Losing 55 lbs on LCHF without hunger or running


In a Swedish paper you can read about Veronica Brodin, who lost 55 lbs when she switched to an LCHF diet. Since then, without any problems or hunger, she has kept her new weight for two years. This was in contrast to earlier, more painful weight loss efforts. She says:

I feel rather tricked having spent so many years thinking that you have to be hungry and run every day in order to lose weight.

More and more people realize that you can obtain a good weight without being unnecessarily hungry. And that exercise is a voluntary bonus. This is why some call it the pleasure method.

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  1. Dan
    August 1 will be one year anniversary of my beginning a LCHF diet. So far, I have lost an astounding (especially to me) 140 lbs. I'm not hungry. I do not run and sweat. It isn't just the weight, but the proportions and thus flexibility/strength....and I'm not done yet. I weigh 370 lbs now. You do the math. It just plain works.
    Reply: #16
  2. Randal L. Schwartz
    My story is simpler. Having failed on low-fat diets all my life, I lost 45 pounds in 6 months on LCHF, with no exercise, calorie counting, or hunger. My blood pressure went from 170/110 to 110/70, and my blood lipid panel is textbook. I'm wearing smaller pants than I did in high school. Oh, and I'm now 51.
  3. ZellZ
    Wow, this is weird. She looks GREAT in her "before" photo!
    Please, this is really just too strange for me. There is Nothing wrong
    w/how she looks in "Before" and I have to assume she is healthy in "Before",
    too, because she Sure LOOKS healthy & I've nothing to go on, other than 2 photos,
    the "Before" of which looks Better, imo, than the After.
    And hey, she's very young, still & didn't have much to lose in the 1st place. (She had No weight to lose, as far as I can see)!
    So, this is all fine & good if she's happier, but I am not particularly impressed w/her feat, whatever it happens to be. Maybe she was on the road to further weight gain, If so, I can understand that she has found a way to eat safely & enjoyably w/o gaining any more weight. If so, that is great! Many of us have much greater struggles, but I don't deny her anything. We all have our own battles. I wonder if the lchf community wants to hear about those struggles. I know Jenny Ruhl is ok w/hearing about them, but that lady advocates things I would never do & never want to do, like weighing & measuring food, eating more carbs, etc. My eating disordered self is a no-go w/the weighing & measuring & plus, let's be honest: I find it deeply tedious & stressful. Thank goodness one can do this diet w/o that nonsense. For me, at least, it just is not good.
    As for this lovely lady, I Do wish her all the Best!
    Reply: #6
  4. Keklei
    I'm also on a LCHF diet since February 20, 2013. I have lost 26 lbs. and 3-1/2 inches from my waist. More importantly, I do not exercise and I can eat until I'm full - no starvation, measuring foods, or counting calories here. I eat rich, decadent foods like eggs and bacon for breakfast, steak with asparagus or broccoli and small salad for dinner, and have heavy cream in my coffee in the mornings. How could I feel deprived eating this way? The best part of my experience with a LCHF diet is that I am no longer taking two medications for high blood pressure; and as of this past week, I am no longer on my two diabetes medications. My total cholesterol has dropped 58 points in 3 months, my good cholesterol went up 11 points, and my A1C was down .7 points. Numbers don't lie, I'm getting healthier! I have a long journey ahead of me to loose 60 more pounds, but I'm very pleased with my results in just 4 months of being on a LCHF diet.
  5. GinaN
    That cat is huge. Looks like LCHF for pussy!
  6. Veronica, Kostvägen
    Thank you... Or...?

    First of all, I am not "very young", I am 40 years old... ;)
    In the "before-picture" I had a BMI around 30, and if you think I look healty it´s probably because I am on a vacation in Thailand ;) It was deffinetly not a healty weight OR lifestile...
    I had a sugar-addict-problem and was often tired and had headakes.

    Everybody have their own different problemes and weigth-issues. I have kept my weight-loss for almost 3 years now and I am doing that by eating LCHF quite strict.

    Are you insulting my cat?!?? ;)
    He was a big cat who loved carbs, but he has been on his own diet- LCHP (protein) and has now lost 10% of his body-weight!!! (and he is a "bengal cat" and they are bigger then housecats...)


  7. ZellZ

    Sugar is a terrible problem, so I admire your being able to defeat it, but in terms of weight, I think you look fine in Both pics.
    As for BMI, that is based on one's weight & height.
    I am doubt the BMI really matters that much.
    Since reading Dr. Robert Lustig (his book is "Fat Chance"), I have learned much.
    Dr. Lustig says not to pay attention to the scale. Why?
    Because it measures:

    1. Bone (more is better, he says)
    2. muscle (more is better)
    3. subcutaneous fat ("big butt fat") and more IS better, he says!
    People who get really thin, especially as they age, need some padding. Getting
    too thin is not good, according to Dr. Lustig.
    4. Visceral fat (the fat inside, on your organs & LESS is better).

    So, of those 4, only 1 should be lowered, but the scale & your BMI can't ferret
    out how much of your (or anyone's) weight loss is going to affect Visceral fat.
    After all, even thin people often have visceral fat & therefore: the metabolic
    maladies that many overweight people have.
    In fact, 40% of thin people have metabolic disease & don't know it & are not healthy, contrary
    to what they may think, based on their being thin & having a "good" BMI.

    So, I think your Real achievement has Nothing to do w/a lower weight & BMI, it's that you
    conquered your sugar addiction.

    If your weight loss came about Because of the defeating of the sugar addiction, that's Great, but your Real achievement is your mastery over sugar.

    FORTY PERCENT OF THIN PEOPLE ARE UNHEALTHY. I put that in caps, because it's very worth noting that a low or lowered BMI is No Guarantee of health.

    Further, TWENTY PERCENT OF FAT PEOPLE ARE *HEALTHY*. I doubt anyone believes this, but it's in Dr. Robert Lustig's book & he has been treating obese children for a long time & sure knows a lot about obesity.

    Veronica, I'm so glad you are feeling better! Yes, Vacations are Wonderful, no? They help defeat stress, which drives cortisol up & can make us very ill, too.

  8. murray
    ZellZ, I am a fan of Dr. Lustig. I read his Fat Chance book the week it came out. I hesitate to be critical of an ally who is on the right track in fighting obesity and type II diabetes (which is a huge fiscal drain on healthcare and the economy generally, and so a threat to our grandchildren). Nonetheless, his book is far from perfect. He makes some plain errors on metabolics and makes claims outside his area of expertise and cited research. Generally, I find, an expert is reliable within the experience of expertise. He has treated children with unprecedented morbid obesity and "late-onset" diabetes and the culprits in those cases are clear. How much it applies elsewhere is a matter of plausible conjecture. I respect the plausibility of his conjecture, but it needs to be critically analyzed and epistemologically discounted appropriately.

    As one example, he claims based on metabolic appetite feedback mechansims, that loss of subcutaneaous fat is not sustainable because the reduction in size of fat cells will stimulate appetite. Long term reduction of such fat, he asserts, is not sustainable and he suggests successful loss of such fat in the long-term is a rarity. When, as an n=1 going over a decade and knowing at least 6 other n=1 friends on LCHF going years, the proposition seems dubious. It is a projection based on hypothesis. It states a general law that can be disproven by an n=1, and in fact has, n=many times. Indeed, as Phinney and Volek write (two researchers in fat metabolism), fat cells are actually consumed during fat reduction. This fact requires fat metabolism researchers to calculate the amount of protein, for example, released for use by the dissolution of fat cells. Fat metabolism researchers in control studies have learned to be very precise as to sources of nutrients. Lustig's experience is with obese children and not carefully controlled studies of fat metabolism at the cellular level. His statements about not being about to shed subcutaneous fat long-term are not based on expert experience at the cellular level. Indeed, some speculate his inference (about fat cells undermining long-term reduction) are confirmation bias of his own "healthy" layer of subcutaneous fat. I remain agnostic on the issue of subcutaneous fat, other than to note he is manifestly wrong ability to shed subcutaneous fat long-term. Difficult to sustain, perhaps, but plainly wrong to claim it is impossible. He should take a course in mathematical logic.

    Despite his faux pas on fat metabolism, he seems fairly sound on sugar metabolism from what else I have read. But then I am no biochemist.

  9. murray
    BTW, Veronica you look "hot" in the after photo. I bet it was a thrill for you buying a whole new wardrobe, too. My female LCHF friends seem to like like that part the best. (I don't hear that from the LCHF guys. They usually go on about rediscovered abs and better endurance cycling, etc.)
  10. ZellZ
    Murray, I have no way to know if what you are saying is correct or not. You seem to want to put me in my place, with your comments, albeit in a civilized manner, but all I did was question the whole BMI thing, which I think many people realize is bogus, at this point, but Veronica made a point of citing it.
    As for Dr. Lustig, it's clear to me that he's not a low carb zealot. I tend to think your comments of criticism toward him come from that fact. And that's really all I have to say, here, to you. I do not begrudge Veronica her fine achievements, but even Gary Taubes readily admits, in his book, "Why We Get Fat" that many low carb dieters cannot achieve what she has achieved. So, I do question this notion that any low carber can achieve significant weight loss, which Veronica has not really achieved. There is, in fact, not much different in how she looks in the 2 photos. Yes, she looks "hot" in the after photo, but I didn't know this was a man's club, where fellas get to assess how women look. As far as I am concerned, she looks very nice in Both photos. Anyway, I've really nothing more to say to you. I wish you well, but you in no way convince me & I'm not just going to hand over my brain & say "convince me" because you know Gary Taubes & are in some way some kind of expert, apparently. That's fine, but I don't need you to correct me. I don't see any reason to put my trust in your views. So thanks, but no thanks, for your feedback.
  11. murray
    ZellZ, I am trying to be productive, not convincing, Nor do I mean to personalize issues. Sorry to offend if I did. For me the question is, what can reliably be learned from Lustig and acted on? He has a lot of good stuff. But his book is a ultimately political polemic (which is obvious from the second half) and it needs to be applied carefully for non-political purposes.

    I don't see what difference it makes whether or not Lustig is pro-LCHF--he has an important message based on the science of sugar metabolism. However, just because excess fructose is likely "a" cause of obesity in a great number of people does not mean it is the "only" cause or the only dietary health issue. (Dr. Davis's book Wheat Belly has some good alternative insights to offer,for example.) Lustig has a political mission and he has picked a rhetorical horse to ride. I respect his tactical-rhetorical considerations, but one needs to see through this when using the book to guide one's own diet. I don't need to follow LCHF for weight management; I follow LCHF for health reasons generally. (Dr. Davis, a cardiologist, does address LCHF in terms of heart disease.) Lustig does not address LCHF and other health issues, so it matters little to me what his views on LCHF are. As you rightly observe, health is the ultimate issue, not weight.

    The issue of BMI is unsettled and I rarely find epidemiology persuasive. For example, a long-term study of Mormons (30 years) found life expectancy maximized for men at BMI=22.5 and women 25.5. However, a study currently in progress is showing that among lean, muscular athletic men, the average optimal is between 25 and 30. Other correlation studies show increased average longevity with BMI between 25 and 30, but again, these are correlation studies and averages may simply reflect such things as the fact most old people have quite low BMI. (As my wife once remarked after visiting her mother, you don't see many obese residents walking around seniors' facilities.) So plainly there is much work to be done before either relying on or ignoring BMI altogether. As you observe, health and percent body fat do not perfectly correlate. Dr. Attia makes a similar point, that many who have insulin resistance do not get obese, and that these people are at higher(!) health risk than insulin resistant people who do get obese. How much does that skew average BMI mortality? What would the BMI correlation be if you took the low-BMI-insulin-resistant people out of the low-BMI set and the high-BMI-insulin-resistant out of the high-BMI set? Maybe BMI would have a much stronger correlation after this adjustment? This, again, shows how BMI provides weak guidance with the current state of evidence. Lustig too easily jumps to conclusions. I would not bet my health on his conclusions on the evidence he presents.

    As for Veronica, I am glad we agree she looks hot. Actually, it was my wife who remarked to me that Veronica looks "hot" and I was pleased to pass on the word as a frank compliment.

  12. ZellZ
    Maybe I am just tired of a world that focuses so much energy on appearances (yet often pretends appearance obsession is about health, which it is Not). No doubt you meant well, but your "compliment" smacks of assumed male privilege. I don't think it matters that your wife thinks the same. To share your take on Veronica's being "hot" here, on a public forum, is in rather poor taste. Maybe Veronica would be pleased to get this compliment, maybe not, but that's not really the issue.
    Oh well. I guess you have your views & I have mine & there you go.
    We'll just have to agree to disagree.
    As for your further views re: Dr. Lustig's book, which you have so generously shared w/me, I regret to say that I find them even more lacking than your initial ones directed my way. We will have to agree to disagree on his book, "Fat Chance", as well.
  13. Mary
    I am so impressed with Veronica's weight loss. Like her I have over a couple of decades tried EVERY diet, meal replacements, low calorie diets, low GI etc etc. I have been to gyms and regular exercises classes but found it difficult to loose the 30ibs. I would like to try the LCHF diet but what would I eat exactly and my cholesterol is high (and have under active thyroid) so worried about the fat. My BMI is 30. Any help
  14. Murray
    ZellZ, I am glad you don't accept me on trust. Disagreement is a good thing, especially if differing positions are based on different experiences. Indeed, critical scepticism and disagreement are the surer path to growth of knowledge.

    My general point is that one has to assess the strength of claims and never take things as a simple binary choice between right and wrong, avoid a food or eat it ad libitum, accept or reject a writer holus bolus. Further, claims that do not seem to square with personal experience require more extraordinarily strong evidence, regardless of whether the person making the claim has done great work on other issues. Credibility diminishes the further a writer writes outside their core experience and problem solving.

    Personally, I try to be the harshest critic and most thorough cross-examiner of those I respect the most. It is necessary to do this to avoid the easy path of confirmation bias, which feels good but does little to enhance genuine confidence that one is not just putting faith and betting one's life (and one's children's lives) on yet another set of unsound dietary claims, especially if tainted by politics, career or profit. I can't count how many times I've read something I want to believe but sigh in frustration because the writer presents insufficient evidence or makes errors of logic or interpretation or is at some level inconsistent. Yes, it is nice to read what one wants to hear but it does nothing to alter the strength of my convictions--it is a non-event. So what if Gary Taubes thinks this or that food is good or bad. Based on what? I love avocados. Gary loves avocados. That helps not a whit in improving the accuracy of my convictions about avocados or how much would be too much. I may eat one a day and feel great that Taubes eats one a day (I haven't a clue how many he actually eats). But it hardly helps me decide if that would be too much omega-6 fatty acid in my diet. The osteoarthritis in my large toe (from an injury) has more credibility than Taubes on whether that would be too much omega-6. Too much omega-6 is pro inflammatory for me and makes my toe hurt. So the injury is a blessing, being a credible source of experience to guide my dietary choices. I don't want my toe to hurt, so it is no placebo effect. So if Taubes says eat as many avocados as I like, I would say, great, that is just what I want to hear, but please explain that to my toe.

  15. Donna oshea
    Pretty sad how people even saw the cat??? I mean she looks amazing!!!!!!!!!! Sheesh
  16. CyndyS
    Dan, how wonderful for you!!! God bless!
  17. MCREDD
    This is awesome. I just started LCHF, after 20+ years of "healthy eating"and occasional exersize, and then being told that I fall in the obese category in an assessment of my health. This would have been such a brilliant read without the extremely negative, and demotivating rantings of people like Murray and ZellZ. I just wanted to let you guys know, that your comments however well researched, and opinionated, have made me feel like sh$t, and that I have lost a bit of the energy with which I started reading this blog.

    However to all of the rest of you and especially, Veronica, and Dan, you are inspirational, and have positively impacted my life, and I thank you. I know that my opinion is really not as important as Murray and ZellZ, and insignificant to most, and I don't care. I just wish people would consider the feelings and situations of people who are trying to get inspired to do something, and praise the efforts of those who have done something, instead of showing us how stupid they think we are.

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