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