Low carb high fat, Tim Noakes, Banting diet

Before I begin this post I just want to put a disclaimer in – I’m writing about this as an unprofessional – I can only record what happened to me and I can’t say if this will be good or healthy for everybody, consult a doctor, surf the web and make your own informed choice.

Call it what you want but to follow this diet is to throw all conventional thinking about eating out of the window and to start with a new mindset and a whole new shopping list.

So what is this diet about – firstly it has really been around since the 1800 – it got the name Banting when a mortuary owner by the name of Banting went to the dr because he was getting deaf, well it turned out that he wasn’t getting deaf he was just so fat that the fat was pressing against the nerves in his ears and it was making him deaf.  The dr put him on a diet with limited carbohydrates and more fat and protein.  Banting lost a lot of weight and has put the diet into a book – thus the first dieting book.

Fast forward a few decades and here comes Tim Noakes – the godfather of long distance running in South Africa – the man that has committed a whole chapter in his book “The Lore of Running” to carbo-loading.  He was getting fatter, pre-diabetic and his running times were getting slower and slower.  And then he had his Eureka moment and decided that his body is the perfect labrotorium to test the low carb, high fat diet.  And lo and behold, he lost weight, he is more energetic, he is running faster and he is not pre-diabetic anymore to name a few positives.

And now to the normal Joe or Jane Soaps. I’m not really fat, but since Zoe’s birth I’ve had this little tube around my lower belly.  No amount of planks or low fat food and salads could get rid of it.  In desperation I decided to run Comrades in the hope of dropping a few kg’s.  ha ha haha – was I in for a rude surprise – I actually gained 4kg’s in the run up to my first Comrades and I’ve had those extra kg’s since, even after running another 3 Comrades’ and cutting out more and more from my diet.  BUT I carbo-loaded before every big race which is about 6 times in 3 months.   Hubby is not fat but also had the little tube around his stomach – it is actually called a runners pouch in the running community.

We’ve been listening and reading and talking about the Tim Noakes thing since about June last year and we have just slowly but surely started to cut our carbs.  Leaving the toast when eating breakfast, eating less rice and potatoes etc BUT the big mistake we made was to confuse the Banting diet with the Atkins diet.  So in December I’ve started to research and read more about and I realised then that our fat intake is too low and our protein intake too high

So now we drench everything in butter, cream, cheese, chicken skins (Hubby not me), wonderfully rich curries and everything is cooked in Macadamia nut or coconut or olive oil.  But we eat it all without rice, pap, any type of pasta, any type of potatoes or bread or any sugar.

So what do we eat?  I’ll post a few recipes and ideas as I go along on this blog but in short:

Breakfast:  Eggs scrambled with butter and cream cheese with ham / salami / fine biltong in.  Or over weekends a fry-up with haloumi, bacon, eggs and coffee.  Or full cream yogurt with a handful of nuts, seeds and a drizzle of honey.

Lunch:  A salad made with dark green vegetables and lots of cream cheese / mayo with some tuna, chicken or cheese.  Or left overs

Dinner:  Some kind of meat in a rich creamy sauce flavoured with Dijon mustard / curry / lemon juice etc and dark green vegetables – especially raw baby spinach that we use instead of a carb.

So that is our diet and the result from January to now?  I’ve lost 4kg’s and my runners pouch is completely gone – I’ve lost 7cm’s around my stomach.  My skin is smoother, I don’t need as much hand cream on my hands and my cholesterol has been stable.  I’m actually wearing a dress today that I’ve bought in 1997 and it fits me perfectly!

Hubby has lost close to 10kg’s, his running has improved, he sleeps better and his cholesterol is also stable.  He is now down to a size 32 pants.

And do we cheat – yes we do – I’ll still have my favourite Flings and a chocolate about 4 times a week and Hubby will still drink a beer but we try and save the carbs for stuff that we really love instead of eating a carb to feel fuller.

So that is the LCHF story from my point of view.

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13 Responses to Low carb high fat, Tim Noakes, Banting diet

  1. JessV says:

    So glad you made the move from P24, this set-up is going to be easier for me to follow and comment! Your blog looks great!

    Yay, I’m excited that you share more recipes and ideas.
    I did the Paleo diet last year for a while and I lost weight and felt good. I just really struggled as I missed some dairy, like milk in coffee, cheese, yoghurt. I also started reading up on Banting a while ago, and have decided this sounds like the way to go once I’ve given birth.

    Well done @ your awesome results so far, very inspiring!

    • runnermum says:

      Thanks for visiting Jess. In Tim Noakes’ book they do say that pregnant mums can follow this but I think it is difficult enough being pregnant, you don’t want to contend with no carbs as well!!

      This is the best about Banting, all the dairy, however they do say that if you don’t loose as much as you want to you should restrict your milk intake a little bit.

      You can also reserch “ketosis”. I’ll write a little bit more about that.

  2. MamaCat says:

    Hi there. I like the minimalist look on your blog.
    I have been wanting to know more about this diet but I have been too lazy to check it out properly. I must say it does not sound easy. It seems like a large amount of fat and something in me rebels against eating that much fat. Also looks like hard work. I think I will take a page out of your book for dedication and try to do things my way.

    • runnermum says:

      It is most definitely not easy, it takes a lot of planning as well as cooking from scratch. Yes I must say that the idea of all that fat is off putting but you know what it does really leave you feeling fuller for longer, which makes you eat much less.

      The other disadvantage of this diet is that it is more expensive than a “normal” diet.

  3. nusha78 says:

    Wow! I have heard alot of people speak positively about this diet. The whole high fat thing really is very very counter-intuitive …
    I don’t know if I’m organized enough to do this …

    7cms around your belly is inspiring though … maybe I need to look into it a bit. Look forward to your recipes … I will definitely give those a go 🙂

  4. Sounds pretty much like what I’ve been following, lost 10 kg’s and got a few more to go, but I’m feeling great. My purse is not too happy, keep on having to buy new clothes, but I can finally wear dresses without feeling bad about it 🙂 I just don’t do too fatty stuff cause of the galbladder, but mostly low fat. So glad you moved, I couldn’t comment on P24 because I deleted everything cause of the spam, got really annoyed with it.

  5. Deblet says:

    Glad the diet works for you……not sure our family would survive without carbs,but I do try to limit them to low GI carbs.

  6. Ludi Geyser says:

    Thank you for the very valuable info. My wife and I recently started with the banting diet. I am doing my third Comrades in a months time and I am concerned about the intake of carbohydrates as I used to do. How do I keep my energy levels constant without overdoing the carbos? What is the alternative to carbos while running ?

    • runnermum says:

      Hi Ludi, thanks for visiting. From our experience, Hubby, 5 Comrades’ and me on 4, you can’t run this far without carbs. We can do up to 32kms but after that we start to hit a wall. So the night before a long run we eat carbs and on the run take in moderate Coke and Powerade. If you lok on The Hub ( a cycling website) they say it takes about six months to get fat adapted, since you are only a month in, you may struggle a lot on Comrades. Google carb refeed, it makes a lot of sense. Feel free to send me an email if you want to chat more. Remember Im no expert, just talking from experience.

  7. Divonium says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am also a runner and I stumbled on your blog searching for testimonies about LCHF/HFLC. I am not overweight, but am worried about the diabetes in my family, the effects of pregnancy in the coming years, and generally being an American surrounded by messages to eat more and “supersize it.” What a relief to find other women who run and are able to lose that little pouch while staying healthy! My in-laws have gone LCHF/HFLC and we have joined them for the duration of our vacation in the UK (three weeks). It’s only been about a week, but I do enjoy not feeling as cranky as I used to when I would try to be on a low-carb and low-fat diet (I guess I tried to combine too much advice at once and live off of mostly vegetables).

    I do have two questions if you wouldn’t mind giving them a go: (1) By how much did your grocery bill increase, if at all, on this new diet? My husband and I spend about $80-100 a week now for the two of us and I’m wondering if eating more meat and nuts is financially sustainable. (2) Do you have thoughts about switching from running to high-intensity workouts? I am thinking it might be more efficient and less prone to weather/light changes where we live. I run mostly for weight management and cardio, so I’m not entirely in love with it. It might be nice to find something I can do in my living room and not be running in the cold and/or dark before or after work during the winter.

    • runnermum says:

      Thanks for visiting and I really don’t mind answering your questions.
      1. It is most definitely more expensive to eat like this – I’ll say our grocery bill went up with about 20%. The argument is that you’ll reap the benefits later in the saving you make in terms of medical problems etc – it is a bit difficult to look at it in this way but I suppose it does make sense. It also gets a bit cheaper the longer your on this because you big initial outlay in terms of the oils and seeds and flours are over.

      2. I can’t give you an answer on the high intensity workouts at the moment. We run almost exclusively for 6 months of the year training for Comrades – that is 90km ultra marathon. This marathon is now on the 1st of June so after a 2 week rest period we’ll hit the gym again for resistance training and some high intensity workouts. The general feeling is that you don’t HAVE to exercise on this diet.

      Ohh the Northern hemisphere winters are awful. I have so much respect for people that go out in those sub zero temperatures and run.

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