I’ve always been interested in health and well-being. It is engrained in my being. As a result, I experiment with almost anything promoting a healthy way of life. Most of the time there is little or no real impact on my physical wellbeing, or should I say, none that I could actually measure or feel.
To put into context my investment into health: I’ve been a long standing member of a chain of gyms for almost 20 years, I exercise up to five times a week – incorporating weight training and high intensity cardio workouts via spinning classes. I also take vitamins and an omega oil. Rest is part of my lifestyle plan too – getting between six to nine hours of sleep nightly, though I was told getting more than eight is actually ageing for you. I have no proof to corroborate that statement though. I also don’t drink or smoke and I relying solely on water, green tea or the odd espresso for my fluid intake.
But then I heard about Banting. I felt that I had plateaued at gym and my body wasn’t progressing. At the time I was on holiday, staying at a friend’s home. The friend in question believed in the Banting concept, and cooked that way at home. As one does, when you’re guest in someone’s home – you follow their lead. So, I began Banting. Initially while continuing my gym program I became lethargic when exercising. My carbohydrate intake had ended and my body had no energy as a result – no wonder I felt lethargic. Quickly (within that week) I began getting my groove back, while maintaining my new high protein, veg and fat diet as prescribed by the Banting eating plan. Within the month my body started changing: I lost weight, I looked more muscular and toned as a result, and I had energy throughout the day. My stomach functioned better than it had been in years too. My skin glowed, my eyes were clearer and my mood stable, with very little variations throughout a day, a week or even a month.
For the first time I could see and feel a change. It was a complete 360 degree flux in how I felt and looked. This Banting eating plan was working. I stopped eating oats, brown rice, sweet potatoes and any grains or cereals. I stopped consuming fruit with the exception of those that belonged to the berry family. The effects were remarkable.
I love Google, It’s a place where I read and digest information – knowledge is power after all and always want to find out and know more…I began unpacking reports and opinions regarding the Banting eating plan.
Negative reports and doctors out cries didn’t go unheard, albeit overlapping with contradicting information, which was positive. I was digesting it – formulating my own conclusions, with my body being the measuring tool. As a result I tweaked the Banting concept to suit what I had read. I ensured I ate high volumes of green veggies, my fats came from nuts, full cream dairy products, olive oil, omega oil, avocado and coconut oil. I also made sure that I had protein with each meal: chicken, fish, beef, turkey, lamb or pork.
The sceptics have spoken, and I have listened. Eating a large amount of saturated animal fats just doesn’t sound right. In measured moderation, like having some of the skin on a roasted chicken is a balanced way of taking in fats into your diet. It sounds more balanced. Balance being the operative word: if you take anything to the extreme it isn’t good for you. I also advise a concept of all natural – if God made it, eat it. If it has been manufactured in a factory by a man, don’t.
So why limit Carbs? Carbs breakdown into sugar. If you research what sugar does to you, when consumed regularly without balance, it’s actually far more dangerous than eating saturated animal fats. Fact! Sugar makes you fat, not fats!
Being healthy is easier than you think: the answers are in raw foods and staying away from low fat options that have added sugar to improve their taste after losing their fat content. Basically they have been processed. Be balanced in your approach and eat moderate sized portions. Watch what will happen, your body will gain its natural shape. The protein will feed your muscles, the result a more toned frame. The fats will give you sustained energy, the result no binge eating. A low carb diet is the way things were when man first walked the earth, we didn’t eat breads, cereals and large portions of deep fried potato chips either.
Think about the logic in what I’ve just spoken about. Try for yourself. Balance, moderation and being active are key elements in the eating lifestyle to create the body you want.
I dare you to Bant. I bet you will rant.
By Daniel Calbacho