‘I am a totally different man now’
Can keto and intermittent fasting help you break free from life-long struggles with addiction and mental distress? This appears to be true in John’s case. You can read his inspiring story to learn how he was able to turn his life around after hitting rock bottom:
I would like to write to Diet Doctor to tell you about my story of how a ketogenic and low-carb lifestyle changed my life forever.
For many years I lived with junk food and sugar addiction. I experienced serious substance abuse issues and was not living a healthy or balanced life. My food and sugar addictions ruled my life from the time I was a small child and I was always addicted to eating to satisfy my personal and psychological demons. When I was younger, I could simply exercise a little here and there to get into shape and that always kept the excess weight off. This stopped when I got older.
After a diagnosis of complex comorbidity health disorders I finally broke down. I was taking 4 – 5 different medications of various types, I was pre-diabetic, hypertensive, suffered from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and had a diagnosis for bipolar. Unable to function in life or in society I gave up on life and on myself. I sat in my room alone with no family, friends, and ate, drank, smoked until I weighed nearly 129 kilos (284 lbs). I was mentally, physically, and spiritually at the end of my rope. I could barely climb a flight of stairs and couldn’t jog 25 metres without almost having a heart attack.
What happened that changed things?In December of 2018 I discovered DietDoctor.com and the rest is history. After watching Dr. Jason Fung talk about intermittent fasting I eventually built the emotional strength to attempt fasting. I was only able to do this through combining it with a high-fat low-carb lifestyle. It was only through using this protocol that I was able go the entire day without snacking and control my insulin resistance. The science made sense and the higher-fat low-carb meals helped me feel full. I could easily make it through meals without snacking or eating junk. I gave up sugar and refined carbs completely. I was eating three keto meals daily and over the last six months, I began to wean myself off three meals a day and I am now at one and a half meals a day. I often fast up to twenty hours a day without much problem, and I have done a couple of twenty four hour fasts.
After my mother’s death from preventative her health issues I knew I needed to change. It would take more than two more years before I decided I didn’t want to die from heart attack or stroke and I started to research diet and health. I got a degree in counselling and researched low-carb diets as I had some brief success with this diet in the past but didn’t stick with it due to my mental and substance abuse.
What is your life like now?
I am a totally different man now. I have lost thirty kilos (66 lbs) and I weigh around 97 kilos (214 lbs). I have heaps of energy. I no longer suffer from depression, don’t have crazy mood swings, and sleep like a baby, all attributable to better hormone stability and better lifestyle habits. My measurements have dropped to levels I have not had since I was a university student. I have dropped from XXXL t-shirts down to M/L and my pants size has dropped from 40-42 down to 32.
I have started a private counselling practice with a total holistic approach helping my clients better manage their lives in general using food as medicine, with medical supervision only.
What was your biggest challenge and how did you approach it?
My biggest challenge was giving up sweets and alcohol. But I haven’t had a drink in three and half years and no sugar of any kind in more than six months.
What do you wish you had known when you started?
I wish I had known that sugar and refined carbohydrates cause havoc with your insulin levels and that they literally destroy your health. I eat no sugar of any kind and almost never have refined carbs. Maybe a slice of pizza once every couple of months.
Please share my story – it is really miraculous for me and I want to help others.
Thanks for sharing your amazing story John! You have done fantastic work improving your mental and physical health. Congrats! It is a wonderful example of the troubles carb and sugar addiction can bring and the amazing results that may come from conquering those addictions. Keep up the great work!
/ Dr. Bret Scher, MD
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