Grateful future fitness model (?)

I got a nice email today. The author graciously allowed me to publish it here:

The mail

My name is Justin Van Vliet, I am 21 years old and I live in Arizona. I saw your lecture on LCHF diets and their benefits and became a huge fan of yours. For the past couple months, me and my room mate have been really focusing on eating whole foods and trying to limit our sugar/carb intake to basically nothing, and it has done absolute wonders for our bodies. We feel better, sleep better, are doing better in school. Not only that, but we noticed a big change in our physique. We workout all the time, our end goal is to become fitness models. But once we started this diet, our results basically doubled. I just wanted to thank you for your work, and would love to hear back from you.

Justin Van Vliet

Good luck Justin! Spread the word when you’re famous!


LCHF for beginners


  1. Nancy
    I've seen your Youtube presentations and have been doing low glycemic index diets for years, with fairly steady results. But even though I weigh just 110 pounds, I have suddenly developed high blood pressure, so I'm keen to try out a low-carb diet to see if that regulates the problem.

    The problem is that my husband and I--like 80% of the world's people--are lactose intolerant. When my husband eats milk fat, he gets very bad sleep apnea. I get stomach cramps and diarrhea. The only dairy we can both eat is low-fat (not no-fat) plain yogurt and 2% cottage cheese (and butter).

    Your diet probably works very well with Scandinavians, who are known for being the most milk-tolerant people. But for the rest of us, the emphasis on milk fats to replace the lost carb calories isn't a solution. Our ancestors did not use the milk of the cow as a food, and so we aren't adapted to digesting it.

    I'd be interested in seeing a version of the LCHF that doesn't rely so much on milk, cheese, and cream.

  2. Diane
    Butter usually doesn't hurt people who are lactose intolerant. How do you do on actual cream instead of low-fat products? How about coconut oil (why they call it oil when it's solid most of the time is beyond me)? How about bacon and eggs? Fatty ground beef? Salmon or other fatty cold-water fish? I mix my full-fat yogurt (homemade) with half a can of Thai coconut milk (which is also nearly solid at room temperature) or with creme fraiche or kefir cheese.

    As for "physique". I've only been committed to try this diet 100% for about a week now. I'm female. I'm not sure I like what it's doing to my physique. I don't want to be bigger on top. I'd like all that to diminish. It's painful. It makes running difficult. I feel like I need to sleep with a sports bra.

  3. Peter
    Dear Andreas,

    are you now promoting whole-foods? Since when has butter, cheeses and bacon turned into whole-foods? These are all man-made, processed products. Anyways, if you leave this stuff out of the diet you promote it might just be a little more healthier. That's what I reckon.

  4. Well regulated approach through this blog of yours. Awesome work.
  5. Funderaren
    Peter, I dont agree that our health is improving by eliminating cheese and butter. Lots of healthy fat, proteins and other nutrinents.

    And it taste good, that make it much easier to stay on a low carb diet.

    You can for sure make a healthier diet then "LCHF", but if no one likes to eat it, it will not work in the long run. And become unhealty for you.

  6. Peter

    there's not a single epimologic research which would associate cheese and butter with anything good. Incase your previous diet has been comprised of sodas, candies and big macs, your health is improving by sacking these and turning to high-quality cheeses, however generally, diet high in animal products would not lead to good health outcomes on the longer run.

    Interestingly Harvard has just launched their new diet recommendations which ask to cut butter, dairy & red meat, not that I fully agree with their "mediterranian diet", I think it's a good start.

    The message from Harvard is this:

    "Several of the recommendations in the current version represent important steps in the right direction:

    Move to a plant-based diet. The guidelines emphasize eating more foods from plants, such as vegetables and beans, whole grains, and nuts"

  7. Bernardo
    epimologic research sucks.
  8. Ray
    I received the Harvard "Nutrition Action" newsletter for several years. They are firmly entrenched in politically correct nutrition. They are low fat (high carb) with strong vegetarian leanings...
  9. Jordan M.
    @ Peter

    Epidemiological studies show correlation and not causation.

    The Masai eat butter and milk, and are relatively disease free. The Inuit eat almost all of their fats as saturated fat.

    The Harvard diet looks like a great source of phytates, aflatoxins, and omega-6's.

    Animal sources of vitamins are often in better forms (vitamins A and K come to mind). Not to say I don't eat whole grains, but at least I get mine fermented, eat grass-fed meats so the omega-6's aren't an issue, and make sure that my polyunsaturates don't take up more than 4% of my caloric intake.

  10. SharonV
    Diane, could it be that hormones stored in fat are being released when it's being burned, riggering you extra curviness up top? I've heard of other ladies experiencing related changes. I'm going to guess that once you get past burning yor own body's fat, and begin 'maintenance' the effects will calm down.

    Also, it's so good to hear more anecdotal evidence that LCHF positively affects cognitive function. All I know fr sure is that I do my job better, and I get along with my coworkers better when my moods are stable, which they are when I'm on the diet.

  11. Sarah
    Nancy, have you and your husband tried raw milk? Lactose intolerance, from what I understand, is really an intolerance to the changes that occur in the milk when heated for pasteurization, and it's very common for people with this problem to switch to raw milk and see the issues disappear completely. If it's not illegal to buy raw milk where you live, you should give it a try! Scandanavians aren't more tolerant of lactose, in Europe people have greater access to raw milk.
  12. Funderaren
    Sarah, we cant buy raw milk in sweden. But we had a mutation in scandinavia/northen europe 4000 years ago, that made it possible to handle lactose.
  13. Dick Hughes
    I have been a type 2 diabetic for 20 years. In the late 1990's I read "The Swarzbein Principle" by Dr. Dianne Swarzbein who is an endocrinologist. She tells us to do much the same as you have been telling us. I have been eating low carb / high fat for a decade now and my weight has gone from 310 pounds to 240 pounds while maintaining excellent blood sugar and cholesterol numbers. I have recently read "
    Prevent And Repair Heart Disease" by Dr Esselstyn. Dr. Esselstyn focus is on heart disease which is also at epidemic levels in the west. His diet copies the rural diet of most of the worlds non-western peoples where heart disease, diabetes and obesity practically does not exist. Its not an easy diet for us westerners but it might be necessary for us to go that way. If the whole world tried to eat your diet the price of meat, fish poultry etc. would sky rocket. On the Esselstyn diet the cost of eating is less than half what it was before. Meat and fat are expensive. Whole grain barley is $2 per kilo. I am still following the Swarzbein recommendations for limiting carbs to 25 gram per meal and using only lower glycemic carbs as much as possible. Most of the world outside the western cultures eats like this with some meat on special occasions. Dr. Esselstyn has effectively eliminated obesity, diabetes and heart and stroke disease with a diet that even the poor can afford. We can do without much of the fat; just don't replace it with sugar and refined carbs.
  14. Jordan M.
    @ Dick

    The only reason Esselsytn's diet would work is because he is limiting polyunsaturated fats. Apparently it's easier to almost do away with fat than tell people to keep polyunsaturates at 4%, and eliminate hydrogenated oils completely... I do both of those only I eat 50% of my caloric intake in fat.

    Sigh, and I'm unsure about where Esselstyn did his research on people who don't eat meat, poultry, or fish.

  15. Alexandra
    @Nancy.. I have been VLCHF for quite a while now and found that my lactose intolerance went away completely once I eliminated most carbs, I tend to average about 20 net a day. Whether it was eliminating the wheat or other grains ( I eat zero now) or something else, I don't know but it may just happen to you as well. I have read this many times from other low carbers.
    I now enjoy full fat dairy whenever I please with no digestive problems.

    Keep at it.
    Best of luck.

  16. moreporkplease
    "Scandanavians aren't more tolerant of lactose, in Europe people have greater access to raw milk"

    This isn't completely true in my experience - EU and in-country laws have certainly tightened on cow, donkey, and goat milk in many locales. From being in Europe, I'd have to say that certainly it is pretty clandestine at best in Sweden and Denmark. Maybe a few farmers are brave enough. In Norway and Finland you can on rare occasions buy it at a farm.

    In France cow is legal, but very tightly controlled. There are some vending machines and some farm sales. It's not widely available in every supermarket or anything. I think I may have more often seen raw donkey milk, actually - but this may be because most raw cow is used for cheese there. In Germany, I think it's technically legal, but hard to find, very farmers want to endure the strict regulations.

    In Italy, true, raw cow is more easily available, often in vending machines and at the farmer's market - I was last there in Fall 2009. I would say it's easiest to get in Italy, based on my experience in the past 18 months.

  17. Dick Hughes
    In reply to Jordan: Dr Esselstyn's patients were all Americans with significant heart disease who's own doctors had said that they could do nothing more for them. None of them died or had another heart attack. He was joined on a PBS special titled "The Last Heart Attack" by President Bill Clinton ( who has lost significant weight on the diet) and Dr,. Sanjay Gupta. The film is available on youtube so you can watch it for yourself. Just Google " The Last Heart Attack "
  18. I have noticed that my husband and I, who've both been LCHF for quite a while, have begun to show signs of gluten intolerance if we eat any wheat. I wonder if having tolerated gluten from birth, then healed from the constant inflammation of glycation with LCHF, we now have become sensitized. I consider this further proof that while humans can adapt, it does not mean we are not suffering with the adaptation.
  19. Mary Taylor
    To Nan: I have been wheat free (along with barley, rye, and oats) for 7 months now and although I ate wheat since I was a child, I had a SEVERE gluten reaction last month on an accidental wheat exposure (which happened to be miniscule in quantity).

    The result was that I had unbelievable gastric muscle spasms, profuse sweating (I soaked my shirt in 3.5 minutes to the point that it was literally dripping my sweat off the bottom hem!), light headed, and an immense blood pressure drop. I had 3 waves of that pain, each lasting just about 10-15 minutes, and I ended up in the ER for 4 hours to investigate the cause.

    The ER MDs were convinced I had a gallbladder event despite my repeated explanations to them that 1) I have had GB attacks in the past but not for 18 years and this felt nothing like that in either pain intensity or pain type and, 2) the GB pain is felt either at the lateral edge of your rib angle on the right side of the trunk or under your right shoulder blade and my pain was very specifically, very high in the center of my belly just under my xiphoid process and higher up. The two had nothing in common other than both being in my trunk.

    There's no convincing physicians who do not understand LCHF and who don't support any diet that goes against the recommendations of the FDA. To prove to my primary MD (and to myself) that I did not have a GB event, I purposefully went home from the ER and the next morning ate breakfast of fatty bacon pieces dipped in pure mayonaise. For lunch I ate a fatty hamburger grilled with cheese and mushrooms stuffed with a sour cream/mayo and artichoke mix. For dinner I ate very spicy pork green chili with sour cream and shredded cheese on top.

    I waited and waited and guess what? Not one single pain that day or since, but then again, I have not had one single smidge of wheat either so I would absolutely agree with you: Eliminating wheat gives your body a chance to heal and after doing so, a wheat exposure may now trigger a severe reaction just as I had.

    I truly believe eliminating wheat saved my life and after only 7 months, I still am amazed at the changes I see and I can't wait to see how I feel in 1, 5, and 10 years of living LCHF and wheat free. Best decision of my whole life!

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