Starting to bant is incredibly simple to do. Unlike so many other eating lifestyles you are not required to weigh your food, eat at certain times, or even exercise compulsively to lose weight and get healthy. The most important tool in your arsenal is educating yourself as to the health benefits as to why it is necessary to change your lifestyle. Remember banting is good for you. Banting is the healthiest way you can eat to avoid serious diseases such as cancer, and quite simply, banting is delicious!
Becoming a banter requires you memorizing a few simple rules, which will become second nature in no time at all. For those needing to lose weight, you will find it will start to drop off almost immediately with the added boon that you are doing it the healthy way. For those who want to maintain their weight but just get healthy, just slightly increase your carb level and voila!
Rule 1: Fat is your friend!
There are good fats and bad fats, and good fats are integral to this lifestyle. Fats make you feel full so that you will not feel the inevitable need to snack as you would on other eating plans. Good fats include olive oil, butter, avocados, full full diary, oily fish, nuts, lard, and fat and skin on meat and chicken. Avoid products that have been manufactured and refined, like vegetable oils and margarines. Stick to natural fats!
Rule 2: Stick to veggies that grow above the ground
The general guideline is to avoid any root vegetables, especially whilst you are actively trying to lose weight. Once you are at goal weight, you can incorporate an odd potato, parsnip or carrot into your diet, but it should never become a staple of every meal.
Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, lettuces are incredibly good for you and need to be a daily addition to your plate. Tomato's, onions, mushrooms, pumpkin and many other vegetables can be eaten liberally, so do so!
Rule 3: Be wary of diary
Some people can happily eat loads of diary and the weight just drops off, whilst others can plateau or not lose weight at all (especially women). Although there are no limitations to how much full fat diary you can have, consider limiting yourself if you are struggling. Diary does contain a few carbs.
When choosing yoghurts, cheese and milk always remember the more fat the better! Avoid low-fat and fat-free products at all costs.
Rule 4: Alcohol is allowed - but pace yourself!
One of the biggest issues for many people when embarking on a healthy eating plan is the prospect of giving up alcohol. The good news is that you are allowed certain types of alcohol whilst banting, but others are not recommended. Read the chart alongside to make choices that are lowest in carbs.
It is also best to use common-sense when consuming alcohol. With every glass you consume, supplement it with a glass of water. Alcohol dehydrates as well as inebriates, water will lessen the effects of both.
Another danger with alcohol is the diminishing sense of responsibility which means you are more likely to 'cheat' and eat more carbs when drinking than whilst abstaining.
If your goal is to lose weight whilst banting then possibly a good idea would be to abstain from alcohol for a few weeks whilst you settle into the lifestyle. Alcohol in any form will slow down the rate at which the weight will drop off, which can cement negative perceptions in your mind that the plan isn't working for you.
Although different for every person, when your goal is to lose weight, you will need to limit yourself to approximately 20-25g of carbohydrates a day. (Use an app like My Fitness Pal to help you count your carbs if you are unsure how). Based at that level, you can understand how even 2 bottles of beer a day can push you over your entire daily limit!
Rule 5: Treat fruits like your new candy - a treat!
Throughout the world there exists the perception that humans are required to eat 5 fruits a day for health reasons - solidified by the traditional health pyramid that we have all been taught since we were children. This is highly inaccurate - fruit is sugar! Although considered a 'healthier' form of sugar compared to refined sugar, it has the same affect on your blood sugars - it spikes it. Before mass fruit production, fruit really was considered a treat only available occasionally throughout the year. Cultivate that mindset. Should you be craving some fruit, limit yourself to berries whilst in a weight-loss phase.
Rule 6: Limit your protein intake
Remember that this lifestyle is not high protein, rather high fat. Diets such as Dukan and Atkins encourage high protein intake, but banting does not. High protein is not as healthy as high fat, as excess protein in your blood sugar gets metabolized as would carbs. Try limit yourself to the protein portions that you would have eaten pre-banting, or even reduce. 80g of protein is a good guide per meal.
Rule 7: Read the labels on all foodstuffs
Carbs are hidden everywhere, read food labels very carefully. They are often listed under a myriad of different ingredients, with names that you have never heard of. Don't be intimidated, just read the item on the label that says Total Carbohydrates. If Dietary Fibre is also listed on the label, subtract that from your Total Carbohydrates. In the case of the example, it would make your digestible carbs from this meal 33g. Your goal - stick to under 5g per serving, making this food a definite NO!
Rule 8: Use your body as a guide
Snacking is not encouraged, and within a few days you will lose your desire to snack. Do not continue with it purely out of habit. You will not be hungry due to the high fat content of your diet, and will soon be down to eating only 2 meals per day. That is good, and where you want to be. Think how liberating it is not to be a slave to hunger!
Eat until full, and no more. Just because it's on your plate doesn't mean it needs to be in your tummy! If you have leftovers, keep them in a plastic container for the next day, saving you having to prepare an additional meal.
Rule 9: Banting is safe for the whole family
Remember that banting is good for you, and that includes children too. Try and encourage everyone in the family to eat this way, it literally can add years to all your lives.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that you will never be able to consume familiar foods again, it is possible to to adjust the ingredients (like replacing ordinary flour with almond flour) and recreate your family favourites. You can make pizzas, ice-creams, wraps, chocolate milkshakes, cakes, and so many items that are ALL good for you!
You will no doubt come across many naysayers who will disagree with this lifestyle, having been programmed their whole lives to believe fat is bad. Ignore - just like people used to believe that smoking wasn't harmful, the tide will turn on carbs too.
Rule 10: Eggs are EGGsellent!
Another fallacy that needs to be corrected is that eggs are bad for you, and causes high cholesterol. In fact, eggs are considered almost the perfect meal, containing healthy fats, proteins and nutrients. Eat them everyday if you like, and if you are still struggling to believe that they are good for you, just 5 minutes of research will surely help allay your fears!
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