So you have a question? Well, we have the answers.
You might be wondering whether Banting can function as a diabetes diet (it can), or if it even applies to your age, sex, and lifestyle (it does). Find out whether to eat before or after exercise, what ratio of protein foods, fats and vegetables you need per meal, and why the cabbage soup diet, the liquid diet, diet pills, that trendy calorie counter or any other quick fix weight loss eating plan that tries to tell you how to lose weight fast by starving yourself and malnourishing your body never worked.
Our FAQ will teach you about the meaning and relevance of ketosis, and what nutrition you’re really getting from each of our indulgent and delicious recipes.
There are some standard blanket answers below, but if you want real answers, why not contact us personally?
Who should Bant?
Anyone who suffers from one or all symptoms of the metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance, i.e.
• Overweight or obese
• High Blood Pressure
• Type 2 Diabetes
Who is advised not to Bant?
Banting refers to a diet high in good quality healthy fats, adequate protein and containing no more than 50g of net carbohydrates per day.
You should avoid Banting if:
• You have a medical issue that you are unsure of and have not yet received consent from your doctor to Bant
• You are particularly lean, do regular high intensity exercise and have no weight problems
Can I Bant if my weight is normal?
Yes. There are many health benefits to Banting: healthy heart, healthy sugar and cholesterol levels, healthy weight and repair of damage from inflammation. 40% of normal weight people still suffer from metabolic syndrome and therefore could be Thin Outside Fat Inside (TOFI), so be warned!
How do I get started?
The best way to get started is to read the Real Meal Revolution to get to grips with the theory and a few great banting recipes. Next step, sign-up for our online course to have full access to the only trusted official Online Banting Course. Finally, get social and sign up for our newsletter and join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What can I do right now to get Banting?
There are a few things you can do right now. The first would be to clean all your cupboards of anything with sugar, refined carbs, wheat or vegetable oil in it and stock up on meat, fish, eggs, dairy, green leafy veg, nuts, seeds and berries. Have a look at the following articles "What Should My Plate Look Like", "The 10 Commandments of Beginner Banting", "Ketosis" and "Big Breakfast vs. Big Dinner".
Can I cheat?
It depends on your level of insulin resistance and and how fast you wish to lose weight. To be honest, with all the delicious food you will be eating, every day will feel like a cheat day. The key here is preparation. Be sure to have everything you need on hand and know where to eat out where you can enjoy banting-friendly food.
The problem with cheating is that once your body has used up all its glycogen stores and become fat adapted, your body creates ketones to burn fat. If you cheat, your body begins burning carbs again rather than fat and you stop losing weight. You then have to go through the cold turkey all over again.
For further information about how ketosis works have a look here.
Do I have to count calories while Banting?
There is absolutely no need to be wasting your time counting calories. If you stick to the lists of approved foods we give you, you will be fine. You may however like to keep in mind how many net carbs you are eating. This is fairly simple. All you need to do is subtract the dietary fibre from the amount of carbs you eat and you are all set!
If you feel hungry though, fill up on some fat. Two meals a day should be enough if you are eating enough fat. If you must snack a few nuts here and there will quell and feeling of hunger
What are the best foods to eat while Banting?
The Real Meal Revolution book is filled with some fantastic recipes that will help you feel satisfied and happy all through the day. Fill up on real food, free from sugar, refined carbs, wheat and vegetable oils from the lists we provide and make sure you are getting enough healthy fat.
Real food is the only way to go. It is the best way to have control over what you are eating. Think of this way: You are unhealthy not because you are not exercising, you are unhealthy because you are not stepping up to the plate – It’s time to start cooking your own food.
Don’t fall for unhealthy packaged food, full of sugars and preservatives.
What foods should I avoid while Banting?
It is best to avoid everything that you see which contains sugar, refined carbs, wheat and vegetable oils or high-carbohydrate foods (e.g. potatoes, rice).
All processed foods, foods containing refined sugars and fruit sugars as well as carb-rich or low-fat foods would be avoided at all times. Not only are they generally spoiled in the refining process, but are devastatingly low in nutritional value. These foods do not resemble real food in any way and should not find its way onto your plate. Go for the the real food option every time!
What snacks can I eat while Banting?
If you feel you really need the boost, have some broth or eat some nuts, pork crackling or seeds. We do feel, however, that you won’t need to snack at all. If you have had enough fat for breakfast, then you will not need to snack during the day. It’s all about appetite control. Carbs make you feel hungry and cause your body to experience cravings, while fat keeps you satisfied and craving-free.
What can I drink while Banting?
Water, tea and coffee are great. Be sure to have full-cream milk if you must and skip the sugar. You may also like to try the Banting Hot Chocolate or the Bulletproof Coffee. There are some great sugar free cordials and iced teas that you can learn to make yourself by enrolling in our Online Banting Course.
Can I have alcohol while Banting?
We’re faced with a dilemma here. We’re trying to promote health and overall well-being so promoting booze is not in our interest as alcohol is highly toxic. Dry wines, most spirits, low energy beers and a few other drinks are safe BUT that is only from a carb perspective. Alcopops, normal beer, any spirit mixer or cocktail will halt any weight loss you’re experiencing. It’s easy for us to promote low-carb alcoholic beverages but one needs to remember that a low-carb 5% vol. beer is still 5% toxic. Alcohol is also really good at draining motivation, lowering inhibitions, impairing driving ability and and and... So we leave drinking up to you.
While cooking, the wine is boiled away along with the alcohol and so only the flavour (and carbs) remains. Make sure that your net carbs remain 50g or under and you should be fine!
Can I exercise while Banting?
Exercise is great, but don’t forget the facts about fat. Banting may be high in fat, but it is the sugars that result from a carbohydrate rich diet that makes you fat, cause inflammation and other diseases.
You are free to exercise while Banting - there are a whole host of benefits in doing so - yet it is not necessary for weight loss. Eating real food will help you trim down in no time! For more information about exercise and nutrition see "Why Some People Don’t Lose Weight When Banting" and Gary Taubes’ great video: "Why We Get Fat".
How often should I weigh myself?
There is no rule about how often to weigh, but you may like to weigh yourself once a week to see how you are doing. However, don't become a slave to the scales. Your body composition and shape is far more important than weight. If you find yourself plateauing or not losing as quickly as you would like, try skipping the dairy for a few weeks. Here are some great links to help you along the way:
• The 10 Commandments of Beginner Banting
• What should my plate look like?
• Why some people don’t lose weight while Banting
How do I measure my girth/waist?
• Stand with 20 cm between feet.
• Measure directly against your skin.
• Breathe out normally.
• Make sure the tape is not compressing the skin.
• Measure halfway between your lowest rib and the top of your hipbone, roughly in line with your belly button.
Your waist-to-hip and waist-to-height measurements are very useful indicators of health and where your fat is deposited.
What do I do if I am not losing weight?
Not losing weight can be very frustrating. If you are not losing weight check that you are in fact in the state of ketosis using Keto Sticks, consider dropping dairy for a few weeks and the weight should almost magically disappear. For more information be sure to check out "The 10 Commandments of Beginner Banting".
Is there an age limit?
If your child shows any signs of obesity, there is a high likelihood that he or she is insulin resistant. In this case, Banting will be very beneficial. Contact us if you're interested in our specific recommendations for kids.
What are the side effects?
Some side-effects in the short term may include dizziness, shivers, sweats, cramping, muscle pain and a change in gut flora. These are side effects of your body ‘coming off the carbs’. The side-effects should not last longer than a week. Take some extra sea salt and magnesium and hang in there!
If I eat only two meals a day, what if I’m hungry at lunch time?
There is no need to eat more than two meals a day but that does not mean you may not eat three. The idea is to eat to hunger. If you are hungry, eat until you are full. If you are not, don’t. When you remove addictive foods from your diet and up your fat intake, you will find that you do not need to eat as often as you have been told to eat. So, if you are starving at lunchtime, eat something.
What tests can I do to monitor changes?
The easy ones are to weigh yourself and measure things like your waist, chest, and hips. Be sure to do this before you start Banting to see the results for yourself later down the line.
Some weighing machines will give you an estimate of your body fat and be sure to ask your doctor to do measure fasting glucose, cholesterol and take your blood pressure
You may use Keto Sticks to monitor whether or not you are in the state of ketosis.
How do I manage maintenance when I reach my target?
Keeping your net carbs below 50g will ensure the maintenance of your perfect weight. If you continue to lose weight on 50g of carbs, increase your carb count to a point that you maintain. This will take trial and error. You are unique from everyone else so you will have to experiment to find your sweet spot!
How can I make Banting a way of life?
After the initial preparation and diving in, Banting becomes a way of life. Taking a little time to replace “staple” foods which contain high concentrations of sugar and carbohydrates such as sugars, syrups, fruits, honey, rice, start breads will pay great dividends in the long run. Stock up on all the foods we recommend i.e meat, fish, dairy, green leafy veg, nuts, seeds and berries. Also make sure to have enough butter, lard and coconut oil for cooking. For more information, recipes and support, sign-up for our Online Banting Course.
What should I eat before, during and after exercise?
What you'll find if you don't eat refined carbs regularly is that you can get through long runs without much nutrition. Some Banting athletes have done up to 25 hours of exercise a week with not one shot of Gatorade or even an energy bar. Generally, you should eat large fatty meals loaded with cheese, butter or coconut oil and eat your fill. If you are doing a 12 hour set then perhaps stuffing yourself would be the right thing to do. This should be done the night before or very early in the morning. Sweet potato is the closest one should get to a carb but we hardly make a point of loading up on them. We would recommend eating a large meal a few hours before or the night before and then only drinking water during your session.
Also make a point of drinking a decent amount of water between sessions. Coconut water is great too and is one of the most effective natural isotonics. Getting your body used to Banting and extreme exercise takes up to six months so one needs to be patient. Jonno (our chef) swims up to 100km a week while Banting only supplementing with sweet potato and butternut occasionally. People also get confused between 'hitting a wall' and just simply running out of fuel. We are of the opinion (insert disclaimer here) that you can't run out of fuel unless you have zero per cent body fat, so our assumption is simply that we are training too hard.
How do I get 'into' or stay 'in' ketosis?
We do explain in the book that you need to be eating around 50g or less net carbs per day to reach ketosis. If referring only to the lists, you will reach ketosis by only eating ingredients on the green list. All of the recipes in the book are green listed apart from the Spiced Pumpkin and Goats' Cheese Salad which is Orange Listed. This means you can eat them all at will and remain in ketosis. Make use of the Banting lists which will tell you which ingredients contain less than 5g or less than 25g of carbs per serving . The Red lists will tell you what to stay away from. There are also measurements next to each ingredient on the orange lists stating how much you can consume in one day and remain comfortably within the limit of 50g of carbs per day (a ketogenic diet). To test whether or not you are in Ketosis, get a Ketosis Monitoring Device (or Ketone Sticks here) which will be able to tell you instantly whether you are in ketosis or not. Here is more information on ketosis.
What is the deal with dairy?
For those who are not lactose intolerant, dairy (full cream) is fine. However, we have found that some people are losing dramatically more weight if they omit dairy when Banting. Others can consume dairy without it having an effect on their weight loss goals. You will need to monitor your weight loss levels and your dairy intake. If you find that you are not losing enough weight and are consuming dairy, then try cutting out dairy. Unfortunately, dairy is unique to every person as lactose is a form of carb that everyone responds to differently.
What are the nutritional breakdowns of each recipe?
99% of the recipes comprise completely green listed ingredients, meaning they are 'eat your fill' recipes. The point we're making is that one shouldn't need to count any of that other stuff, apart from one's carb intake. Being 'Green Listed' would mean that each recipe has a net carb percentage of 5% or less. Fat should be monitored by your appetite - i.e. If you are still hungry two hours after breakfast, you're not getting enough fat. If you are lasting a whole day with only one meal, you're doing fine. We will not be adding the nutritional data to any books in the future as we believe it is irrelevant if you are eating according to the most basic rules which are:
1. Eat whole foods - organic as much as possible
2. Only eat when hungry
3. Don't eat refined carbs, added sugar, wheat, vegetable oils or anything else on the Red list.
These rules insure that the food you eat will be nutritious, you don't feel the need to stuff yourself to get the right amount of anything in and that your appetite will stay under control (no carbs driving hunger). If you follow these basic rules, you will lose weight and you will feel healthier all without needing to keep an eye on the stats.
What do I do if I have a dairy allergy?
There are many fantastic, tasty alternatives for you! Instead of cows’ milk you may use homemade almond milk, coconut milk, coconut cream, goat’s milk, camel’s milk, sheep’s milk, and kefir and there are also many egg free options too. Check out our Pinterest boards for more information!
What about foods that are not on the list?
Foods that are not on the list may be checked just by searching “how many carbs in...” It will show you exactly how many carbohydrates in that particular food. You should remember to subtract the dietary fibre to get an accurate idea of the carbohydrate content.
If the food item contains between 0 to 5g/100g of carbohydrates consider it on the Green list. Eat as much as you like, no guilt here!
If the food item contains between 6g and 25g of carbs per 100g (6% - 25%), consider it Orange Listed! Eat with caution!
Anything above 25g/100g is considered Red Listed items. Stay away!
And just for you a little extra something...
How accepting myself freed me to become who I was meant to be
How my love affair with healthy food helped me learn to love myself