There is no doubt about it, banters lose weight more successfully and sustainably than anyone on any other diet. However, some people do struggle, and there are many reasons for this, the main one being that like a stowaway on a ship, hidden carbs are somehow sneaking into the diet whether the dieters know it or not.

Without becoming obsessive, there are a few things you can eradicate if you find yourself in this situation. The below are common mistakes:

Eating hidden carbs

Good places for carbs to hide include sausages (rusk, soya, wheat, sugar etc), all processed food (that’s why real food is so important), and even things like biltong can be full of sugar, soya powder and corn flour. So make sure you know what you are eating. If your butcher doesn’t give you a straight answer on what other than meat and fat goes into his sausages, get a new butcher who will.

If you’re struggling, drop the dairy for a while. You might just find the results you were looking for start to happen immediately

Overdoing the dairy

Dairy products appear to be fine for people who have very little (such as a cup of tea daily with a splash of milk, or a piece of cheese twice a week), but the sad truth is that dairy is delicious and it is easy to eat too much. Yogurt for breakfast, cheese for lunch, numerous cappuccinos throughout the day (with cream!), tea with milk, latte’s, smoothies and low carb cakes and desserts. Dairy has a fair amount of lactose present, and it appears to spike insulin disproportionately even for the amount of lactose present. What this means is that you will not burn fat if you have even a reasonable amount of dairy. If you’re struggling, drop the dairy for a while. You might just find the results you were looking for start to happen immediately.

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Overeating nuts

This is another stumbling block. Nuts are fine and good – but when you overeat them, you definitely will slow weight loss or even put on weight. They are delicious, we know, so take your (our) weakness into account and when you divide nuts, break them into portions form the get-go so you know what amount you can have each time. That way you have no excuses to give yourself if you overeat nuts.

Trying to go low fat and low carb

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This doesn’t work. Low carb diets require high fat diets for fuel, or you will be constantly hungry and end up overeating or resorting to carbs to satisfy your need for fuel. The body can only burn carbs and fat – if you restrict carbs, it has to burn fat. Give it both, and it will store the carbs as fat.

Eating fruit

No, fruit is not essential to life, and in effect, is just another way to carbo-load. It’s full of sugar and will cause insulin to shoot up, thus storing the sugar as fat.

Eating too often and eating too much

When banting, the idea is not to eat as much as possible of the green listed foods. We all eat too much food, and the idea is to eat just as much as you need, no more. You need to fight your body’s primal instincts to store up on food for the next Ice Age. In time, you’ll find you can exist well on much less food, even just one or two meals a day. Eat to hunger, not routine.

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Not eating enough fat or protein

By going too low on either of these you will become hungry, and the whole thing will start all over again. But fat and protein take longer for your body to process, leaving you feeling satiated for longer after a meal, whereas carbs give you a spike and then a low.

Eating ‘Red Foods’

A lot of red listed foods may not contain carbs but will contain other things that inhibit weight loss. Be sure to avoid any red listed items at all costs. Soy, for instance, is really unhealthy and causes weight gain (even though it is low in carbs). If you’re a bloke, it also results in a bunch of weird hormonal changes (oestrogen production, testosterone reduction etc) so it’s best avoided.

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