LCHF (Low Carb High Fat)
One Year Later
*Edit: I forgot to add this super obvious detail. I lost about 10kgs from LCHF – all in the first three months. I’ve been on maintenance so long I didn’t think about that!
I can’t believe I’m coming up to my one year anniversary on my LCHF diet. A whole year! And I can already hear the other LCHFers groaning at the use of the word “diet”. It’s not a “diet” in the sense of “I’m going on a diet for a couple of months”. I mean more like – “I’ve changed my diet.” I know that LCHF people tend to use the term “way of eating” or “WOE” for short, instead of “diet”, but I’m a rebel.
Also I’m not going to go over exactly what LCHF is and how it works. So here’s some previous articles on LCHF that go into a lot more detail of the ins and outs:
A LCHF Interview (I interviewed a friend about her experience with LCHF)
Confessions Of A Yoyo Dieter
I’ve tried so many different diets to lose weight (and by diet I mean a “going on a diet” diet). But they all end up the same way. I stick to it for a few weeks, or months, lose some weight (or sometimes gain weight – I’m looking at you green smoothies!) and it’s all too hard to maintain so I quit.
Which makes sense. A diet based on starving myself cannot ever be effective long term. And it’s a lie I tell myself that I’ll just use the shake diet to kickstart my weight loss and then I’ll gradually introduce sensible healthy food once I reach my goal weight.
That’s not how it works. Or at least not for me.
LCHF Seemed Too Good To Be True
I’d actually heard of LCHF a couple of years before I started it for myself. I thought it sounded a bit far fetched. Eat fat and lose weight. What? Bacon, butter, cream and cheese are all on the menu? How? It went against everything I thought I knew about how fat works (both dietary fat and body fat – doesn’t one cause the other?)
So I looked into it, and then dismissed the idea. It wasn’t until a couple of friends started talking about LCHF and their own – very obvious – results that I was willing to give it a go!
It’s Easier Than I Thought
Giving up chocolate, lollies, cakes, biscuits, bread, pasta, rice, ice cream – giving up ice cream!!! – seemed impossible. Sugar. I love sugar. Though that’s also why I felt like I needed to make a big change. I had no self control with sugar. I decided to just give it two weeks. The idea of giving it all up forever was far too daunting, but two weeks was a reasonable amount of time. I’d been reassured by the friends who were already doing LCHF that once I got started I wouldn’t crave the sugar at all. I didn’t really believe them, but I was still willing to give it a go.
Incredibly it worked. From day one. Once I’d introduced the fats into my diet I barely even thought about carbs. It was really quite surprising. About a week into LCHF was my partner’s birthday. I carved myself a tiny slice of cake – but I didn’t want it. I barely enjoyed it. I then craved sugar for a few hours after eating the cake, but I used that to motivate me to stay on track.
It’s Still Been Hard
The hardest thing is being organised and planning meals. Especially if I’m going to be out. There’s so few options for eating out that isn’t somehow loaded with carbs. And I hate feeling like I’m being a pain if I’m going out with friends when there’s nothing on the menu I can really eat. I don’t like being fussy. So I have on occasion ended up eating things that aren’t really LCHF friendly just so I don’t end up sitting at a table with no food in front of me.
There’s also been times where I’ve wobbled off course a bit. I think the most important thing isn’t to never go off track, it’s to keep pulling myself back. There will always be temptation, and moderation will always be a bit tricky. As great as I think LCHF is – I can’t say that it’s always easy every single day. But it’s certainly easier than I’d ever imagined it would be.
I Hate The Food Police
The other thing that’s been a bit difficult with LCHF is finding good support networks. So far every LCHF online group I’ve joined I’ve eventually had to leave, because I couldn’t stand people telling others what they can and can’t eat. And I mean getting stroppy at people for eating fruit and certain vegetables. The admin of one of the biggest LCHF groups in Australia compared eating an apple to shooting up heroin. I wish I was joking. It’s too much. It’s too extreme. So basically I created my own LCHF Facebook group so I could find the non-judgemental support I needed!
Balance and Moderation
Ultimately any diet has to be realistic and sustainable. Balance is essential. There’s no point starting something if you can’t maintain it. Experience has taught me as soon as you “come off a diet” you put back on everything you lost. It also has to be healthy, not just physically but mentally. And I had to leave those groups, because I felt like they were promoting some really unhealthy attitudes towards food.
And even though I’m still working through some of my issues around food and especially body image, LCHF has actually helped me form a better feeling towards food. There’s been times with my weight yoyo-ing and feeling like I just can’t make healthy food choices that I’ve wished I could just quit eating food altogether. It felt like it was all just too hard. But now I love food. I genuinely, enthusiastically, love food.
LCHF Is About Eating Not Starving
LCHF is about eating good, healthy food. And eating until you feel full. It doesn’t rely on your willpower to ignore hunger. It’s not about starving yourself. Or feeling deprived. You get to eat genuinely delicious food whenever you are hungry! Yes there’s a lot of good I had to give up, but what I get to eat is so much better. And I can still have the occasional (dark) chocolate treat and I make an awesome LCHF baked blueberry cheesecake for special occasions that everyone raves about.
So Happy LCHF Anniversary to me and I expect to enjoy many more years in the future. (Actually I think this diet might be a keeper!)