Carbaholic Basics


I would really love it if you left some comments!

Thought I would post some carb musings and advice and tips which in no way  purport to be healthy. Doctors warn pregnant women, alcoholics, or people with kidney or liver disease never to go on a ketogenic diet. If your worried about your weight… see a doctor.  But if you want to know more, read on…

Tools of the trade:

How Does It work?

When people eat carbs, the body releases insulin into the blood.  Its role is to burn down the sugar molecules that circulate in the blood and to diminish the harmful effects that high levels of sugar have on the body.

By the activity of insulin, carbohydrates are converted into fat.  insulin prevents the fat cells from releasing fat into the blood and burning it. So the body begins to deposit fat. At an average of thirty grams of carbohydrate per day, the insulin levels in the blood system are kept down and the body burns all the fat consumed and released from the fat cells.
Another side effect of insulin is the stimulation of hunger signals to the brain. The result is craving for more and more carbs.
When the carbohydrate intake is restricted, the insulin level goes down and the level of glucagon increases. Glucagon is a hormone that stimulates the burning of body fat and the removal of cholesterol from the arteries.

When people drastically cut down on carbs in their diet, (e.g. to up to 30 grams daily), the body quickly goes into a condition called “ketosis”– i.e. the burning of fat with the production of ketone bodies in the bloodstream.

the ketones released with ketogenic diets reduce the release of insulin and the stress hormones. As a result, the blood sugar becomes more stable, hunger is calmed down, and anxiety is reduced.


ketosis merely means that our bodies are using fat for energy

When people eat less carbohydrate, their bodies burn fat for energy

In short your body uses the existing stores of fat.

You cannot eat

bread ( unless it is specifically low carb bread from a specialist)

bread products ( bread sticks, crackers etc)



Root vegetables ( carrot, swede, turnip potato)

Fruit ( because it’s full of natural sugar)

sweets, crisps, chocolate etc

nuts & seeds,

MILK – take your tea and coffee black!


You can eat.

all kinds of meat

all kinds of fish

limited vegetables



limited amounts of full fat cream

limited amounts of cheese

limited amounts of cottage cheese

limited amounts of soft cheese

sweetener ( although they have a carb value because of the starch content, so count it!)


You won’t be getting a lot of fibre in your diet, however you should note that the carb value YOU count is minus any fibre

so if a food has say 3g carb and 3g fibre – the net carb value is ZERO

Sausages & Burgers

Sausages & burgers as we all know are usually filled with the arse end of everything.  They are also stuffed full of carbs as they are ‘padded’ with starch and bread crumbs.  YOU MUST read the back of a packet of before buying.

How should you start?

Start off at 20 grams of carbs per day.  remember that if you cheat just a little incy wincy bit, all your hard work will be for nought!  this is why this diet has worked so well for me.  If you go over your daily allowance of carbs you will come out of Ketosis and your body will store the fat.  It can then take up to 3 days to return into Ketosis.  This is very disheartening as you have to diet for three days without a visible effect.

Weigh yourself at the same time every day.  Mark your weight down on a calendar or in your diary or blog.  alternatively you can use to record what you eat and your weight.

You can eat as much as you want of meat and so you shouldn’t go hungry.  This diet gets you out of the snacking habit.


What Recipes?

Google is great for getting recipes although  this diet is very popular across the pond and so often times a recipe may have an ingredient or two that is a specialist item and is hard to find here.


no beer – it’s not worth it.

wine is carbalicious – not worth it

so it’s the hard stuff – distilled liquors such as vodka and gin with diet coke or lemonade.

no alcohol for the first week ( yeah right!)


Dr Atkins advises on giving up caffeine for the first week.  I think bolleaux to that, i need caffeine. Remember no milk or sugar.   use splenda and full cream or give up cream and sugar altogether.


Sweeteners have a carb value so count it.  The lowest carb sweetener is splenda.  however if you are stretching every carb and making it count, if your coffee is important to you and you can’t live without it, you might consider buying Davinci sugar-free syrup.  It is quite expensive but is carb free.  you can buy in different flavours which makes coffee quite an interesting experiment at first, especially nice flavours are cinnamon and hazelnut.  You can buy this from

  1. Kate
    January 25, 2011 at 7:44 am

    How important is the no milk?

    • January 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      Food Item: Milk
      Food Quantity: 1/2 cup (250ml)
      Carbs: 11g
      Dietary Fiber: 0g
      Net Carbs: 11g


      i’d say if your really trying to low carb, milk is a no no. but i suppose a splash in one cup of tea a day wont kill you – is it really worth 3 carbs though?

  2. silverymoon
    February 28, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Great intro Custardo.
    Very interesting.
    I’d love to try it but so not ready to give up or limit bread. 😦

  3. February 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    LOL! thanks for leaving a comment!

  4. Carol
    May 30, 2011 at 11:58 am


    Amazing info and cant wait to try this to get back to a comfortable weight for me.

    Can I ask though, what vegetables are a no-no?


    • June 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      in the main you should avoid root vegetables becuase they are higher carb. celeriac is a root vegetable and i use that lots, it is higher carb but i use smaller portions. so avoid beetroot, carrot , parsnip etc – good low carb veggies include cauliflower and leek – veggies that you think would be lowc arb but aren’t are tomato – its a fruit really you see so lots of sugar – 6g carbs for a tomato – which is a lot for a little thing i think and also onion again around 6g for a medium onion – i have onion in everything – i would die without onion and garlic – but i only use half an onion – or i get a bag of the midget onions so i am not left with half a curly onion in the fridge if i decide not to have onion for a couple of days.

  5. Carol
    June 9, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Thanks for the info, might struggle a bit to start with but im sure I will manage!

  6. June 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Good info but I am afraid that I missed bread and pasta, and fruit and yogurt too much when I tried low-carb. I was a miserable, grotty faced grump.

    • June 28, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      ’tis true, giving up the sugar is like withdrawl from anything and it makes you miserable, after about the first week your blood sugards should have stabled and after a month you will have cracked your meal planning and bobs your dads brother

  7. Getorf
    June 29, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    This is great custy – I fancy losing half a stone so am going to follow this (have done dukan in the past but got pissed off with the frenchy ramblings)

    • June 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm

      Yes Yes – due to mighty non smokingness, i too need to loose half a stone..well near 10 lbs so do check in and tell me how you’re doing

  8. Jimmy99
    July 10, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Nice informative blog.

    I started a low carb diet on June 4th and have lost 22 pounds so far.

    I have tried numerous calorie counting diets and in the past gone to WW & SW all ok for a while but far to easy to fall off the wagon.

    This seems to work with no hunger and i dont seem to ever feel hungry. Rather boring but I am trying to treat food as a fuel.

    I use the Dr Clark low carb book for guidance, is there much difference to Atkins or Durkan books/methods ?

    • July 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      thanks Jimmy99.

      The truth is i have no idea about Dukan or Dr Clark – and in all honesty i haven’t read atkins from cover to cover.

      the ‘magic’ of low carbing is in that lightbulb moment when you realise that by not eating sugar for energy, your body burns off the existing stores. and the trick to the magic is finding your daily carb level.

      mine is definatley 20 carbs – im short and should be a skinny build, any more than this and i#m putting it on. but for other shapes and heights this will change. indeed for those who are very overweight, they can eat closer to 30 carbs per day and still lose weight – only decreasing when a plateau is reached.

      the reason this has worked for me is that there is absolutely no grey area. you cheat a bit and you’ve literally lost all that days and probably the next 2 days at least – hard work. good luck jimmy, i hope that some of the recipies on here make it a little less boring, come back and let me know how you get on

  9. Jimmy99
    July 16, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Hi Custardo

    Another 7 days gone and another 3.6 pounds off, I thought I had hit a plateau but (lucky me) I dont seem to have.

    Two weeks till Corfu and I hope to shift another 5 pounds, I set myself a goal 7 weeks ago to lose 1 stone before I went on holiday, well past that now.

    I just wish i had not been so sceptical about low carb diets and tried this long ago, a diet that does not need will power who would have thought it ? great as I dont have any.

    Enough of my blathering how goes your efforts.

    btw I fancy your celeriac “chips” dammed if I can find any celeriac.

  10. July 16, 2011 at 11:42 am

    its usually hidden in the supermarkets, best to ask. even asda sell it! well done on the weight loss jimmy. Btw – do i ‘know’ you by another name or did you just happen upon my blog?

  11. Jimmy99
    July 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Custardo

    I was looking for a diet forum (most were very little used) and somehow I ended up on the mumsnet site and saw your link.

    The rest as they say is history.

  12. Sarah
    July 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Custardo, I happened upon you through Mumsnet and wanted to ask your advice! I lost 12 kg about 2 years ago on a low carb life but age and alcohol have conspired against and I’ve put about 6 of it back on 😦
    I am finding a total low carb life hard to stomach – forgive the pun – and am wondering about some kind of happy medium (yes, I know there is technically no such thing!!) I read about a woman who said she dropped a clothes size by just cutting out the real villains; bread, pasta, rice and potatoes but continuing to eat fruit and nuts and, at the same time, trying to avoid too much high fat protein. What’s your considered opinion on this??? I’m not in a desperate rush to drop the weight – just want to see a steady drop.

  13. July 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Hiya Mogmog,

    there is no magic to losing weight. We all know how it works. food is fuel for the body, if you dont exersize and you eat more than your body needs – you put on weight.

    there are many different methods of helping us to tame our willpower into allowing us to not eat as much fuel and do more exersize – thereby losing weight. only eat white foods, weight watchers, curves, slimming world, slimfast etc etc etc.

    so if you in your heart of heart of hearty heart think you can limit yourself to your own kinda sorta kinda sorta low carb plan – then my child you have my blessing. But i kinda get the inmpression that the reason us plumpy fatty types are the way we are – is because we have no rules. Certainly for me rules is an absolute must. if i started to tell myself that fruit is fine, then i would convince myself that ‘only’ one bag of crisps won’t do me much harm in the scheme of things and there you go, its all gone to shit 🙂

    Let me know how you get on

  14. Jimmy99
    July 23, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Hi Custardo

    I eventually found the cleriac and your right the cleriac “chips” are spot on, I coverd mine in hot chilli powder.

  15. July 25, 2011 at 7:39 am

    yum yum i love chili chips – i also love covering them in curry powder too

  16. Garlic
    August 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Is there such a thing as low-carb chocolate?

    • August 15, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      actually….there is

      if you take alook on lowcarbmegastore.,com you will find low carb chocolate

      however, these are made with a sugar substitute – so whilst it will absolutely catagorically state that you can have ‘X’ bar of chocolate and it is only 2 or 3 carbs… it wont tell you that all the sugar has been substituted with some kind of polyol or something known by another name. but as the ingredients are so bloody cryptic – it an take hours of googling to bloody well find out what the hell each chemicle name is

      if its too good to be true it usually is.

      now you see, if you can moderate yourself, these kind of chocolate bars are fine, as long as you don’t go over approx 10 polyols you should maintain or loose weight.

      but you can use normal chocolate, the higher the cocoa % the fewer the carbs

  17. Jimmy99
    August 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Hi Custardo

    Came back from Corfu 1 week ago and 3.2 pounds heavier (sigh)still this is what happens if you eat and drink to excees still it was a great holiday.

    Since last Saturday I have lost 3.4 pounds so not all bad.

    How about yourself.

    • August 15, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      excellent, hope you had a good time. i’ve not been doing so well, i was exceptionally ill and on steroids so didn’t low carb for a full week, then i decided to not low carb for three days the nezt week and then two days the week after means im a fat bloater.

      so serious stuff now, i start a new job in a week and i want to lose 5lbs

  18. Jimmy99
    August 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Custardo

    I hope you are now well and your new job went well and your back in the diet “saddle”

    Just spent the weekend at V Festival where the beer did flow I will weigh myself tommorow morning, anything less than a 2 pound increase and I will be happy.

    I now have a free run till Christmas and I intend to lose my last 19 pounds ( to go with the 35 so far), I will be adding some exercise to my regime from now on.

    Keep well.

    • August 27, 2011 at 4:12 am

      how you getting on jimmy?

  19. FabbyChic
    August 25, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    I’ve bookmarked this and will be following from next Monday! well done!

  20. RatherBeOnThePiste
    August 30, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Am really keen to go back on this – did it for a month in the run up for the holidays and lost about a stone, I also felt much better. I just feel this time I need a bit more guidance, so it has been great to read the above, and I totally get your comments about rules, and the only one bag of crisps bit made me laugh. How true.

    In the last two years I have lost about three and a half stone and still have some to go,although I am now in the (top end) of the healthy BMI thing. But what worries me is maintaining it when I get there. I see you are still on this low carb diet, how will you manage when you stop and move back onto whatever normality is?

    I will have more questions though, but I’m glad i found this. Fabbychic is also starting and that will be interesting to see how she gets on too.

    Now how do I link this to Facebook?

    • August 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      link to facebook? no idea, i an press a button and link my new posts to facebook – buts thats as techy as i get – i suppose you just have to copy and paste the URL.

      Right then for maintaining – well i hit my goal weight a year ago, and i maintain by low carbing mon – fri. this isn’t a diet – its a way of life . i need that structure you mentioned – i absolutely can’t eat any other way. start a MN thread on low carbing and i’ll be there with you and fabby like a shot!

      • RatherBeOnThePiste
        August 30, 2011 at 6:47 pm

        Wow. Thanks for a speedy response! From before I remember feeling shocking during the first week, headaches too, but not unexpected. Then I got into the swing of it and it was fine. Well I shall start cutting down this week but then go for it properly from Monday when I go back to work. I need to remind myself of everything. But thanks.

  21. Pistey
    August 30, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Oooo I’m ‘awaiting moderation’ but I think I will abbreviate my name!

  22. Jimmy99
    September 4, 2011 at 10:04 am

    The weight loss is slowing down a tad now, the 3 pounds plus a week I was losing at the start has leveled to about 1.5 pounds a week.

    I was moaning about it to my Wife who said “I dont know what your complaining about most people would be happy to lose 37 pounds in less than 3 months” she has a point I suppose.

    I was going to start exercising but in two weeks the best I have managed is two rounds of golf, still as the advert says, “every little helps”

    All ok with you Custardo I hope.

    • September 21, 2011 at 8:37 pm

      yo jim – hows it going:?

  23. RatherBeOnThePiste
    September 5, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Started low carb diet today, and have managed to get some others on a MN thread to join me. Some are being more disciplined than others, as in making it a low calorie diet, someone is talking about Dukan(?) others like me are doing the whole thing. Can I link them here? This is a really useful blog, and also the tips and recipes will be great. I think I am so in tune what must be cut out, but will find it hard to know what I CAN have. I need to get back into the swing of things certainly. Thank you though

  24. Jimmy99
    September 6, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Can I suggest two books, Dr Clarks High protein diet book and Why we get fat by Gary Taubes.

    I bought both of these at the start of my diet and soon realised all the low cal diets I have tried for many years were self defeating and why a low carb diet really works.

  25. jimmy99
    October 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Just reached a reduction of 3 stone, I was going to aim for another 14 pounds but a few people have said I am looking a bit “scrawny” so I am going to hold this weight anf add some exercise to my regime, easier said than done as I am a lazy git.

  26. October 2, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    bloody well done you!

  27. Jimmy99
    November 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Been a while since my last post and I have lost just two pounds in that time but that’s ok as I have now lost 44lbs and gone from a 38 waist to a 32 waist and from XL to medium.

    My wife and I had a great day at Westfield buying loads of new clothes, strange thing is that my wife only started on the diet to encourage me, she is 5ft 8 inches and was a size 12, she has reduced from 11-5 to 8-11 and to a size 10 or even 8 in some cases.

    I am going to check out a Virgin Gym tommorow, not sure if it is for me but what the hell, no harm is taking a look.

    Custardo, I trust you are ok.

    • January 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      jimmy – im a bad bad site hostess, sorry i didn’t post sooner – my life is..just aaaaaaaaargh at the moment from car crashes to new job and near divorce i am not upset to see the back of last year.

      thats my excuse for not answering and im sticking to it 🙂

      how did the gym go?

  28. val
    January 2, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I am off on a four week break half board. I have decided that the only way to survive is to eat low carb, if I don’t I will come back at least a stone heavier. I am struggling with what to have at lunch times. I get sugar lows and the shakes. Has any one any suggestions?

    I found your blog through net mums

    • January 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm

      netmums? wow!

      are you not a current low carber then?

      if you are not a current low carber then i would say – go on holiday and enjoy yourself – work it off when you come back

      and if you are a low carber i would say – go on holiday enjoy yourself – work it off when you come back 🙂

      if you are going half board you are going to be limited by whatever is on the menu – stick to salads and chicken or meats, meat platters that kind of thing.

      i think its the beer that puts on weight – make sure you keep to spirits and diet sodas

      if i were you – i;d low carb before i went – loose 3 or 4 lbs then you can afford to put it on

      seriously though, enjoy your holiday – you;ve probably worked all year for it

  29. leanna
    February 2, 2012 at 9:11 am

    i am 24 and i almost died. i had gallstones and they gave me pancreatitis. i just thought i was sick but i was inches away, so now the dr’s say i have diabetes, it’s so frustrating cause i had just lost 45 pounds. i cut out beef, sweets and a lot of other bad stuff. i only ate turkey, chicken and lots of veggies. when i got sick i tried drinking oj, cause of the vitamin c, needless to say, it made it worse. my dr thought it would go away after my gallbladder was taken out but it hasn’t. it’s frustrating, i’m not even that fat, really. sorry for the long story, i just needed someone to talk to, i guess

  30. itsmnp
    March 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Hi Custardo,

    I found you via a MN thread.

    I am low carbing from this week with the plan of dropping between 42-56lbs.

    • March 20, 2012 at 1:05 am

      good luck xxxxxxxxxxxx

      • hannah
        July 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm

        could you please tell me if its likely ill come out of ketosis for eating a bit of toast with butter on? i had some and feel so guilty ive done so well up to now. ive been doing cambridge diet which is just 3 milkshakes a day and 4 pints of water.

      • February 13, 2013 at 10:15 pm

        hannah, i am pants not replying to this sooner – so sorry ( not that you will re-visit ever) but in answer to your question…yes 1 piece of bread is something like 20 carbs – its ridiculously not worth it – in your shoes – i would shout ‘fuck it’ for the day and start again tomorrow

  31. September 6, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Do you think i should cut milk out? I am an amateur bodybuilder and i really like the fact that milk is a great source of protein? But, do you think the high carbs overshadows the protein?

    • February 13, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      so sorry i haven’t replied – somehow these comments have eluded me.

      body builder hmmmm – i dunno mate, there are some great body building forums around, i think you need specialist advice – i mean your bulking up – and i’m slimming down and your body is a temple and mine has stretchmarks

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