Tired of trying one diet after another? Have you spent money on different pills and teas which claim to help you lose weight, but you still have those extra kilograms? ‘Banting’ could be the answer you have been looking for.
What is Banting exactly? Well, Banting is a lifestyle that has been popularised by Timothy Noakes from South Africa. Noakes is an Emeritus Professor in exercise science and sports medicine at the University of Cape Town. He shook the world with his book, ‘The Real Meal Revolution’ in which he proposed a whole new way of looking at food. Though this idea has existed for centuries, Noakes brought it into the 21st century. It is a low-carb, high-fat diet which recommends eating fats like full cream, animal fats, and vegetables while removing carbs from the diet is apparently the best. Instead of using carbohydrates as energy for the body, banting requires that you use fat as a source of energy, thus killing off excess fat.
Noakes has accrued an almost cult-like following with several groups swearing by his methods on social media. One group, called ‘the banting group’ has over one million members! Testimonies from this group indicate that members managed to lose a lot of weight by simply following this diet. Eating only from what is known as the ‘green list’, some members lost as much as 40 kilograms! Apparently, this diet—oh sorry, lifestyle—is even suitable for children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. Imagine, you don’t need to starve yourself because as they say, ‘you eat when hungry and stop when full’. What is even better is that you do not need to exercise in order to lose weight! Great news, right?
The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) doesn’t seem to think so. They took Noakes to court over his unorthodox ideas which were threatening the lives of mothers. Why? Because no testing has been done to prove that banting is safe. They worry about the long-term effects of consuming so much fat and so little carbohydrates. But then again, this is the same council that has held up a possible HIV cure from Zambian inventor, Ludwig Sondashi. The court battle ended with Noakes coming out on the other side smelling like roses, and the appeal was tossed out.
So, could banting be it? The answer to the ‘overweight and obesity issue’? Some women who have ‘banted’, testified to having babies when they had previously thought they were infertile. Others have shared stories about how their cholesterol level has been lowered, and there are those that share the benefits of banting for people who suffer from diabetes.
Noakes just might have solved a century-old puzzle for weight control. As is the norm though, he has received a lot of backlash for his troubles. Perhaps the HPCSA can take this on board, conduct some experiments and make banting safe. Not only is it affordable, but it can also help those who have battled with obesity for decades.
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