“I feel like I cracked the code!”
When Juli heard of the low-carb high-fat diet in the 1980s she was horrified. During this decade, the fear of fat was very widespread, and she had been caught up in sharing that fear.
However, over time she came to realize that the low-fat, low-calorie diet she was following was not sustainable. When a good friend had been very successful with lowering carbs and not being afraid of fat, Juli decided to educate herself and thereafter decided to jump in:
When my husband & I started our relationship 10+ years ago in our 50s, he weighed 330 pounds (150 kg) & I was temporarily skinny with a popular lowish-carb, low-fat, low-calorie diet that I had been doing on & off since college graduation. He lost 100+ pounds (45 kg) with my coaching but, as always, I gradually regained. He maintained for a few years but regained 25+ pounds (11 kg). I lost again when I broke my ankle & was non-weight-bearing & off work for four months but gradually regained…
I have a NYC friend who follows a low-carb diet for ‘pre-diabetes’ & she told me how fast the weight came off when she started & how her labs turned around. After watching how much she was eating, I decided to educate myself. Fat was demonized in the late 80’s, (I was aghast at the low-carb fad at the time because of the high-fat component) BUT as time, & my experience, has shown: a low-calorie, low-fat, lowish-carb diet doesn’t satisfy indefinitely.
The low-carb high-fat diet we follow (our diet is not as low carb as the ketogenic diet; I strive for less than 45 grams of carbs per day, about 12% of total calories.) is based on the concept of insulin (triggered by carbs) as the hormonal culprit for promotion of weight gain, especially abdominal fat (if interested, read Obesity Code by Jason Fung & look at dietdoctor.com). We track what we eat using the free ‘carb manager’ app. Over the last 17 months I quickly lost 45-50 pounds (23 kg) & have been maintaining. My husband has lost the same amount over the last year (I started first & he resisted until he finished all the carbs in the house I hadn’t yet given away). He has another 15 lbs (7 kg) to go to get to a healthy BMI.We love what we get to eat & are very satisfied. We even eat out more now than when we were chronically ‘dieting’. My lipids have improved (my HDL has finally come up into a normal range, which was never achieved with meds) & previously normal BP is now even lower at 90/66. I eat some meat now. Previously I ate fish, low-fat dairy, legumes, veggies, carbs & avoided meat, but would crave carbs & overeat them if I started to indulge. Now I mostly get my fat via plants (nuts, avocados) & eat full fat dairy, eggs, veggies, limited legumes, fatty fish, & some meat. My husband is more meat-based. He only gained a small amount on his Italy vacation, even though he avoided most carbs, because portion control is difficult when eating every meal out.
I also cook now — the instant pot and lots of low-carb instant pot resources online have been great (twosleevers.com). This whole new way of eating takes some getting used to & a definite attitude readjustment but I feel like I cracked the code!
Congratulations on “cracking the code”, Juli!
It’s certainly easier to maintain a lifestyle diet change when you can love what you eat and get very satisfied by it. It may even be necessary long term.
/ Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD
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