The Science Behind The Banting Diet

The science behind the Banting Diet or as I prefer the Banting Lifestyle is very similar to any diet or lifestyle program that is aimed at reducing the weight of the participant.

All programs have a similar goal and that is to ensure that the amount of energy used in daily living is higher than the amount we take in. This is achieved in two ways. The ‘diet’ side of the lifestyle program is designed to reduce the energy input, the other side of the program is the ‘exercise’ portion of the program, designed to increase the energy output of daily living plus a bit extra.

This imbalance of energy input and output is the underlying philosophy of all weight loss programs and lifestyles.

We all became overweight due to the above imbalance, but it was more energy input than output and the balance was stored as extra fat. We want to reverse this process.

Science Behind The Banting Diet, the law of conservation of energyThe “Law of the conservation of energy” is what governs this process. Basically the law states that matter and energy can not be created or destroyed, but one can be converted into the other. So if we take in more energy than we use we convert the energy into matter in the form of fat. If we use up more energy than we take in we convert some of the body, i.e. fats, into energy.

There are only two ways to change the balance so we use more energy than we take in and that is to eat less, reduce energy input and exercise more, increase energy output.

There are a number of reasons that seem logical to reduce the fat in the diet to lose weight

  1. There is more energy in a gram of fat than there is in a gram of carbohydrate
  2. Fats are what we store so we should reduce them
  3. Fats seem to create cholesterol which was implicated in heart disease.

The problem with low fat diets is that carbohydrates as an energy source is absorbed and shoots the glucose levels up causing insulin to be release which sucks all the glucose out of the blood resulting in a glucose low which means we get hungry and grumpy so we eat more. To counter this the diets recommend eating small meals all day, at least six a day. That is a big headache, I have tried it a number of times.This is often impossible for people who work with the public, such as us poor pharmacists.Science Behind The Banting Diet Fat Metabolism

By substituting fats for carbohydrates we achieve a very different result. Fats have to be metabolised, using energy, therefore offsetting some of the fats extra energy content. The metabolism breaks the fat down via a number of steps into glucose as an end product. This is then used as energy. This process takes time and the glucose levels then rise slowly and are maintained for longer, resulting in slower rise in hunger and we don’t get the sugar highs and lows along with the emotional roller coaster of the sugar levels. We therefore eat a lot less overall.

This is a very simplistic view of the process, it is obviously a lot more complex, but I think this is a good explanation as to why and how the Banting Lifestyle works.

We try to do both, reduce energy input by eating correctly and increase output by increasing our exercise. Increase in exercise has numerous knock on effects. One of the ways we increase our exercise is via a process called NEAT. You can read it here at our Weight Loss Strategies, NEAT.

One Response to The Science Behind The Banting Diet

  1. […] I said before using fats instead of carbohydrates for energy is a good idea. See the Science behind the Banting Lifestyle. It has been around for more than a 150 years and has been the base for many other diets such as […]

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