Well it appears my first blog struck a cord with quite a few people. I didn't even know 8 people read it, but I have had at least 8 friends tell me this past week that they are going to start the diet in the near future. And then they suggested I write a 'getting started' blog. I'm going to tell you some resources you can use, what to buy at the store, and why you will hate me the first week.
First a disclaimer- I'm not a Dr or dietitian or anything of the such. You can jump right into this just reading my blog and figure it out (odds are you will not die, but I not making any promises). But I would highly suggest reading at least The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance (see Resources page) before starting the diet. I see several of you have already ordered the book, which I made $.36 total off of for all 4 books ordered (it might take a while to make back the $100 invested in this site so far - but if it helps those 1 of you it's all worth it). The following are my thoughts/experiences only and I probably forgot a lot of shit. If you have something seriously wrong with your body then you might want to see a Dr before you change everything up.
In addition to buying AND READING the book (it's a quick read), I suggest you download MyFitnessPal on your iPhone or tablet or whatever you carry all the time. You are going to use this app to track your carbs/fat the first month or until you get confident in your carb counting ability. You can use anything to track your carbs/fat but that is what I used.
Now that you have the tools, you need some food. If you are serious you are going to purge your house of carbs, just like a recovering alcoholic gets rid of the booze when they quit. Don't worry all your carb eating friends will love the gifts of pasta, bread, and all that stuff. Just look at the labels, if they have more than about 20 carbs a serving, donate it. Then you are going to go to the grocery store and stock up for your first week. If you are vegetarian or vegan or some other special diet already, you are just going to have to figure it out. *Note: Yes veggies have carbs but you are still going to eat them. If you only eat meat and cheese- don't come crying to me if you don't poop for a week....or ever again.
So the point of this grocery list and those meals is taking you to the core of the plan. 1) Keep your total carbs for the day below 50 grams. 2) Get around 60-70% of your calories from fat. If you don't do anything else at all- do those two things! Now here is how your are going to make this happen.
You are going cold turkey. There is no in between where you gradually cut out the carbs. The day you start you are going to hit those two goals above and your are going to do that for a month straight. None of this cheat day stuff (for now). Although its going to be rough, there is science and stuff that says this is the best way.
The first few days your are not going to be happy with me. Sorry, it will get better. You are going to be tired, irritable, and generally feel like crap. Your body was addicted to sugar (carbs=sugar)-you are in sugar withdrawal you addict. The other thing that is going to happen is you are going to be peeing like you have been out drinking all night. This is your body getting rid of all the water stored with those carbs in your body. That initial water weight loss might be 5lbs, but it's only water.
If you are working out, you do need to cut that back a little. 25% workout effort the first week, 50% the second week, 75% the third week, then back to 100% the fourth week. Some people can do more, some less but that was a good guide for me. Also if you are working out remember to hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate. All that water you peed out, isn't there when you workout now. Also I'd suggest taking an S! Cap or salt supplement. This will limit your lightheadedness. If you are getting cramps, get some slow release magnesium (you can order this on the www.vespapower.com site).
When you get that craving for carbs (you will) have a cheese stick. Whatever you do, don't give up these first few weeks. I promise the reward at the end is worth it. This month I'm also going to ask you to give up booze for the most part. You can have your 50g carbs however you want (8 glasses dry red wine or 4 lite beers) but your body would appreciate it if you had those in the form of something with nutrition value instead. If you have to have a drink, you know to be social and stuff, I suggest vodka and soda with a lime. As time goes on you become super sensitive to sweets and you will find all that high sugar liquor/soda does not taste good anymore. (Except Guinness....that shit always tastes good!)
Here's the bottom line. Keep your carbs under 50g a day and start eating a ton of fat. You will feel gross, especially if you have been on one of the low-fat/be hungry diets. And you are probably going to feel like shit for a few days or weeks depending on how sugar addicted you are. This is the entry fee for a life where you enjoy eggs and bacon for breakfast, a ribeye for lunch, and some fatty beef ribs for dinner like I did today AND you lose weight AND you workout for hours with huge amount of energy. But we will get more into the benefits next blog...someone remind me when it's time to write that. Your comments are welcome (unless you are going to be an jerk). Especially comment if you just started on the diet!