You may be familiar with the High Fat Low Carb (HFLC) diet that is sweeping the nation. You may want to try it out but find that it sounds very restrictive and extreme. You might also be wondering if it is for you and if it really is as safe as Tim Noakes says it is.

The theory behind the HFLC diet is that humans are not designed to consume large amount of carbohydrates every day. If we do this will result in insulin resistance (where the pancreas secretes large amounts of insulin but the cells do not recognise it) and eventually type-2 diabetes (where the pancreas burns out and does not release insulin). It also puts to bed the idea that fat makes one fat. In fact, fat is essential to the structure of all our (trillions of) cells, our metabolism and our brain. Fat is digested slowly and thus makes us feel satiated and full so we stop eating. Carbohydrates on the other hand spike the blood sugar and result in hunger, cravings and a blood sugar rollercoaster.

The HFLC diet is not high in protein, but does contain moderate amounts as protein provides the building blocks for our hormones, skin, hair, nails, immune cells and many other things that keep us healthy. Too much protein is not a good thing because it leads to acidity and even raises blood sugar through a process called glycogenesis.

Do you have the following symptoms?

• Weight gain
• Low energy
• Constant hunger
• Sugar and carb cravings
• High blood pressure
• Diabetes
• Insulin resistance

If the answer is yes, the HFLC diet might be the answer for you. Even if you do not have any of these issues it might improve your quality of life and prevent future health issues.

The foods to focus on are: all meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, avocados, green vegetables, leafy vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds, full-fat dairy produce, coconut oil, olive oil and butter.

The foods to avoid are: sugar, bread, pasta, sweets, cakes, baked goods, high sugar fruits, low-fat dairy and other low-fat foods, potatoes, porridge, most grains, rice, margarine, vegetable oils, beer, fruit juice and root vegetables.

It is important to note that above ground vegetables should make up the bulk of the plate in this diet, with fat coming in second and protein following behind. It is also very important that your meat (especially fatty meat) comes from a grass-fed and organic source because factory farmed meat is full of hormones, antibiotics and inflammatory fats due to the high grain diet of the animals. Remember that this is NOT a short-term diet but a lifestyle that must be followed for the rest of your life to gain the benefits.

If you are having trouble getting the benefits of the HFLC diet it may because you have one of the following problems:

• Your carbohydrate intake is still too high for fat loss.
• You are eating too much protein
• You are eating too much and the amount of calories is restricting weight loss
• Your gut health is poor due to past use of antibiotics, steroid, medication, stress and processed foods. This could be worsened by a diet of lots of protein and little vegetables.

Speak to a nutritional therapist if you think these issues might be preventing you from succeeding.

Click here to buy the Real Meal Revolution which will provide you with lots of nutrition and health information as well as many excellent HFLC recipes.

It is a good idea to have a check-up with your doctor before you embark on a dietary change and ask that they monitor your progress.