The Banting Way Of Eating

Some weight-loss diets are really just short-lived fads that produce no real results, but the Banting way of eating really works and is here to stay. The diet has been around since the late 1800s, but was recently popularized again. 

It appeals to a lot of people probably because it is sustainable and less restrictive. Unlike other weight-loss programs, the Banting diet would not have you starving yourself and could even alleviate some health conditions. It is a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet that promises weight loss that is gradual, healthy and long-term.

William Banting's treatise on low carb high protein eating

William Banting

The Banting Diet got its name from William Banting, the first person known to recommend a low-carb diet to the public. Banting published a booklet in 1863, entitled Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public, detailing the diet he underwent. Such diet has since been clinically tested and considered effective and safe for weight loss.

Banting was not a doctor or a nutritionist. In fact, he was a carpenter who simply wanted to lose weight. At age 65, Banting, who was only 5 feet and 5 inches tall, weighed 202 lbs. He had tried out various weight-loss methods but still ended up at the hospital because of his obesity; to make it worse, his sight and hearing were starting to fail.

During this time, a certain Dr. William Harvey took interest in Banting’s condition and instructed him to cut out food that had sugar and starch. This diet helped Banting come down from 202 lbs to 156 lbs and has even improved his sight and hearing.

The Banting way of eating in a nutshell

The Science

Banting documented his progress in the personal testimonial that he self-published and distributed, with the aim of helping other people lose weight. He talked about his diet in detail, which allowed four meals per day, consisting of greens, meat, dry wine and fruits, while cutting out all sugary and starchy food.

The Banting way of eating works pretty much the same way that other LCHF diets do. It operates by increasing fat intake and avoiding carbohydrates and this process is supposed to have fat-burning benefits. The program suggests consuming about 1900 calories daily.

While other diets give a quick, drastic and short-term fix, the Banting way of eating provides a long-term solution. It does so by helping the person consume fewer calories. By eliminating sugar, starch and other processed foods, the diet helps regulate blood sugar and also keeps the individual feeling satiated for a longer time. More importantly, it allows the body to shift from burning carbohydrates to burning fat for energy.

Benefits Of Low Carb Eating

Reduces appetite. Hunger and cravings are probably the main reasons why people just give up and abandon their diet. The good thing is that a low-carb diet generally does not have this side effect. It will make you feel satisfied and help significantly diminish your hankering for sugar, which means that you won’t have a hard time eating fewer calories. For a lot of people, this is enough to jumpstart their weight loss. A low-carb diet works with the body instead of starving it, which in turn makes the body burn more calories.

Lowers blood sugar. Consuming less carbohydrates may especially be helpful to persons who are diabetic since it lowers blood sugar levels. However, if you are diabetic and are taking medication, it is crucial for you to consult with your doctor first before starting a low-carb diet in order to prevent complications.

Improves Physical Endurance. When the body typically burns carbohydrates for energy, it won’t be easy to access the fat stores. Stored carbohydrates can last for only a few hours of intense exercise. Because of this, an individual would have to constantly eat before, during, or after physically demanding activities. The fat stores, however, contain enough energy that can last for weeks or even longer. A low-carb diet makes the body turn to fat stores for fuel, which will allow you to spend more time doing strenuous tasks without having to eat every so often.

The Banting green list
The Banting orange list
The Banting red list

Similarities And Differences To Other Low Carb Diets

4-Hour Body (4HB). The 4HB diet, which is big on protein, non-starchy veggies and legumes, claims to help shed 20lbs in 30 days. Like the Banting diet, it eliminates “white” carbohydrates, which include bread, pasta, rice, etc. However, while the Banting diet allows some dairy products, the 4HB does not (except cottage cheese). Moreover, the 4HB urges one to pick about 4 meals to be eaten repeatedly, while the Banting diet allows for customization. The 4HB also has one cheat day per week where one is allowed to eat anything as much as he wants.

Read our full post, Why The 4-Hour Body Works.

The Dukan Diet. The main similarity between the Banting and the Dukan diet is that they both shun carbohydrates and incorporate a lot of protein. However, one huge difference is that the Dukan diet is low on fat, while Banting is high on it. Protein provides most of the nutrients in the Dukan diet, which has fewer calories than fat and is more filling than carbs. Additionally, while both Dukan and Banting do not require complicated meal timing, the Dukan diet has days where you’re allowed to eat only certain types of food.

Read our full post, Is The Dukan Diet Right For You?

Paleo Diet. The Paleo diet is based on foods that date back to the Paleolithic era. Both the Banting and paleo diet are not concerned with the number of calories or the size of the portion. They are also both high in protein and fat. However, unlike Paleo, Banting only allows low-starch vegetables and very little fruit. Banting also allows dairy, while a strict Paleo diet doesn’t.

Tim Noakes

Tim Noakes is a professor, athlete and an author of Real Meal Revolution, who has re-popularized the Banting diet, specifically in South Africa. Using the diet, he was able to lose weight and dodge diabetes, though his approach is a bit different from William Banting’s. While William suggested eating four smaller meals daily, Prof. Noakes recommends eating only when you are hungry. He also advises mindful eating and stopping when you already feel full.

Conclusion

While the Banting way of eating has proven effective for many, it is still important for one to research first before deciding to try it out. This diet is especially helpful for people who have weight problems, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. However if you have such conditions, it is imperative to consult with your physician first so you can make a safe and informed decision.

Amazing foods from the green list
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Check out Tim Noakes’ book, The Real Meal Revolution as well as some great Banting recipes.  

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4 thoughts on “The Banting Way Of Eating”

  1. I have always been a fan of low carb diets since I’m a vegan. In my case high carb diets not only contribute to much faster weight gain they leave you feeling sluggish and constantly tired. My plant based diet does just the opposite. At age 82 I take absolutely no medication and still active in martial arts four night a week.
    Yes low carb diets do work extremely well.
    Thank you for your great information. I’ll pass this along to my son to read .

    1. Murray Walker

      Hi Richard nice to be on the same page with regards to low carb eating. It’s becoming a no-brainer for many people these days. Keep up with the martial arts. Amazing!

  2. Nice post

    I have heard of banting way of eating from couple of people but i have not try it, i heard a friend of mine telling me to give it a try but i refuse because i do not have a deep knowledge about it and have not consulted my doctors about it, thanks to your article i know much about it and have learnt a lot, i will still make more research about it to find out more, i will also recommend this diet to someone i know with weight problems and insulin resistance..Thanks for sharing

    1. Always good to consult a doctor before you try any new ways of eating although a lot of the time, they’re stuck in traditional paradigms and not actually very well versed in the latest understanding of what our bodies need. The Banting way of eating is definitely a good way to go. 

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