A 30-day no-starch diet may reveal the answers you are looking for to lose weight. Are you feeling sluggish? Do you want to lose weight but can’t find the right program? Perhaps you’re eating ingredients that work against your weight loss.
The 30-day no-starch diet will help you try something that is a combination of old and new. It has long been claimed that this concept will help people lose weight. However, you should know the rules first, so let’s get to the facts to help you start.
What Can You Eat on a No-Starch Diet?
- Non-starchy vegetables such as cruciferous, summer squash, and leafy greens
- Lean protein from beef, chicken, lamb, pork, eggs, and fish
- Healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado
At the same time, one of the main rules of the no-starch diet is to eat when you feel hungry and stop when you feel full (8). The lean protein and healthy fats will help you stay full.
No-Starch Diet Explained
The 30-day no-starch diet is a stricter way of losing weight and it’s best to understand the benefits and rules before you try it.
Can You Survive Without Starch?
Medical News Today describes starch as a complex carbohydrate (13). It provides your body with glucose for cellular energy and gives you minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Eating a healthy amount isn’t bad for most people. However, the Mayo Clinic says that consuming limited carbs is a strategy for weight loss that may also reduce the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome (6).
Most healthy people can survive without starch for a while, but it’s a good idea to consult your healthcare provider to make sure it is safe for you. Similarly, a registered dietitian can help you make sure you still get all the nutrients you need and recommend supplements if necessary. Medicine Net also suggests eating high-fiber foods on a low-carb diet or taking a supplement to ensure you get enough dietary fiber (1).
What Happens if You Eat No Starch?
The Mayo Clinic says that severely limiting carbs may cause ketosis, where your body breaks fat into ketones for energy (6). There are potential pros and cons to ketosis. For example, it can cause bad breath and fatigue, but it is believed to help burn fat.
The Mayo Clinic suggests that low-carb diets may help you lose more weight than low-fat diets in the short-term, but not in the long-term (6). However, for heart health, it is always good to limit saturated fats while eating lean protein and a few complex carbs from vegetables on a no-starch diet.
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Will I Lose Weight if I Don’t Eat Starch?
No-starch diet meals are part of a strict low-carb routine to help you lose weight. Some research has suggested that very low-carb diets can produce slightly greater weight loss than low-fat diets, but over a longer time frame, the difference between the two disappears (2). You are most likely to lose weight on a diet you can stick to.
No Sugar, No Starch Diet Food List
The meal plans help you eat no starch over the desired time. Here is a list of foods you can eat during a no-starch meal plan:
Foods You Should Eat Daily
The foods you should eat daily include non-starchy vegetables and salad greens (7):
- Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, okra, onions, peppers, sprouts, peas, tomatoes, rhubarb, and zucchini.
- Salad Greens: Arugula, bok choy, cabbage, greens, kale, lettuce, parsley, radishes, and watercress.
- Meat: beef, lamb, pork, and veal
- Poultry: Chicken, duck, and turkey
- Seafood: Bass, crab, salmon, scallops, shrimp, trout, and tuna,
- Eggs: whole eggs
Fats and Dairy
- Homemade olive oil and vinegar salad dressing
- Olive oil and other vegetable oils
- Butter and cheese (in moderation)
- Condiments such as salad dressings, mayonnaise, and sour cream (in moderation)
Foods to Limit or Avoid
- Limit or avoid simple carbs such as bread, grains, flour, and pasta
- Limit starchy vegetables such as carrots, corn, potatoes, and beans
- Limit tea and coffee to 2 cups daily and drink plenty of mineral or spring water
- Avoid alcoholic beverages or only drink low-carb alcohol
- Avoid or limit high-carb ingredients such as sugar, honey, whole milk, skimmed milk, yogurt, condiments, relishes, and fat-free/diet products
How You’re Allowed to Prepare No-Starch Foods
No-starch foods require proper preparation if you are to avoid starchy pitfalls. The best ways of preparing no-starch food are to bake, broil, fry, microwave, roast, sautee, and stir-fry the recipes (7). Never use batter, crumbs, or flour!
How to Read Labels
You should read the labels on food and medicine bottles to help you stick to a no-starch diet plan. Check the serving size and total carb count and calculate the net carbs by subtracting the fiber count. For example, if the total carbs are eight and the fiber is three, this means the net carbs are five.
In addition, you should watch out for carbs under different names, including (7):
- Cane juice
- High-fructose corn syrup
No-Starch Diet Meal Plans
The no-starch diet meal plans will include 7, 14, and 30-day options to inspire you with meal ideas. Each program has different requirements to suit your needs.
Simple 7-Day Low-Carb Meal Plan
A low-carb diet plan doesn’t mean you must eat zero carbs. Some versions of the diet include specific net carb goals, whereas others simply cut out most starchy foods and don’t worry about counting grams. The meal ideas meet the requirements for a moderately low-carb diet or come close and are courtesy of Eating Well (3).
- Breakfast: 1 serving of 2-ingredient banana pancakes, 1 tsp. Splenda, and ½ cup blueberries
- Snack: 1 oz. cheddar cheese
- Lunch: 1 serving of soy-lime beef and cabbage salad and 1 medium orange
- Snack: 1 medium apple
- Dinner: 1 serving of hummus-crusted chicken and 1 serving of balsamic and parmesan broccoli
Daily Macros: 1,206 calories, 123 g carbs, 48 g fat, 81 g protein, and 22 g fiber (3)
- Breakfast: 1 serving of easy-loaded baked omelet muffins and 1 medium orange
- Snack: 1 cup of blackberries
- Lunch: 1 serving of white bean and vegetable salad
- Snack: 1 medium apple
- Dinner: 1 serving of steak, kimchi, and cauliflower rice bowls
Daily Macros: 1,204 calories, 109 g carbs, 63 g fat, 60 g protein, and 35 g fiber (3)
- Breakfast: 1 serving low-carb bacon and broccoli egg burrito
- Snack: 1 medium orange
- Lunch: 1 serving chipotle-cheddar broiled avocado, 2 cups mixed greens, and 2 tbsp. homemade dressing
- Snack: ½ cup raspberries
- Dinner: 1 serving shrimp scampi zoodles, a 3” slice of whole baguette, 1 tbsp. olive oil
Daily Macros: 1,201 calories, 94 g carbs, 71 g fat, 56 g protein, and 23 g fiber (3)
- Breakfast: 1 cup of raspberries, ½ cup of low-carb Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut, and 1 tbsp. slivered almonds
- Snack: 1 whole egg with a pinch of salt and pepper
- Lunch: 1 serving of spicy slaw bowls with shrimp and edamame
- Snack: 1 medium pear
- Dinner: 1 serving cherry chicken lettuce wraps and 10 seeded crackers
Daily Macros: 1,180 calories, 97 g carbs, 54 g fat, 82 g protein, and 29 g fiber (3)
- Breakfast: 1 serving of low-carb blueberry muffins and 1 cup of raspberries
- Snack: 1 oz. cheddar cheese
- Lunch: 1 serving of vegan butternut squash soup and a 3” slice of whole baguette
- Snack: 2 whole eggs with a pinch of salt & pepper
- Dinner: 1 serving of taco-stuffed avocados
Daily Macros: 1225 calories, 100 g carbs, 75 g fat, 50 g protein, and 25 g fiber (3)
- Breakfast: 1 serving of egg-in-a-hole peppers with avocado salsa
- Snack: 1 cup of raspberries, 1 tsp. chia seeds, and ⅓ cup low-carb Greek yogurt
- Lunch: 1 serving broiled ginger-lime chicken and 1 serving tequila guacamole
- Snack: 1 medium orange
- Dinner: 1 serving of slow-cooker vegetable soup and a 3” slice of whole baguette
Daily Macros: 1,200 calories, 125 g carbs, 54 g fat, 66 g protein, and 33 g fiber (3)
- Breakfast: 1 serving low-carb blueberry muffins and ¾ cup raspberries
- Snack: 1 medium orange
- Lunch: 1 serving of vegan burrito bowls with cauliflower rice
- Snack: 2 plums
- Dinner: 1 serving of pork chops with garlicky broccoli
Daily Macros: 1,215 calories, 92 g carbs, 73 g fat, 59 g protein, and 26 g fiber (3)
30-Day Low-Carb Meal Plan
Our 30-day no-starch diet meal plan also adopts a low-carb approach to keep your energy up while losing weight. Doing this for 30 days may be tricky, so let’s increase the suggested five grams of effective carbs per meal to help you get through 30 days (8). Instead, you’ll have up to 15 grams of carbs per meal as your maximum allowance.
The recipe ideas to use over the next 30 days are courtesy of Taste of Home, Skinny Ms., and Eating Well (11, 10, and 3). You’ll find five recipes each for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to help you experience a little variety over 30 days.
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Low-carb blueberry muffins
Macros: 12 servings, 204 calories, 15 g carbs, 15 g fat, 6 g protein, and 3 g fiber (3)
2-ingredient banana pancakes
Macros: 2 servings, 124 calories, 14 g carbs, 5 g fat, 7 g protein, and 2 g fiber (3)
Easy-loaded baked omelet muffins
Macros: 6 servings, 212 calories, 5 g carbs, 15 g fat, 16 g protein, and 1 g fiber (3)
5-ingredient baked egg mushrooms
Macros: 4 servings, 122 calories, 1 g carbs, 10 g fat, 7 g protein, and 0 g fiber (10)
3-ingredient parmesan kale chips
Macros: 6 servings, 73 calories, 3 g carbs, 5 g fat, 5 g protein, and 1 g fiber (10)
Thai chicken lettuce cups
Macros: 8 servings, 120 calories, 4.1 g carbs, 6.4 g fat, 11.9 g protein, and 1.1 g fiber (10)
Cauliflower mac and cheese
Macros: 8 servings, 247 calories, 12 g carbs, 17 g fat, 13 g protein, and 2 g fiber (3)
Chicken satay bowls with spicy peanut sauce
Macros: 4 servings, 351 calories, 14 g carbs, 20 g fat, 28 g protein, and 5 g fiber (3)
Macros: 4 servings, 214 calories, 7 g carbs, 8 g fat, 28 g protein, and 1 g fiber (11)
Cod and asparagus bake
Macros: 4 servings, 141 calories, 6 g carbs, 3 g fat, 23 g protein, and 2 g fiber (11)
Lone Star pot roast
Macros: 8 servings, 352 calories, 8 g carbs, 20 g fat, 34 g protein, and 1 g fiber (11)
Macros: 4 servings, 336 calories, 6 g carbs, 18 g fat, 36 g protein, and 2 g fiber (11)
Raw spiralized zucchini noodles with tomatoes and pesto
Macros: 4 servings, 148 calories, 9 g carbs, 12 g fat, 4 g protein, and 3 g fiber (10)
Macros: 4 servings, 293 calories, 11 g carbs, 20 g fat, 23 g protein, and 7 g fiber (3)
Paprika chicken thighs with Brussels sprouts
Macros: 4 servings, 453 calories, 14 g carbs, 25 g fat, 44 g protein, and 5 g fiber (3)
Change your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners throughout your weeks, matching lower-carb meals with higher-carb meals to ensure you don’t eat too many carbs each day. Leftovers can also be eaten the next day if you don’t mind eating the same thing again.
However, snacks are missing, so let’s take a look at snack carbs for the 30-day plan. You can use the snack ideas from the 7-day plan or the recommended snacks for the no-starch diet, which include (7):
- Pork rinds/skins
- Pepperoni slices
- Deviled eggs
- Hard-boiled eggs
You can also use your recommended vegetables or salad greens as snacks.
No Sugar, No Starch Diet Meal Plan
A no-carb diet plan for 2 weeks will help you cut out starch as much as possible. Here are 10 meal ideas that contain less than the recommended five grams of effective carbs per serving (8). Use the recipes on different days or eat multiple recipes on the same day to ensure you consume five grams of carbs or less.
These meal ideas are pretty low on fiber, so you may want to add extra vegetables as snacks between meals and/or use a fiber supplement. These ultra-low-carb recipe ideas are courtesy of Taste Of Home (11).
California burger wraps
Macros: 2 wraps, 252 calories, 5 g carbs, 15 g fat, 24 g protein, and 2 g fiber (11)
Salmon with creamy dill sauce
Macros: 6 servings, 418 calories, 3 g carbs, 33 g fat, 26 g protein, and 0 g fiber (11)
Turkey club roulades
Macros: 8 servings, 224 calories, 2 g carbs, 11 g fat, 25 g protein, and 0 g fiber (11)
Crab-topped tomato slices
Macros: 4 servings, 325 calories, 3 g carbs, 27 g fat, 20 g protein, and 1 g fiber (11)
Blue cheese pork medallions
Macros: 4 servings, 317 calories, 1 g carbs, 23 g fat, 25 g protein, and 0 g fiber (11)
Filipino chicken adobo
Macros: 6 servings, 234 calories, 2 g carbs, 15 g fat, 22 g protein, and 0 g fiber (11)
Cheesy smothered mushroom chicken
Macros: 4 servings, 363 calories, 3 g carbs, 21 g fat, 40 g protein, and 1 g fiber (11)
Chicken with citrus chimichurri sauce
Macros: 4 servings, 427 calories, 1 g carbs, 31 g fat, 35 g protein, and 0 g fiber (11)
Pepper-stuffed pork tenderloin
Macros: 8 servings, 201 calories, 5 g carbs, 8 g fat, 26 g protein, and 2 g fiber (11)
Caesar chicken with feta
Macros: 4 servings, 262 calories, 2 g carbs, 16 g fat, 26 g protein, and 1 g fiber (11)
For more anti-starch information:
What happens to your body when you cut out starch?
Cutting out starch restricts the number of carbs you consume for energy. The Mayo Clinic suggests that you enter a state of ketosis when you limit your carbs to the extreme (6). Your body stops burning glucose and turns fat into ketones to burn for energy.
What happens if I eat no carbs for 2 weeks?
WebMD says removing carbs will deplete the glycogen stores in your muscles before you enter the ketosis state (12). Your body will process glycogen for some time before you start ketosis, which transforms body fat into ketones for energy production.
What are the first signs of ketosis?
Medical News Today suggests that increased ketones make your breath and urine smell different (9). You may notice weight loss and unusual thirst, and you may also experience muscle cramps or headaches. Fatigue, sleep changes, and digestive issues may arise during the immediate ketosis switch.
How much weight will I lose if I don’t eat carbs for a week?
You may lose weight if you cut your carb intake to 50 grams or less per day (4). However, how much you lose is dependent on what else you eat, as carbs are not the only energy source. The Mayo Clinic says that you should eat 500-750 fewer calories each day to lose 1-1.5 pounds weekly (6). You may lose more during the first week due to water weight (12).
The Bottom Line
A 30-day no-starch diet can be uniquely tailored to suit your needs. Cut out as much starch as you want to, but you should consult your healthcare provider and ensure you are still getting all the other nutrients your body requires. You can then choose your meal plan or follow recipes from different meal plans to cut starch for as long as you desire.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 15 Foods High in Fiber But Low in Carbs to Help Weight Loss (2022, medicinenet.com)
- Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss (n.d., hsph.harvard.edu)
- Eating Well (n.d., eatingwell.com)
- How Many Carbs Should You Eat Per Day to Lose Weight? (2023, healthline.com)
- Interactive Nutrition Facts Label – Total Carbohydrate (n.d., accessdata.fda.gov)
- Low-Carb Diet: Can It Help You Lose Weight? (2022, mayoclinic.org)
- Low-Sugar and Low-Starch Diet (n.d., advocatehealth.com)
- “No Sugar, No Starch” Diet: Getting Started – The Nutrition Equation (n.d., nutritionequation.org)
- Signs of Ketosis: How to Tell if the Ketogenic Diet Is Working (2023, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Skinny Ms. (n.d., skinnyms.com)
- Taste of Home (n.d., tasteofhome.com)
- What Happens When You Stop Eating Carbs? (2023, webmd.com)
- What Is Starch? Types, Benefits, and More (2022, medicalnewstoday.com)