Heartburn and asthma disappeared, and so did 143 pounds


Heather had struggled with her weight and diet ever since her teen years. But she didn’t know her heartburn and her asthma were connected to her weight and diet, too.

In 2017, her family doctor recommended she try a ketogenic diet and referred her to the Diet Doctor website.

“And I never looked back,” says Heather.

Now she has lost 143 pounds (65 kilos) — and kept the weight off for more than two years. And her heartburn and asthma are gone.

Plus, she has gained tremendous energy.

“I am such a different person, physically and emotionally, from the one who started keto four years ago,” says Heather.

Here is Heather’s story, which has been lightly edited.

What’s your name, age, and where do you live?
My name is Heather Murphy. I am 55 years old, and I live in Gosport, UK.

How did you discover keto or low carb?
I was introduced to Diet Doctor by my GP when I visited her after being signed off from work for stress. That was in October 2017. At that time I weighed 286 pounds (130 kilos) but had no other underlying health issues apart from asthma and heartburn.

After reading up all the information on the Diet Doctor website, I felt I had nothing to lose. I signed up for the 2-week challenge, and have never looked back.

Did you have any health or weight struggles before going low carb or keto?
Ever since my late teens, I have struggled with my weight. I had left home to go to university and each year my weight increased. The student lifestyle of parties and cheap eating probably didn’t help!

When I married at age 22, I was a size 16 in clothes and weighed 176 pounds (80 kilos). Being happily married, with a husband who just said I was cuddly, didn’t encourage me to lose weight. In fact, the only time I lost weight was when I was pregnant, but this soon piled on again after giving birth.

I couldn’t actively join in with activities when my children were young. I just became resigned to being the biggest person in the room wherever I went. This did affect my self-esteem and confidence in social situations.

I used to have restless nights caused by heartburn, and my asthma could flare up at any time. I would regularly feel tired and apathetic.

What were you eating before making this lifestyle change?
My usual meals would have consisted of toast for breakfast, a sandwich and potato crisps for lunch, and a meal in the evening, which usually contained rice, pasta, or potatoes. I ate some fruit, but it wasn’t something that featured heavily in my diet.

I didn’t think I had a sweet tooth as I could forgo most desserts and I never added sugar to my drinks, but my downfall was chocolate. I could go through phases of snacking and comfort eating.

What does a typical day of eating and/or fasting look like for you now?
I only eat when I am hungry, which usually means I don’t eat breakfast, but if I do, I like a small amount of Greek yogurt with a few blueberries and walnuts.

Lunch is quick and easy, so could be a chicken salad or a sandwich made with keto bread. My main meal is still in the evening and I usually pick a recipe from Diet Doctor’s keto meals. I don’t eat between meals anymore.

In what ways has your health improved?
Within two weeks of starting on a keto diet, my heartburn disappeared completely and has never returned.

I sleep well and wake up refreshed. My asthma has also gone and I have not been on medication for over two years.

The most amazing thing of all is the energy I now have. Tiredness during the day is a thing of the past.

I have halved my weight. I have lost 143 pounds (65 kilos) and now weigh 143 pounds (65 kilos).

As my weight came down, I naturally became more and more active. I enjoy walking holidays, cycling, and I attend an Aquarobics class three times a week. Rather than jump in the car to visit the local shops as I used to, it has become second nature that I walk.

What mistakes have you learned from on your journey?
I am now always careful to read labels! I really hadn’t realized how much food contained added sugar, from cold meats to cans of soup. Even fresh or frozen meat may contain added sugar.

In the beginning, I was buying some ready-made items such as mayonnaise, but as I got more experienced, I realized it was better to make them myself as I then knew what was in them.

Do you think exercise is necessary for success on low carb?
I don’t think exercise is necessary for success on a low-carb diet because in the beginning, I was losing weight steadily without increasing the amount of exercise I was doing.

However, my exercise and activity levels increased naturally as the weight came down and my energy increased. I’m hardly ever still now!

What are your top three tips for people starting low carb?
Firstly, believe in the process. It may go against your natural instincts because of what you have been led to believe in the past, but you really have nothing to lose.

Secondly, try to find out as much information as you can before you begin. There is a lot of information out there that can be confusing. I just read Diet Doctor articles, and no other, so I received a consistent message.

Thirdly, planning is key. The Diet Doctor meal plans and shopping lists make eating this way easy and manageable. If it wasn’t on the shopping list, I didn’t buy it, and then I couldn’t be tempted.

Final thoughts or takeaway?
When things are getting difficult or you are struggling, remember why you started low carb. I am such a different person, physically and emotionally, from the one who started keto four years ago! I would never want to go back to being that person again, although I will never forget her.

I have been helping as a volunteer moderator on the FB group since July of this year and I was delighted to have the chance to give something back to a company that has been so supportive to me throughout my journey.

If my experiences can help others in a positive way, then my small contribution has been worthwhile. I couldn’t have done it without the unbiased information, recipe ideas, and the amazing Diet Doctor team.

Well done, Heather! Your success is inspiring. Diet Doctor loves having enthusiastic people like you who share their knowledge and, experience to help support other members.

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