Personal opinions first, then science.
What I hate the most about this diet fad, is the religion it has turned into, it limits your way of enjoying food in a varied and natural way. It takes fruit out of your diet, it generally takes a lot of freshness from your food. I don’t like that, I see people eating tomatoes with tuna and mayo, that’s not a fresh delicious meal, that’s a compromise.
From my perspective, a healthy way of eating is not limiting in any way, instead it is a diet that is loaded with all the colors of the rainbow, in the shape of all the fruit and vegetables you want and feel like. No it wont make you fat. Instead of eating all that processed, brown, fatty food, boring veggies and oil. Why not eat all the fresh delicious fruit and veggies out there? In a balanced symphony of delicious colors, flavors, smells and textures. Fresh, crispy, soft, sweet, sour and green.
What is the principle behind LCHF?
So the thought of LCHF started out with a doctor named Atkins in 1972, he noticed that if you cut out carbohydrates or sugars from your diet, and instead only ate protein and fat, your body would begin burning fat as it’s primary source of energy. The body would enter the state of ketosis, that’s why another fancy word for the Atkins diet is ‘keto’ diet (same thing, different marketing). If you have success of keeping out carbs so long that your muscles glycogen storage’s empties out (about 1-5 days depending on activity level), then you begin to burn fat.
All good so far? Take away your bodies favorite form of fuel, and let it burn fat instead, makes sense right? NO!
- You get high cholesterol – Fatty meat, fatty dairy, loads of eggs and other forms of fats raises bad cholesterol. To be fair studies have shown cholesterol to drop after 2 years of eating a ‘pure’ lchf diet, which I have yet to see one single example of happening in real life.
- Kidney failure – Problems with the kidneys in general. Protein is processed by your kidneys, and they end up getting destroyed by the extreme amount of protein they need to handle, very bad.
- Vitamins and minerals – All the vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers you get from eating fruits and vegetables all help your brain function, help your gut function (new science believes your gut health to be the single most important thing for a long and healthy life, it even links it to depression and the reversal of ‘age related’ health problems).
- Joy of eating – Enjoying life has been proven to be the very best thing we can do for our health, it makes us stay healthy and avoid age related problems like Alzheimer and dementia. And it makes us happy and smiling, a well covered table is a feast for the eyes and the soul, robbing yourself of that takes away a huge part of your life.
Your muscles don’t burn fat, they use their glycogen storage for energy, and guess what they are made up of, carbs, not protein, not fat, carbs. That is why you won’t find many high performance athletes eating this way. There has been several studies made with the same conclusion, adapting a carb restricted diet will actually stop you from improving in your workouts, your performance will not improve during the time you are following a lchf diet. link to study right here.
Yes your body will be become better at burning fat, but only while you are on the diet, after a short period of time back on a regular healthy diet, you will be back to your normal metabolism. Again to be fair, some studies have shown that slow paced endurance runners might have an advantage in the amount of time they can run with only burning fat, since the body can store more of it than carbs.
Fashion in diets
I think people today, more than ever, feel like they need to be part of a movement, and diet companies have become so great at marketing. The commercialization of diets is BIG business, and the author’s of diet books, doctors and the like, know exactly how to sell their product to you. They do it by giving you all the ‘good’ reasons, all the bacon you can eat, all the cheese, all the fatty greasy food you love.
They forget to tell you the bad things, the boring meals, all tasting the same, the lack of fiber in your diet, how you always feel constipated, the cold sweats from being in ketosis. That you will feel hungry while exercising, that you ‘have’ to eat carbs anyway, otherwise you will ruing your body, that the whole thing is based on a 45 year old idea, created by a hollywood doctors crazy idea of making money of rich movie stars, a diet so stupid that the doctor himself died at the age of only 71, from guess what? Heart problems… Some will say that it was a chronicle condition, but even so, all science point to the fact that a healthy, mostly plant based diet could have reversed the effect…
So how do I lose weight?
If you want to lose weight, keep it of and still enjoy life as it was meant to be, then you need to switch your entire approach around and start living differently. You need to change your mindset, the way you look at food and your habits surrounding it. People don’t like to it when things get to complicated, they always buy the easy way out, and that is what Atkins offered, just eat like this and you will lose weight fast, don’t worry, you can eat all the bacon and eggs your want. Truth be told, it is a bit more complex than that.
Whatever you do don’t be fooled, what you are doing by following this diet is trying to take the easy way out, you read, somebody told you or you saw it in a TV program or an add, they said it would be easy, they said it would be quick, and that’s why you do it! It’s NOT easy eating this way, no bread, no potatoes, no fruit, no rice, no nothing, only heavy, fatty meals, nothing to get you that fresh feeling in your mouth afterwards, no desserts.. I am a determined mad, but I sure as hell couldn’t handle it even for a week, let alone years.
Just don’t lie to yourself, take the straight forward approach instead, eat a healthy, varied diet, consisting of loads of fruit and veg, loads of plant based proteins, little fat and little meat, no dairy, you will feel amazing even after only a week, and you will have no restrictions if you do it right!
I wrote a lot more about how to actually lose weight and how to change your patterns in a couple of other blog posts
Everything on weight loss:
Changing your habits surrounding food:
You can also find a complete guide to weight loss, health and happiness in my book 5 kilos in 5 weeks:
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