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.
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.
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….