What I Didn’t Expect From Banting…

Walter and I have been banting for nearly a full 9 months now & it’s become such a natural way of life for us that it just sort of happens now, without too much thought going into it. But there have been a number of surprises along this journey, particularly towards changes we’ve experienced that we hadn’t expected when we first set out on this journey.

I think it’s important to note that when we first started banting, it was ALL about the weight loss, but with time, as we noticed more and more improvements in our overall health, the focus moved way from being solely centred around weight loss to being much more focused on overall health and this has had a spill over into the nutrition of my children too.

When I started banting, I expected to lose weight, what I didn’t expect was the following:

  • That my IBS, which I’ve suffered with all my life, would simply disappear in a matter of days, it was JUST GONE. The only time I struggle with digestive, colon or stomach issues now is when I cheat. I no longer suffer with cramps, gas or an upset stomach.
  • Walter has been a headache sufferer his entire adult life, he was literally going through a box of Myprodol every two weeks. Within a month of converting to banting, his headaches, the cause of which has gone undiagnosed for years, simply went away. Previously, his headaches were debilitating. They made him irritable and snappy, he would wake up with dark rings around his eyes and miserable and you knew it was best to stay away from him because he’d be grumpy from a headache. The only time he gets a headache now is when he’s tired or if he’s drunk beer & not excessive amounts of beer either, ONE beer…. Within 12 hours, he has a headache.
  • I’ve been an insomnia sufferer most of my life. I’d say up until I started banting, I couldn’t tell you when, in the last 20 years I’ve slept right through the night, without interruption and I’m not talking about my kids either. Falling asleep has ALWAYS been hard for me. If I’m stressed forget it, I’ll toss and turn all night and even when I’m not stressed, I can spend a large portion of the night simply awake for no apparent reason. Since I started banting, that has gone away. I sleep like the dead. I am lights out by just after 9pm every night and most nights I sleep right through, uninterrupted, unless one of my children wakes up. I can’t tell you what a HUGE difference this has made to my overall sense of wellbeing.
  • I rarely get menstrual pain anymore. How odd that I would bring that up right? But since I started menstruating as a tween, I’ve battled with debilitating menstrual cramps. Pain. Not discomfort, horrible horrible pain, that would keep me awake at night, that would last for at least 24 hours and that no amount of medication could relieve. I’ve had numerous investigative and corrective surgeries on my uterus and lady bits to try and relieve the pain, including removal of endometriosis, fibroids, polyps and even a tubal ligation. None of it relieved my pain. But since I started banting, I have ONLY ONCE in 9 months struggled with cramps, and even then it was nowhere near the levels of pain I’d experienced previously.
  • Facial hair! I’ve always had facial fluff and as I’ve gotten older, I noticed (gah, how awful) but actual whiskers growing out of my chin! Course, white hairs on my chin and fine dark hairs on my top lip. For about the last two years I’ve actually had to start waxing the dark lip hairs off, they were revolting. It’s hard for me to explain how, but I haven’t had to wax my lip in the last 6 months, there are no more dark hairs there!
  • I’ve been a lover of pedicures all of my adult life. It’s simply my best treat to get a professional pedi and because I hate seeing a woman in pretty sandals with cracked heels, I’ve always been religious about looking after my feet, I use a foot file for rough skin removal a couple of times a week and would cream up my heels and soles every night without fail. But of course I still got cracked heels, in spite of how much care I took of my feet. I’ve had, for the last few years, two deep cracks where the outside arch of my foot met the ball of my foot and no amount of care could get rid of them. In the last 6 months, those have vanished. I also don’t get dry, cracked heels anymore and hardly ever have to apply speciality heel creams to my heels, they just don’t get dry and cracked anymore.
  • The skin on my arms is smooth! I’ve battled with acid bumps on my upper arms for years. I’ve tried every single home remedy and scrub that promises to rid one of those annoying little bumps but nothing worked. Well guess what….. my arms are as smooth as a baby’s bum now. There are no bumps and blemishes.
  • Walter no longer has dark rings around his eyes, his eyes are clear and today was the first time in months I’ve seen him with dark circles and this is purely because we were up most of the night with a sick, croupy child.
  • Let’s talk about the dreaded cellulite! Or rather, my total lack thereof. I have NO cellulite you guys! This is so exciting, I noticed this about a month ago. Previously, I even had cellulite on my calves. Now you can squeeze my bum, my thighs, my calves and there is no ugly dimpling. My legs are so smooth. Even though I still have 12kg’s to lose, so my legs are NOT thin, they are smooth and dimple free!
  • I don’t get afternoon slumps anymore. You know that hour after you’ve had lunch where you feel you need to lie down and take a nap? My energy levels seem to remain stable throughout the day with no peaks and valleys and I can only assume that this is because my insulin is being properly regulated by a healthy diet that’s not causing insulin spikes.
  • I never get bilious anymore.
  • Walter no longer struggles with heartburn anymore, he was a regular Rennies user.
  • For the longest time, when I woke up in the mornings, I had sore feet and painful knees. Of course, this could be my body complaining about having to carry my 118kg frame around but that went away within a month of starting banting. In fact all my joint and backache went away. My body is completely pain free and the irony is, I didn’t even realize how much pain I was in until the pain went away.

This journey has been a revelation from start to finish. I didn’t realize how sick my body was until it got healthy. I didn’t realize the extent of the damage the modern diet was having on me until I changed it and went back to basics. I could probably add another 10 points to my list above, the overall improvement has been that remarkable.

I am just 12kg’s shy of my weight target and I have noticed that my weight loss has started to dramatically slow down, but what is interesting is that my high fat diet is still resulting in my body burning fat for fuel and not carbs. Wanna know how I know? Because I bought jeans for myself a month ago, they fitted perfectly. I only lost 2kg’s this past month but those size 14 jeans no longer stay up without the assistance of a belt. My measurements have started to quite drastically adjust and shrink even though my bathroom scale says I’m standing still but visually I can see that I’m not.

I am so excited to what other changes will start to reveal themselves the further we get down the path of this lifestyle change.

Image Credit - Theory On Health


  • Corrina Solbach

    September 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    There really is no need for further convincing that LCHF is worth trying for sure. I hope that I can also start a journey like this and that I too will no doubt have the same beneficial outcome in all aspects. Inspiring Sharon! xx

  • Coco

    September 18, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Congratulations Sharon!

    Health reasons aside I was slim years ago and now almost weighs what you weighed at your “heaviest” let us forget a moment the health reasons these are the things that I miss most or wish I could do, that I am sure that you are already experiencing:

    1. being able to climb out of a bath like a normal person, not having to hold onto the handles for dear life, pulling up your legs making a half turn getting on your knees and pushing on the rim of the bath to steady yourself to get up;
    2. to be able to easily fit into the bath with your child with space to play and not to trying to cover yourself with toys, the last bit of foam when your better half picks child out of bath;
    3. walking in a mall or any public place on a hot summers day eating an ice cream and not receiving stares or looks followed by shakes of heads;
    4. being able to fit into your kids blow up pool;
    5. to be able to run around playing “catch”;
    6. the fear of being described as the fat mommy;
    7. and and and

    Yes I know it is all up to me, myself and I. Just promise you stop when you reach the land of slim and healthy DONNOT cross over to the land of skinny and bitchy!!

    You really look fantastic!!

    • Sharon

      September 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      You know what Banting has taught me Coco?
      That I was not fat because I was a gluttonous pig, I was fat because I was being given the wrong dietary advice! As soon as I cut out the carbs and the sugars the weight came off.
      Stop blaming yourself, throw out everything you’ve been taught is “healthy” and start again. You can totally do it. And the health benefits and ALL the things you mention above make it so worth it!
      Even stupid things like not having to suck in my stomach and hold my breath while tying my shoes make it all worth it!

  • vivien

    September 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I was so anti doing this but as mydaughter was insulin resistant i went along with it and in juston 3months i am under the 100 kg mark for the first time in at least 20 yrs i have lost 15kgs.I feel better still battle with eating coconut oil can’t handle the smell but if i do stray i pay the price.What has amazed me is what i never realised i put into my body before so now my youngest daughter is also doing Banting and she battles to get ingredients living in Arusha but the chef at the lodge makes her meals and as they often have guests that want gluten free diets she has managed to work around and her long hours as a lodge manager don’t tire her out so much.She battled on holiday especially in Sri Lanka but worked around it.I dont have tummyproblems and the weight loss is helping my knee .The only question i have is when one palteaus out what do you do to speed up the weight loss

  • laurakim

    September 19, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    David has started doing this now and is losing nicely. Only thing I have noticed so far is that he hasn’t had heartburn and he was eating Rennies like smarties 4 weeks ago.

    Regardless of the diet you choose its only when you cut out all the processed crap that you realise just how much you have been poisoning yourself.

    PS I tried #lchf a while ago – I actually put on weight. I need carbs, not a lot but not a low carb diet but am eating a lot of what David eats.

    • Nonhle Ngobese

      August 3, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      I’m in day 16 of banting and it feels very great my body is energetic. My concern is that since I’ve started it I’m constipated

  • Hazel

    May 24, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Have the same problem, since I stared I m costipated, I have been on this diet for two weeks now , haven’t lost any weight but I’m eating all the right food .


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