Pie-making champion goes low carb

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Carl was always active and ate what he considered to be healthy food. Still, he was carrying 15-20 pounds (7-9 kilos) of extra weight and did not feel great. He didn’t understand why but one day, his daughter told him he should try a low-carb diet. He immediately thought he had nothing to lose by trying it.

Learn how this pie-making champion went low carb and how it changed his life.


Carl Smith:  My wife and I went to holiday to France for three years and what happens when you go on holidays, you get into a kind of a default situation. If you go to France you eat croissant, pain au chocolat, baguettes, and everything else. It’s what I did, came back, and I put weight on. Not happy.

My name is Carl Smith, I’m 66, I come from South of England. I used to run and manage a restaurant and a pub in Mayfair, in the center of London. One of which, we were famous for our pies and I myself was the three times national state pie champion and also pie champion of the century. So that’s been grand, but here we go.

My situation was that for many years I was 15 or 20 pounds overweight. Not hugely obese but enough to, you know, not be happy basically. And I couldn’t understand why, because I was always very active, I like skiing, dancing, table tennis, swimming, cycling and that type of things and I considered I was having a healthy diet.

But I still carried these few extra pounds around my middle, a bit of a pudgy face. And I didn’t think I deserved to be like that. So my daughter contacted me and said, “Dad, you need to go on a low-carb diet.” And I said, “Really? What’s this?” So she said, “Well, you don’t basically eat sugar and carbs.”

So I said, “Okay I’ll give it a try”… which is what I did. And 18 months later here I am, feeling very happy. I got myself into it by basically going online and finding out as much as I could and that’s when I discovered Diet Doctor.

This helped me tremendously because when you resolve weekends a little bit, you’ll see the benefits that other people have had and I think it will inspire you and help you because clearly it’s a big change for most people. You know, we’ve grown up eating chips and rice and pasta and bread and beer.

It is a hard sell, but if you look into it you can make it work. One of the difficulties I thought I might encounter when I started low-carb was the idea that, “I can buy into this, but what about the people I live with?”

Fortunately my wife, Pauline, she was on board too. She’s always been pretty fit, but again probably wanted to lose a few pounds, so she came on board and we both ate the same food which I think made it a lot easier than you can imagine if you are in a family where some of the kids say, “I’m not having that”, or whatever. So that made life easier.

I’ve always been somebody that eats what I considered to be healthy food, but what I did notice in the afternoons I was always tired, wanted to lie down, I could never understand this. Food is supposed to give you energy. So what does make you feel tired?

And I think discovering low-carb has made me realize that it’s the carbs and the sugar in food that actually debilitates you. And since I’ve been on low-carb I found that my energy levels have been much higher, never feel tired in the afternoon and it’s really quite a revelation.

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About the video

Recorded in London, May 2018. Published in February 2019.
Interviewer: Kim Gajraj
Camera and sound: Giorgos Chloros
Editing: Harianas Dewang

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