Help me prepare right for a no-sugar diet
November 24, 2008 6:15 AM   Subscribe

Help me find some recipes for a high protein, low car, no sugar diet intended to help my wife and I lose weight. Some restrictions inside.

My wife and I are getting ahead of the game; rather than waiting until New Year's when everyone is dieting and joining a gym, we're starting both now. We've had some success with the Atkins type diets in the past and know that it works for our metabolism but last time we got insanely bored of the foods and because we didn't have a lot of recipes, etc.

Plus when we found recipes many had ingredients that we could not find at a local grocery store (we're in the midwest, have Meijer and Wal Mart as primary grocery stores).

So I'm looking for online resources that have recipes with fairly common ingredients, and hopefully a LOT of recipes that we can choose from over the coming months and years.

I've Googled this and found a few things here or there but no wealth of resources that I feel must be available on this great internet.

Bonus points if there are breakfast ideas included, since we are carb-heavy breakfast people (cereal, oatmeal, bagels, etc) and need something to start our day on that is none of those things.

Thank you for your help!
posted by arniec to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds to me like a job for the South Beach Diet. My wife and I have been through the phases 3 times or so in the last 5 years to great effect, plus generally keeping off the weight. It's only months later, when we (read: I) drift do we do another go-round.

Best of luck.
posted by jshelus at 6:31 AM on November 24, 2008

I've always had success with South Beach. However, they tend to have you heavily rely on artificial sweeteners which bugs me. Their recipes are crappy, but they do have lists of what you can and can not have during each phase, so I never found it difficult to plan a fulfilling meal. Epicurious has a great advanced search function (low carb, low cal, low fat).

As for breakfast go for the proteins, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, etc. Fruit is a good breakfast too.
posted by pokeedog at 6:34 AM on November 24, 2008

Have you thought about instead of Atkins, going South Beach? It's similar enough for the results, but I've found it offers a wider variety of recipes. That said, the knowledge we gained after buying and working through the recipes in the four SB cookbooks - we were able to modify the majority of our other regular recipes to be SB friendly. - one of the few SB/Atkins food bloggers I read on a regular basis, because she's serious about both low carb and taste.

One of the really well known SB breakfast recipes is a quiche that can be frozen. I know people who will make up a batch in either muffin tins, or in a 9x13 pan, and then freeze out portions for the entire week. The one I linked to is spinach and peppers, but you can modify the recipe to suit your tastes pretty easily. (As an aside, that link took me here - - which are a lot of the SB recipes without having to buy the books.)
posted by librarianamy at 6:38 AM on November 24, 2008

yep i came in here to recommend south beach as well. I do just phase two sometimes when I need to lose 5-10 pounds. I've never bought the books or anything because there are so many resources available online via googling.
posted by smalls at 6:47 AM on November 24, 2008

I find the thing that can get the most boring is that a lot of recipes tend to drift to bland, which is a pity since there's not a lot of carbs in the spice cabinet. I use lots of garlic, tiny doses of asian chili sauces, curry powders and other masala mixes, tomatillo (verde) sauce (good with eggs, too). You should be able to find at least a small sampling in even the weakest of "international food" grocery store sections, and the Internet is your friend for other items. Try out Penzey's for mail-order spices. has a massive recipe database, most user-contributed so you're not dealing with magazine-type ingredient lists. Obviously the dessert recipes are going to rely on artificial sweeteners, but you'll find some that use Stevia or Agave nectar (not low carb, but low-glycemic), and with a little trial-and-error you can convert Splenda-based recipes to either of those. It's a good place to find jumping-off points for recipes of your own invention.

I have some sort of incompatibility with eggs first thing in the morning, makes my stomach burn, so I just don't eat breakfasty food in the morning anymore. A beef or turkey patty (seasoned) or chicken breast with some cottage cheese or a little salad will hold me to lunch (when it's safe for me to eat crustless quiche, for example).

The quiches are a mainstay for me, I make them in mini pie pans (grocery store baking aisle, Wilton makes them) with whatever ingredients I have around, and the size is perfect for packing lunch (fits exactly in my Mr. Bento containers, but they also wrap up fine in plastic wrap and are pretty sturdy), but making them in any nonstick pie pan is fine and cut wedges still travel pretty well. This basic quiche recipe will make one pie pan or 3-4 little pans, I do mine with 6 eggs instead of 4 to make more little quiches. The only things to be careful of is to pre-cook any meat, and avoid extremely greasy sausages or meat. I like ham lunch meat minced fine, or salad shrimp. Broccoli is particularly good, but chop it up pretty small.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:01 AM on November 24, 2008

I don't know jack about the SBD, but I love Atkins.

Here is a massive, pretty simple LC recipe database. Try the Parmesean Chicken tonight!
posted by unixrat at 7:15 AM on November 24, 2008 [2 favorites]

Thank you all! Please, keep 'em coming. The parmesean chicken does look good!
posted by arniec at 7:31 AM on November 24, 2008 (hate the site, but this section has alot of good suggestions)

Hope those help some.
posted by scarello at 8:10 AM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

Eggs for breakfast! I'm not a low-carber, but I like to have a protein-rich breakfast and I've been having scrambled eggs for breakfast for a few months and it makes me quite happy. They are super-easy (I break them into the pan and scramble them there = minimal dishes to clean), healthy, and you can throw almost anything into them. I like to use scraps of cheese or leftover veggies. If I don't have leftover veggies, then I take some frozen spinach out of the freezer, let it thaw on the hot pan, break the eggs over it and then scramble it all up with a little cheese. Keeps me going till lunchtime.

Occasionally I get sick of eggs and will have a protein shake instead. Not ideal, but easy and filling.
posted by lunasol at 8:21 AM on November 24, 2008

Turkey bacon! Cooks in the microwave, low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, and I personally consider it much better than fatty, greasy "regular" bacon. If it were lower sodium I could live on it.
posted by Benjy at 9:23 AM on November 24, 2008

1 egg+1 eggwhite (no eggbeaters!) to make an omelet. Season with turmeric or paprika or something else, add salsa and a touch of cheese. Canadian bacon is a good lean meat to have with this . . . when I do a round of SB, this is my standby breakfast. Actually, I'm not doing a round of SB right now, but I'm still eating this as my primary breakfast.
posted by Medieval Maven at 9:28 AM on November 24, 2008

Turkey bacon! Cooks in the microwave, low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, and I personally consider it much better than fatty, greasy "regular" bacon. If it were lower sodium I could live on it.

Errm, you can't be worrying about fat content when you are going low carb. Fat quality maybe, but the whole point of low carb is that fat takes on the roll of energy provider.
posted by scarello at 11:04 AM on November 24, 2008

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