My Banting Story

Hi everyone! I’ve been taking a little break from blogging but you can still keep updated on the ins and outs by following me on social media. πŸ™‚ For those who do follow me, you probably already know that I finally got my puppy (I reserved him a while back and I was just waiting till he was big enough to come home with me), his name is Buddy and he’s the fluffiest ball of love! He’s a golden retriever, a breed that I’ve heard and witnessed many great things, they have the best temperament, super patient and kind. See me hanging out with Buddy by following me on Snapchat —> @lovemarylu.

Onto today’s post…

Some of you may be rolling your eyes already by reading or hearing the word “Banting” – probably one of the most popular words in the health and fitness world right now, it’s all the craze! Clearly there’s something drawing you in, perhaps its a curiosity, perhaps you needed some convincing, a testimony… who knows! Whatever your reason is to click on this post, I can guarantee you that you’re not wasting your time, this is a real-life testimony on Banting, the good and bad, I’m not holding back!

I’m going to provide you with some basic information on my Banting experience:

What is Banting?

Basically, Banting is a eating plan that’s high in fat and low in carbs, and by carbs I mean all carbohydrates including the usual suspects such as potatoes, rice, breads but also fruits, sugar and legumes. This eating plan throws everything that we were taught in reverse because we all assume that healthy eating means less fat with lots of fruits and veg and moderate amount of healthy carbs. Firstly, let me start by saying that Banting works best for people who exercise regularly. I can’t imagine sitting on my ass all day and gobbling down bacon for breakfast and dinner, this leads to one word – obesity!

What do people on Banting eat?Β 

Pretty much all leafy greens and anything that grows above the ground and all meat products but also eggs and seafood. This doesn’t sound so bad right? Yes it’s great in the beginning but then you realise how much sugar and all things starchy are in the foods you eat on a daily basis, it gets a little tougher after that.

How does Banting work?Β 

It works on the logic that when you take your body off the carbs, instead of using up carbs for energy like what you’re used to, your body burns up the fat you’re taking in. Also the protein will help with muscle building, ideally you become a much more defined and leaner version of yourself. However, you MUST eat fat because if you don’t your body starts feeding off your muscles for energy (that’s the science).

How long was I on it for?Β 

I was on it for about 6 weeks, I literally just came off it now because for some odd reason my cholesterol has always been on the slightly higher side of life (I don’t even know why) and I want to do my Vitality test at the end of the month, so to be safe I’m just going to take a break from Banting and eat more fruit and veg, healthy grains and less fat and meats till I do my test (just to clean up the arteries if you want to put it that way) πŸ˜‰

So… did it work?

Short answer – YES! Hell yes it worked but just bare in mind that I was extremely strict about it, I allowed myself one fruit a day and limited my carb intake to 50g per day. I had one cheat meal a week, which was usually something like a takeaway like Burger King and Pizza. I substituted my sugar for xylitol (although I don’t drink my coffee or tea sweet), which is one of the sweetners that are allowed. Importantly, I went to gym and exercised EVERY SINGLE DAY (sometimes I’ll give myself a day off) and even if sometimes I’m so stiff, I’ll do pilates or something. I weighed myself every Tuesday but it’s not the weight that I was after, it was my body fat content and muscle mass that I was targeting to change. Of course this goes without saying that I want my body fat content to drop while my muscle mass went up and whether that affected my overall body weight, that didn’t matter to me. So yes, it worked for me, I lost a bit of weight and my body fat percentage dropped a bit too but what I noticed the most is how I looked. My waist was visibly smaller, I’m guessing the fact that I stopped eating carbs and especially breads also contributed to that, I bloated less. My arms were more defined, I didn’t only feel the difference but I saw it too.

What’s the downside?Β 

Nothing has only an upside to it so naturally Banting has downsides too. I guess the most obvious one is that if you don’t eat enough fibre from the leafy greens, you’re going to have issues going to the bathroom – expect cycle changes! However everyone is different, it might not affect you in that respect at all. The first week was horrible, you feel low on energy and weak and all your body needs is a baguette! If you don’t buckle and give in after the first week, it becomes a breeze! I lost my appetite eventually, it’s natural that you eat less when all you’re eating is protein and vegetables because it fills you up quicker with less food. At one stage, the thought of eating another piece of meat grossed me out, I resorted to green smoothies and protein smoothies to help me out. This isn’t really too much of a downside for me because I don’t have a sweet tooth but all sugary goodness is out of bounds, no cake, sweets, chocolates and desserts!

The verdict…?Β 

Depending on how my vitality test comes out later this month, I’ll consider going back to Banting after. It’s fun when your friends are doing it with you and are there to support to all the way without rolling their eyes when you refuse to order dessert. What’s up with this Banting shaming (I know it’s not a thing but I’m gonna say it anyway)? I don’t shame you for NOT going to gym and leading the healthy and fitness kinda lifestyle that I enjoy living (boom). I’ve included some photos so you can be the judge of that. Btw… I was drinking coconut water… yum!

Any tips?

At the end of the day, my account of Banting won’t necessarily dictate your experience with it, everyone’s body is different so it might work great for others but not so for some. I think what’s important is that you stay true to yourself no matter what eating plan you’re on, if it’s not working for you, then change! There’s no shame in trying and changing because after all, you want the best for YOURSELF and not for other people. Chop it and change it if one eating plan isn’t working but I urge you to try it out instead of bad-mouthing and rolling your eyes at those who do. Track your results, measure yourself weekly and take photos because that’s the only way you’ll know if your body has improved. Also, it’s important that you give your body time to change, you cannot expect your body to lose 10% of fat within the first week, it takes at least a month to see actual results I would say.

The best way to start is grab a friend and do it together, it makes it a lot easier speaking to someone (or bitching… whatever you prefer) who is going through the same thing as you. Not only will you motivate each other but you’re mentally keeping each other in check, I actually feel guilty about disappointing my gym friends if I cheat when I’m not supposed to than feeling guilty about the actual cheating itself!

All in all, everything that I’ve said so far is MY account of Banting but if you want any official information, feel free to visit the website byΒ clicking here.

Questions, answers, suggestions or any tips, all welcome πŸ™‚ I’ve also been making my own almond milk, let me know if you want a recipe or if you want to know what I eat daily when I was Banting. I’m pretty confident that if I stayed on it for 3 months, I’ll look even better πŸ˜‰

With love…xxx

Ford Fiesta Collaboration Overview

Happy Friday everyone! For those who have been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been collaborating with Ford South Africa in bringing you the #FiestaOOTD on Instagram. Here is one more project that has come to a close for my blog, I’m excited but a little sad at the same time. Over the last 3 weeks, I got to test drive the Ford Fiesta Ecoboost and I’ve really grown to like that little car, which is perfect for students or young professionals if you’re looking to purchase a new car. I especially requested for an automatic because my own car is an automatic, I just thought that it would be a little easier since I’m no longer used to changing gears. Surprisingly, the Fiesta I had was a 1 Litre, I was very skeptical at first because my own car is a 2 Litre diesel and the engine is very powerful, and trust me when I say there are major hills around where I live. There are uphills to the beauty salon, there are uphills to the gym and there are even uphills to Woolies food, I thought that this little car didn’t stand a chance! I was wrong, of course, because of the Ecoboost technology in the new Fiesta models. It has a small engine but tons of power, I had no problems driving up hills at all.

I would like to mention a few features that really impressed me, the first one can be quite common but I don’t have it on my own car (I don’t think the feature is available for the make at all actually), that the side mirror closes when you lock your car. I think this is super common for some cars but my biggest fear is that someone knocks my side mirrors when I’ve parked somewhere because I know this has happened to some people I know, but with this handy little feature, you won’t have that problem.

Another feature that I really liked is the “Puddle Lights” which is basically lights at the sides of the car that illuminates when you open the car door so that you can see the ground beneath you before you step out in avoidance of puddles, which I thought was pretty nifty.

Driving a car that has a push start on/off button myself, I totally don’t understand why there’s still a need for car keys nowadays. The Ford Fiesta takes it one step further, you don’t even need to insert the remote or the “key” into the car in order to start the engine, as long as it can sense that your key is somewhere within the vicinity of the car, you are able to start it. How amazing? I really loved that feature! Say goodbye to furiously fumbling for those keys.

Overall, the car was very easy to drive, the steering wheel was very light and the car is very stable on the road. I would definitely recommend this car to those who are looking to get a new car after varsity or at the start of varsity because it comes in a variety of trendy colours and you will stand out for sure. πŸ™‚

 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I’m heading to Cape Town tomorrow morning for the weekend and will be back on Monday evening. Follow me on Snapchat to check out what I’ll be doing or eating. We’ve booked to have dinner at Nobu on Sunday evening after shark cage diving that day, I’m pretty excited about that! πŸ™‚

With love…xxx

Ding Tai Fung Shanghai

Hi everyone! Hope you all have a great week ahead! If there’s one thing that makes my day without fail, every single time, that would be food… well and also puppies. I’m a huge fan of great food and especially enjoyed with great company, that’s why I always make an effort to go to at least oneΒ famous restaurant when I travel. Since I was in Shanghai, China, I couldn’t say no to eating at Ding Tai Fung in XinTianDi. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically the only asian restaurant that holds a Michelin Star and various celebrities from all over the world have tried and tested the delicacies offered by Ding Tai Fung. The most famous dish is the “Xiao Long Bao” which is a small, delicate, steamed bun with a filling of your choice but that’s not all, it contains soup. The correct way to eating these soup-filled buns is to very carefully place one on your soup spoon, bite off a small piece of the skin and then proceed to slurp the soup out. Once you’re done drinking the soup then you eat the rest of the bun. πŸ™‚ Simple no?

The Xiao Long Bao (small cage bun – direct translation) is not the only dish Ding Tai Fung offers though, they also offer various other dishes, noodles, fried rice and traditional Chinese desserts. We like to try the food from Ding Tai Fung everywhere we go and so far it has been the same. The chefs who make the Xiao Long Bao are only trained to master the art of making the Xiao Long Bao, which means they ensure that the pastry is the perfect thickness and the bun is perfectly crafted to ensure that no soup is leaked out during the steaming process. Hope you enjoy the photos and it made your Monday to some extent! πŸ™‚

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With love…xxx