With 2016 behind us and 2017 ahead of us we take a look at our LCHF journey so far, and all we can say is that it has been amazing.

We both started our LCHF journey just over 18 months ago.  At first, we have to admit, cutting out all the things that we were accustomed to eating, like heavy carb food, were not so easy.  But the longer we went into our LCHF journey the easier it became.

Keep in mind that, when you start out on your LCHF journey, you are changing habits that were formed over a lifetime.  It takes time, dedication, and a passion for better health, weight and well being.  Scientist say it takes approximately 21 to 28 days to make or break a habit, so the longer you go on the LCHF journey the easier it becomes.

Here are some things that we learnt along the way:

  • Stick to the GREEN list (which you can find on Getting Started)

  • Although we do not think that it is absolutely essential to weigh yourself regularly, if you do weigh yourself then weigh once a week at the same time on the same scale.  The best is to weigh yourself early in the morning just after waking up and weigh on the same day every week.

  • Make the tape measure your friend.  Measure yourself when you start your journey and then measure regularly and keep a diary of this.  You will be amazed at how much centimetre you will be losing rather that weight at times.

  • Avoid sugar! Sugar has a multitude of names.  Make sure that you don’t have any sugar in the house.  Although Xylitol, Erythritol and Stevia are said to be okay on a LCHF lifestyle as this is not metabolised through the bloodstream like conventional sugars that is converted to glucose, it is still recommended to use this as little as possible and only for the occasional treat.

  • Since our youth, we are taught that we should have 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day, however do keep in mind that fruit has fructose which is just another name for sugar.  I hear you say that it is a natural sugar, yes it is, but your body does not distinguish between what types of sugar you are putting in your body, it just recognises sugar and treats it all the same.  If you would like to eat any fruit, we advise not to have any fruit at least for the first couple of week and then introduce very small amounts of berry fruits into your diet.  If you pick up weight then leave the fruit out again.

  • Drink enough water.  If you are feeling hungry, your first port of call should be to drink a glass of water.  Many times your body tells you that you are hungry but actually all it wants is some water.  If you are still hungry then eat something to fill you up.

  • When eating a meal, you do not have to eat everything on your plate.  Eat until you are full and leave the rest.  Keep the rest for later or freeze it.  We keep our leftover veggies and meat frozen, and when we have enough for a pot of soup, we pop it into a pot, heat up and blitz to make a lovely hearty soup.

  • If you do go out for a meal, we have found that restaurants are very happy to exclude items and give you substitutes.  You don’t have to eat just what they have on the menu.  If you know which restaurant you are going to, Google their menu online prior to going, decide what you are going to have and stick to it.  Ask your waiter for any substitutions for rice, potato, bread etc.  Replace it with coleslaw, salad or vegetables on the green list.  This works every time you have a meal either at a function or in a restaurant.

  • Work out a 7-day meal plan making use of the GREEN list.  Although we have an example of a 7 day meal plan on our website, this is only a guide to help you.  What works for one person does not necessarily work for another person as we are all different.  It is important to know what is on the red and orange lists and make a note of your favourites from the GREEN list.

  • Some people say that it is expensive to go on a LCHF lifestyle.  We can honestly say that it is not expensive as you can use fresh and frozen vegetables.  Our grocery bill has actually dropped as we do not buy any sweets, crisps, cookies or any sodas anymore.

  • We do recommend that you have decaffeinated tea or coffee and have cream in your drink instead of milk.  There are loads of herbal teas that can be drunk without any sugar or milk, for example Rooibos (Redbush) or lemon and ginger, rosehip and hibiscus tea, all every good for your body.

  • Remove all temptations from your grocery cupboard, i.e. sweets, crisps, bread and all the stuff on the RED no go list.  Having this in your home is just a temptation and is far too easy just to dip into it even just for a small portion.

  • Do not snack in between meals. Most of the time we only have two meals a day.  If we are really hungry we eat a small portion (30g has 1.57g carbs |  22.73g fat | 2.37g protein) of macadamia nuts or some biltong (50g has 0.2g carbs | 2.5g fat | 30g Protein).

  • If you have fallen of the wagon by eating something from the RED list, don’t be alarmed and panic, just get on the GREEN wagon again and in a few days you will be fine.  As you progress on your LCHF journey your tastes will change and you won’t have the cravings for all the other foods that you used to eat.

We have, from our own experience, found that LCHF can help with medical problems like heartburn, bloating, joint pain,  reversing pre-diabetes as well as type 2 diabetes, and helping to manage the symptoms of auto-immune diseases.

Lastly, remember LCHF is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change.

Excel with a Low Carb Lifestyle.  Until next time!

Eunice & Gina

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