42 Comments

  1. Galina L.
    I would hate for some people to get disappointed with their own experiences when they compare their straggle to loose weight with such fairy-tale sounded stories. Even with LC even for very disciplined people mileage may vary. Look how Mary Vernon looks for starters. It took me one year to loose 20 lb, then two-year long plateau followed, I had to add intermittent fasting to my diet , eliminate all snacks, limit eating window to 6 - 8 hours and amount of meals to two, then in 3.5 years since I started I lost total close to 35 lb.
    I appreciate it that that site spreads the message about benefits of LC, but making picture too rosy will definitely mislead some people and cause frustration for many. The reality is much more complicated than smooth success stories..
  2. Galina,
    I would not call it a fairy-tale. However very rapid weight loss is more common for younger people (especially young men). Women over 40 - 50 y/o usually experience significantly slower weight loss.
  3. Berit
    Hi
    I am a woman of 51...I lost 66 lbs in only 4 months and yet I was nearly 50 years old. I lost an additional 17 lbs in the next 7 months. All together i lost 83 lbs. They are still gone... :-)

    So not only young people lose weight rapidly and effortlessly....

    I ate over 4000kcal per day when I lost weight at full speed.

  4. Gräddkanna-Johanna (Cream-jug Johanna)
    I agree with Galina above. I congratulate Amanda but I know from my own experience that in her age you can loose weight with just any diet. Well, almost any diet. ;-)

    Amanda will find when she is twenty or so years older that she - if she has gained those pounds again - won't have such an easy time loosing weight again even with LCHF so I sincerely hope she will keep to her healthy lifestile in the years to come.

  5. Berit,
    There are always a few happy exceptions. Congratulations!
  6. Alexandra M
    Kudos to Amanda! I'd also agree with Galina, though, that mileage may vary. I first went low carb in 2002 and effortlessly lost 50 pounds in 14 months - in time to put on a size 6 skirt for my 50th birthday. Kept it off for three years, then the weight seemed to creep back no matter what I did - I gained back 35 pounds. This year I started really trying again in January - down 5 pounds, up 6 pounds, down 6 pounds, up 4 pounds. I'm now down 11 pounds in six weeks, and seem to be on a solid downward trajectory - but damn it hasn't been easy!

    It would be interesting to know if there's a physiological explanation for the "first time" effect such as the one Berit and I experienced.

  7. Zepp
    I do think the simple explanation is that there is different causes to individual weight gain!

    Like in Amandas case.. she had bad eating habits but is a healty young person.. so when she did eat real food and adapt good habits then it all revert!

    If you do have real metabolic problems.. like diabetes.. it dont always disaper.

    Not everybody do have diabetes but can have other problems like insulin resistance or other problems with metabolic hormons like Leptin and others.

    And long time dieting do have implicatins that to.. probably even with LCHF.. there is always a risk that one goes to hardcore on any diet for to long time.

    "The chronic dieter is defined as an individual who consistently restricts energy intake to maintain an average or below-average body weight (1, 2). Chronic dieting syndrome describes individuals who 1) have a persistent overconcern with body shape and weight, 2) restrict their food choices for ≥2 y, and 3) continually diet to achieve weight loss without success or with success but with weight regain (2). The physiologic consequences of chronic dieting are varied and may influence metabolism in the long-term "

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/71/6/1413.full

  8. Amanda looks wonderful! As has been said, for all kinds of reason, people get differing results, but nobody need rain on Amanda's parade. She did it, and that matters. Further, the younger a person starts, the greater the probability said person will enjoy life-long benefits. Keep posting these stories. Maybe I'll get around to looking out some photos myself.
  9. Rachel
    I don't understand my experience really. I've been overweight since I was about 14, and obese since around 19 (I'm now 33). At my heaviest my BMI was 44- SERIOUSLY obese! Type 2 diabetes runs in the family (dad and grandmother). I'm a prime candidate for metabolic syndrome and for finding weight loss difficult.

    I've lost 100lb in ten months. I'm amazed. I know 33 isn't exactly old, but it's not 21 either, and I had over a decade of obesity under my (extra large) belt.

    I am very lucky, and very grateful. My sister is 46 and has found it much harder to lose, although the weight is slowly coming off now. My mother is 68 and has managed 21lb in around 4 to 5 months. Not bad!

  10. Will
    why do some people lose really fast and others really slow?
    it could depend on how carb sensitive you are...
    person A could lose quickly on 50 grams of carbs a day and another very carb sensitive person B with hyperinsulinemia might take ages to lose it on 25 grams of carbs a day...
  11. mezzo
    Long-term on and off dieting may send the wrong message to the body. Especially if you have been on low-calorie diets - the body learns to manage on less and less, sheer survival instinct that kept humans alive during hunger periods. Some people have slowed down their metabolism so much that they put on weight when they eat more than 1000 calories per day. If that is the case it takes time and effort to build it up again. As for loss and then weight creeping back: quite often bad eating habits creep back, stealthily and slowly. I have to keep my carbs quite low to keep my weight down - I am 56 years old. Even stuff like beans and other pulses seem to affect me negatively. Not only in terms of weight but they make me feel stuffed and pudgy. So I rarely have them and usually stick with green veggies and meat. Plus lots of fat.
  12. Also, unless people track their intake, most are notoriously bad reporters of what and how much they eat. A few hundred calories makes a big difference whether the average over-weight person loses weight or not.
  13. Galina L.
    @Doc,
    I don't doubt the possibility and the reality that some people could loose big amount of weight fast, especially on LC diet, especially young ones. It is just that I resent the simplification of the message, because for the majority of people only the reduction of consumed carbohydrates doesn't solve their weight problems, the plateau after 20 - 23lb of a weight loss is a standard complain. From my perspective, such overoptimistic outlook makes LC message sounding like some "miracle" exercise gadget on TV which suppose to "effortlessly melt fat", but everybody knows it doesn't. It is so much more in the LC dieting that just a weight loss, while it is the main aspect that got emphasized. My mother, for example, lost only 23 lb at 75 years old, but normalized her blood pressure, energy level and significantly improved the situation with her gastric reflex. It was not the first time she lost weight, but never before it caused such big changes in her health. My list of healed conditions is unbelievably long (no more any infections or flues since November 2007, leg edema was gone, no more symptoms of pre-menopause and PMS, no need in asthma medications, much better migraine control). I remember loosing 50 lb in my past on regular reduced calories diet, but it never caused such effect before. I could control my weight with the standard diet and exercise advice till 45, then gained 26 lb during one year(while trying to eat "healthier" and reduced red meat and sat.fat in my diet) and nothing worked to stop continuing weight gain until I started a LC diet. I have never had any bad diet habits, and didn't have an enormous amount of weight to loose.
  14. Alexandra M
    Galina - The fact is that it IS easy - for some people. Maybe it's even easy for a lot of people. We don't have data on "the majority of people" who have seriously tried LCHF, so there isn't enough evidence to support general statements about whether it's easy or not.

    I'm one of those people for whom it was very easy, and now it's very hard. The first time, I even used a lot of "low carb" products like Dreamfields Pasta, bread, tortillas, etc. Like you, I had gained a lot of weight trying to eat "healthier," so my problem wasn't fast food or soda.

    One of the most useful books I read before discovering LCHF was "Diets Don't Work" by Bob Schwartz where he raises the possibility that it's the dieting itself driving obesity.

    http://www.amazon.com/Diets-Dont-Work-Naturally-Step-By-Step/dp/09425...

    I thought of this again when I read Tara Parker-Pope's depressing New Year's Day story in the NY Times (which Gary Taubes responded to and which led me here).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/magazine/tara-parker-pope-fat-trap....

    I do think that the advice to avoid fat combined with the endless admonitions to "eat less and exercise more" have created a perfect storm of obesity and diabetes.

    I don't know if Bob Schwartz has taken in any of the LCHF advice in the years since I read his book, but I would still recommend it. I learned things that I still use years later - I would shock people by going with them to an ice cream shop, ordering the smallest serving, eating three or four spoonfuls and then dropping the rest in the trash if nobody else wanted to finish it. "Didn't you like it?" they'd ask. "Oh, yes! I enjoyed it very much! I just knew I wasn't going to enjoy the rest quite as much."

    Dr. Peter Attia has a great post about why LCHF isn't as easy for some people as for others:

    http://waroninsulin.com/2012/03

  15. Galina L.
    @Alexandra,
    You are right, we don't have enough of statistics about how things are going for people eating LC. From what I see, it is not a smooth sailing for everyone. It could be really frustrating to read how effortlessly some people loose 100 lb while not particularly denying themselves I also wanted to put more emphasis on the fact that LC eating is much more multidimensional than "eat less carbs - loose more weight". Actually, as your example and the article in the NY Times illustrates, the initial weight loss is often only the easy initial step of a long complicated journey toward the optimal health and the best body composition somebody personally is able to achieve. Probably, the big weight loss during several months is not worth reporting because it doesn't look much different than some motivational stories for "Weight Watchers", for example. The LC way of eating is quite unique in a different way. It is the first time in my time when I was able to stick with a diet regiment for so long time and noticeably improved my health. "Everything in moderation" advice never worked for me so well because without limiting carbs my appetite was too strong. However, even among people who benefit from carbs restriction, the level of success depends on much more than the level of carbs

    My favorite blog now is http://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/

    especially the posts

    http://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-03-28T05:47:00...
    http://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/2012/03/diet-log-my-average-food-intak...
    http://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/2012/03/quick-update-protein-restricit...
    Reply

  16. Alexandra M
    I hope Amanda and others will share their stories at the Ancestral Weight Loss Registry:

    http://www.awlr.org/1/post/2012/04/celebrating-1000-members.html

  17. Zepp
    There is altso a danger that LCHF becomes a diet pattern only for sick persons!!

    Our major forum for LCHF has 17000 members, and we know that isnt so easy for everyone.

    http://kolhydrater.ifokus.se/

    Sorry its in swedish.

  18. Suzie
    Nice results, but it turned her hair red!
  19. Debbie
    Wow, this is an amazing story. Congratulations to Amanda! I recently started using the fullbar diet and I also have seen similar results. If anyone would like an alternative diet to this one, I highly recommend the fullbar diet.
  20. This is great! Congratulations on your amazing weight loss Amanda!

    I'd encourage everyone to register their stories and experiences on the Ancestral Weight Loss Registry (Thank you @Alexandra!). I am a medical student studying the effects of paleo and low carb on health and weight loss, and the more data we have the stronger the conclusions will be.

    We now have over 1,000 people from all 50 states and 32 countries. You can register here or see the results thus far! http://www.awlr.org/

    http://www.awlr.org/results.html

  21. ThomasJ
    It is very simple folks! Just turn your body into a fat burning machine by avoiding all the sugars and eating enough quality fat. Then burn the fat off your body with daily exercise. How easy is that! I am a 44 year old male and I down 30 pounds in 11 weeks. It would probably be more if I shortened my exercise time, but increased the intensity. With this way of living I know I will get to my weight loss goal by the new year!!
  22. kristina
    Hi
    Im a 45 year old woman - I have been doing LCHF for just over 3 weeks and I have dropped a dress size and on my way to losing one more. I have tried every diet out there to get rid of the fat that i gained when i was pregnant 7 years ago. I have to tell you LCHF it works !!!
  23. Joe
    I lost 12 lbs in 1 week when I started the diet. We got the Wii U for xmas and have had a Wii for several years. I bring this up because we play a game called wii fit. It asks you to weigh in every day and then play some different weight loss games. Because of this I have been weighing myself almost daily since I started. My wife and I have been eating pretty strictly.

    I am under 30 carbs per day (usually 12-20). She is more generous at under 100 carbs per day. I am in ketosis according to my test strips. I am gaining weight ever so slightly. I have tried fasting for a day only drinking water.

    My BGs have all been around 100 so that's excellent. Its just the weight loss has all but stopped. I was so close to 20 lbs and now I am almost back up to the weight I initially lost.

    It has been almost 2 months now and I am beginning to get discouraged.

    I am 41 yr old male. I eat no wheat, or grains (other than flax seed flour). I have hypothyroidism and low T. Both are under control and am pre-diabetic, also under control with this diet.

    Thanks

  24. Mike
    I'm 59, type II diabetic (since 2003) and take insulin daily. Two weeks ago, when I started LCHF, I weighed 289 lbs. Today, I'm at 281 lbs. I feel great. (I realize that most of my weight loss so far has been water, but so what? The fat is going away too.) I've cut out *all* sugar, all wheat products (I never ate many other grains), all starchy vegetables (potatoes, rice, root vegetables, corn, etc.) and all beans and legumes. I eat leafy green vegetables, celery, broccoli, etc. and meat and natural fat of every description. Recently I've added a tablespoon of chia seeds to my salads. (I've heard that they have a lot of good stuff in them that somewhat make up for what I'm cutting out.) I eat a hand full of raw almonds every day. I've developed a taste for green tea.

    The most incredible thing happened today: I actually had a low blood sugar event about an hour after my morning insulin injection. That has *never* happened before, except once when I accidently injected too much of the fast acting insulin, thinking it was the slow acting variety.. I plan to cut back on my insulin gradually so that I don't go too low in my blood glucose.

    This LCHF diet has offered the *first* hope I have ever had that one day I will be free of my diabetes. I wish I had started this 10 years ago. I am more than a little miffed that the diabetes training I went through after I was diagnosed was the exact opposite of LCHF.

    Thank you dietdoctor.com!

  25. donna E-F
    HAHAHA Suzie!! Ive always wanted to be a red head!! LOVE your funny comment....

    Lets not be jealous, and celebrate each other for eating healthy..I just started a week ago, and have lost a few pounds...I am 52, diabetic and 257, today 252. I had a few chips at a dinner I went to, and ate refried beans twice this week. I have also had yummy sweet creamer in my coffee. I thought of these little slips as harmless...but it seems that I better watch those too. I want to lose 120 lbs, but only as a sideline of getting rid of the diabetes...

  26. Molly
    Just wanted to add from my own experience that if you're doing LCHF strictly and not losing weight, get your thyroid checked. Not just TSH but Free T3 and T4, Reverse T3 and T3 antibodies.

    I have to be on an optimal dose of natural thyroid, plus zinc, selenium and B group supplements in order to lose weight. I am a long-term chronic dieter and have no doubt that I have dieted my setpoint up and my metabolism down, but I am of an age where looking good in a bikini is MUCH less important than not getting cancer, diabetes, heart disease or hving a stroke -all things that happened to close relatives when not much older than I am now.

    I say Good On Amanda for losing the weight ! Even though I know that I cannot do what she has done, I still find it inspiring. I like all the kids on R/keto too ! I wish I had known about LCHF when I was younger. That and a good thyroid doctor would hve saved me a lot of heartache and many, many kilos !!

  27. Michael
    I've put on about 35 lbs over the last 5-6 years. In that time I've tried returning to exercise (hardcore, like 5-7 times a week boxing and/or bootcamp) and 'traditional' good diet: salads with skinless chicken, oatmeal/raisins, lowfat yogurt and fruit etc. It always blew me away that unlike some of the stories I read I lost *maybe* 1 lb per week but usually about 2 lb per month.

    I went on LCHF last week, making sure all the food sources were excellent; organic farm raised free range grass-fed eggs/butter/cream/cheese/beef and did 4x per week boxing/boot-camp. I didn't have a chance to weigh myself until Saturday and came in at 184 (my target is 150 but 160 would be fine). I weighed myself 5 days later on Thursday and could not believe my eyes; 179. I worked all last summer to get under 180 and no matter how many days I worked out or how 'well' I ate couldn't approach it.

    Crazy counterintuive way of eating for sure (counterinutive to one raised on the standard 'good eating' guides). I even had 3 meals left over from one of those services that gives you raw food and recipes to cook (Hello Fresh being one of them) and simply modified all of them by replacing the starch/carbs such as rice/quinoa with mashed creamy cauliflower or creamed spinach and then added cream to any dressings and butter/olive oil to the sauces. Tomorrow I have my grass-fed skirt steak and am looking online for how to make a bernaise sauce from scratch.

    I'm hooked!

  28. Michael
    Update to last post; one week later the weight loss continues I lost another 5 lbs this week. My family can't believe their eyes as they watch me have bacon and eggs for breakfast, steak with bernaise sauce, burger with cheddar cheese, blue cheese salad and full creme in my coffee. Caveat on all this again is that a) I chose very high qualify food sources e.g. grass-fed beef/butter/eggs/creme and b) I am exercising 4x a week.
  29. Mish
    Are you all drinking lots of water?
  30. Laura
    I am working so hard but not losing. I am so discouraged!!
  31. Lisa
    I'm 52 and weigh 174 pounds. I just started LCHF. I skip breakfast in the mornings and only eat lunch and dinner. I've lost 4 pounds my first two days. I hope i can get to my goal weight and lose 50 pounds. I have to stay under 20 grams of carbs a day. It seems like if I just look at carbs I gain weight. I'm very grateful for this website. Thank you.
  32. Tobias
    You should never skip breakfeast.. you will actually boost your weight loss by starting your morning with a small meal
    Reply: #33
  33. Apicius
    Wrong Tobias! Unfortunately for many years I listened to asinine recommendations like yours...it promoted insulinogenic response in my body which induced weight gain. I stopped eating breakfast, and then I could feel better, healthier, never hungry all day and weight comes off and stays off.
  34. Evelyn
    Hello I'm new to lchf and my goal is to lose 40+ pounds. I'm 46 5'6" and I weigh 237. I'm reading all the responses and I feel a little more motivated. Hopefully I can see results like many here have.
  35. linda
    I've had fantastic results with LCHF, I will stick with for the rest of my life. I'm 43, female and have lost 76 pounds in 20 weeks. One thing that has helped with this success is I have never been a chronic dieter, I've never yo-yo'd my weight. I gained weight with my first child more than 20 years ago and just stayed fat & continued to gain with my other two children. This is my first real attempt at significant weight loss. I've always eaten healthy foods, along with a heavy dose of unhealthy foods.
  36. linda
    ...and to Tobias...I've never been a breakfast eater...and have had significant success..without breakfast.
    If we do our own research we will all find articles, professionals & experts to weigh in on both sides with supporting arguments for and against breakfast, fasting, not eating at night, when is the best time to rotate tires...on and on...we need to find what works best for the body that we are in.
  37. Jetta
    I'm 33 and after 3 kids and horrible eating habits I was over 290lbs! I've been following LCHF to a tee and am so pleased! I'm never hungry, rarely have cravings and have much more energy. Best of all, in the past 11 weeks I've lost 40 lbs! I was pre diabetic but have since brought my A1c down to 5.0. I have about 100 more pounds to go but have no problem continuing this way of eating forever.
  38. Jon
    Sounds like you are doing well Jetta, you may reach your goal if your weight doesn't plateau at some point. 140lbs (or 70kg) weight loss will leave you with a lot of loose skin though, have you made plans for that? Plastic surgery may be needed, I don't think you can compensate so much fat loss with muscle.
  39. Squidget
    Apicius, some people do need to eat breakfast, and others need to restrict eating to an 8-hour window. We need to find what works for us as individuals. It's not helpful to call someone else's plan 'asinine.' Jon, Jetta might not have a big problem with loose skin because she's still so young. In my experience, the loose skin can shrink on its own in most body areas, but it depends on how many years (or decades) it has been stretched out.
    Reply: #40
  40. Apicius
    Wrong, Squidget! Tobias made the bold statement that you should never skip breakfast, and that breakfasts boosts weight loss. A load of crap advice!!!! Show me credible, peer reviewed, non-industry funded, research that backs up that BS claim....good luck finding it.
  41. Emma
    Hello! I am 44yrs and I have been on LCHF for a year now and went from 104kg to 83kg in approx 7 months. I have successfully floated around the 84kg mark for the last 5 months ..quite a long plateau ..but for me this is still a success as I have ALWAYS managed to regain weight after substantial weight loss.
    I do, however, now find myself at approx 86/87kg and am worried about a slow and steady creep in the wrong weight direction. I am still following LCHF relatively strictly, by that I mean no bread and obvious carb sources and no sugar. I do eat a lot of nuts and dairy and having read about weight increase, this is probably the cause of the plateau and weight gain. I also have a thyroid issue and take Levothyroxine.. but to be honest I don't think this is an issue .. I think it is the nuts and dairy.
    Can anyone suggest some fab recipes to get me back to losing weight - I did use the 2 week plan that was on this website .. but am looking for alternatives and new tastes and a reduction in the heavy cream. I am not a low carb bread fan so normally it is meat/salad combination..
    I also think I need to start exercising regularly ( As reported across many of these posts on the website exercise was not necessary to the previous drop in weight but has become incorporated the longer people manage to stick to a change in lifestyle).
    p.s I still love LCHF / banting /Low carb whatever you may call it and feel healthy and energetic ( even though people still look at me strangely when I eat brie for breakfast and full fat cheese stuffed peppadews for lunch )
    p.p.s I don't bother to explain what I am doing to others any more .. many are still ignorant of changing science and don't do any research of their own, some have been almost aggressive in their outdated and ignorant opinions. sigh *
  42. Lori Kay
    I am looking for a new way of eating for my son (13 yo) and myself for needed weight loss and also continual better health. I hope to find something that is not a "diet", but a long term, healthy eating plan. Make sense? He is a very picky eater, which has always been a struggle. It seems that since this is mostly common sense, staying away from starches and sugars, it's not a difficult path, and I can eliminate what he considers weird or unusual food. You know that nose wrinkle that teenagers do. LOL Has this been your (everyone included here) experience with this diet plan?

    Also, Apicius, everyone has a different body which works differently, and we all have different experiences and opinions. Please don't be so defensive, we're all here for the same purpose, not to argue. I hope you all have a great day!
    Blessings!

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