Figuring out what to eat is more of a problem for those on the strict low carb phase of the Metabolic Diet. For these people, and to some extent for anyone cutting back on dietary carbs, I offer these suggestions.
During the weekdays, there are plenty of options for higher fat/high protein/low carb foods available. Virtually any meat is OK, and most of you will focus on steak, hamburger, pork and other red meats on the diet. In addition, venison, fish (of great importance as we'll see later), lamb, shrimp, lobster, chicken, turkey, and other white meats are also OK. So are canned sardines, tuna, shrimp, herring and anchovies.
Almost any kind of cheese is fair game as well. Use the full fat and non-skimmed milk varieties. Keep in mind that cheese spreads, cottage and ricotta cheese are higher in carbohydrates. Brie, Camembert, Muenster, Gruyere and Monterey jack are very low in carbs and good for the diet.
Whole eggs are great. Deviled eggs can be a good snack food to keep in the refrigerator to use. Butter and poly- and monounsaturated oils are fine (subject to certain restrictions outlined below). Nuts and seeds like walnuts and sunflower seeds are also good, but keep track of the carbs. So are condiments such as salt, vinegar, oil, and mayonnaise, although we urge you to use oil (especially olive oil) and vinegar dressing most of the time. Most other commercial salad dressings are in the vicinity of 7 percent carbohydrates.
Sugar is going to be a problem for people with a sweet tooth. You can end up craving it, especially during the assessment phase of the diet. Look to appease any cravings along this line with low carb drinks and desserts with artificial sweeteners. However, avoid sorbitol and fructose - remember sugar free doesn't necessarily mean carb free. Make sure to check the labels. Diet soft drinks are fine.
You can also put sugar free Jello (no carbs, uses artificial sweetener) to good use. Topping it with carb-free whipped cream may be just what you're looking for to gain control. It has no carbs and many Metabolic dieters have found it quite successful in appeasing any cravings. Just check the labels on whipping cream containers to make sure carbs haven't been added.
Another factor to consider is that even if you have cravings, you're only putting off satisfying them until the weekend. You can eat basically anything then. We're just partitioning foods here. We're not saying you can't have lasagna. You just have to wait for the weekend. That's a lot better than other diets where you're basically stranded on Low-Fat or, in some cases, Low-Carb Island for the rest of your life.
This can also work for you psychologically. Foods you love can give you a goal. Just get to the weekend and you can have that slice of apple pie. You're giving yourself something to look forward to and it can even be fun. This doesn't present the kind of depression and boredom you get eating the same thing over and over, week after week, month after month. You don't have to come up with an elaborate set of recipes to keep yourself sane. When you get to the weekend, do what you want!
Once they've been on the diet awhile, most people won't have that strong desire for ice cream or onion rings anymore. They'll eat them but they won't pig out and, as they start fine tuning their diets for maximum progress, they'll begin to see some real improvement and acquire some real knowledge about the way their body works and how adjustments can be made to achieve their goals.
There's much more information on all aspects of the diet, including what, when and how to eat, in my various phase shift diet books, available in the store.