Another Newbie- so scared. Have very little money for fancier diets and have tried everything


29 - F - 5’3’’ - 305lbs

Trying desperately to change my life- not just for weight loss (which is important to me) but just for better health in general.

I am so committed to trying and sustaining the Keto diet/Low Carb Life, but even after hours of reading I find myself so confused. But I am here to learn and start my journey this Friday when I get paid.

I am relatively poor; I work but things are hard- doing this on a strict budget will be a challenge. But I am determined to treat my body better.

I do have a few questions if anyone would be so kind?

  1. I’m not going to bother with macros just yet; they are still confusing and I’m just doing a few weeks of 20mg Carbs to get my system ready and get over bumps and Keto flu. However, I do want to learn to pay attention to the labels- and something that is confusing me is total carbs vs net carbs. Here in the UK on our food labels, we have ‘Carbs’ and a sub heading saying ‘of which Sugars’. Does this relate to the net/total thing? Is my net carbs the ‘Of which sugars’ number subtracted from the ‘Carbs’ number?

  2. Am I right in thinking that Keto for most people ends up being a mainly meat, veg and egg based diet?

  3. Is this a reasonable plan: Full Keto for at least 6 months to get to my goal weight, and to get my body used to fat over carbs. Then very slowly adding slightly more carbs, and some more protein, to build up my diet to not Keto, but Low Carb, and beginning to exercise and be more active.

Thank you so much! I am so nervous.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #2

Total carbs are Sugar + Fiber. Since fiber has little effect on blood sugar, many people subtract it from total carbs. Total carbs - Fiber = net carbs (or the sugar portion). So it sounds like your label is giving total carbs and “of which is sugar” is the net carb because it’s only telling you the sugar part and not the fiber part. In the US, ours says Total carbs and under, fiber and sugar and artificial sweeteners sometimes (which people also subtract from totals).

Does that make sense?

And dairy and eventually if it fits into your daily carb count, nuts. Some people also do keto type replacement products, but that can be confusing and can stall weight loss.

This is a personal choice. Some people do this, others stay in “phase one of Atkins” forever. I have cut meals to twice a day but added carbs but I’ve also been keto for 16 months. You have to self-experiment, it’s very individualized.

(Lazy, Dirty Keto 😝) #3

(Rebecca) #4


Ignore the ‘of which sugars’ and go with the ‘carbohydrate’, sometimes called ‘total carbohydrate’, on the line above. Don’t subtract anything! The ‘of which sugars’ is part of the total. That hasn’t got anything to do with net carbs.

In UK labelling, fibre is already subtracted from the ‘carbohydrate’ amount and listed separately.

On US labels (different to here!) the fibre is PART of the ‘carbohydrate’ amount - and the value that is listed next to ‘fibre’ needs to be subtracted to get ‘net’ carbs.

Summary: the carb count on UK food labels is the net carb value already. No maths required!


(Nancy Gibson) #5

I am sorry, I can’t help with #1 because I am in the US. Maybe just steer clear of everything with added sugar/flour. Re #2, I eat meat, fish, dairy, eggs. Get what you can afford. When you give up processed foods, it tends to offset the cost of meat and fish. Resist trying to replicate favorite foods like cake, cookies, puddings with keto ingredients, it is super tempting, but those ingredients are expensive; and for the time being, try to give those foods up altogether. Re #3, it took me longer than 6 months to lose my weight, but my health improved almost immediately. It takes time to gain, so try to be patient. Try to enjoy your food, even if it’s different than what you’re used to. When you are feeling worried or scared, think about taking pride in your efforts to improve your health.

(Katie) #6

Here are some links for keto on a budget! It is totally doable, simple, and cheap.

(Cancer Fighting Ketovore :)) #7

From a little searching this is what I came up with (the one on the left is a UK label, the one on the right a US label) Post new images if this is wrong.

image image

(Polly) #8

Welcome to the forum and your new way of eating @Sallou.

There is some great advice above.

We all take a slightly different approach. Mine is to stick to real food so almost nothing I buy has a “label” showing nutritional data. Meat, fish, eggs, olive oil, butter, dripping, lard + some cream and cheese and leafy green veg works for me. I don’t track macros.

PS I am also in the UK

('Jackie P') #9

Welcome to the Forum and your new WOE. I wish you well. I find I spend less, especially now I eat 1 or 2 meals a day.

(Rebecca) #10

@Sallou have you found this thread? What Did You Keto Today? The Trilogy!

SO many ideas of what to eat - mostly ‘real food’ - ie not packaged or expensive - you’ll find some gems of inspiration right there, and they won’t break the bank!


Easily the cheapest diet I have ever been on! You’ve had some really good advice and recommendations above. I’d say to follow these to get you going!

PS: Aldi, LIDL and high street market stalls are your best friends now.

(Aimee in wonderland 🐰) #12

Welcome to the forum. I’m a newbie too, three weeks today. I’m on a budget too and I actually found that I have saved a lot of money. I was nervous too but you will learn more as you go on. Don’t overwhelm yourself with contradicting info. Just stick to the basics. You have gotten great advice in this thread. You can do this :grinning::heart:

(Paulene ) #13

I agree with @JustMo, @Bubby1 and @CrackerJax - I’m saving money on keto! Not snacking and not baking alone has easily made up for the bit extra I spend on meat. Save even more when I do OMAD.

(Aimee in wonderland 🐰) #14

Exactly :smiley:


Take your time, and stick to the basics. This forum is an amazing resource and support. You can do this.

(Utility Muffin Research Kitchen) #16

Many good recommendations here. Let me add my personal twist :slight_smile:

Good plan. Have a look at what I wrote in another thread:

Most importantly: RELAX :slight_smile:
Keto does work. You might take a while to get it right, but you will lose the excess weight.

No. This forum is fairly carnivore heavy, but there are many peole who do keto with limited meat. (Steven Gundry promotes such a diet for example.) Quality protein is important, but a lot of it can come from eggs and dairy. Be aware however that protein in plants is less bioavailable as a rule, sometimes to the point that almost nothing is usable for us (wheat comes to mind where most of the protein is gluten, which we can’t digest – wheat is not keto of course, but it may be similar for other plants).

However, some people like me get an insulin spike from protein. This is highly individual and can’t be generalized. If you don’t lose weight (or not fast enough), try to reduce protein for a while. (But do eat enough protein to sustain your muscle mass.)

Keto is not necessarily expensive. You should go for high-quality fat (butter from pastured cows for example), but in the end you’ll eat around 250g fat a day (give or take a bit) which is not terribly expensive. A bit of Bacon and 2 eggs in lard keep me satiated all day (in fact I eat at most 2 meals a day, often only one because I’m not hungry anymore). Another fat source for me is good olive oil. I buy it directly from an organic manufacturer in Kreta for something like $10 a litre (free shipping inside Europe) which sounds expensive at first, but considering that it supplies energy for 3 whole days it’s not that bad. Mushrooms fried crispy with olive oil is another staple food for me because I like mushrooms.

Just make sure you limit the omega-6 and don’t buy grain-based oils.

This sounds way too fast. Don’t set any weight goals, eat until you’re satiated (but not more), eat when hungry. It’s better to lose weight slowly, for several reasons:

  • If you don’t eat enough calories, your body will go into starvation mode and reduce the base metabolic rate. You’ll lose weight quickly at first but then regain what you lost, and more. Also starvation is almost impossible to sustain for most people.
  • Fat tissue stores toxins, and the faster you lose weight, the more toxins are released into your bloodstream. This can get fairly nasty.
  • It’s just not worth to fuss about weight. You will lose weight, you will eat delicious food, you have the rest of your life to get where you want to be. This is not a nasty crash diet where you’ll be happy to end it, just the contrary.
  • Everybody is different. Maybe you’ll lose 30 pounds in the first month or nothing at all. Don’t worry, you’ll start losing weight sooner or later, and eventually you’ll lose weight at a decent rate, but it might take a while to settle in.
  • Especially in the first 1-2 months you have to make sure that you eat enough, otherwise you may get massive food cravings (maybe for sugar). They subside with time, but making sure you’re satiated is the best way to avoid them.

I also wouldn’t plan to reintroduce carbs at a certain date. People need years to restore insulin sensitivity, and we don’t have enough data to know if can become carb tolerant at all if we were deep into MetS. And if you don’t normalize your insulin response, even small amounts of carbs will lead to weight gain, cravings and block fat metabolism.

You should check your fasting insulin and the homeostatic insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) after a year or so. It’s not very reliable but maybe the best that we have. If it’s roughly 1 or higher, stick to keto. Once your HOMA-IR is significantly below 1 you can try to reintroduce some carbs, but limit processed carbs to a minimum. (No sugar, no flour.) Make sure you eat only unprocessed carbs from legumes and starchy vegetables, their glucose is released much slower into the bloodstream and less likely to cause insulin flares.

Only in the US :slight_smile:
In pretty much everywhere else on the globe, “carbs” are net carbs from sugar and starch excluding fiber. So “carbs” is exactly what needs to stay below 20 grams.

(Karen) #17

Eggs are cheap and almost a perfect food.


Usually I don’t have my glasses with me in the store so I just dont buy stuff where i have to read a label. LOL. I buy “pure” stuff,… like butter and cream cheese, full fat cheese is a known to me and I would never buy a cheese which praised itself as being low in fat content. I love blue cheese and well anything full fat. Bacon! I have bacon all the time! Love it! I also buy sugar free cocoa and vanilla extract to mix into almond milk if I need something sweet or chocolaty. But mostly breakfast is eggs and bacon, late lunch/dinner is some kind of meat and veg, and I top the veg often with a cheese sauce. I have dijon mustard, no ketchup because I know about the massive carbs in ketchup. I have also made myself thai curry a few times with a little bit of meat and a lot of veg. Cauliflower rice is great- you have to fry it and not boil it or else you get mush. Fry it and it stays like rice. I use coconut milk ( sugarfee) and a tbsp of red curry paste for the sauce. What is also good and pure is crudités and dip. Check out the youtube recipes for keto dips and a lot more. There is an excellent mac and cheese with cauliflower there. Love a celery stalk with cheese too. I also use a red bell pepper instead of bread sometimes. And anything else I have to count I look up in What did surprize me were the carbs in veg. I never knew. And those need to be counted. But as long as one has less than 20g carbs each day, one loses weight. I eat so well that I dont lose weight quickly. I have only lost 4 kilos since end of November. But I can live like this forever and that’s worth more than a quick jab at weight loss. So what I do is go to every morning where I log in what I have eaten or what I plan to eat. There is a graph on that page where I can see my macros. I simply keep the fats around 60% and the proteins around 30% and most importantly - the carbs around 10% which equals 20g Its simple really. I hope you can lose your anxiety and enjoy this new way of eating. Good luck to you! I also dont think it is so much about money. You dont have to buy expensive meats. The fattier the better too. Many also end up eating less- I only eat 2 meals a day. Although oftentimes I will sip a watered down almond milk milk shake in front of the Tv at night. Itmakes me happy even if I cant finish it and it is too rich so I water it down and add ice cubes.I find it extremely easy to live like this and I hope that you discover this too.

(Marianne) #19

I know exactly what this feels like and can take myself back to the beginning of February last year just before I started.

For at least a week, I lurked here and read as much about keto as I could. was also a wonderful resource for information and inspiration. I was at I think the lowest point of my life, despite having everything else seemingly going for me. I was at my highest weight and spent most of my waking hours after work and on weekends in bed, either watching tv or sleeping. I could easily sleep 14-16 hours a day on weekends. I had to force myself to do anything - cleaning, going to the grocery store (the only reason I could muster that was to get my fix of junk food), laundry, etc.

My best advice - go easy on yourself. Just follow what people recommend (eat, etc.), and believe it will work. You can eat well on this and lose weight. Toss out everything you ever knew about conventional dieting. Don’t have a preconceived time line of how long this will take - follow the plan, enjoy your food, and live your life. Stay off the scale except to get a starting weight. Measure yourself, especially your belly. Don’t obsess about weighing, don’t count calories, and don’t worry about being in ketosis. If you follow the basic principles and keep your carbs under 20g/day, you will be in ketosis.

Read the success stories on for inspiration - those really helped me. I knew from what people posted that they had lived with the pain and challenges of obesity and food addiction just like I had. I trusted what they said. Become an active member here, posting your progress and asking questions. You are among friends who want to see you do well and feel better.

God bless.


Thank you all so much- I have already learned a lot just from reading your replies.

I am just going to keep carbs under 20g as the number one rule before anything else! And learn as I go.

I have had a serious sugar/coca cola addiction for many years so this will likely be my biggest obstacle. But I am ready.

Look forward to getting to know everyone over the next while as I take this new journey. Thanks again!