Before you begin a low carb diet there are a few important points that you should understand.
- The LCHF ( low carb, healthy fats) way of eating is a long term LIFESTYLE, it is not a conventional diet as we know diets. It is really important to understand that the food you eat can make you fat and sick or it can heal you and keep you in good health. Pursuing a diet, losing weight and going back to old bad eating habits is pointless. This is exactly how yoyo dieting happens. If you give up your new healthy way of eating and resume eating in your old way, you will undo all the good work and return to being fat, lethargic and sick.
- Change your mindset. Instead of immediately rushing out to find substitutes for all the unhealthy foods you have been eating – like bread( yes bread is unhealthy) rather embrace that you are going to learn to eat differently. Delicious, wholesome foods that will nourish you. This is a lifestyle CHANGE, not an exchange.
- Take some time to read about why our current dietary guidelines are a disaster. You can watch a short and informative video HERE or read about it HERE
- Be aware that there is A LOT of science to support the benefits of following a low carb diet. It is NOT a FAD ! READ MORE
Essentially following the LCHF lifestyle is about CLEAN eating. That means eating fresh whole food including meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products and vegetables. You may hear people say, JUST EAT REAL FOOD. Real food is food that was recently alive. If it walked , swam , flew or grew from the ground – eat it – if it was produced in a factory – leave it alone !
Preparation is really important and the best way to begin is to become familiar with the food lists. We have created condensed food lists from the extensive food lists in our book ” THE BANTING POCKET GUIDE” for easy reference. I recommend you download copies of these lists available HERE. I have uploaded the lists for you to view at the end of this post.
The Green Food List is the only list that you can eat from on a daily basis. These are the foods that are nutritious, low in carbs per portion and extremely healthy. Practicing portion control is still important when eating from this list.
The Orange Food List is for people who have reached their goal weight and want to include some of the vegetables and berries on this list, or for those who are not sensitive to carbohydrates and can tolerate these vegetables and fruits.
The Red Food List must be avoided at all costs. We don’t even recommend these foods as a once-in- a-while treat, as they are highly processed and contain unhealthy additives and chemicals.
Start by cleaning out your home of RED list items. There is no point in hanging on to these foods, they are bad for you and you won’t be needing them.
Plan what you are going to eat for a week. It’s really not difficult. Look through the green list and think of tasty meals that you can make with these foods.
Here is an example of a day’s meals.
Breakfast: Pan fried chicken livers with a few cherry tomatoes and broccoli
Lunch: Grilled, smoked or pan-fried fresh salmon in butter with rocket and cherry tomatoes
Dinner: Piece of steak with fat on, with freshly prepared vegetables and pan juices
Eat when hungry and stop when full. We are often asked how much to eat but this is individual. No one person is the the same and it does not make sense to prescribe across the board rules. I have previously written a post with some guidance on portions.
Let common sense prevail. Following a low carb lifestyle is supposed to be a long term sustainable way of eating. If we are weighing and measuring food we are back on the same old tired diet track that we have been on for years and lets face it , measuring and weighing food really takes the pleasure out of preparing and eating it. Weighing and measuring food should be a last resort for those who really cannot get it right.
DO NOT eat more than 3 meals a day. Most people find that when they stop eating highly processed foods and refined carbohydrates, their appetites diminish. This is a GOOD thing and skipping meals if you are not hungry is a healthy habit. There is no rule dictating what time of the day you should eat or that you have to eat all three meals.
Include protein, healthy fats and vegetables in every meal whether you are eating two or three meals per day or only one. Meals must be nutrient dense and well balanced.
DO NOT snack. When you eat a meal be sure to eat enough healthy protein and fat. This will keep you full for at least 5-6 hours , sometimes longer. If you feel the desire to snack, review what you have eaten at your previous meal to see if it was enough food but also question whether you feel like snacking just out of habit or because you are bored.
DRINK enough water throughout the day. People often mistake thirst for hunger so be sure to be adequately hydrated. You may also drink tea or coffee or water infused with lemon, cucumber, fruit. DO NOT drink fruit juices or fizzy drinks, there are ALL on the red list.
Do not use artificial sweeteners if you want to see results. Sweetened foods drive cravings and increase appetite. This is something we want to leave behind us.
Rome was not built in a day. We are all unique and you will need to experiment a bit to find what works best for you. Do not assume that what somebody else did to lose weight will work for you.
Do not make weight loss your primary focus. This way of eating has many health benefits. Focus on good health first, the weight loss will happen as you adapt to the lifestyle.
For excellent guidance on how to prepare for and correctly follow the low carb lifestyle I recommend you invest in our book THE BANTING POCKET GUIDE. We have included detailed food lists, recipes and meal plans in the book as well as answered the most commonly asked questions pertaining to a low carb lifestyle.
For individual consultation and guidance on following a LCHF lifestyle to correct lifestyle disease contact me HERE