Sometimes you just need to go back to the basics and do a little research into how and why you do things. I thought it was about time I looked a little deeper into the facts and theories behind Low Carb High Fat or LCHF as I like to call it. Humans are naturally adapted to a nutritional low GI diet mainly based on animal products and natural fats. That is the best way of keeping your blood sugar stable 24/7 and avoid any of those grumpy hangry moments, where your blood sugar drops to a level where you are so hungry you’re angry. Ain’t nobody got time for that! You’ll avoid the massive rises and drops in blood sugar levels by avoiding high GI foods like grains, potatoes and sugar. It’s of course very important to not only focus on cutting the carbs, but also on eating a moderate amount of good quality protein and a big chunk of fats. Eating like this creates the best hormonal balance in your body and is also the key to natural weight regulation and optimal health.
On a LCHF diet (remember that diet comes from the Latin word for “a way to live” – also simply called lifestyle these days) all your cells will primarily use fat for energy, and not sugar (glucose) like they would in a high carb diet. When you are well fat adapted as much as 75% of your energy will come from fat (and your brain actually works better on ketones than glucose – go figure!). There is however a few tissues in your body, like the placenta in pregnant women, kidneys and some cells in your brain, that requires a little glucose to function properly. Experts says 20-40 grams of glucose per day should be enough for these tissues. Glucose can also be produced from glycogen amino acids and glycerol. When eating a higher fat diet your protein requirements will also be a little reduced as the fat supports your muscle tissue and there will be less loss of muscle associated with sleep, dieting and exercise (oy, are you still awake or is all this putting you to sleep? If it is I suggest you do 50 Star Jumps before starting over again).
It is very important to remember that LCHF does not mean that you should eat as little carbohydrates as physically possible, but rather listen to your body and find a good balance that works for you in terms of weight loss, energy for exercise and life in general. We are all different. No specific plan is going to fit 100% people (which is why glossy magazines should stop promoting amazing weight loss diets that promise more than they can deliver). I’m going to give you a few pointers in the (hopefully) right direction and they are based on Kwaśniewski’s protocol (yes, I am not going to spell that out again, so for future reference he will be knows as Dr K). According to Dr K, a normal person who trains little to nothing should eat 2.5-3.5 grams of fat and 0.5-0.8 grams of carbohydrate per 1 gram of protein The ratio between F:P:C are 0.5-0.8:1:2.5-3.5 (ok, time for another 50 Star Jumps!). There are lots of factors that can affect these ratios like activity level, age, body fat percentage, genetics, illness, how long you’ve done LCHF and so on. Nothing is definitive – things will always change. Listen to your body.
Let’s just have a quick look at a few more numbers (you might want to squeeze in a few more Star Jumps or mix it up with Mountain Climbers here just to keep you from falling asleep – if you don’t like numbers, just skip this paragraph). I’m an adult (at least I am meant to be) and I train regularly (and sometimes really hard) which means I should have 1-1.5grams of protein per kg fat-free body mass or a maximum of 150-200 grams. Carbohydrates are similar here (would be a lot less if I didn’t train much) 1-1.5 grams per kg again or a maximum of 150grams. And here comes the tricky part; my ratios should be C:P:F 0.8-1:1:3-5 (I’m almost falling off here – concentrate!). For a non-training adult we would be looking at 1-1.5grams protein/kg or a maximum of 100grams, 0.5-0.8grams carbohydrate/kg or between 40-80grams and a start ratio of C:P:F 0.3-0.5:1:2-3 that would work towards a ratio of C:P:F 1-1.3:1:2-3 when becoming fat adapted.
For me, it looks like this 43-65 grams carbs, 65 grams protein and 190 grams fat. Approximately. It looks like this:
Breakfast: 100-200grams berries or 200-300 vegetables, 3-5 eggs and 3-5 extra tablespoons of fats (such as coconut oil, sauce or butter).
Lunch: 200-300grams vegetables or 100-200 grams vegetables and one slice protein bread, 100-125 grams fish/meat/chicken and 3-5 extra tablespoons of fats (as above or below).
Dinner: 400-600 grams of vegetables or 200-400 grams of vegetables and 50-70 grams boiled rice, 150-250 grams fish/meat/chicken and 4-8 extra tablespoons of oil/dressing/sauce.
Approximately. For me. You might be different. These numbers will be different if you are overweight or obese, underweight, if you have a kidney disease or are a kid. You need to find a balance that work for you. These are just guidelines.
If you skipped everything about numbers and just want the simple solution, think that you should get 10-15% of your daily intake from protein, 75-80% from fat and 5-10% from carbohydrate. According do Dr K. You just do what you feel is right for you, after all it’s your life and your body, it’s up to you, and your definition of health. You need to make the best of your life. And I’ll make the best of mine, no matter what Dr K might mean about it.
Thanks for reading, I hope you learnt something new or got inspired. Feel free to share this post with your friends with the buttons below. Have an awesome day!
Awesome Ashild x