What I'm eating on maintenance
My lifesavers are (my American friends may find that not all these items are available in the States, but similar substitutes are):
- Baker's Deluxe breads (cinnamon raisin and seeded are my favourite)
- Skinny Crisps (cinnamon and Say Cheese are my favourite)
- New Hope Mills low carb pancake mix
- Sugar free lattes with half soy milk at Starbucks
- Kraft organic peanut butter
- Heinz no sugar added ketchup
- Ed Smith no sugar added jam
- Zazubean Nutbar chocolate bar (coconut + almond; available at Whole Foods)
- Whipped cream!! (with berries = amazing dessert).
- Kraft ranch dressing (not low fat, that has sugar)
- Silk unsweetened soy milk
- Low sugar fruit yogurts (4 grams net carbs)
- Hickory flavoured almonds
Many of my favourite items are available at http://www.thelowcarbgrocery.com/
Please do avoid "diet" and "sugar free" items as much as you can (go for "no sugar added" instead). I have done a lot of research and realized that sugar alcohols are VERY bad for our systems. I used to have the occasional Atkins Bar or Russell Stover chocolates, but no more. Now if I do have anything sugar free, it will be restricted to a syrup put in my latte, or a diet carbonated beverage.
Also, don't forget that socializing is still very easy. Restaurants are more than accommodating when it comes to swapping items. I always replace starches with veggies. I avoid Asian restaurants because it is very hard to eat low carb there, as all their sauces are generally rich with sugar. I recently found out that the "no noodle extra veg" Pho soups I was eating actually have sugar in them.
I have also significantly cut back on alcohol. I find that even if i'm having a "clean" drink (e.g. vodka soda), it still makes me retain a lot of sodium and I feel very bloated the day after. I read online that alcohol disrupts blood sugar balance as it interferes with liver function. I will have a glass of non-sweet wine every now and then, but have learned to leave it more for vacations, or just a nice dinner outing.
Don't forget that you CAN every now and then, treat yourself. It is psychologically stressful to be 100% on course all the time. Yesterday, I was really craving a cookie, so I had one. But I added it in to my net carb count and was still in my range. I find that mentally reminding myself that "I can have a cookie when I want it" makes me crave things less, because they're not "forbidden".