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The Promise

Cookbook editor and writer Fran McCullough struggled for many years to lose weight, and she's shared her solution: a low-carb diet.

In her book, Living Low-Carb, McCullough sums up low-carb diet plans, from Atkins to Paleo, and explains how each can help you lose weight. She also includes a collection of recipes to make low-carb living easier.

To help you avoid typical dieting pitfalls, the book includes how-tos for traveling, and tips to make weekly grocery shopping easier. You'll also find success stories from other low-carb dieters.

Does It Work?

Studies have shown that low-carb diets outperform low-fat diets for weight loss in the first year. But after a year, weight loss was about the same with both types of diets.

Low-carb diets seem to be fine for short-term weight loss. But whether they're safe over the long run is questionable.

Nutrition experts have some concerns with going very low-carb, if it means restricting foods like whole grains and certain fruits and vegetables. Also, the type of protein you eat matters. Too much red meat that isn't lean, for example, could be bad for your health.

What You Can Eat

If you want to go low-carb, McCullough suggests doing this:

  • Limit carbs to between 0 and 30 grams a day. How low you go depends on how much weight you want to lose.
  • Avoid white foods. That includes potatoes, rice, bread, flour, and sugar.
  • Make protein part of every meal. Eat about half a gram of protein for every pound of your ideal body weight daily. That works out to about 60 to 85 grams for an average-sized person.
  • Drink 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water a day to flush toxins from your body.
  • Eat whole foods -- organic and raw, if possible.
  • Choose healthy fats. Olive oil, avocado, and nuts are smarter choices than butter and cheese.

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

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