5 Secrets of successful keto adaptation

What have I learned in 3 years?

Three years ago I began coaching clients in how to adapt to a keto | Banting | low-carbohydrate, healthy-fat lifestyle. This after I changed my own life in 2012 , losing weight and centimeters and getting off anti-depressant medication.

Some people have achieved positive life enhancing results during their 90 day course with myself and the Real Meal Revolution online platform. Others have not, and sadly have taken steps back to their former habits and self-defeating lifestyle rituals.

What are some of the foundational elements that successful people have embraced?

5 Success tips from the real achievers

They know what they are consuming

Top achievers are diligent with tracking everything that they eat and drink on the Real Meal Revolution meal tracker. This is about taking back the power. It’s about being painfully honest about your relationship with food. We know that living an awesome life is about addressing the social, movement, sleep , relaxation and enjoyment factors of life and that diet is not everything. But it is the backbone to awesome health I believe.

They weigh and measure themselves regularly

Having a weekly hop onto the scale first thing in the morning after sitting on the toilet, and measuring the abdomen across the belly button, lets us know how your body is responding to being deprived of the glucose energy that comes from consuming carbohydrates and sugar. A wise habit is to measure other parts of the body as well, such as the wrist, upper arm, bust, hips and upper thighs. Sometimes the scale will not show a change but a drop in centimeters around the abdomen or elsewhere on the body tells us that changes are happening. This is very motivating.

Using the scale and the tape measure gives important information about the effects that your food choices are having on your body. If weight loss stalls after a weekend, it could be due to that extra meal you had. Or did you have more protein than usual at that barbecue? If weight loss speeds up is it because you are skipping meals sometimes because of not being hungry? (Tip: This could be a good time to introduce intermittent fasting as a weight loss hack.)

They get stuck into keto theory

Successful keto adaptors embrace the learning side by listening to podcasts, watching YouTube teachings and reading books and articles by the thought leaders in this food revolution. They own their knowledge so that if they are challenged by someone who declares that “all that fat is going to give you high cholesterol and you will have a heart attack”, they will already understand how Professor Tim Noakes puts this into perspective in his powerful talk, The Dietary Lies around Heart Disease, and are able to sensibly defend their choices.

They do the difficult bits

No one is pretending that this process is easy and without challenges. Far from it. The successful people bravely face up to what they need to do in order to rescue their health and have a better life going forwards. Things like going without alcohol for a period, in somes cases forever. Or abandoning snacking habits. They have an unshakeable belief that the pain will be worth it.

They learn how handle social settings

Social pressure in my opinion, is the biggest hurdle to overcome when changing from eating processed, high carbohydrate-based foods that are ubiquitous in Western culture. Without limiting social events that are essential to our well-being as humans, successful people develop strategies to use when they are going to be eating and drinking away from home. They plan ahead knowing the difference and drawbacks between a floating canape reception, a bring-and-share get together with friends, a formal sit down event or a family meal where desert is the norm. They always know what they are in for and are prepared and know that they will excuse themselves from some of what is offered, by using kind words.

What are the five basic steps to weight loss? The short version

STEP 1: Reduce your consumption of refined grains

Refined grains stimulate insulin to a greater degree than virtually any other food.

STEP 2: Reduce your consumption of added sugars

Sugar stimulates insulin secretion but it is far more sinister than that……


On a Banting weight loss diet, protein consumption should fall at 20% of daily calories.

STEP 4: Increase your consumption of natural fats

Dietary fat is least likely to stimulate insulin out of the macro nutrients, protein, fat and carbohydrates, thus it provides protection during a keto weight loss diet.

STEP 5: Increase your consumption of protective factors

Vinegar moderates blood sugar levels which is what we look for in a keto weight loss diet.

What are the five basic steps to weight loss? – Teatime, anytime.


After water, tea is the most popular beverage in the world. There are several basic tea varieties. Black tea is the most common, making up 75% of global consumption. Harvested leaves are fully fermented giving tea it;s characteristic black colour. Black tea tends to be higher in caffeine than other varieties. Oolong tea is semi-fermented, meaning that it undergoes a shorter period of fermentation.

Green tea is non-fermented

Instead the freshly harvested leaves immediately undergo a steaming process to stop fermentation, giving green tea a much more delicate and floral taste. Green tea is naturally much lower in caffeine than coffee, making this drink ideal to those who are sensitive to caffeine’s stimulating effects.

Green tea contains large concentrations of powerful antioxidants

These are called catechins and may play a role in inhibiting carbohydrate-digestive enzymes resulting in lower glucose levels and protecting pancreatic beta cells. Fermentation (black tea) changes the catechins to a variety of theaflavins. Polyphenols in green tea area also believed to boost metabolism which my aid in fat burning.

Many health benefits have been ascribed to green-tea consumption

These include increased fat oxidation during exercise, increased resting energy expenditure and lower risk of various types of cancer. A meta-analysis of studies confirms that green tea helps with ketogenic weight loss although the benefit is rather modest: in the range of 2 -4 pounds (1 -2 kilograms). Studies include the Singapore Chinese Health Study, showed that tea drinking reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 to 18 percent.

All teas may be enjoyed as hot or cold beverages

There are infinite varieties of tea available to suit any taste. Flavour can be added with the addition of lemon peel, orange peel, cardamom, vanilla pods, mint and ginger.

Herbal teas are infusions of herbs, spices or other plant matter in hot water. They make excellent drinks without added sugars. Some popular varieties include mint, chamomile, ginger, lavender, lemon balm, hibiscus and rose hip teas.

Enjoy tea in all it’s different styles as part of your weight loss diet.


The Obesity Code – Dr Jason Fung


Unsplash – Loverna Journey

What are the five basic steps of weight loss? – Coffee: Healthier than we thought



Due to its high caffeine content, coffee is sometimes considered unhealthy. However recent research has come to the opposite conclusion, perhaps due to the fact that coffee is a major source of antioxidants, magnesium and chlorogenic acid.

Coffee protects against type 2 diabetes

Coffee, even the decaffeinated version appears to protect against type 2 diabetes. In a 2009 review, each additional daily cup of coffee lowered the risk of diabetes by 7%, even up to six cups per day. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study estimated that drinking at least three cups of coffee or tea daily reduced the risk of diabetes by 42%.

The Singapore Chinese Health Study showed a 30% reduction in risk.

Coffee reduces total mortality

Large scale studies found that most major causes of death, including heart disease, were reduced. Coffee may guard against neurologic diseases Altzheimers, Parkinsons disease, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

As a caution, while these correlation studies are suggestive, they are not proof of benefit. However, they suggest that coffee may not be as harmful as imagined.

Store your coffee beans well

Use an airtight container away from excessive moisture, heat and light. Flavor is lost quickly after grinding so investing in a reliable grinder is worthwhile. Grind beans immediately before brewing.

Iced coffee is easy and inexpensive to make

Simply brew a pot of regular coffee and cool it in the refrigerator overnight. You can cinnamon, coconut oil, vanilla extract, almond extract and cream to flavor your coffee without changing its healthy nature.

Avoid adding sugar or other sweeteners.

Replace addictive snacks with coffee in your weight loss diet

Dr. Robert Cywes recommends sipping on hot black coffee during your day, to avoid reaching for processed food snacks when you are Banting or on a keto diet.


The Obesity Code – Dr. Jason Fung


Mike Kenneally, Unsplash

What are the five basic steps of weight loss – make breakfast optional



Breakfast is, without question, the most controversial meal of the day.

The advice to eat something, anything, as soon as you step out of bed is often heard. But breakfast needs to be downgraded from ‘most important meal of the day’ to ‘meal’.

Different nations have different breakfast traditions. The big American breakfast contrasts directly with the French ‘petit jeuner’ or ‘small lunch’. The key word here is ‘small’.

The greatest problem is, that like snacks, breakfast foods are often little more than desserts in disguise containing vast quantities of processed carbohydrates and sugar. One of the main ways to succeed with a Banting weight loss diet or a keto weight loss diet, is to forego sugar altogether.

Breakfast cereals, particularly those that target children are among the worst offenders. On average they contain 40% more sugar than those that target adults. Not surprisingly, almost all cereals for children contain sugar and ten of them contain more than 50% sugar by weight. Only 5.5 percent met the standard for ‘low sugar’. In diets of children under age eight, breakfast cereals rank only behind candy, cookies, ice cream and sugared drinks as sources of dietary sugar.

A simple rule to follow is this: Don’t eat sugared breakfast cereal.

Many breakfast items from the bakery are highly problematic: muffins, cakes, banana bread and Danishes. Not only do they contain significant amounts of refined carbohydrates, they are often sweetened with sugars and jams. Bread often contains sugar and is eaten with sugary jams and jellies. Peanut butter often contains added sugar.

Traditional and Greek yogurts are nutritional foods. However, commercial yogurts are made with large amounts of added sugar and fruit flavors.

Oatmeal is another traditional and healthy food. Whole oats and steel-cut oats are a good choice requiring long cooking periods because they contain significant amounts of fibre that requires heat and time to break down.

Avoid instant oatmeal. It is heavily processed and refined which allows for instant cooking and it contains large amounts of added sugar and flavors. Most of the nutritional value is gone.

While rolled oats and dried fruit granola attempt to disguise themselves as healthy, they are often heavily sugared and contain chocolate chips and marshmallows.

Eggs, previously shunned because of cholesterol concerns can be enjoyed in a variety of ways: scrambled, over easy, sunny side up, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, poached, etc.

Egg whites are high in protein, and the yolks contain many vitamins and minerals including choline and selenium. Eggs are particularly good sources of lutein, zeaxanthin, antioxidants that may help protect the eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts.

The cholesterol in eggs may actually help your cholesterol profile by changing the cholesterol particles to the larger, less atherogenic particles. Large epidemiologic studies have failed to link increased egg consumption with increased risk of heart disease.

Eat eggs because they are delicious, whole unprocessed foods.

Consider this: If you are not hungry, don’t eat at all.

Simplify your life.


The Obesity Code – Dr. Jason Fung

Not a gingerbread house….

Delicious Low Carb Healthy Fat Banting baked goods

I sincerely admire home bakers who create beautiful Christmas confections. My prosaic Banting keto Christmas baking suited me just fine.

I’ve experimented with several low-carb bread recipes and Fiona’s Banting bread still comes out tops for me because it is delicious, really not difficult to make, has a great shelf life just keeping it in the fridge, and according to my calculations has 4.7 grams of carbohydrate per slice.

Often a few slices of this bread with some butter, cheddar cheese and slices of cucumber, constitutes a meal for me.

My grandchildren, and everyone else for that matter, enjoyed the chewy honey and coconut cookies that are dead easy and quick to make.

Here’s the recipe:

Chewy Honey And Coconut Cookies


  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 90 grams butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut

In a mixer, cream together honey and butter until light and fluffy.

Add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix until combined.

Mix in the remaining ingredients to form a soft dough.

Chill the dough in the fridge for an hour.

Line a cookie sheet with silicone baking paper and roll the dough into 15 balls. Place them on the baking sheet and press them down with a fork, making sure they have enough room to spread.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 170 degrees C.

Cooks Note:

Go easy with these cookies as they each have 8 grams of carbohydrate. Only have them if you are in the Banting keto preservation phase.



Alcohol: How much is too much?

How much alcohol is too much for low carb, healthy fat, keto lifestyle?

“With Christmas soon upon us and the swing of festive parties and celebrations underway, champagne corks will be a-popping and cocktail shakers to the ready. I, like many, really do love a glass or two, especially at times of celebration, but I’m so often asked for guidance about how much is too much?”

Amelia Freer,Registered Nutritional Therapist FdSc, Dip ION

Amelia further goes on to say that there has been a long-held belief amongst the medical community that a little bit of alcohol does us good. this comes from studies that seem to show that all causes of death (but particularly heart disease) are higher in people who completely abstained from alcohol, than was in people that drank moderately (a couple or so units a day). (Corraeo et al., 2004)

She does however, point out that alcohol consumption has been linked to a huge number of problems. It is after all, a psycho-active substance that can sadly lead to significant problems with addiction and dependency. It has also been linked to over 200 disease and injury conditions.

Continue reading “Alcohol: How much is too much?”

Cook something – Roast Chicken

Banting staple roast chicken recipe

Quantities given are for 4 servings

Make a point of sourcing organic chickens rather than free-range for this Banting staple. Although free-range birds are not penned, they are still fed hormones.


1 head garlic
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried oregano
4 tbsp melted butter
1 medium white onion (quartered)
1 whole chicken
2 large lemons (quartered)
1 handful fresh thyme
2 medium red onion (quartered)


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C.
  2. Cut the garlic in half vertically through the middle.
  3. Peel the cloves off one half of the garlic and place them in a pestle and mortar with the dried herbs and the melted butter.
  4. Mash together with some seasoning to make a paste.
  5. Rub the chicken all over with the paste and season well with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the quarters of one onion and a lemon in the cavity of the chicken with some of the fresh thyme.
  7. Place the remaining ingredients into a roasting tray and place the chicken on top.
  8. With a piece of string, tie the legs together to keep the aromatics in the cavity (the most basic form of trussing).
  9. Roast for 70 to 85 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken. Check to see if the chicken is cooked by sticking a skewer into the thickest part of the leg – the juices should run clear. If not, return it to the oven for another 10 minutes and check again.

Cook’s Tip

If you roast it properly, not only do you get some good fat in the tray for later use, and obviously heaps of protein, but more importantly, once you’ve finished carving you can bang that carcass straight into water to make a broth.