The reason you don't really need low carb meal plans, is for the same reason most diets are short-lived and have limited long-term benefit. Diets are unnatural, contrived and restrictive. In order to sustain good eating habits that will allow you to lose excess weight and maintain it over the long term, you must change your behaviors permanently. Creating an obstacle course in the middle of your life is not conducive to success.
In addition, 'diets' do not allow you to live your life without being obsessed with counting things and you are not being allowed to enjoy life as it 'flows'. We might be able to do this for a short period, if we are very determined, but in the long run, 'diets' take on a life of their own, replacing yours! Therefore, planning meals should be easy, if you just keep some key principals in mind.
It would be helpful to have a low-carb cook book for preparing quick meals on the fly. It is rather tedious to have to plan a meal everyday and it can be complicated to be sure you have all of the necessary ingredients for a dish. So if nothing else, it would help you shop. However, remember, keep it natural so it will blend in with your real life and that of your family.
I feel that companies that sell low carb meal plans, or any other weight loss diet plans, are expensive and unnecessary. Especially if you have a 'club' or whatever you have to participate in, newsletters, websites, logs, etc., they also can take up an excessive amount of time and take on a life of their own. However, some need this group support in order to maintain their will power and determination. For this reason they may be sustainable for a short period. The problem is if the person feels overwhelmed. Counting can actually become an obsession and is one of the behaviors that compulsive obsessive disorder includes. Don't get in the habit, especially in conjunction with low self-esteem.
Low carb meal plans, therefore, in order to be sustainable, should be natural and include all of the traditional foods that you and your family are used to. If these include an excessive amount of high carb foods, then of course those should be strictly curtailed or even omitted as a rule. So in this case, you reduce the portions of these foods. In order for this not to be more unpleasant than it needs to be, you need to substitute these elements for others which are more healthful. To just remove large food groups is going to create resistance and may even promote cheating and splurging or binging.
Just keep in mind to avoid processed foods in your low carb diet and include natural, unadulterated foods. Keep in mind that while everything may have carbs, that is because carbohydrates are necessary. However, consuming your full day's recommended value, should not include much of the worst offenders, and usual suspects - sugar, starch and saturated fat laden foods in large portions. Remember we need carbohydrates for energy. We need fat to burn fat, among other things. Saturated fat is animal fat, whether it is in meat or milk, and should be severely limited; however, good fats should be promoted. Good fats are unsaturated and natural, from vegetable sources such as in nuts, olive, soy, oil.
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