Banting gave me freedom
Lately I have given quite a bit of thought to my motivation to keep eating this way. What drives me? Why has my experience with Banting (low carb/high fat) been so different from all the other diets I have tried over the years? This is a very important question, and one that will require a very honest answer, if I am to help others. In this post I will share with you my three main reasons for eating this way, and why I will always eat this way. Here they are: Freedom from hunger, freedom from food addiction and freedom from sub-optimal health.
Freedom from hunger:
Because I have spent the last few decades on some kind of diet or another, I have pretty much been hungry for a large percentage of my life. All previous diets have restricted calories and been low in fat. I remember so clearly being a young chunky, school girl, with my lunch box of raw salad veggies, fruit, fat-free cottage cheese and 2 crackers. I used to finish it all by first break and would spend the rest of the school day starving. Being hungry all the time is distracting and affects your energy, moods and concentration. As a young working adult, I remember needing a “healthy” bran muffin and coffee around 10:30 to get me through to lunch time (despite having eaten a “nutritious” breakfast of muesli and fat-free strawberry yoghurt). I lived from one meal to the next and would get agitated and nauseous if the next meal didn’t come quick enough. All those carbs I was eating was fuelling my hunger – because that is just what carbs do. Well not anymore. Hunger and deprivation are no longer my constant companion. Now, I only eat twice a day and can easily go 6 hours or more without needing anything to eat. I eat the most delicious food and enjoy every mouthful. LIBERATED doesn’t even begin to describe this new reality for me.
Freedom from food addiction:
Addiction is not something that anyone wants to admit to. The thing is …… admitting it is the first step to recovery. Carbs and sugar are highly addictive. Scientists have demonstrated how sugar lights up the reward centres of the brain in the same way that cocaine does. Being addicted to sugar and carbs might be more socially acceptable than drugs or alcohol, but the consequences can be just as devastating to your health. I used to fight cravings for sugar and carbs daily. Sometimes I won but very often I was defeated. The pull to put a piece of chocolate or a peanut butter sandwich into my mouth was very powerful. Banting has helped me conquer my cravings and has given me back a healthy relationship with food. I now ‘eat to live’ and no longer ‘live to eat’. I still enjoy my food – but I am 100% in control of what I put into my mouth. Saying “no” to sugary treats is easy. I never would have believed it was possible. I feel empowered and confident that I can sustain this healthy way of eating for the rest of my life. Everything in moderation is an ethos that doesn’t work well for me. The slope is slippery and I have to be careful. But the freedom I have gained is worth the vigilance.
Freedom from sub-optimal health
I have never been particularly unhealthy. I would get a few colds and sore throats a year and very occasionally would need to go on antibiotics for a sinus infection. I would have considered myself pretty healthy, and I suppose by most standards I was. But I really struggled with low energy and that dramatically affected my ability to do everything I needed to do as a wife, mother, homemaker and income earner. It was very often a struggle to get through an afternoon of homework with the kids, never mind play with them afterwards. Falling asleep at 8:30 pm on the couch, in front of the TV was the norm. Since Banting I have a constant supply of energy, and I haven’t had to see a doctor in a very long time. My hay fever has dramatically improved and is now only seasonal instead of constant. By following a low carb, anti-inflammatory diet, I am managing to control my blood sugar better and my heart health is superb according to my blood test results.
So there you have it. My reasons why I love Banting and why I will always Bant. Most people start Banting to lose weight, but it is all the other benefits gained that keep people Banting.
For me Banting ticks all the boxes in terms of weight loss, health, enjoyment and sustainability.
I would love to hear your reasons for Banting. Even though we are all different, our stories can give hope to others. Please share by commenting below.