In recent times there has been great interest in Banting and the low carb healthy fat lifestyle (LCHF). I recently had the pleasure of chatting to Banting Coach Merle Cutten Westcott and found out that it is very possible to bant all year round – yes- even in the midst of the Christmas season!
Merle, a former high school teacher, taught and practiced a complementary therapy called Life Alignment. Since June 2014 Merle has been coaching as a Banting Buddie. As a mother, she is passionate about how children eat and often gives talks and workshops to groups of mothers to help them change their children’s eating habits and to cut down on sugar consumption. Merle conducts one-on-one coaching as well an online coaching programme.
Recently, nutritional expert Sally-Ann Creed teamed up with Merle and fellow banting coach Janita Bold to put together THE LOW CARB CREED which unpacks the low carb lifestyle and also contains yummy recipes.
Here is my interview with Merle
Merle, what is Banting and what does such a lifestyle entail?
Banting or LCHF (low carb healthy fat), is a low carb, moderate protein and healthy fat lifestyle. We cut all sugars, grains and processed oils. Real food that doesn’t come from a factory constitutes most of our diet.
What are the great benefits of Banting?
While many people think that this is a quick fix weight loss diet, it is actually a lifestyle that promotes healing in the body. Many of my clients start Banting because of health issues, diabetes, stomach disorders, epilepsy, PCVOS and the list goes on. For many this is a life-changing choice, and they are able to reduce or even go off all medication (under a doctor’s supervision)
What lead you to become a Banting coach?
As a long time complementary therapist I had a keen interest in nutrition and after my late mother lost 30kg following a low carb lifestyle I decided to study LCHF nutrition.
How have you and your family successfully adapted to the Banting lifestyle – especially when you have to attend an event with catered meals or eat out at a restaurant?
My husband, 12 year old son and I all follow a low carb lifestyle. Once you know how it is very easy. When we eat out we choose protein, grilled or fried in butter with either a salad or vegetables. Often I will have a salad as a main course and ask them to hold the dressing and bring me olive oil and a lemon wedge, this is really easy. Breakfast is simple. Most breakfasts are fine if you just leave out the toast. If a meal is catered I just pick and choose. There is always something that I can eat.
What practical tips and advice do you have for people who want to begin Banting and how can they beat their carb and sugar cravings?
Supplementing with chromium helps to combat sugar cravings. Eat three balanced meals a day, and don’t try and skip meals thinking that you will lose weight faster.
Tell us more about your role as a Banting coach and how you’ve been assisting people achieve their weight and health goals?
As a Banting coach I educate people about the lifestyle. Diet plans are not effective as they are not a long term solution; education is the key to success, knowing the science behind the choices is key. Much of my coaching is done in online support groups; people are very successful as they support each other.
You’ve co-authored the book, LOW CARB CREED. Give me an overview of the book and its contents?
THE LOW CARB CREED, answers all the frequently asked questions about LCHF lifestyles. We explain everything from why we avoid certain foods, to how to interpret blood test results. Food lists are updated, portioning explained and there are simple delicious every day recipes.
We are in the festive season. Some might say it’s just not practical to be Banting this time of year. What is your response to this and how can we maintain a low carb diet during the festive period?
It’s very practical to Bant at this time of year. It’s my third Christmas following the lifestyle. I choose not to eat sugar and grains as the impact on my body is just not worth it. Instead I offer to take snacks or desert (lots of great recipes in The Low-Carb Creed) to make sure that there is food that I can eat at a function. Choosing protein, vegetables and avoiding potatoes and rice is very simple. I also have the occasional drink, but choose dry wine and either have a white wine spritzer or a glass of dry red.
Get in touch with Merle – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE LOW CARB CREED contains new updated LISTS – which help you to understand how many carbs you are eating. Used with kind permission of Sally-Ann Creed ©2016
Download the pdf here: the_low_carb_creed_lists
THE LOW CARB CREED is available from Exclusive Books & CNA. You can also order a copy by emailing email@example.com
Have you been Banting or are you interested in adopting the LCHF way of eating? Comment below and please share your success stories to help inspire others who also want to reach their health and weight goals.