The Banting Diet is made up of four phases that work in conjunction with five lists of foods. The lists lay out foods that can be eaten freely, foods that should be eaten with caution, foods that should be eaten very rarely, foods that should never be eaten and some foods that present a grey area in our world of healthy eating.

Each of the four phases, Observation, Restoration, Transformation and Preservation, present a unique set of rules that apply to each list. These rules work to create a smooth transition from your current way of eating (that is presumably contributing to your weight gain) to a state in which your body fuels itself by burning stored fat until you reach your Awesome Weight and beyond. There is no exercise involved. You can burn all of the excess body fat that you have by simply changing the way you eat in accordance with the four phases of the Banting Diet and the Banting Food Lists.


The five lists of the Banting Diet are:

  1. The Banting Green List – Eat to Hunger
  2. The Banting Orange List – Exercise Self-Control
  3. The Banting LightRed List – Hardly Ever
  4. The Banting Red List – Never Ever
  5. The Banting Grey List – It’s a grey area


The Orange List is made up of foods that have both notable health benefits and a potential role to play in hindering weight loss (and numerous other benefits) if their consumption is not controlled. They are also delicious.


While they are simple to use, the Banting Food Lists are layered in complexity. We compiled them using a base of Banting expert advice and Banting course feedback in equal proportions. We beefed them up with goal setting methodology, enhance key notes like prebiotics, nighshades, enzyme-rich foods and fertilisers with a touch of design thinking and finally, we seasoned with a sprinkle of common sense and practicality.


The result?


Unbelievably tasty, easy-to-follow, low carb, Banting recipes and meal plans (and a whole bunch of other cool stuff) that deliver results, day in and day, out to our members.

There are different rules for each list in the Banting Diet in each phase of the program.  Unlike the Banting Green List, which can be consumed freely throughout all phases, The Banting Orange List has its own set of restrictions.


This is what the Banting Orange List looks like

Banting Orange List


The first thing you will see is that the Banting Orange List has been split into two parts. Orange A and Orange B. Orange A is a list of foods that we believe will not slow you down on your road to Awesome Weight, provided the portion guidelines are adhered to. Items on Orange B have shown to derail some hard earned pound-shedding momentum.


The Rules of the Banting Orange List:

  1. EXERCISE SELF CONTROL – this is the rule that needs to be followed during Restoration and Preservation on both Orange A and Orange B.
  2. PORTION GUIDELINES – these need only be followed strictly during Transformation. (2tbp, ¼ cup and ‘No more than a half a closed handful’). You are allowed to eat one portion from each category every day)
  3. NO ORANGE B – Foods on Orange B may not be eaten during Transformation.


Nuts on the Banting Diet (Orange A)

Nuts and nut butters listed on Orange A present opportunity and adversity. They are delicious. But they are also fattening.
We used to recommend regular snacking on nuts and biltong (jerky) to bridge gaps between meals, but that was often to the detriment of consistent weight loss. Nuts slow weight loss and in some cases, make you gain weight.
You can still snack on them. But during Transformation, no more than 2tbp per day.


Banting Orange List


Dairy on the Banting Diet (Orange A)

It’s a strange thing, dairy. There are no animals on earth other than humans who consider the milk of another animal to be a vital food source. The way health authorities promote dairy, it seems as though children should be breast fed by their mothers until they have developed enough to be breast fed by cows.


Whether you are a creationist or evolutionist, there is a solid explanation missing from this picture?


Regardless of whether or not we were designed to consume it, a lot of us can enjoy dairy and benefit from the variety of health benefits and delicious flavours, shapes and forms that it comes in. For others (those who are lactose intolerant) it is less than awesome.


It is thought by many that almost all of us are lactose intolerant to a lesser or greater degree. Standard symptoms of lactose intolerance are abdominal pain, belching, bloating, diarrhea, indigestion, and flatulence. If you experience any or all of these, try cutting dairy and see what happens.


Symptoms, creational intention, evolution and logic aside, weight loss is still the main focus of these lists and we have found that the members who get to Awesome Weight the fastest are the one who limits their dairy.


Dairy contains carbs and sugar, we have found that even a little bit of dairy can stall weight loss in disproportionate effect to its fat, protein, carb or sugar content. It may be due to hormones. It may be that lactose (the sugar in milk) is nastier than other sugars like fructose, glucose and other ‘oses’. It could be that we don’t really notice half the dairy we eat. We could underestimate how much milk we put in our tea and how much yogurt we eat. We don’t know.


Dairy should be kept low during Transformation and for some, it should be kept at zero.


Kefir – what about kefir? That’s on the Banting Green List and that’s made of milk?


Kefir is on the Banting Green List because, during the fermentation process, the kefir bacteria metabolize the lactose, leaving it basically lactose-free and rich in good bacteria. That’s why kefir is on our list of fertilisers.


If that’s the case, then why aren’t yogurt and cheeses on the Banting Green List? They’re all fermented, right?




We even push the fact that you should opt for unpasteurized, if you can. That is where you will get the most ‘good’ bacteria. But all cheeses, yogurts, cream cheese and milks have varying levels of lactose, fats, sugars, proteins and whatever else, most of them on the risky side, rendering them a total minefield.


Stick to the guidelines. And herethey are:

Banting Orange List


Orange Listed Fruits and Vegetables on the Banting Diet


Vegetables are an essential part of every phase on the Banting Diet. But not all vegetables were created equal.


On Orange A we have listed some fruits and starchy vegetables that we deem totally cool to eat no matter which phase you’re in. The only disclaimer being that their consumption needs to limited to ‘No more than half a closed handful (2tbls)’ during Transformation.


Remember to pay special attention to the fruits and vegetables marked with (e) for ‘enzyme-rich’ and (p) for ‘prebiotic’ or fibre-rich foods. You want to get these into your diet as often as possible, but there are more of them on the green list that will be more useful on your road to Awesome Weight.


For the sake of colour, flavour and excitement, pick and choose an Orange A vegetable every day. The choice is yours:


Banting Orange List


Drinks on the Banting Orange A List


This may come as a massive curveball for many, but caffeine is actually the secret plateau ninja that no one wants to talk about. It might speed you up, but it could be what slows you down on your mission to Awesome Weight.


Apart from water, tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world. Coffee (in hot pursuit) is also one of the world largest legal agricultural exports. And tea and coffee have one thing in common. Caffeine. Human beings love caffeine.


Contrary to popular belief, tea leaves actually contain more caffeine than coffee beans. But, per cup of brewed black tea or black coffee, coffee (95-165mg/cup) still beats tea (25-48mg/cup) hands down.


Caffeine is good in some ways for some people for a number of reasons. But is also bad in some ways for some people for a number of reasons.


The best reason to stay away from caffeine while you’re trying to lose weight? It affects your sleep, which affects your stress levels, which affects your blood sugar which effects your fat-storing hormone, insulin (keep you fat) – another reason to stay away from caffeine while you’re trying to lose weight? It has the potential to mess with your ability to burn fat by pushing up your blood sugar which pushes up your fat-storing hormone, insulin (keep you fat), even if you’re sleeping great.


‘No coffee or caffeinated tea during Transformation’ is probably the most abandoned rule of Banting but it may be one of the most valuable.


Banting Orange List


Legumes and pulses on the Banting Diet


Legumes and pulses, in the minds of a lot of people, should be on the Banting Red List.


We beg to differ. Even in the ‘new realm’ there are dogmas that the LCHF and Paleo cult leaders throw around without properly understanding them. The biggest misconception in LCHF and Paleo is that pulses and legumes will make leaky gut, along with a bunch of other ailments, ten times worse.


What about the phytates, and the lectins, and… and our ancestors didn’t eat them, so we shouldn’t. Right? Maybe our ancestors didn’t eat them, but they didn’t eat brie either, and brie is delicious (and nutritious). And the phytates and the lectins? What about them?


Phytates (which legumes and pulses contain) bind to nutrients in your digestive tract making the nutrients impossible to absorb. That’s not good. Lectins bind with cell walls in the intestine which may be associated with a number of gut disorders, skeletal muscle issues and pancreas malfunctions. That’s not great either.


‘So shouldn’t I quit them immediately?’


Not so fast. Firstly, the studies were done on animals that ate mainly, if not only, legumes and second, the legumes they ate were always raw. Humans have a massive variety of foods and only eat legumes and pulses cooked, which reduces the lectin content by up to 70%. So if you’re eating them every now and then, and you’re eating them soaked and then cooked, it’s not such a biggie.


Although they can’t kill you, they’re on Orange B for a number of reasons. One reason being that 70% is still not 100%. If you’re trying to transform your health, you shouldn’t give your gut anything that could interfere with it, even if only a little bit.


Wait until you reach your Awesome Weight, then you can tempt fate.


Know your legumes and pulses:

Banting Orange List

As for peanuts. That’s another story…


Fertilizers on the Banting Orange B List


You will have seen fertilizers on the Banting Green List. During all of the phases apart from Observation, we recommend eating or drinking at least one portion of fertiliser per day.


So why are there two fertilisers on Orange B? Doesn’t that mean I can only drink them while I’m in Restoration and Preservation, and not while I’m doing the work during Transformation?


Transformation is designed to eliminate all possible risk of you slipping up, in any way. Water kefir and kombucha are dangerous when you are trying to keep your body in fat burning mode because they often contain unfermented (residual) sugar. Kombucha, made at home or bought from the store, could actually be worse than a lime cordial and soda. That sweetness comes from pure cane sugar.


So Orange B fertilisers are out during Transformation unless your coach says its cool, or you can’t seem to stop losing weight (good on you).


Banting Orange List


Fruits and vegetables on Orange B


The fruits and vegetables on Orange B are there for two reasons. First, they raise your blood sugar which sends your insulin up, which stops you burning fat, stalling weight loss and potentially making you fat.


Orange B means no-go until you’re at your Awesome Weight. Then we recommend using Preservation to test drive your response to each of them until you know the game you’re playing and you’re playing where you can win.


Banting Orange List


So there you have it. The Banting Orange List explained. Exercise control during any phase. Make sure you stick to quantities in Orange A and avoid Orange B completely during Transformation.


Here is what the complete lists look like:

Banting Orange List


Real Meal Revolution is a healthy eating program that uses award-winning low carb recipes, deliciously practical Banting meal plans, lectures, entertaining cooking lessons, weight-loss tools and personalized support to deliver a four phased diet program.