Skip to main content
RYU-ShopNow

This blog contains affiliate links/ads. This means that if you click on one and make a purchase I will earn a small commission for referring you. It costs you no more. Thank you for your continued support of FitViews!
xoxo, Kerri O.


The Low Carb Protein-Centric Diet #LCPC

Please note, I am not an accredited medical or fitness professional. Always check with your qualified medical or fitness professional before embarking on a new diet or fitness routine.
The Low Carb Protein-Centric Diet #LCPC aka the best plan for fat loss


What is LCPC? aka The Low Carb Protein-Centric Diet


So far on my FitViews Podcast Getting Started Series we’ve talked about several food plans that I think could be helpful for most people. Keto, Whole30, and Paleo. All of these are tools I have used in the past and on my journey in figuring out what works best for me. In Episode 7 I shared where I ended up in that journey aka, how I currently eat. How I’ve put things together in a way that I think is truly powerful for those seeking body composition changes. Especially fat loss.

I’m calling it Low Carb Protein-centric Eating. I have no idea if anyone else calls something that or if I just made that up, but it’s the best description I could come up with...and I needed a title. 


This way of eating is really nothing new, and I don’t think I made it up. Ketogains has a similar approach. I’ve heard Robb Wolf and his wife Nikki talk a lot about upping your protein if you’re struggling with body composition goals on their podcast Healthy Rebellion. Atkins is more low carb, higher protein. There are books out there like Protein Power (which I haven’t read, but I’ve heard it’s a similar approach). And of course Dr. Garbrielle Lyons has similar views. All of those are great resources to check out. I've simply taken bits of this and pieces of that and structured a plan that I think can be truly powerful for reaching our fat loss goals. 

A little back-story, I’ve struggled with my weight most of my adult life. Shortly after high school, I tried low fat and running a lot. I really didn’t have any grasp of calories back then. Everyone demonized fat and glorified aerobic workouts, so I did the heck out of those two things and ya, just kind of felt like crap. Tired, major afternoon energy slumps, and I mean I was young! It was ridiculous. I never lost much weight and was constantly craving junk.

The first successful attempt I made at getting to a healthy weight was Atkins. I was 24. After my previous failed attempts, it was so easy I was kind of stunned. I wasn’t starving and the weight came off pretty quickly. However, as soon as I got out of the 20 grams of carbs you get in the Induction phase, the weight loss ground to a halt. So I just stayed at 20 grams of carbs. Then, I hovered around my happy weight and started to think that I could “eat regular foods again”...cue downward spiral and weight gain. And repeat. Especially during my pregnancies. Around and around I went. But no matter what plan I tried or how far off course I got, I always went back to low carb. But I always thought it was just the carbs that mattered. I didn’t really think about the protein.

Then, post-baby number 4 I just couldn’t get traction. Paleo alone wasn’t helping, I was struggling with binge urges again, something that had been gone for several years since going Paleo. I was flirting with sugar and high carb foods again. I was a mess.

 In 2017 I went keto because of other health issues and had some success with fat loss. Until I didn’t and got stalled. I was doing a 70 to 80% fat ratio on keto. Cognitively I feel amazing at those higher fat levels, but I just don’t see the success with body composition goals at those macros. I dug in and did more research and through that, and trial and error for several years since I have realized that yes, carbs matter, for several reasons, but when it comes to making body composition changes what likely matters most is the protein. Yes, high fat can be great for so many goals, but when it comes to body composition goals I really think this Low Carb Protein-centric approach is the best approach.

I’ll give you an example why I think that. I did 75 Hard at the beginning of 2020. I did strict keto, 20 grams TOTAL carbs, and 1650 calories for my diet parameters. Again, my macros were around 75% fat. My workouts were cardio and weight training with dumbbells. I saw tons of changes and loved the experience, but on the scale I only lost 6 pounds. That was super frustrating after 75 grueling days. Fast forward to this week. I’m doing 75 Hard again with my new Low Carb Protein-centric approach and barbell training with cardio and I lost 6 pounds in the first 7 days.

Now, I have lowered my calories to 1500, but I just don't think that 150 calories equates to that big of a difference. 6 pounds in 75 days compared to 6 pounds in 7 days?  I truly think it’s the higher protein and barbell training that make all the difference. 


OK, so what is Low Carb Protein-centric eating? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like: you keep your carbs low and your main focus is protein.

Getting Started with Low Carb Protein-centric Eating

This is how I break it down:
  • First of all, eat clean, Paleo-style food choices. Ditch the grains, soy, sugar, and legumes. Focus on quality proteins, eggs, leafy greens and low carb veggies. Likely, you can sneak some berries in too, at least occasionally. Nuts and seeds are best left out until maintenance mode because they are so calorically dense and you don’t want them to take the place of some healthy greens or nutrient packed berries in your carb count. I’m not talking perfect, I also include things like Quest chips just to keep me sane. They DO have great protein counts. As far as dairy, do what works best for you, just watch those carbs. People really do vary on their response to dairy and especially how it affects their blood sugar and fat loss goals. Personally, I do fine with good grass-fed butter, whey protein, and half and half in my coffee. But if I try to add in things like heavy cream, sour cream, cheeses, yogurt, and kefir I have issues. Could be the total amount or something specific about those things, not sure, but after years of trial and error I have found what works and what doesn't. 
  • Second, focus on protein first. Aim for about 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight. There’s a couple of ways to figure this out. If you know your body fat percentage you can take your weight and figure out how much is fat and how much is likely lean body mass. Or you can just approximate what you think this is. Or you can do what I do and just use your goal weight. For example, my goal weight is somewhere around 150 pounds, so when I’m seeking fat loss I eat 150 grams of protein. This may be a tad high, my lean body mass may be something closer to 120 to 130 pounds. And when I’m in maintenance mode and not focusing on gaining strength, that is where I aim for my protein goals, about 120-130 grams. But 150 grams seems to be my sweet spot for fat loss. Play around with it and find your best protein target.
  • Third, eat 30 to 50 grams of protein per meal. It’s important to hit that 30 gram threshold each time you have protein for best results. So, some may aim for closer to the 50 grams, 3 meals a day, and some people will aim for the 30 grams 4 times a day. However it best breaks down for you. Now, yes it’s best to aim for real food, but I do have a protein shake a day to hit my current target of 150 grams of protein. I struggle keeping my calories and macros where I want them otherwise. Protein shakes are easy and tasty and help me hit my goals spot on. As long as it’s a clean protein powder, I don’t think they’re a big deal. I just mix 2 scoops of protein powder with a blender bottle full of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze. Usually post workout. My favorite protein powder is this one.
  • Fourth, find your carb sweet spot. Start at 100 grams of total daily carbohydrate and work your way down. I recommend testing your fasting blood sugar until it’s under 93 most days. That’s your carb sweet spot. You can get a cheap glucose meter at Walmart or anywhere. You don’t need a prescription. It’s really no big deal and I think fasting blood sugar is one of the most important metrics you can watch for good health. Now, I’m at 20-30 grams of TOTAL carbs a day, and because of other health reasons I keep my fasting blood sugar below 89. Wherever you wind up for your carb target, I really believe you want to make sure and get tons of leafy greens and veggies as your main carb sources to keep your body from getting too acidic. That’s been my experience anyway. I also sometimes add liquid chlorophyll to my water for this reason. Could be in my head, but I feel like it helps.
  • Then last, just fill in with healthy fats to reach your daily caloric requirements. Just a note on calorie goals. I definitely recommend starting at what you think are your maintenance calories, the level at which you neither gain nor lose weight. Then move down slowly as needed.  There's really no need to tank your calories on this plan. Work your way down to a sensible level that has you losing fat.
You may need to play around with it for a bit, but once I got all of those numbers right for me I was astounded how powerful this approach can be. 


So, for an example, my day will look like this:

I workout first thing, after coffee or a preworkout of course (I use Keto Perform from: https://www.pntrac.com/t/3-274263-86806-249382 you can use code FITVIEWS for 20% OFF), then afterward my workout I have my protein shake with two scoops of whey protein (I should add a handful of berries, but often don't. just keeping it real). That’s often basically breakfast. Sometimes I’ll get fancy and do a protein smoothie with some frozen spinach or strawberries or some protein pancakes. If I'm not lifting I'll often have some chicken or turkey sausage and eggs with some berries or greens. I'm generally aiming for 40 to 50 grams of protein here.

For lunch I’ll aim for around 50 grams of protein. Maybe some egg salad and Quest chips or turkey burgers with lettuce wraps. Tuna salad. Things like that.

For dinner again I’ll aim for around 50 grams of protein. Maybe some steak and salad, or I’ve been loving elk burgers and zucchini on the grill lately. Some chicken and swiss chard. Meat and veggies, you get the idea.

I’m in no way perfect and I really focus mostly on hitting that protein target. Confession: I’ve been too lazy to make myself lunch and just had two bags of Quest chips and called it good. But I’m trying to get better at upping my greens. I think I’ve mentioned Quest chips a 100 times in this post. No, they’re not a sponsor, but I’ve added my Amazon affiliate links to my favorite flavors where I have mentioned them. I have them on my Amazon Subscribe and Save. I may or may not have a problem…anyway

As with any low carb approach there may be an adjustment period, around a week, depending on what your diet looked like before. Just drink plenty of water and make sure your electrolytes are in balance. I of course love LMNT, but however you take in your electrolytes just make sure it’s not full of sugar or  junky artificial sweeteners. Read your labels and watch those carb counts. Also, you may want to take it easy on your workouts the first week or two as you adjust to this new way of eating.


Now, the other part of this is that you really need to be strength training. It’s like Dr Gabrielle Lyons has said, “we’re not overfat, we’re under-muscled” and that truly is what this approach is all about. It’s about optimal body composition. It’s about leveraging protein and strength building to reach our goals. To maximize this approach you’ll want to lift heavy 3 to 4 times a week focusing on progressive overload. Meaning you are progressively going up in weight for each lift. I would highly recommend barbell training for the best results here. Go back and check out Episode 3 of the podcast or the books Starting Strength or The Barbell Prescription (for over 40) for more info on strength training.

Just to recap: 
  1. make clean paleo foods your main focus
  2. set your protein goal at 1 gram per pound of lean body weight
  3. eat 30 to 50 grams of protein at a time, find your carb sweet spot
  4. then fill in the rest of your caloric requirements with healthy fats 
  5. and of course, lift some heavy stuff. Also, definitely get out and get some walks in the sunshine

Easy peasy, right?

Let me know how it goes if you try it!

Comments

Fan Favorites

Hype or Help: Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Final Program Review

Disclaimer: I received  Jillian Michaels Body Revolution for review purposes. As always opinions are 100% honest and my own. After three long months of testing this program I'm finally down to the review! I've had so many questions, and I hope to answer them all here. So, is it hype or help ? Have a seat, let's talk about that... What you will need for these workouts: A set of light, medium, and heavy hand weights to suit your ability level. What's Included with Jillian Michaels Body Revolution : 15 Workout DVDs Resistance Cable Fitness Guide Book Fat Burning Meal Plan 7 Day Kick-Start Your Metabolism Plan 90 Day Journal Bookmark What's in the box? My unboxing video if you want to see it all: The Body Revolution Diet Plan I've had a lot of questions on what exactly the diet plan for Body Revolution is. Let me break it down... The diet for this program is roughly 1200 calories a day and all of the recipes come from J

30 Easy Prep and Pack Whole30 Lunch Recipes

The Whole30 Program is amazing. I highly recommend it. Every time I've done a Whole 30 I have felt AMAZING by the end. It's a very empowering experience. It is not however an easy one. Mostly because the food prep can take much more time if you're used to grab and go options. A little planning ahead and you can definitely make it through the 30 days. When it comes to Whole30 lunches, 3 things worked best for me: Quick and easy salads. Prepping food on Sunday. Cooking too much at dinner and eating leftovers for lunch the next day. I thought I'd share 30 of the awesome Whole30 lunch recipes I've found from my favorite bloggers (and a few from me!). I've included all three options I listed above. Some quick and easy salads, some to prep an entire recipe on the weekend and then portion them for lunches that week, and some to be cooked for dinner and the leftovers packed for lunch the next day. Play around and see what works best for you. This list

Paleo Energy Bar Recipe

I'm always playing around with easy snack recipes for my paleo kiddos. This Paleo Energy Bar Recipe in many incarnations is our go-to! It takes no time at all to whip a batch up and the kids love them. They're not only paleo, but also vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, and dairy-free. Plus, I mean... there's chocolate. ;) Just 4 ingredients! Paleo Energy Bars Ingredients 1 cup Whole Natural Almonds 12 to 14 Organic Medjool Dates , de-pitted 1/2 of a Alter Eco Chocolate Dark Blackout 85% 1/4 cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds Directions Pulse the almonds in food processor until you get small bits, but not paste. Empty into mixing bowl. Do the same with the dark chocolate. Process the dates in the food processor until smooth. They will tend to come together in a ball. Add to nut/chocolate mixture. Add the pumpkin seeds whole. Line a 9 x 9 pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Mix the ingredients in the bowl. I usually just smoosh all of the

Paleo Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burgers

Since going Paleo my family has fallen even more in love with our grill. Paleo and grilling just work well together. The past couple of years I've even been stepping outside my grilling comfort zone more and more. Grilling things I'd never thought to have grilled before and trying new flavor combinations. I have to say I'm pretty thrilled with the results of most of my flavor experiments.  In the past I'd never have thought to grill fruit, but it's amazing. Grilling fruit and adding it to traditionally savory dishes? Brilliant. Oh yes, and? New rule: every burger recipe for the rest of forever must contain grilled pineapple. OK, maybe more of a guideline. It's a seriously delicious combination though. This Smoky Grilled Pineapple Burger is always a crowd-pleaser at my house. It's not only Paleo, but Whole30, glutenfree, lower carb, and clean eating friendly. I promise you won't miss the bun!  paleo, grilled pineapple burger, smoky

KETO Cocktails: The Lemon Drop

I love a good glass of red wine now and then, I mean it's practically a health food, right? ;) But sometimes I just want a cocktail. I'm all for moderation and having a drink now and then, but I'm just not down with the calorie, carb, and sugar counts of some of my favorites. Seriously, have you ever looked them up? Eek. So, I've set to work at converting my favorite cocktail recipes to be more keto diet friendly! The first cocktail recipe I'm tackling is the keto lemon drop . I used to love these, but haven't had one in years because of the sugar in them. In my early twenties I had a friend who used to make them for me all the time. We would have a shaker full of these, a good dinner, and a chick flick on a weeknight , it was kind of bliss. Her recipe called for so. much. SUGAR though! Looking back I think she may have used a wee bit more sugar than most, but they were really good. I think my keto-ized recipe comes pretty dang close to those del

KETO Hot Cocoa Pancakes

OK, I know I've been on quite the low carb pancake tangent lately, but THESE! Seriously, these are yummtastic. Yummazing? Ya, they're really good. They just might be my favorite recipe I've ever done. Ever. OK, that might be my paleo apple crisp recipe , but that's not low carb...ooo, I wonder if I could tweak that low carb... That would be brilliant! You know, bloggers area always talking seo this and seo that (seo stands for search engine optimization if you're not a blogger) and I'm just over here yammering. I'm pretty sure when google's spider crawlers (anyone shiver at that word picture? eesh) get to FitViews they just think, "Yeesh, move along. Nothing to see here." Ha ha ha! Anyway, pancakes. KETO  Hot Cocoa Low Carb Pancakes no less. So good.  As I've mentioned before I'm back to  low carb  (keto actually)  and developing new recipes to make it easier to stick with.  I find I just plain feel great when I eat keto

Jillian Michaels BodyShred Full Review

I was sent the Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED program and supplements for review purposes.In this BodyShred review, as always, opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own. I have to say my two months of BodyShred flew by! It seems like I just started yesterday. Ah, time flies while you're having fun. Right? OK, in this full review post, I hope to give you a good overview of exactly what the BodyShred program is as well as my thoughts and opinions on the program. So, is Jillian Michaels BodyShred hype or help? Let's chat... Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED is Jillian's latest total-package fitness program. This set includes: What is included in the BodyShred program? What's in the box: BodyShred Fitness Guide BodyShred Meal Plan BodyShred Rotational Calendar BodyShred "Let Them See You Sweat" Workout Towel DVDs-      8 - Shred Style Circuit Workouts        1. Launch        2. Rise        3. Amplify        4. Escalate        5. C

Paleo Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer Recipe

It's just not the holidays for me without a Starbucks peppermint mocha (or white chocolate peppermint mocha, mmm). I generally splurge once or twice during the holiday season with the real thing. Since going keto paleo, however, I'm not sure if I will. Sometimes the sugar just isn't worth it! Problem is I like them, miss them, and would really enjoy them all season long! So..... I decided I wanted to tackle the peppermint mocha and come up with Paleo-friendly version . With this simple recipe, I can have a peppermint mocha anytime. Not only is this recipe Paleo, but it's also Whole30, gluten-free, vegan, primal, and 100% junk-free. Paleo Peppermint Mocha Recipe Ingredients: 1 can Organic Canned Coconut Milk (Regular, NOT light. Seriously, ew.) 1/3 cup Organic Cocoa Powder 2 to 3 Tablespoons Organic Grade B Maple Syrup  (Optional, leave out for keto or Whole30.) 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Organic Peppermint Extract (Depending how pepperminty you like

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution: My Final Results

I decided to separate my final results and final review of Jillian Michaels Body Revolution into two posts. Otherwise it would equal one really really long post. My final review should be up tomorrow. Today, my final results!

Review: Jillian Michaels Killer Buns & Thighs

With her latest offering in the fitness DVD realm-  Jillian Michaels: Killer Buns and Thighs - Jillian Michaels delivers again in typical Jillian style . To some, that will be the problem.  I hear this less since she left the Biggest Loser, but I still hear it.   It seems most people either love her attitude or can't stand it, with few in between.  But if you are a Jillian fan like me (or a can tolerate Jillian for a great workout type) this is an intense sweat-fest of a DVD that I highly recommend.  From the packaging: Do the saddlebags on your legs make you insane? Do you loathe wearing shorts because of saggy knees or flabby thighs? Have you avoided skinny jeans like the plague? Or do you just want to go from good shape to great shape and rock a bikini with the best of them? Well no matter what point you are starting from, if you want to get your lower body in sick, crazy, amazing shape, Jillian Michaels: Killer Buns & Thighs promises to deliver with three f