What does your lower carb diet look like?

A few months ago, I debated trying a modified (for health reasons) version of whole30, but decided against it because I wanted to avoid a drop in my milk supply. As I’ve been weaning my son and after being glutened, I started it over a week ago to help my gut heal - I eliminated all grains, dairy, and most added sugar (with the exception of still eating things like sausage/bacon with dextrose and using condiments we already had like mayo, as I wasn’t about to go buy expensive sugar free versions or replacements for things I had plenty of). I can’t ignore the effect on my blood sugar - at one point, I stayed between 70-100 all day with little effort.

I’m seriously considering sticking to some of this longer term - primarily avoiding high GI grains and sugar; I’ve already added dairy back in - aiming to reduce my overall carb intake to 100-150g/day (any lower than that causes more symptoms from other health issues).

So what do your meals generally look like, for those who stay around that amount of carbs? What sources of carbs do you eat? Do you find you have to avoid sugar (use sugar substitutes) to stay under that carb limit? What does your BG look like if you have a higher carb day (meaning does it make control harder if you have more carbs due to holidays, eating out or just choosing to have more carbs at home, etc)?


My goal is to stay under 130g of carbs per day. I usually limit my meals to a max of 30 carbs each. I don’t eat anything special, but I do avoid junk food (sweets, chips, fries, etc…). Most of my carbs come from whole grain breads and fruit/veggies. I basically follow Michael Pollan’s mantra - Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.

My breakfast is usually Ezekiel bread with a 1/3 of a banana and almond butter. My lunch is often eggs with fruit, or a sandwich with lower carb bread. My dinner is usually a salad (lots of veggies, seeds, shredded cheese). Sometimes I will have it with falafel and hummus or a bit of naan bread with tzatziki. My snacks are usually nuts, yogurt/cottage cheese with fresh fruit, or homemade muffins (no sugar or sweetener - I use bananas). The muffins are great and they are only 15g of carbs. I love eating this way and I am able to manage my BGs well with it.

The problem is when I eat out or go on vacation. I recently went on vacation and I would say that I was eating closer to 180-200g of carbs. I enjoyed all of the food a lot, but I had a lot of BGs outside my target and I gave a lot of corrections. I spent a lot of nights up with high alarms and didn’t feel so great. I couldn’t wait to get back home so that I could get back to my routine.

I am not sure which would be harder on vacation - dealing with the difficulties that go along with eating a lot of carbs (and sugary stuff), or eating the way I normally do (which is hard in restaurants) and watch everyone else enjoy the junk food/desserts on vacation. There is probably an ‘in between’, but I am not good at that.


I went from eating about 150-200g of carbs/day, and taking ungodly amounts of insulin, to eating around 60-80g/day and scaling back my insulin from a TDD of around 200 units to about 60 units.

My Bg control is much better now and my glycemic variability is significantly improved.

My favorite foods are now low carb ice cream bars (4-6g), Stoneyfield Greek plain whole milk yogurt (5g), and bagels, bread and muffins (2-4g/ item) from The Great LoCarb Baking Co.


Add to that deli lunchmeat (0 carbs), sliced cheese (0 carbs), an occasional Atkins entree for lunch (4-10g), fresh vegetables galore, eggs, chicken, and the occasional cheat😉.

Needless to say I don’t feel deprived. I’m not worried about the higher fat content because I think fat is not that dangerous and has been unjustly vilified.

Of course, things like pizza and donuts and candy and orange juice are only broken out for deep lows., but I did get my fair share.


Like @Lisa, I try to stay around 20-30 carbs max per meal and don’t eat anything “special.”

I do seek out things like low calorie, low carb (8g) yogurts which constitute my breakfast most mornings. If I eat something like a sausage/egg/biscuit I will throw away 1/2 the biscuit and eat only the innards and 1/2 the bread. Weekend breakfasts are the big carb guys: eggs, 8oz of orange juice, and maybe a small piece of bread. Today’s breakfast meal was 64 carbs, but I rarely eat lunch on the weekend.

Lunches tend to be things like stuffed cabbage rolls made with a higher concentration of meat than rice, soups with little or no potatoes, or just meat and a low carb fruit like grapefruit (yeah - a 4-inch grapefruit is only 10 carbs).

Dinner is most of my carbs in a day - an 8oz glass of milk or two, maybe a bit of potato occasionally,

And I don’t stress if I have a pizza day or a lunch out. I will avoid what I reasonably can, but not go out of my way to do so.

I avoid sugar totally, substituting stevia (my wife bakes with it). I drink sparkling water or tea. I do not eat desserts, chocolates, candy, etc.

For me, it is all about avoiding any unnecessary carbs without really going out of my way to avoid them.


Several years ago I decided that I wanted to stay below 200 grmas of carbs per day. That was not hard and I still ate all the carb-y foods. Then I decided I wanted to aim for 150 grams, which again was not hard. Then I aimed for 100, then 70, then 50, and now I try to stick to around 30 a day (sometimes a bit more).

I eat a lot of veggies - cauliflower, zucchini, celery, carrots (within limits), cabbage, kale, lettuce, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, plus some berries, and meat and eggs. I don’t eat dairy, but that would be another great food source. Most of my meals look the same as what “normal” people eat, I just replace the bread with low-carb bread, pancakes with low-carb pancakes, pasta with spaghetti squash, rice with riced cauliflower, and so on.

I do get burned out frequently and cheat. This is something I’m try to cut down on. I think it comes mostly from the fact that there are very few packaged foods that I can eat that are also low in carbs. All low-carb packaged food available here seems to have dairy in it (I notice in the US there are many more low-carb foods available, such as pizzas, cereals, cookies, crackers, and so on which I’m unable to find in Canada). So I get burned out from having to make 99% of my own food from scratch without ever being able to take a break.


Excluding exercise carbs, we eat 100-120 carbs per day. With refueling carbs it is a lot more… Our normal non-exercise diet is 6-12 carbs for breakfast, followed by a 60+/- carb take-along meal for lunch that is most often a sandwich made with French baguette, some raw veggies such as celery, fennel and carrots, and a small fruit such as a clementine. Dinner is often a 30-50 carb meal with a salad, some cooked vegetables, a source of protein, and fruit or yogurt. We rarely have grain or staples with dinner, unless it is a refueling dinner.

When we need to do sports refueling, we eat huge quantities of carbs. After a long swim practice, we will typically eat a total of 100-125 carbs to refuel.

Of course there are many exceptions to these types of menus. We make sure to splurge often, so as to make sure nobody feels deprived of anything. Every couple of weeks we have some ice cream, for instance, pancakes, crepes or some other really sweet thing.


I’m a 67-year-old Type 1 with an A1c of 6.1. I’ve found 100-150 grams of carbohydrate a day works pretty well when those carbs are whole and high in fiber. My goal is 30 grams of fiber a day. I avoid added sugar and artificial sweeteners mostly so my sense of sweet has a low threshold. I’m not allergic to anything so no food group is off limits. My biggest challenge is portion control and I can’t lay that on being diabetic.


Just curious, when counting carbs, do you use the all carbs, or net carbs method of counting them up?

Back when I was first diagnosed, I had this convoluted calculation of total carbs, minus fiber, and half of any added sugar alcohols.

Nowadays, I just tend to use the total carb values, and work from those instead of trying to ‘fudge’ the numbers by trying to make justifications for doing so.


I was always told to subtract the fiber so I do. It seems to work for me so no need to change it.

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I just add up net carbs for lower carb foods. That pretty much goes out the window for breads and rice and higher carb foods.

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So is anyone using the TAG method for carb counting?
If so, how is it working for you?

I’m not, mostly because when I’ve tried it it’s made me low. I could probably resolve that issue by fiddling with insulin amounts, but I don’t have time to do that now. Maybe this summer when I have two months off. I’ve heard bolusing for protein makes a low-carb diet much easier (I eat very low carb but still experience a lot of fluctuation in my BG, which is at least partly because I don’t bolus for protein).

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I’ve tried it a few times, because the logic makes sense, but like @Jen, I found it often sent me low. (My lowest-ever A1c, 6.3, was after one such period.) This was maybe because proteins and fats may have a different effect depending on source – can you bolus the same dose and duration for an egg as for an ounce of chicken as for an ounce of cheese as for an ounce of steak – and I could never get motivated enough to try to analyze all the nuance.

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Staying around 100-120g per day is really pretty easy for us with just minor changes to our standard recipes.

Breakfast is usually eggs, sausage, one slice of whole grain toast. Total 20g
Lunch is leftovers from last couple of nights dinners - usually 20-30g
Dinner is everything from steak/salmon/grilled chicken salad, to soups, fajitas, stews, meat plus two veggie sides, etc etc. The only change we make is to add more meat than most recipes call for to deal with hungry teenagers. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t make the changes.

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I think it’s also likely that when we’re eating really low carb (I’m around 30 grams a day) and not covering protein, our carb ratio and basal are both likely covering protein to some degree. So I think starting to use TAG would require revamping all other pump settings to get things balanced.

For me, one of the advantages of low-carb is that I don’t even really measure food or count carbs. I just look at a meal and decide if it’s one unit, one and a half units, or two units (I rarely give more than two units for a meal, since I rarely eat more than 15 grams of carbs at once). So the idea of going back to weighing and measuring everything is something I’ve resisted. But I’m beginning to think that if I truly want to hit the 5% A1c range (something I’ve never been able to do), I’m going to have to embrace TAG or a similar method of bolusing for protein.

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I guess the thing about TAG that I don’t quite grasp, and this is admittedly an abstract view, since I’ve yet to try it, is that fats are only counted as 10% carbs.
Yet, when you are following a low carb diet, and in ketosis, fat is the source of much of your glucose. So why only count fat as 10%? Seems counter intuitive to me.
And it also seems to be oriented more for pump users, instead of MDI. Abstractly.