diabetes / heart disease run rampant in my family, both sides.
i've been fighting prediabetes / cholesterol issues for 10-15 years or more now.
over the last 10 years, my weight has become more and more of a challenge. but i'm still optimistic that i can do this!
even as far back as childhood, i noticed that sugar or a very high carb meal (think pasta for lunch) would send me napping. so really i've been low sugar most of my life.
honestly, that is the first thing you will have to cut back on if you have metabolic syndrome like i do, like it sounds like you do. ~5-10 grams of sugar (any form of sugar: lactose in dairy, fructose in fruit, sucrose in junk food, etc) at any meal. sometimes i go over that a little and i can feel it.
then the next thing i eliminated was white carbs. then all complex carbs. but sounds like you are already doing that.
so for you, its the reverse of for me. i was already low sugar and had to give up the complex carbs. you are already no starch and so need to cut way back on the sugar if you haven't already.
the other thing is to make sure you eat healthy fats. you say you can't do coconut, what about EVOO or nuts. i know some nuts are starchy, but a lot of people on NSD say they can eat almonds. the fats won't make you lose weight, but in moderation can really turn your cholesterol around. once i started 1-2 servings of nuts a day (after giving up complex carbs), my triglycerides went to low normal from the border of high and very high. and my HDLs went up from the 30s to the 60s. still working on the HDLs.
i also found that when i added in fish oil (3000 mg daily, 1500 mg twice a day, nordic naturals) that my blood sugar dipped down further than its been since 2001 (in the 80s; prior had been bouncing between 90s and prediabetic 105-110). my triglycerides and HDLs also got a bit better.
when it comes to the cholesterol, my LDLs are still too high.
and i have too much weight in my middle.
and my liver is now fatty, since gaining all the weight. when i lose the weight, the liver ALT enzyme goes back down.
for me, i think the last piece of the puzzle is to lose weight.
and yes, its very hard.
but if i stick to healthy protein (fish, chicken, turkey, seafood in moderation, grass fed beef or pork in moderation, eggs in moderation (as i'm a little sensitive to eggs), healthy fats (nuts, EVOO), all the veggies i want, and fruit in moderation (due to the sugar issue) i can lose weight. very slowly but i can lose.
the other big piece of the puzzle is exercise. i walk almost every day. and try to do it right after a meal. it helps the cells accept insulin and thus glucose better.
lately i've been reading about intermittent fasting, fewer meals spaced further apart, the leptin diet. all that grazing we were told in the 80s was so healthy, and i thought it was as i felt like my blood sugar was better regulated, turns out that idea is wrong. when they finally did the studies, they found out that more smaller meals doesn't allow the body to return blood sugar levels to low / normal. and having the blood sugar constantly raised like that is not good. so trying to eat differently now.
yes, it is a struggle. i know. when i think about my poor liver or how much weight i've put on so that i don't even look like me, i get so depressed. but just for a little bit. we can do this!
as for "breakfast" and "snack" ideas.
my breakfasts are eaten in my car on my way to work. i eat a few slices of organic or grassfed lunchmeat, no nitrates, all natural. i eat dried seaweed (the stuff in a package with a hint of sesame oil for taste). i eat cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks (i'm low starch, not no starch). i eat apple slices or for a little variety sometimes a few cherries or few berries. not a typical breakfast. but i have so much more energy now than i used to. and a big thing of my ginger herbal tea or green tea, about 2-3 cups of liquid.
and when i get hungry between meals now, i drink water or herbal or green or oolong tea. sometimes for a treat i have this fruit essence water. i think its sweetened with stevia as it has no calories. stevia is the only sweetener that doesn't affect blood sugar. when they did studies, they discovered that all the artificial sweeteners do. and all the "natural" sweeteners do as well. while healthier in some respects, sugar is sugar when it comes to metabolic syndrome. with fructose being even worse because its not regulated in glycolysis the way glucose is.
snacks on the go? a lot like my breakfasts.
if you can eat eggs, hard boiled eggs work.
i can't eat dairy. very sensitive to casein. it causes inflammation in my body. but if you can, an ounce of cheese is a good thing.
really watch those calories. healthy fats are healthy, but in moderation. they are very caloric.
and to keep my sanity. i have a bite of chocolate every day. but that too is extremely caloric.