Despite its name, the Banting Diet has nothing at all to do with banter, or making fun of one another.
Instead it is a diet that dates back to the 1860s and is similar to the Ketogenic Diet, as it involves trying to put your body into a state of ketosis to help you to lose weight.
Ketosis is a state where your body is able to burn fat at a higher rate than normal.
What is the Banting Diet?
This diet was named after William Banting, an obese British undertaker who was able to lose a significant amount of weight after eating a diet low in carbs and high in fat.
More recently, author and well-known sports and nutrition professor Tim Noakes has written a book, The Real Meal Revolution that has been able to increase interest in this diet once again.
What foods can you eat on the Banting Diet?
Those who undertake the Banting Diet should try to reduce their carb intake, while increasing their fat intake. Their intake of protein should be moderate.
When we say fats we mean certain types, for instance animal fats.
Your carb intake should be between 25 to 50 grams daily, while your protein intake should not be more than 80 grams per meal.
A general tip for your meals would be 50-50 with your meat and vegetables.
3 types of foods
All foods are put into 3 lists when undertaking the Banting Diet; Green, Orange and Red.
- Green list: Are foods that have very few carbs in them (Between 0-5g per 100g). These can be eaten without worry.
- Orange list: These foods can be eaten in moderation. They can contain between 6-25g of carbs per 100g.
- Red list: These are high carb foods that should be avoided.
Rules of the Banting Diet
There are a few rules you must adhere to when you undertake this diet:
- Consume animal fats in small amounts to help keep you feeling full and to prevent overeating.
- You should avoid eating too much dairy, as it contains carbs.
- Natural sugar should be consumed in moderation, so watch that fruit intake.
- Nuts should be eaten in moderation.
- Alcohol should be avoided.
- Don’t overeat or undereat.
- Snacking is not allowed.
- No need to exercise.
Dangers of the Banting Diet
The truth is that we need carbs for a variety of bodily functions, in particular for energy.
Without the required amount of carbs in your diet you may find your energy levels will suffer.
Also, the Banting Diet requires you to increase the amount of animal fats you consume, which can put you at an increased risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. This is because animal fat contains higher amounts of saturated fat.
Would we recommend this diet?
If you are interested in this diet then I would only recommend it for the short term.
Any diet that involves drastic cutting of one type of nutrient or another is not suitable for any long term weight loss effort.
While you may lose weight to start, chances are you may find yourself with a nutritional deficiency.
What would we recommend instead?
Instead of wasting your time on fad diets that are unlikely to give you the long term results you crave I would suggest that you instead look at making you weight loss efforts a lifestyle change.
Doing so will ensure you do not think of your efforts as a short term goal, but rather one that will continue for many years to come.
Firstly I would suggest trying to cut back on the junk foods and takeaways you currently eat. The occasional treat wont harm but try to eat healthily at least 80% of the time.
Instead of this junk food try eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as plenty of protein and fibre-rich foods too.
Fruit and vegetables are often low in calories but high in nutrients so you can eat them without them causing too much of an impact on your calorie intake.
The protein and fibre-rich foods are good as they are slow to digest so will help keep you feeling full for longer.
Protein is also good for releasing energy slowly, so you wont suffer any of those sugar highs and lows you would experience when eating processed foods full of sugar.
If you are planning on exercising, which I recommend, then the protein can help repair your muscles, helping to reduce recovery times and ensuring you are able to build lean muscle mass.
The fibre on the other hand, will help your digestive system to work as it should, which will ensure you are not holding onto any unnecessary waste.
What you drink also has an impact on your weight, so as the Banting Diet suggest I would try to reduce your overall intake of alcohol. This should also apply to any sugar-filled soft drinks too.
The best drink for weight loss is water, as it contains zero calories and can help curb your appetite. It maybe a little boring, but you can add interest by adding a little lemon or another citrus fruit.
For exercise I would recommend doing a little weight training alongside your cardio, I most certainly would not recommend no exercise as suggested by the Banting Diet.
The reason why I suggest weight training is that it helps to burn calories long after your workout has ended, unlike a purely cardio based workout.
Weight training can also help to build muscle too, which will ensure you are able to start burning off more calories even when you are at rest. This is because an increase in muscle mass will lead to an increase in your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate too.
Finally, if you want to lose weight then you need to try and get your stress levels under control as these can impact the hormones that control your appetite. The same goes for your sleep patterns too. Less than the recommended 7 hours can cause your cortisol levels to spike, leading to food cravings.
Good luck with your weight loss efforts. Remember you don’t need to resort to drastic fad diets to succeed. Just a few simple changes can make a huge difference.