Banting Diet | Weight Loss Revolution

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This content has been Fact-Checked by a Certified Nutritionist in our Publishing Team. Learn more here. Always consult a medical professional before commencing any diet.

The Banting diet is perceived as a less restrictive diet that can help you lose weight gradually in a sustainable way.

Herald, the Banting Diet, is low-carbohydrate and its focus is on eating lots of meat, vegetables, and fat. Well, that sounds Keto to me!

The original Banting diet also advocates avoiding starch, sugar, and dairy.

If this tickles your fancy, read on as we divulge everything you need to know about the Banting Diet, before you embark on this diet plan.

What is Banting Diet?

high in protein diet

The Banting Diet was named after William Banting, who is the originator and first person who practiced the diet.

Based on his doctor’s advice, William Banting (1796-1878) was put on a low carb diet as a means to manage obesity. To his surprise, Banting managed to lose a pound a week over 8 weeks. And his success spurred him to document his weight loss journey in a published letter titled “Letter on Corpulence”.

In the Letter, Banting lost a total of 21.1 kg over 20 months. This works out to a gradual weight reduction of 1kg per month.

To achieve weight loss, Banting’s original diet looked like the following:

  • Breakfast: Bacon (or any other type of meat), toast, and tea (no milk or sugar allowed)
  • Lunch: Poultry or game (Animal hunted food that is not reared domestically such as venison, pheasant, rabbit, quail, etc.), Fish, toast, fruit, and couple glasses of claret (wine) or sherry
  • Snack: A rusk (a type of biscuit), Fruit, and a cup of tea (no milk or sugar)
  • Dinner: Meat or fish, vegetables, a fruit, toast, poultry or game, and a few glasses of claret
  • Pre-Bed Snack: Two glasses of sherry

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Tim Noakes’s Real Me Revolution (RMR) Banting Diet Plan

Recently, the Banting diet has regained its popularity, especially in South Africa.

This is largely attributed to Tim Noakes, the author of the Real Me Revolution. As a professor of exercise science and sports medicine, Noakes improvised Banting’s original diet but maintained the core principle of the low-carb diet.

Noakes incorporated several lifestyle changes that made the diet plan more holistic and sustainable in the long run.

Some of the tenets that Noakes integrated into the Banting Diet are:

  • Be open to try new dishes
  • Protect your gut health
  • Eat when you feel hungry
  • Drink when you feel thirsty
  • Fast occasionally
  • Sleeping well, eating well and socializing are important for your emotional well being
  • Listen to your body
  • Escape routine and boredom
  • Seek adventure and keep improving

As a result, Tim Noakes’s version is often referred to as the RMR Banting Diet, or Banting Version 2.0.

How Does The Banting Diet Work?

In his book Real Meal Revolution, Tim Noakes encourages eating 4 meals per day. The meals are low in carbohydrates and high-in fat through 4 phases.

Noakes also advised avoiding eating all types of bread, milk, butter, sugar, and starchy vegetables, and beer.

Types of starchy vegetables prohibited include potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, and beets.

The meals are low in carbohydrates and high-in fat throughout the 4 phases:

1. Observation

At the start of the Banting Diet, you should analyze your attitude towards food, and understand how your food choices impact your physical appearance.

Here, learn that the food you eat affects the way your body functions.

2. Restoration:

Begin your diet plan with a host of medium-carbohydrate, sugarless, and glutenless food.

The Restoration stage emphasizes using specific Banting recipes to replenish lost nutrients and gut flora.

This is important to restore your body and mind to its pristine condition in preparation for the next phase:- the fat-burning stage.

3. Transformation:

During this fat-burning stage, you should choose customized Banting meal plans that are high in fat to switch your body into a more aggressive weight loss phase.

With each pound lost, you will feel more confident, transforming you to a positive physical and mental state of mind

4. Preservation

During this sustenance phase, stick with the sugarless and glutenless food.

You can add “variable carbohydrates” depending on your lifestyle and weight-loss needs.

At this stage, you have mastered the knowledge and routine the lifestyle changes to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Who Should Do The Banting Diet?

mature woman

The Banting Diet is suitable for any adult without existing medical conditions or comorbidities, regardless of age group.

William Banting started the diet at 66 years old, and documented his weight loss journey over 13 months!

The Banting Diet results are remarkable! Done correctly, followers can lose anything between 5 kg and up to 124 kg depending on the diet duration.

Avid Banting Diet followers did come off all diabetes medication, experience normal blood pressure and have fewer skin irritations. Not recommending any of that without speaking to your doctor, please!

Other Banting Diet benefits include reduction of acne and reverse all symptoms related to PCOS.

Some members have also reported that they no longer suffer from heartburn and reflux.

To summarize, anyone who wishes to alleviate the following symptoms may benefit from the Banting Diet. If you are on any form of medication, we strongly advise that consult your doctor before starting on the Banting diet plan.

  1. Wanting to lose weight
  2. To reverse Type 2 Diabetes
  3. Manage your blood sugar with Type 1 Diabetes
  4. Cure irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  5. Normalize blood pressure
  6. Reduce skin irritations
  7. Reduce acne
  8. Reverse PCOS symptoms
  9. Cure heartburn and reflux

Who Should Not Do The Banting Diet?

The following individuals should refrain from practicing the Banting Diet.

1. If you are breastfeeding

The Banting diet can affect a mother’s breast milk production of breast milk. Moreover, the diet can lead to ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis happens when the blood becomes extremely acidic due to insufficient insulin. This causes the body to produce high levels of ketones which can be harmful to the baby’s health.

One way to prevent ketoacidosis on a Banting diet is to consume between 80g and 100g of carbs daily.

2. If you have diabetes or you’re on blood pressure medication

Individuals with diabetes or who are on blood pressure medication may suffer from low blood pressure or other complications.

In this vein, we recommend that you consult with your doctor before embarking on the Banting Diet.

What to Eat

healthy foods

The RMR Banting diet categorizes food choices based on the following color-codes:-

  • Green – Eat “Green” food liberally as it’s packed with nutrients and vitamins
  • Orange – You should eat these in moderation and abide by the special rules during each phase
  • A Hint of Red – You should hardly ever eat light red food
  • Really Red – Red alert! Avoid this food at all cost

Here’s a comprehensive Banting Food list that will guide you through a safe and sustainable weight loss journey.

Eggs, Meat, and Seafood 

Noakes says that you can eat as many eggs, meat, and seafood to your heart’s content.

Nevertheless, avoid eating processed meats (this includes sausages, bologna, bacon) and meats prepared or preserved with “excessive” sugar. Only unprocessed meat is allowed.

Fruits, Legumes, and Vegetables

Your diet should be rich in low-carb vegetables such as kale, spinach, and any other green leafy vegetables.

On the other hand, most legumes, fruits, and other starchier vegetables fall into the orange list.

This means that you should eat only small amounts of starchy vegetables and fruits during selected phases and avoid eating such food during other phases.

Dairy Products

Ghee, butter, and hard cheeses are classified as “green” foods.

Soft cheeses, milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, and cream are categorized under the orange-colored list. This includes non-milk alternatives such as rice milk, almond milk, and coconut milk.

Fermented Foods

Noakes encourages eating these “fertilizers” for gut health. These include sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, and pickles fermented naturally. As for Kombucha, you should eat it in moderation as it falls under the orange list.


While Banting edition 1.0 was silent on the intake of oils, Banting version 2.0 (or RMR Banting) divides oil into 2 categories: red and green.

The green list comprises of healthy fats such as coconut, avocado, macadamia, olive, and nut oils. All these oils must not be heated for consumption.

On the “Red” list are oils that should hardly be consumed. This includes sunflower, canola, cottonseed, corn, safflower oil, other vegetable oil by-products, and industrial seed oil (such as margarine)

Other “Red” Food

Sugar is strictly banned. This includes sugar substitutes such as Stevia, Xylitol or Erythritol.

You are not allowed to eat grains of any kind too. Avoid all kinds of food with gluten. This includes bread, pizzas, pasta, and cereals.

You should also refrain from sweet treats loaded with carbs like cakes, doughnuts, candy, fizzy drinks, and sweetened teas.

Banting Diet Pros and Cons

Pros and cons

1. Can be Customized To Suit Your Dietary Needs

Whether you’re omnivorous, vegetarian or vegan, the Banting diet can be customized to suit your dietary needs.

Vegetarians who eat dairy products can enjoy complete nourishment by adding eggs to their diet.

Vegans need not despair. Tim Noakes personally knows of a vegan, and the former professional cyclist gets 80% of fat in his diet from coconut oil, healthy oils, and avocados.

Astoundingly, the vegan who “bants” excels even at competitive sports.

Meatarians will find this diet effortless with its high protein recommendation.

For diabetics like Noakes, eating lesser but bigger meals works better. Noakes recommends having a  big breakfast, a light snack two in the afternoon and a heartier dinner around 7 pm.

Essentially, the frequency of your meals can be adjusted based on your health condition and how much weight you need to lose.

2. No Need to Track Calories

men tracking juice calories

If you’re on a 1,000 low-calorie diet, you will need to track your calorie intake closely to lose weight. But with the Banting plan, there is no need to weigh each and every food to ascertain calorie intake.

You can ditch the calorie counting apps too. Neither will you be overwhelmed with carb calculators.

On his diet, William Banting successfully lost 50 pounds without intense tracking of calories. By eating only “Compliant” categories, you will be on the right track to securing a steady weight loss of 1kg per month.

In short, the only instrument you need to track your success is a weighing scale. As long as you are losing weight gradually, or when your clothes start to hang on you, then you know that you’re on the right track.

3. No Supplements Required

The Banting Diet is a wholesome, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.

It is void of fancy food or mind-boggling vitamins. Unlike the Golo Diet whereby supplements are needed, the Banting diet is a no-fuss and no-frill diet that is easy to follow.

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1. Restrictive

A lot of us will find cutting our carbs and sugar somewhat hard to do. Moreover, forgoing either one component may be easier, than eliminating both from our palate completely.

Many foods (such as whole grains) are not permitted, even in the maintenance phase of the Banting Diet. This makes the Banting Diet somewhat restrictive. Limited food groups may cause a huge drop out as the day progress.

2. Little Scientific Evidence

There is little scientific proof which states that the Banting diet is beneficial to our body.

According to research findings by Oxford students, high-fat diets affect our bodily functions in two ways.

Firstly, it causes adverse effects on the blood lipoprotein pattern which is detrimental to our heart.

Secondly, a high-fat diet impacts mental functions such as attention, cognitive speed, and mood.

These negative impacts were visible during a short-term, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet leading to higher circulation of free fatty acid (FFA) concentrations.

Contrastingly, all participants on a very low, low, and moderate-carb diet (all groups consumed high-fat meals) could complete the 12-week diet.

Of the 3 groups, those in the low and moderate-carb groups were able to stay within the allowable carbs required under the diet plan.

This also reiterates that a less restrictive diet is more sustainable in aiding long term weight loss.

Banting Diet vs. Keto


Similarities and Differences in Food Choices

The Banting Diet shares a couple of similarities with the Keto Diet.

Just like the Keto Diet, the Banting diet prohibits eating any form of carbohydrates, starches, and artificial sweeteners.

Both diets are high fat, high protein meal plans that aim to keep blood insulin, and glucose levels low. This is because elevated insulin causes a slew of health problems.

Nevertheless, both diets have evolved and adjusted to today’s modern lifestyle.

To elaborate, the original Bating diet calls for restricted alcohol consumption.

Contrastingly, taking any kind of alcohol on OMAD Keto diet is forbidden.

This is because all alcohol, be it vodka, rum or any other type contains sugar.

Consuming alcohol is counter-productive as it nullifies all efforts to keep sugar levels to its lowest.

Also, today’s Banting RMR diet allows for a higher intake of fat and dairy compared to William Banting’s version 1.0.

Differences in Meal Frequencies

Banting advocates eating four smaller meals per day.

Noakes, on the other hand, expresses eating only when you feel hungry.

He stresses eating mindfully, paying attention to the body’s hunger cues, and to stop eating when you’re satiated.

Thus, set aside any thoughts of emotional eating, or the guilt of having to finish up all your food.

Similarities in Main Goals

Burn fat ketosis weight loss

The goal of both the Keto and Banting diet is to attain ketosis.

Ketosis happens when the body is starved of carbohydrates and resorts to burning fat to release energy.

Glucose, the regular energy source for our body is often derived from sugar and carbs.

When you eat more than required, your body stores the extra food as fat.

Ketosis, on the other hand, forces your body to burn fat to generate energy. This in return keeps you satiated for longer.

Followers of both the Keto and Banting diet can achieve ketosis.

But achieving ketosis is not the end state of the diet. Noakes’ Banting 2.0 stresses the importance of socializing, being adventurous with new food, and appreciating other lifestyle benefits one can reap on the diet.

Banting Diet Results

flat belly

Prof Tim Noakes is the perfect testimonial for the RMRM Banting diet. At 65, he is in his best shape.

After four years on his low-carb, high-fat diet, Noakes energy levels have improved, and so has his running.

To quote Noakes “I don’t run as fast as I ran in my 20s, but I’m running faster and further in training, and with more enjoyment, than I did 20 years ago”

Noakes lost a total of 20kg in the first two years on the diet. And he has not regained a single gram.

Fueled with improved health, Noakes religiously ate high fat and low carb foods for 3 years.

As a result, his type 2 diabetes was eradicated, despite it being a genetically induced condition. Although managing diabetes can be done with medication, Noakes prefers to control his blood glucose on Banting 2.0.

Banting Diet Side Effects

As the Banting diet is low in carbs, some short term side-effects may include lightheadedness, dizziness, shivers, sweats, cramping, muscle ache, and a change in gut flora.

Naturally, your body will undergo “withdrawal effects” as you adjusts to a lower intake of carbohydrates.

The upside is that these side-effects should not last more than a week. So hang in there and ride through the minor bumps!

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3 Day Banting Diet Plan

chopping board

Structured after Tim Noakes diet of 3 meals per day, here is a recommended Banting diet list for three days to help you hit the ground running.

Start acclimatizing your body by trying out this three-day plan before you dive straight into the Banting 7-day meal plan.

Day 1

Meal 1: 2-3 egg scrambled eggs with hard cheeses, tomato, and sautéed onion. Tailor the amount of cheese according to your required calorie calculation.

Meal 2: Tuna salad (brine or sunflower oil) with avocado and kale, banting-friendly mayo (optional), extra virgin olive oil for dressing. Add a handful of toasted pine nuts or roasted walnuts for some added crunch.

Meal 3: Burger patty made with mincemeat (pork, chicken, beef or venison), minced onion, chopped tomato, and seasoning. Add some cauliflower mash and green veggies.

Day 2

Meal 1: A cup of Greek yogurt (or non-flavored yogurt) with ¼ cup of Banting friendly granola and a slice of papaya. Add 1 – 2 boiled eggs if you are still hungry.

Meal 2: Pan-fried minced meat with prawn in lettuce cups. Dress with a dollop of Banting friendly mayo (optional). Include a side dish of green vegetables and a glass of milk.

Meal 3: 100g-120g grilled or roasted chicken, a cup of roasted pumpkin, and leafy greens. Top the chicken with butter-and-cream gravy sautéed with onions.

Day 3

Meal 1: Banting-friendly granola with a cup of Greek yogurt (or non-flavored yogurt) and half a cup of blackberries/blueberries/watermelon/green-listed fruit. Have some hard-boiled eggs if you’re still hungry.

Meal 2: Tuna in water or olive oil with avocado. A side dish of radish, watercress and seed crackers.

Meal 3: Pan-fried salmon with herbs and a garden salad. Add some cauliflower mash, steamed broccoli, or leafy greens.


feeling unwell

Studies show that there is insufficient data to support the Banting diet’s long-term efficacy and safety.

Integrating lifestyle changes by increasing exercise or physical activity is crucial for sustainable weight loss.

Besides, the study also noted that most participants could not sustain a low-carb, high-fat diet over longer periods.

Nevertheless, adopting the Banting diet on a shorter-term often results in favorable weight loss.

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This content has been Fact-Checked by a Certified Nutritionist in our Publishing Team. Learn more here.

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