My opinion is that Banting works best for people who have dieted their whole lives and have yoyo’ed up and down the scale from 150kg to 80kg and back up again. They are chronically ill with obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes (metabolic syndrome). They have desperately wanted to lose weight but have a massive problem in that they are addicted to sugar and can’t help themselves. They are also insulin resistant, which is when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin, so more insulin has to be released to get the desired effect. Suddenly they try this lifestyle of getting rid of all the rubbish they’ve been eating and they start eating real food…from fresh veggies to free range meat and dairy. The weight just falls off them, yet they are not hungry. The results have been amazing. Just visit some of the before and after photos on the Banting Facebook pages and you marvel at how effective this way of eating is.
For me, who is not more than 4-5kg overweight, Banting is more for health. It helps with psoriasis, leaky gut, skin blemishes, arthritis and joint issues….not that I’ve had all of those issues, but I certainly have had some. I have lost a couple of kilograms but have enjoyed the benefits of not eating sugar, feeling alert and energised.
There are also athletes who also have no weight issues and who embrace Banting because it maintains a stable blood sugar level. There are no massive sugar spikes and awful lows, so while training, they are more stable. And they don’t have to be ridiculous and eat only 25g of carbs a day. They can take it up to 100g per day or even 150g if they are burning a lot of calories.
Everyone has to be responsible for their own health and gauge how they feel and what is best for them. This is your body. You have to take care of it in the best way you know how. No one else can feel what you feel or what works for you.
As with all mankind, you can go to both extremes. Traditional ‘low fat’ eaters can binge through thousands of grammes of carbs per day. Just 4 pieces of break is 100g. Their sugar levels go crazy, insulin spikes and then plunges. Afternoon dips cause sleepiness and energy levels go up and down. This chronic pattern is devastatingly bad and contributes to metabolic syndrome..
Then you get the Banters who achieve ketosis and operate off their fat. I haven’t figured out why yet, but it seems a bit extreme. Maybe someone can let me know what the benefits are.
Then there’s me, who eats as few carbs as I can, but I don’t count them. My biggest issue with Banting has been constipation. And I know I am not alone. People write to me about this. The danger is for it to become chronic constipation. Banters need to pepper their diet with fibre. Veggies, seed crackers, psyllium husks and WATER! I have bran flakes for breakfast – not a lot – only about 20g which with the dietary fire taken off, leaves about 4.5g carbs. It’s worth adding fibre to ensure you are regular. Banting is there to enhance your life and not make it miserable! If Banting is making you miserable, you need to look again.
Then there’s my husband who does not Bant. He is 75kg and has been for most of our 30 years together! His metabolism is fine. He eats toast and high sugar milk chocolate and never gains weight. But he also goes several hours sometimes without eating. His blood pressure is text book. He’s fit and healthy and thinks Banting is a bit of a craze. But when I show him the pictures of a poor woman who weighed close to 180kg a year ago and today she is 100kg lighter, he too has to admit that there is something in it.
Don’t judge. Don’t judge the Banters. Don’t judge the Low Fat fans. That’s why I wrote the article on 5 Banting Principles Critics Will Agree On. For Banters there is a middle road and I’m trying to be on it. Low Fat fans can also get on it. My emphasis may swing a little towards more fat than the low fat fans, but the fats I choose will be more avo and coconut based instead of a true Banter who will gnaw through biltong fat and choose the fattiest lamb chop. I’m less into animal fat than the purist! And, I’ve discovered that I do better on less dairy, so I’ve cut back on a lot of dairy products.
Both schools of thought should be ditching sugars and sweeteners as much as they possibly can. My treat lies here…
Best not to judge. I’ve never been 150kg but I’ve seen the unhappiness in the eyes of those who have. They desperately want the ability to change. Banting gives them a change that they can work with and the results have been phenomenal. Their appreciation knows no bounds. They have been given a new lease on life and it has convinced me that Banting is best.
For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
Keep the smile going.
God bless you!
In His Grip,