Keto and Low Carb Success

What is Low Carb?

February 09, 2023 Miriam Hatoum Season 2 Episode 36
Keto and Low Carb Success
What is Low Carb?
Show Notes Transcript

Episode 36: What is Low Carb?

It is easy to stay out of diet prison if you learn the bones of keto and add to them 2-3 carbohydrate servings a day, while slightly reducing your fat intake. In this episode there are exact steps for what carbohydrates to add and when and how to add them. Triggers are discussed so that you will learn not to fear any foods, but learn your limits in adding certain items. Eventually nothing will be off limits - unless physically you cannot have them - as you learn how to slowly add up-to-now restricted foods to your eating plan.
3:47.          Personal Story
7:05.         The "bones" of Keto
8:26.          Low carb can be easy!
13:35.       What mistakes are we making?
15:01.       Why are we making these mistakes?
17:29.       What is the cost of making these mistakes?
18:49.       This week's actionable COACHING ADVICE
23:45.       Special Offer
26:00.       Episode 12, coming up

FREE 35-page Keto and Low Carb Planner
Breaking Free From Diet Prison BOOK
Access to Transcript Here

What is Keto?
Is Keto Hard?
Three Ways to Count Carbohydrates
Keto FAQs

Episode #: 36   What is Low Carb?

Hi Everyone! I want to welcome you to the Keto and Low Carb Success Podcast. Season 2. For the next two episodes, 35 and 36, I am going to do something a little bit different by offering a rebroadcast of two episodes that I shared with you last August. Some of you might now be considering Keto or Low Carb and want easily digestible – yes pun intended – information. Neither way of eating is hard or complicated and I hope that by listening to these two episodes you will find that to be so.
Episode 35 is entitled “What is Keto?” and Episode 36 is entitled “What is Low Carb?” I give you the entire easy rundown. To make it as easy as possible, I help you understand the bones of Keto that will serve you in either way of eating. The show notes for both episodes direct you to my blogs so that you can more fully understand these bones. They are, What is Keto? Is Keto Hard? Three Ways to Count Carbohydrates and Keto F-A-Qs.
No – you don’t have to do Keto if you are doing Low Carb, but understanding the Keto bones is essential to your Low Carb success.
The way I guide my clients to eat Low Carb is to take these bones and add back carbohydrates in very mindful ways. This way you never have to weigh or measure your food again! You will have total freedom with either Keto or Low Carb!
At the top of the show notes you will also see a direct link to get my
FREE 35-page Keto and Low Carb Planner. There is no obligation to purchase the course, I just want you to take a look. At the bottom of that page, if you put your name in to go on the waitlist (again NO obligation to purchase – no deposit or anything like that!) you will get this free planner. The feedback I have received on it has been wonderful, and I want you to have it as part of your tool belt going forward in your journey.  As I said, there is a direct link in the show notes or you can find it at

Now let’s go to the episode!

 You’re Listening to the Roadmap to Diet Success Podcast, Episode #11, What is Low Carb?


 "Did you know that you don't have to spend money on a diet program or weigh, measure and track your food? What if you could learn to have success by following an easy roadmap that takes you on adventures from learning how to change your mindset so that you can believe in yourself, to learning about what foods work best in your body and why? Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author of Breaking Free From Diet Prison, as I give you actionable coaching advice that is sure to empower you so that you will finally find peace with food and learn to trust your body’s signals. You’ve got this, girl! 

 Oh, and before we start, I want to let you know that the primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and does not constitute medical advice or services, and I’m keeping up with the science as fast as I can so I can share with you the latest breaking research in this area to help you achieve your dreams!

3:47      Personal Story

Well into my sixties, I discovered Keto and learned about insulin and about the influence that the food itself has on my mind and body, causing me to want more, crave more and stay hungry. While I successfully followed, taught and coached Keto for over three years, establishing myself as Granny Keto, my life took a turn. I felt I needed to broaden my way of eating. My food lifestyle evolved as I learned to eat in a low carb way that still keeps insulin in check and the cravings and hunger at bay.  

When working with clients on Keto, I found I needed a way to honor my commitment “to provide nutritional coaching that meets you where you are and guides you to where you want to go.” Some clients wanted to do Keto after reading about its benefits in reversing type 2 diabetes, eliminating pre-diabetes, reducing fasting insulin, reversing NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) and helping to slow down, or stop, insulin resistance. Many clients who had none of the above health issues still wanted to do Keto to increase their overall health including improving HDL, lowering triglycerides, losing fat and building lean muscle mass. Among all my clients, whatever their motivation for wanting to do Keto, I found two personalities: Those who love to jump into the deep end of a pool and those who would rather go in slowly, dipping one toe at a time. Because I am a “jump in the deep end” sort of gal, I really had to think through how to best help the toe-dippers.

I discovered a second thing that committed me to finding a way to develop a special program. Many people, especially those without pressing medical problems but who were interested in Keto anyway, experienced almost immediate weight loss, better digestion, better sleep and improvement in general well-being before fully progressing through Keto. I found that many clients were happy and feeling better just eliminating sugar and/or grains from their diets with no need or desire to go further.  

Granny Keto Transitions Program was born! It is a program for those who want to slowly work up to being fully Keto and also for those who are very happy eating low carb but need some guidance to pull it all together. The direct links for the book and the course that were built upon this program are in the show notes and transcript.

 In this episode I will give you some of the guidance I offer my clients (and students in my course) for eating lower carb without feeling as though they are on a diet.

I follow this way of eating now. I no longer do strict Keto and am happy to share with you here the way I approach low carb eating for myself and my clients.

7:05    If you already know the bones of Keto, then taking on a low carb way of eating is not a difficult thing to do, and might be very easy to make into your eating lifestyle.

·       Here are the “bones of Keto” as I covered in last week’s episode.

o   Do not eat grains and things made from grains such as bread, pasta and cereal. 

o   Do not eat legumes which are beans and lentils. 

o   Do not eat any type of sugar, syrups, or fresh items that are high in sugar, such as dried fruits, tropical fruits or even most fruits. 

o   Eat protein such as chicken, fish, meat, eggs, and dairy if you like.

o    Eat above-ground green veggies like celery, asparagus, lettuce, cabbage and cauliflower. 

o   Eat nuts and seeds. 

o   Eat good fats such as avocados and olives. 

o   Enjoy berries. 

o   Use good oils and eat root vegetables sparingly, if at all.  

·       There. You have it. Those are the bones of Keto, and you never have to weigh, measure or track a single thing. Just honor your hunger and satiety cues.

8:26     Now let’s see how easy this is to make into a low carb eating style.

I teach this in my course and book, Breaking Free From Diet Prison. Here is what I suggest, using your scale as a guide. However, don’t judge success only by the scale, instead look for other things such as more energy, fewer cravings, and less between-meal hunger. 

·       Here’s a simple outline of how to eat low carb, building on the bones of Keto:

·       Add one carbohydrate portion to each meal. Study up on what is a portion. It might be ½ cup of rice, ½ of a packaged – not bakery - bagel, 1 piece of bread or a small (about 4-6 ounce) potato.

·       You can recalculate this as 2-3 portions per day. So if you have a sandwich at lunch using two slices of bread, don’t also have carbohydrates at breakfast AND dinner. 

·       But, be honest about those portions. If you are getting a big heavy bagel from the bakery it is not the same as a little frozen bagel from Lenders.

·       If you are not good yet at eyeballing a food, measure it or weigh it. But eventually you will be able to gauge a portion size without doing that as long as you stay honest with yourself.

·       Have 1-2 small treats per week if you want them. 

·       This can be a dessert that you are serving, or a restaurant dessert that you are sharing with one or two other people (leaving at least ½ behind). I say this because restaurant desserts are so much bigger than what we have at home. Again, we are dealing with honesty. A small brownie that you baked – maybe 12 pieces cut from an 8x8 inch pan is not the same as the chocolate lava cake served at the Rain Forest Café.

·       When you do use your scale as your guide, it’s important to know that some people are very sensitive to carbohydrates. If you find that is you, you might want to cut back to 1-2 carbohydrate-rich foods a day instead of 2-3. On the other hand, if you are losing weight or inches quickly, maybe you are safe increasing to 4 servings per day. 

·       While doing this, try to make your carbohydrate choices as natural as possible. 

·       This means root vegetables, cooked grains and fresh fruit.

·        It might mean homemade items rather than something packaged for the masses. 

·       Make your own baked French fries with white or sweet potatoes.

·       If you are having oatmeal, don’t go for the instant in the package, which converts to glucose in your system very quickly.

·       If you are having a dessert, make it count. Don’t just eat something because you can. Eat something because you truly enjoy it.

·       One of my own examples is that I might have a slice of bread if it is from a bakery and it was baked just that day – if still warm, even better. That’s what I mean by making a carb choice special.

·       Regarding seeds and nuts, you are welcome to have them, but a handful is a lot, especially if you reach for a second one. This is one food I would suggest measuring out – maybe 1/4 cup or a few tablespoons. I have a little condiment bowl that I use for nuts and I know that it holds about three tablespoons of nuts, and that’s what I have. I am saying this because you don’t always have to take out your measuring spoons and cups. Have a special bowl or a special plate designated for something and you know by the size of it, what you’re eating.

·       Don’t go crazy with fruit. 

·       It doesn’t have to count as your carb choice for the day, but limit fruit to one or two servings per day.

·       Try to stay away from fruit juice (unless it is an ingredient for something you are baking or cooking), and ration dried fruits such as raisins, dates and figs. Again, use these as ingredients, not as a snack by the handful.

·       Don’t fear fruit – I’m not asking you to do that, but be aware that tropical fruits such as bananas, mangoes and papayas are higher in sugar than others. 

·       For a low-carb diet, aim for about 100 grams of carbohydrates for the day. You can break it up into 25-30 for meal with something left for a snack.

13:35   What mistakes we making?

o   I am going to repeat two of the mistakes that we make if we want to try Keto:

§  We think this is complicated. It’s not!

§  We think this is going to be hard. It just takes a little time to get used to eating this way because your “No thank you” and awareness muscles need time to develop and get strong.

§  It is neither complicated nor hard.

o   We think we can never ever stray. Not so. Enjoy a slice of birthday cake or a cold beer. Just not every day, and don’t fall into the trap of all-or-nothing thinking. Just make your decisions, ahead of time if possible, about what carbohydrate-rich foods you are going to have in a day.

o   We make the mistake of not understanding where the carbs come from and how they add up.

o   And this brings me to one last mistake, and it has to do with following the bones of Keto: 

§  While Keto is high fat, cut back on the fat as you eat more carbohydrates. 

§  High fat in the presence of high or higher carbohydrate consumption is not healthy, especially if you have started allowing more processed foods into your food plan.

15:01   Why are we making these mistakes?

o   We have never learned to trust our own bodies and learn our own likes and dislikes. 

§  Try new foods or new versions of foods. Your carbohydrate-rich choices do not have to be bagels, breads and oatmeal. Maybe a root vegetable roast at dinner would be nice, or a fresh ear of corn at lunch instead of a bag of corn chips. 

o   We think that because we are cutting back or cutting out, that we are denying ourselves.

§  Listen, people: I said you could have that slice of cake or a baked potato at dinner. 

o   There is no restriction here. Eat what you want, but be intelligent about it.

o   Remember that you can have some of the things all the time, or all of the things some of the time. Just don’t have all of the things all of the time! 

o    Another mistake we make is that we don’t take the time to learn where carbohydrates are hiding and how they add up. Here are just a few examples, and this might be what you have for breakfast:

o   8 ounces of juice is 27 carbs

§  And I want to go off on a little tangent here. We don’t drink 8 ounces anymore. We have 12 ounces, 16 ounces, the 32 ounce gulp. 8 ounces is quite a bit, but when you stack it up everything we drink, it looks like just a little bit. So I bet you, unless you are drinking from an old-fashioned juice glass, you are probably drinking more than 8 ounces.

o   1 cup of multi-grain cheerios is 24 carbs

o   A small, sliced banana is 24 carbs

o   1 cup of 2% milk is 12 carbs

o   Coffee with 2 Tablespoons of creamer is 10 carbs

o   That’s a total of 95 carbohydrates for a typical breakfast, and doesn’t even include a bagel or muffin that you might mindlessly add on the way to work.

17:28   What is the cost of making these mistakes?

o   With the first mistake, we limit ourselves to eating the familiar. This makes for very boring meals and when bored we will eventually give up and go back to all the things. 

§  As I said, make desserts special

§  Treat yourself to fresh, bakery bread

§  Try a different cereal

§  Make a tray of unusual root vegetables – they are naturally sweet and you might be surprised that you like a dish with parsnips and fennel – usually two very overlooked vegetables but quite delicious.

§  Keep it interesting

§  That being said, if you can’t see yourself without cereal in the morning, a sandwich at lunch and popcorn in the evening, then go for it. Just don’t eat all the OTHER things too.

o   When we fall into the trap of the mistake of thinking we are restricted, the claws come out and we want to reach for everything – at the same time. 

§  Realize that you can have whatever you want, but keep the quantity reasonable and pick as many fresh and natural foods as you can for the rest of the meal. 


o   I would like you to become aware of the carbohydrate count of fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts, grains and legumes. You can do this with an on-line digital tracker or in a small handbook like Dr. Atkins Carbohydrate Gram Counter.

o   As you plan your meals, or even as you go along through the day, I would like you to write down what you are eating, and the carb count only (don’t be concerned about calories or anything else this week). A week might be all you need to have the lightbulb go on about how easy it is to consume carbohydrate-rich foods. If you are a life-long dieter, you might not even need this step. And for sure you know portion sizes!

o   Your goal is to get out of the diet prison of weighing, measuring and tracking your food, but you have to build up your awareness of what you are eating before you can do this.

o   I would also like you to list all your favorite carbohydrate-rich foods. Pretend losing weight was no longer an issue and that you could eat anything you want. Now I want you to pick out one or two of those foods and plan them this week. One of our goals is to learn not to be afraid of food or be afraid of how we eat around those foods. 

§  Go to the bakery section of the store and get ONE cookie or ONE small cupcake.

§  Go to McDonald’s and get a kids’ size fries and toss out a few of them so that the serving size is smaller. I know I said it is better to make your own but right now you are just learning how to be around some of these foods.

§  Go to the ice cream store and get one scoop or a kids’ size cone.

§  And I want to say one thing before going on. One of the reasons why some programs don’t work for me is that I am not good with moderation and certain foods trigger me. So, if a cookie or a cupcake, or those fries or the ice cream trigger you, don’t have them just yet. Eat the other foods that are safe carbohydrates for you. We are going to go on in later episodes to talk about urges and cravings and how they unravel into binges, triggers, habits and all of that. I am only putting this here because if these foods are not triggers for you, and you have just been avoiding them because some diet told you never to eat them, then you can go try to add them into your food plan. If they are triggers or anything else is a trigger, just hold on for now and stay with the carbohydrates that don’t trigger you. For instance, I would never be triggered by a bowl of oatmeal. You might, but I wouldn’t. I would never be triggered by those vegetables that have parsnips and fennel. Those are just examples. If you find that you are triggered with certain foods – and most of those are sweets and processed foods – then for now stay away from them and take your carbohydrate choices from something else. But again, if they don’t trigger you, now might be the time to start introducing these foods again so that you don’t have a fear of eating them.

o   Remember, if you are eating low carb there are no foods off limit, as long as it is not a food that upsets your stomach in some way (such as a stomachache or a rash), and it is not a food that triggers you like I just spoke about. 

o   If you can’t get something in single serve, then get the smallest you can and throw out the rest. It is either going in the trash or through you into the toilet. Either way it’s gone. Might as well not eat it.

o   We are going to reset your thinking. It has nothing to do with willpower. We are going to throw out the concept of willpower and instead work on the will muscle. How WILL you react? Can you learn that enough is enough? Yes, but it takes practice and time.

o   Remember, pick your hard. Learning not to be afraid of food. Learning that one portion can be satisfying might be hard work, but avoiding the food or hating yourself for eating it is even harder.

23:45    Special Offer

 With this episode, I would like you to download Five Steps to Diet Freedom and Four lists you need at The direct link, as always, is in the show notes and transcript. This is a step-by-step list of how you can move towards a low carb eating lifestyle, or all the way to Keto if you want. It contains lists of sugars, grains, rice and legumes so that you can be more informed when you go to grocery shop, follow recipes, or eat out at restaurants. Knowledge will be at the root of your success.

As with last week’s episode on Keto, I want to invite you to have a look at my course, at, that is based on my original Granny Keto Transitions Program that helps you begin a low-carb lifestyle or even go all the way to Keto if you want. My book, Breaking Free From Diet Prison is what this course is based upon. Direct links for both the course and the book are in the show notes and transcript.

And before I go, I want to ask you: How would it feel to hear your name featured on my podcast and shared with my community? When you leave a 5-star review, you’ll get the chance to be featured on air as our next listener of the week! Just scroll down in your Apple app, or wherever you listen to this podcast, tap the 5 stars and leave a sentence or two letting me know how this show has impacted your life or how you expect it to. Your review helps others find the show, and I would be so grateful to receive these reviews, especially because I am just starting out. Positive reviews by my listeners are so important.

 By the way!! If you’ve ever got a question you’d like to ask me or share a topic idea that you would like to have me cover on a future episode, don’t be a stranger! I hang out on Instagram@Roadmap to Diet Success, or you can contact me through my Facebook page, Breaking Free From Diet Prison, which I would love you to Like and Join. I always look forward to hearing from listeners like you. You can also email me directly…

26:00  Next Week’s Episode

Coming up in the next episode I will be sharing my method of coaching based on the lessons I taught during my 30 years as a belly dance teacher. My goal is teach you to dance with your chosen eating lifestyle and throw out those measuring cups, measuring spoons, trackers and food scales. Dancing with Low Carb and Keto – which is also one of my e-books, and which you can find on my site at – is a helpful way to embark on this journey.

So go share the show with your friends, let them know that’s coming up in the next episode, and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become free from diet prison with my Roadmap to Diet Success.

Until then, go live free from diet worry — I’ll see you back here next time!