rich foods, such as rice, have a tendency to make you overeat. When you leave them out, you will feel pleasantly full without feeling bloated – the usual unpleasant feeling after an Indian meal.
Out and about

When you are home you will get used to having a good selection of low carb food around you. But you will find, unfortunately, that the ‘quick snack’ choices when out and about are very limited indeed. Service stations, airports, buffet carts, fast food outlets, they all seem packed full of fattening, high carb food. There often seems to be nothing on the ‘good’ list to eat. We have managed to get by, but only just. We hope once the low carb message really catches on that a greater variety of suitable foods become available. For now, here are some ideas on what you could eat.
  • Burger without the bun. Get a big fat burger, with extra cheese and bacon, but just don’t eat the bun. Most burger places also will do a side salad. If salad dressing is on offer, make sure it is a simple vinaigrette – they love to sneak in the sugar wherever they can! Forget the fries, obviously. You can also get a simple chicken breast cooked without a breadcrumb coating in some fast food outlets. You will be surprised how filling meat and salad can be.
  • Chicken salad or prawn salad. Most supermarkets have a quick lunch section. Salads with meat or seafood are fine. Some ready made snack salad pots include pasta or grains of some sort, so be careful. Opt for a pot of simple salad and buy a snack size portion of prawns or meat to add yourself.
  • At a deli counter you should be able to get some delicious low carb treats. Olives, salads, roasted veggies, hams, sausages, and cheeses are all fine. Avoid pasta and rice dishes though.
  • Houmous and guacamole are another snack idea. Most supermarkets will sell small packs of ready prepared carrot sticks, or better still, celery sticks. Waitrose houmous contains 4.7g carbs per quarter pot. Waitrose guacamole contains 1.7g carbs per 1/4 pot. Our research shows that other brands may differ slightly, as ingredient percentages are not always the same, so check the package for the carb content.
  • If you know you are going out, or need to take your lunch to work every day, you can always pre-prepare something to take with you. This is also a cheaper option, as ready prepared supermarket snacks and fast food can be relatively expensive. Use Hi-Lo or Hovis Lower Carb bread to make a sandwich or make a salad. Both are easy and quick to prepare and you could always do it the night before. Another alternative would be to keep a portion of something you’ve prepared for a meal to take out with you.

If you want to lose weight, then you must not exceed 35 Net Carbs per day.
See How to work out Net Carbs of a food item.