Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) Diet Explained – Is it Extreme or Healthy?

A tray of food on a table, with Carbohydrate and Ketogenic diet

The Low Carb High Fat Diet (LCHF) Explained – Is It Extreme or Healthy?

When I first started exploring the Keto Diet, I ran into many terms and acronyms that I did not understand. LCHF was one of them. So what is it exactly?

LCHF is the acronym for Low Carb High Fat which is exactly what the Ketogenic Diet is. The Keto Diet is very low in carbs, high in fat and moderate amounts of protein. It’s the ‘high in fat’ part that makes people squirm. And with good reason.

We have been trained since the 1980s to abhor fat, run away from fat and fear fat like no other macronutrient! This was a government initiative in the US that seemed to cross borders into Canada and other developed countries.

And yet, it is no secret that since the 1980s obesity has soared in direct correlation with our efforts to rid our diets of the dreaded fat. Why is that?

Can You Lose Weight on a Low Carb High Fat Diet?

That’s a big fat yes! (See what I did there?) You can lose a lot of weight on the low carb high-fat diet. Most people adjust macros based on where they are in their journey. 

We have only 3 macronutrients to choose from and they are Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrate. So if you are lowering one of those macronutrients, it makes sense that another has to go up.

So as people have been lowering their fat intake, they have been increasing their carbohydrate intake.

With the LCHF diet, the focus goes back to fat as the number one macronutrient, with many Keto diet people losing massive amounts of weight using a Ketogenic ratio as high as 85% fat, 10% protein, and 5% carbs.

In order to get started, you have to decide what ratio you want to start with. The higher the fat content, the quicker the weight loss. Read more about how to get started here.

There are lots of delicious low carb high-fat foods on this site that fit into the LCHF diet.

LCHF – The Big Fat Diet Experiment in Alert Bay, BC, Canada

People may be shocked by that ratio of 85% fat, 10% protein, and 5% carbs, given what we have been taught. But sometimes the government is just wrong.  Take a look at the people of Alert Bay, BC. I first read about this experiment in Johnny Bowden’s book called Living Low Carb.

Alert Bay is a remote fishing village in British Columbia (where I live!) with a high population of natives who are descendants of the Inuit. Most of them are obese.

An experiment was conducted there a few years ago to see what would happen if they went back to eating something similar to the Inuit diet of low carb high-fat foods of their ancestors. You can read about it in this article called The Slimming of Alert Bay.

Approximately 80 people volunteered. The parameters were to eat all the fat they wanted,  seafood and meat, non-starchy vegetables. They even called it My Big Fat Diet. No bread, pasta, and other carbs.

The Results of the Low Carb High Fat Experiment

These are the same parameters as the LCHF diet. Those 80 people lost 1200 pounds, and even more important, most were also able to go off medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and so on. Low carb high fat for diabetes has been proven to show results and this study is no exception. 

I am inspired by this story to keep on my Ketogenic journey. The more I read about it and learn, the more I believe it to be right for me. I think people will hear more about stories like these as the dogma of dietary fat is disproved. 

Of course, I am not saying that everyone has to eat like this. But it seems that a high percentage of the population is overweight and obesity is rising (now 67%!). The current party line of what makes a balanced diet is clearly not working.

How Do You Start a Low Carb High Fat Diet?

Your first step is figuring out what your goal is and how fast you want to get there. The best part of starting the low carb high fat keto diet is that there are so many absolutely delicious recipes. 

The quality of the food is so much better than what you are likely eating now. 

I’ve put together a simple and comprehensive guide on how you can get started. The grocery list takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out what to buy.

In the beginning, you may experience something called the Keto flu. This is what usually throws people off when they first get started. The Keto flu is just your body adjusting to the fact that you don’t have as many carbs going into your body anymore. Luckily, I’ve got you covered. Here is my Keto flu remedy.

My advice to you when you get started is to keep it simple and go easy on yourself. Progress, not perfection is the key here. You want this weight loss to last a long time, so you have to be able to stick to your diet.

The good news is the low carb high fat Keto diet is not that difficult to stick to. It helps keep you full, so you experience fewer cravings. 

So, Is it Extreme or Not?

This depends on your perspective. There are some conditions that Keto is not good for. It’s always good to talk to your doctor if you have any sort of prior health condition.

If you have diabetes,  your doctor might recommend the Keto diet. If you have an autoimmune disease, your doctor might advise against it.

I’ve heard amazing stories of people who have had horribly embarrassing digestive issues and eating Keto has been lifechanging for their condition, as well as losing weight. 

To me, this is not an extreme diet. What is extreme is eating fast foods and fake frankenfoods and then wondering what is going wrong. The LCHF diet protocol calls for only real foods. What a concept! Just eat real foods. Yes, please!

Read More About the Keto Diet

All the Keto Guides and How To's you need to help you navigate low carb eating and the Keto way of life!

A bunch of food on a table

 

50 thoughts on “Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) Diet Explained – Is it Extreme or Healthy?”

  1. I’m a big believer in healthy fats in our diets. I just wish I could figure out the balance of calories. I don’t believe in calorie in calorie out, it just doesn’t work. But when I raise my calorie intake I just don’t get anywhere.

    1. I use My Fitness Pal (a free app) to help with this. The Keto diet is more about ratios than calories. So on my 1500 calorie a day plan, MFP helps me to achieve my ratios of 75% fat, 5% carbs and 20% protein.

  2. Interesting article. I love the title ” The slimming of Alert Bay”. If people think back, man was thin when all they ate was meat and fruits. No process sugar. No refined grains. Makes a lot of sense.

    1. Ya, it sure does make sense to me. The people of Alert Bay are simply returning to what they were eating less than 100 years ago.

  3. Wow so interesting it’s amazing how perhaps our bodies are used to what our ancestors ate and we should stop following all this diet talk as a whole and look at it more individually x

  4. This lunch really does look good. I am in serious need of adjusting my diet. I have been gaining weight lately and know it is because I have been eating too much junk.

  5. Jennifer Williams

    There are so many different diets out there and unfortunately the research is so different. You can basically find the research to support what ever you want to believe. I do think though that a healthy diet and exercise is extremely important to everyone but that not everyone can follow the same diet or exercise plan. We each have to find what works for us and if this is what works for you, then enjoy it!

  6. I agree with you that real foods are the way to go. We get so hung up on junk (myself included) that it’s hard to remember what a ‘real’ diet should look like.

  7. JadeLouise Designs

    Wow, we knew that for my body personally I do a lot better with a high fat low carb diet. I just feel a lot better. But never knew it was an actual diet that had a name like Ketogenic.

  8. Because of a health issue, I have to be very cautious of what diets I take. I am interested in seeing how this turns out for you. Your lunch certainly does look delicious!

  9. I actually do not consider this diet or even Atkins for that matter to be fad diets. Easy to stay on? No, especially with all the processed foods we are faced with every day. But if you look into it, this is the way people ate for centuries before the age of agriculture and before all the GMO and super modified foods. Our current way of eating as a society is a fad that I hope leaves us!

  10. I think it truly depends on the individual–for me I have to keep my carbs low now (diabetic) and fats I try to keep moderate–protein is where I allow myself to EAT!! Moderation should be the key ingredient to everyone’s diet.

  11. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell

    It’s really an interesting concept and I hope that it really does work for you if you choose to follow it.

    1. The government has done an excellent job of beating the low fat dogma into us! More and more scientists are now providing evidence to the contrary.

  12. Your lunch looks really good, I am working on getting healthy so this post pointed out some good info thank you!

  13. It can seem lie it’s extreme up until someone really fully reads about it. I think any diet is like that. Something seems so drastic yet the real thing we should be thinking about is the outcome. Will it actaully help in the long run? That dish looks wonderful

    1. Yes, you are right and I do believe that for me, this is how I want to eat long term. I also believe that eating real foods with healthy fats will help me in the long run!

  14. Terry My Journey With Candida

    I eat a very low carb diet, but I eat a lot more vegetables than I do fat. I don’t eat a lot of fat at all. Your lunch looks delish!!

    1. Thanks Terry! You are one of those lucky people who is naturally lean and what you are doing is working for you so enjoy! Vegetables are great! I’m suggesting that people who struggle with obesity rethink their relationship with real foods, and that includes fats.

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