I have received emails with questions about LCHF and how you should eat according to LCHF, so this is a summary.
What is LCHF?LCHF stands for Low Carb High Fat. LCHF is a Swedish diet initially. The reason it has an English name is that they wanted the name to be more international.
LCHF main principleInsulin is the culprit in terms of weight loss, or rather the fat burning. Insulin stops fat burning. Carbohydrates raises your blood sugar, forcing your body to produce insulin. With a normal diet you wake up in the morning with low blood sugar. Low blood sugar makes you hungry. You eat a bowl of oatmeal with milk, or cereal and maybe some fruit, or some sandwiches. Since oatmeal, fruit and bread contain large amounts of carbohydrates your blood sugar rises. You feel satisfied. The rise in blood sugar means the body produces insulin to force the blood sugar down. When blood sugar drops you get hungry again. And this continues until you have eaten 6-7 times. See figures below.
HungerMaybe you've had a fat cream sauce with some meat or maybe fish. Maybe you reacted like a lot of people do: "This is really good, but I'm going to be full before I can finish this." The reasons a high-fat and low carbohydrate diet is effective in terms of weight loss are:
- You will be full with less food and it will take a lot longer before you get hungry again.
- You won't get hungry as soon because your blood sugar will stay neutral when you have eaten. LCHF recommends you only eat 5% (Energy percent) carbs per day. Most of this will come from above-ground vegetables.
- Since insulin is not produced, fat burning will continue without interruption.
Fat is the main energy source in LCHFYour body has four sources of energy:
Alcohol is obviously not a healthy source for energy and carbohydrates as shown affects the insulin levels. Which leaves us with protein and fat. The reason we eat fat is it contains 2.25 more energy per gram than protein or carbs.
- 1 gram fat = 9 calories
- 1 gram protein = 4 calories
- 1 gram carbs = 4 calories
- 1 gram alcohol = 7 calories
This means you need less fat than protein or carbs to get the same amount of calories. And you can eat less fat, than protein or carbs. If you need proof, try eating 100 grams of butter, 100 grams of meat and 100 grams of pasta. And see which makes you more full. Obviously the fat. FAT IS AN ENERGY SOURCE, IT DOES NOT MAKE YOU FAT. Did you know Sumo wrestlers eat mostly carbs, and little fat? They have come to the conclusion through trial and error that carbs is the way to go to gain most weight. With that reasoning, the opposite should be true with weight loss. More fat, less carbs = weight loss. And, yes it is true.
How much fat, protein and carbs should I eat?The general rule is in E% (energy percent):
- 70-80% fat
- 15-20% protein
- 5% carbs
A general advice is to keep the carbs below 20 grams (0.7 oz).
Eat the following:
|Eggs in any form, boiled, fried, scrambled eggs, omelets.||Preferably, organic eggs, among other things depending on the distribution of omega3 and omega6.|
|Fish and shellfish, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring is sovereign.||Don't bread or flour the fish. If you want to bread it, use sesame seeds.|
|Beef, lamb, game, pork, beef.||Do not cut off the fat and choose organic meat when possible and locally produced. Grassfed beef is the best for us, the animals and nature.|
|Bird, chicken, turkey, grilled, fried in the oven, in stews.||Eat the crispy skin, that's the best part isn't it?|
|Sauces, dressings, mayonnaise, olive oil, rapeseed oil (coldpressed).||Not fat-free or fat-reduced.|
|Bearnaise sauce |
|Check the contents or make itself.|
ABOVE EARTH VEGETABLES
|Very little carbs||With a little more carbohydrates:|
|cabbages of all kinds|
|salad, green all kinds|
|Choose locally produced and seasonal if you can.|
|Real butter||No spreads or margarine|
|Cheese, Philadelphia, Haloumi, Feta, Mozzarella, Cottage cheese|
|Cream, creme fraiche, yogurt plain and Greek / Turkish, milk and butter milk.||Choose the fattest kinds in which all nutrients and the fat has not been tampered with. Low fat products generally have a lot of carbs added. A rule of thumb is to buy the original product.|
|Coconut fat||Make sure it has a minimum of additives|
|Preferably, organic products and locally produced.|
|If you have difficulty losing weight, reduce the dairy products starting with the least fat ones. Of course there are much more products then listed here. Just check the back. If it has less than 5% carbs AND it's a natural product, it's ok for you to eat.|
There are a lot of carbs in these products, so reduce them with consideration to your own needs and goals. If you want to lose weight, avoid most of it, but if you just want to feel good you can be more tolerant.
Don't eat this
STARCH & SUGARS
|Light products and fat free products||Stay away from processed foods like the plague. A lot of the time sugar or aspartame is added to these, none of which are good for the body. Aspartame makes you hungry. Chemical processes, which are not good for you, are involved in making these products.|
|Sugar, granulated sugar, cube sugar, syrup, candy, soft drinks, cakes, pastries.||There is hidden sugar in a lot of products, so check!|
|Potatoes, root vegetables, pasta, bread white bread or whole grain, cereal; is also sugar, just in a different form.||No, whole grain is not any better. If you need fibers in your diet, eat flax seed. Just sprinkle a little on your omelet or your salad.|
|Junk food like chips, popcorn and fries.|
|Rice, corn, couscous, bulgur, is also full of carbs.|
|MARGARINE!||It's a chemical product with a lot of really nasty content.|
|Sausages and various meat products containing additives, including glutamate and sugar.||Read on the package, there are good exceptions.|
|Omega6-rich oils such as corn oil, peanut oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil|
|Fruit||Did you know an orange contains sugar equivalent of 6 sugar cubes? And dried fruit is concentrated sugar.|
|Berries are better, raspberries have least carbohydrates.|
SINNING, no it's not a complete disaster to sin. But keep in mind your weight loss might halt for a while. So eat this in moderation.
|Dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa content||The higher the cocoa content, the less sugars and carbs|
|Alcohol: dry wine, whiskey / cognac||Sweetened alcohol is not ok.|
|Nuts, macadamia, almonds, Brazilian nuts|
My typical LCHF breakfast. Omelette with bacon. I last 5-6 hours with this breakfast before I get hungry again.
If you have any questions please post them below in the comment box. You can post anonymously if you want.