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Chances are good that you've tried lots of different ways to tackle those extra pounds and haven't found the one that works for you yet. Some studies even say that 95% of diets ultimately are unsuccessful, so don't feel bad if you count yourself in that number - for now. The good news is that there are a number of approaches to weight loss that have helped people take it off once and for all.
One of the most popular and effective diets is the Low Carb Diet. Why does the Low Carb Diet work for so many people? The answer is easy: most of us crave carbs and eat them to excess! Think about it: when was the last time you reached for a chicken breast for a quick snack, or you just had to satisfy your craving for avocado? If you're like most people, the answer to that is "practically never".
Wednesday, May 18th
Would you like to know that your Low Carb Diet has been fully vetted by medical doctors and health experts, recommended by doctors, and completely free of product promotion, ads, and other gimmicks? That sounds like an impossible dream in the dieting world, doesn't it? Not when it comes to Diet Doctor.
This service is strictly membership based (with over 60,000 paying subscribers at the time of this review), and the company's mission is to help people around the world make major improvements in their health through evidence-based, unbiased information. So, you can trust that everything you find on the Diet Doctor site is solidly researched and designed with you in mind.
When it comes to Low Carb Diet plans, Diet Doctor offers two: Low Carb for Beginners and Keto for Beginners. Because keto is, essentially, a stricter low carb approach, the two programs are very similar. Your choice will depend on whether you want to ease into the low carb lifestyle or go all-in with an even lower-carb keto focus.
We really love how much this site lets people access - not only at no charge, but without even having to provide contact information of any kind. You'll get a preview of 3 meal plans, samples of more than 500 videos, recipes and more without ever letting the company know you're lurking around! If you want full access to everything in the Diet Doctor toolbox, there's still no charge: you can get a full 1-month trial by signing up. And, if you fall in love with all of the resources, meal plans, and more, you'll only pay $9 per month. You won't find anything more affordable out there, especially when you consider all that you get with your subscription.
Whether you choose low carb or keto, we recommend that you read through the introductory information on the applicable pages: "What is keto" or "What is low carb", basics of what to eat and who shouldn't attempt a Low Carb/Keto Diet, and so on. Most of what you see is also available as a video course, if you like to learn by listening and watching. You'll get access to the full courses if you opt into the 30-day trial.
We also encourage you to check out the two week diet plans - read through them to see what you might like, maybe even try making a recipe or two (such as keto pizza or pesto chicken casserole).
You may also appreciate how Diet Doctor addresses some of the issues involved with Low Carb Diets without flinching: what about saturated fats and higher cholesterol levels? Why aren't whole grains included? You'll find articles and videos that talk about those controversies and put your mind at ease. Bear in mind that, like most proponents of Low Carb Diets, Diet Doctor says that if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, on medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, you should get approval from your physician before starting any Low Carb/Keto diet.
Every area of the Diet Doctor site is easy to understand, simple to use, and visually attractive. Want to see, at a glance, what foods will be included in your day-to-day meals? Scroll around and you'll find it! We also found the meal planning tool to be extremely intuitive. Whether you choose one of Diet Doctor's 100+ ready-made meal plans and use it as is, customize a plan for your specific needs, or design your own from scratch, you'll get the shopping lists, recipes, and adaptations to make it work for your family and in your kitchen.
If it's time to make a big change to your lifestyle with a Low Carb Diet, you want a resource that's easy to use, affordable, and will help you be successful at losing weight. And, of course, you want to be able to trust that the guidance you're getting is scientifically sound, nutritionally appropriate, and safe. Because it is all of that and more, Diet Doctor is our highest-ranked Low Carb Diet.
South Beach has been a staple in the Low Carb Diet industry for a long time. Their approach is not as strict as some plans that take a ketogenic approach to reducing carbs (other examples include Atkins and paleo): there are different phases in the South Beach method, and depending on which one you're in you'll get a "budget" of around 40-50 net carbs daily.
How does South Beach work? In your first phase, you'll probably experience a big jump in your weight loss as you eat foods high in protein that should help reduce your cravings for starches and sugars. Your options may feel more restrictive, but that's just for a short time: later, in Phase Two, your "allowed" foods will incorporate more "good" carbs in the form of whole grains, fruits, and new vegetables beyond what you had in Phase One. You'll also have two "DIY" meals (breakfasts, lunches, or dinners) every week, giving you the chance to try your skills at choosing foods that match your new healthy habits. Then, when you reach your weight goal, you'll move on to the maintenance phase that allows for all foods in moderation while making healthy choices that will last a lifetime.
There are three 4-week diet plans available with South Beach. Each plan has two methods for selecting your food: Chef's Picks (which is recommended for your first order, to take the guesswork out of getting started) or Pick Your Own. Here's what you get with each plan:
Also, if you have Type 2 Diabetes, you should consider the Diabetes Gold plan. You'll find it under the tab labeled "Plans".
All of the prices above include free shipping via FedEx within the lower 48 United States. South Beach doesn't ship to Alaska, Hawaii, military addresses or PO boxes.
Be aware that the prices quoted above also assume that you're signing up for South Beach's auto ship service. You'll spend more per order if you don't. Besides the auto delivery option, you can also save money by looking for discounts and promos: we found one at the top of the page offering free shakes with our order, and as we went to leave the South Beach site we also got a pop-up discount offer of $50 if we made an order in the next hour.
One of the things customers love about using South Beach to go low carb is that the food actually tastes good! Most of the food they sell has lots of customer reviews, making it easy to see which meals were a hit. (We recommend you look at the Turkey Sausage & Egg Muffin or Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast to see two of the most popular options on the South Beach menu.)
Changing to a low carb lifestyle isn't easy. South Beach takes away a lot of the hassle and frustration by providing ready-made meals and snacks that are perfectly balanced to fit each stage of the journey. If you don't mind spending a little more in exchange for that convenience, South Beach could be your ideal Low Carb Diet.
Low Carb Diets have been around for decades, but the paleo approach is new to the scene. If you've heard people talking about "going paleo" and losing a ton of weight, you're probably wondering if it could work for you. It might, if the idea of eating a lot of protein-heavy foods (like seafood, eggs, and meat) and fresh fruits/vegetables appeals to you.
Did you notice what was missing from that list? Dairy, grains, refined sugars, trans fats, processed foods, and any high glycemic-index carbs. The reason this Low Carb Diet is called "paleo" is because it refers to what the human diet was like before the Agricultural Revolution: no Snickers bars, no breakfast cereals, no ice cream. You get the picture. The theory goes that if you cut those foods out of your diet, you'll not only lose weight but also see a significant improvement in your cardiovascular health, allergic reactions and sensitivities, and your blood sugar (if diabetes is an issue).
For many of those who have "gone paleo", they say that it's finally put a stop to their cravings for junk food, especially sugar-heavy treats, and that they're enjoying food in new ways. However, trying to come up with 3 meals per day - plus snacks - that meet the criteria for the paleo approach can be overwhelming. After all, who really wants to eat steak for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? That's where Paleo Plan makes everything easier.
Described as a "complete paleo meal planning system", this subscription-based service delivers a weekly email complete with menus, shopping and prep lists, and recipes for 21 meals and 7 snacks. Sample menu items include chili-lime broiled avocados at snack time, omelet muffins for breakfast, creamy bacon and parsnip soup for lunch, and slow cooker turkey meatballs with cauliflower rice for dinner.
All of your recipes can be tweaked according to your preferences, family size, and dietary needs. We love that each week's ingredients should be completely used up as you make the recipes, so you don't have half-used packages of mushrooms or a partially-used can of broth taking up space in the fridge. You may also find recipes that take advantage of leftovers from the day before, simplifying your prep time and reducing waste.
A definite plus for Paleo Plan is that it's really affordable. First, every diet plan they offer has a 14-day free trial, so you won't have to wonder what kinds of recipes you'll get or how their system works. If you decide to subscribe, you can choose a month-to-month plan for $9.99, a 6-month subscription for $49 (a savings of 20%), or a yearly plan for $89 (a savings of 25%).
But, this Low Carb Diet plan is missing some of the tools you may need if you're trying to lose weight. There's no food tracker to help you know how much you're eating, for example. While it's true that many people initially lose a lot of weight on the paleo plan, some people say it's because there are so many things they can't eat, it makes them eat less without trying to. But, if you absolutely love eggs and avocados, to the point that you consume more calories than you burn in a day, chances are good that you're going to gain weight even while "going paleo".
Overall, Paleo Plan is a good option if you'd like to try this low carb approach for yourself and need some help structuring your meals and corresponding shopping lists, and the risk-free trial lets you give it a try at no cost. You may want to consider using one of the many free food tracking apps available, to make sure that your paleo diet will actually help you lose weight.
When it comes to Low Carb Diets, Atkins was the pioneer. Originally designed by Dr. Robert Atkins in 1963, this plan emerged as his research as a cardiologist showed that patients lost weight without being hungry when following a carb-restricted diet. Over the decades that followed, Atkins became known as the go-to plan for people wanting to lose weight with a low-carb approach.
Unlike the other Low Carb Diet plans we evaluated, Atkins is completely free. That's not a typo: on the Atkins site, you'll find a ton of resources that can help you implement a low-carb lifestyle with zero membership fees required. These free tools include:
As you browse the Atkins website, you'll see a variety of plans to match your goals for weight loss. Do you have more than 40 pounds to shed, or are you prediabetic/diabetic? The Akins 20 plan is for you. Expect that your daily carbohydrate intake will be limited to just 20 grams, and you'll mostly be eating healthy fats (e.g. avocado), nuts and seeds, cheese, all kinds of protein, and "foundation vegetables" (usually any veggies that aren't starchy). After you've been on the program for a while, the plan slowly incorporates other foods like tomato juice, legumes, melon and berries, and Greek yogurt.
If you are looking to lose less than 40 pounds, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or simply want to have greater variety in your diet from the get-go, the Atkins 40 plan is the best fit. You guessed it: the "40" means that you'll have up to 40 grams of net carbs in your daily food "budget".
Or, if you've already reached your goal weight and just want a low-carb way to maintain it, your best fit would be the Atkins 100 plan. 100 grams of carbs per day still qualifies as a Low Carb Diet, compared with the way most people eat, but on this plan there are no foods that are off-limits. You're still encouraged to limit refined carbs and sugar while choosing from Atkins' "acceptable" foods list, though.
So, why does Atkins offer all of those resources for free? The company makes its money through sales of its food products, which can make going low-carb much less stressful by eliminating some (or all!) of the planning, shopping, and meal prep. We encourage you to browse through the options on the Atkins site: you'll find whole meal kits, snacks and treats, shakes and more. While you've probably seen Atkins products at your local supermarket, the online store is the only place you'll find everything they offer in one place (with the exception of Atkins' frozen foods).
While Atkins is a trusted way to follow a Low Carb Diet, is it the right fit for you? That depends. If you're trying to manage your diabetes, go cold turkey off sugar, or already experienced with the low-carb lifestyle, the convenience of Atkins' packaged food combined with the free tools make this plan worth considering.
But, for many people who tried the Atkins way, they felt it was too restrictive to follow long-term. Yes, they initially lost a lot of weight, but most said that it was because there were so many things they couldn't have anymore (like fruits and grains) that they just didn't eat. And, as you might guess, they followed that with a big return to how they used to eat - sometimes gaining back more than they'd lost!
Overall, you risk nothing by trying the recipes and plans on the Atkins site, and their free resources could be your best way to try on the Low Carb Diet lifestyle with no commitment. Just don't beat yourself up if limiting yourself to 20, 40, or even 100 carbs a day doesn't work for you at first (or even in the long run).
You can get a clear idea of what's involved in the Whole30 diet plan just by considering its name: you'd be right if you guessed "whole foods for 30 days". This Low Carb Diet will challenge you to overhaul your current eating habits for a full month. Because it takes such a strict approach to what's allowed, Whole30 is especially popular with people who are trying to pinpoint their allergies, food sensitivities, or other conditions that may be the result of the foods they're eating.
Would you like to have more energy, improve your relationship with food, and tackle your food cravings once and for all? Whole30 can help - but you should expect some serious commitments over the course of the month. Here are the critical "rules" you should be aware of before choosing this Low Carb Diet plan:
Still feeling brave enough to give Whole30 a try? If so, you'll probably welcome a little help in preparing to succeed with this Low Carb Diet. Real Plans has your back. Select a start date and program length of at least 30 days, along with how many meals you'd like to plan. Your subscription will allow you to customize your meal plan within the framework allowed by the Whole30 approach. For instance, if you can't stand eggs or already know you're allergic to green beans, you can set that in your preferences and never see them in your meal plan. Real Plans also gives you direction after the 30 days is up, during your 10-day reintroduction to all of the foods that were prohibited: you'll be able to easily see if you react to any of them.
Whether you're in the thick of the 30 or ready to reintroduce, Real Plans conveniently prepares shopping lists that match your selected meals. Their tool first has you identify what you already have in your pantry - no need to buy oregano if you already have some, right? - and then allows you to upload photos of any specific ingredients. Why? Think about it: if you can't have added sugar, do you know off the top of your head which brand of mustard you finally found that has none? Snap a pic and you'll save yourself from having to read all the labels in the store...again.
Really want to go Whole30 and Real Plans like a boss? This platform seamlessly integrates with Instacart, allowing you to get all of your "approved" shopping list delivered wherever you like.
You won't spend a fortune to get this help with following Whole30. You can pay $30 for your first month and then $15 for subsequent ones. But, if you're thinking you might want the resources a little longer, you can choose the quarterly plan: $49 for your first 3 months and then $38 for every quarter that follows. Of course, if you're really ambitious or you know you need longer access to the meal plans and shopping lists, Real Plans' annual package is the most economical at $99 for your first year and $84 per year beyond that.
It's easy to see why Whole30 is the most popular Low Carb Diet plan for people who want to go all-in, especially those who know they need to follow an elimination diet to identify allergies or sensitivities. If you know you want to go Whole30, Real Plans is your best way to do it with less hassle and much less prep time.
However, for the everyday folks who think the Low Carb lifestyle sounds like a fun new thing to try, Whole30 is usually a little much. (Or a LOT much.) Before choosing Whole30, we recommend that you take an honest inventory of your current habits, your goals, and your commitment level. Can you give up Friday night mojitos, Taco Tuesdays, and birthday cake at your kid's party for a whole month, with zero "cheating"? If not, Whole30 is more likely to become just one more diet you've tried without results.
Do you need a system to help you "take the guesswork out of making a healthier lifestyle change"? If so, Meal Plan Map wants to help.
One of the hardest parts of any new diet is knowing what to eat and how to make it. You'll find no shortage of recipes here! This program uses an intuitive mobile app (and web-based platform) to make your grocery list and check off items in the store, customize your serving sizes no matter how many people you're cooking for, and track what you eat. Meal Plan Map connects you with other users through discussion boards and community challenges, to keep you focused and making progress.
There are six meal plans to choose from:
Once you've selected the path that fits your goals, you'll get a customized (and customizable) meal plan that fits. To get a feel for how the tools work, start by watching the video "See in action!" You also get a free 7-day trial to give Meal Plan Map a go before you opt into their $9.95/month membership plan.
One handy feature that Meal Plan Map offers that we didn't find with their competitors: syncing with Fitbit. No one wants to have to enter their food, workouts, or weight in two different places every time, so if you're already using one of these popular trackers, you may appreciate the seamless integration between the two tools.
With all of these positives, why doesn't Meal Plan Map rank higher among Low Carb Diets? First, we didn't see anything in their program choices that was specifically geared towards the Low Carb lifestyle. Maybe Healthy Weight and Healthy Heart are, but there's no way of knowing that without signing up for a membership. At the time of this review, we were still waiting to get a response from their customer service email form, to find out if either of those plans is actually low carb.
Next, for people who are already struggling to figure out what to eat to lose weight, this platform felt a little too freestyle. With all of the available options and customizations, the average person might feel unsure that their decisions are going to lead to long-term weight loss.
While there's nothing bad about the Meal Plan Map program, it doesn't feel like a great fit for people who already know that they want to commit to a Low Carb Diet.
One of the biggest culprits in our cravings is sugar, which can skew our cravings for high-carb, nutrient-poor - and very binge-worthy - foods like cookies and other baked sweets, soda and other sugary drinks, and so on. Using a Low Carb Diet is an excellent tool to help reign in your cravings, remind your body that nutrient-dense foods both taste and feel good, and finally shed those unwanted pounds that have stubbornly refused to go away.
There are a number of diet plans that can guide you in your journey to health. In fact, several services have emerged that can help dieters to stick to their plan and meet their goals. These Low Carb diets vary significantly in their methodology, their structure, and their overall cost, so it's important to check each one out carefully to see if it's an ideal fit for your lifestyle.
As you evaluate the different Low Carb Diet plans on the market today, what criteria should you keep in mind to help choose the one that's most likely to help you reach your weight loss goals? Here are several that can guide your decision-making:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Low Carb Diets available today. We hope this information helps you select the Low Carb Diet that's the perfect fit for reaching your health and wellness goals!
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