Living LCHF for One Month and What The Future Holds!

So I did it!

30 fantastic and interesting days living on a low-carb high fat diet. What are my thoughts? Well to be honest, I have been struggling getting my head around how I am going to go forward.

However, first things first. Lets look back on the last month and see how it all went. Overall, I think it went brilliantly. In some ways I feel as though this diet is made for me! I’m not naturally inclined to eat fruit (I forced myself as I was trying to be healthy), I love snacking on cold cuts and cheese (I stopped myself as I thought it was unhealthy), and I don’t generally eat sweets, cake or pastries (I never really crave them – dark chocolate on the other hand is my weakness)

When I look back at my life prior to LCHF I can recognise now that I went hungry ALOT,  and I thought I was doing the right thing. Especially the months leading up to my wedding, I was trying to lose weight ‘healthily’. I was eating low fat, whole grain, lots of vegetables and fruit, lots of legumes, going to the gym 5 times a week – but seeing very little results.

Although my initial reaction to LCHF was quite skeptical – after week 2, I definitely felt myself firmly on the band wagon. Something that I misunderstood in the beginning is the amount of meat that I needed to eat. Originally I thought, my meat intake would have to significantly increase – which morally I battled with.

I do believe that as humans, we consume far too much meat than our bodies are made to handle. It is not only a strain on our bodies, but it is a HUGE strain on our environment. Then one day I came to the realisation the diet is called Low Carb High FAT not Low Carb High PROTEIN. This may sound trivial – but suddenly a light switch went off in my head and realised I had been looking at this diet all wrong.

Although technically I could eat steak and cream sauce everyday and still stick within the loose parameters of LCHF rules – for me that was just plain stupid and limiting. I would be no better than people who only eat fast food and wonder why they are unhealthy – it may taste good, but you don’t get enough nutrients!

I significantly increased the amount of vegetables in my diet, made a point of making vegetarian dishes and found I was actually varying my meat consumption. In the past, I would try to limit myself to chicken and seafood (as this apparently was better for you), however now that I have been given the red-light to eat what ever type of meat I want, my weakly meals are more exciting and satisfying.

Another positive aspect of this diet – is that it has encouraged me to branch out a bit in my cooking and to be a bit more adventurous. I would have NEVER given something like cauliflower rice an ounce of attention if it was not for LCHF, and it turns out – it is something I really enjoy and have used repeatedly over the last few weeks.

Physically I feel great and I have learned to listen to my body. In the past I considered that I had a reasonably healthy relationship with food. However, looking back now I see how guilt laden my interaction with food was. If I was hungry and it was not ‘food time’, I forced myself not to give in to that sensation and wait – it was almost as sign of weakness that I couldn’t hold myself. How stupid? Now, I eat when I’m hungry and my body feels better for it.

Since cutting out the carb I no longer feel bloated or uncomfortably full. I am alert all day and do no longer experience my afternoon lull around 3pm and just waiting for the day to be over. I feel energized.

So I realise all of the above are all incredibly positive – and if I feel so damn good, you are probably wondering why I am struggling with how to go forward? In fact as I’m writing this (I am starting to wonder too).

My Concerns 

1. Although this may seem a bit trivial – not living in Europe or the U.S can make adopting a lifestyle such as LCHF quite challenging. You want to eat carb-free in Mexico? FORGET IT! The entire nation is built on corn! What kind of food will they stock in Brasilia when we move there in a few months time? My worry is, is that if I let myself relax a bit with the carbs due to circumstance – but still eat the high fat, will I now just blow up?! Then I might really have a health problem?

2. Although cooking is one of my passions, another is travel. Luckily the life I have chosen has allowed me to travel constantly (my whole life is a journey). I am also a firm believer that the best way to get to know a country and their people, is around around the dinner table. I never want to be in a situation where I turn down an offer of a meal due to my self imposed diet restrictions.

3. I have now mentioned it more than a few times that I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. The idea of never again making a great pasta, risotto, chickpea curry or roast potatoes – I have to admit feels a bit depressing! I make a KILLER saffron and prawn risotto! This is something I have to try and figure out.

Going Forward

Although in the beginning, one month sounded like a substantial amount of time for me to make a decision in regards to the LHCF diet, in reflection it was too short. I think I will continue along this path for another month and then see how it goes.

I think an important aspect for me to remember is that I am not doing this because I am ill or over weight. I am doing it because the health benefits of the diet makes sense to me, and the more I read the more I am convinced of the ills of a heavy carb based diet. However, having said that if I find myself in a situation where I have no choice in what is served, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Likewise, if on a special occasion I decide to eat something that is carb heavy (risotto for example!) because I want to treat myself – I have to fully enjoy it and have no regrets!

In regards to this blog – I think for the time being I will continue with it. Although I don’t intend to record what I have eaten on a daily basis, as I am sure it is just as boring for you to read about my daily food quests as it is for me to write them. I will however, still post any interesting LCHF related posts, recipe’s or rants!

Lets see where the next part of this adventure leads us!

low-fat-diet-cartoon-265x300

Just to end with a bit of humour!

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Living LCHF for One Month and What The Future Holds!

  1. That was an awesome read Alex! So many moments when I thought “that’s me”! Your meals sounds so much more interesting and varied though, which made me realise how unadventurous I’ve been. I share your concerns moving forward and wrote about them in a PS type post which will appear next week. It’s been a really interesting exercise though and many aspects of the approach are clearly a no-brainer. In our modern society though, I think we both want to know whether we can be LCHF when it’s convenient, but be “normal” when it’s not or when we don’t want to be, without causing issues (be that weight gain, adverse reactions to food or medical problems). You’re right, it is hard being strict and for people like us, how strict do we need to be?.Anyway, I’ll try to follow how you get on and can’t wait to try the seed crackers…I’ve been really missing the crunch factor too! Oh and we’re having takeaway curry tomorrow night. .I’m torn between having a fraction of the rice I would normally have, or going to the effort of making some cauli rice…it just seems to defeat the object of ordering takeaway, but like you, I really need a bit of something to mop up that sauce 🙂

    • Go with the cauliflower rice!! 🙂 This is the perfect time to try it – as the curry flavour is so strong, that even if you are not a fan of the rice, you won’t mind so much – and then you don’t have to worry about restricting anything! (I hate restricint!). Thanks so much for stopping by and taking such considerable time to go through my blog, your comment has really encouraged me to continue blogging here for a bit longer if only to give a bit of inspiration to others, as well as to start a healthy dialogue on the pros and cons of the LHCF lifestyle for ‘healthy’ people. I will try to post more recipe and meal suggestions to give you a bit more food inspiration 🙂

  2. Oh wow. Thank you so much for documenting your 1 month journey!
    I have only recently become aware of the LCHF way of life after a documentary style show aired here in Australia just before Christmas.
    It featured the Diet Dr and other Dr’s that have changed their way of thinking.

    I had good success before Christmas, and like you, I felt that this diet was made for me… a lover of cheese and cold cuts.
    Like you I also struggled with full fat guilt but one thing I have really struggled with is FINDING full fat options in the dairy section!

    Im glad you mentioned the smell thing… I thought it was just me!!

    Your honest diary including tackling social commitments and the occasional splash of vino was a relief for me, I really beat myself up over things like this and always feel like I am ON or OFF and off always turns in to a guilt trip to a week of OFF.
    To see you not sweat the small stuff is inspiring.

    Today (over a month since Christmas!!) I started to do some more research on the LCHF diet / lifestyle and many of my questions have been answered here, along with some great recipes!! Thanks!

    I am not sure if you have covered one of your questions further along in your blog, but like you I have thought… if I combine carbs with high fat on occasion am I going to undo a months work?? Will I explode?!! :p
    If I do fulfil my pasta desires on occasion am I better off having a creamy sauce over a tomato and meat sauce!? If I just MUST have a piece of crusty bread am I better off slathering it in butter?? or if you are going to indulge in the carb should you avoid the fat in that instance??! GAHHH
    Which brings me to liquid bread… one of my weakness’… yes, BEER! shall I take a beer or two with cheese and chorizo … or celery and carrot sticks!??

    I think once I have that clear my life will be compete! 😀

    • Hi Sarah Jane – thank you SO much for your wonderful comment, and I am sorry for the delay in my response! Knowing that this blog has helped you answer some of your questions makes me so happy and motivates me to continue! It is because of your comment that I decided to write about my hypothyroidism!

      In regards to your question – I still have not figured that out quite yet myself! However this is my feeling. If you do indulge in beer/carbs/sugar do it, enjoy it, and then get back onto the bandwagon. What you will probably notice (at least I did) that longer you are on LCHF the less you will crave any of these things. Also what happens to me, is that when I do indulge in carbs, I will feel it (in a bad way) the next day – I will feel like I am hungover, and that feeling is not worth it!

      Another point about LCHF is that everyone has their carb tolerance. Some people can tolerate alot of carbs without any adverse affects, some people can’t – you will have to figure out what your tolerance is, and I guess you can only do that by trial and error!

      I would love to hear how you progress on this lifestyle so keep me posted 🙂

  3. Loved this! I was vegan for 12 years and vegetarian now for 8. I’m thin but ended up with prediabetes and my joints hurt too bad to do the running I love. I started feeling mentally foggy and the only way to relieve that was to sleep. Until I learned about LCHF. Since I’m married with 2 kids ( who are all not vegetarian), eating this way has worked pretty well for us. So when my in laws brought potatoes au gratin for dinner, I didn’t want to be rude and just ate them. Guess what? I didn’t feel like crap. So I think so long as I stick 90% to the diet I will probably be ok! Hope that works for you too and thanks for sharing your journey!
    Catherine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s