12 Things you need to know about the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) dietary approach
The LCHF way of eating is still a mystery for many. The mixed dietary messages we receive on a daily basis continue to create a level of confusion and misunderstanding around weight loss strategies and dietary guidelines. Sadly this confusion has created barriers for a part of our society who are particularly vulnerable and could most benefit from this dietary approach. An approach to eating that supports weight loss and improved metabolic health. Here’s a simple guide to LCHF, some myths busted and questions answered
1. LCHF is not a ‘fad’ diet that will be replaced by a new ‘fad’ diet next year
The LCHF approach includes a range of fresh, unprocessed foods. There is nothing faddish or unnatural about this way of eating. Furthermore it is a way of eating that is sustainable and able to be continued throughout all life stages if this is what you choose to do (and you should if you are over 40)
2. The ‘Fat’ component in LCHF WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT
To put it simply the LCHF eating plan will turn your body into a fat burning rather than a carbohydrate-burning (fat storing) machine. Remove carbohydrate from your diet, and you will reduce the amount of insulin circulating in your body. This will force your body to burn fat as it’s primary energy source. This is the optimal state for weight loss, but also for better energy levels, feeling more satisfied or full, a sense of wellbeing and the myriad of additional health benefits realised by those who have undertaken the LCHF lifestyle. The feeling of fullness you will enjoy when eating healthy fats is a key factor in adherence to LCHF.
3. It is very likely that you will experience ‘carb flu’ when you start out on LCHF
Many people feel a bit off in the first few days of embarking on LCHF. Symptoms of carb flu include lethargy, headaches, constipation, and nausea. For some this will subside quickly for others it may start later and last longer. There is no set pattern to carb flu. Drink plenty of water, and include salt in your diet (remember that you have reduced your salt intake considerably by reducing most processed foods and you do need salt). The good news is that when your ‘carb flu’ passes you will likely start noticing that your energy levels increase and you feel better than before. You will have transitioned to being a ‘fat burner’ congratulations!!
4. LCHF weight loss is different for everyone
Let’s be honest, most of us embark on LCHF as a weight-loss strategy. However results will differ for everyone. Some drop weight very quickly, for others, weight loss is a slower, steadier process. It pays to not always focus on actual weight loss but to take note of how your clothes fit. LCHF will not turn you into a super model, more likely this was of eating will take your body to a weight that it sits at comfortably. Don’t expect miracles but be patient, changes will occur in your body shape and weight.
5. You will be more successful adapting to LCHF if you have support from friends and family
If your family and friends are supportive, your ability to adhere to LCHF will be improved. If they actually embark on LCHF alongside you the probability of you adhering will improve further. If you are wanting support and not receiving it from those close to you, there are some very supportive forums such as the Facebook group Banting Down Under. This is a wonderfully supportive group who are able to laugh together, celebrate achievements, and provide encouragement for members who are struggling with the LCHF lifestyle. Look for support in all areas of your life and when you realise that LCHF works, share your knowledge with those around you.
6. You will be more likely to adhere if you remove ‘Foods to Avoid’ on LCHF from your fridge and pantry
Yip, clean out those cupboards and prepare to make some changes. Give yourself every opportunity to adhere by removing the temptation of sweetened carb laden foods. You need to break that habit if you want to adhere and make this your ‘new normal’. Get used to some fresh wholesome, satisfying foods.
Take care to allow yourself a treat every now and then. You will note that my ‘featured image’ includes a bottle of wine. Remember this is a lifestyle and it is important that we continue to live socially and in a manner that is sustainable. Make most of your choices LCHF, however we are all human, and none of us are perfect.
And for the remaining 6 , you will need to wait a week!!