WHAT IS LCHF?
LCHF is short for Low Carb High Fat. It’s a real food diet that involves eating plenty of unprocessed foods like vegetables, meat and healthy fats. There are many definitions as to when a diet is low enough in carbs to be labeled low carb and the same goes for the high fat. I’m not too crazy about all the labeling (is this food LCHF, paleo, primal etc.). I mean, look at it! Did it have a mother? Or can you eat it directly from nature? Well, then chances are, it’s real food.
WHAT TO EAT ON LCHF?
The principles are quite simple:
YOU EAT: Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, healthy fats, nuts, seeds and full fat dairy products. Maybe even some berries, root vegetables or the occasional fruit.
DON’T EAT: Sugar, grains, starchy foods, cereal, seed oils (rich in Omega 6), transfats, artificial sweeteners and fatfree lightproducts. Also avoid crazy food like product labeled with “low carb” but consisting of all kinds of artificial ingredients.
LET’S ELABORATE ON THAT….
Eat all you like:
- Meat: beef, poultry, pork, lamb, game meat etc. Choose organic or grassfed whenever possible.
- Fish and shelfish: Salmon, macquerel, trout, shrimp, scallops etc.
- Eggs: Preferably organic or from free range chickens
- Vegetables: Leafy greens, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes etc.
- Healthy fats: Butter, ghee (clarified butter), coconut oil, lard, olive oil, avocado oil
- Full fat diary products: Heavy cream, full fat cheeses, sour cream etc.
Eat in moderation:
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds etc.
- Berries: Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc.
- Root vegetables
- Legumes (beans, lentils)
Eat (or drink) occasionally:
- Dark chocolate
- Alcohol (dry wines or spirits without soda and juices are your best choices)
- Coffee: Black or with cream. You can even add coconut oil to you coffee or try the bulletproof coffee or even the famous egg-latte
- Tea: black, green, white etc. No iceteas.
- Water: still water, carbonated water (without sweetener) or make your own infused waters
HOW MANY CARBS CAN I EAT PER DAY?
I admit it, I’m not keen on counting anything. I prefer to fuel my body with lots of natural food and I rely on my appetite to signal when I’ve had enough. I experience this to be quite easy when I eat LCHF-foods compared to when my diet was carb based. I can actually tell the difference between hunger and cravings.
Many people benefit from counting carbs for a few days in the beginning just to get an idea of the many hidden carbs in food. Below you’ll find some general guidelines:
20 g/day: Very strict, ketogenic diet
20-50 g/day: “Normal” low carb
50-100 g/day: Moderate low carb
150 g+: Lower carb for athletes
LOW CARB – MODERATE PROTEIN – HIGH FAT
Most people who begin their low carb journey end up eating low carb – low fat – high protein. We’ve been told for three or four decades that dietary fat is dangerous and fattening and it takes courage to go against the common beliefs. However, this is not just your regular low carb diet, this is a low carb – high fat diet. You eat few carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and then you eat healthy fats to satiety. Yes, to satiety. This is not another starvation diet.
When eating low carb high fat, your body begins to burn fat as fuel. At the same time it regulates your appetite so you won’t feel hungry as often so suddenly you find yourself skipping meals (or just skipping those in between meal snacks) and that’s how you end up eating fewer calories than you did on you low fat high carbohydrate diet. And that’s the magic of the LCHF diet.