Have you ever heard of the Banting diet? While it may not be as popular as the keto or paleo diets, it does have some traction of its own and rightly so. While it does not exactly follow the ketogenic approach, it does have the same goal and many people have found success following this eating style.
What is the Banting diet?
Created by Dr. William Banting in the 1800s, and then made popular by Professor Tim Noakes in modern times, this diet is all the rage in South Africa. Professor Noakes used Dr. Banting’s original method as inspiration for his book “Real Meal Revolution.”
Real Meal Revolution consists of four phases: observation, restoration, transformation, and preservation. Each phase becomes a little more restrictive as you continue to follow the protocol with the ultimate goal of bringing your body into ketosis in which fat is burned for energy instead of carbohydrates.
Many times, weight loss is a primary goal of adopting any sort of diet. On the Real Meal Revolution website, Noakes lists the other benefits that people have experienced while following the Banting diet:
- Lose weight
- Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
- Gain control of their blood sugar with Type 1 Diabetes
- Cure their IBS
- Normalise blood pressure
- Reduce skin irritations
- Reduce acne
- Reverse the symptoms of PCOS
- Cure their heartburn and reflux
The part of this diet that sets it apart from something like a low carb or keto diet is the phased approach.
The first phase is called Observation. This is a time for you to observe your habits and beliefs around food, appearance, and lifestyle. This also gives you time to prepare for the diet (kitchen clean-out, grocery shopping, meal prepping, etc.) This phase lasts a week.
The second phase is Restoration. This is described as a sugar-free, gluten-free, moderate carb diet. The purpose is to eat nutrient-dense foods, improve your gut flora, and prepare your body for the next phase. In this phase, you cut out all the foods on the Red and Light Red Lists (more on that below…) You stay in this phase one week for every 5kg between your current weight and your goal weight.
The third phase is Transformation. This is when your body switches into that fat-burning state because of the sugar-free, gluten-free, low carb foods you’re eating. From the food list, you can eat as many of the Green foods as you like. But completely avoid the Red, Light Red, and Orange B lists. You will most likely see and feel the biggest shifts happening in this phase. This phase is meant to be followed until you’ve reached your goal weight.
The final phase is called Preservation. You will continue to eat sugar-free and gluten-free, but depending on your lifestyle, you have options for adding more carbs back into your diet. This is the phase that is meant to be sustained for your whole life.
Banting diet foods
If you are interested in following the Banting diet, we recommend downloading the Real Meal Revolution food chart to guide you through the different phases appropriately. But as with many whole-foods based diets, there’s a rough list that you can’t go wrong following. We’ve listed some Banting diet-friendly food groups below.
Meat, Seafood, Eggs, Offal. The only exception here being meats that are highly processed (bologna) or have added sugar.
Fruits and Vegetables:
These are mostly low-carb, non-starchy fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies with higher carb content can be found on the Orange list.
Rendered animal fats, healthy oils (olive, avocado, macadamia, coconut), seeds, butter/ghee, cheeses, and mayo.
This includes vinegars and tamari.
Caffeine-free herbal teas, flavored waters, and water.
These are foods that are especially good for your gut health. Bone broth, coconut yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented pickles.
What is meal planning?
As you may have guessed by now, the Banting diet requires some forethought to follow it appropriately. Meal planning will be incredibly beneficial to your success on this diet.
Meal planning is quite simply the act of planning out your meals for the week – or at least the next few days. This also requires making a list of the foods needed, shopping for the ingredients at the store, and could even include prepping some meals or ingredients.People practice the act of meal planning for many reasons.
One reason is to make the decision of what to eat easier in busy or hectic times. Another reason for a meal plan is that it can help budget and save money on food. We all know how tempting it can be to grab take out when days go awry or get busy. Meal planning helps avoid this and saves money by doing so. That is most definitely a win-win for everyone.
Meal planning is also essential if you are following a specific diet – like the Banting diet. To follow Banting, you will need to ensure that your meals are compliant to the specific diet’s rules. This requires that your cabinets, pantry, and fridge are stocked with the appropriate foods, sauces, spices, and beverages needed to help you stick to your plan.
How to meal plan on the banting diet
The most effective way to find success while following the Banting diet is to make a plan and then stick to it as closely as possible. First things first, pencil in this task on your calendar on a day when you have some free time. Sundays usually work well for myself, but this will be dependent upon your schedule and lifestyle.
Next, decide what meals you want to make for the upcoming week. Consult your favorite recipe blog, your cookbook collection, or Google for ideas. I use my Notes app to keep a list of what meals work for me for the next week of my life. In general, I have a couple of staple meals that I make week-to-week for ease. Then, I throw in a couple of new recipes for some variety and to fight off the repetitive meal boredom that can sometimes arise.
Once you have your collection of recipes, make a shopping list for your trip to the grocery store. I like to do a once-over of my current stash of groceries so I know what I need to buy at the store and what I already have at home. To make this task even easier, I like to order my groceries online and then pick them up at the store later that day.
The last thing that falls into the meal planning category is to do any additional prepping that makes cooking easier throughout the week. This may include pre-cutting vegetables like carrots, broccoli off of the head, or trimming Brussels sprouts. If any of your meals hold up in the refrigerator over a couple of days, you could prep them too. I personally like to prepare a couple of breakfast items like chia seed pudding or egg muffins so I can grab and go in the morning. Once this is done, you are on your way to having a successful, and hopefully much easier, week.
Of course, this is just a general outline of how the meal planning process can go. Take what strategies work for you and your life and toss the rest. The ultimate key to making any lifestyle change is finding what habits are most sustainable and doable for you and your life. If you have any meal planning tips and tricks you live by, I’d love to read about it in a comment below.
Strategies for Banting meal planning
Planning meals in advance while following the Banting diet helps you move through the phases appropriately. There’s nothing worse than coming home after a long day of work and realizing that your cabinets and fridge are empty. And when you follow the Banting diet, popping over to the local drive through is not always an option depending on which phase you find yourself.
Getting used to a new way of eating can take work and some extra planning especially when first starting out. Sometimes it can be worth searching out a local gluten free support group or even looking for online support. Social media sites like Facebook and Reddit have large online gluten free communities where you can learn tips, tricks, and foods that will help you on your way to healing. We should never underestimate how helpful sharing information and experiences can often be. If a gluten free diet is for medical issues like celiac disease and you need a little more structured support, a registered dietitian or nutritionist can help you draw up a healthy eating plan to follow.
A life without bread, beer, pizza and cakes may not sound too appealing but once you understand the basic rules of the phased system and start reaping the benefits, a Banting diet can be quite easy to follow. You don’t necessarily have to miss out on your favorite foods, you just have to learn to love some new ones.
Banting meal plans from Ultimate Meal Plans
Sometimes, you just do not have the bandwidth to meal plan for yourself. Everyone goes through moments of overwhelm, and it is within these moments that caring for yourself becomes even more important. If you want to take the task of meal planning off of your metaphorical plate, outsource it to a company. We recommend Ultimate Meal Plans.
Ultimate Meal Plans is a subscription-based meal planning service that delivers a week’s worth of meal plans to your inbox every week. Ultimate Meal Plans gives you a fully customizable Banting meal plan to move you through the first three phases of the diet. You can choose the number of people you are cooking for, exclude ingredients to suit taste or dietary requirements, and you will get a fully customized set of recipes and shopping list to match.
One of the things we love about Ultimate Meal Plans is the ease of their recipes. They utilize the 15/5 rule which makes their meals simple to whip up but still delicious. The 15/5 rule means that none of their recipes take over 15 minutes to make or require more than 5 ingredients. This is especially helpful for those times in life where things are crazy and busy. The last thing you need when life is wild is for a recipe to take hours to cook and it leaves your kitchen a mess.
Start Banting Diet Meal Planning Today
If you’re ready to make a lifestyle change, give meal planning a try. This method will help you use the Banting diet in a sustainable way and get you on the way to feeling much better in your body.
Other meal planning resources
We’ve built out a ton of meal plan resources on all sorts of diets. Check them out below
- Gluten Free Meal Plan Guide
- Low Carb Meal Plan Guide
- Weight Loss Meal Plans
- Healthy Meal Plans
- AIP Meal Plans
- Paleo Meal Plans
- Keto Meal Plans
Download Your FREE Paleo Starter Kit Today!
- 3-Day Paleo Diet Meal Plan
- Comprehensive Paleo Diet Shopping List
- 5 of Our Favorite Paleo Diet Recipes