“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


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!


/Bitte Kempe Björkman


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?


LCHF for Beginners

How to Lose Weight

More health and weight stories

More on digestive issues


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.

1 2


  1. Christy Hitchens
    I started LCHF in May 2013. By December, I had gained 26 pounds and have just barely managed to keep it stable since then. I now weigh 165 lbs. I have had all the requisite blood test, and nutritionist advice for why I am not losing, but blood tests all show normal/healthy, and no interventions are working. I am Type 1 diabetic for 40 years, and now my A1C is 5.2, down from the 6.9 a year ago, so at least that's working.

    My lipids are improving, and indigestion and GERD are gone.

    I am eating about 30 gms per day of carbs, mostly green leafy veggies, and a few macadamia or almond nuts. I am so sad that this is not working for weight loss. Is it too much fat? I consume about 70 gms of protein per day.

  2. Tina
    Perhaps it's too much proteine, as that triggers an insulin reaction as well, but it's very strange that you have actually gained weight. Perhaps you tried a lot of starvation diets before and your whole body was deprived ot nutrients for a long time? Also, is it possible that you are just very tall for a woman? If you are very tall and muscular, that weight might just be around your natural set point.
  3. Lori Miller
    I started LC when I was 41 and 20 pounds fell off. Some of it has crept back on, but I'm losing it now.

    Christy, I'm not an expert on diabetes, but could your weight gain have anything to do with your insulin? My mother (T2) was able to greatly reduce her insulin dose by increasing her dose of metformin. I'm not sure whether this is appropriate for a T1.

  4. Colyn
    I, too, am trying to figure out how to lose weight eating this way. I'm in my mid-40's and I can tell my metabolism has changed. I have been paleo-LCHF for a year and a half now and feel so much better -- improvements in digestion, arthritis, rosacea, mood, etc. But that weight just won't budge past a certain point. I avoid dairy for the most part as it still gives me GI problems, whereas my hubby puts sour cream on everything and is dropping weight, the lucky guy. I suspect I need to exercise more. If only those last 25 pounds would drop as easily as the initial 20 did...
  5. Sierra
    I am 51. I started LCHF (as a result of finding this website) on February 3rd. I've lost 34 pounds as of today. It's coming off slowly (started at 8 lbs a month, now it's about 4 or 5). But hey, it's working.

    I destroyed my metabolism with diets (Atkins, Medifast, etc.) always gaining back. I've gained/lost 40 to 80 pounds at least 6 times in the last 10 years. For me, it was the sugar and simple carbs that triggered my eating again. Now that I'm doing LCHF, I'm satisfied and not hungry and best of all, not triggered! I can eat this way and be happy for the rest of my life.

    I DO track my calories because if I eat over 1200-1300 a day, I will NOT lose. Unfortunately, when you've got no metabolism left and you are later in life, it's the only way I've found. With my BMR currently at about 1561 calories, it's just what is needed to lose the weight. I had 50 to lose and have a little under 20 to go!!

    Thank you Diet Doctor!!

    Reply: #23
  6. 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.


    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.

  7. FrankG
    For me an LCHF approach generally allows a reduction in excess fat mass or a normalisation of fat mass... this does not inevitably mean "weight" loss.. let alone to some facile notion of eating LCHF causing a person to waste away to nothing!

    What has happened to your body? Do your clothes fit exactly the same, worse or better? Any change to musculature? What about other health markers or symtoms such as those listed above?

    Stop thinking about LCHF in just the simple terms of a "weight loss diet" and you may indeed be content; as the writer of the e-mail above seems to be. Congratulations!

  8. Kristin
    I have come to the conclusion from my own experiences that weightloss is more complicated than metabolism. Face it, before starting LCHF, most of us have a lifetime of bad habits, health problems and digestive issues. If you're not digesting properly, you can eat all great food but still not getting all the benefits. I feel great on real food, high fat, yet I still struggle to lose weight, and my bowel movements are not optimal. I finally got an answer for why for me, I have SIBO, which for some people can prevent weightloss. I also have PCOS, so that combination doesn't help. Trying to treat SIBO with low carb only can take years for some people, so I'm treating it with herbal antibiotics, and taking digestive enzymes with ox bile and betaine hcl to assist with my digestion. I have had to reintroduce some carbs in order for my bacterial growth to be active otherwise they can be resistant to antimicrobials, but these will be gone once I've finished my 6 weeks. There can be lots of different things that impact on our ability to lose weight, youcould be eating something that causes inflammation for you personally, you could have high cortisol levels or some other hormonal imbalance. It's worth looking further for more answers.
  9. Lomax Zoltor
    You might also want to throw in some intermittent fasting. Fast-5 seems like a good way to go that tons of people have had success with. I use an alteration of the 5-2 diet:

    1. Don't eat before noon.
    2. Eat "normal" LCHF diet 5 days out of the week.
    3. On one day of the week eat a small (400-600cal) LCHF meal for either lunch or dinner.
    4. On another day, don't eat anything. Just water/tea/coffee.

    I've been stable at about 12% body-fat and am never hungry, even on fast days.

    You also might want to be careful with nuts because it's so easy to over-consume them (one day I ate about 800cal of macadamia nuts without even realizing it).

  10. Lori Miller
    Um...Atkins *is* LCHF.
    Reply: #12
  11. tz
    Metabolism is a factor. My Father's side has few problems even without eating right, and he wasn't thin even in the army as infantry.
    Eating is habit. If you aren't hungry, don't eat even if the clock says it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner time. Conversely, if you have a craving, eat something LCHF, maybe salty, spicy, just not carbs.
    Also, health is ot a weight. Most people won't look like supermodels. What is your BMI might be a better question. A weightlifter can be heavy and healthy.
  12. Sean
    You're right, Lori. Atkin's falls within the LCHF realm. If you're a LCHF believer, then Atkin's will likely be pretty close to the mark. My only concern about it is that it markets questionable products under the low carb banner that have thwarted the weight loss of many and aren't really low carb.

    For me, I tried low carb in the past but didn't stick with it. So I'm not disparaging it- just saying that it stopped working for me because I failed to take calorie balance into account. So even though I stayed in "induction" for months, looking back I see that my total calories were much too high. For example, I would eat lot's of nuts (as Lomax mentioned) and then was confused why my weight loss stalled.

    Reply: #13
  13. Lori Miller
    Sean, I'm looking at the book Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution from 1972. There have been some further iterations of the book, but going by conversations with a good friend who's on Atkins and has the latest book (New Atkins for a New You), I don't think the program has changed much in 40 years.

    I believe you when you say you did a LC diet for some months. But a lot of people make assumptions about Atkins instead of getting an Atkins book and following it to the letter. For instance, nuts are not an induction food. Vegetables aren't prohibited, but they aren't unlimited, either. (How many people nowadays are eating vegetables by the bucket and wondering why they're having problems?) People aren't supposed to gorge themselves, either--I'm not saying you did, only that that's another popular misunderstanding. You eat when you're hungry and stop when you're not. And everybody say it with me: it's not high protein.

  14. Sean St. Jean
    Hi Lori,

    Sorry if I am coming across like I am knocking the diet- I'm not. I agree with you. When I did it 12 years ago I didn't have the insight that I have now. I read the updated Atkins book last year with Drs. Westman, Phinney, and Volek. It is marvellous. I also recommend "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living". Great stuff.

    I have been eating low carb for years now, and I agree- it's not a licence to gorge. One thing I have found from a long term perspective, is that "eating when hungry, etc" tends to lead to weight loss initially, but over time I have found that weight still levels out in many people at a place that is much higher than their "goal" or "ideal" weight.

    I also agree with the restriction on (super) high levels of protein. I didn't realize that too much protein can spike insulin too!

    Finally, I want to say that I am NOT advocating a very low calorie diet, just mindfulness about calorie intake. I have found that a small deficit is still required for me to lose weight.

  15. Gillian Nel
    Thank you sooo much everyone for your comments...I am 65, female and I too am not losing on LCHF and wondering why... I think I will take on board that I am having too many nuts (I love to snack - old habits die hard)... and perhaps could cut down on my protein AND continue to count calories, as I have been doing... I have been on LCHF for nearly a year and have lost nothing... although, my clothes do feel looser so will carry on with a few 'tweaks'... keep going everyone...
    Reply: #19
  16. RandomOrchid
    Hi all,
    Thanks so much for all the comments... there is so much useful info on here!
    I have been on LCHF for about 6 weeks now, have thrown myself into it after a friend told me she lost 10kg in 2 months! Fabulous!
    But like some of you, I've not lost any weight yet.... Which really, is the main reason I'm on this diet. However, having said that, I am loving it! Somebody mentioned that having carbs leads to wanting more carbs - that is definitely the deal for me. But I really really don't miss them at all. I'm finding that overall I'm not hungry, and I'm eating less...my mood is stable (which was linked to hunger), and feel as though I have more energy.
    I have had questions about my thryoid in the past, but won't be treated medically as I don't meet the threshold (which in this country is extremely high compared to others as the drugs are expensive!), so I've been taking magnesium, selenium and kelp (iodine) to support that somewhat. I've always had digestive issues, having had to take digestive enzymes from time to time, and I'm hoping Kristin will let me know the names of the herbal anti-biotics and enzymes that she takes. Ive started exercising again which is great, and overall I feel fab, but would like to shed these excess pounds! Any other tips from anyone would of course be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
    Reply: #18
  17. Tyrannocaster
    I lost weight pretty easily on a LCHF diet; my wife, who is post-menopausal lost some weight but has found it impossible to lose more and she would like to. I hasten to add that this is not just vanity on her part. If you read the comments on Dr. Eades' recent post about the possibility of writing a new version of his book "Protein Power" you will find that there are an awful lot of post-menopausal women who have this problem even with a LCHF diet and they ask for a section that deals with this subject. I have to conclude that while it works pretty well for us guys it simply doesn't work as well (although it does work to a certain extent) for older women. I wish more doctors would address this issue, as I feel for her when she sees me get thinner and more muscular and she has so much trouble.
  18. Kristin
    Hi RandomOrchid,

    I'm currently following elimination/reintroduction program detailed in the Digestive Health with Real Food by Aglaee Jacobs, I really recommend you check out her site, radicatamedicine.com, and she also has a free webinar on Digestion 101 on spreecast, but I'm pretty sure there is a link to that on her website, which does discuss some of the things in her book which is completely brilliant. It was at her personal suggestion that I did a hydrogen/methane breath test which led to be getting a positive result for SIBO, which is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. She describes herself as a paleo dietitian, she is a registered dietitian and nutritionist, and is studying natural medical currently. The elimination diet is ketogenic and during the elimination phase which I did for 6 weeks, I lost 10kg and went down 1 1/2 dress sizes, it has slowed down now on reintroduction phase and I think at the moment it has stopped completely, but I've had to add potatoes and bananas for the herbal antibiotics to do their job and I've made the mistake of reintroducing dairy which I'm about to eliminate again, it's really not my friend. I was high fat and mostly low carb on a real food diet prior to elimination, so I know it wasn't just water loss. I thought it important to give that background information prior to telling you what I'm taking because I Aglaee recommended these to me because of my diagnosis. She also did another webinar that is not free, costs around $12 on SIBO, and she gives a list of herbal antimicrobials and supplements in that video as well. So, I'm taking ADP Oil of Oregano, which for me is helping the most, the brand is important because it's specially formulated as slow release and is specifically designed to work in the digestive system. I tried a different brand before I managed to find the ADP one, and it didn't come close. I take that one 4 times per day. I'm also taking Allicin, which is an extract of garlic, not sure how much that one is helping, I only take it once per day, but I'm still taking it. The digestive enzyme I'm taking is Super Enzymes by NOW, Aglaee recommends this one, but I know the SCD guys who are digestive people too don't think it's strong enough and recommends taking Betaine HCL, Oxbile and Enzymes separately, but a few months back when I was on strong dose of Betaine HCL it was going well until I had severe stomach pains and a very acidic bowel movement, so I'm happy to keep that low dose. Another thing I'm taking is Prescript Assist, which is a soil based probiotic, doesn't need to be refrigerated, and has 27 strains of probiotics, so really good probiotic, just a little expensive. Lastly, I'm taking magnesium at bed time, I was taking magnesium citrate powder in the mornings, but it gave me a really noisy tummy and diarrhoea, so now I'm just taking chelated magnesium capsule. I'm on the ADP Oil of Oregano and Allicin for 6 weeks, after that I'm planning to return to elimination phase for a few weeks to reset, and then I'm going to focus on my PCOS, which has a different action plan, at least that's the intention.
    In regards to Aglaee, you can sign up to work with her, but I couldn't afford to do that. She was nice enough to answer my emails, and even helped me find a lab to do my tests even though she's in a different country. I have now joined her community because I didn't want to take advantage of her generosity, and it was cheaper than the one on one sessions.
    I've also bought the most beautiful Low Carb High Fat recipe book by Sten Sture Skaldeman, haven't had the opportunity to use it yet with the whole reintroduction diet thing, but I'm looking forward to trying some recipes out of it.
    Hope that helps.

  19. Sean
    Hi Gillian,

    I hear you, and I feel your pain! I know that I can easily consume a cup of mixed nuts in the space of 5-10 minutes or throughout the day. That's about 800 calories! The problem is that I do it a handful at a time, almost mindlessly. Most don't think of that as a meal, but then sit down for their regular meals on top of that. The other two that get me are cheese and peanut butter. I can easily chop a "little" piece of cheese off the block and have it be 300-400 calories.

    With peanut butter, I will often have two pieces of Little Big Bread (which is about 15g net carbs in total). Sounds okay, right? Except one day for fun I scraped the peanut butter back onto a tablespoon measure just to see how much I was putting on two pieces. It was 4 tablespoons! So now we're talking about a 500+ calorie "snack".

    So now I track my calories. I realized that (like with every other style of eating I have tried) I will attempt to "beat the system". Ideal? No. Necessary? Yes.

    Replies: #20, #22
  20. bill
    "...Little Big Bread ... peanut butter"

    These are not real food. Why would you even eat any
    of them?

    MIght you be missing the whole point of this website?

    Replies: #21, #27
  21. Galina L.
    And, BTW peanuts are legumes. Try eating mostly meat and veggies, guys and girls, without snacking in-between.
  22. Lori Miller
    A cup of mixed nuts and four tablespoons of peanut butter plus bread is 50g of carbohydrate. Add three meals a day with even modest amounts of carbohydrate, and you're not on a LC diet anymore. When you're not on a LC diet, you do have to count calories.

    I agree with Galina about sticking mostly to meat and vegetables. Snacking on nuts leads to weight gain even for me--and I've never had a significant weight problem. If you need a snack, eat some meat, cheese, deviled eggs or pork rinds and leave the nuts and nut-flour goodies for special occasions.

  23. Galina L.
    I disagree with the idea that out metabolism can be destroyed by dieting, no our body just functions in a way it supposed to function - it resists weight loss better every time we go on a diet.
  24. Paul the rat
    Appetite. 2014 May 10;80C:236-241. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.04.031. [Epub ahead of print]

    Return of hunger following a relatively high carbohydrate breakfast is associated with earlier recorded glucose peak and nadir.

    Chandler-Laney PC1, Morrison SA2, Goree LL1, Ellis AC1, Casazza K1, Desmond R3, Gower BA1.
    Author information

    The aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that a breakfast meal with high carbohydrate/low fat results in an earlier increase in postprandial glucose and insulin, a greater decrease below baseline in postprandial glucose, and an earlier return of appetite, compared with a low carbohydrate/high fat meal. Overweight but otherwise healthy adults (n = 64) were maintained on one of two eucaloric diets: high carbohydrate/low fat (HC/LF; 55:27:18% kcals from carbohydrate:fat:protein) versus low carbohydrate/high fat (LC/HF; 43:39:18% kcals from carbohydrate:fat:protein). After 4 weeks of acclimation to the diets, participants underwent a meal test during which circulating glucose and insulin and self-reported hunger and fullness, were measured before and after consumption of breakfast from their assigned diets. The LC/HF meal resulted in a later time at the highest and lowest recorded glucose, higher glucose concentrations at 3 and 4 hours post meal, and lower insulin incremental area under the curve. Participants consuming the LC/HF meal reported lower appetite 3 and 4 hours following the meal, a response that was associated with the timing of the highest and lowest recorded glucose.

    Modest increases in meal carbohydrate content at the expense of fat content may facilitate weight gain over the long-term by contributing to an earlier rise and fall of postprandial glucose concentrations and an earlier return of appetite.

    Replies: #25, #30
  25. bill
    Or if you want the same info in plain English:


    It's not just for kids, you know.

  26. Christian
    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?

    Reply: #57
  27. Sean St. Jean
    Hi Bill,

    You said "This isn't real food. Why would you eat any of them?"

    I'm not sure you heard my point to Gillian, which is related to my previous comments to Lori. My point is that I have been on a journey with this for a long time. I am seeking self-awareness, not perfection. I'm pretty sure I ate Little Big Bread with peanut butter because simply restricting for the sake of restricting is not the life I want to live. The fact is that I want to LIVE in this world. Eating those things was an attempt to mitigate the effects of carbs, while still deriving some basic pleasure from what I eat.

    I am not alone in this. Mark Sisson (who rejects peanut consumption and is essentially LCHF) has frequently admitted to eating cake, and sweets and such on occasion. Peter Attia, who works with Gary Taubes (www.eatingacademy.com) was almost crucified a few months ago for confessing on his blog that he also has had cake and pasta occasionally.

    I am not "missing the point of this entire website". I am simply being honest in my posts about what I really eat. There is no need for me to speak as though I am perfect, especially when there are others here like Gillian who are speaking from a place of vulnerability.

    Reply: #28
  28. bill
    I agree with Lori who also responded to your post:

    "When you're not on a LC diet, you do have to count calories."

    And you are not on an LC diet.

    An LCHF diet is not a diet of deprivation. How could
    nutritionless starches possibly add anything valuable to a meal?

  29. bill
    Check out our broadcast, Saturdays, 3:30 PM
    Pacific time on our small community radio:


    A few of us got together to create an LCHF program.

    Let us know what you would like us to discuss and
    also how you like it.

  30. Bill UK
    Paul, keep them coming please.

    Always an interesting read.


  31. FrankG
    I think it is important to note the difference between occasionally eating cake, pasta etc... and making these a regular part of your diet... our grandparents and their parents before them, ate cake on occasion such as birthdays; just not every day for breakfast -- think about a low-fat blueberry bran muffin from your local coffee shop. No need for guilt or "admission" as if having a piece of birthday cake once or twice a year is a sin!

    LCHF offers high quality, rich, tasty, varied food without reaching for what you may have previously considered "treats"... so why feel deprived?

    Sure the laws of thermodynamics count at some level, just as do the laws of momentum, angular motion etc... I'm sure we could associate "weight loss or gain" with these as well but doing so does miss the point of LCHF which (in my view) is an approach to normalise our bodies back to how they should be. No other animal needs to consciously "count calories" to maintain equilibrium. If it helps you along the way good for you (clearly it does for some others as well) but it is not an inevitable requirement of this life.

    Other animals also maintain health without conscious deprivation, starvation or supplements... are they that much smarter than us?

  32. GP
    Guys, I keep meeting people or reading their posts about calorie counting. A lot of people on LCHF keep bragging about calculations and I've pretty much given up trying to convince them otherwise. But I was wondering if you have some quick arguments that might change their mind.
    Replies: #33, #34
  33. FrankG
    Like I wrote just above GP: there are no other animals which feel the need to consciously control such things.. even if they/we were able to fully do so!

    Think about breathing... can we consciously control it? Sure for a while, but luckily we don't need to do that when we are sleeping.

    What about heart rate, or core temperature control? Some Buddhist monks may be able to temporarily change these with conscious effort but again good luck with that when you are sleeping and frankly I'd rather use my brain for other things.

    What about digestion? Even the speed of peristalsis.. the muscle action of the gut? Conscious control?



    Sure I can use my mighty, conscious brain to decide when, where and what I eat or drink but I get no say on how hungry/thirsty I may be, OR what my body decides to do with what I put in my mouth.

    We like to think we are in complete control but we're really not. Biological systems have been managing nutrient balance since long before we had anything even resembling a brain :-)

    So how best to eat naturally, like the animal which we are?

  34. Galina L.
    Why to try to convince people to stop counting calories or to checking their weight on a LC diet? I don't count my calories , but for many people it is an important self-motivation tool and often just a part of a web-based internet food diary which allows them to observe what is going on in their diet. Dr.Eades who was treating obese people with a LC diet for 15 years and is one of authors of the book "Protein Power" , observed that there were people who managed to eat so much food on a LC diet that it prevented a weight loss to happen. He has a blog post on the subject on his blog proteinpower.com. Many spontaneously eat less on a LC diet, but not all share such experience.
    Reply: #35
  35. FrankG
    Maybe it is just a subtle difference Galina but I see it in the way it is applied... for some it still seems to be the same old, same old CICO/ELMM argument which in my view, is unhelpful, broken and bonkers.

    On the other hand, I can see its value for some, as just one of the many tools they may use to track their progress but it is not the most important tool, nor is it a requirement.

    Some of the comments above suggest to me that they just don't get it yet.. especially those which seem to think of LCHF as a quick, weight-loss "diet"... just like so many of the fads out there. :-)

    I'd certainly not recommend using calorie counting to start out with LCHF but perhaps later if weight-loss has stalled.

    Reply: #42
  36. Alain
    About peanuts:

    - They are loaded with omega-6 fats that distort the omega 3:6 ratio
    - They are frequently contaminated with a carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin
    - Peanuts are one of the most pesticide-contaminated crops

    The best are Macadamia Nuts


  37. FrankG
    Put another way: if I were eating using an LCHF approach and I was not losing excess fat mass as I had hoped, ONE of the metrics to track could be how many calories I was eating, averaged over the course of several days or weeks -- not on a meal by meal basis.

    If this seemed excess to my needs then I would NOT start to limit myself to so many calories per meal, regardless of macronutrient content, or how hungry I still was -- the classic and flawed CICO approach -- but instead look to the quality of what I was eating.

    Is there anything I could adjust to keep me satisfied and healthy? The examples of nuts has been discussed above... is the solution to weigh, measure and limit my "ration" of nuts, or to find something else which I can eat 'till I (and my body) am satisfied?

  38. Paul the rat
  39. murray
    Nuts are both excellent and problematic.

    Kalahari bushmen do fine on a diet that has something like 60% of calories from mungongo nuts. These nuts have lots of omega-6, but I have a hypothesis that omega-6 within fiber is qualitatively different from omega-6 in extruded oil (like vegetable oil), much as between sugar within fiber in vegetables compared to added sugar.

    Nuts have excellent nutrients, packed in fat that makes them more readily absorb-able.

    However, nuts have anti-nutrients, such as phytic acid. Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions reviews ways cultures have learned to detoxify raw nuts. Roasting them helps detoxify (and makes them yummier for the stomach, which I notice) but also oxidizes the fats. Soaking to initiate sprouting helps detoxify nuts (and seeds generally).

    Nuts are easy to overeat, especially if they are packaged as shelled nuts and not their original casings, which require some work to extract the nut.

    Brazil nuts are great but almost every Brazil nut I have examined has mycotoxin mold. I take a vegetable peeler and carefully remove the outer layer of brown skin and oxidized nut surface, making sure to remove all the tiny streaks and fissures of white mold. Thus cleansed, Brazil nuts actually taste sweet and not bitter at all. The advantage of this disadvantage is that the extra labour means I eat fewer of the nuts at a sitting.

    Similarly, with walnuts I soak them in salty water with fermented apple cider vinegar for a couple of days (to initiate germination and neutralize the phytic acid), and then lightly roast the (soggy) walnuts at 150F in the oven until they are firm. Thus detoxified, there is no bitterness left whatsoever and they feel wonderful in the stomach. They go great in my breakfast, adding texture to my sheep's milk yoghurt. With all that labour to prepare the walnuts, I savour each piece and only ever have a few at a sitting.

    And so, the disadvantages of nuts become portion control advantages.

  40. Paul the rat
    Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jun 4;100(Supplement 1):399S-407S. [Epub ahead of print]

    Nuts in the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome.

    Salas-Salvadó J, Guasch-Ferré M, Bulló M, Sabaté J.
    Author information

    Nuts are rich in many bioactive compounds that can exert beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. We reviewed the evidence relating nut consumption and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components. Nuts reduce the postprandial glycemic response; however, long-term trials of nuts on insulin resistance and glycemic control in diabetic individuals are inconsistent. Epidemiologic studies have shown that nuts may lower the risk of diabetes incidence in women. Few studies have assessed the association between nuts and abdominal obesity, although an inverse association with body mass index and general obesity has been observed. Limited evidence suggests that nuts have a protective effect on blood pressure and endothelial function. Nuts have a cholesterol-lowering effect, but the relation between nuts and hypertriglyceridemia and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol is not well established. A recent pooled analysis of clinical trials showed that nuts are inversely related to triglyceride concentrations only in subjects with hypertriglyceridemia. An inverse association was found between the frequency of nut consumption and the prevalence and the incidence of MetS. Several trials evaluated the effect of nuts on subjects with MetS and found that they may have benefits in some components. Compared with a low-fat diet, a Mediterranean diet enriched with nuts could be beneficial for MetS management. The protective effects on metabolism could be explained by the modulation of inflammation and oxidation. Further trials are needed to clarify the role of nuts in MetS prevention and treatment.

  41. Sean
    I agree that the calories in/calories out mantra is tired, over-simplified, and generally misses the factors that drive weight gain. I get it. What I am saying is that I believe that for many it is still *a* factor, just not *the* factor.

    I have done LCHF for a long time, and I believe that after a period of time, the body adapts to a ketogenic diet. Yes, many health markers improve. Yes, appetite is quenched. I have bought in and that why I live a low carb lifestyle.

    However, at some point calorie balance becomes an issue for many. Volek and Phinney (2011) address this in chapter 16 of their book "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living". Give it a read; it is ALL ABOUT calorie balance. The point they make is that if you have lost a massive amount of weight on LCHF and are reaching your ideal weight, you need to do something to increase your caloric intake. While you are in a "losing" phase, your caloric needs are being met (in part) by ketone production (your body fat stores). They make the case for dramatically increasing dietary fat consumption to prevent further loss of mass. Why? To create energy balance!

    Another issue that is worth mentioning is that of satiety. In many overweight and obese people, perception of appetite satiety illudes them. That is, they have a hard time reading hunger and fullness cues, even on LCHF. So while a LCHF may help them, they still have struggles that are generally unrelated to their diet that have an effect on their weight.

    I agree that when telling people to "eat to satiety" on LCHF versus a mainstream low cal diet, the LCHF people will come out on top every time. Yet when the hunger/fullness mechanism is compromised, it becomes a different and more complex issue that cannot be fixed by adjusting macronutrient ratios alone.

    My $0.02 :)

    Replies: #45, #46
  42. Galina L.
    Weight loss is not necessary natural and as easy as breathing on a LC diet. After reading comments on different LC blogs, I came to the conclusion that some things people do are important motivation tools (I said it already), also, there are situations when a human body puts too much brakes on a weight loss, it is often the case for the people who went on diets several times during their life-time, and for the middle-aged females and for the people in the reduced-weight state who are very prone to the weight regaining. May be from the Nature's point of view, older females just should be naturally plump to be healthy, older Inuits females were not thin, but we are not prepared all the time to accept everything what a Mother Nature has decided on our behalf. It is great when everything turns out in a perfect way by itself , but when some trouble-shooting is in order, like when people are commenting here -"Help, I am on a proper LC diet and it is not working!", it could be a good idea to look at everything, the total amount of the consumed food included. Or we would have to dismiss the people with unresolved weight issues entirely.
    Reply: #44
  43. Sean
    Thank you, Galina L., for the tip to read Dr. Eades blog, because he makes my point much better than I ever could:


  44. FrankG
    Galina, please see my comment #37... I'm not dismissing anyone and much of this ground has already been covered by Dr Andreas in this blog :-)
  45. bill
    But if you are "Sean St. Jean", you have admitted that
    you eat "...Little Big Bread ... peanut butter" which are
    clearly not LCHF.

    Why are you trying to argue both sides of the argument?

    Reply: #48
  46. FrankG
    "Yet when the hunger/fullness mechanism is compromised, it becomes a different and more complex issue that cannot be fixed by adjusting macronutrient ratios alone."

    Please also see my comment #37 and read Dr Andreas blog for many great suggestions as to how to manage stalled weight-loss.

    Sure the laws of thermodynamics count at some level, just as do the laws of momentum, angular motion etc... I'm sure we could associate "weight loss or gain" with these as well...

    Having tried calorie counting over decades, I am certainly not keen to advocate it as the first line response if LCHF "fails". Do what the heck you like but it sounds to me like some people are still comfortable with CICO and reach for it as a panacea :-)

  47. Christian
    how low can I go with calories?

    using LCHF AND CC but both doesnt work?

    is there a starvation mode??

    Reply: #49
  48. Sean
    @ Bill,

    I am not trying "argue" anything. Just sharing my experience. Peanut butter is certainly low carb; it's just a matter of portion. Little Big Bread is definitely pushing it- I'll give you that. At the same time, at only 15g of net carbs per two slices there are greater LCHF sins.

    I am not trying to "argue both sides of the argument". Rather, I think it would be a logical error to think in a black and white way about this. The fact is that there is a certain degree of ambiguity in this arena. I recognize that many here are touchy about the endless calorie balance pushers who LCHF proponents have had to beat off for years.

    All I am asking is can we be secure enough in our position to consider the role CICO does play? Or are we only willing to blindly cling to our doctrines in a rigid way?

    @ FrankG

    Thank you for your comments! I think you have a good point. In fact, that's (the idea you provided in post #37) what I am going to try. Instead of counting and restricting total sailing calories I am going to simply cut out nuts, peanut butter, and cheese for the next month. Based on my results, I will likely try reintroducing those foods in tightly rationed amounts.

    That way, I am able to address the calorie balance issue without jumping right back onto the CICO bandwagon :)

    Reply: #50
  49. FrankG
    In my opinion "starvation mode" is counterproductive...

    Have you read and tried all these yet?


  50. bill
    "Little Big Bread is definitely pushing it- I'll give you that."

    No, it isn't "pushing it", it's just not LCHF.

    And you are arguing both sides.

    If you are hungry, you will eat. If you do a diet that enhances
    hunger, it will make you hungry. Carbs make you hungry.
    Stop trying to eat 'just a little bit' of them.

    Being hungry is unsustainable. Why would someone try to
    do a diet that is unsustainable? Do you think at some point
    your body will *give up* and go, "Okay, you win. I'll give up
    the fat I'm holding," even though biochemically it can't happen
    if you keep your insulin elevated?

    Your posts make no sense.

    Nobody is "blindly cling[ing] to our doctrines in a rigid way"
    regarding LCHF. We are following what the science shows

    You seem awfully critical of the LCHF way of eating. If you
    don't want to do it, don't do it. But there is a dearth of
    evidence that CICO as a weight loss or health benefit idea
    (eat less, move more) has been successful over time.

1 2

Leave a reply

Reply to comment #0 by

Older posts