Low Carb - The comprehensive guide to low-carbohydrate nutrition

Upfit low carb guide nutrition healthy
  1. What awaits you?
  2. What does low carb mean?
    1. The basic building blocks of our food
    2. From low carb to no carb
    3. Train your body for ketogenic energy
  3. Why choose a low carb diet?
    1. Carbohydrates abound
  4. Who is a low carb diet perfect for?
    1. More muscle, more carbohydrates
  5. How do I switch to a low carb diet?
  6. Allowed foods with low carb
    1. Low carb homemade foods
    2. Breakfast
    3. Noon / evening
    4. TOP 100 low carb foods
  7. Drink plenty of water
  8. Low carb diet – vegetarian and vegan
    1. Breakfast
    2. The best low carb meat substitute products
    3. Noon / evening
  9. Paleo diet – nutrition from the Stone Age
    1. What does Paleo mean?
    2. The Paleo diet in detail
      1. How individual is the Paleo diet?
      2. How flexible is the Paleo diet?
      3. How suitable is the Paleo diet for everyday use?
      4. How scientific is the Paleo diet and what are its risks?
      5. How sustainable is the Paleo diet?
    3. Advantages and Disadvantages of the Paleo diet as a low carb diet
  10. Ketogenic diet – no carb diet
    1. What can I eat on the ketogenic diet?
    2. The best animal foods for a ketogenic diet
    3. The best plant foods for a ketogenic diet
    4. The best vegetables and fruits for a ketogenic diet
    5. Ketogenic diet in detail
      1.  How individual is the ketogenic diet?
      2. How suitable is the ketogenic diet for everyday use?
      3. How scientific is the ketogenic diet and what are its risks
      4. How sustainable is the ketogenic diet?
  11. Atkins Diet – extreme low carb
    1. This is what the nutritional plan looks like on the Atkins diet
    2. Who is the Atkins diet suitable for?
    3. The Atkins Diet in detail
      1. How individual is the Atkins diet?
      2. How flexible is the Atkins diet?
      3. How suitable is the Atkins diet for everyday use?
      4. How scientific is the Atkins diet?
      5. How sustainable is the Atkins diet?
    4. Allowed and forbidden with the Atkins diet
    5. Pros and cons of the Atkins diet
  12. Troubleshooting and cheat meals
    1. How exactly does the cheat meal work on a low carb diet?
    2. How many cheat meals can I eat?
    3. Supplements for a cheat meal
  13. The 5 most common low carb mistakes
    1. Mistake 1: Hidden carbohydrates
    2. Mistake 2: Wrong carbs
    3. Mistake 3: Sweeteners instead of carbs
    4. Mistake 4: low carb and low fat at the same time
    5. Mistake 5: Too much protein and fat

What awaits you?

This guide will give you an idea of what a low carb diet is, what its uses are, and how you can independently implement a low carb diet.

What does low carb mean?

The basic building blocks of our food

For the most part, our diet consists of the three macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, which play different roles in our metabolism. Carbohydrates are the fastest energy source. Carbohydrates are often abbreviated to “carb”. A low carb diet means a form of nutrition in which only a small proportion of carbohydrates is contained. There is no general rule as to when a diet is referred to as low carb, but rather general guidelines that you will learn later.

From low carb to no carb

Low carb diets also include “ultra low carb” or “no carb” diets such as the Atkins diet. These diets are ketogenic, which means that your metabolism completely switches to energy from ketone bodies rather than carbohydrates. This alternative form of energy generation has some advantages over normal energy production, but also some risks that we will discuss later.

Train your body for ketogenic energy

Some variants of the low carb diet rely on a change of energy from carbohydrates to ketone bodies, here the timing of the nutrients plays a crucial role, particularly when carbohydrates are eaten. The ability to transition between the two energy recovery systems is trainable, like many other things, so our body will be better at switching between them over time.

Why a Low Carb Diet?

In recent years, many studies have shown that, in addition to generally high calorie intake, excessive consumption of sugar is responsible for the increasing proportion of overweight and obese people in Germany and the rest of the world. Why is this the case? Sugar is a carbohydrate and, as such, is used exclusively for energy production in our body. Added carbohydrates are broken down in the digestive tract to glucose and then wait in our bloodstream for use – in the muscles, brain, or organs. However, if there is no need for carbohydrates, a healthy body will push the stop button when a certain amount of glucose is in the blood and start storing that glucose in our fat cells. It also has to do with the glycemic index of carbohydrate-rich foods. If you want to know more about this, check out our article on glycemic index and glycemic load.

Carbohydrates abound

In a society that offers food in abundance and where a large percentage of the population get too little exercise, this automatism makes it especially easy to become overweight. Most processed products are made mostly of carbohydrates, as they are easily and cheaply produced. In addition, many foods and drinks are sweetened to suit the taste of the masses – this sweetness is usually derived from other carbohydrates.

Who is a low carb diet perfect for?

Do you have a high body fat content? Try reducing your carbohydrate consumption!

Soberly considered, a low carb diet is especially suitable for overweight people who’d like to lose weight and for people who have problems with their blood sugar. In an experiment conducted by the WDR (the German public-broadcasting institution), all subjects, whether slim or overweight, significantly improved their blood sugar levels when following a low carb diet. This is due, among other things, to the elimination of sugary foods and drinks that are incompatible with a low carb diet. Even people of normal weight, who want to reduce their body fat, can achieve their goal well with a low carb diet and targeted training.

More muscle, more carbohydrates

The more muscle you have, the more carbs your body needs!

By nature, very slim people, especially those who do a lot of sports, are rather poor low carb candidates. Endurance and strength athletes, with high training volumes and intensity, also need a larger amount of carbohydrates to provide their muscles with energy and regenerate faster. In general, the rule of thumb is that the lower the amount of body fat, the higher the percentage of muscle mass, and the higher the level of activity, the more carbohydrates the body needs to be efficient. Conversely, with high levels of body fat and lower exercise levels, it makes sense to avoid carbohydrates to make your body more efficient. You can determine your optimal nutrient distribution with our BMI Calculator.

How do I upgrade to a low carb diet?

Often, low carb diets are based on prohibitions along the lines of: “From now on you can not eat and drink this and that”. After looking at the ban list, which includes carbohydrate-rich foods such as pasta, bread, rice, and potatoes, many are wondering what they can actually eat. Here’s the gist of the problem: the foods just mentioned are commonly referred to as “satiety supplements” and are not eaten in moderation, but rather the mainstream of the daily diet. A diet without these ingredients? Inconceivable. Turn this approach around and look at what foods you can eat on a low carb diet.

Allowed foods on a Low Carb diet

Upfit food healthy low carb

Basically, on a low carb diet you’re allowed to eat so much that you are full, but you can train a reliable feeling of satiety, that may have been distorted through years of uncontrolled eating behavior. Those who’d like to be on the safe side should determine their daily calorie intake and keep track of how many calories they eat daily – for example, our Upfit plans or numerous food tracking apps are suitable for this purpose.

Low Carb homemade foods

In the beginning, when cooking low carb meals, it’s best to “keep it simple” – go with just 2 to 3 main ingredients and a few spices at first. Over time, you will discover new combinations and other low carb ingredients that you can incorporate into your recipes. To begin with, the following lists provide you with a simple overview of how you can start a low carb diet today. You’ll also find out how to start a low carb diet as a vegetarian and vegan.

No desire to calculate your low carb calorie intake and nutrient distribution? No problem: With our practical Calorie and BMI Calculator, you’ll find out exactly what you need with just a few clicks.


Eggs Feta Tomato 5/5 A classic that is both fast and well tolerated is the omelette or scrambled eggs with various ingredients. Our favorite is with feta and tomato.
Beef Carpaccio Olive Oil Parmesan 4/5 If you need to go fast, beef carpaccio with olive oil and parmesan gives you plenty of protein, good fats, and also increases your energy through the formation of acetylcholine
Turkey Bacon Hazelnut 4/5 Another fast variant is lean turkey bacon with a handful of nuts
Beef Patties Avocado 5/5 Homemade burgers made from Irish beef (grass-fed), along with a portion of avocado, gives you plenty of vitamins and minerals in addition to good fats and protein
Paleo Bread Ham Irish Butter 4/5 Paleo Bread consists mainly of nuts and seeds, but also contains a few carbohydrates.Together with lean ham and Irish butter makes for a simple but good combination. You are also welcome to add cucumber or lettuce leaves
Chicken Breast Cashews Zucchini 4/5 Lean chicken breasts combined with cashews and some zucchini gives you plenty of nutrients and very few carbohydrates
Salmon Creme fraiche Spinach 5/5 Salmon with some crème fraîche and leaf spinach, warm or as a salad, is a wholesome meal
20% Yogurt Blueberries (Amino Electrolyte Powder) 3/5 This breakfast option has the disadvantage of containing more sugar than the other meal, but now and then it’s ok

Drinks: Water (optionally with a dash of lemon, lime, lemon, ginger, or some mint), unsweetened tea, 1 coffee or espresso

Afternoon/ evening

Broccoli Chicken Feta 5/5 A popular dish for athletes and bodybuilders for decades
Zucchini Irish Beef Olive 4/5 Fast, easy and delicious
Arugula Irish beef Avocado 5/5 Good proteins, good fats, valuable vitamins and bitters, a pure nutritional powerhouse
Endive salad Tuna Olive Oil, Seeds 4/5 Quick and tasty lunch option, therefore a popular option for professional life
Carrot Salad Venison Balsamic Vinegar 4/5 If you like heart, savory meals, you will certainly enjoy this combination
Cauliflower Trout Irish Butter 4/5 A good combination for fish lovers with high protein content
Snap Peas Lamb Pine Nuts 4/5 A good option for the grill
Field Salad Salmon Steak Balsamic, Sunflower Seeds 5/5 Prepare the salad, cook the salmon on the grill or in the pan and the meal is ready
Tomato Turkey Mozzarella 4/5 With a few basil leaves, salt, and pepper, this is an easy option that always pleases

All dishes may be seasoned with salt, pepper, chili, ginger, turmeric and herbs.

Drinks: Water (optionally with a dash of lemon, lime, slices of lemon, ginger, or some mint), unsweetened tea, 1 coffee or espresso

Basically, you should not consume the same meal more than three times a week. Instead, vary the different ingredients from the three table columns in different combinations. You should initially stick with the ingredients listed, to protect your microbiome (your intestinal flora), but you’re welcome to mix up the combinations.

TOP 100 low carb foods