RUTH MAR­CUS AN­SWERS YOUR QUES­TIONS

‘I re­ally en­joy cap­puc­ci­nos. How many can I drink in a day?’

LOSE IT! - - Contents - WITH CLIN­I­CAL NU­TRI­TION­IST RUTH MAR­CUS

Q: Since I started eat­ing LCHF, I’ve been strug­gling with in­di­ges­tion. What can I do to fix this?

A: To be­gin with, al­ways re­mem­ber that you don’t need to be eat­ing an ex­ces­sive amount of fat. A lot of peo­ple feel the need to gorge on co­pi­ous amounts of fatty meats, dol­lops of but­ter and cream and to drench sal­ads and veg­gies in olive oil. Too much of any­thing is not good for you – this ap­plies to fats too! En­sure that your fat con­sump­tion is ap­pro­pri­ate and al­low your body to slowly ad­just to this new way of eat­ing. If you haven’t cooked with much fat in the past, try us­ing co­conut oil, which is eas­ily di­gested by the body.

Tak­ing a tea­spoon or two of ap­ple cider vine­gar mixed in warm wa­ter can also aid in­di­ges­tion. Drink it be­fore meals and first thing in the morn­ing.

Lastly, avoid creamy and cheesy sauces and see if your symp­toms im­prove. Fo­cus on get­ting your fats from other sources such as av­o­ca­dos, olive oil, nuts and olives at first. Then grad­u­ally add other fats such as but­ter and see how your body re­sponds.

Q: I haven’t been get­ting much sleep. Could this be caus­ing my weight loss to stall?

A: Quite sim­ply, yes! Good qual­ity sleep is so im­por­tant – and it af­fects our weight both di­rectly and in­di­rectly. The di­rect ef­fect is linked to in­sulin. Sleep de­pri­va­tion in­hibits your body’s abil­ity to ef­fi­ciently utilise in­sulin and there­fore halts the fat-burn­ing process. Lack of sleep also in­ter­feres with your body’s sati­ety and hunger hor­mones: lep­tin and ghre­lin. Min­i­mal sleep re­sults in ghre­lin be­ing stim­u­lated, leav­ing you hun­gry and metabol­i­cally com­pro­mised.

The in­di­rect ef­fect of sleep de­pri­va­tion is the im­pact it has on your cog­ni­tive abil­ity and de­ci­sion-mak­ing. Bad de­ci­sion-mak­ing is un­for­tu­nately very com­mon when you are in a sleep­de­prived state. (That dough­nut you got at the garage at 2am, the Uber Eats you or­dered at 11pm … you get the pic­ture!). Pri­ori­tise sleep. Your mind will thank you, as will your waist­line.

Q: I re­ally en­joy cap­puc­ci­nos. How many can I drink in a day?

A: One reg­u­lar-sized cap­puc­cino con­tains around 7g of carbs, al­most all of which is con­tained in the milk added. If you are se­verely in­sulin re­sis­tant and have a lot of weight to lose, I rec­om­mend avoid­ing dairy in your hot drinks un­til you are closer to your ideal body weight and your blood mark­ers have im­proved.

For those who are healthy, or rel­a­tively healthy, and not heav­ily over­weight, one cap­puc­cino a day should not be detri­men­tal to your health or weight loss goals.

Pour­ing cream has a much lower carb and sugar con­tent than milk. Try a splash of cream in your black cof­fee in­stead. Just re­mem­ber not to go over­board as cream is very calo­rie dense.

Q: I am a di­a­betic and would like to try LCHF, but I am anx­ious about my glu­cose lev­els drop­ping too low. Please ad­vise.

A: If you have di­a­betes and have been pre­scribed a type of med­i­ca­tion called sulpho­ny­lureas, or you’re in­ject­ing in­sulin, it’s im­per­a­tive you dis­cuss a re­duc­tion in your med­i­ca­tion with your doc­tor and nu­tri­tion­ist be­fore start­ing LCHF. They will guide you ac­cord­ingly.

Sulpho­ny­lureas such as Gli­clazide, Glimepiride and Tolbu­tamide work by stim­u­lat­ing the cells in the pan­creas to make more in­sulin. Tak­ing this med­i­ca­tion on top of se­verely re­duc­ing your carb in­take could re­sult in a hy­po­gly­caemic episode. We do not want this to hap­pen! An LCHF way of eat­ing nat­u­rally re­duces blood sugar lev­els, which is one of the rea­sons why it can be ben­e­fi­cial for di­a­bet­ics.

Re­duc­ing med­i­ca­tion ap­pro­pri­ately, in con­junc­tion with an LCHF diet, can greatly im­prove your HbA1c lev­els and give you bet­ter blood sugar con­trol. Keep a glu­cose me­ter with you at all times when tran­si­tion­ing to LCHF so you can keep track of your glu­cose lev­els through­out the day and pre­vent any hypo- or hy­per­gly­caemic episodes from oc­cur­ring.

If you are se­verely in­sulin re­sis­tant and have a lot of weight to lose, I rec­om­mend avoid­ing dairy in your hot drinks un­til you are closer to your ideal body weight.

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