I Got Skinny Eating FAT!
Yes, I am Banting.
Banting is defined as “slimming by avoiding eating sugar, starch, and fat” in the Collins English Dictionary. The word is also described there as being obsolete. Ha! Anyone who has tuned into a radio station, glanced at the news or even walked passed a book-store since the beginning of 2014, would have heard that word, associated very closely with Professor Tim Noakes, the controversial sports scientist who is almost single-handedly turning the South African food industry on its head!
It is such an incredibly exciting and also challenging time, as more and more people are learning the truth about fat. It’s never easy being told that what you once knew to be factual has been proven to be a lie. I have seen the looks on so many faces as I scoop butter into my coffee, or refuse something because it’s low-fat. I have had people insist that I won’t lose weight unless I eat a “balanced” diet which includes low-GI bread and grains…these people who are telling me this are over-weight! I have lost 8 kg so far (I honestly don’t want to lose any more!) and I am supposed to take advice from these ill-informed people?!
It’s not their faults necessarily, other than the fact that they lack the flexibility of an open mind. The fault is in the bad science that was etched into the textbooks that all our trusted doctors, dietitians and health practitioners studied for years. They honestly believe what they have been taught. New information can often be scary…
My Banting Story
It all started after I quit smoking. I gained 12 kg in 2 or 3 months and then stopped weighing myself. I am 1.57 m (5 ft 1.5) tall…12 kg shows!
I had always been skinny before that, and I didn’t know how to deal with the weight gain. A lot of people made comments…people suck!.. and so I fell into a horrible depression and cried often. I had to buy a whole new wardrobe of loose-fitting and elasticized pants and get rid of my favourite jeans (I kept one pair) – and every time I had to give away a cute top or dress, I cried! I thought I would never get back to my original size…It was a very difficult time for me.
I had tried a few “balanced” and low fat diet programmes and I started walking between 10 and 25 km every weekend. I took dance classes 3 – 4 times a week and went to gym 3 times a week. I drank all sorts of expensive supplements and weight loss drops.
But after all that, I only managed to lose 6 kg over a period of about 2 years and that was it. My weight wouldn’t budge no matter what I did! My doctors and dietitian said there was nothing wrong with me and that I would lose weight only if I continued to stick to a low fat, balanced diet.
I remember the frustration I felt because the advice these professionals had given me was clearly not working!
So I gave up and resolved to be chubby for the rest of my life.
Before I “banted” I “boxed”
I started on a low carb diet completely by accident. I was working long hours at a consumer show and was struggling to find food that wasn’t hot dogs, pizza or kebabs…or other typical fast foods. I also don’t eat meat, which made it even more difficult. I came across a product that was a sort of “diet in a box”. They guaranteed that I would lose 5 kg in 5 days if I stuck to it 100% – which I did.
I lost 4.5 kg in 5 days!
The product (which is no longer available) was essentially a low carb, high fat, calorie restricting diet, which was intended to kickstart weight loss through ketosis. The problem with programmes like that one, unfortunately, is that most people go back to eating like they did before, and then act surprised when they gain all the weight back! I was determined not to let that happen and after doing some research, I realised that the programme was based on banting or LCHF, which Tim Noakes had been talking about all along – and so I went out and bought his book The Real Meal Revolution.
Suddenly it all made sense! I had been enlightened!
You can also try the 21 Day Ketogenic Diet Meal Plan – Ultimate Keto to get started on your journey.
I had always thought that choosing low fat foods meant that I would actually lose fat, or that it was the healthier option. Now I know that is not the case. The way I understand it, if you put carbs into your body, you will burn carbs for energy and store fat. But if you put fat into your body, it will use the fat for fuel.
Contrary to what we have been led to believe, your body prefers Fat to Glucose as an energy source! What a revelation: Fat is not the enemy!
I will be writing a lot about banting in the future since it has become a passion and a way of life for me. I am proud to say that I have lost a total of 8 kg and kept it off! I am 2 sizes smaller and couldn’t be happier or healthier.
shop Almond Nut Butter
At this point, I would like to add that I don’t eat meat or chicken, and while Banting promotes high fat meat products like bacon and biltong, I have been able to follow this eating plan very easily, only including some fish when I feel like it. Vegetarian or Pescetarian banting is not as hard as it may seem.
So then what the heck do I eat?
Breakfast usually consists of eggs, boiled, fried (in butter), or scrambled, with chopped tomato and onions or spinach; and cheese: Roquefort, Camembert, Emmental, full fat cream cheese…
Update: I no longer eat breakfast. I have been drinking my own version of high fat coffee every morning. I add 2 scoops of Whey protein powder, 1- 2 tbsp butter, 15 – 25 ml MCT oil and 15 ml coconut oil to filtered coffee and blend with a hand-held blender. This coffee gives me energy for most of the day and I usually only get hungry again after 13h00.
For some great South African banting recipes, check out Low Carb is Lekker by Inè Reynierse (Ebook version).
For lunches and dinners, I usually make a large delicious salad comprising mixed lettuces, cabbage, radishes, tomato, cucumber and spinach leaves covered in olive oil, and some cheese, or a variety of steamed or roasted veggies with loads of butter! And if I feel like it, I might have some salmon or a Quorn vegetarian “burger patty” or “chicken” fillet. (Quorn has a range of vegetarian low carb products that are made with mycoprotein and NOT CORN. Check the nutritional info on the pack before purchasing).
One of my favorite new recipes is whole roasted cauliflower with almond nuts. Some of the other foods that I include in my diet are spinach, shirataki spaghetti or fettuccine (ZERO CARBS), pickled cucumbers, braised baby cabbage, crispy fried aubergines, anchovies and full-fat Greek yogurt. I also love snacking on dark chocolate, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, nuts and cheese crackers (Coming soon)!
MYPROTEIN stocks a wide range of health, sugar-free and low carb friendly products. You will find Shirataki Noodles, low carb pancakes and much more. Remember to always chose the unflavored products for the lowest carbs.
And what do I drink? Coffee, usually black, sometimes with cream (or butter), herbal teas and lots of water (up to 16 glasses every day). Sometimes I’ll have a glass or two of dry wine. I don’t crave any other drinks.
Not only do I look great, but I feel even better. And that is the most fabulous thing about this lifestyle for me.
And here’s the proof that I got Skinny eating Fat!