There are lots of people Banting but not everyone is losing weight. This is especially true in the female population of Banters. It is not that the Banting way of eating doesn’t work for them. They just might not be doing it correctly. For the record, I believe Banting is a healthy way of eating for everyone. Fat or thin, young or old. Cutting out grains, sugar, toxic seed oils and processed food is going to seriously improve many aspects of your health. But you could pile on the kilos (or not lose any) if you don’t pay attention to how much fat you are eating.
Watch your fat intake
Many people start Banting and they literally hook themselves up to an IV drip full of delicious cream while at the same time they cram their mouths full of glorious butter. Yes these are healthy fats, but they still contain calories. A lot of calories! A high fat diet is supposed to keep you satiated between meals so that you reduce the quantity of food you eat in a day. You should basically be able to go at least 5 hours or longer between meals without the need to snack in-between. Snacking is not conducive to weight loss as it keeps your insulin too high and never lets your body get into fat burning mode. If you are finding that you are still genuinely hungry (not just bored hungry), then maybe you are not eating enough fat. But, if you are not losing weight it could be that you are eating too much fat. Fat is very calorie dense and a little goes a long way. Listen to your body and only eat when you are actually hungry.
It is very easy to eat too much fat and therefore overshoot your calorie requirements for the day. If you are a women who only needs around 1 800 calories a day and you are pouring fat down your throat at every opportunity – you could very easily be consuming 3 000 calories or more a day. You can then forget about losing weight. Everyone is different. You need to find out what YOUR fat threshold is. You need just enough to nourish your body and brain and liberate you from cravings, hunger and constant thoughts about food, but not too much that it causes weight gain. I find it quite useful to occassionally track my daily food diary in MyFitnessPal because it is always such an eye opener how quickly calories and carb grams add up.
Yes, you will be eating more fat than you used to when following the standard low-fat diet, but I don’t believe Banting gives you a license to participate with wanton abandon in a fat fest. There is no need to lock onto fat as if you are a missile and whipped cream is your target. So, cook with enough fat to make your food tasty and delicious. Smear butter on your slice of Banting bread. Put a dollop of home-made mayo on a piece of chicken. Drizzle olive oil over your salad. Eat that delicious crackling on your roast pork. Have a bullet coffee as a quick and easy breakfast (not a few times a day when you want something warm to drink). But be mindful, be responsible and don’t kid yourself that calories don’t matter – they do.
Carbs and fat – a double whammy
If you are over-consuming fat and you haven’t dropped your carbs low enough, chances are you WILL put on weight. Fat and carbs are a very bad combo. I don’t mean the carbs you are getting from low carb veggies and salad. I mean the carbs you are getting from dairy, fruit, nuts and Banting friendly baked goods. Yes, it is great that you are getting back into the kitchen and making things from scratch but make sure “treats” are just “treats” and not an everyday occurrence. Is there really a need for LCHF cheesecake on a regular Tuesday afternoon? Keep it for the weekend when you have guests around for tea.
Another important point to remember is that dairy contains carbs. So if you are devouring bowls full of Greek yoghurt and having 4 to 5 cups of coffee each day with cream (or worse – with milk), then you could very easily be having too many carbs which hinders fat loss. Dairy is also problematic for some as it can cause quite a radical insulin response – more than you would expect for the grams of carbs it contains. Too much insulin means too much fat storage. You are trying to lose fat, not gain it.
I hope these pointers help get you back on track and Banting successfully. I have written this post because I would hate for anyone to give up on this wonderful way of eating when there are so many incredible benefits to be gained. My family will never go back to our old way of eating. Why would you when you have found a way of eating that gives you excellent health and amazing energy. Keep at it and remember that Banting is NOT a cookie-cutter diet. You are unique and you need to find out how to make the Banting way of life work for you so that you can achieve your goals.