As I travel along on my dietary journey, I continue to learn quite a bit about food and how our bodies handle food. Sometimes the information I read seems conflicting, but when I really take the time to understand what I’m learning, one underlying theme seems to hold true no matter what I learn. That underlying theme is as a society, we eat too many carbs! Whether the carbs are man-made or natural carbs, we just eat too many of them.
The second truth that I realize is fats, especially good fats (coconut oil, butter, avocado and the like), have been unjustly vilified. Looking at the average American diet, there’s an abundance of grains, breads, potatoes, rice, pastas, processed foods and a reduction in good fats. Just take a look at the food pyramid or the updated food plate.
Nowhere on the food plate are healthy fats/oils mentioned. On a macro nutrient level, the plate is 1 part protein and 3 parts carbohydrates. They do allow a small portion for dairy which, I guess includes fats (that’s if they’re not talking low fat or skim milk). Sitting down to a meal with the government recommended portions on a daily basis will make many people fat. Just take a look at the average American.
I’m not a nutritionist or a dietitian, but I do know that grains and fruits and some vegetables are high in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates break down into sugar. Sugar causes a host of problems. The current recommendation is at least 50% carbs. That’s a lot!
Following the Dietary Guidelines
I’m guilty of following the recommended dietary guidelines. I ate lean meat, fruits, vegetables and various and assorted grains. I preferred amaranth, quinoa and millet. I was in general good health. However, I did notice a spreading of the waistline and more padding on the hips than I wanted.
In an attempt to get rid of the extra padding I tried all sorts of weight-reducing dietary lifestyles. I say lifestyle because I didn’t want to go on a ‘diet.’ I wanted to change my lifestyle to achieve a health and weight level I could live with on a long-term basis. I tried giving up meat, I tried juicing and eating fewer meals. I cut back on my carbs and exercised more. I tried detoxing my liver because a toxic liver inhibits weight loss.
I’d manage to lose a couple of pounds (about 5 or so) but never anything much. My goal was to lose 20 pounds and as I look through my journal, for the past 5 years I’ve basically remained the same weight. I’d lose a couple of pounds and then gain them back. I guess it could have been worse, I could have gained even more weight.
I just couldn’t understand how with all of my efforts I didn’t get rid of those nagging 20 pounds. I even tried to learn to accept the extra pounds and live with it, but I couldn’t really. Let’s face it, deep down where it counts I was only fooling myself. I wasn’t truly happy with extra weight. .
Don’t Stop Until You Find the Answer
I always told my kids to continue until they found an answer. Children get impatient if they don’t find the answer after one two or maybe three tries, they give up and say, “I couldn’t find the answer.” My response was always, “Keep looking until you find the answer. The answer is there somewhere.”
Not wanting to accept the extra 20 pounds as “what happens when you reach a certain age,” I kept searching for a plausible answer to why as I got older I could not lose the 20 pounds that had crept on in the last 10 or 15 years.
It’s The Fat
Through my journey I knew carbs were something that would add weight. I had given up processed carbs back in 2012, but continued to eat things like sweet potatoes, beans and rice. I went back to eating meat and of course as many vegetables as I wanted. I was never much of a fruit eater so fruits were never a large part of my daily intake.
Eventually I even gave up natural carbs like sweet potatoes, rice and beans. Pastas were long gone and so were breads. It got to the point where I ate pretty much nothing but meat, fish, cheese, eggs, nuts seeds and vegetables. I’d have berries on occasion, but not daily. I didn’t feel deprived because I had naturally drifted away from carbs and gravitated towards real food.
Even with this change my weight stagnated. Didn’t gain, but didn’t lose anything. And the search for a livable way to lose weight continued…
Enter Diet Doctor
When the student is ready the teacher will appear.
The funny thing is, I came across Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt before, but just wasn’t ready to hear what he had to say. Low carb, high fat? All I could think of was the Atkins diet with eating tons of meat. I remembered many years ago I gave it a shot and stopped after 2 days. The constipation wasn’t worth it. Little did I realize that Dr. Atkins was onto something. I just approached it all wrong.
With Diet Doctor, Dr. Eenfeldt has a dummy-proof formula for not only weight loss, but a change in lifestyle. Fortunately for me, I was halfway there. I had already navigated away from most carbs so reducing my carb intake wasn’t tough. The tough part for me was truly understanding that fats were the key to weight loss.
It’s really simple. Diet Doctor helped me switch my body’s fuel source from burning carbs/sugar to burning fats. In other words, my body is a fat burning machine. And, when you stop to think about it, when we try to lose weight we want to lose fat. We don’t want to lose muscle. With the low carb, high fat diet the body is able to access the fat stores of the body and use it for fuel (low carb high fat helps to drop insulin levels which allows the body to use stored fat for fuel). That’s a win-win in my book.
Additionally, there are a host of other benefits to becoming a fat burner. One of the most common benefits is that it reverses type 2 diabetes, lowers blood pressure, improves digestion (I’m living proof of the improved digestion claim), improves sleep (yep, I’m benefiting from this one too) improves mental function and a host of other benefits.
LCHF Proof in the Pudding
I can go on and on about the benefits of low carb, high fat eating, but I won’t. The reason I initially changed my eating was to lose weight. That I am doing. I’m at my lowest weight in years. I still have about 10 pounds to go, but I’m not concerned about it anymore. I know that by eating this way the weight will come off.
What I have noticed, however, is that my digestion has improved. I used to take digestive enzymes with every meal to help my digestion. I no longer have to. I don’t suffer from the usual bloating and discomfort after a meal. Additionally, I sleep better. I was always a sound sleeper, but since changing my eating habits, I no longer have to get up in the night to go to the bathroom. I sleep soundly straight through the night and wake up refreshed.
My energy level throughout the day is constant. No more afternoon dips. And another benefit of low carb high fat is eating less often. I find that I can go several hours between meals. Sometimes I only eat once a day because I’m just not hungry.
Diet Doctor made it easy for me to get started. They have two weeks of LCHF recipes to follow for free. I didn’t get through all the recipes because each one was tastier than the next so we ended up making a couple of the recipes over and over again. By the end of the first week both my husband and I lost weight. We lost weight and weren’t hungry (depending on where you’re coming from, the transition to low carb might be a little rough).
My daughter, who is pretty much at her goal weight joined us. She enjoyed the meals and found that she too lost fat. All three of us have smaller waistlines. With my daughter, however, she found that her migraines disappeared, her energy level improved, her skin improved and she slept well. She’s decided to stick with this way of eating because she loved the improvements.
With weight loss comes baggy clothing. I’ve given up on wearing pants because they’re all rather baggy and I’d rather not spend money on new ones until I reach my goal weight. As such, yoga pants have become my pant of choice. I’ve purchased several pair and wear them daily. My hubby on the other hand, had to go out and get a new belt to keep his pants up. Since he has to make an appearance in the corporate world, he has to purchase a couple pair of pants to look presentable. The 17 pound weight loss is noticeable and his pants no longer look professional.
Buying clothing is a small price to pay for good health. I’m thrilled that we have changed our way of eating and look forward to additional long-term benefits.
If you managed to read this epic post, don’t take my word for it. Do your own research. While you’re at it, visit Diet Doctor and try some of his recipes. You won’t regret it.
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Thank you for the recipe link! I am on a keto diet since your post on tooth healing and now because my prolonged use of antibiotics led to a systemic yeast infection. Yay! I’ve read a low carb diet can help keep yeast from resisting the antifungal diflucan. I remembered you were keto and knew you had to have a recipe or two. I’m getting tired of eggs and bacon already. As always, thank you so much for your site!
Sam, you’re going to love the recipes they have there. We have quite a few favorites.
I’m happy to hear that you’re committing to changing your eating habits. You’ll find that lowering carbs will do so much to improve your health.
Also, thanks for reading my ramblings. 🙂
I enjoyed reading this post, Felicia. Years ago, I went on a strict LCHF diet and exercised faithfully every evening after coming home from work (walking and weight lifting). I was committed and determined. In a matter of time I went from wearing a size 16 to size 10 and although some of my friends commented that I was too thin, I liked my new figure which I maintained for a couple of years and had a great energy level. Of course, once I started back-sliding to old eating habits, (although I didn’t go crazy during the regress) the weight crept back. Although I continue to exercise regularly, your article (including one of the links) have so I inspired me, I think I will give the LCHF routine another try and incorporate some of the additional advice that you’ve suggested. Thanks for an excellent post. By the way, not getting enough sleep also contributes to weight gain. If I can force myself to get at least six hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, I might be ahead of the game.
I’m encouraged to hear that LCHF worked so well for you. That was a pretty dramatic weight loss from size 16 to size 10. My biggest concern is backsliding. To help counter that I’ve decided to include those things that would tempt me. My two biggest culprits are coffee and wine. Coffee is okay, but I have to cut down on sugar (down to 1 teaspoon per cup). Wine, well it’s sort of ok as long as it’s only a glass or two here or there. The rest is smooth sailing for me.
You’re right about sleep. I didn’t realize how important a role it plays in weight loss and health for that matter. Fortunately, I get about 8 hours of sleep per night. I’m an early morning person and can barely keep my eyes open past 9:30 pm. As a result, I’m usually up around 6 am.
If you’re considering LCHF again, I do recommend looking at the Diet Doctor site. It provides quite a bit of useful information. Let me know how it goes if you decide to do it.
Thank you for the suggestion to check out the Diet Doctor site. Will do.