LCHF is a delicious, simple, healthy and life changing way of eating
We follow a combination of LCHF (low carb/healthy fat) and Paleo and it certainly has been life changing for us! Chris has lost over 10 kilos and we are the healthiest we have ever been. We sleep better, we have more energy, our weight is steady and stable, our moods are better (thank goodness!) and we don’t get sick much at all. We have been following LCHF for years now and would never, ever go back. We don’t find it restrictive we find it liberating!
“Low Carb High/Healthy Fat”, or LCHF means a diet lower in carbohydrates and higher in healthy fats. Eliminating sugary foods, processed foods and things like pasta and bread and replacing them with real whole foods including protein, natural fats and vegetables is what it’s all about!
We also have a huge focus on gut health, so fermented foods play a big role in my families diet. I make my own kombucha (fermented tea), milk kefir and sauerkraut (cabbage) – and we all consume it most days, my daughter and dog included! See here for my blog post on milk kefir: http://www.mimfit.net/diabetes-and-kefir/
To really simplify LCHF:
- Eat foods like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables that grow above the ground and natural fats (like butter, coconut oil and animal fats).
- Don’t eat foods like bread, pasta, rice, beans, potatoes and processed or baked goods that are high in sugar and starch.
Many studies have shown (and are continuing to show) that whole food low-carb, healthy/high fat diets result in fat loss and improved health markers. LCHF is extremely simple to follow once you get the hang of it with no calorie counting or special products needed.
Eat when you’re hungry, until you’re satisfied (not extremely full). It’s that simple. You do not need to count calories or weigh your food. And don’t even think about commercial low-fat products. Natural, full fat is the way to go!
There are 3 main ‘classifications’ of low carb eating:
- Liberal – between 50-100 grams net carbs per day
- Moderate – between 20-50 grams net carbs per day
- Ketogenic – below 20 grams net carbs per day
What are net/digestible carbohydrates? Net carbohydrates have had the fibre subtracted. For example: if 1 cup of broccoli has 7g of carbs and 4g of fibre, the total NET carbs is 3g.
If you are someone who is struggling with weight issues, diabetes and food or sugar addiction, a strict low carb and often ketogenic diet is often the most effective. A classic ketogenic (or extra low-carb diet) follows these macros of 75% fat, 25% protein, 5% carbohydrate. To calculate your specific macros, I have found this calculator extremely helpful: https://ketogains.com/ketogains-calculator/
If you are doing this for a health boost, energy boost, to simplify eating and/or to prevent inflammation and future illness and if you are happy with you current body weight, a more liberal approach is often all it takes to reap the benefits. Quite often just avoiding the foods on the ‘no’ list and limiting those on the ‘maybe’ list will keep you under your limit. Click here for the Yes, No Maybe list http://www.mimfit.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Yes-No-Maybe.pdf
If you are starting out for the first time, I would recommend going as low with your carb intake as you can – getting into ketosis quickly and feeling the amazing benefits – it really can be mind-blowing! You can always add a few extra carbs in here and there as your health improves and you start to experiment with what works for you. Be sure to check with your health practitioner to make sure that this is OK for you.
But remember – the lower the carbs the more effective and efficient the results, but the more restrictive and harder to stick to it will be. Make sure you can stick to what you are doing – give it a really good go; and if you REALLY can’t stick to it, try a more liberal approach until your food/sugar addiction is broken, and then try dropping your carb count a little lower.
I Am Here to Help!
If you need help figuring this whole LCHF thing out – I am available for one on one consultations (in person and via skype) and if you live locally to me, I can even come shopping with you; help you plan out your menu for the week, clean out your pantry, guide you through the transition process or simply hold you accountable and support you as needed.
I also run an 8 Week Healthy You Challenge that is a simple, affordable and straight forward way to kick start the LCHF way of living. This challenge is entirely online and you can join whenever you like. Click here for more info: http://www.mimfit.net/healthy-you-challenge-info/
If you are planning on giving this life changing way of eating a go, well done! I am here to support you all the way if you need me. I also really need you to please be aware of the potential side effects of a ketogenic diet, and prepare yourself accordingly.
If you are taking any medication (including for high blood pressure and/or diabetes) or if you are breastfeeding, I would advise you to work closely with your health care professional. It is not advisable to drop your carbs below 50g per day if you are breastfeeding. For Type 1 diabetics, it is also advisable to keep your carbs around 50g per day.
Please consult your health care professional if you have any questions at all regarding a low carb diet; if you can find a health care professional who understand LCHF, you will be much better off! See below for more on medications and LCHF.
- Don’t go over 15g of net carbs at any one time. Make sure carbs are of high quality and natural if you do eat them.
- Don’t overdo it on protein.
- Eat as much healthy fat as you like. Don’t over do it though. If you eat too much fat, your body will burn the fat you eat before (or instead of) your stored fat.
- Only eat when you are hungry (skipping meals is fine)
- Calculate your macronutrients using an online macro calculator such as http://ketogains.com/ketogains-calculator/
- Keep an eye on your electrolytes (water and mineral balance) and hormones. (I see a naturopath for this)
- Make sure you get enough salt in your diet (pink salt, NOT table salt).
- Make sure you get enough magnesium, potassium and vitamin D.
- For a list of what foods to eat and which ones to avoid, please click here: http://www.mimfit.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Yes-No-Maybe.pdf
- For a comprehensive list of FAQ’s please click here: http://www.mimfit.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/LCHF-FAQs-MUST-READ.pdf
- For some great free low-carb recipes click here: http://www.mimfit.net/recipes/
- I am also loading new recipes here (opens in a new tab)
- To purchase my complete cookbook filled with simple and easy to follow low-carb recipes, click here: http://www.mimfit.net/product/the-complete-cookbook/
Side Effects and How to Minimize Them:
Although this way of eating is safe, there may be some initial side effects while your body adapts to burning fat for energy instead of carbs.
This is often referred to as “keto flu” – and is usually over within a few days.
Keto flu includes poor energy and mental function, increased hunger, sleep issues, nausea, digestive discomfort and decreased exercise performance. Be sure to keep an eye on your electrolytes – I find bone broth to be a life saver at his point in the process. Recipe here:
You can ease into this by reducing carbs gradually if preferred.
At least in the beginning, it is important to eat until fullness and to avoid restricting calories. Usually eating this way causes weight loss without intentional calorie restriction. Please check with your GP if you have any concerns.
Medications and Early Ketosis:
Even though I personally believe in the power of ketogenic diets to improve and even reverse many chronic illnesses, from diabetes to chronic fatigue to mood disorders, the diet does this by causing very real shifts in body chemistry that can have a major impact on medication dosages and side effects, especially during the first few weeks.
Examples of problematic situations include sudden drops in blood pressure for those on blood pressure medications (such as Lasix, Lisinopril, and Atenolol), and sudden drops in blood sugar for those on diabetes medications (especially insulin). These changes in blood pressure and blood sugar are very positive and healthy, but the presence of medications can artificially intensify these effects and cause extreme and sometimes dangerous reactions unless your dosage is carefully monitored by you and your medical practitioner in the first month or so.
Another important example of a medicine that would require careful monitoring is Lithium, an antidepressant and mood stabilizing medicine. The ketogenic diet causes the body to let go of excess water during the first few days, which can cause Lithium to become more concentrated in the blood, potentially rising to uncomfortable or even toxic levels.
These are just a few important examples, so regardless of what medication you take, please consult with your medical practitioner before getting started.
Don’t let this put you off! Just take precautions do some research, and ask questions where necessary.
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