Thursday, 31 March 2011

Running on LCHF

When I decided to change my diet, the main reason was to lose weight. Before LCHF, I had exercised regularly for a couple of weeks after a few months of very little work out. I expected to be slower on LCHF, but I did not expect to be this slow!

Running for more than 30 minutes is a pain. I am a decent runner and enjoy to run for 60-90 minutes but now my body is protesting after only a short run. I have been told that this is due to the transition from glucose to fat burning and quite common in the first weeks. After 4 weeks, however, I am starting to get a bit frustrated. I have the biggest motivation ever to run, but my body just cannot keep up with that. I am sure it will change soon, though. Until then, I will continue with my daily 30-min extremely slow pace running :)

Goat cheese chicken on rocket bed

Carbs: 3
Kcal: 450

No carbs?

First of all, the diet is called LOW CARB, not NO CARB. That means it is ok to eat some carbs. Guidelines for the daily intake vary from 5-50 g carbs. I usually eat no more than 20 g a day and that works for my weight loss. Others claim that they get sugar cravings and stop losing weight if they eat more than 5 g, so I guess it is very individual. Personally, I am happy that I can eat a bit more because I would not want to miss the veggies and the milk in my morning coffee. However, you should stay away from starchy foods like potatoes and carbs based on white meal. Of course, sugar is a no go!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

What is LCHF?

LCHF, short for Low Carb High Fat, is a ketogenic diet. I am not a nutrionist, but put simply, carbs are turned to glucose by the body, which brings ups and downs in the blood glucose level. Without carbs, blood glucose will remain constant, usually on a lower level than on a carb-diet. Glucose is also the easiest source of energy for the body to burn, so these will be consumed first. If carbs are reduced in the diet, like in LCHF or other low-carb diets, the body is forced to burn fat instead. The liver uses the fat to produce ketone bodies, which replace glucose as the main energy source.

Fat is essential in the LCHF-diet because it becomes the main energy source. In addition, it is argued that fat reduces hunger and makes you eat less. Some people even claim that eating much fat increases the metabolism, enabling you to eat more calories than on a low-calorie diet. I do not know if this is true and it has not been empirically proven. I lose weight with LCHF, but I usually eat less than 1500 kcal a day. In fact, I find it very difficult to eat more than that on this diet. Off course, the things that we usually overeat, like sweets and snacks all contain carbs and are not allowed. But in addition to that, I do not want to overeat! My cravings for sweets are gone because I eat real food that makes me full. On any other diet, I ate about as many calories as now, but I was always hungry after a salad lunch or low-fat dinner. Now I lose weight without being hungry while also enjoying good food. Win-win :)

Obviously, this diet is quite controversial as it contradicts with most current dietary advice. Especially the high levels of fat scare people off. Sometimes people tell me how unhealthy it is to eat as much fat as I do and that my arteries will be blocked by all the fat. In fact, there are no long-term studies proving this. LCHF-advocates talk about others being fat-scared, which is understandable after years of diet recommendations telling us to avoid fat. I was (and still am) very concerned about this, but I feel great and my body is healthy. Yet, I would not recommend anyone to eat this diet without regular health checks, especially not until there is more facts about the long-term effects of eating LCHF.

Welcome to LCHF in UK

This blog is about me, LCHF and weight loss. I am 26 years old and live in England. When I first moved to the UK in 2010, I started to gain weight. It was busy times with loads of work and little time for work outs. After 6 months and almost a stone more, I decided to change my diet. I read a lot and came across LCHF. LCHF has received much criticism, but it also seems to work very well for many people who want to lose weight. Now I have been eating LCHF for almost 4 weeks and I am already starting to see results. On this blog, I will post my weight loss results, LCHF recipes and my thoughts on this way to eat.

Join me on my LCHF journey in the UK!