A low-carb diet means you eat fewer carbohydrates and a higher proportion of fat. This is often called a low-carb, high-fat diet (LCHF). Most importantly, you minimize your intake of sugar and starches. You can eat other delicious foods until you are satisfied – and still lose weight.
Many nutritionists and researchers such as Gary Taubes, Dr Andreas Eenfeldt, Professor Tim Noakes and Robert Lustig disagree with conventional nutrition advice that an excess of calories is driving our obesity epidemic. Gary Taubes describes a different scenario in his insulin hypothesis. It’s insulin – or metabolic dysregulation – that causes weight gain, not a simplified caloric equation. It makes sense. We live in an age where gym memberships have increased 300% and big food companies have actively sought to reduce fat – especially saturated fat – from our food chain.
Yet in the same time period type two diabetes, obesity and chronic illness are all on the rise. It’s not a lack of exercise or an abundance of calories driving our modern health crisis – although these things likely contribute – it’s eating foods that are at odds with our hormonal makeup.
LCHF typically actually stands for Low Carb High Fat, but we would like you to think of it as Low Carb Healthy Fat.
We feel this better reflects what it’s all about. It’s not about adding huge quantities of fat to every meal. It’s about eating enough fat for proper hormone production and to keep you full and satisfied between meals. Balancing your hormones will create the best possible environment within your body to release the excess weight.
While we do want you to eat more fat than you are probably used to, the emphasis is on healthy sources of fat.
LCHF is not a “diet”, it is a way of life. It encompasses a way of eating that embraces whole foods; that is, foods that are minimally processed and generally don’t come in packages.
If you truly embrace this way of eating, it will naturally end up being lower in carbohydrate and higher in fat than the current mainstream way of eating.
The carbs we have included in the Recal plan are designed to get your metabolism working effectively while matching your energy expenditure. It can be helpful to remember this basic way of viewing the nutrition plan; For optimal health, each meal should be built around fats, protein, and micronutrients, (that is the vitamins and minerals found in vegetables grown above the ground.)
If you aren’t active, this is the basic formula for health. In order to eat carbohydrates, you need to earn them. So, around your training sessions you can include your carbohydrate servings.
The good news is, you can truly make some delicious meals including the delicious fats and proteins.
Why LCHF works
- If you gain weight easily, feel lethargic, stressed and are out of shape, chances are you are insulin resistant and intolerant to carbs. LCHF is the best lifestyle approach for managing insulin resistance.When you can control your blood sugars and the hormones that control your energy levels and weight (especially insulin), your body will respond by working as it was designed to – as a fat-burning machine. Think of it like resetting your metabolism so it can function optimally.
- Weight control will become effortless, your energy levels will be better, and you will feel great – free at last from the low-fat calorie counting way of living that left you hungry, sick and tired.
- What raises glucose and insulin levels? Carbohydrate. We all vary in how we respond to and tolerate carbs. Finding your particular carb-tolerance level means your blood sugar and insulin will be well controlled. Until you find your own personal sweet spot for carb consumption, this plan is a great place to start.
So What Will I Eat?
- Good-quality carbs from whole foods that are minimally processed, such as vegetables (lots of non-starchy ones), fruit, and dairy products.
- Protein from minimally processed meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds and very occasionally legumes (beans and pulses).
- Fat from whole, minimally processed plant and animal sources, including avocado, olive oil, nuts, fatty fish, dairy products and coconut products.
What shouldn’t I eat?
- Refined and processed junk foods containing sugar.
- Large quantities of fruit and starchy vegetables.
- Refined, nutrient-poor, packaged carbohydrate-based foods, including most grains such as breads, cereals, pasta, rice, muesli bars and crackers.