- Don't assume any food is low in carbohydrate - instead, read labels. Check the carb count (it's on every package) or use a carbohydrate gram counter.
This rule establishs a lifelong habit that, as you continue along with a controlled-carb diet, will be invaluable to you. You're expected to make it a habit to read labels and take responsibility for your food choices at the start of a low-carb diet and as you continue along and lose weight.
Once firmly rooted as a part of your food selection process, reading labels makes you a smart and savvy shopper - with an ability to quickly identify packaged foods that are not your best bets nutritionally.
While the first couple weeks has an underlying encouragement to limit foods to those which are fresh, it is possible to include a wide variety of prepared and/or packaged foods, thus the potential to derail success if you're not careful with your choices. So, in the first couple of weeks this rule is invaluable anytime you're including packaged processed foods in your menus.
The reality is that most people will include some packaged foods, whether salad dressings or prepared foods, from the start; so making it a habit to read labels reinforces the requirement that one take responsibility for what they eat.
Over time, reading labels helps to develop a keen eye while enabling one to make good choices among the packaged foods they include in their day-to-day menus. As more and more variety is added to a low-carb diet, it is critically important to be in the habit of reading nutrition labels - not only for carbohydrate content, but to understand ingredients used since differing brands of same-type items varying greatly not only in carbohydrate content, but ingredients used in the preparation of the packaged or prepared food.