Steph Lowe is a sports nutritionist, triathlete and runs The Natural Nutritionist. She’s passionate about using the power of real food to boost performance and is an advocate for the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) approach to nutrition. We chatted to Lowe about going low carb.For people making the switch to LCHF, what’s your number one piece of advice?
Stick with real food. When you focus on food that comes out of the ground, off a tree or from an animal, you not only reduce your carbohydrate intake, but optimise your nutrient density! This is the answer to controlling your health and performance not only today, but into the future.
LCHF is often thought of as a good way to reset, but is it sustainable in the long term?
It’s absolutely a lifestyle. LCHF can be as low as 20-25 grams of carbohydrates/day to treat metabolic dysfunction or disease, but also as high as 150 grams of carbohydrates/day for those who are happy with their body composition and are training regularly. The biggest decision you can make for your health is to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, your intake of packaged foods.
Is there anyone this low carb style of eating wouldn’t suit?
I strongly believe that as long it is personalised, LCHF should be a way of life for everyone. Athletes who perform extremely glycolytic activities (such as Power Lifting) may find they need to periodise their intake relative to their training and competition demands, but real food should be every athlete’s number one priority.
Why do you think the “energy in = energy out” and “fat makes you fat” kind of myths still prevail, even though they’re false?
I think the two main issues are time and ‘Big Food’. Essentially we’re trying to unlearn five decades of flawed science in a world where we are constantly bombarded with food messages and vested interest marketing. The key mantras to remember are “all calories are not created equal” and “fat makes you burn fat”.