Lesley and her family's story
I have had weight issues since I was a teenager. I was never overweight as a child, but as soon as I reached puberty I became overweight. Over the years I had tried “dieting” several times. I had success with the diets, in that I lost weight, but at the same time I resented the fact that in order to lose weight I had to under-eat. I felt deprived whilst dieting, hungry most of the time, and extremely resentful of other people who seemed to be able to eat what they wanted and stay slim. It just wasn’t fair! Eating so little and being hungry all the time was unsustainable, and when I went back to eating “normally” the weight returned, with some extra as an unwelcome bonus. My weight eventually increased to the point that I was medically obese, and needed to lose at least 3 stone to get to a normal weight. I had always paid attention to advice on healthy eating, and had become vegetarian about 30 years ago. I always included wholegrains in my diet, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, above the recommended 5 portions a day, and stuck to no/low/reduced fat options for dairy products and vegetable oil spreads whether actively dieting or not, so I felt doubly cheated by my body. I was doing all the “right” things but it didn’t have any beneficial effect on my weight.
Two years ago I reached my highest ever weight, and realised I had to do something. In my mid-fifties I knew the excess weight put me at risk for all sorts of nasty illness, in particular I didn’t want to get diabetes. It was concern for my future that made me look at what I needed to do to avoid ill health. I had read a newspaper article about a doctor and his family who gave up sugar, and the benefits they found from it. So I first tried that. It wasn’t easy! But after a few weeks I managed to resist the cravings, despite getting headaches during the process. Then by luck I came across a talk given by Dr Peter Attia (Dr Peter Attia TED talk on diabetes) on the internet that lead me to discover the Low Carb High Fat way of eating. What I found totally changed the way I looked at “healthy” eating. I had to throw out a lot of my long held beliefs and basically take a leap of faith so that I could avoid ill health and lose weight.
When I changed to LCHF I started to lose weight very quickly. I didn’t have to count calories; I didn’t have to deliberately under-eat. I just ate when I was hungry, and found I didn’t need snacks to keep me going. The mid-afternoon “slump” that I used to feel disappeared and my energy levels stayed constant throughout the day. I decided that in order to eat really healthily I needed to re-introduce meat and fish back into my diet, so I gave up vegetarianism. I also hardly eat fruit, because of the sugar in it. All of the healthy things that fruit gives you can be found in green vegetables minus the sugar. The change in the way I eat also gave me two unexpected bonuses. I’d had eczema all my life. I couldn’t remember not having it. My eczema went away! I had also suffered with gastric reflux, and had been on medication for it for several years. That went away too. No more medication! In the time since I changed to LCHF I haven’t had any illness, not even a cold. I lost 4 stone altogether. And my dentist says my teeth are perfect.
I switched my husband to LCHF. He wasn’t overweight according to BMI, but he was carrying fat around his waist. He’s lost weight, and 5 inches off his waist. A couple of my friends could see the changes I had made, and decided to try it for themselves. They have both lost weight, and one of them has found that his long standing sinusitis has cleared up. My daughter has tried it as well, and has lost a stone so far. She has IBS, and now finds she has fewer flare ups and it’s easier to manage. Additionally she thought she was also lactose intolerant, but eating LCHF has meant those symptoms have gone. Which has made her very happy; she can indulge in cheese again! Between the five of us we have lost 11 and half stone. That’s a whole person’s worth of unwanted, unhealthy fat.