9 Creative Ways to Make Your Low-Carb Diet More Fun (and Less Boring!)

Child blowing bubbles
Bored with your low-carb diet?
Here are 9 creative strategies to put the
fun back into your ketogenic plan.

If you're stumped for new food ideas to make your low-carb meals more fun and exciting, the 9 following suggestions will help you put the spark back into your ketogenic meal plan. 

A ketogenic diet won't be boring if you stop looking at it as a weight-loss diet and start using it as a permanent part of your lifestyle.

Bacon and eggs, meat, salad, and veggies – day after day sounds boring, doesn't it?

Whether you're just cutting carbohydrates or keeping tract of your calories too, eating a low-carb diet can really feel restricting if you're the only one you know eating that way. 

Low-carb rules make your healthy lifestyle feel like you're on a diet, no matter how many times you try to tell yourself it's not.

When you're staring down at another baked chicken leg or piece of fish, some mushy green beans or overcooked broccoli and a pile of lettuce, thinking about eating this way for the rest of your life can feel depressing. 

If you allow yourself to get bored with the menu, your emotions will go in search of comfort and tasty treats.

Not good, especially if you're new to this way of eating or don't feel creative in the kitchen because an up-kick in emotions almost always means an increase in emotional hunger and cravings.

Limited food choices gets boring fast, but it doesn't have to. There is no reason why you can't make your low-carb diet fun, day after day.

Boredom is rarely about the food. It's more about your attitude and perspective on life, so here are 9 creative ways to make low carb more fun and exciting.

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Is a Low-Carb Lifestyle Really Boring?

Many people do find a low-carb lifestyle boring, especially if you start to compare what's on your plate to what you used to eat.

Not everyone loves eating steaks, bacon, and burgers several times a week. You might honestly be missing that fluffy baked potato dripping with butter and sour cream or even a slice of honest-to-goodness homemade bread.


Homemade Whole Wheat Bread with Butter and Jam
I really miss being able to make homemade bread.
Gluten-free substitutes are not the same.

That's my own personal downfall.

I can take or leave the potatoes, rice, and pasta, but having to go without bread for the rest of my life? That doesn't sound like any fun at all!

I miss the convenience of whipping up a sandwich for lunch or serving up a nice hunk of cornbread with a steaming bowl of hot and spicy chili. 

I miss the smell of garlic butter melting over a slice of homemade french bread to complement the spicy aroma of a pot of Italian spaghetti sauce.

So I get it.

I really do.

Plus, life can get pretty busy when you have:
  • a full-time job
  • family responsibilities
  • kids activities
  • pets to take care of
  • multiple hobbies
Where do you ever find the time to cook?

Thankfully, cooking a low-carb meal doesn't take any more time than cooking a high-carb meal. In fact, it's often quicker because you don't have to do as much planning if you don't want to. 

The average low-carb meal consists of:
  • meat, or some other protein source like eggs or cheese
  • a nice lettuce salad with full-fat dressing
  • a cup or so of steamed or roasted low-carb vegetables
That's a quick low-carb meal that doesn't take a lot of prep, especially if you bake, broil, or saute the meat. Even those who hate to cook can quickly sear a boneless chicken breast for 5 minutes on each side and have dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes.

Several Chicken Cutlets, Seasoned, Cooking in a Non-Stick Green Skillet
Seasoned, sauteed chicken takes less than
15 minutes to go from pan to table.

Difficulties only arise when you crave variety.

Those who prefer to eat the same things day after day can just toss together a huge dinner salad, switch out the protein and other goodies, and be content. 

Dinner done.

For those who want more than a simple salad, hefty burrito bowls and taco bowls make a great substitute for salad because you can just switch out the meats and toppings to keep your meals from being so repetitive. 

With hamburger, chicken, shrimp, and pork at your fingertips, where's the time to get bored?

Why My Menus are Always Fun and Exciting

My menus and lifestyle are never boring.

I am so addicted to collecting recipes and menu ideas for that to ever happen. I love to cook and try out new things. I am more in danger of not living long enough to try out all of the recipes I've collected, and am still collecting, then I am of ever getting bored.

I realize that getting bored is a real possibility for others. 

Low-carb forum members often step forward and complain about being bored with the food. And while other members are usually gracious enough to offer fresh food ideas, boredom really isn't about the food.

Boredom is a state of consciousness.

Why Do People Get Bored?

Skeleton In a Desk Chair, Surfing the Web
Boredom is a state of consciousness that arises
when we don't feel vitally interested in what we're doing.

After a few weeks on Keto, you might find blah feelings beginning to surface as you start to miss your old life, habits, favorite comfort foods, and conveniences that aren't there anymore. 

The fire of excitement that comes when low-carb is new has faded.

I really miss the times hubby and I used to go out for pizza on my birthday or dropping by the donut shop on a late Saturday morning to indulge in soft and fluffy raised donuts, with or without the chocolate frosting.

Maybe you've started to desire something different because you're tired of the low-carb challenges, and now, you're looking for a way to get out. You want an excuse to quit.

You might also be feeling left out, alone, and deprived. If so, the mind will search for a way to get those pleasurable experiences back. 

If you used to be a gourmet cook, and you're missing all of the cakes and cookies and pies you used to make, you might also be missing the sugar rush and comfort those carby foods used to provide.

Wheat and sugar affect the pleasure centers in the brain. When you stop eating them, eating won't be as pleasurable as it was before. The reality is that carbs played a major role in your prior life, and now that the cravings and excessive hunger is gone, you might be interpreting their absence as boredom.

Many people who center their eating experience around the sense of taste lose interest in eating when their favorite foods are no longer available. Perhaps, you're going through something similar.

When things are unpleasant, we struggle to change them into what we believe they ought to be. If we can't do that, boredom often sets in because eating isn't fun anymore.

If you allow boredom to continue for any length of time, you can actually begin to turn against the object of your boredom. Those negative feels can transform into strong dislike, or even hate, for whatever you blame for your boredom.

For that reason, its essential to address the issue right away, so you don't feel tempted to abandon all of the hard work you've done so far. Here are 9 ideas to help you snap out of it:

1. Spice Up Your Low-Carb Meals by Turning Them Upside Down

Hot Wings on a bed of lettuce
Bored? Try eating dinner for breakfast!
My favorite low-carb breakfast
was leftover hot wings.

Boredom paves the way for temptation, so if you are prone to monotony, you really do need to go out of your way and seek things that will spice up your new lifestyle. One way to do that is to turn your meals upside down.

This works particularly well if you have a lot of weight to lose because it is a very freeing activity. 

There is no rule that says you have to eat breakfast foods at breakfast. 

Rather than having bacon and eggs or a protein shake in the morning, try having a pan-seared steak, thick hamburger patty, or a bowl of chili for breakfast. If it's cold outside, some piping hot soup will really warm your insides. 

For summer, think chicken salad with bacon and chopped walnuts or a cool bowl of cottage cheese with 1/2 cup blueberries mixed in. And if you really want to get daring, how about a nice slice of strawberry cheesecake for breakfast?

When I was in the weight-loss phase, I hardly ever ate breakfast foods for breakfast. While I sometimes scrambled an egg or two, or dipped hard-boiled eggs in a fake honey-mustard sauce, most of the time I ate:
  • meatballs
  • baked chicken
  • hot wings
  • leftovers
For dinner, instead of meat, salad, and veggies, why not fix yourself a tasty cheese omelet with jalapeno and onions or maybe a crustless quiche with bacon and asparagus? 

Egg scrambles are also quick and easy if you've had a busy day. You simply toss some diced cooked meat and any leftover vegetables you have into your eggs and scramble it all together. 

Mound it onto your dinner plate, top with a bit of grated cheese or sour cream, and a dab of salsa. In no time at all, you've got a terrific, filling dinner.

There's also nothing wrong with fixing yourself a protein shake or a classic plate of bacon and eggs. The idea is to do something different than you have been doing.

2. Try a Veggie You Have Never Eaten Before

Ham slices with pan-fried brussels sprouts
To keep from feeling deprived and bored,
experiment with new vegetables you've never eaten before.

If you've been down in the dumps and feeling deprived, start looking at the various low-carb options on the Atkins acceptable foods list, rather than allowing yourself to dwell on those chocolate chip cookies you've been missing. 

While the traditional Atkins Diet isn't about chug-a-lugging a quart of cream or munching down on an entire 6-oz bag of pork rinds, it does encourage you to eat more vegetables. 

The main point of a low-carb diet is to begin making healthier food choices, so take that daring step and experiment with a vegetable you have never eaten before. A low-carb diet is a total lifestyle change, and that change demands that you find new ways of eating that will keep your menus fresh and interesting. 

Try cutting a few brussels sprouts in half, and nuking them for 5 minutes with a little bit of water. Drain the accumulated liquid and top with a rich, heavenly low-carb alfredo sauce.

If you have never really been a spinach fan, a luscious low-carb spinach pie might change your mind. Costco sells gigantic Portabello mushrooms, the perfect size for stuffing, and you can't go wrong with a few jalapeno poppers to really wake up your taste buds.

3. Try Out a New Recipe or Low-Carb Food Idea at Least Once a Week 

Dr. Atkins Original Revolution Rolls from His 1972 Recipe
Dr. Atkins' Original Revolution Rolls from
His 1972 Recipe

Don't just read low-carb recipes. Take the time to actually make them. The tangy and lively Tangerine and Walnut Coleslaw posted in our Recipe Box is so good, you won't believe it is low in carbs. 

The same thing goes for the Strawberry Shortcake that is made with the Original Atkins 72 Revolution Rolls pictured above

Slow down and take the time to learn how to cook a perfect turkey, make a great low-carb salad, or create your own homemade salad dressings.

Don't hesitate to try out new things. It's okay if they don't turn out perfect. Expect some of those new recipes to fail. It happens to all of us. Dumping what you don't like into the trash isn't the end of the world, nor is it a reflection upon you or your cooking skills. 

It is simply how we learn to cook without gluten.

Learning how to cook low-carb foods is a lengthy trial-and-error process. The recipes in our archives can drastically shorten that learning curve, but keep in mind that some of the recipes were created before I was gluten free. I haven't made them, nor updated them, in a long time.

So cook and eat, cook and dump, until you stumble upon a winner. 

Then cook and eat, cook and dump, until you stumble upon another, especially if you are used to opening up a can or package and calling it dinner. 

Treat your low-carb lifestyle like a quest. Treat it like a scavenger hunt. Treat it as a challenge.

4. Dunk Your Vegetables or Meat in a Tasty Dip

Celery, Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, and Cauliflower Florets
Don't save vegetable platters just for the holidays.
Make your food artistic and attractive throughout the year!

Raw vegetable plates and tasty dips are a traditional Thanksgiving treat, but why save them just for the holidays? 

Treat yourself and your family to platters filled with tasty salami slices, assorted cheeses, pickles, olives, and a few of your favorite raw veggies.

The low-carb honey-mustard sauce I talked about above takes hard-boiled eggs or slices of ham to a whole new level, and you can really perk up that plain grilled burger by going the extra mile and creating an interesting dip for a bag of pork rinds or cheese crackers.

5. Tweak What You've Been Missing to be Low Carb

Tuna Salad, Cheese Sticks, Olives, Tomato Wedges
What are You Missing?
Don't Just Turn that Sandwich Into a Salad!

What are you missing? Sandwiches? 

Then try whipping up a clever lettuce wrap or make mini sandwiches using cucumber slices or pickles. 

Tasty almond crackers or American cheese squares you nuke in the microwave until crispy make the perfect scoop for tuna or chicken salad. 

You can even skip the crackers completely and just fill your plate with slices of ham and cheese. 

When hubby and I have been out and not able to find a safe, gluten-free lunch, we've used cheese slices for bread and put the lunch meat in between.

If you haven't experimented with the original Atkins Revolution rolls pictured above, now is the time to do that. 

Another clever idea is to cook an omelette super-thin and then use it to wrap your sandwich filling like a tortilla. You could also beat me to the punch and try a 1-minute muffin made with finely ground almond flour instead.

6. Pay a Visit to the Spice Aisle

Jars of assorted spices poured into bowls like cumin, ginger, and crushed chilies
Don't Settle for Bland Food.
Perk Up Your Low-Carb Meals with New Flavors!

It's no secret that junk food is addicting. People blame carbohydrates for their food cravings, but most of the time, it's not about the carbs. 

Food chemists are paid by manufacturers to develop food flavors and textures that are addicting. They tweak and tweak until your favorite junk food has just the right amount of sugar, fat, and salt to keep you reaching for more.

Bliss point, they call it.

And, it's a scientific fact, so don't settle for bland, boring food. Beat the food companies at their own game by swinging by the spice aisle on your next grocery trip instead.

If you are only cooking with plain salt and pepper, your menu needs a makeover. It's time to explore a whole new world of flavors. 

While some seasonings like garlic powder or onion powder do have more carbs than you'd expect, 1/2 teaspoon of McCormick's Grill Mates, Montreal Steak Seasoning has less than 1 carb.

7. Garnish with Color

Diet Cranberry Cocktail with a Lemon Slice and Cherry
Diet Cranberry Cocktail garnished
with lemon slice and a cherry

A few fresh springs of bright green basil, two or three olives in the center of that dinner salad, and a slice of grilled pineapple sitting on top of a juicy piece of sauteed ham can really make a difference in how your low-carb meal looks.

Think vivid color. 

A scoop of white cottage cheese is boring, but it will really come to life if you sprinkle it with a handful of bright blue blueberries.

Chef's go to great lengths to think up new and creative garnishes to fill the plate with festive colors and appetizing textures. While a sprig of deep green parsley is a bit cliche, try a few sprigs of fresh cilantro instead.

A slice of yellow lemon, a few cherry tomatoes, or some shredded purple cabbage can really perk up a quick, ordinary dinner.

8. Splurge on a New Kitchen Toy

Gadget for Grinding Spices by Hand

Everything in life is not just about food, but when it comes to low-carb diets, it can be fun to think outside the box. 

Picking up a new kitchen toy can take a meal from boring to fun, so go ahead and order that vegetable spiralizer you've been dying to try.

Turns zucchini and other vegetables into noodles

You can splurge on one of those new ceramic frying pans that are non-stick or investigate a muffin-top pan to make your low-carb bread look more normal. 

Whatever your kitchen passion is, from a new blender or food processor to an indoor grill or electric pressure cooker, having something new to play with in the kitchen can make that same old dinner look much more exciting.

9. Invite Someone Over for Dinner

Spareribs on the Grill with Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
Splurge on a meal you don't have
every day like spareribs.

What you cook every day might be boring to you, but if you have friends or family members that are eating a high-carb low-fat diet, they will feel pampered and spoiled when you go the extra mile to cook them a low-carb meal. 

Let them feast on hot-wing appetizers, a luxurious chicken alfredo, and top it off with a strawberry cheesecake for dessert.

Better yet, why not make it a party?

Summer is a great time to host a low-carb barbecue for 6 or 8 and show off your new-found talent for low-carb cooking. And while you're at it, toss something onto the grill that you don't ordinarily cook everyday. 

Having guests over can really liven up a boring weekend dinner and turn it into something memorable instead.

Keto is Not Boring Unless You Want it to Be

Ketogenic eating is certainly no more boring than any other diet or lifestyle. It is all in how you approach it. You'll get out of it exactly what you put into it, so:
  • do some web cruising
  • drop by our Pinterest boards
  • buy a couple of low-carb recipe books
  • pay a visit to your local library
If you're feeling bored, don't just sit there making up excuses to quit your diet. You'll only be led back to your same old eating habits that packed on those pounds in the first place. 

While it might feel a bit painful, sitting around trying to think of what to eat for dinner tonight, unlock your creativity and experiment with something new.

The bottom line?

Do whatever it takes to seek out some new and exciting menus, ideas, and kitchen toys. You'll be glad that you did.

Vickie Ewell Bio


  1. These are great tips for any type of meal. One of the things I've been trying with my current eating is to take some of the left overs and make omelettes.( such as you suggested that one can try eating foods for breakfast) I also think good ranch dressing make veggies taste good.
    Thanks Vickie. I'll try some of these.
    One of the ones I like is decorating finger foods before eating them.One day I decoratively arranged some veggies and sausages by slicing things and arranging them nicely.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and suggestions. Hubby loves doing that too. When he makes breakfast for us, he scrounges through the refrigerator looking for leftover meats and veggies. And when he does a salami and cheese plate, he decoratively arranges everything on the plate. Gotta be perfect for him.

  2. I'm so thankful I found your website! I GOOGLED boring low-carb diets and found your site. You have given me new ideas and ways to combat the dregs of the same-o same-o. I have lots of great low-carb recipes but get bored. I am using my imagination now and making my grocery list. Thank you! Will make you a "favorite" :)


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