Banting’s Little Secret

Diet is a four-letter word and quite frankly the topic is quite tedious.   However, in the recent past so many people have brought up the subject with me with the words – You’re looking so well/how do you maintain your shape/what do you eat/ etc. etc   So I thought I’d write a bit about it again.

I am certainly no expert and I can’t even explain the science behind Banting (Low Carb High Fat Diet)  I’m just not clever enough to remember all that I’ve read about it.  All I can say is that it works for me.   It is controversial and I don’t pretend to know all the pros of cons of low fat vs high fat and Low Carb vs High carb.  But those who know me well, know that I have had a lifelong battle keeping my weight to within normal limits and it’s always been on the higher side of normal!   I have tried every single diet known to man and all of them have worked.  BUT none of them have kept my weight stable.  The reason for this is because they only work while you’re on them.  The minute you try to eat normally the weight comes back and you have to start from square one.  Eating out and socialising is problematic unless you have an iron-strong willpower.   The thing is I love socialising and eating is part of socialising.  I do have willpower but I have a good appetite too. I exercise a lot and I get hungry! I don’t believe in depriving myself of the odd treat either.  All my life I have had a deep affection for chocolate and use it like a drug to cheer myself up when I’m having a bad day, get frustrated or feel depressed.  And believe me when you’re a teacher, chocolate on the food pyramid has an essential group all of its own.

Before reading The Real Meal Revolution I used to tell everybody that the best way to lose weight and keep it off was to eat FAT FREE.   For years that was what I tried to stick to. It was relatively easy and it worked but still my weight fluctuated because I cheated too much.    When I was in a good routine and ate 5 meals a day it worked.  When I was stressed and rushed and not eating breakfast before school, it was not so great – I tried but I was always hungry because I had no time to eat properly!

THEN – I started to notice people who were Banting were doing really well.   My daughter and son-in-law lost their (hardly noticeable) podge.   Their friend invited us to dinner and told me that everything we had was Banting – I couldn’t believe it.  She’d lost lots of weight too.  She lent me the book and I read it with great interest.

I was chomping morning rusk, reading the book when I had an AHA moment.   Just one sentence – If you don’t have any fat in your diet you will die.  If you don’t have any sugar/carbs in your diet – you won’t die.   All the scientific facts were read and understood but this sentence convinced me.  I would try it!  I threw away the rusk and started right then and there in a mountain cottage next to beautiful lake in KZN.

That was nine months ago.  I have dropped 5kg and there has been no fluctuation in my weight.  But that is not the important part – what’s actually kept me on it for so long is the fact that I am no longer hungry.  I eat 2 meals a day and I don’t crave snacks – at all!

That’s because eating proper food satisfies you.  It is the empty calorie carbohydrates that make you hungry and cause you to crave more.  And Banting Food is delicious.

Tim Noakes says – it’s not for everyone.  I believe if you’ve never had a problem with your health and weight, carry on doing what you’re doing.  BUT if you’ve struggled, if you’re pre-diabetic, if you have ANY health issues and  if you’re always hungry why not go and see your doctor and ask about the possibility of going changing to Banting.  Read the book and become informed and then give it a try!  It’s the best thing I ever did.