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“Even If the Scale Isn’t Changing, My Body Is”

Before and after

Before and after

Women approaching middle age may have a difficult time losing weight – sometimes even on LCHF.

Bitte Björkman shares her story here:

The Email

Hi!

I realized that perhaps someone might be inspired by my weight journey. It’s not as spectacular as many other’s, but I’m sure there are many others in my situation. Middle-aged women may have a hard time losing weight, and I want to show that being persistent works! Even thought they scale doesn’t budge, the body changes.

Health-wise I’m free from:

  • gastritis
  • migraines
  • constipation in combination with sprints to the bathroom…
  • snoring (had chronic sinus problems)
  • dry skin
  • abdominal bloating

And more that I’ve likely forgotten here :)

My first checkup was after about eight months on LCHF, and I’ve had one every other year after this.

I started at 165 lbs (74 kg) in January of -09, 43 years old. I’ve been weight stable since then, and kept within 139–143 lbs (63–65 kg).

In the picture to the left I have six months left before I dared to try LCHF (fear of fat!) – sorry about the poor picture quality – and the one to the left is taken a month ago.

I’m not exactly shy, so I’m happy to have my name there if you feel that you want to use my story!

Sincerely,

/Bitte Kempe Björkman

Comment

Congratulations on your successes!

The story is fairly typical. Most people – even women over 40 – will lose weight on LCHF without hunger. Reductions in digestive problems such as abdominal bloating and gastritis are also very common. Migraines and snoring are also among things that are also improved.

What do you think?

Do you have any other experience? Or any tips for losing weight for women after 40?

More

LCHF for Beginners

How to Lose Weight

More health and weight stories

More 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.

Low Carb Made Easy How to Lose Weight Low-Carb Recipes Low-Carb Success Stories

76 Comments

Top Comment

  1. Sean
    I have also lost weight many times just to gain it back again (Atkins, Weight Watchers, Primal, The Zone, Body-For-Life). I have to say that carbs have always been my downfall. The more I have, the more I want. I have never gained weight back by staying with LCHF. It's always the sweets that have caused me to put the weight back on.

    But...

    Even with LCHF, calorie balance IS important! I know this flies in the face of many LCHF authors who (rightfully) reject the notion of calorie balance as a panacea for weight loss. I get that the diet industry is missing the point on this one. Yet in my own experience, I find that even when following strict low carb, the weight does not "fall off". The fact is, why should it? I mean, if people were designed to sustain themselves on low carb for long periods of time it would be a real problem if a low carb diet automatically led to weight loss.

    The fact is that the body will sustain itself through the manufacture of ketones, which comes from our own fat stores, which come from our consumption of dietary fat and protein. If your intake of fat and protein is sufficient to meet your body's demand, you will not lose body fat, period!

    What LCHF (in my opinion) affords us is relative freedom from the cravings that cause carb consumption, which in turn spikes insulin and drives weight gain.

    Therefore, I recommend tracking total calorie intake even on a LCHF diet if the goal is weight loss. It has made all the difference to me.

    Read more →
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All Comments

  1. murray
    The centrepiece of Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols is the chapter called The Four Great Errors. The first error is the reversal of cause and effect. The very first example he gives is the fallacy that a meagre (i.e., low-fat) vegetarian diet extends life. Rather, people who live longer on that diet have that diet because their particular metabolism requires that diet to live long. Others would perish on a meagre diet.

    A recent article makes a similar point about eating and getting fatter. People eat too much because they are getting fatter. The CICO model overlooks this fundamental metabolic fact. When fat storage is dysfuntional, there is no "free will" to eat a certain number of calories. "Free will" is the hangman's concept, a licence to heap moral abuse on obese people, to ridicule them by making shoppers of Walmart videos and posting them on the Internet.

    Here is a translation of a portion of the Nietzsche passage:

    Everybody knows Cornaro's famous book in which he recommends a meager diet for a long and happy life — a virtuous life, too. ... Cornaro mistakes the effect for the cause. The worthy Italian thought his diet was the cause of his long life, whereas the precondition for a long life, the extraordinary slowness of his metabolism, was the cause of his slender diet. He was not free to eat little or much; his frugality was not a matter of "free will" — he made himself sick when he ate more. But whoever has a rapid metabolism not only does well to eat properly, but needs to. A scholar in our time, with his rapid consumption of nervous energy, would simply destroy himself on Cornaro's diet. Crede experto — believe me, I've tried.

  2. Galina L.
    Frank, you comment #37 is great, and your are absolutely right, I just wanted for people to remember that overeating is still possible even on a proper LC diet , and in the case of a trouble-shooting should be considered as a possible reason why the weight loss is not occurring. Not snacking on unnecessary foods may be not enough .You are a person who apply a LC diet successfully, there are others who manage to take the massage "eat to a satiety" like an encouragement to gorge on LC foods.
  3. Christian
    @frank
    yeah, lowered cheese, nuts, and diet coke
    but I HAVE lost before with those ./ so therefore now idea why they would stall me now..

    Is it necessary to highten insulin sensitivity to reduce flowing insulin in the blood or something?

    I mean is LCHF forever useable?

    or what else could be the problem?

  4. FrankG
    What I don't get is why complete strangers woud ask other anonymous complete strangers for diet advice?!? While offering next to no details about thier problem, goals or even basics like how much excess fat mass they are struggling to reduce?

    Part of my day-job is involves some software technical support and a running joke is the number of clients who basically state "it's broken,.. fix it for me!" What is "it"? What is it doing/not doing? What do you expect it to do/not do? ... I'm not about to guess at a diagnosis or solution.

    Details aside -- I'm not a Doctor nor am I responsible for your health, so I am not asking for details -- there is a wealth of advice and suggestions avaialable to read here and on oh so many other sites on the interweb.

    Those of us who have made LCHF work for them, have not had it handed on a plate.. there is no set plan, you need to read, learn, experiment and work out for yourself the best way to apply it.

    My off-the-cuff, sight-unseen advice to someone who has "stalled" on LCHF -- assuming they have realistic excess fat mass goals and always accepting that LCHF is not just abouit "weight" loss but also improved helath markers -- would be to start over with an induction phase of near zero carbs, let the body readjust to fat-burning, forget calories and eat when hungry, stop when no longer hungry. Focus on the quality of what you are eating. Eat real whole food, prepared by you, at home, only... no fancy processed products making claims. Don't fear natural fats. Then gradually reintroduce other foods one at a time to see how well you tolerate them. That's the best I got... sorry if you need more... now it is up to you.

    Reply: #58
  5. Paul the rat
  6. Paul the rat
  7. Zepp
    "What can I do when I dont lose anymore?
    Have reduced to 1700kcal and been in ketosis (deep mostly, depends on my food). But the weight is still at the same level (142kg).

    Is it only about the calories on LCHF?
    What is the lowest I can do?

    Is there a starvation mode? Or is it just a myth?"

    Well first of all.. 142 kilos is a sign that there are some medical/metabolic problems.. if your not a hevy body builder!

    Its not only about calories.. they are real, but your body is not a machine, there are a biochemichal regulation of energy.. and LCHF is mostly about the Insulin of that regulation.

    Im about 80-83 kilos.. sedentary.. 50++ and eats about 2000 Kcal or more.. often more.. I dont lose any more weight.. but I dont gain more either.. soo the calories is only one thing to count!

    There is a starvation mode.. but that is if one deny your body to little energy for several months or years!

    But there are several other modes to take in to consideration too.. Chronic dieters syndrome.. it affect mostly your mind.. and in the end it leads to a bad outcome anyhow.

    Denial of essentiall nutrients are another thing.. moste people dont think about it.. they just eat junkfood.. and get an bad outcome of that.

    And on top of that.. there are a newspaper syndrome.. people think that one can revert a whole bad lifstyle or bad gens.. or a combination of those.. in some weeks!

    I can yoy tell right now.. there are no magical diets or pills that gonna revert bad conditions in some few weeks.

    The only thing one can do is to gain a better life style.. and in the future hope that this can revert some of the mistakes frome the past.

  8. Galina L.
    The trouble-shutting abilities engineers have are very helpful even while figuring out how diets work. We usually don't cry "that thing is just broken!". I also didn't ask strangers questions while figuring out what to do next, my weight loss was not easy, and I maintain my 30 lb of a weight-loss on a stricter diet than the one which was required for the weight-loss, especially at the beginning. I guess being female after 50, after being on diets many times during my life-time were main contributing factors, luckily I was not obese to begin with, so the loss of 30 lb was ok.

    It is amazing how almost everything could be done in a wrong way.

  9. Gillian Nel
    Thank you so much everyone for your helpful comments... I do agree that it may be that I am having too many calories and in the past week have cut back drastically on nuts and cheese and have lost 1KG.... yaaay........ so will (now that I have found my 'old' calorie counter) just do a little checking on my calories.... I look forward to more of your comments next time and hope I will have a little more good news on my weight........ keep banting...
  10. Sandra R.
    I believe that for us ladies in our 40's and 50's, particularly if going through peri-menopause (like me) we have to watch our calorie intake apart from eating low carb. I personally began losing weight ONLY when I cut down to about 1,300 calories, and lost it VERY slowly by the way. Unfortunately at our age, given the slow metabolism and the many problems caused by changing hormones, we cannot eat all the fat we want and expect to lose weight. (NOTE: I don't weigh myself, I just see how my jeans fit).
  11. Marijke
    I have another theory about the difficulty to lose fat. Eating the wrong way for years produces toxic waste products. When the detoxification system of the body is not strong enough, toxic waste is temporarily stored in fat tissue. As long as the fat tissue, especially belly fat, is full of toxins, the body will not let go of the fat. If it would, the toxins would be released with maybe horrible consequences.

    Toxins will be gradually lost on LCHF and good quality foods.

  12. RandomOrchid
    Thank Kristin for the info... I will definitely check out that website... Sorry for the delay in responding, I've not had a chance to come on here again before now.

    As for the dairy thing (everyone else's posts), I eat a lot of dairy which may bump up my cals, even though I don't eat loads of food in total, these are calorie-dense. I don't eat pork so struggle for snacks, so a babybel cheese or creamy coffee is ideal, I will have to rethink, or perhaps try the intermittent fasting thing where I don't eat before noon...

  13. Mary
    I could not agree with SEan more. Calories do matter !! LCHF may depress appetite so you eat less. however, the problem with you can eat what you want mentality is twofold. first, I don't just eat when i am hungry. I eat because i love the taste of food. so even if i am full i can still and will eat if you tell me calories don't matter. when i was on a strict LCHF ( less than 15 g of fat) i found that even if i ate far too many calories i actually did not lose weight but i didn't gain any weight either. so from that viewpoint its good. the second problem with eat as much as you want if if you cheat. if you do have a dessert for example, now you don't have low carbs and you have eaten in total for the day a huge amount of calories and your weight will spike up! this is why i think dairy and nuts are brutal for diets. they may be low carb but they are packed with calories . i used to snack on fried cheese which may be low carb but i could not lose weight. if you want to lose weight you have to eat low carb but watch portions and calories.
  14. Mary
    I have a question. Why is high fat important for weight loss? is it so that you don't get cravings and you are more satisifed? is that the only reason its important?
    Reply: #66
  15. Pauli
    Hi! I´m 33, Always overweight. Always doing diets. My metabolism is going in reverse. I have 2 months to LCHF, less than 20 carbs per day. I lost 5 kilos the first 20 days and took a month without losing, up and down 1 kilo. I need to lose 10-15 kilos more. I´m 1.65m height and weight 86k. I feel better, without fatigue, with more energy and a better mood, but the balance is punishing me. I have no cravings for sweets or carbs.
  16. Zepp
    If you need/want to burn excess fat you cant rely on glucose as a main source for energy.. one have to rely on a high fat burning capasity.

    And if one cut out a lot of carbs one need some other source of energy and thats fat.

    High Fat is high of your energy demand!

    And if one is lucky.. your body take some of its energy demand frome fat tissue.. and your apetite gets lower by it self.

  17. 1 comment removed
  18. Jeff
    Further to my earlier email today, I would add that I have been back 2 weeks,ie I have been doing the diet strictly for 2 weeks now and have GAINED weight. My family are complaining at my unhappiness at not having lost weight and my apparently stubborn insistence that continuing the diet will begin to produce results. I am losing hope.
    Reply: #69
  19. Galina L.
    tell us exactly about your strict diet
  20. Liza
    You look great!!! What is your height Bitte?
  21. denise
    Mary, I am exactly the same!! And I love fat in my food. The taste and texture of fat is what satiates and holds the food together. {Itotally get the "queso fundido" thing!!} but I don't have an "off"switch when I eat. Making this last ten pounds to go hard as hell. I loathe the whole calories in & calories out business.It takes up the whole of your time,particularly where I live in Spain, the accent is very much on grazing, sharing and socialising,taking time with friends and enjoying the time as well as the food { we have a three hour lunch hour off to a fine art!!} This works well with the LCHF principal but the whole calorie counting thing is a pain and hard to judge. Thing is, if I don't go back to counting the whole gain will spiral out of control. I also am in the perimenopausal age band.
  22. Niki
    Last year, My weight went up to 250 pounds. I had done the low carb before, (many times in fact) so then each and every time I slipped. I think that I did not believe that all these scientists could all be so wrong--but there it was again, obesity. I thought that maybe it was just me! All these other people are skinny and I saw them eating potatoes and rice, so it had to be me, the outlier. So this year, I believe I have finally got it. I accept the fact that all those scientists are all wrong! Their ideas are the cause of obesity. I have lost almost 20 pounds, and I am following a strict low carb high fat diet. I finally get it! Carbs ar not essential. Fruit is not essential. And since then, I have felt so good, I am back into physical training, and I have run two 10 km races. My time improved by 4 minutes between the two races, three weeks apart. I am sleeping like a baby, and getting up to train! All my colleagues at work have been sick with colds and flu, and not me! My inflammation is down so much that my ankles do not swell. Yes, I had already ruled out cardiac issues. I stopped eating things with soy and beans. My triglycerides are low. And stopped the brassicas too, because they were getting me sick. I stopped believing all the rhetoric that eating grains are simply "good for you " when in fact they are not. This year, I am going to fit into my skinny clothes once again. Maybe by December. If Things keep going the way they are, I will run a half marathon. Perhaps by next Spring. I will post when I lose my next 20 pounds--good-bye for now. Niki
  23. Linda
    New kid on the block here! 68 year young female, type 2 diabetic. I started the LCHF way of eating 2 weeks ago after finding this site and doing some research on my own. My blood sugars have stabilized and I'm fine tuning my eating plan so I can slowly lower my Lantus insulin requirement. Right now I'm at 20u down from 25u two weeks ago. After 2 weeks, and thinking I was going to gain weight this delicious way of eating, I have lost 4 pounds! I'm happy with that amount of weight loss being my goal is to lose a total of 15 pounds. My very best to those who have found this new, uncomplicated way to live! Will check back in a few weeks with an update.
  24. anu
    So confused. Have been on LCHF for 20 days now-have had a bout of ibs-stomach looks more bloated and feel fatter. Was a serious leap for me-because a few years ago I was diagnosed with high cholestrol-and went on a no fat diet-where I lost 7kgs-over a year. Banting has confused me-and maybe there are some people it doesn't work for. On my low cholsterol diet I ate-rice with meat a potatoes every day + a glass of wine. Please help-maybe I am expecting changes too fast-but from all the success blogs out there....
  25. to Marijke
    I think you are totally right.
    The older we are, the more toxins are stalled in our fat tissue.
    I'm 78, and since 2 months my weight doesn't budge, while eating one meal a day, thus combining intermittent fasting with strict low carb high fat (under 15 g of carbs).
    You are the first one that I found on dietdoctors who was speaking of this problem. Are there more LCHF-ers who think this way?
    Greetings, Cecilia.
  26. cindy
    Yes, Cecilia, there are more of us. I'm 49, post menopause. I was always very fit, 6 pack, even at 47. Then I started gaining weight for no apparent reason. Later I learned it was most likely menopause. Blood tests confirmed post menopause. Now, I'm dealing with a 20 pound weight gain. Nothing I have done has budged the scale, let alone reduced inches. I was always a healthy eater, still am and quite similar to LCHF. As of Saturday, I'm following a very strict LCHF plan and will weigh in next week. Please let me know your progress. I'm very interested.

    Thanks,
    Cindy

  27. Nina Ruth
    CongratulatIons, Bitte! You look FANTASTIC! God bless you.
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