9 Steps to a Low-Carb Diet

If you're looking for low-carb diet tips, these easy, step-by-step changes will help you swap out less-filling options and still feeling satisfied.

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Low-Carb Diet Step #1: Skip the dinner rolls.

Bread isn't bad for you, especially if it's whole grain. But if you had a sandwich at lunch or toast with your eggs at breakfast, that's probably all the bread you need for the day. Look at what these restaurants are serving instead of the traditional bread and butter.

Low-Carb Diet Step #2: Trade the tortilla for a lettuce leaf wrap.

Wrap the lettuce around canned tuna or salmon, shredded carrots, diced celery, and pepper slices. You can even make easy low-carb tacos (beans, cheese, salsa) with this technique.

Low-Carb Diet Step #3: Make a sandwich with eggplant slices.

Broil the eggplant until brown, then add sliced mozzarella and tomato. Also, try replacing eggplant slices for lasagna noodles in your favorite recipe.

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Low-Carb Diet Step #4: Mash cauliflower instead of potatoes.

Add steamed cauliflower to your blender and purée with enough skim milk to make it smooth. Then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Low-Carb Diet Step #5: Make cauliflower "rice."

Using a food processor, shred cauliflower until its texture resembles white rice, then lightly steam. Add this cauliflower "rice" to recipes that call for cooked rice.

Low-Carb Diet Step #6: Indulge in parsnip and carrot "fries."

Cut down the length of parsnips and carrots to make long, thin strips of the vegetables. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in a 400°F (200°C) oven for about 40 minutes.

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Low-Carb Diet Step #7: Replace potato salad with coleslaw.

Coleslaw makes a great side dish—cabbage is low in calories and high in fiber. For the dressing, whisk together ⅔ cup light sour cream, ⅔ cup plain nonfat yogurt, ¼ cup cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of light mayo, and 4 teaspoons sugar. Toss with 8 cups shredded red and green cabbage, 2 ounces of blue cheese, 4 Granny Smith apples cut into wedges, and 2 slivered red peppers.

Low-Carb Diet Step #8: Cut your pasta in half

Serve yourself half of a cup of pasta (semolina or whole wheat) instead of a whole cup, and bulk it up with sautéed peppers, mushrooms, spinach, thin green beans, or other vegetables. Or try one of these pasta alternatives.

Low-Carb Diet Step #9: Feel a carb craving coming on? Drink a glass of water

Then, wait 15 minutes. If you're still craving a particular food, put one serving on a plate and sit down at a table to eat it. When you're done, get out of the kitchen. It will keep you from overeating without feeling deprived. Try one of these other techniques to control food cravings.

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