Minus 33 lbs on LCHF without hunger

Suzie1Suzie, in this before and after picture, e-mailed me and wanted to share her story. Her 33-pound LCHF weight loss took 6 – 9 months, and since then she has kept her weight off for two years. Without unnecessary hunger!

As a bonus she notices two common side effects: her stomach calmed down and her migraines have gone away (as long as she stays on LCHF).

Mammasuzie: How is THAT for results? (Google translated from Swedish)

Congratulations, Suzie!

Previous weight loss stories

39 comments

  1. Other than developing a hot body (forgive me; I'm male :-P ), it looks like Suzie became 10 years younger (her face).

    Great job.

    Reply: #13
  2. Mae
    I have enjoyed all the benefits of the LCHF diet for a year now, my HDL is 59, LDL is 128, total Cholesterol is 211 and I've lost 20 pounds. I feel great. My question is: I'm 62 and it's taken me a whole year to lose that 20 pounds. I've kept my carbs to under 15 and the calories to around 1,000 to 1,100 a day, and I go to the gym twice a week for HIT weight training. Any ideas or special rules for post menopausal women?
    Replies: #8, #40
  3. FrankG
    Many congratulations and continued good health to you Suzie! :-)
  4. Awesome job Suzie - what a great testimony!! Mae - have you ever been checked for PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)? It causes a host of physical and biological issues in women and can be one possible reason for stubborn weight loss or inability to lose, especially in post-menopausal women.
  5. Mae
    Thanks, Sherie, I'll look into that.

    And yes, Suzie, Congrats!

  6. Johanna
    Mae: " I've kept my carbs to under 15 and the calories to around 1,000 to 1,100 a day,"

    As you feel healty I don't think you should worry about problems with loosing weights

    But -to me it sounds that you eat too little - 1,100 cal a day is VERY little. Maybe you should stop counting calories but make sure to eat plenty of fats to each meal? Butter, cream, olive oil, avocado, lards etc...

    What do you others think?

  7. Wow, I totally missed the calories thing! In my humble opinion, that is way too few calories! You don't want to starve your body, that makes losing weight much more difficult. I agree with Johanna, get your calories up if you can - good fats would be the way to go! Add in avocado, oils, butter and yes, stop counting calories =) It's very freeing actually!

    My sister and I consume about 1700-1800 a day and are losing weight!

  8. Zepp
    Yes.. eat more!

    But.. 20 Kg lost in a year is about 380 Kcal a day from your body, and to that 1000-1100 by food.. its only 1380-1480 Kcal.. its very little!

    Make sure its not muscles that you burn!

  9. Mae
    Thanks all! Your way sounds like a LOT more fun! I'll raise my calorie intake with good fats, I already feel better, Thanks!
  10. Sherie
    Today 19:38
    Wow, I totally missed the calories thing! In my humble opinion, that is way too few calories! You don't want to starve your body, that makes losing weight much more difficult. I agree with Johanna, get your calories up if you can - good fats would be the way to go! Add in avocado, oils, butter and yes, stop counting calories =) It's very freeing actually!

    My sister and I consume about 1700-1800 a day and are losing weight!

    I'm really dubious of this advice.

    How old are you? How tall are you? How much muscle do you have? How active are you?

    Assuming each of your numbers are correct, there is no way her bumping her Calories 600-800 per day will result in speedier weight loss.

    What might work, possibly, is tilting the balance of macronutrients even more toward fat and less toward protein and carbohydrate. Maybe.

    Cinnamon might help, to raise insulin sensitivity. Possibly metformin or time-release metformin.

    But adding 600 calories of fat while making no other changes? At best it would be neutral.

  11. Christoph - I was not trying to suggest she consume the same amount of calories as we do. Only that consuming 1000-1100 is certainly unhealthy. My suggestion was not to add 600-800 calories of fats ... .just to use healthy fats to get her calories up. I am assuming from the fact that she is on a LCHF diet that she is already consuming a diet of more fat and less protein and carb.
  12. Mae
    I'll be 62 the end of this month, I'm 5'5 1/2" and weigh 180 now and go to the gym every three days for the HIT weight training. (I've been going for five months now and it feels great, my back is much better) I just got back from the doc Friday, so those numbers are correct.

    I have been eating 2 bacon/1 egg for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch and ground round patty for dinner (pretty typical). I tried eating bacon and eggs for all three meals for a week and not much difference. Seems like it takes a week to lose 1/2 pound and one extra piece of something (no carb or sugar or anything processed) and wham! that 1/2 pound is back. I've tried a tsp. of butter if I'm hungry and that seems to help, but I shouldn't be hungry between meals, right?

    I take vitamin and minerals plus a teaspoon of MCT (medium chain tryglycerides) in my coffee. I'll add some cinnamon to that coffee, that should taste great. Oh, and some cream.

    Thanks again everybody, your input is much appreciated.

  13. Sunny
    Woooo! GO SUZIE! Lookin hot chica (that's right Christoph, I'm a girl and I'll say it too, no apologies accepted :D )
    Anyways she looks great... keep up the good work!
  14. Christoph - I was not trying to suggest she consume the same amount of calories as we do. Only that consuming 1000-1100 is certainly unhealthy.

    She says she is maintaining her idea weight and then some on this amount. So why is it unhealthy?

    My suggestion was not to add 600-800 calories of fats ... .just to use healthy fats to get her calories up.

    For what purpose?

    I am assuming from the fact that she is on a LCHF diet ...

    She said she is.

    ... that she is already consuming a diet of more fat and less protein and carb.

    Compared to what?

    Adding Calories won't help her lose weight. I don't think she should be in terror of it, but that won't work any more than restricting movement will. If anything, she should look at other medical factors.

    But a simple and safe starting place would be to improve her insulin sensitivity by, say, supplementing cinnamon, or possibly getting an Rx for metformin.

    Other than that, she could try keeping protein relatively low, not just carbohydrate. Possibly eliminating sweeteners, if any, too, which can stimulate insulin.

    I've tried a tsp. of butter if I'm hungry and that seems to help, but I shouldn't be hungry between meals, right?

    Again, insulin sensitvity.

    Reply: #17
  15. I'll add some cinnamon to that coffee, that should taste great.

    Yes, a great idea. Hopefully it helps some. Many people have noticed an increase in energy when taking more cinnamon too, almost certainly due to improved blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity, and resulting leptin sensitivity. Leptin makes you feel more like moving and doing things.

    Metformin has a similar effect, probably through different metabolic pathways, and can be combined with cinnamon. Your doctor, though, should know if you start supplementing concentrated cinnamon tablets because it can, in theory, reduce your need for metformin (and any other oral antidiabetes drugs, or insulin), if any.

    But even if you're not diabetic, adding 500-1000 mg of metformin per day (or even 250 mg, very low dose) with meals or taken once a day in a time-release format (be aware that time-release metformin is approximately 20% more powerful per mg), can aid in blood sugar control.

    The time-release format costs more, but can prevent gastrointestinal side effects (which tend to lesson over time). Other than those, though, metformin appears to improve health generally, reduce heart disease, help to prevent or treat diabetes, and lower the incidence of certain types of cancer. It's a good medication.

  16. I should have added that cinnamon can be effective at lowering "elevated cholesterol", and in any case, has a similar effect to cholesterol-lowering medications. So one should again consult one's doctor if on those meds before supplementing large amounts of cinnamon. (I would do so with the aim of adding cinnamon and hopefully reducing medication over time, rather than eschewing cinnamon in favour of statins with all of their serious, negative side-effects).

    That said, cinnamon seems to be generally extremely healthy.

  17. Lynne

    Christoph - I was not trying to suggest she consume the same amount of calories as we do. Only that consuming 1000-1100 is certainly unhealthy.

    She says she is maintaining her idea weight and then some on this amount. So why is it unhealthy?

    I'm very surprised, Christoph, that you don't feel such a low level of calories is unhealthy - it is widely known that maintaining such a diet is detrimental to anyone's health and can lead to heart problems, slow metabolism and many other serious side effects. Check out this article on LiveStrong: http://www.livestrong.com/article/323026-dangers-of-1-000-calorie-diets/

  18. bill
    Christoph:

    ...and your aim of 'lowering "elevated cholesterol"' is for what purpose?

    Have you followed this website long?

  19. I'm very surprised, Christoph, that you don't feel such a low level of calories is unhealthy

    I doubt that those numbers are accurate, to be frank. As Dr. Eenfeldt has pointed out, Calorie counting is pretty futile (he considers it to be something akin to an eating disorder). One of the problems with it is that food makers often underestimate the Calorie counts of products, portion sizes and preparation methods vary greatly, etc.

    But in the final analysis, if she's still overweight on that many Calories and not losing weight, then she's not taking in too few.

    Her age is a factor, her metabolism (I keep on mentioning two clinically-proven means of improving insulin sensitivity), muscle mass, activity level, height ... did anyone ask her about any of these things (beyond what sparse info she provided), or did everyone just take her self-reported numbers as gospel (despite studies showing people routinely underestimate the number of Calories they consume), and have no interest in her unique physiology and lifestyle?

    Christoph:

    ...and your aim of 'lowering "elevated cholesterol"' is for what purpose?

    It wouldn't be a goal of mine --- I put it in quotes for a reason. I just mentioned it out of an abundance of caution in case she is on either diabetic or cholesterol-lowering medications, both of which's effects are impacted by therapeutic doses of cinnamon and/or metformin.

  20. Mae
    I am not on any medication whatsoever. I recently stopped Atenolol (blood pressure meds), as my bp is 119/83. I have used My Fitness Pal to count calories,etc., so I think my counts are correct.

    It's a mystery, I'll definitely try the cinnamon and add a few more calories (yea) and see what happens. I have tried 1400 calories/day and same reaction, so maybe you're right and there's something medically wrong (sigh). I haven't skipped calories because of an eating disorder, I am just frustrated and willing to try anything. I went on a 20 hour fast and didn't like it one bit, I was famished and ate and ate, so I don't think, in fact I know, that there's no eating disorders here.

    Insulin sensitivity sounds like it might be a factor, but I try very hard to not eat any artificial sweeteners, let alone any real sugar, starches or fruit, etc.

    I know if I throw my hands up and give up, I'll gain the 20 lbs. back in a heartbeat, so there's no giving up. I really appreciate all the suggestions. Thanks!

    Getting old is not for the weak. :)

  21. I don't think you were skipping Calories as a result of an eating disorder. Eenfeldt's position is that counting Calories is an eating disorder.

    Good luck with everything, and improving your insulin sensitivity (cinnamon, adequate vitamin-D3 levels as measured by a 25-hydroxy-Vitamin D3 blood test, perhaps metformin, and using the most nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables -- blueberries or blueberry extract, for example) can't hurt.

    Best wishes.

  22. Mae
    Ah, you're right, Christoph, it's the counting obsession.

    Thanks so much for all your suggestions. I'll try them!

  23. It's not just the counting itself that's the problem, Mae, it's that it's nearly impossible to be accurate.

    It's putting a lot of mental energy into the wrong thing in my opinion. Focusing on eating only when hungry, good, eating high-quality food, good, a few well-selected nutrients to increase your insulin sensitivity, good, exercise for same, good, stress-reducing exercises (yoga nidra, mindful meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, even hypnosis) great, sleep in a darkened room, great. These sorts of things.

    But adding up the Calories from items that are, at best, individual rough guesses. Well ... seems to be a lot of work with minimal pay-off.

    That's just my two cents (and Dr. Eenfeldt's). Your mileage may vary.

    And you're welcome. I hope the cinnamon and whatever other ideas appeal to you are of benefit. One thing I'm sure of is that they're prudent ideas. They are safe to try.

  24. Mae, as an older woman myself, I sympathise with your frustration. However, if you feel well and have no medical issues, it could be a good thing that you're carrying some extra weight as it can help you survive serious infections that kill many older people. Also, the weighing scales are not your friend! The tape measure is a much better way of checking that you're not putting on the wrong kind of weight.
  25. FrankG
    As a general comment I agree that counting calories is futile and misguided - yes, for some, it may be a useful measure to know, along with many other dietary considerations but I don't think a focus on calories is of much help by itself.

    Expecting a predicted (but rarely achieved) outcome from CICO, leads to calorie restriction, which may lead to the dangers which I think were being expressed above: that of a depressed metabolism that can result in lethargy, loss of lean tissue and ultimately a GREATER amount of excess fat mass. Temporary calorie restriction is one way that farmers used to fatten up pigs for the table.

    In my view too few calories IS a valid concern but of course what constitutes "too few" needs to be decided on an individual basis.

    For myself I no longer even try to count calories... like every other animal on the planet, I try to eat my natural diet and rely on my body to tell me what and how much it needs.

  26. Johanna - again
    Mae - you are NOT supposed to feel obsessely hungry on this diet. (Normal hunger after 8-12 hours without food is of course natural to feel. (A tuna salad sounds very poor in fat to me unless you don't add a fatty dressing.)

    I think you just should relax and eat without counting calories. You're already counting carbs and life must be joyable as well. Must be boring to check on calories, isn't it?

    Healthy vegetables, some berries, some animal food and the amount of fat you think you feel fine with is the way to go. Some people have to be careful about dairy fats (except butter) if they want to lose weight. but healthy fats can be taken in the amount your'e comfortable with. With healthy fats I mean the fats recommended here.

    Good luck!

  27. Michelle
    Hi

    I agree that one should eat as much as feels 'comfortable', but until you are fat adapted the 'comfortable' feeling never comes into being. In my opinion, you have to eat as much of the LCHF food as you can at regular intervals for at least 3-4 weeks. This 'tells' your body that you are not starving and flicks you over to fat burning instead. I have found that only after this initial period of 3-4 weeks of eating everything you want as long as it's LCHF, your appetite does reduce and your body accepts burning fat as fuel. Therefore, you now eat more naturally and it all fits into place.

    It's been really hard for me to accept this, but now after many, many months of gaining and losing, I'm finally losing consistant small amounts of fat from my body.

    You have to give into the LCFH experience and once at your 'sweet spot' you will be amazed.

    I must say that will power plays a huge part, even on LCHF.

  28. Johanna
    Your're absolutely right, Michelle, if we're talking about the adjustment of the first month or two into LCHF. My advice was just to Mae who is five months into the diet. (Comment 2)

    Willpower shouldn't be needed unless you're a sugar addict - or a recovering one as I am - after the hard initial weeks of adjustment. IMHO plain hungriness should be treated with more healthy foods and my experience is that it is very easy to be too restrictive on fats on your first year or so on LCHF.

  29. Michelle
    Hi Johanna

    I am a sugar addict. The only way I control my cravings and they are cravings and not true hunger, is to have days where I eat as much as I want as long as it's LCHF. This helps, but is not helpful in losing weight, for me at least.

    However, I feel much better eating this way and my weight is now coming down when I employ my willpower to try and not eat that extra snack before bed.

    I am experimenting with intermittent fasting, but find this just crashes my blood sugar.

    In my opinion if you have been addicted to sugar for your whole life, it's going to take a long time to stop craving the stuff. I am 2 years in to eating this way and still have cravings. If Mae is still having problems 5 months in then you are right, you have to 'treat' the hunger but not the cravings and unfortunately it takes willpower to do this.

    I am not disagreeing with you, just offering my experience.

    Michelle xx

  30. Mae
    I've found that the sweet stuff (Stevia, and any other "natural" or unnatural sweeteners) can trigger your sweet tooth addiction. It's best just to stay away from it all, although it can be really tough at times. Over a span of time, you lose interest.

    I've tried the protein bar "Quest" and while they are really good and within the parameters of LCHF, I find that I can't lose any weight when I eat them. I think you're right, it crashes my blood sugar too and doesn't help with the insulin.

    I think now I'll stop worrying about calories, ease my mind a bit, and see what happens. I've been on LCHF for a year now (5 months was the high intensity weight training), it's been slow, but I have no other options. I'm not going back to a carb-y diet with french fries and diet coke therefore giving up is not an option ... it's a lifestyle now. And Christoph, I'll add yoga back into my routine. When I was doing it regularly, it was the best I've ever felt.

    I've really enjoyed all the comments, they are very helpful, thanks all for taking the time to comment. I really didn't mean to take over Suzie's great post, she did a fantastic job, I was just wondering why I wasn't getting the same results. You have all given me something to think about. Thanks.

  31. Yoga is awesome, Mae, and if you ever want to try a wonderful relaxation, try yoga nidra (yogic sleep).

    Here are two of many great yoga nidra audios online:

    (shorter)

    (longer)

    When compared with mindful meditation, itself great, yoga nidra reduces cortisol levels even more and faster. It's what's known as an "open monitoring" vs. "focused attention" meditation.

    Reducing cortisol does somewhat help with blood sugar control (one of cortisol's effects is that it raises blood sugar), but the main benefits are emotional and inner peace.

    The above audios are free, although there are paid versions too.

  32. Mae
    Thanks! I'm looking forward to starting this!
  33. For anyone's interest, here's a bunch of Tim Noakes videos on one page, and it's well worth seeing and sharing.

    Tim Noakes, as you may remember, is (gee, I used to do long distance running way back in my late teens and read his book ages ago) author of Lore of Running and a famous professor of sports and exercise at University of Capetown. He has recently reversed his stance on diet and come out strongly in favour of high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb, following developing pre-diabetes and gaining weight.

    Now he's in better shape than in 20 years and is stirring up some controversy, especially in the running world. Great videos for everybody.

    For those who prefer reading, here's a PDF, and here's the statement he made to Runner's World.

  34. Congratulations to Suzie! She is lucky to have learned about HFLC while she is young. Not everyone will get her stellar results in weight loss, but everyone will get healthier.

    As to the calorie question, I have always had to stay fairly low calorie, and that has not changed with HFLC; metabolisms do vary.

    http://www.sugaraholics.com

    http://highfatlowcarbrecipes.wordpress.com/

    Reply: #36
  35. Mae,

    I think it's possible that the first 3 minutes of this video (one of the several from the above page on Tim Noakes) may be applicable to your situation and the problem you expressed.

    It touches on something I and a few other people brought up: specifically, that you may need a higher fat, lower protein, version of the LCHF diet. Tim Noakes found that was the case for him, and the reason is that our bodies can break down protein into sugar in a process called glucogenesis.

    Now, this may not be a problem for you. (As Eenfeldt and others have said elsewhere, too many carbohydrates is the main problem causing weight gain for most people, but, as you understand, it isn't the only problem for everybody. However ...) It just stuck out in my and a few other people's minds when you said "tuna salad", for example, and we wondered if that was with or without added fat ... since tuna is very low in fat.

    Regardless of whether you up the fat content of your diet still further, perhaps cutting back on protein slightly, to test this ... I still think you'll probably benefit from the other suggestions we discussed so far. All together in combination, they may well tilt the balance in your favour.

    P.S. This is something Jimmy Moore talks about for himself. But even as I say that, I'm reluctant to mention Moore since, while he seems like a nice guy, he promotes some dubious processed low-carb-ish products from time to time, like the Dreamfields pasta, which he's since been backing away from, and artificially-sweetened products which he hasn't that I know of.

    Finally in addition to the cinnamon, adding metformin, even in very low doses (say 250 mg with meals even --- half a tablet) will probably help and do no harm, but that requires a prescription.

    Cheers.

  36. Thanks! And thank you for calling me "young"! :D At 46 yrs it's not that often that happens. ;)

    I should also point out that 33 lbs is actually an estimate, since I don't own a scale. I've used a measuring tape and the statistics are: 25 cm loss around my waist (approx. 10 in) and from a US size 12 to a size 2!

    Replies: #37, #38
  37. Sorry - crappy online size converter! It's from a size 16 to a 6! European sizes: 46 to 36.
  38. You look younger than 46 by a decade at least.

    And a sexy 36.

  39. 1 comment removed
  40. js290

    Any ideas or special rules for post menopausal women?

    Relax and enjoy life more.

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