Losing 95 lbs in a Year with LCHF and Intermittent Fasting

Before and after

Before and after

More and more people are combining LCHF with some version of intermittent fasting. This often works great.

I recently got an e-mail from Lina Hassinen. Here’s her story:

The E-mail

This is me, Lina Hassinen, a 25-year-old from southern Sweden!

In the picture to the left you can find a sandwich fan. A girl with a food addiction. I ate, simply because food was always available. The funny thing was that I never viewed myself as big as being as big as I actually was. And nobody really told me “NOW Lina, perhaps it’s time to change your diet! No, because this is not what we Swedes do.

After having understood that I’d never be lean, I sort of gave up, time after time.

I did the banana diet, the starvation diet….. you name it. I did them all. Of course I always got tired of it after a week, sometimes after just one day. It just didn’t work, oddly enough….

After a pregnancy, the scale said 231 lbs (105 kg), and I just felt that whatever… LCHF is supposed to be good. I’ll give it a try… After a week with just boiled cod and green cabbage ( I wasn’t very informed about what to eat), I had lost about 6.5 lbs (3 kg). That’s when I understood that, yes, perhaps this works. I became more and more informed, read books and looked up facts.

Before I knew it I was 136 lbs (62 kg). I had actually managed to lose about 95 lbs (43 kg) in less than a year.

Today I keep fit by keeping to an LCHF diet but lately I have also added intermittent fasting. This works great and I’ve never felt better than I do today!

Thank you for everything!

Lina Hassinen

Congratulations, Lina! Very impressive!

More

LCHF for Beginners

How to Lose Weight

Intermittent fasting

More Weight Success Stories

PS

Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated!) to andreas@dietdoctor.com. Please let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather stay anonymous.

24 Comments

  1. Jennifer Snow
    Fasting may be bad for women, though. I know a couple of people who have trashed their thyroids with too few carbs and too much fasting.
    Replies: #3, #5
  2. Peter W. Dunn
    @Andreas, the story doesn't go into much detail about the intermittent fasting. I am doing some IF too, but not so much to lose weight, though I'd like to lose a few pounds more. I learned about the healing powers of intermittent fasting, and I decided to try it to heal my chronic problems of tendinitis--first my Achilles heal, then my rotator cuff, then my quadraceps tendon (giving me severe knee pain). I'd already lost a bunch of weight through LCHF (about 20 kg). But I was still experiencing bouts of tendinitis. So read up on the internet about it and decided to take a load of supplements (CoQ10, ALA, E, D, C, omega 3) along with organ meats, and I think it is really helping. Not eating breakfast (I would fast from dinner to lunch), except my high fat bullet-proof coffee) would cause my tendons to sort glow (warmth without inflammation, if that makes any sense). I could feel them healing themselves. It was similar to acupuncture (electric), but whereas the acupuncture was limited to single area, the intermittent fasting was effective in healing all my tendons at once--at least it seems so.
  3. Galina L.
    Another persona blaming practices effective in a weight-loss for "crashing thyroids" . I believe it would be beneficial for everybody to read the post of Bill Ladacos on the subject -.http://caloriesproper.com/ "Hypothyroid-like symptoms occur relatively frequently during times of rapid fat loss, and this may be at least partially dependent on diet quality. Another component is the fact of being in an energy deficit, but this is difficult to evade on a weight loss diet."
    Reply: #12
  4. Murray
    Peter,

    LCHF and especially ketosis put the metabolism in a restoration mode. Recovery is much faster and this is a reason many older professional athletes have been going LCHF. For joint and tendon issues, you might want to try having a cup of gelatinous bone broth every day and more slow-cooked collagen-rich meats on the bone. This will provide collagen, minerals and glucosaminoglycans. Apparently there is an entire family of glucosaminoglycans, not just the glucosamine commonly taken as a supplement., so bone broth is a nature balanced mixture of them. Dr. Cate Shanahan covers bone broth in her books Deep Nutrition and Food Rules. She even has the L.A. lakers on LCHF and bone broth. Basketball is stressful on joints, as you would expect.

  5. Murray
    Thyroid is complex and there is much to be learned.

    The common issue I hear from clinical physicians is burnout, which the physicians think is too high carb too long. The thinking is that "normal" thyroid activity levels are in fact too high to sustain. Denise Minger in Death by Food Pyramid cites a couple of interesting studies concerning very low carb and thyroid. One shows that thyroid activity goes up with carb consumption, which is consistent with the increasing rate of burnout with the post-food pyramid shift to higher carb. The other is that thyroid activity and cortisol levels are inversely proportionate to the protein to carb ratio. As testosterone production depends in part on thyroid activity, very low carb with high protein can result in low testosterone. This is consistent with anecdotal reports I hear from guys, mostly that they feel relieved from high testosterone (thus relieving stress on many a marriage) and they become very resilient to stress (lower cortisol, presumably). Some, like Grinch of the dietdoctor forum, report total drop in testosterone, but he has on occasion touted very high protein, so his ratio may have been extreme. I expect so-called andropause is simply burnout from having testosterone too high for too long on a too-high carb diet, or a secondary effect of thyroid burnout on too high carb for too long.

    This is all consistent with a seasonal metabolism where high carb triggers insulin and hyper stimulates the thyroid, testosterone and cortisol to pump up the body for a stressful, competitive mating season, where winning a head-butting contest to reproduce has metabolic priority over self-restoration. Dr. Cynthia Kenyon's work has found insulin levels to be a general signalling hormone in this mode, and that aging symptoms are greatly accelerated, since the body shifts out of LCHF restoration mode. In a nutshell, insulin signals there is food a plenty to reproduce, make that a priority. Low insulin signals to make repairs in preparation for the next competitive mating season, such that the body does not degrade with age in this mode, it reverses symptoms of aging. I have noticed this and others who see me infrequently have remarked spontaneously. Many on keto diet have reported things like reversal of greying of hair, etc. . Dr. Kenyon reports that the daf-2 gene knockout nematodes look like teenagers when they die, comparing to the normal nematodes on an insulin stimulating diet.

    So there seems to be an interesting trade off, as societies have pushed to higher carb diets with grain and agriculture and had to cope with sublimating (and exploiting) the resulting aggression, and the health consequences. So thyroid is a complex issue. There is no comprehensive metabolic theory against which to declare any given levels of thyroid activity are "normal". That said, there are many instances where the thyroid is plainly diseased and a change in diet may expose the disease. Thyroid is complex.

  6. Judith
    Good job lina! You are looking fierce. I'm doing pretty much the same thing than you and it's working splendidly!

    I hear you about the sandwiches. I just moved to Belgium (from Canada) and I swear they have the best sandwiches in the world! Hard to give it up. I see men with bear belly at work everyday eating a huge sandwich on baguette (containing 70grams of carbs!) with a can of sugary soda. The minute they hit their 40 they seem to become bigger and bigger.

    Oh and people instead of telling her that she shouldn't do IF, maybe you can just be happy for a woman that worked extremely hard!

  7. Frankie
    Great success story !

    I wish somebody would explain to me the whole IF thing because frankly I don' t know what to make of it.
    Is it a way to improve fat loss or does it just bring some kind of health improvement (which would be fine to).
    I got fat mostly eating nothing until dinner (with lots of carbs of course) but still, was I doing IF without knowing ?
    So, would you recommend IF and why ? And how do you do it ?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply: #8
  8. Galina L.
    May be you did. When I was training myself to fast , I used that web-post http://gettingstronger.org/2010/11/learning-to-fast/
  9. Daniel Ferreira
    i have been fastin 17-19 hrs a day for the past 2 yrs. guess what? its not a magical pill to lose weight, its still about calories in the end of the day (if you want to get to 9% body fat like I am) but guess what, I feel a smoother constant energy when i fast, vs when I eat 3 or 4 meals a day every couple of hours.

    some people do belive that they can eat whatever they want and fast, that is not the case.

    I also fast because it goes well with my life style and time management.

  10. Frankie
    Thanks guys for the info !
    I might give IF a try in the future. Right now I'm only in 3 weeks into LCHF and I enjoy its benefits in terms of hunger (meaning none whatsoever) and in terms of results (-4 Kgs or -9Lbs).
    Reply: #11
  11. Galina L.
    There is no reason to try everything at once. Almost everyone hits a weight-loss plateau, often way before achieving a desirable weight-loss. It would be the time for you to try IF. Slower weight loss puts less stress on your body.
  12. Francois
    Thanks for the reference, Galina! Very interesting (though a tad complex). This is the kind of reading I do sitting down and taking my time. One point that was not covered - unless I missed it - is the fact that we live in an environment filled with pesticides and herbicides. These concentrate in fat. When there is rapid fat loss, these pesticides and herbicides are released once again in circulation. They have three significant effects on the thyroid gland:
    1. They signal it to produce less T3 and T4
    2. They compete for the same protein transporter
    3, They order the liver to get rid of thyroid hormones as fast as possible
    Thus another possible causative factor in the possible hypothyroidism seen with weight loss. The treatment is usually to increase the energy intake (I am becoming allergic to the word calorie) to slow the weight and fat loss and things usually come back to normal.

    if I recall, I found this info out of the publications of a group out of Laval University in Canada.

    Cheers and keep on sharing great links!

    Francois

  13. Bruce
    Frankie;
    Paul Jaminet (Perfect Health Diet) explains IF pretty well, the process is autophagy, whereby your metabolism places an emphasis on repair, and in the process removes (consumes) a lot of worn out substrates, and might even attack parasites that are hiding out in various tissues. He does not recommend going beyond 24 hours, since the process is well underway at 16 hours, and past 24 hours you likely trigger too many impulses to overeat to compensate. I am trying 24 hours fasts for 24 days per year assigned at random throughout the calendar. Coffee is not excluded; I don`t like the withdrawal symptoms thanks.
  14. Frankie
    Thanks to all for all your input.
    A friend of mine suggested to skip lunch and breakfast once in while but to make sure I get enough fat while fasting by drinking butter coffee (or bulletproof coffee as they call it) and to add a couple tablespoons of coconut oil as well.
    That would make a 24 hours fast (from dinner to dinner the next day).
    I might try that in a few weeks just as an experiment to see how it affects my weight loss and/or energy levels.
    Thanks again to Galina, Daniel and Bruce !
    Reply: #19
  15. Galina L.
    You are welcome, Frankie. Every theory leaves something behind. I don't worry about pesticides in my fat because it is something I can't control or change. Perfection is inachievable in anything anyway. I guess some people with a lot of weight to loose may get more problem with extra skin with a fast weight loss.
  16. Ali
    What a fab success story. I've been intermittent fasting for a while and lost a stone. I was interested to read your story as in the last two weeks I've also adopted a mix of LCHF and IF. This makes sense to me as if I eat LCHF the day before I fast, I find the fast easier. It's given me some much needed discipline and I never realised I had that in me. You look amazing Lina. I've got a couple of stones (28lbs) to go and your story and photos have truly inspired me. Thanks.

    Ali

  17. Morganier
    Lina, you are doing well!!
    As like you I combine LCHF with fasting. Sometimes one day and sometimes two days a week. Being on LCHF for over a year, the fasting is no trouble at all. I think the shift from burning carbs to burning fat is smooth after a while. Even with running (10K) on a fasting day (or the second day) I feel no holding back in my body nor muscles. I read that fasting helps building muscles aswel. I believe this is a good combination (surely feels okay!)
  18. Libertad
    I'm sorry, did I miss something in this non-informative article? What's up? I thought I was going to get some personal IF education. Instead I get a before after pic with absoletly no insight into her personal LCHF IF experience. I enjoy learning from others folks path. I can honestly say, what was the point? I can get before & after fotos at the check out counter of the latest fad diet & celebirty trash magazine. I just expected much more from a blog run by a physician & LCHF educator.
  19. Marijke
    Frankie, I found that after some time on LCHF I simply was not hungry any more at lunch time. That was the moment I decided to skip lunch. Simple and effective.
  20. Curious
    Just curious how you went from a 25 year old chunky blonde to a 55 year old black headed woman in a year of dieting? Seems a little odd to me? Most people would try to take a very flattering, dressed nice with nice hairstyle and makeup for an after picture? Just saying.
  21. MBJ
    In early spring of 2013, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I had a work health screening and my fasting bg was almost 300. I went to the doctor and my a1c was 11. I refused to take any prescribed medication. I went on a LCHF diet. That helped tremendously. But it wasn't until I combined it with intermittent fasting that things really kicked in. I started the IF because I researched it as a means to help with weight training/workout results by naturally improving HGH and testosterone levels. But I later realized the positive impact it had on other aspects. THREE MONTHS LATER!! my fasting bg was 84-90 and my a1c was 4.6. My endocrinologist was SHOCKED!! He said he had never seen that before. It works but I think it is a combination of things. I worked out at least 5 to 6 times a week along with the LCHF and IF regimen. Now I try to keep my carbs around 30-50 a day and I keep my meals between 11a-7p.
    Reply: #23
  22. Bob
    Sounds like the lovely Lina lost her 95 lbs. of weight doing LCHF, not through a combination of the two as the title suggests. She's only just started IF.

    Late June 2013 I weighed in at 325 when I decided to cut out the junk food, dropped 8 lbs. in 6 weeks. Early Sept. I started dabbling into a LCHF diet. 18 weeks later I'm down another 20 lbs. first week of Dec. 2013 and broke the 300 lbs. mark. By May 2014 I hit 270 lbs. I did IF/LCHF 5 days a week and LCHF on weekends and lost 56 lbs. The only exercise I got during that time was shoveling snow during our record-breaking winter here in Minnesota. Since May I've started working out 5 days a week at the gym and went off LCHF on weekends and for several week long vacation trips but continued IF/LCHF during regular weeks and the weight has started to creep back up.

    All told, since last Sept. I'm down 42.4 lbs. (23.6 lbs. of fat and 16.1 lbs. of lean, which includes water weight, the main reason I started restricting carbs is because I saw a correlation between water retention in my ankles and feet with high carb intake, not a problem now.)

    Now that vacation breaks are done, it time to get fully committed to IF/LCHF and see if I can drop another 50 lbs. this winter.

  23. Galina L.
    How tall are you? It is better to keep in mind that human body resists our weight-loss attempts, the farther you on your way , the slower your progress will be. It a way it is good you have been eating a diet full of junk before, it often allows people to have change of a grater magnitude .
  24. Sylvia
    IF works for some women but a lot of women don't do well with it. I tried it mainly to lose weight and only lost 5 pounds in 6 weeks plus I noticed my stomach was bloated and I looked puffy. 5 pounds in 6 weeks may still sound like an accomplishment to some but I'be always lost at least 2 pounds per week when I've cut calories. As soon as I stopped IF, I started losing weight again to the tune of 2 to 3 pounds per week and the stomach bloat disappeared.

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