Dropped ten dress sizes with LCHF!


A recent e-mail from a reader with an impressive success story:


I’ve dropped 10 sizes and 64 lbs (29 kg) since the beginning of the year. All this from low-carb. I’m strict with my diet and I’m feeling great. Previously I used to run half marathons, but an injury prevented me from running for many years, and then the pounds piled up on me…

I’m attaching before and after pictures. You are welcome to publish these as an inspiration for others.


Share your story

Do you have a success story you want to share? Send your information, plus before and after photos, to success@dietdoctor.com. It would also be greatly appreciated if you shared what you eat in a typical day, whether you fast etc. More information:

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LCHF for Beginners

How to Lose Weight

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  1. Rina
    Thank you G. I don't like the snacking also. I still cannot entirely drop it. I will try heavy cream in my coffe. I did try coconut oil in my coffee but it tasted so bad I was gagging. Once i stop snacking i'll do IF. I actually did it once, skipped breakfast and was fine.
    I don't eat grains other than twice a week oatmeal.
    Reply: #98
  2. Galina L.
    Actually, oatmeal is not the normal part of any LC diet. I don't think the mixing of a so carbohydrate dense item as a porridge into a high-fat diet is a good idea. Doing it couple times a week could produce abnormal blood sugar spikes which are fattening and health damaging. LC diet makes a person less carbohydrate sensitive.
    In my mom case eating a still-cut oatmeal produced an abnormal blood sugar spikes even before she started to eat LC diet, and she was not a diabetic. It is not a benign product.
  3. Rina
    Galina, thanks for your remark. Even 1/4 cup cooked in almond milk?
    OK I'll stick to eggs with veggies.
    The oatmeal is not so important, just wanted it to have some variety for my breakfast.

    I have another question to all of you.
    What do you do in social situations? I attend at least once every weekend, sometimes twice social gatherings with food and often there is no sufficient protein and veggies, usually plenty of carbs....(bagels etc.)

    Replies: #54, #96
  4. Zepp
    Its a part of your future life.. and one have to get some strategy to coop with that!

    Firts near friends one can alwas tell that one eat in a perticuly way.. and that you can have something with you.

    In social situations with strangers one have to preeat.. and just taste some few thing.. make some good choises of what they have.

    If there is a whole weekend.. I bring my own food!

    I eat the cheese and ham if there is any.. or just one slice of bread with a lot of butter on it and a lot of things above!

    Reply: #97
  5. Galina L.
    Could you try to make a LC microwave muffin (1/4 cup of finely ground almonds or other nuts, one egg, pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp of baking powder microwaved for 1 minute) for your breakfast? I would limit it exactly to two times a week.
    I usually bring my own food to parties - mixed nuts, picled veggies, nuts covered with dark chocolate (I made ii myself from baking chocolate, sugar substitute, butter) , cheese plate, deli meats plate with cut veggies, rolls made with thinly sliced deli meats or smoked salmon and cream cheese inside, LC cakes. The lazy option for the people who live in US - to buy a no-sugar cheese cake and put berries and whipped cream on the top. It is rarely nothing to eat, but it is possible, as a precaution, have a bag with nuts. I can overeat nuts, but during parties it is my indulgence. Check recipies of LC diabetics http://thelowcarbdiabetic.blogspot.com/2013/10/new-ada-guidelines-foc..., their cakes are pretty good, I would bring couple of those to a party with pride, or just make a crust and put on the top berries mixed with a cream cheese.or mascarpone
  6. BR
    Hi Rina,

    As far as the social gatherings go why not have a nice, substantial fatty meal before going and then just turn down the "carbage" and say something like, "I'm sorry my doc asked me to not have sweets( or whatever) for now". I mean who would want you to lapse into a coma right there and then, right? ;-) I'd stick to some cheese with coffee or tea, etc. and skip crackers and Coke.

    I do see another potential little issue with what you're doing: your 50-60g of carbs. Here's what Dr Phinney/Volek had to say about this:

    How Fast to Cut Back? This is a great question, but the answer is not as clearly spelled out by objective research as we would like. Some very credible people advocate easing into carbohydrate restriction slowly by cutting back by one food category at a time (e.g., first sugars and juices, then refined carbs, then starchy vegetables, etc). Others take the ‘Nike approach’ – as in “just do it”. To date, no one has done a study with a large group of subjects to see which strategy yields a higher proportion making an effective transition into nutritional ketosis. What we do know is that it takes a couple of weeks to keto-adapt, and you don’t accomplish much towards that goal until you are making substantial amounts of ketones (i.e., eating less than 50 grams of carbs for most people). The other concern with easing into a low carb diet is that once you are eating less than the 150
    grams of carb needed to feed your brain with glucose, but still more than the 50 gram threshold below which ketosis is dependably operating, your brain’s fuel supply becomes pretty tenuous. If there’s not enough glucose to meet the brain’s 600 Calorie daily energy habit, and blood ketones remain below the 0.5 millimolar threshold where they can begin to pitch in, your body’s only two options are: burn up protein (for gluconeogenesis to fill the gap) or binge on carbs. In our clinical experience, the ‘Nike approach’ is better. Particularly if you use broth/bouillon to get enough sodium and eat plenty of low carb vegetables to get enough potassium, your adaptation period will be short and relatively symptom-free. That does not mean that this transition will be easy, but perhaps easier that trying to slowly slide your metabolism between two distinctly different fueling strategies. The best analogy might be that when running a gauntlet, it’s better to pick your antagonists armed with whips than those armed with hatchets.

    Phinney, Stephen; Volek, Jeff (2012-06-15). The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance (p. 55). Beyond Obesity LLC. Kindle Edition.

    I think it's something for you to think about very carefully.

  7. Rina
    OK wise and experienced people, i have another question, actually 2 questions.
    1. I find myself wanting to eat in the afternoon mainly, around 3/4 pm, at that time i shauffer kids and wait for them, they snack, and I find myself wanting something desperately. Any ideas?
    2. Net carbs, do I calculate net or whole carbs? MFP gives me total carbs result not net
  8. BR
    Hi Rina,

    What's your usual daily eating pattern these days?

  9. Galina L.
    The key to the success of a weight-loss is being content with the quality of your life-style, so the minimizing of suffering is very important. If I knew that some time of my day is a scheduled trouble, I would absolutely plan a coffee-brake for that time, like a big cup of hot coffee with a heavy cream and a sugar substitute, and may be even a second cup with hot green tea/lemon just in case.
  10. Rina
    I have breakfast around 7:30am, now that I dropped that oatmeal it's 2 eggs with veggies (zuccini/mushrooms/spinach/cherry tomatoes) made in 1 tbs butter, coffee just plain black. Green tea and water.
    Around 10/11 I have coffee with heavy cream, a tbs of cream cheese if really want something before lunch.
    Lunch at 1/1:30. I do still want something sweet after lunch, today had few macadamia nuts after lunch. I might need to get more fat and a little more protein in my lunch.
    Around 3:30/4:30 I really crave something and just cannot resist. I usually drink plenty of tea and water during the day and usually have decaff coffee in the afternoon. yesterday I made it with heavy cream hoping it will help me with the pathetic afternoon craving (didn't get to enjoy most of it as my daughter spilled it when I was midway).
    Today I'll take a square of mozzarela cheese and cucumber with with me and make the decaf coffee with cream again.
    Dinner at 7 usually. It's interesting but I am pretty happy after dinner. I am not hungry and don't have any cravings, don't want anything sweet.

    I normally don't get cravings at night. If I do want something it's just because my hubby is munching and I just 'want' something but it is not unbearable. I can just drink tea and not eat.

    Galina, thanks for the tip. I'll plan accordingly today ;-)

  11. Rina
    Wow, I totally forgot the broth, made it on Sunday and didn't drink. I better get drinking it. It will probably help.
    Also, am reporting from afternoon state, am having my decaff with heavy cream andvam doing great today. No craving, and it's 5pm. Seems like my body is catching up.
  12. BR
    Wow, Rina, you're a good student! (Broth) LOL

    OK, here's my take regarding your questions.

    1. If you feel like having a snack by all means have a snack, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. However, I wouldn't have a "carbage" snack obviously. Here's a few examples of what I would have:
    A. 1oz of hard cheese with coffee or tea
    B. 1/2 avocado diced with some salt and lemon juice
    C. 1oz of in shell sunflower or pumpkin seeds
    D. 1oz of slivered almonds, I get these at Trader Joe's, takes a while to munch on them

    Don't go crazy on nuts - they have carbs, I'd say no more than 2oz per day. Same BTW for cheese.

    I wouldn't be surprised if as you cut back on your carbs a bit more your sugar cravings would go away in a few weeks.

    I actually always plan a snack and fit it into my daily food plan but sometimes end up not eating it.

    2. I count total carbs, not net carbs. MFP works fine, just watch out for occasional mistakes. I've created some meals and recipes from the items I trust and it works for me. The key is not to go over 15g of total carbs in any 5 hrs window which should keep your insulin level nice and low.

    A few other suggestions:

    If you've set up your MFP account properly, including your goal weight and desired rate of loss, it should give you your daily caloric balance. That worked for me pretty well. Hope Galya doesn't kill me for saying this. :-)

    I would get at least some ketostix like these:


    They show if your body is making ketones or not. According to Phinney/Volek you get nice benefits when your body makes ketones on LCHF, including faster weight loss, adequate energy supply for your brain, etc. It made a difference for me.

    If you use bathroom scales be very patient: your weight varies from day to day depending on how much water your kidneys retain on any particular day. You could also measure your waist circumference and log both into your MFP for history. ;-)

    If you drop your carbs to 30g per day you'll lose 3-5lbs very quickly, that's water loss, That's when you need to make sure you drink that broth(sodium) and eat your veggies(potassium). After that weight loss will come from fat. Nice thing about LCHF is that if you keep you protein reasonable you preserve your muscles, unlike on the low fat low calories diets.

    FYI my account name on MFP is galacom, feel free to find me there.

    Good luck.

  13. Galina L.
    O, you can absolutely over-consume calories, over-eat butter, meat, cheese, It is just the first law of thermodynamics will not explained it or predict a weight loss or gain.
  14. BR
    LOL, Galya, I knew it!

    I'd say we should ask Rina to load up on 3k cal per day in the name of science. ;-)

    BTW I've used your suggestion and plugged into google nutrition of "корейка" and sure enough some nice sites popped up with all kinds of good caloric data. Thank you, Galya.

  15. Rina
    Thank you guys. You are awsome. Seems like my cravings are gone, appetite balanced now only my mind needs to catch up with not needing to snack and eat. I am totally amazed with how adding a tbs of cream to my coffe and/or a tbs of cream cheese can affect my whole eating pattern. I will keep you posted....:-)
  16. BR
    Good for you, Rina, happy to hear that. :-)
  17. Galina L.
    Glad we could be helpful . Good luck!
  18. Rina
    Just writing to report that I am amazed!! Like Zepp said, my mind is still catching up, I am not hungry! I don't need the snack between meals. I just cannot believe it!! Just a simple tbs of heavy cream in my afternoon coffee and I don't need to munch. Amazing!!!! BR and Galina thank you for walking me throug it.
    Reply: #69
  19. Zepp
    Yea.. then comes the problem what to do with all spare time!
  20. helen
    . Could you give me an example of some meals so that I can follow it exactly, that was the part of her strict low carb high fat diet
  21. Rina
    Helen, scroll back in the comments BR gave a daily menu and there are some other good tips from Galina. Also look in this link http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf for a whole list of foods. And here also http://www.dietdoctor.com/how-to-lose-weight
  22. BR
    Hi Rina, good to hear you're enjoying your new regimen. Hey if you don't mind if you keep track of your weight and daily calories could you please post them from time to time. Would be interesting to compare notes.
    Reply: #76
  23. BR
    Rina, also check this out,very cool stuff:


    Reply: #77
  24. BR
    Helen, you're welcome to copy my eating pattern, however:

    1. I'm not that lady and I have no idea what she ate. I've been losing about a 1lb per week.

    2. I'm sure you'd need to adjust my regimen for your size and gender. I'm a 5'8" male, 157lbs

    Good luck. If you have questions don't hesitate to ask.

  25. Galina L.
    Just, please,ladies, remember, other people experience may differ from yours, the advice to add more butter to just about everything backfired on many. A lot depends on your body needs, age, hormonal status, length of a your dieting. I like you read that post of a very reasonable and hands-on blogger The Wooo - blhttp://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/2013/10/dont-think-i-advocate-stupid-ass-low.html . I think added fat could work if it keeps you comfortably not-hungry without snacks till your next meal, even if that meal is a morning cup of coffee.
    For longer satiety you can add some Tbs of gelatin to your coffee of broth, I took it from the Scribble pad blog as well and find it useful. My idea of a quick comport soup is broth+ chopped boiled egg or two+a lot of chopped herbs and some spices+gelatin. Could be a breakfast at a cold time of the year.
    On a blog post http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2013/10/20/letters-from-viewer... as an answer to a comment by Michele many people give some breakfast food suggestions. When I wake up, I drink a cup of coffee with a sugar substitute and 2 - 3 Tbs of a heavy cream.
    I eat mostly two meals a day - the first (usually noon) two eggs cooked in a butter with something like bacon or kielbasa, mostly sunny-side up, + some sliced tomato or red pepper if I am not lazy, second meal (like at 6 pm, better at 5) - a cup of soup, meat and cooked vegetable side or a salad. After the second meal I can have some nuts,half of a fruit, or small amount of dark chocolate, or tasty slice or two of cheese. If I overate for some reason (usually socially), next day I eat one time and have my coffee, if I am hungry, I have a black coffee, drink more green tea. I used to fast 20 - 24 hours ones a week, but got lazy lately. I can have a big meal at 2 or 3 pm, and just a salad during family meal. It is important to find out more convenient way for your life.
  26. Rina

    Hi Rina, good to hear you're enjoying your new regimen. Hey if you don't mind if you keep track of your weight and daily calories could you please post them from time to time. Would be interesting to compare notes.

    I am not very strict about logging my food, some days i'm better than others. I will try to. In general i've be been around 1200-1300 cal. I weight myself once a week. This week i was down 1lb. I will also measure myself. Will keep you in the loop :-)

  27. Rina
    Thanks a lot BR, looks great. I'll use it and update MFP data.
  28. Rina
    Galina, how do you know so much about nutrition? Do you work in the field?
    Can any of you recommend a good reliable comprehensive book for me to read about nutrition? I want to read reliable and scientifically based info, but please note the comprehensive, i am not scientifically inclined, thus need clear comprehensive reading material.

    Also, question, keto urine strips, do i check after meal or on empty stomach?

    Reply: #79
  29. Zepp
    Be around here on Internet.. read a lot on different sites.. be critic to anybody.. even me!

    There is classes on university on nutrition.. it take 4 years!

    Dont care for ketostix.. they measure your urinary keto levels.. nothing you have any benefits of!

    Count carbs instead, then you know if you are a fatburner.. whit or whitout high ketosis!

  30. BR
    Hi Rina,

    I disagree with Zepp, it makes a lot of sense to actually be in ketosis when you go low carb. And not just for weight loss, there are suggested health benefits like lower oxidative stress to your cells from ROS(free radicals) and more. The only question is how to measure it. It's more reliable to measure it in the blood with a simple prick test but ketostix are cheaper and simpler to use.

    I think the Art and Science of Low Carb Living is the best for explaining science to lay people like us. Art and Science of Low Carb Performance is a great how to guide so I'd read both. They're about $10 each on Amazon, Kindle edition, well worth the money.

  31. BR

    If you'd rather read more than less I'd also suggest Gary Taubes' How We Get Fat and What to Do About it. It's a lighter version of his Good Calories Bad Calories and it explores and explains the history of how we got where we are today. That Australian documentary in one of the latest blog posts on here shows him. He's a science journalist that started raising a lot of questions and generally muddying water a lot. LOL

  32. BR

    Do the ketostix test in the morning before breakfast and maybe once or twice a day more. Frankly, it's not very clear to me when the best times are besides after waking up so please post your observations if you can.

    Reply: #84
  33. Galina L.
    No, I do not have a special training, by education I am an engineer.I would never reach the level of understanding and knowledge a person with a special education can reach. Most of what I know originated in my life circumstances. I have several health issues since my childhood, some of them required special diet approach (gall bladder inflammation, allergies). Nowadays I also manage migraines with a diet, my husband and son are both have multiple allergies, so we are always on some sort of an alert . We also have to have a healthy life-style, or else. As a result we are at a better health state overall compare to people our age, especially from the point of view of cardiovascular health. It doesn't mean with live in an anxious state, just without an effort due to a life-long habit do some self-observations and small corrections. So, I pay attention to and read about what I consider interesting and relevant, which depend on the current situation. My role in my immediate and extended family is to be a person who is asked a medical advice in simple situations before going to a doctor(sort of a family quack), so by now I accumulated some experience.Here is an example. I can give an injection, tell which an out-of counter med to buy, I know some very basic acupressure points combinations to relieve a headache, stuffed nose, asthma, things like that. When my husband decided his raised cholesterol needed to be treated by a diet, he took from a library biochemistry 2, cliff notes, for me to read. It gave me many ideas, he approved it (he has PhD in chemistry),the cholesterol got lover, but that special diet started him on a period of seriously worsening GI irritation. All that wonderful fiber and slow-digested starches had a downside at least for him. I can digest anything, but not him. So, it gave me some knowledge and a personal inside into things like possible benefits of fiber. Everything could be overdone, and many things have a down-side, on the top of it body is way too complicated to predict exactly a result of every single intervention.

    My education also made me aware that complex systems like human body, economy, climate, is impossible to treat like mechanical ones (a car,a watch, an engine), and it was easy to notice that modern medicine too often involved into just symptoms management, and people are treated like cars in the need of repair, as a result the ability of our body to self-regulate gets damaged even more. I diagnosed myself correctly with under-active thyroid and rosacea because my observations made me think that something was not right.

    Just start observing, read about it, think it over.

  34. FrankG
    I think Zepp was being ambivalent about the use of Ketostix and not about the benefits of being in ketosis or not :-)

    I tend to agree with him: while I initially found it a great motivator to see them turning colour to indicate I was ramping-up my fat-burning, over time I started seeing them change colour less and less and then only at some times in the day (usually later afternoon/evening) but not at all at other times.

    This makes sense if you stop to think that once the body is keto-adapted it is wasteful to be peeing out out ketones instead of using them.

    This leaves the only true test as a blood ketones meter but I understand that the single-use test-strips can get very pricey.

  35. BR
    Hi Frank, do you remember how long it took for them to fade on you?

    Here in the US you can get Novamax blood strips for $2 each straight from the manufacturer and sometimes cheaper on Ebay.

    The point I was trying to make was that since there is a lot of individual variability it makes a lot of sense to use them initially until:

    1. You know what it takes for you to get into ketosis

    2. Ditto to stay in ketosis

    And I just basically quoted Phinney/Volek

    I found that for me it works somewhat differently than what they described. Go figure... ;-)

    Reply: #86
  36. FrankG
    Sorry I don't recall the timing as it was over 5 years ago now since I started LCHF, but it was probably in the order of months for me.

    Like I said, the Ketostix are a cheap and easy way to get that initial positive feedback which I certainly found to be a motivator -- especially as you say, when first finding your way... just don't be surprised if they later don't change colour.. I think that you actually want that to happen :-)

    And I don't think that at any stage they can be considered an accurate gauge for the level of blood ketones -- just the amount that you are peeing out.

    My main point was to clear up any misunderstanding, as I think Zepp is clear about the benefits of ketosis :-)

  37. BR
    Hey Rina, how is it going?
  38. Mary

    I would also like to know what her daily menu was as per your comment "Helen, scroll back in the comments BR gave a daily menu and there are some other good tips from Galina. ".

    I have scrolled back but can't seem to find the daily menu.

    Can you please help?

    Thank you so much :)

  39. ashna
    Hello, I just wanted to know if I can take as many lemon during this diet??
    Which is much more better; to start the day with a glass of luke water with lemon juice or better 2 tablespoons of olive oil??
    I was used to put so much lemon juice on my salad before, and was having it between meals. Itsbeen only one week since i've started this LCHF diet, I feel so fat,. I actually took some pound. Am wondering maybe its because i've quit lemons in my meals and am taking extra olive oil.
    Please give me some advice to make it sucessful.
    Reply: #90
  40. Zepp
    I dont think that lemons or lemon juice on your veggies is a big problem!

    Make a vinigrett with olive oil and lemon juice.


    Mayby if you drink a lot of citrus juices!

  41. Minx
    Hi, I've only recently looked into LCHF and have started this method of nutrition yesterday. My concern is that I am not fond of butter or double cream (I grew up in a family from the mediteranean) and I use olive oil to cook my meals. Will this inhibit or slow down the process of weight loss?
    Reply: #92
  42. Zepp
    No.. most of is North European or North Americans.. soo when they say that one can use butter and cream whe like that.

    But if we are Medeteranians one use olive oil.. and if one is frome middel east.. one stick to Ghee!

    You can use all sorts of good fats.. even lard!

  43. Donna
    WoW Congratulation! You're looking so silly. And looking so gorgeous than before. I read your blog article and I wanna to say everybody should to use easy-100 for good looking and weight loss also.
  44. Kiki
    This is all very interesting to read. I would like to know if those of you who begun this in 2013/2014 are still losing weight or if you have stabilised, and i definitely want to know if you have gained a lot of weight.

    It is very difficult for me to get my mind around eating fatty things, albeit good fats, but I am trying nonetheless. I am on day 3 and I would like to share my daily diet with you LCHF gurus so you can let me know where I am going wrong.

    Breakfast - 1 or 2 eggs and coffee
    Lots of coffee throughout the day (with full cream milk)
    Lunch - Tuna salad with spinach, tuna, mayonnaise, a boiled egg, olives, tomatoes, onion, green chilli, peppers, mushroom slices, blue cheese and seeds.
    Dinner - Greek salad with fish grilled in butter / with cream.
    I dont normally snack but this morning I had a few almonds.

    How long does it take till one should see the weight dropping? I want to give myself 2 weeks. If in 2 weeks I havent lost any weight then I think I might give up.

    Reply: #95
  45. Galina L.
    Lots of coffee through the day with a lot of full fat milk could be resulted in a drinking a lot of milk through the day. Normal full fat milk does not belong a normal LC diet at all (check Atkins introduction as an example, and check that blog section "how to loose weight", proteinpower.com by Dr. Eades is the excellent place to check because he had been treating patients for years with a LC diet for a weight loss ) , 20% - 30% cream is the recommended option for a coffee, but absolutely not in unlimited amounts. It is very possible to stall a weight loss consuming even too much cream, and milk products are problematic to a lot of people who want to loose weight.
    Before declaring that LC diet doesn't work for you, try not your own version of it , but what is actually recommended as a start diet.
  46. Susie
    I’d leave out the veggies and add bacon and sausage
  47. Susie
    No! No bread. I always find cheese, ham, prawns, chicken, hard boiled eggs available when I go to social functions. Otherwise, eat before you go!
  48. Linda
    I add flavouring ( butterscotch, banana essence) so I don’t taste the coconut oil in my bulletproof coffee. Another thing I do is to suck on a lemon fruit to kill the after taste of coconut oil 🤷🏽‍♀️. Let me know if it works.
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