Tim Noakes is a professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town, as well as an author and A1 rated scientist. He has run more than 70 marathons and ultramarathons and is a follower of the Paleo Diet for health reasons. Noakes is 62 years old and has lost 15kg since adopting a Paleo Diet. Now his meals are high in protein and fat. He blames food containing carbohydrates for the rise in obesity, diabetes and heart disease. One of his patients lost 30kg over three months following a Paleo lifestyle.
In the article Professor Tim Noakes explains that if you are like him, are carbohydrate-resistant (CR) (or pre-diabetic with a family history of diabetes) then you will benefit greatly from dramatically reducing your carbohydrate intake. He doesn’t set out a specific diet plan as he believes that as long as you follow the general guidelines and think of it as a lifestyle change rather than a fad diet, you will benefit greatly.
Prof. Noakes says if you are carbohydrate resistant then it is your metabolism that is the problem and you have to want to change what you eat FOREVER. He emphasises that you have to rid yourself of an addiction otherwise change will never be possible.
“In a sense those of us who are unable to metabolise carbohydrates are never cured of that addiction. We are always in recovery. We have to take each new day of our cure, one day at a time.”
Prof. Noakes had a strong motivation to make the lifestyle change as his father and brother both had diabetes and died. He explains that you need to have a lot of discipline and motivation so you don’t go back to your old bad eating habits.
Prof. Noakes has completely removed the following from his diet:
- Sugar (Must be completely removed from your diet)
- All sugary drinks including cola drinks and sweetened fruit juices
- Breakfast cereals
- Some high energy fruits like bananas
- All confectionary – cakes and sweets
- Artificial sweetners and products containing these products (like “diet” colas)
- You should also be very wary of so-called “low fat” options, yoghurt especially, since these are laden with sugar and so are less healthy than the full fat options. In fact you need to check all the foods that you eat. You will be astonished in the number that contain hidden sugar.
Prof. Noakes Low Carb / Paleo Diet consists of:
- Meat – organic or grass fed, not processed
- Dairy Produce – milk, cheese and yoghurt – all full cream
- Vegetables – mainly leafy, low carbohydrate sources
- Nuts – macadamia and almonds especially but no peanuts or cashew nuts as these are high in carbohydrates
- Fruits – very occasionally and then only those which have a lower carbohydrate content like apples and berries.
- Water, tea and coffee (all unsweetened!)