The Banting Round Up 2

General health
Great- no problems. I have been a bit tired lately but that is probably from overworking and under sleeping. My great news is that I have been less bloated and my cholesterol dropped amazingly! Yay! But this is definitely based on the unsaturated fats. Most people doing real banting have the opposite effect and see a sharp increase. As I mentioned before, cholesterol isn’t the main heart disease culprit. However it is an associated risk factor if your blood sugar is slightly raised. So this is really important to remember if you do Bant- you cannot cheat otherwise you will be sitting with a double whammy of high cholesterol and blood sugar- BAM, heart attack here you come.

Expense
I didn’t notice such an increase compared to most people doing real Banting, as I didn’t buy loads of red meat and saturated fats like butter and cream. My groceries we similar to before- huge amounts of veg, yoghurt, tuna, salmon, sardines, eggs, Avos, nuts and seeds. So where I saved on starch I spent on extra fats.

Socially
I really battled. Generally you can always opt for a salad when eating out, but it’s awkward to always be the “fussy” one. And it’s damn tempting when everyone else is eating pasta and pizza. It’s do-able especially with many of the restaurants becoming banting-friendly, but it’s is a dampener.

More coming tomorrow….the final opinion!

 

The Banting Round Up 1

As you all know I have been giving the Royal Banting a whirl, as a sneaky Banting (aka Tim Noakes diet) taster. Two months in and this is what I have to say…..

My aim- to give my clients a subjective opinion on this type of diet.
My version- the Royal Banting- low carb (100g max), medium protein and high unsaturated fat. This works along similar principles to the Tim Noakes Diet however I just couldn’t face the saturated fats….yes yes I know, eating the saturated fats and increasing cholesterol is not the sole indicator of heart disease but I err on the side of caution and decided to give this a go on unsaturated fats.

I know that my opinion is based on my own version, but hopefully this will give you an idea about certain aspects. The fact that my diet is low carb and high fat, still gets me into ketogenisis which is the effect I was after in order to give my opinion…..

Dietitians opinion

Energy
Initially I dipped in the afternoons and felt quite lethargic and moody. However after the first 7-10 days I was over the carb-flu symptoms. Now my energy levels are great. I wouldn’t say any better than when I was eating a high carb diet though. Training-wise, I’ve been eating nuts during my training or races and have been surprisingly fine. One triathlon involved 8 degree water and an ice-cream headache from hell so on the cycle I inhaled a quarter of a GU, but this was more in desperation to get caffeine into my body to get over the headache.

Appetite
This was my main point of interest when I started the diet because after the half ironman I was so sick and tired of always being starving and having to eat constantly….gaining weight in the interim, despite exercising for 2-4 hours a day.
So a quick physiology background- When you are in ketosis, the ketones signal to your brain saying that you are satisfied, so your appetite is reduced. In actual fact you are in the same state you would be in if you were starved. Hmmmm, okay so the jury is out on this point regarding long term safety…
But awesome news- my appetite definitely deminished. So yes ketosis worked in that sense but what are the chronic effects?

Weight
Initially I was quite strict and followed a well controlled Royal Banting diet. However as time progressed I started reaching for more and more nuts…eeeeek. So in the beginning I dropped 2 % body fat and gained 2 kg of muscle (oh yeah, but wait..). As I write this I am back to normal pre-diet. DAMN THOSE NUTS!

I will be posting more on my experiment tomorrow, so keep posted 🙂

 

Banting diaries

Eggs, almonds, salmon, avo, seeds, broccoli….. So many almonds 🙂
So how has the passed month of Royal-Banting been?

The pros:
I get to eat lots of almonds
I’m much less bloated
CHOLESTEROL- biggest bonus is my cholesterol has practically halved….now be careful here…this is associated with the ROYAL BANTING aspects which I will explain in my next post- very exciting!

The cons:
I slump my energy levels every so often but working on that with MCTs.
My weight is stable and not going down after the last measurement when I lost 2% body fat….but I’m quite sure I have over eaten the almonds :/
Socially, it is very difficult. Going out for dinner can be tricky, getting choccies from friends is too tempting and avoiding wine is a toughie, but definitely all possible.
Sport-wise: for Two Oceans I had a fatty meal the night before containing Salmon, lamb, chicken (plus the skin), almond and coconut pancakes and I was hundreds. For ..ITU I didn’t eat as much. Granted it was a harder and slightly longer race, I resorted to having half a gu and Jungle Oats bar. I find it hard to fuel during the race on nuts / Banting-friendly foods.
Cooking nice things like pancakes or crackers is a mission and quite expensive.

So in summary I have enjoyed certain aspects…and the great news is that myself with some friends are going to be making it a lot easier socially and for those sportsmen out there…WATCH THIS SPACE.

The Banting Dietitian

If you are a first time visitor here I will need to fill you in on what my other faithful readers already know-
I am a dietitian. I am as passionate about sport and exercise as I am about a healthy lifestyle, medicine and nutrition. I dabble in endurance sport, having done many half marathons, long cycle races and half ironman 70.3. I am always busy and very very active. I also have high familial cholesterol and I am pescatarian (eating fish and eggs).
The reason I am outlining all of this is because it forms a vital foundation to why and how I am going to embark on the Banting diet.

alex

The Banting Dietitan = ME

So why did I embark- I am trying out this diet in order to provide my clients with an honest opinion on how easy or hard it is to follow. I want to know all the benefits and disadvantages first hand. I also have my personal goals….read on…
The science is there- why would anyone deny this. There are studies available. But in terms of weight loss it all boils down to energy consumption and adherence. Let me explain…

The background- First tried by Banting in the 1860’s and resurrected by Tim Noakes currently, the basic science behind it is as follows: in order to reduce overall energy intake the body needs to transition into a ketotic state. This happens when the brain utilizes fat as a fuel source instead of glucose as you are cutting carb sufficiently. So normally the brain uses glucose. If you don’t consume this source it uses ketones. A result of this is an “anorexic” effect- where the appetite is satisfied, avoiding hunger pangs and cravings. Thereby reducing energy intake in a natural physiological way. Resulting in weight loss.

BANTING

BANTING

Scientific studies that are being brought to the table now also highlight that saturated fat and cholesterol are not the culprits of heart disease. Sugar, as we have always known, is the evil factor. You see sugar reacts with protein in the blood forming a crystal like substance that disrupts the intima lining of the blood vessels. This “roughened” and inflammed vessel catches cholesterol plaques which cause a clot and heart disease.

So my aim- as mentioned I do a bit of endurance sport. When I was training two to four hours a day I was thrilled with the idea of a potentially trim, lean, hot bod…however much to my disappointment this was not the end result. I was constantly starving and always ready to devour a PB sandwich and what ever else I could find in the kitchen…and all I wanted was carb, carb , CAAAAARB! My body fat did drop, thank goodness but not as predicted….

I have always respected prof Noakes and the “new” controversial science that he has uncovered from years ago and I have always kept up to date with his teachings. So the idea of a reduced appetite was an intriguing factor, one that I am aiming to achieve in my own personal trial.

So far- I am only day 5 in. I am happy eating my full cream yoghurt and nuts for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch, fish and vegetables for dinner and eggs as an alternative for some of the meals. I do get a bit nibbly sometimes and have nuts or salad with avo as a snack. Energy slumps are a bit of a problem, but it is manageable as I transition away from my “carb dependence”. I know Tim would say I need more energy dense (fatty) meats to avoid this, but I am pescatarian for ethical reasons, so I will do it this way until I cannot go on and then reassess.

It is an exciting time being a dietitian…..keep posted….