The Perfect Diet! LCHF

James Preston 31 8:04 AM
UPDATE (6 June 2013):  It has now been 13 weeks since I started the diet, and I am now down 7kgs where I seem to have stabilised (I can't get much thinner!).  I still love this diet, and find it easier than any program I've ever done.  I don't have to go to gym as much because the diet keeps my weight off.  I have more concentration than ever, and don't get tired at all.  I now have the odd cheat day about once a week where I have the odd hamburger and chips, a chocolate or the like.  But it doesn't affect my results, weight or emotional health at all!  All thumbs up!  I have added a pic here of me 6 weeks into the diet.  You can see around my waist there is no "pot-belly" which used to stick itself out in the past when I was in such a pose.

If you don't have time to read this whole post, I have summarised it HERE.


So last week my wife and I started a new diet which we've been researching for quite some time.  As per normal Christmas is filled with an over-abundance of chocolate, drinks, desserts, sweets and chips.  Then there's New Years, another great excuse to eat like a glutton.  My birthday then follows a month later in February (thanks for all the wishes); which means additional indulgences.

With all this in mind, somewhere over the Christmas period, I made a decision that I was going to do the "Atkins Diet" in March.  Why March?  Because I knew February was my birthday month and I was quite happy to give myself one more month of indulgence.

I think I know what most of you are thinking... "But James doesn't need a diet."  Thank you for the compliment.  I don't want to delve too deep into the reasons for why I want to diet.  But it has a lot to do with taking pride in my own body and feeling good about myself.  This is entirely different to the revelatory belief of one's Identity in Christ, I am not insecure about myself, instead, this is like a personal goal I aim to achieve.  (Remember what I've said before, goals are essential for a positive mindset!)

Why did I choose the Atkins Diet?
Three words:  Professor Tim Noakes.  I have followed his opinions since he almost singlehandedly won the Springboks the Rugby World Cup in 2007.  Along with a few of my friends and nurse mother, he has convinced me of the evil of Carbohydrates.  It was also his promotion of LCHF that sparked my interest.

By 2011 or so I had started to believe that Carbohydrates truly were the primary problem affecting most of our health today.  The blood-sugar spikes & crashes, the ravenous hunger so soon after a carb-filled meal, the excess of insulin in the blood.  I knew most of the science, and hence understood why cutting down on Carbs could only be a good thing.

Like the majority of mankind today, my staple diet is Carbs and Sugar.  The result of millions of dollars of industry marketing has made it that way.

Many of you may remember my 30-day experiment of gymming everyday, in mid 2012.  I did that based on a theory that more energy burned than consumed should reduce body fat.  I bumped into a friend in the gym in Week 4 who said the only way to see success with such a programme was to cut Carbs and Sugar.  I didn't want to believe him.  But he was right, I stalled on weight and inches loss by Week 2.  By Week's 3 and 4 my body had adjusted to the extra physical activity.

It was after that 30-day experiment, my conversation with my friend, and some posts by Prof. Tim Noakes; that I decided the only way to successfully lose this body fat was to cut Carbs and Sugar.

The most common diet that suited such an ideology?  The Atkins Diet.  Hence.

LCHF - Move over Atkins, LCHF is the new revolution!
Atkins' primary theory is more protein.  Careful not to have too much saturated fat in one's diet, and cut Carbohydrate intake down to 20 grams a day (30gms in first 2 weeks).  The diet requires a fairly well planned menu and eating plan.

LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) on the other hand is very fat friendly.  (Immediately my brain-washed mind said "that can't be healthy!")  LCHF prefers you to cut down on Carbs and Sugars significantly, cut them out entirely if possible.  Replace the carbs with fat as your energy source.  This theory is backed up by new science that proves our body burns fat as energy far more efficiently than carbs, and it is a whole lot healthier for our body when it does.

This theory means...  Eat as much fat as you want!  Obviously you need to have a healthy balance of protein and veg, but do not be afraid of fat!  Your body needs it.

The primary reason for the fat intake is because it makes you fuller for longer, and thus you end up eating less.  The research shows that people on LCHF eat 1000 calories less a day!  Without calorie counting or an eating plan!

No Eating Plan
I don't know which part of this diet is my favourite...
- the fact that I can have as much fat as I want, or...
- the fact that I don't have to plan what I am going to eat when.
Both are such paradigm shifts from all the other diets I have tried.

That's right people.  You don't have to count your calories, watch how much you're eating of a certain food, limit your fat intake.  Nothing.

THE BASIC RULES ARE:
1. Cut out as much Carbs & Sugars as possible.  (Sweetened yoghurts, starchy veg like Potatoes, Butternut & Carrots)
2. Have adequate portions of protein.
3. Have adequate portions of veg (Peppers, Lettuce, Broccoli, Cauliflower, etc.)

The Science
It is common scientific knowledge that insulin is a hormone that causes your body to store fat.  Unfortunately, this is not common public knowledge.

The more insulin you have in your body the more fat will be stored.  Of course if fat is being stored, it isn't going to be burned.

So the logic would be:  Stop insulin getting released into your body!  How does this happen?  By cutting Carbs & Sugar.  Carbs & Sugar cause the body to release insulin, and the body then burns the Carbs as energy.  Thereby storing any fat in your food, but also preventing current body fat from being burned.

By cutting out Carbs & Sugar, your insulin levels slowly decrease (it takes a few days to weeks).  This will increase a process called Ketosis, which is a process in the body that burns fat.  When your body goes into Ketosis, you're in the sweet spot.

Heaps of research shows that consuming fat (even saturated fat!) does not increase your risk of heart disease!  So why don't we ever hear about these scientific conclusions?

Because the food industry is dominated by Sugar & Carb manufacturers.  Their science will always be funded to make public circles.  And their science says "eat less fat".
Guess what?  If you eat less fat you have to supplement your energy with something else... Carbs and Sugar.
Low-fat yoghurts, milk, meat, you name it, are the order of the day.

If they can make you afraid of fat, they can make you buy more of their products.

It's really quite simple.

My Experience Thus Far
So for me...  I'm loving it.  A common day looks like this:
- Coffee with heavy cream in the morning (no sugar, cream over milk because there is less lactose and carbs and the fat helps make me feel fuller. My wife has full-cream milk though.)
- Bacon & Eggs for breakfast, no toast.
- I only start getting hungry at 1pm, which is a salad packed with chicken, bacon, gouda, mozarella.
- A snack of Brazil & Macademian Nuts in between lunch & dinner, or some Greek Yoghurt (high fat, no sugar!) and Cream.
- Some beef/fish/chicken/pork and veg for dinner.  (Steak is my fave!)  All fat remain firmly on the cut!
- About 1,5 - 2 litres of water a day.  I'm not strict.

You may say that you should rather eat smaller portions more regularly, but that is based on the theory that Carbs should be our main source of energy.  It's also practically impossible in today's busy lifestyle.

I feel much less hungry than before.  And I know I am eating less in total.  I don't have drops of energy (so common after lunch!) and I actually feel more focussed.

This all after 8 days!  Oh, and I lost 2.1kgs in my first week!
(JUNE UPDATE:  I have now lost 7kgs after 13 weeks!)

This is by far the easiest diet I have ever been on.  I can eat most of my favourite foods (except bread rolls) without having to worry about how much is too much etc.  I can eat till my heart's content!

My plan is to be on it strictly for a month, and after that consider my results and be a bit more liberal.

Until then, I encourage you to consider the health benefits of cutting out Sugar & Carbs.  And consider the science.

Start with this guy here, DR Andreas Eenfeldt, who has the most comprehensive collection of science proving the benefits of the LCHF diet.

Also, check out this video he did with an American GP here.

Am I against Carbs & Sugar?  No.  I will go back to the odd Steak Roll, chocolate & cold-drink.  But I'm now keenly aware of what they will do to my blood systems.  I want to get to a place where "all things in moderation".

FOR AN UPDATED SUMMARY OF THIS POST, CLICK HERE.

What about you?  

Have heard of the LCHF?  Would you consider trying it out?

Does this information differ from your understanding?

Follow James on Twitter for daily updates and encouragements:

31 comments

Thats a good start. Andreas is one of many people and websites I follow. I really liked the books by Volek and Phinney The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living/Performance

Also great is Jimmy Moore's site. His articles on Nutritional Ketosis are interesting.

http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/n1

Peter Attia's articles on cholesterol, saturated fat, and ketosis are of great interest as well.

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/how-did-we-come-to-believe-saturated-fat-and-cholesterol-are-bad-for-us

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-straight-dope-on-cholesterol-part-i

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/ketosis-advantaged-or-misunderstood-state-part-i

Jack Kruse and Ron Rosedale's stuff on Leptin is great.

http://www.jackkruse.com/blog-index/

The Leptin RX

CT RX

http://www.jackkruse.com/cold-thermogenesis-easy-start-guide/

Epi-Paleo RX

http://jackkruse.com/brain-gut-6-epi-paleo-rx/

http://drrosedale.com/blog/2012/08/18/a-conclusion-to-the-safe-starch-debate-by-answering-four-questions/#axzz2NRO1JI29

Ray Cronise blog on using cold is good too.

http://hypothermics.com/

Hope that wasn't too much to read. Good luck Hope you find some of this useful.

Oh almost forgot.

http://www.askthelowcarbexperts.com/2013/01/35-dr-steven-gundry-high-fat-diets-good-vs-bad/

This is just one of many great podcasts I've heard on Jimmy Moore's Ask the Low Carb Experts. Very good one though.

Hi Jonathan! Thanks so much for all those resources! That is really, really helpful material. Especially the material about saturated fat and cholesterol being bad. How that is always the controversy whenever you talk about the diet. I appreciate the comment and all the resources. Take care and happy LCHFing! ;)

I've been on keto/LCHF for six months. Lost 45 pounds (220 to 175) and went from size 38 to 32 waist. The first diet I've actually enjoyed, and it has now become my way of eating... I could never go back to that carb-crash again.

Hi Randal. Thanks for the comment. Wow! That's a serious success story right there! And that's part of the reason I am so convinced of this diet, the success stories are too numerous to ignore! I don't think I've heard one person say it doesn't work, which has to tell you something. Congratulations on your weight-loss and all the best continuing the LCHF way of life!

James, Great post! Have come to the same conclusion as you about LCHF. I dont have a weight issue but eat this way because of health. Both my parents died too young of cancer and I believe a low-carb diet can help infection and cancer stay away as well as many other health issues. It is also the natural way to eat. LCHF is growing fast in Sweden where I come from.

Hey Bjorne! Thanks so much for the comment. I'm sorry to hear about your parents. Cancer is a shocking killer and I long for the day we see it eradicated in this world! I feel so much more energy on LCHF and think it is fantastic, it is clear there are numerous health benefits, not to mention the weight benefits! Haha. ;-) Thanks again and stop by again soon!

I have been on a LCHF "diet" now for 11 weeks and have lost 11.5 kg's ! I have started at 98.5 kg on 21 Jan 2013(I am 169 cm tall and hence have a BMI of 34.5 which puts me in the obese rage) and weighed in this morning at 87 kg ! The benefits of this eating style (it is actually not a diet) have been amazing. Apart from being very obviously thinner, people comment on how much better my skin tone looks (quite surprising !). I have previously tried a low fat diet which was a nightmare as I was constantly hungry and irritated - during my LCHF "diet" so far I have virtually NEVER been hungry! Apart from the weight loss benefit to date, it caused me to learn to cook proper foods and (apart from the fun part of the learning process) added an excellent and much needed skill to my life! Thanks to Tim Noakes whom draw my attention to the concept which I previously avoided due to the bad press it has received. .

Hey Deon! Wow, what an incredible testimony of what the LCHF can do! Thank you so much for sharing. Yep, Tim Noakes was the first one to introduce me to the concept, and it's been 6 weeks and I'm now 5kgs down. And exactly as you say, without feeling like I'm even on a diet! It's fantastic. Thanks for stopping by and all the best for the journey! ;)

Hi, I've been on this diet for 2 weeks and have put on 2 kilos. However I strongly believe in the diet ( lost 3Kg on Atkins after two weeks last year but stopped) I prefer the idea of LCHF. I'm 55 years old and have a fairly stressful life ( my son also recently in MVA)- other than stress I follow the diet well with only the odd lapse with a few pieces of dark chocolate when Im feeling really tired. Also have bloated tummy etc.
Im desperate to lose weight ( I weigh 90kg). What could I be doing wrong? Typical day: bacon & eggs, Salad with meat and cheese and fish or meat with more salad ( haven't been having many vegs recently) I've had to eat out a lot due traveling, hospital etc. I do try and drink lots of water but prob only 1.5 litres. Drinking 2 cups coffee and 3 of tea ( usually with high fat milk). Any ideas what I can do?

Hey, thanks for the comment and stopping by the Blog. Firstly, let me say that I am not a medical professional. This Blog Post was rather just as a testimony of my experience on this diet thus far, and share with others what I have learned about the science behind this diet and the resources of where I learned it.

I would suggest visiting www.dietdoctor.com and ask DR Andreas via Email or via a Blog Comment there the same question and see what he may say.
Off the top of my head, I would suggest sticking it out for at least 4 weeks, but as strictly as possible. Just one day of significant sugar/carbohydrate intake may affect your weight loss because your insulin levels may increase to a point where you store the fat you're eating or at least prevent fat burning (ketosis).
That's just a basic, off-the-top-of-my-head suggestion for now. BUt keep doing your research and sticking it out. I can assure you, THIS DIET WORKS!

In 8 weeks I have lost 4.5kgs, 5cm around the waist, and my cholesterol sits at a healthy 3.9!

Good luck!

Anon- Try adding coconut oil or canned coconut milk. Try fixing the ratios- too much protein with not enough fat can stall things too.

Susan Cunningham June 1, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Just wanted to share my reason for switching to a LCHF lifestyle. I was a member of a very large slimming company who claimed I could eat as much fruit, veg, fat free yougurts/products and pasta, potatoes, rice and noodles as I liked as long as I ate them without fat and in a specific ratio. After initially loosing 4lb in my first week I struggled so much to drop any more. Every week at weigh in it was 2lb on, 2lb off, 1 on, 2 off..and so on. I started using a food nutrition tracker on line and was totally shocked at the amount of sugar and carbs I was consuming. Some days it was as much as 250grams over what I should have been eating. Alarm bells set in and I new it was time ditch the fat free yogurts and tonnes of fruit and investigate a healthier way of shedding the pounds. I am 37 years old and 5ft 4" small and weighed in at 182lbs. There is a history of type 2 diebetes in my family and i new I would be heading that way too if I didn't change. In the past I remeber dabling with Atkins but never stayed on it long enough to notice any great benefit. However, the science and concept of LCHF eating is so simple and easy to understand that it really is fool proof. After weighing up all the facts it was clear this was the only way to go. I am now into my second week of LCHF living and at the end of my first week I was 10lb (4.5kg) lighter. The first day was hell as I gave up the carbs and sugar. I suffered from bad withdrawls. My head ached the whole day and night and I had severe fatigue, even fell asleep at the wheel. I feel good now and know that I have to make this a lifestyle not a fad. Hope you don't mind me sharing my experience so far, I don't know anyone else who is attempting this way of living here in Northern Ireland.

I am starting LCHF today and i am so Excited. I have done so uch research on this. I have 2 friends who have lost between 20 - 30kgs. I am about to do the same! Thank you for your blog - it has just inpspired me to do the same!

Thanks Lynn. That's some interesting perspective with the coconut oil or milk. I haven't tried those myself. I totally agree with too much protein over fat effecting results. Thanks for the comment!

Hey Susan! WOW! What an incredible story! Thank you so much for sharing. Yes, it continues to stun me how society today is infatuated with "low-fat" and "fat-free" products and yet have no clue about the dangers of carbs, especially the diet companies! It is just crazy.

You're right, it's not a fad, it's a lifestyle. I am now stable on LCHF at 7kgs less than original weight, but have a cheat day every week or so where I enjoy some Sushi, the odd chocolate & sweet, and maybe a hamburger and chips. I don't over-indulge though. I am finding it very easy to remain stable and consistent. Love it!

It's great having you stop by from Northern Ireland! Haha, I can imagine it must be tough to get people in your part of the world onto LCHF because you are the great "potato country"! Haha.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Hi Justine! That is awesome news that the blog has inspired you to do it as well! I am so pleased. If you are strict about not consuming carbs or sugar there is no doubt you will lose weight! The best part is you can eat as much fat as you like! No calorie counting or meal plans. It's SO EASY! Thanks so much for the comment and let us know how it goes!

hi
thanx for your information about LCHF diet...
i am following this diet plan from a week, but i m not loosing weight.. :(
please mention how much gram carb i can take per day and also how much fat...
most of my food containing carb....like 4g/6g/10g
can i take mayonnaise with my salad?
n can i take cheese with 5g carb?
thanx again

Hi Salina! Thanks so much for stopping by the Blog and for your comment. Again to reiterate: I am not a medical professional, so my advice may not hold as much weight as say someone like DR Andreas from www.dietdoctor.com

To answer your questions from my experience...
It is advisable to try and keep daily Carbohydrate intake to below 35gms or even more! Some days I have less than 20 grams. Most things naturally have some Carbs in them like Peanuts, Mayonaise has a bit, some vegetables have a little, so it's almost impossible to cut Carbs out COMPLETELY. But the goal is try and cut them out as much as possible.

All those things you have mentioned there are FINE. Mayonnaise is perfectly fine. Cheese is fine. Just choose high fat, low carb options. I had to change the brand of Mayonnaise I used because it had 20% carbs in, whereas my new brand only has 7%.

As to why you may not be losing weight... What I have read so far is that some people reach a point where they can't lose much more weight, especially on this diet. This diet doesn't make you shrink to skin and bones, it will make you lose excess weight. So if you are already at a good Body Mass Index (BMI) then you may find that you won't lose much more weight, in which case it may be a good idea to stick to a stricter eating plan with a planned workout program, if you want to lose more weight, that is. For instance, I have lost 7kgs in total thus far, and seem to have stabilise (stopped) there. I don't seem to be losing much more than that.

But, if you feel your body SHOULD be losing more weight, then give it a bit more time. One week is a very short time for your body to start showing results. Give it 3 weeks and then see how you go.

Thanks again for stopping by and be sure to come visit again!

James

Love your blog. Being searching google all over for information on the LCHF diet and find piece of information, which I am trying to put together to form some kind of picture but do not have all the time at work which I would like to, to gather all the information, After being on several diets during my life time, you find one that works for the first month or 2 and then all back to square one. Sometimes you get so despondent in trying over and over again just to be back where you started or more. I desperately want to start on the LCHF diet but not sure how and where to begin. I am not a huge fan of any kind of bread, pastas give me enormous allergens stuffy nose painful sinuses, the same with certain cheeses and certain kind of cereals. My breakfast contain low fat yogurt and seasonal fruits, snack provitas, lunch either salad (chicken/tuna, small tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, peppers) or 2 slices of brown bread with marmite, dinner varies from pork, chicken, fish, mince, tjoppies (rice/pasta and veggies). Tea with honey instead of sugar and coffee with 1 tsp of brown sugar. I do have Lint chocolate usually buy myself a slab and that last me about a month sometimes longer depend on stress at work. During the day I drink my water. I am not a gym-junkie rather go for frisk walks and exercise at home. Still not losing weight. Presume the first step is to lose the sugar & carbs. Where can I obtain a guide line on what and what not, how much or less.

Hi Mariana! Thank you so much for your comment and encouragement on the Blog, much appreciated! I hope you find the info helpful.
If you want to start this diet, you will need to lose the honey, provitas, fruit, and even cut down on the Lindt for a bit. But trust me, it is easier than you expect. Replacing all that with fun, fatty foods and dairy makes it so easy! Try this link here: http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf and look for the section "DIETARY ADVICE" section with the heading "Eat All You Like".
That post right there is all you need to get started! Try this diet out for 4 weeks (it's much easier than you think) and I am sure you will see results!

Good luck and thanks again for the comment.

Thank you kind sir. O, by the way, hubby is joining me - he does not know that yet, LOL. Thank you for the link helped a lot and appreciate your feedback and all the other supporters on the blog - your stories and suggestions are so inspiring.

Thank you for a very inspiring BLOG!
We have a great GP who has told me and my husband about the LCHF and we have started a couple of days ago. I actually cant believe how I do not feel hungry and we are really excited about this and although both of us need to lose weight we are seeingf it as a lifestyle change and not diet.

I was wondering if you have any ideas on how to incorporate this lifestyle with children...eg lunch boxes etc. I find that the hardest challenge along with a after dinner sweet treat...

thanks
antoinette

That's so great to hear, Mariana. I am so glad the stories and suggestions are helping. All the best in your new way of eating! :)

Hi Antoinette,

sorry for the late reply! Yep, the way you feel "satiated" is just awesome. The perfect way to lose weight!

Eish... children is indeed a tough one! Our son is still on a pretty high carb diet unfortunately. Just because it is too difficult with our busy lifestyles to do anything else at this stage. I figured it worked for me for the first 28 years of my life and hopefully he'll be ok for the first 5 or so? Haha.

But suggestions... Well, I have high-fat Greek yoghurt, macademia nuts, biltong (dried beef sticks), boiled eggs, chicken, & cheese salad etc. Make sure you read the nutritional info on all products indicating the amount of Carbohydrate per 100g/100ml. Anything above 12 is too much!

For after dinner... Coffee and cream is great. Or Greek yoghurt mixed with cream works great, too.

Good luck and stay in touch.

Hi James,
I started this diet 5 days ago and the big thing Ive noticed is the amount of energy I have, I no longer feel dog tired during the day and have no desire for sugar fixes, which is unusual as I loved my energy drinks and chocolate !
Like you my brainwashed mind was screaming " what on earth are you doing !!" Big food companies have a lot to answer for, in my opinion high carbs kill, that may sound dramatic but I firmly believe life is shortened whilst eating junk ( the stuff we were told was good for us )
Really enjoyed reading your blog.
john, a potatoe free Irishman.

Hey Susan Ruth here from N.I. Great to see someone else from here! I've done Atkins a few times since the 70's and now am eating LCHF again after a lapse ... something I keep thinking I've cured myself of with this great way of eating but no! I'm sadly a yo yo eater. When in the zone you'll find no one more dedicated and frustrated at the criticism and promotion of low fat chemical food! I've done all the low fat diets. I hope you see this!

Great site! Thanks for all the links which I hope to get around to soon. I love eating LCHF and hate the dangerous low fat propeganda and misinformation about fat! Ruth

Hi Antoinette,

The Paleo diet is quite similar to the LCHF diet in certain respects (though it cuts out dairy and still "allows" honey and fruit) but the website nomnompaleo.com/‎ has a whole series of ideas for children's lunchboxes as well as quick snacks and dinners for families.

Other low carb food bloggers are:

http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/

http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/

These sites have a few more complicated recipes and many ideas for low carb dinners. They also look at low carb baking which is great if you want to indulge but don't want the stress of a blood sugar spike!

I hope this helps!

Hi Raquel!

Thanks so much for the reply. Great to have you on the Blog and contributing to the conversation. Appreciate the advice too.

Have you seen that Mark Sisson just released a post about whether eating Dairy is ok? Interesting read:
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dairy-fat-healthy-paleo-primal/

Thanks again for the reply and stay in touch!

Hey John!

Thanks so much for the reply! What a great testimony of how this diet really works. Haha! I didn't know Irishman could be potato free!

Thanks again for making the comment and do stay in touch.

James

Hey Ruth!

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Yep, the propaganda is frightening. But we are in the midst of a food revolution. So hopefully the next generation won't be exposed to such propaganda.

Thanks for the comment and stay in touch!

James

Post a Comment

Spiritual Blog of 2013!

Spiritual Blog of 2013!

Welcome to JamesPreston.org

Weekly Email Inspiration:

Enter Your Email for powerful inspiration:

James Interviews Mike Stopforth about Entrepreneurship:

FOLLOW JAMES:

James' Popular Blog Posts:

Search

James on Google Plus: