Will LCHF work long-term? Say, after four years?

TommyLbs

Does LCHF work long-term? The answer is usually yes – assuming, of course, you really do eat accordingly long-term. Should you return to your previous food habits, you’ll also eventually return to your previous weight – just like with any other diet.

One man who’s kept to a very strict low-carbohydrate diet non-stop for four years is Tommy Runesson. Above is his amazing weight graph. It shows a steep decline of around 200 lbs for 1.5 years, and then a smoother stabilization period approaching normal weight. Today, his weight has been stable for around 2.5 years.

An LCHF diet won’t normally make you underweight, as long as you eat your fill. Instead, it helps most people (but not all) lose their excess weight.

Here is Tommy Runesson’s update after four years: 4 years and -200lbs (Google translated from Swedish)

Does LCHF work long-term for you?

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117 comments

  1. Alan
    I understand the theory behind LCHF eating. I've read Gary Taubes, etc. in great detail. I find the arguments fairly convincing.

    Unfortunately, for me, it hasn't worked. I need to lose 50 pounds or so, but I have lost nothing at all in a year. What could I be doing wrong? What could I do differently?

    Replies: #2, #42
  2. LCFH
    Eat less sugars and carbohydrates, if you do not going down with fat on this diet it means that you still eating sugars and carbohydrates too much. There is no other way. Do some colon cleasings - it should help a little.
  3. Alan
    Thanks. But the sugar and carbohydrate in my diet is already very close to zero. I eat meat, fish, cheese, fats/oils, non-starchy vegetables, eggs. That's about all really. Not much fruit. No sugar. No bread/pasta/rice, etc.
    Replies: #7, #19, #37
  4. Alan
    Colon cleansing seems likely to be snake oil btw
  5. Margaret
    I've been LCHFing for just over a year, and stalled a few months ago after a 46 pound loss (my goal had been 100). Began to regain, realized I was getting sloppy and adding a bit more here, a bit more there.

    In my case (60 year old female) I absolutely need the help of tracking the carb, protein and fat grams. My optimum is 1,051 calories, 40 g carbs, 99 g protein, 55 g fat. Any more than that and weight loss stops, regain begins. Satiation has never been, and may never be, a good guide for my food related behavior.

    Right now I'm taking a low carb break to deal with the 10 pound regain, and to break the bad habits I was getting in to. I'm juicing (plan to do it for 10 days). It's a very difficult approach, but it is giving me the benefit of snapping all of my food related compulsions. Hopefully I'll be much more aware when I go back to the drawing board, and will be so relieved to see fish on my plate that I won't abuse it for a while!

  6. Vince B.
    I've been eating LCHF for a year now and I've maintained my weight. I went from 198lbs to 163lbs and have stayed under 165lbs for months now. I've never looked and felt better!
  7. Margaret
    Alan - It took considerable experimentation to find my weight loss sweet spot.

    Anything dairy, cheese included, may be responded to as insulin. Too much protein may be processed as sugar. I do best when I can get my carbs under 20 g daily; if I go up to 40 g I lose, but very, very slowly. Beef and bacon are weight loss stallers, as are nuts. Fish and sometimes chicken are my best bet. Too much fruit? Even if it is within my daily carb allowance, it can cause a stall.

    I have to weigh and measure everything to make sure I haven't undone my good effort by taking on board too much volume. In my case at least, over eating can still be an issue even on this diet.

    Some of us have tricky metabolisms that like to hold on to every ounce unless treated perfectly. Hope you aren't one.

  8. Buzz
    Alan, I agree with you. I've got 100 pounds to lose and have been doing LCHF for nearly a year. I've lost nothing. I stay around 20g Carbs/day, about 75% fat, and rarely eat more than 100g of protein. Yet I lose nothing. Nothing artificial, real food.

    Have you noticed that the low carb "experts" extoll the virtues of LCHF, put down everything else, but if someone is having a problem with it, they run away. They don't try to help. They take it as their ego has been attacked.

    I went to see a Low Carb expert. After a few months, I still hadn't lost. When I asked his help in trying to figure out why, all he said was this works and I was cheating. I wasn't. He then got on me because I had 1T extra of cream when he only wanted me to have 3 T/day. Yea, like 1T of heavy cream was going to ruin my weight loss. So I cut back and still didn't lose.

    I've even noticed on this site that the Diet Doctor was making a list of 17 things to do to lose weight. The last three would be for those who are having problems. Well, there are only three left in the series and it's been months since he's posted anything. Oh, except to put down anything outside his beliefs.

    I've know people who have lost on LCHF. I've known people who have lost on Low fat, High Carb. I've known people who have lost on vegetarian. And you know what.....each has its own experts stating why their's is right and the rest are wrong.

    I think we just have to find what works for us and ignore anyone who has written a book or runs a diet program. Why? Because if you prove them wrong, they lose a lot possible income. And let's face it, money talks. They like the money and will do anything to protect their theory.

    I'm going to be attacked now by the LCHF cultists but that's okay.

  9. LarryB
    I went from 255 lbs to 185 lbs (126 kg - 84 kg) in about 20 months, and I've been stable with slight weight loss (now 180) over the last 6 months or so.

    At the times I felt myself plateauing, which I did at 220 and 200, I looked closely at what I was doing. At 220 I added in intense exercise three times a week (period - 45 mins of boxing/jump rope with a 15 minute cross-fit style high-intensity workout at the end) and nothing else.

    At 200, I started food logging again and made some small changes. I took out all non-berry fruit and nuts. Now that I'm near my ideal weight and want to add some muscle instead of losing fat, I've been able to add some fruit and nuts back, but not as much as before. (FWIW, a DEXA scan said by body fat percentage was 18% - basically all I want to do now is add about 6 lbs of muscle and lose some of the fat - it's OK if the scale goes up a bit in the process.)

    @Alan - try logging everything (yes, EVERYTHING) you're eating for a few weeks. Weigh it. Use SparkPeople or something similar to track the macro-nutrients. You might be surprised at what you're really eating. If not, you might have some sort of metabolic problem and should talk to your doctor.

  10. Jane
    I absolutely have to restrict calories with LCHF if I want to lose weight. I can eat my fill for maintenance though. My metabolism is very slow. It doesn't matter what people tell me "should be" because I can clearly look at my food journal and see what reality is. I'm okay with that. As long as I know what works and doesn't I can plan accordingly. Unfortunately some people do need to go hungry to lose weight even on LCHF diets.
  11. Alan
    Re: metabolic problems. I have T2 diabetes. Was diagnosed about 2 years ago. However, controlled with metformin and low carb diet. HbA1c figures are now good (although obviously it'll be watched closely by my doctor).

    LCHF has worked for me very well in the past. I lost a lot of weight eating that way about 4 years ago, and without needing to count calories. I ate when I was hungry and I stopped when I was full. And I had lots of energy, was walking to work every day, climbing mountains, etc.

    Something changed...it's not working any more :-(

    Maybe I'm going to have to count calories, which standard low carb orthodoxy suggests ought not to be necessary. I'm actually quite nervous about doing that, for some reason. Makes me feel very apprehensive.

  12. Alan
    HbA1c = 5.8% FWIW
  13. LarryB
    @Buzz - if it doesn't work for you, try something else. All I know is what worked for me, and it wasn't following the diet prescribed by the American Diabetes Association - that's for sure. I did that (60% carbs?!?) and got sicker and fatter. Now I have a better body composition than I did as a teenager, have more stamina, feel better and have *perfect* blood chemistry. Oh, and I'm off all medications with my doctor's blessing. (A1c is 5.3 - a great reading for someone *without* diabetes or metabolic syndrome.)

    Some people may lash out at you. So what? Go forth, try eating differently (maybe some sort of elimination diet might be a good idea) and if nothing works, a visit to an endocrinologist is in order.

  14. Alan
    As an aside, cholesterol of 5.2 (UK units) (which I think is 201 in US units) has caused my doctor to try hard to foist statins on me. Just as I'm not convinced by his dietary advise (based your diet on starchy carbohydrates), I'm not convinced by that either!
  15. LarryB
    @Alan - 200 used to be "normal" cholesterol, now it's 200. Mine is a bit above 220, but my Triglycerides are only 45. That's enough to keep my doctor's Rx pad at bay.
  16. Judith T
    @ Buzz

    Some thoughts (in no particular order), some of which may need a doctor to help :

    Stress
    Sleep
    Allergies
    Keeping active (note, I didn't say pounding the gym)
    Carb creep

    Have you tried food tracking? Could be useful to double check how much you are actually eating compared to what you think you're eating. It could also be useful in identifying troublesome foods you may be have a sensitivity to.

    Food sensitivity testing (see above) - nuts and dairy are popular evils for some.

    Calories - yes I know but there does come a point when too much is too much.

    Have you lost weight with any other weight loss model?

    Maybe check out Jimmy Moore at his Livin La Vida Low Carb site/facebook

    Good luck with whatever you chose and works for you.

  17. Alan
    Sleep is an issue for me. Due to be investigated in hospital shortly. Poor sleep & weight gain seem to be closely correlated (although that doesn't tell us anything about which causes which of course). Suspect I'm getting a bit of apnoea.
  18. Buzz
    @LarryB....I, too, am Type 2 so i'm not going on a high carb diet. What I am doing is logging what I eat, restricting calories, changing my eating habits--more mindful eating--and upping the exercise. I'm going to cut back on some of the fat and increase my low starch veggies. I've already cut out nuts and cheese and may switch from butter to olive oil. The only dairy I have is about 2-3T of cream daily in my coffee.

    @JudithT--I use something called Fitbit that tracks my exercise, food, sleep, etc.
    I'm also starting Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes this week. I need to improve sleep but since I work for myself from home, I can nap when needed. I've lost weight before on Low Fat but wasnt' able to keep it off.

    I'm fed up with Jimmy Moore. At first he praised the Atkins diet. Then he gained weight. Now he praises the ultra high fat diet. But if you listen to what he eats, its not a lot. In fact, it's very low calorie. But when asked he says calories don't matter. He makes his lviing doing this and proving his theory may not be 100% accurate could mean a loss of income.

  19. Jonas A
    Lol nice try Buzz nice try. If it hasnt worked for you just simply quit?

    It certainly helped me and lots of other people. The advantge of LCHF is that the results comes fast. With results I mean both fat loss and health benefits. A couple of days off the carbs and most people have less pain and have lost a lot of weight. Very easy to try. Try it and spread the word about the crappy carbs.

    And to Alan: skip the fruits. They are not good for you.

  20. Buzz
    I should add that I have a bad reaction to high carbs. I feel horrible, lethargic, usually get a terrible headache, and fall asleep very quickly after eating.

    I remember the days before the low fat craze. If you wanted to lose weight, the theory was cut out "bread and potatoes" (sugar and starch.) There was not talk of percentages of micronutrients. Portions were smaller. Maybe it's something as simple as that--no starch, no sugar, smaller portions, move a little more.

  21. Judith T
    @ Buzz

    Could you share with us a typical day's eating for us to critique?

    Water - I read an excellent article/research on why water is so very important for weight loss (it was on the US Atkins forum), I'll see if I can track it down and copy the link (if I don't come back, I can't find it). On that thought, are you using diet soda/artificial sweeteners??

  22. Damocles
    @Alan:

    Try also to reduce your protein consumption.
    Maybe 100g of protein/day is sufficient for your metabolic condition.

    Your main energy supply should then come from (animal) fats.

    Also do moderate weightlifting and some HIIT Training.

  23. Alan
    Yes, I'm tempted to try to push the fat content higher & eat less protein. Ketogenic diet I guess.
  24. LarryB
    Typo above - I meant to say that normal cholesterol used to be 220 or less.

    @Alan - I tried editing my comment above, but I guess I wasn't fast enough. I tried to say that with your A1c, I bet you could eliminate or reduce the Metformin. I did, with my doctor's approval, by agreeing to test my blood 1 and 2 hours after every meal so I could see how well I was clearing the glucose.

    Just getting rid of the Metformin made me feel a lot better, especially w/r/t regularity.

    If you're managing your blood sugar well and your blood lipids are good, you're dealing with 80% of the problem.

  25. Buzz
    @JUdith...I was following Atkins induction......I eat only real food. No artificial anything. No preservatives, no bars, no diet soda. I only shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joes and carefully read labels for any item that has one.

    I'm planning to increase my plain water. I've cut back on caffeine from both coffee and tea.

    A typical day:

    Breakfast: coffee, cream, 2 eggs,3 slices of bacon, butter
    Lunch: 6 ounces of protein, 2 cups of leafy greens, homemade vinaigrette dressing
    Dinner: 6 ounces of protein, 1 cup of cooked vegetables, butter,
    Snack--high fat cold cuts (no preservatives), hard boiled eggs with mayo,

    I used to eat some cheese for a snack but I realized that was stalling me.

    BTW--I check with a blood ketone meter and only once have gone above 0.5 meaning I never really went into ketosis.

  26. Judith T
    @ Buzz - ok, looks like I bit off more than I can low-carb chew re the water article, I can't find the one I want to share with you, sorry!

    re Jimmy - I think he shares my 'current' view of Atkins with all it's processed bars/shakes and now frozen food. Dr Atkins would be spinning in his grave if knew how his name was being taken in the name of profit. However, I did find their free website/forum very, very useful. It was Dr A that got me to finally lose weight and keep it off and for that, I will be eternally grateful. While I don't know the ins and outs of Jimmy's weight gain, he is now having tremendous success upping his fat significantly, think it's about 70lbs in a matter of months - but he'd be the first to tell you that his current method is specific to him.

    Again, good luck in finding out what works for you.

  27. Alan
    @LarryB I've wondered about the metformin before - whether I could manage without it. I seem to tolerate it ok though. I had some stomach cramps for the first month or so that I took it, which I understand is quite common, but they went away after a while. No problems now (other than it being a bit of a pain remembering to take a little pill 3x daily). There's no suggestion that it would inhibit weight loss though, is there?

    It's frustrating. My blood sugar is ok. My total cholesterol (which doesn't mean much anyway) is below the UK average. And my doctor wants to medicate me like mad & then get me eating lots of lovely starchy food again. It's a block I can't get past at the moment. And, on top of that, I just don't like the guy much! I think I may be looking for another doctor soon.

  28. Judith T
    @ Buzz

    Your food intake looks fine to me. If you're still in induction, maybe try heading for OWL, I know it can seem counter intuitive, especially if you're not losing, but it may be worth a try. Sorry I can't suggest more.

  29. Damocles
    BTW:
    A LCHF is not a miracle cure.
    Its main help is to tackle the problem of the current mismatch of macro nutrients in the diet.
    It helps with choosing a better ratio of carbs/protein/fats.

    There can be still other factors (medical/environmental/physiological) keeping you back from your healthy weight.

    -> and a "healthy" long term sustainable weight might not be you dream weight
    as you see on people in Sport magazines.
    It can be well above it. But its a weight that your body can live on healthy for years to come.

  30. Kindke
    For every LCHF success story there is probably also atleast 1 failure.

    "Should you return to your previous food habits, you’ll also eventually return to your previous weight – just like with any other diet."

    I think you should make it clear that re-introducing ANY carbs into the diet, even clean healthy carbs, will result in rapid weight regain if youve lost weight on LCHF. Maybe not for everyone, but the overwhelming majority will easily gain back alot of fat just simply adding potato to their diet.

    Reply: #31
  31. FrankG
    "For every LCHF success story there is probably also at least 1 failure"

    I accept that not everyone meets their hoped-for goals but on what basis do you suggest it is such an high failure rate? A straw poll of internet blog posts? How does this compare to other "weight loss" diet success rates?

    I also wonder how you define "success"... as Alan describes above: he may not be losing the weight (excess fat mass) as he had hoped, but in controlling his Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Disorder and (I daresay) significantly reducing his risk of long term complications; leading to a slow painful, early death (same direction I way heading prior to LCHF 5+ years ago), he is probably way ahead of the game.. especially if compared to those who are following the establishment advice in the UK? So is that a "failure"?

  32. FrankG
    I guess I was one of the lucky ones in that I have lost significant excess fat mass (and gained some muscle along the way) but realistically I don't ever expect to see my lean 20-something body looking back at me from the mirror. Meantime I am so much better and healthier in so many other ways that my current weight is a non-issue. I am no longer constantly hungry or tired -- that alone was worth the price of admission.

    And Buzz I don't see anyone ignoring or dismissing you here. Why so negative about this place? If it is unhelpful here, then why keep coming back? You are welcome here but it doesn't seem to be good for you.

    Alan, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a biggie, or at least it was for me: in terms of worsening all the symptoms of Metabolic Disorder... including increased hunger and lethargy. If you can get to a sleep clinic and look into ways to combat this, it can be life-changing

  33. ToshaM
    I wonder not to be off subject, but if anyone tried a different approach that always been shown as a bad idea to only eat certan foods etc..

    Like if the raw fruit people say that you can eat unlimited fruit and get only thinner and healthier, through out the years..

    this is like eat low carb and get the same results

    so is this saying that the only true weight causing issue be having to go with the typical pyramid that they show as what we need to eat with carbs +fats+ proteins together causing for the bad issues we have now..

    so if we ate lets say everything SEPERATE.. Like fat only or protein only or carbs only would that mean its possble to never gain weight

  34. Owen
    Its worked wonders for me since switching to natural carbs / paleo eating since November last year. I'm now down to a level weight which is healthy for me. I'd still like to get a little bit leaner, and I know that will only come from training, and thats ok - I'd be worried if I was underweight - that would bring problems of its own, so my body has erred on the side of caution and kept a little fat!
  35. Welldun
    Alan,

    I've been lchf pretty hardcore for about two years now (since I discovered I'm type 2 diabetic.) I've been stuck fighting 20 ish pounds since the first of this year due to being on corticosteroids three times between last November and February, 2013. So frustrating.

    I've tried pretty much every trick I knew and then some then an idea came: intermittent fasting. In my case it has kickstarted weight loss (and hopefully the steroid effect has finally stopped.) There is info on this site about it, on Peter Attia's site, also on Mark's Daily Apple and Dr. Eades blog.

    Start with skipping a meal, it can be very basic. I like what Dr. Attia said...he eats when he's hungry, if he's not hungry he doesn't eat.

    In my case I normally eat once a day and I try to eat no carbs at all.

    It can be done, good luck!

  36. Chris Bennett
    I have being doing low carb on and off since the beginning of this year. I read alot of low carb blogs but also read some of the skeptical material which people post links to. I think alot of so called scientific studies have problems with them as with nutrition there are so many variables and it is hard to prove anything. Basically I find it hard to find the science pointing conclusively in either direction so I base my opinions more on my experiences.
    After alot of on and off low carb I always go back to low because some of the health benefits appear within days steady energy levels, better digestion, better skin and no headaches. A couple of weeks ago I had allowed too many carbs to slowly slip back into my diet and it was not until I went strictly low carb for a week( under 30grams a day ) that I realised how bad I had been feeling.
    For me it is about how I feel not weight as I have always been skinny. Some may think that makes me lucky but skinny fat comes with a whole lot of problems one of them being people feeling they can be openly critical of you for going on a diet even though it improves how you feel and alot of other problems.
    After describing all the benefits I get I thought I would say why I sometimes go back to old habits. My main problem is I start feeling so much better I think my body can handle it, I forget how bad I use to feel, the supermarkets filled with 90% high carb rubbish and the people around me saying I am too skinny to be on a diet.
    All I need to do now is convince half the world low carb is the way to go and half those problems will dissappear.
    Reply: #38
  37. sten
    If you want to be really sure that you eat low carb :

    1/ Don't buy any foods with labels. Just buy traditional raw materials like meat, fish, vegetables, butter,...
    1a/ Do not replace carbs with protein, only with fats. Best is butter and fats from beef and lamb.
    Pig fat is on the border as it is less saturated (more omega-6) than the other fats which means it is going rancid (oxidizes) earlier. (The most probable reason Jews and Muslims ban pork is because it got rancid too soon in warm climates. Such dry meat is no good in an era without fridges. They may have realized that same oxidation takes place inside the body... Pig fat contains less saturated and monounsaturated fats than fats from beef and lamb.

    2/ Get a blood sugar meter. Weight gain - especially bad weight gain which includes visceral fat comes from whatever creates blood sugar spikes. High an long enough spikes form triglycerides and liver fat and visceral fat in that order, the higher and longer the spikes, the more. This drives insulin and insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome etc. which gets worse with more spikes and now kill too many too long before being ready to leave this place.

    Dr William Davies recommends to measure blood sugar (BS) 1 hour after meal and quit foods that tends to bring BS over 105 (approx. 6) one hour only(!) after meals. William Davies wrote "Wheat Belly" and has a website on how to reverse arterial plaque, the stuff that usually builds up in our blood vessels and causes heart disease on standard American, Swedish,... Western diet.
    3/ Combine the LCHF once you know it is not raising BS with 2:5 fast or 16: 8 fast and some intensive interval exercise. This speeds up both weight loss and loss of visceral fat which usually is the cause of no weight loss causing insulin resistance mediated high insulin which stalls fat burning.

    Good Luck and write back on progress!

  38. sten
    Check the real culprit before you switch "Next time": Visceral fat.(VF) Waist measure will show
    VF even on "skinny fat" I understand. If it doesnt agree with the norms ( less than 94 for men..),
    get ONE CT scan for it and you should know your own targets.
  39. LarryB
    @sten - actually, a DEXA scan is a much better choice than a CT scan. Here's a sample of what it can show you http://washington-institute.com/dxa-dexa-scan-body-composition-fat-te... and here's a sample scan: http://www.180nutrition.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Dexa_scan1.png
    Reply: #44
  40. Peggy Holloway
    I have been low-carb for 14 years not so much to lose weight but to maintain weight and prevent the Type II diabetes that plagues my family and eliminate all the gastro-intestinal and mood disorders I have when I eat carbs. Over the years, I continually "tweak" my diet. Being a 60 year-old female means I'm dealing with the hormone issues of being post-menopausal.
    The last two years, I have cut protein and raised fat consumption. I would suggest to Allen that he may be eating too much protein. We (my partner who has no issues with metabolic syndrome but has more trouble controlling weight at age 71 than he used to and also is impressed with the improvement in athletic performance he experiences in ketosis) have started throwing out the egg yolks. I am also a believer in IF which is easy to do in ketosis. I have coffee with some cream early morning and when possible, mostly in the summer, bike for several hours, then have brunch of 2 egg yolks cooked in butter and a piece of sliced side pork (avoiding cured bacon). I don't eat again until dinner which is usually 4 ounces of a fatty cut of meat or chicken, a salad with sour cream, and grilled or steamed veggies with olive oil. I am rarely hungry and have amazing energy for my cycling. I am at a very healthy weight for my age and low body fat - my cycling has given me really muscular legs and a very trim midriff. Most people are shocked to hear that I am 60. Most of my family follows some sort of low-carb/paleo lifestyle (don't like to call it a diet) with great success. My thin-as-a-rail son is experimenting all the time for the optimal nutrition plan to deal with serious energy/mood swings (ADHD) and is right now upping fat and cutting protein. Anyway,for all of us, low-carb is the only thing that works and we are more concerned about general health and well-being than weight, although my daughter has managed to keep off a 100+pounds weight loss with a careful carb/paleo diet.
  41. bill
    Peggy H said:

    "have started throwing out the egg yolks"

    Please tell me that was a typo! I'd take all
    the yolks you want to throw out. Did you
    really mean you throw out the "whites"?

  42. alice
    hi
    about the LCHF slow or no weight loss...
    I am LCHF and i do love the fat. I lost 50 pounds last year. I am continueing to loose very slowly. 196 down to present 144!
    The point is fat has calories and you can eat too much fat in the weight loss period of LCHF dieting.
    If i eat 1400 calories a day of fat or 70 percent and have 10 percent carbs and 20 persent protien I may be producing and living off ketones but am maintaining or gaining wieght if i do not use 2000 calories.
    Ketogenic or LCHF is a way of eating. Loosing wieght without being hungry can be accomplished on the LC diet but you may need to cut back on the amount of fat in your diet to reduce. You can increase the fat on the maintenece side of LCHP eating.
    This I believe
    I do love fat
  43. Kindke
    @FrankG

    damn!

    ok yes my failure rate comment is just pure speculation/guessing. However bear in mind the statistic for people who regain lost weight is 85-95% . Not that I blame anyone. But the point is there is this false notion that diet alone can completely control your weight.

    And I define failure as not reaching and/or maintaining your target weight. Which is what the vast majority of people are attempting to achieve when they go on a "diet"

    Reply: #45
  44. sten
    Hi Larry, I was wrong about CT-scan to check visceral fat. It should be MRI scan!
    I also checked your link to DEXA scan and it looks very good but there are no results
    showing break down of fat in subcutaneous and visceral fats.
    Here a link with pictures showing the fats in color before and after body fat loss, from a processed(?) MRI scan.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1258185/The-toxic-fat-stran...

  45. FrankG
    OK Kindke :-P

    I guess I am a little sensitive to what seems like negativity towards an LCHF approach. I am convinced that at least some degree of lowered carbs (especially sugar and refined starches) is good for all of us. Perhaps I am concerned that negativity smacks of favouring the status quo; which I do not think is good for any of us... except big business.

    So long as we are defining "failure" only in terms of "weight" (or excess fat mass as I prefer to say) then you may be right about the numbers... I don't really know and until LCHF has gone mainstream, we may never have the statistics. It may be similar to the "normal cholesterol" levels which are based on a population living high on sugar and refined starches... are those same levels meaningful or relevant for us on long term LCHF or ketogenic diets?

    I do however question the "weight regain" statistics, in light of my own experience, along with that of others who have commented here and other blogs. Yes I can relate to many decades of adding to that high percentage by losing a bit with immense struggle and then regaining it all easily (and then some). But so far as I am concerned that vicious and damaging cycle stopped for me 5+ years ago. Yes I am not completely back to my lean 20-something size but I am at a much healthier weight that I have been in decades and I see no reason not to maintain this for what I hope is a much longer and healthier life.

    For me LCHF has so many other benefits that I almost view the normalisation of fat mass as a "side effect" and not the overall goal of at least partially correcting the metabolic disorder; which, so far as I am concerned, was caused by the SAD.

    I say "at least partially correcting" because for some (I include myself here) there is already permanent damage that may not ever be reversed. To which end I urge physicians to consider that saying Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic progressive disease does not just imply the inevitable decline which usually accompanies the strict adherence to the establishment advice BUT might also be taken as an "heads up" to diagnose earlier and in doing so, potentially head off some of the irreversible complications.

    Incidentally I do appreciate the common meaning of "diet" as associated with "weight loss" but when I use the term, I am being strictly technical as in the definition of "what I eat". I think we would be better served by a more precise use of these terms; such as recognising that we are not really seeking "weight" loss (I could cut off my leg if that were the aim) but rather a reduction of excess fat mass (which could even come with increased muscle mass and a net weight gain). How many "diet" intervention studies focus only on "weight" loss without looking at the actual changes in body tissues? How many lose muscle mass during across the board calorie-restriction, for example?

    All in all, when I realise how I feel, how I look, and how all my measured "risk factors" are that much lower, then I count myself as a "success" :-)

    Replies: #47, #50
  46. Patrick Narkinsky
    I lost well over 100 lbs (45 kg or so) on a LCHF diet a few years ago. I am the "classic" patient who benefits from low carbs -- very sugar addicted, diabetic (or I was), etc. And there were also several points where I stalled.

    So, let me share my wisdom on this one, if it is wisdom: calories do count. I am convinced that the Low Carb diet works primarily by offering a relatively painless way to reduce total calorie intake. If there is any "metabolic advantage", it is quite small. The thing is that many people can loose weight just by reducing carbs and eating as much as they like, but most of us will need to reduce the total amount of food eaten as well. This is especially true as we start to adapt tot he diet.

    Last, I'd point out the importance of drinking plenty of water, and getting at least some exercise. Either one of these, if neglected, will stall your weight loss.

  47. FrankG
    Just to add Kindke that I didn't mean to suggest that your comment was negative but that it might be read it that way :-)

    I expect that you were more likely simply trying to inject an honest dose of reality and I agree with you that at times, LCHF has been over-hyped by some (too often "haters" trying to create an ad absurdum situation) and I can see how some might expect it be a panacea... which it is not.

    For me it has been far easier to stick at that any other "diet" I have tried (and there were many before, believe me!) but it has not all been plain sailing and I've had my share of stalls, social and even financial pressures to go another way.

    I daresay that as a 50-something male who has already fulfilled his genetic imperative, that I may be more laid back, philosophical and realistic about my appearance than some others. Plus having a seriously life-threatening chronic disease like Metabolic Disorder with Type 2 Diabetes (and make no mistake it will end you early, in a brutal and unpleasant way if you do not take it seriously) is a great incentive to stick at what has made me healthier.

    Now it is my way of life and other than on blogs like this I rarely even give it a thought.

    My own route into LCHF was not through reading a "diet" book but rather Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories after which I realised for myself that I need to cut out carbohydrates (almost entirely at first). It was only later that I read actual "diet" books like Atkins and was frankly not so impressed.

    All of which is to say that for anyone who feels cheated, or that they are not getting what was "advertised on the box" I would say you probably need to re-examine your expectations. I don't see people like Dr Andreas here profiteering or even financially profiting from this approach -- heck his book isn't even available in English yet! All of the advice offered here is freely available. There is no set plan... there is plenty on offer but you might need to find your own way.

  48. @lowcarb_zealot
    Buzz:

    > A typical day:
    > Breakfast: coffee, cream, 2 eggs,3 slices of bacon, butter
    > Lunch: 6 ounces of protein, 2 cups of leafy greens, homemade vinaigrette dressing
    > Dinner: 6 ounces of protein, 1 cup of cooked vegetables, butter,
    > Snack--high fat cold cuts (no preservatives), hard boiled eggs with mayo.

    A VERY rough estimate from this:

    12 oz (350 g) protein x 4 kcal/g = 1,400 kcal
    3 slices of bacon x 60 kcal/slice = 240 kcal
    2 eggs x 150 kcal/egg = 300 kcal
    3 tbs heavy cream x 50 kcal/tbs = 150 kcal

    Total: 2090 kcal.

    This does not include the butter, home-made vinaigrette, and snack of cold-cuts, hard boiled eggs, and mayo.

    Reply: #49
  49. Buzz
    @lowcarb_zealot

    Your calculations are way off.

    12 oz of protein is not pure protein. When I say six ounces of protein I'm saying like 6 oz of steak, 6 oz of fish, 6 oz of chicken with skin--a mixture or protein, fat and water.

    I keep actual protein to around 100g/day--(400 calories)

    The bacon I use is 60 calories for 3 slices (Wellshire Farms pre-cooked--uncured, no preservatives.)

    I use large eggs which are 70 calories each not 150.

    My total calories, including everything, is usually around 1800-2000 calories a day. I weigh and measure everything as well as keep a log online that figures all this out for me.

  50. sten
    Hi Frank, you wrote above: ".....I say "at least partially correcting" because for some (I include myself here) there is already permanent damage that may not ever be reversed. To which end I urge physicians to consider that saying Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic progressive disease does not just imply the inevitable decline which usually accompanies the strict adherence to the establishment advice BUT might also be taken as an "heads up" to diagnose earlier and in doing so, potentially head off some of the irreversible complications...."

    I take it you mean that "progressive" can be taken out as progression stops once a proper low carb diet is switched to ?
    It is of course wise to switch away from damaging too-high-carb diet before progressive insulin resistance thanks to high carb intake and insulin dosing hasn't ruined the system totally beyond repair. That is how diabetes was treated all the time before new "advice" came in the 1960's.

    But there may also be another way it looks now: Recent UK trials by a professor in Newcastle showed that when visceral fat surrounding the pancreas was reduced with 25% normal blood sugar control was RESTORED ! The pancreas was CT or MRI scanned before and after treatment which gave the reduction to be around 25% !

    Pancreas is said to set our weight by dosing insulin and glucagon. Too much insulin and we get insulin resistant and gain weight and with too little insulin we get skinny and possibly DB-1. Too little glucagon and we often get dizzy from low blood sugar and with too much glucagon blood sugar easily becomes too high, especially in mornings which triggers higher insulin values and longer term insulin resistance, which can progress slowly also on a low carb diet !!
    The two controls out of control can easily be working against each other ( if the set points come too close for instance) which results in instead of controlling the blood sugar and the weight which often results in fat storage instead of usage.
    We also know that DB-2's gain weight from the added external insulin and DB- 1's can die from cell starvation without insulin.

    In Newcastle they recently put subjects on intermittent fasting, like 23 hours with only a pint of suspended greens and unlimited water, followed by only one meal per day to avoid starvation (with all the unwanted side effects this has). The measurable immediate result via scans was substantial visceral fat loss in only 10 days, 25%. A simple waist measure correlates according to several studies very good and better than most other measures with actual visceral fat deposits.
    I am now 11 days in trying out this as I had reached weight stagnation and often measured high blood sugar in the mornings. My waist measure has dropped from 108 cm to 102 cm in this short time and my initial waist target is 94cm, which happens to be 25% less waist fat of which mostly should be bad visceral fat.
    I hope to post post more interesting results later!

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