The low carbohydrate, high fat diet continues…

Three months ago I decided to try to change my eating habits for a number of reasons (see previous post about LCHF eating).  I thought I would write an updated post about how things were going.

At first I thought I would never be able to give up bread but I have not had a single bite of bread in all that time. For the first few days I felt really rubbish, light headed and headachy. Once this wore off I have had no issues at all. I still get the odd sweet craving so I eat some very dark chocolate or make keto brownies. These are made with almond flour, eggs, cocoa, stevia and butter.

For the first few weeks of LCHF my running was not on form at all. I felt heavy and had no energy. I am delighted to say this also wore off. I now do many of my runs fasted (I eat tea the night before and then often don’t eat until lunchtime) and this really works for me up to a certain distance. I do my morning PT sessions fasted now too so I rarely have breakfast. I then have a low carb early lunch, snack on nuts or the odd keto brownie and have a low carb tea in the evening. I do still have some wine and many of my meals contain cheese.

I am marathon training at the moment so I tried a 17 mile run fasted last week. I felt good up to 13 miles and then started to feel a bit light headed. I stopped and ate half a cashew nut and date bar and then finished the run. The pace was about my usual so my body has adjusted (or is still adjusting) to burning more fat as fuel than carbohydrate. I still feel that this is a learning curve, what works for some people may not work for others but generally my body is feeling healthy and my running is going well. I wish I could say the same for my swimming, but that is just lack of specific training!

For this weeks long run I ate some Greek Yoghurt with a bit of dried fruit in it so I would have enough for the run without having to stop for a bite of anything after 13 miles. This did not agree with me at all, I must be used to running on empty! I had stomach cramps all through the 17 mile run and for a long time after. So it is a matter of finding something that I can eat without causing the gastric distress I used to get regularly.

Overall, I am enjoying this way of eating. I eat a lot of vegetables, cheese, some quorn products, healthy fats such as nuts and avocado. And also can enjoy cream and butter! I tried cauliflower mash and cauliflower rice this week which were really nice. I also made lasagna with sheets of butternut squash and courgette instead of pasta. I have a lovely low carb cauliflower cheese in the oven at this moment.

Most healthy eating is about planning, and this is no different. Make a list of the things you would like to eat (I hate the word ‘can’t’ eat). I can eat what I like, I just choose not to eat those foods that don’t make me feel very good, and why would anyone!? There are lots of websites around that give information and recipe ideas. Diet Doctor is one I use regularly.

For anyone having headaches, digestive problems, bad skin or just feeling a bit under the weather, I would give this way of eating a try. I don’t like the word ‘diet’ as it has connotations of having an end date. It is about changing your eating habits to make food work for you. Sugar is addictive and can cause many many problems in your body. Many of my PT clients have now adopted eating this way, even if its for a few days a week and have noticed changes.

Some people will try to de-rail or criticize your efforts. Telling you to eat cake or stop being faddy (even though its generally the people who don’t eat cake themselves that tell you this). This isn’t a faddy diet and let people say what they want. At the end of the day it is your body, your life, your choices. I choose not to eat food that makes me feel bad. That is my right and my choice and although I would recommend it, I would never push MY choices onto someone else.

There was an interesting TV program called ‘Food unwrapped’ a few weeks ago where they were telling people the benefits of eating low carbohydrate diet and some people had really positive results from it.

I will post again after my Malta marathon in March. Fingers crossed all goes well! Feel free to add comments, suggestions or advice to this article.