Meet SA's OTHER Banting guru

Chef and athlete Jonno Proudfoot is the co-author of the first Banting cookbook 'The Real Meal Revolution'. He's currently working on his fourth book, which he wants to be seen as a delicious cookbook before it's seen as a Banting book

04 March 2018 - 00:00 By Staff Reporter
Jonno Proudfoot.
Jonno Proudfoot.
Image: Supplied

I've been Banting on and off since July 2013. I'm not a strict everyday Banter, but I do watch my carbs, cook most of the food I eat, and I use Banting as a tool to shed weight if I've been naughty. I've always been a sports lover and I've also always been obsessed with the idea that food can be used as a tool beyond just fuel for survival. It can be used to optimise performance, to set the mood, to enhance focus and many other things.

When my wife lost 20kg following the Noakes Diet in 2012, I was intrigued. Prof [Tim Noakes] was on my radar as a sport scientist, and now his diet was helping people lose weight. I knew I had to get involved because his diet sounded like it ticked all of my boxes. And it did.

There are elements of a Banting lifestyle that work for everyone. Eating real, unprocessed food is a no-brainer. Eating a diet super-low in carbs, though, is different for everyone. My experience has been that lean people who are athletic battle without carbs, while those who are prone to putting on weight can benefit hugely from removing most carbs from their diet.

The Banting lifestyle is an expensive one. False. I could claim responsibility for some of this misconception. I believe following the recipes in The Real Meal Revolution as your diet could be a very expensive exercise. You don't have to cook fancy foods to keep your carbs low, quite the opposite in fact. All you really need is a good mix of veggies like morogo, peppers, courgettes, broccoli and cauliflower combined with any meat or eggs cooked in any animals fats and you'll see the weight drop. Green means go.

I usually skip breakfast, but on weekends I take it more seriously. We have a stash of frozen ice cubes of bolognaise that we heat for our toddler's meals. I often nuke them in the microwave and whip up a quick bolognaise and cheese omelette.

My standard lunch is a raw egg shake (four eggs, tons of ice, single espresso and Nomu sugar-free hot chocolate in the Nutribullet). Otherwise it's leftovers, a handful of nuts or I just skip lunch. Bunless burgers made from scratch (with every topping you can think of) are a family favourite. Steamed courgettes tossed in butter with any grilled fish, chicken or meat is textbook supper at our house. I love cauliflower roasted in chunks with Middle-Eastern spices, pomegranate rubies, heaps of parsley and tarator (tahini, nut and lemon sauce). You just don't get better cauliflower than that.

I'm putting together my fourth book. The Banting green list [list of foods for a Banting lifestyle] is vast and there are countless things you can do with each ingredient. There is zero science and zero weight-loss advice in this book. I am writing it to share the techniques and flavour combinations I use to make my food taste as good as I can get it. I want this book to be seen as a delicious cookbook before it is seen as a Banting book.

The only tip I have for Banting better is to get your mind right, or pay someone to help you get it right. Get a therapist or a coach to help rewire your relationship with food. Experience has shown us that food is only about 10% of the issue for those who are sick and obese.

The Real Meal Revolution online programme was pivotal in developing a little private Banting Facebook with all the low-carb gizmos. Members get access to all of my recipes from all of my books, Banting meal plans, shopping lists, meal-tracking and carb-counting tools, a support forum and fully automated goal wizard that uses your data to predict to the exact day when you will arrive at your "Awesome Weight".

The support forum is where the action happens. Members chat about what they're going through, share their successes and exchange ideas. I spend most nights reading what happened during the day on the forum.