“I should have believed my grandmother instead of listening to authorities”

Before and after

Before and after

I received an email from Megan, 24, in Melbourne, Australia. She’s got a fantastic story about what happened when she stopped eating what people said was healthy:

The Email

Hi Dr Andreas,

I would like to thank you for all the work you do in spreading the word of LCHF and for your website www.dietdoctor.com. I log on without failure every day to find out what is new in the world of nutrition and it has helped me to feel positive about the future of health in this age of obesity and metabolic syndrome!

In this spirit, I would like to share my own LCHF success story. Please feel free to publish the story and photo if you think it will help to inspire someone! Sorry it’s so long, this has been a big deal for me!

I am a 24 year old woman from Melbourne, Australia. Like many other young women growing up in Western society, I have struggled with my body image since the onset of puberty.

My way of dealing with this in the past was to force myself onto a strict low-calorie high-carb diet. This was what I had been told by teachers, doctors and the government was optimal for human health.

As a result of my strict (unnatural) diet, my health deteriorated from the age of 16. I was left with chronic digestive issues, depressive and anxious moods (despite being a naturally positive person!), acne, extremely low energy levels and a generally unbalanced body. No doctor could tell me what was wrong. The only advice I received was to eat dry bread when I had an upset stomach and increase my fibre intake. This advice could not have been more wrong.

After years of searching for answers to correct my poor health, it was my mother who suggested I may be gluten and/or lactose intolerant. I gave up gluten and high-lactose dairy products in September 2010 and haven’t looked back! The change was drastic and instantly noticeable – I lost 10 kg (22 lbs), my energy levels began to increase and my acne improved, as did my general moods. I still felt that my health wasn’t what I would expect of a vibrant young person but things were definitely looking up! (Ironically, when I told my doctor about my experience she was extremely disapproving and tried to convince me I would be missing out on vital nutrients by eliminating gluten-containing grains!)

I first came across the idea of LCHF in November 2012. Since discovering without the help of doctors that avoiding gluten could change my life so dramatically, I was open to the idea that doctors, teachers and the government probably didn’t know too much about nutrition – so why not give LCHF a try? I had noticed that a gluten-free diet meant I had naturally increased my fat intake (through nuts, avocado, lactose-free dairy, meats etc) and that hadn’t caused me to gain weight so I felt it was a pretty safe risk to take.

In March 2013 my boyfriend and I decided to try LCHF full-time. Neither of us have looked back since. The vitality I felt I was missing returned within weeks. Within a month both my boyfriend and I were the fittest and most energetic we’d ever been, without stepping foot into a gym.

I have included before and after photos of myself, but I haven’t weighed myself so this is the only proof I have! My body is so much more balanced now!

These are the benefits I have experienced after a year of LCHF:

  • Much higher energy levels and improved stamina throughout the day
  • Improved focus
  • More level/positive moods, fewer “downs”
  • Improved skin – acne has cleared up, skin tone has become naturally more tanned, less pallid
  • Improved hair – I have been measuring my hair growth and it is growing at a rate of 2cm per month, twice the average rate
  • Stronger, shiny nails
  • Improved digestion – no more bloating!
  • Fat loss and balanced fat distribution
  • Improved muscle tone
  • No more hunger or guilt when eating!

A few months ago I recorded my daily calorie count on an LCHF diet. It varied between 1,500 – 5,000 calories per day, depending on my hunger levels and how much activity I was doing throughout the day. I am thinner and fitter now than I ever was on a strict 1,200 calorie diet, and I am no longer controlled by the cycle of hunger vs. guilt that used to plague me on my low-calorie high-carb diet.

I sometimes get frustrated when I think about the fact that I had to go through years of trial and error with my body just to find out what my grandparents already knew. It was my grandmother who always said sugar was giving us bad skin and pasta was making us fat – I should have believed her instead of listening to what the “authorities” had to say.

I’m hoping it won’t be too long until word gets out that this really is the optimal diet for human health. I truly think we can all benefit from the LCHF way and I hope my story inspires someone new to give it a try.

Many Thanks,
Megan

Congratulations on your many health benefits and weight loss with LCHF, Megan!

More

LCHF for Beginners

How to Lose Weight

More weight and health stories

Earlier on digestive issues

PS

Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated) to andreas@dietdoctor.com, and please let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather remain anonymous.

13 comments

  1. Joe
    She looks quite healthy. I enjoy this type of diet myself nothing like eating a skirt steak without guilt! Probably the most delicious food I ever tasted!
  2. A
    Good on ya Megs! It's nice to see a fellow Melbournian doing so well!
  3. MTBigskygirl
    I just love these success stories & admire what these people have accomplished! I know I can do this! Does anyone have suggestions for what to eat? Portions appear to be a challenge for me &/or it seems I may be consuming too much fat but Im very confused! I am not diabetic, very healthy & strong but cant seem to budge the scale. Any resources or guidance greatly appreciated!
    Reply: #4
  4. sten
    It is right here, LCHF for beginners !

    http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf

  5. Mark Jan
    @MTBigskygirl

    Make sure your protein content isn't too high. It's very easy to overdo the protein - gluconeogenesis.

    Have you also considered intermittent fasting?

  6. Jodie
    Another fabulous story. I have been reading this site for over 12 months now. For a few months I followed an LCHF / Paleo-ish diet. I felt great, didn't lose any wieght, but my weight stabilised and I was never hungry. But I have fallen off the band wagon, gained 8 kgs in only a few months, and I am always hungry now. So I fully understand LCHF and want to get back into those eating habits.
    My problem is, and I wonder if anyone can just throw out some ideas here, I keep falling back on carbs - mainly bread- because they are convenient and available. I struggle with breakfast, I just don't always feel like eggs, and also with eating on-the-go, those emergency hunger moments.
    Is anyone happy to suggest breaky and snack ideas? Megan, if you are reading, what do you have for brekky?
    Replies: #7, #8
  7. Michelle
    Jodie - It has taken me 3 years to stop myself from falling back on bread or other carbs when I can't think of what to eat or let myself get too hungry. I believe you have to approach LCHF as a complete lifestyle change and because of this, only the gradual passing of time will allow your brain to adjust. I have fallen off the wagon so many times during these 3 years, but I always get back on; why? because LCHF is the only way of eating that controls my appetite and helps me to feel well.

    You have to give yourself time to adjust and you will eventually stop turning to high carb foods completely. You also have to experiment with the foods you eat and maybe not be so strict with yourself in the beginning, just start by cutting out bread. I could not go cold turkey, but some people can, so don't be ashamed if cold turkey does not work for you.

    I find that eggs do not keep me full for long in the morning, so I eat some form of meat and veg around 11am and this keeps me going until dinner. Search the internet for ideas because there is plenty out there. You have to throw yourself into this lifestyle 100% in the beginning so that it becomes as natural as reaching for that sandwich.

    My biggest tip is to consciously be aware of how your body and brain feel when you stick to the LCHF lifestyle and then how it feels when you fall off the preverbal wagon; it is this one thing that keeps me going now.

    My replacement for carbs is mashed cauliflower: boil frozen cauliflower and drain. Mash it with a wooden spoon over a medium heat and add salt, butter, cream and some cheese, or just mash with salt and butter. It tastes great with any meat and I make my own chilli or curry to go with it.

    If you are desperate for something sweet, cube a small amount of sweet potato and fry in olive oil (it doesn't take long) and sprinkle over a salad or chilli, it adds something different. Moussaka is another recipe I use when I need something different. It is higher in carbs but for me it works, just don't put in any potatoes.

    To find what works for you you have to experiment and when you experiment you make mistakes. Think of the next 6 months as a learning time, where you find out how to eat again.

    I hope I've helped and not confused you more.

    M.

  8. Lori
    Don't leave the house hungry. Take some LCHF food with you or find out what places near you have food you can eat. If I'm not hungry when I wake up, I go to McDonald's later and get a sausage egg McMuffin and throw away the bun. Plain Kind bars are good; you could also just pack some nuts.

    Breakfast doesn't have to be traditional breakfast food. Make a large dinner the night before and have some leftovers the next morning.

  9. Ben in Melbourne
    Well done Megan! Thanks for sharing that. If you or anyone else knows of GPs or other health professionals here in Melbourne who are supportive of LCHF and brave enough to recommend it to patients, I'd love to know about it.
    Reply: #12
  10. Kat
    Jodie,

    Try making carb-free bread: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/breads/r/flaxbasicfoc.htm

    It's easy to make and it has replaced regular bread for bread eaters in family. Also, spinach bread works: http://www.genaw.com/lowcarb/spinach_bread.html

    For breakfast you can try either bread with cream cheese and lox or some other salted fish. Also, berries with mascarpone cheese works great. Also, you can make pancakes from coconut flour or almond meal instead of grain flour and top them with cream and berries.

    I suggest making baggies of very fatty, low carb nuts like pecans and macadamia nuts to carry around in your purse just in case you can't eat a meal and you feel hungry. Of course, everyone around me decided my results were so good that they wanted to try the diet and we all found that we could go perfectly fine 7-8 hours without eating during the day (very convenient if you're out and about) after the initial adaptation period of 2-3 weeks, but it's good to have a little insurance in a baggie in your purse.

  11. Kim Gettingright
    Did you know the weight loss secret, is something called “A Leptin Gene”. This gene regulates your metabolism and females, have twice this much of the Leptin Gene as males, “I Knew That.”

    But take this time in my life to try to articulate on this concept and to give it "just it’s do’s", is not on the list of priorities. I will just have to promise, to return back this topic at a later date. I will put that on the back burner for now, due to my list of other prior arrangements.”

    I did come across this great site called http://www.femaleblueprint4fatloss.com, I believe that they spent the time to formulate and package a great message regarding this topic the Leptin Gene. I recommend, if any female is serious about losing and keeping off the pounds, then she should educate herself and make life changes and then start changing her life and it starts at this site called femaleblueprint4fatloss.com.

  12. Duncan
    Hi Ben. I live in the Sunshine coast in Queensland but I got advised about lchf by a natropath who couldn't talk highly enough about it and the paleo diet. If there anything luke the ones here on the coast you're probably looking about $140/160 a session.
  13. A
    Ben, Dr Zee Arain of South Yarra Medical on Toorak Rd is apparently in favour of low carb, I believe he is the doctor for Melbourne Demons FC as well! I know there should be a paleo GP in Collins St in CBD as well, I'm gonna try to find him!

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