Research on LCHF

I usually just jump into things and never think them through because I always feel if I over-think it then I'll find some reason to not do it and finally talk myself out of it. I want to make a permanent change in my life and so it has to be a sustainable change - I'm tired of being on 'a diet' or 'some eating plan'. I just want to live.

In my last post, someone advised that I should look into the LCHF way of living and I've been fascinated by the information I've read on it so far - and it looks as though many people are saying the same thing about it but giving it different titles. This is the plan I want to go with because it has a better chance of me not obsessing about weighing my food or checking the exact calories, just as long as I know what I'm eating and every meal is pre-planned. It will take some time to get used to it because I still have no idea what to eat when because my life has been carb-based for as long as I can remember, especially breakfasts but I will make this work somehow.

In the meantime, I've made the following changes... I've replaced all cooking oil to strictly EVOO and EVCO plus I no longer use margarine (entire household), and have replaced that with unsalted butter. I've stocked my freezer with frozen vegetables, e.g. broccoli, brusselsprouts, mixed veg, frozen berries and NO frozen yogurt or ice cream. The lack of frozen yogurt and ice cream is unbelievable for me - I lived for those! There are no processed meats and I won't be buying those again.

The reason I'm making these changes for my entire household is because I'm the one who cooks and I cannot cook different meals for the rest of the family and something else for myself. They still love pasta and rice and noodles and so I'm changed theirs to white rice, egg noodles and brown pasta - I still have to read up if these are the best alternatives but for now that's it.

I've let go of sugar and I miss coffee. Most people don't understand why I can't have my coffee or tea with cream but I cannot bear the thought of coffee without real sugar. I cannot use 'fake' sugars either because I tried to use them a few years back and I experienced the worst cases of acne breakouts of my life and I'm still trying to find a way to get rid of the marks and scars they left behind!

Small changes food-wise, but at the back of my mind I know I'm a carb addict - and I need meal ideas pronto!

Is anyone else following this plan and how are they finding it? I need all the information I can get!

7 Replies

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  • I've been following a LCHF diet for most of this year now and have found it to a fantastic way of eating. It did though take me long time to get the right balance of Fat, Protein and Carbs, in fact I would say it has only been the last 3 months where I feel I have finally found something that fits me perfectly. I'm using this way of life to maintain, not to lose weight. Would I have been as successful as I was in weight loss if I had used this? The honest truth is that I don't know but probably not because the problem (once again in my personal opinion) is that you have to be very disciplined with LCHF because there is very little room to cheat, if you do cheat you have the perfect biochemical environment to drive some pretty big Fat Gains and when I started my weight loss journey 4 years ago, I was neither Disciplined or Knowledgeable enough.

    The hardest part in my opinion is not the lack of Carbs which are easily removed, it's getting enough fat into your diet without excessive protein which is hard, because too much protein will end up as glucose and can push you back to being what sometime is referred to as a "Sugar Burner" especially at beginning when you are less fat adaptive.

    The biggest benefit of eating like this is the satiety you feel, really it is, I can't ever remember (even as a child) a period in my life where I was not constantly hungry, even during standard maintenance I felt I was hitting regular times most days where I was spuriously hungry despite eating lots of "Complex Carbs" like porridge but now that has all changed and it's not unusual for me go for 10 hours + whilst awake without food before feeling hunger.

    Some of the additional things I eat almost daily to get more saturated fat into my diet are Fresh Coconuts (get them off amazon.co.uk), Macadamia Nuts, Almonds and Walnuts, Avocado's lots of cheese and butter, I tend to buy a large pack of Chicken Thighs and Roast those with the skin on, Eggs, Fish, Olives. I cook in butter or coconut oil. I rarely eat potato, if anything we have sweet potato occasionally and if having a roast I'll tend to have parsnips instead, very occasionally if we are out I'll have to good old fashioned chips. I've not had a rice for months and months, instead I make my rice from Cauliflower blitzed in a food processor which I then steam and fry with spices, butter, carrots etc (depending on what dish it is to accompany), I never eat Pasta and to be honest I don't think I ever would again, I really don't miss it now, I replace Pasta with vegetable pasta, we have a little machine that makes spaghetti/Tagliatelle from things like Courgettes, but you can do it by hand if you have the knife skills. I eat lots of leafy green veg like baby spinach.

    I drink coffee up to about midday with Fresh Cream in it and Tea in the afternoon with Full Fat Milk, I go to bed with Cocoa made with Full Fat Milk (obviously no sugar). Occasionally I eat some 85% + dark chocolate if I need a boost. I drink the odd Dram at weekend (no carbs in distilled spirit) and very occasionally the odd Guinness which sadly does have carbs :(

    You mentioned Coffee and sugar, well my wife was exactly the same, she has never taken sugar in Tea but always one in coffee refusing to give it up saying there was no way she could, we really like our coffee and have a Bean to Cup machine. Anyway in October realising the huge health implications of taking sugar regularly like this she decided to bite the bullet and dropped the sugar in coffee, it took her almost 2 weeks to adjust but she has not looked back and no longer has that one sugar in her coffee, might be worth giving it a go if you love coffee that much?

    When it comes to Carb levels everyone is different to how much they can eat whilst still staying Fat Adaptive, Age, Sex, Genetics, Activity Level all play a part as well as previous metabolic damage. The latter meaning someone who has shown previous signs of metabolic disease, like Type II Diabetes, Obesity etc will probably find they need to be stricter than someone who has not. I personally stay below 20g, there are professional athletes that publicly claim to follow a LCHF regime who are able to eat 80-100g of Carbs and still remain mainly in Ketosis.

    Good Luck with it :)

  • Thanks so much for your response. I feel that it may take me some time to get used to it and to find my own balance. I can commit and have been able to commit to the strictest of eating plans (when on a diet) but like counting calories, I never saw any changes as others may have seen.

    I gather I should give this a chance because it's one of the few ways I haven't tried. Thanks for the pointers about coffee and I will try having it without sugar but if it doesn't work, I'll have to quit coffee altogether.

    I didn't know about 'excessive protein' and about how much is 'enough fats'... This is something I now need to find out about - thank you for pointing that out.

  • Glad to hear you are researching before jumping in! Cutting out sugar and artificial fats is a really good place to start.

    I have been eating a form of LCHF for several years, after developing health problems which meant I had to avoid any food containing gluten (and subsequently yeast and sugar). Without bread, breakfast cereal, cake etc I realised I was losing weight. I went back to eating full fat live yoghurt for the pro-biotic effect, and found that my nails stopped breaking, as well as other health benefits.

    As OlsBean has said, it's a question of finding the combination of foods that works for you. I don't seem to need to go very low carb to lose weight, but my husband, who has developed insulin resistance, has had to go for a lower amount. We found that we had to reduce carbs gradually, to allow us to adapt. This way of eating has allowed us to lose weight without feeling hungry.

    When it comes to breakfast perhaps try swapping from cereal to eggs in the form of an omelette, or full fat yoghurt with nuts. There are several sites with low carb recipe ideas and general advice. Making small changes is a good way to go, I do hope it works for you.

    These are some of the sites I find useful.

    authoritynutrition.com/how-...

    chriskresser.com

    marksdailyapple.com/#axzz3M...

  • Thanks for commenting. I'm learning so much and I think I've got the general idea of it... I have today, found some meal ideas sites for breakfast, lunch and dinner...which is awesome because I couldn't even imagine how one ate on a normal day on this lifestyle. I now need help to determine the balance. What about the use of omega 3 supplements? I haven't heard anyone mention them anywhere....

  • If you can eat oily fish, like sardines or mackerel, and walnuts, that should give you what you need. Or you could take cod liver oil.

  • like you I found it hard to change to LCHF especially the coffee so I changed gradually rather than tried to do everything at once,used single cream added about tablespoon to my omellets and cheese alsotried the accasional allbran and used cream and hot water( have you tried stevia instead of sugaror ?honey.recipes from the banting site on facebook.I lost a stone in the first 5 weeks while I was adjusting my diet,but I am still learning what suites me.Good luck.

  • I assumed that honey was off limits? I can't use any sweeteners (like stevia) because I've tried different ones before and they gave me terrible breakouts! Thanks - I'll look into the honey bit

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