Low carb high fat diet for weight loss

Common sense has always told us that we must avoid high fat in our diets in order to become lean. However, this is increasingly turning out to be a big myth. Dietary fat does not make you fat!


The food that we eat consists of macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients. Macro-nutrients are required by our body in large quantities while micro-nutrients are required only in minuscule quantities. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats make up the macro-nutrients while vitamins and minerals make up micro-nutrients. Dietary fat has always been under attack, with every other food in the super market competing for your attention by claiming to be “99% fat free” or “low in fat”. However, is this vilification of dietary fat justified? Many scientists argue that it is the carbohydrates in the diet that makes us fat and not the fat we intake.


Over millions of years of human evolution through the ages, humans have predominantly been hunter gatherers, hunting and gathering their food. Specifically, human diet did not include the following:

  • Grains
  • Sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Processed food
  • Bread
  • Anything “white”
  • etc.

The basic premise of Low Carbohydrate High Fat (LCHF) diets is that human diet over the ages have never consisted of carbohydrates and other processed foods. Humans have traditionally consumed only fat and protein in large quantities. The obesity epidemic is primarily due the consumption of carbohydrates, especially highly processed carbohydrates.


LCHF diets aim to reduce carbohydrate consumption to less than 50 grams per day. The body would derive its energy primarily from fats. You might ask, but what about “balanced diet”? Shouldn’t I take a proportionate amount of carbohydrates too? Well, as you might be aware, there are essential fats that our body cannot produce and must be ingested via our diet. Similarly there are essential amino acids, the body’s only source of which is through the food we eat. But are there any essential carbohydrates? None that I have heard of. One could conclude that carbohydrates are therefore, non-essential for our body.


Anything rich in fat / protein: meats, milk, cheese, butter, avocados, non-starchy vegetables, nuts. Eat all you can. Although weight loss is calorie-in-calorie-out, if you lower your carbohydrate intake and increase your fat and protein intake, you would feel more satiated and would less likely overeat.


Any food high in carbohydrates: wheat, sugar, rice, bread, pasta, potatoes etc.


Once you are about 2-3 weeks into low-carb-high-fat diet, your body would start producing ketones which your body use as the source of energy as opposed to a state of glycosis where your body relies on glucose for energy. You can measure your blood ketone levels using home blood meters to know if you are in a state of nutritional ketosis. Blood ketone levels above 0.5 millimolar are generally considered to be in a state of ketosis.


Initial side effects usually experienced by dieters include dizzyness, head ache, nausea etc. last the first two weeks. Your body is adapting from using carbohydrates as its primary source of fuel to burning fat. The side effects usually go away after a couple of weeks. Beginners are usually adviced to increase their salt content during the initial few weeks in order to minimise the side effects.


LCHF diets have been a bit controversial, especially for athletes who also train regularly and depend on carbohydrates to fuel their workouts. The jury is divided when it comes to LCHF for athletes. However, for an average individual who engages in exercise only for fitness purposes, LCHF as a lifestyle can be very beneficial. The following resources are highly recommended for additional information and research:
DietDoctor.com - A LCHF blog
Wheat Belly – A book by Dr. William Davis which lists the evils of wheat
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living – A book by Dr. Phinney and Dr. Volek on low carbohydrate diets as a lifestyle

  • Shelly

    There is a lot of scientific evidence that this type of diet is the best option for people who want to lose
    weight, optimize health and lower the risk of disease.

  • Sabrina

    Let’s be honest: eating lots of fat is one of the best things about your low carb diet. :)

  • Mariane

    Very nice article.

  • Marta

    My doctor has just recommended this to me. Has anyone else tried it ? Does it work ?

  • Juliana

    Enjoyed this article… would like to add that I personally think that carbs themselves aren’t bad as long as
    they are from fruits and unprocessed. just saying…

  • Helle

    Im reading up on the diet and have started making a few changes. Cutting out certain foods at the moment. It looks like it does work and will feel better in the long run. Ive successfully lost over two and a half stone with slimming world but eating carbs so much made me look into their effects on the body. Time for a change. No harm in trying something new…

  • Alice

    Hi, I only eat vegetarian diet. How can I follow LCHF diet? Can I include legume and lentils in my diet? They
    have complex carbs but other nutrients too.