Odds are, a lot of people in Billings are trying the "low carb lifestyle" as part of their 2017 weight loss goals.  If you're giving this a shot, here are a few things you should know.  Before I get into this, know that I make no claims of being a doctor, fitness pro (hahah.. have you seen me?), or otherwise qualified to give you advice about your health.  I just wanted to share some things that I have learned that might make things a little easier.

I've still got about 50 lbs to lose before I get to where I need to be, but I know this lifestyle will get me there. The biggest thing I can tell you is this: make it a lifestyle change; not a "diet".  This is where I have failed in the past.  You can cut out carbs for several weeks and see some amazing results.  The problem is, when you decide you're going back to your old ways, you're going to balloon right back up.  You'll feel like you've been deprived of everything, even if you've only stuck with it for a few weeks.

Here in Billings, the two places I seem to rely on most for Low Carb options while I'm out and about and need some convenience food are Jimmy Johns and Hardee's, both of which offer their sandwiches available as lettuce wraps.  I'm sure there are more and I'm hoping I get some comments giving me some ideas, but I work downtown and both of these are convenient options for me.  One is in fact, Freaky Fast.

As for beverages, the thing for the low carbers out there is Zevia soda. I get this stuff at Albertson's for about 5 bucks a six pack.  It has no sugar, caffeine, artificial sweeteners or colors.  Sounds pretty terrible I know, but the grape soda and cream soda take care of my soda cravings without the chemical $h*t storm you get with diet sodas.

For your snacking fetish, I'd recommend checking out Blue Diamond flavored almonds (not the honey roasted of course).  Their Salt and Vinegar and Sriracha almonds are my sub for potato chips and you can find them at just about every grocery store in town.

One final note out there for the pasta lovers.  Google "Miracle Noodles".  They are zero calorie, zero carb (and really, zero flavor) noodles. If you just ate at Ciao Mambo last night and had some Miracle Noodles today, you probably wouldn't be too impressed, but if you haven't had any pasta in a couple of weeks, you'll think they're the greatest thing ever.  They put Mac 'n Cheese back in your life.  Personally, I use them to make Pad Thai.  These noodles plus whatever meat you want, peanut butter, soy sauce, Splenda, Sriracha...good stuff.  If anybody knows where to get them locally, give a shout out in the comments.  Otherwise, you can get them from Amazon.

Good luck in 2017!