No Carb Diet Plan: A Guide To What You Need to Know
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No Carb Diet Plan: A Guide To What You Need to Know

Written by Sharon Lehman on July 07, 2023



Low-carb diets, like keto, offer several health benefits, including faster weight loss and improved blood sugar. If eating fewer carbs can offer you an advantage, what about eating no carbs? 

A no-carb or zero-carb diet takes low-carb eating to the extreme and creates meals around zero carb foods while eliminating all foods that contain carbohydrates. That means some otherwise nutritious foods, like fruit and whole grains, are eliminated on a no carb diet because of their carb content.

Keep reading for how a no carb diet works, a zero carb foods list, and no carb meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to get you started.

No Carb Diet Foods 

Some people go all in on a no carb diet plan and eliminate as many carbs as possible, while others allow very small amounts of nutritious carb-containing foods, like vegetables. 

The no carb diet can be similar to the keto diet, which reduces carb intake to 5-10% of daily calories. That equates to 25-50 grams of carbs per 2,000 calories. The keto diet also restricts protein intake and has you eat 70-80% of your calories from fat. Unlike keto, though, the no carb diet doesn’t offer guidelines for how much protein or fat to consume.  

Spoiler alert: it’s really tough to eat a true zero carb diet long-term. If you are determined to give it a go, you’ll start by filling up on fats and proteins instead of carbs.

No carb diet foods to eat include:

  • Meat, poultry, pork
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Cheese 
  • Cooking fats and oils, including butter, olive oil, coconut oil, lard, and ghee
  • Fresh and dried herbs
  • Zero carb condiments, including vinegar, mayo, hot sauce, and mustard
  • Plain coffee or tea

Foods with carbs to avoid include:

  • Beans
  • Baked goods
  • Fruit
  • Grains, including rice, oats, pasta, and bread
  • Lentils
  • Milk
  • Starchy vegetables, including potatoes, peas, and corn
  • Sugar and other sweeteners like honey and maple syrup
  • Sweetened drinks and condiments
  • Yogurt

Let’s review how to use the zero carb food list to create a no carb diet plan.

No Carb Diet Plan 

There are no hard and fast rules for following a no carb diet. For a true zero carb meal plan, you’ll need to eliminate all fruit, vegetables, grains, and other plant foods and only eat animal proteins and fats. 

Since the no carb diet is open to interpretation, here are some guidelines to help you safely explore a no carb diet plan. 

Prioritize healthy fats.

Fat is a staple of low-carb and no-carb diets, but some fats are healthier than others. Trans fats, which are found in margarine, shortening, and many packaged foods, have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, while unsaturated fats can support heart health.

The best way to avoid trans fat is by using unsaturated cooking oils, like olive oil and avocado oil, as well as grass-fed butter or ghee and coconut oil in place of margarine and shortening. Other good sources of unsaturated fats include avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.

Animal foods are natural sources of saturated fat, so you won’t be able to entirely avoid them on a no carb diet. However, you can reduce your intake of saturated fats by choosing lean meats, like filet and skinless chicken, and reducing your intake of high-fat meats, like bacon and prime rib. 

Choose high-quality proteins.

Since a no carb diet is mostly protein, you’re going to want to make sure to choose the highest quality animal products you can find. Researchers have found that grass-fed and pastured meat, eggs, and dairy products are more nutrient-dense than conventionally raised and fed livestock. 

Grass-fed beef contains higher amounts of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed cattle. Eggs from pastured hens also contain more omega-3 fats and have higher levels of antioxidants.

Include some non-starchy veggies.

A true no carb diet won’t include any vegetables, since all plant foods contain some amount of carbs. However, eliminating all plant foods can increase your risk for low micronutrient intake, since vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. In other words, the benefits of eating veggies far outweigh the carb content.

Adding a few servings of non-starchy veggies, such as leafy greens, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, or cabbage, to your no carb meal plan can increase your nutrient intake for very few carbs. 

Be flexible.

If you try a no carb diet and find yourself growing tired of eating meat 24/7, missing fruit or other favorite foods, or you just don’t feel your best, consider adding a small amount of carbs to your meal plan. Including low net carb foods on a no carb diet will give you more food variety and increase your fiber intake, which supports digestive health. 

Low net carb foods you may wish to include:

  • Avocado
  • Coconut
  • Nuts and seeds 
  • Non-starchy vegetables

You can calculate net carbs with this formula:

Total grams of carbs per serving – Grams of fiber per serving = Net Carbs

You can also switch to a low-carb or keto diet. You’ll still benefit from following a low-carb diet plan, but either option allows some quality carb intake, which can give you a bit more meal planning flexibility and greater food and nutrient variety.

No Carb Meal Ideas 

No carb meals are easier to create than you may realize. After all, you only need a few ingredients to create a no carb meal. Pair a protein with a healthy fat source and a low-carb, non-starchy veggie to create a variety of meals. 

What about no carb snacks? Snacks can help enhance satiety between meals, but what can you reach for that’s zero carb and satisfying? Jerky and meat sticks, like Chomps Original Beef Jerky Sticks, make a great on-the-go snack and require zero meal prepping. Chomps are naturally a zero carb food and each meat stick contains 10-12 grams of high-quality, grass-fed protein. 

Check out some ideas for no carb meals and snacks below. 

No Carb Breakfast Meal Ideas 

Eggs are a classic breakfast food and they can be enjoyed fried, scrambled, poached, or hard-boiled on a no carb diet. Pair them with another protein, such as chicken sausage, steak tips, or turkey bacon for a filling start to the day. 

Here are some no carb breakfast ideas:

  • Chicken sausages and spinach cooked in olive oil
  • Eggs scrambled in butter with shredded cheese, salsa, and avocado
  • Hard boiled eggs with bullet-proof coffee
  • Mushroom and cheese omelet

No Carb Lunch Meal Ideas 

Try rotating the meat and seafood you eat at lunch and dinner so you don’t get tired of eating the same no carb meals. 

Here are some no carb lunch ideas:

  • Canned tuna mixed with mayo stuffed in romaine leaves
  • Bunless beef or turkey burger topped with cheese
  • Deli turkey and cheese roll ups with pickles 
  • Meatballs with zucchini noodles and pesto sauce

No Carb Snack Ideas 

You can enjoy a smaller portion of any no carb meal idea for a snack. Other no carb snack ideas include:

  • Hard-boiled or deviled eggs prepared with mayo and mustard 
  • Sardines 
  • Chomps jerky sticks
  • Pepperoni and cheese

No Carb Dinner Meal Ideas 

Here are some no carb dinner ideas:

  • Skirt steak with bell peppers and onions
  • Grilled chicken breasts topped with cheese and bacon
  • Roasted salmon and broccoli with olive oil
  • Bacon wrapped scallops and asparagus

Successful Zero Carb Dieting 

A no carb diet is a very strict eating plan that eliminates all forms of carbohydrates, including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and most dairy. Although it can help you lose weight and improve blood sugar, a no carb diet plan is highly restrictive and unsustainable. Including nutrient-dense foods with low net carbs, like non-starchy veggies, nuts, and avocados, can improve the quality and success rate of your low-carb diet.

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Sharon Lehman

Sharon Lehman

Sharon Lehman, RD Sharon is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and health and wellness writer. She specializes in intuitive eating, recipe development, food photography, and hormone health. She enjoys sharing healthy living tips and recipes on her blog: