Before and after a year with LCHF

Before and after

Before and after

Here’s yet another complete transformation from eating an LCHF diet. Pär Johansson sent me his story about what a little more than a year on an LCHF diet has done for him:

His E-mail

A weight loss of 55 lbs (25 kg) and still losing. I’ve followed an LCHF diet for a year and a month, and do strength training regularly, but mostly diet and motivation have done it. Let me know if you’re interested in posting on your blog? / Sincerely, Pär

Congrats! Do you want to be featured on the blog with your story and pictures? With or without name?

Sincerely, Andreas

Thank you!

I’d love to be featured on your blog with picture, name and story. After all, it’s thanks to your website that my life turned around and I felt that there was help. When I also read your book The Food Revolution everything changed =), so many thanks and I’m extremely grateful. My whole life has changed!

Here’s my story!

I was overweight as a child, and this has persisted. This is something I’ve always felt very badly about, and it has stayed with me into adulthood. During my teenage years I lost more and more weight. I had constant colds, joint pain, fatigue etc. At age nineteen, after a year of assessment while suffering a generally poorer and poorer general health, doctors found that I’m gluten intolerant. By this time I didn’t feel good at all. All of a sudden I had to adjust to what I should eat and shouldn’t eat. Anyway, I adjusted, but finally the pounds started to pile back on again. And there I was back to being overweight. Food has always been a loaded subject and created anxiety for me. I’ve always fought against prejudices: eat less and move more. In reality, I’ve always had to think about what I eat and have still been overweight.

Finally, a little more than a year ago, despite running all the time and being mindful not to eat too much, smaller portion sizes, following all the conventional dietary guidelines, I was slowly gaining more and more weight. I began to ponder – what’s wrong? It’s not supposed to be like this?! I’m doing all I can, nothing happens..

I started to search online, found the Diet Doctor’s website as I had heard about him through a childhood friend, who advocated this diet. I had previously briefly tried the low-glycemic diet, but didn’t feel that it suited me. At first I just thought this was just one more diet for losing weight, that would fail one more time. But I ended up reading the book the Food Revolution and the Diet Doctor blog, and this was my first eye opener. All dietary advice, all that we’ve always heard, is what’s wrong, and this is how I should eat. My body responded miraculously fast with better mood, weight loss and the most important thing for me: No more agony, no more worries about not being able to enjoy eating without thinking about every pound, no more loaded subject. Sure, I was going to skip sugar and carbohydrates, but the diet was naturally gluten free and the results outweighed needing to stuff myself with pasta, or sugar in general, before exercise. With the results I got, I took one week at a time. Now, a year later, I’m the same size as I was when I was thin from malnutrition due to the gluten intolerance. The difference is that today I have a healthy body, that is only getting healthier and healthier. Finally, I can exercise without thinking it’s because of my weight, but for my health, and enjoy eating a diet that makes feel good. Really good.

A final word. The only fear that comes with this diet is that people still think it’s totally OK to drink coke and eat a lot of sugar, but frowns upon me eating real butter and cream.

Thank you, Diet Doctor!

Sincerely, Pär


LCHF for Beginners

How to Lose Weight

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Do you have a success story you want to share? Send your information, plus before and after photos, to It would also be greatly appreciated if you shared what you eat in a typical day, whether you fast etc. More information:

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  1. ondrej
    Finally, a genuine success story. There is still hope HFLCers.

    This is what I'm talking about. Congratulations, Pär Johansson. You and Micke are the real success stories. I hope I see more like you guys.

  2. daniel Ferreira
    This is really good progress! looking solid, and muscular, this is inspiring me to post my story on LCHF as well!
  3. tz
    I'm a success story, but it started with when the host, Leo Laporte went on a Low Carb diet, following Paul Thurotte, along with two other hosts, Steve Gibson and Randal Schwartz.

    Everyone I knew who went on LCHF lost and stayed slim, so after going over 255 pounds, I decided to try it. Except for some hard fasts, I never went even near 240 and never kept that low. I was under 240 in under a month, and am now going around 230, and am making an effort to go lower. I've never been a big sugar eater, but starches were my downfall. A few things remain, mainly beer. What can you drink?

    Replies: #5, #7
  4. Daw
    I have been low carbing for 2 years, I have no choice I'm diabetic, But I haven't lost one pound, not even an ounce. But its nice to hear it works for some people.
    Reply: #6
  5. paulc
    " A few things remain, mainly beer. What can you drink?"

    spirits and carbonated water or diet mixers, avoid liquers like the plague as they're stuffed with unlabelled sugars...

    Dry wine is OK as well...

  6. BR
    Daw, just curious what's your daily carb intake? And how did your t2d respond to lchf?


  7. murray
    Tz, it is good, in my view, to approach in stages. But I just read that the maltose in beer has an extremely high glycemic index, reported at 110. So you may want to manage the timing and quantity of beer. Muscles become more insulin sensitive after a heavy load workout, so if one has a yen for beer, that would likely be the least damaging time to have it, as the muscles will help moderate the blood sugar response.
  8. eddy
    I am not a vegetarian however they are just as successful in posting their weight loss photos and stories of how they did it.

    Replies: #11, #13, #14
  9. eddy
    You need to scroll your cursor horizontally across to gather up the dozens of photos posted here

    Just after her wedding in 2009, when she weighed 338 pounds and became determined to lose much of it, photographer Julia Kozerski embarked on a new art project. She took photos of herself in department-store dressing rooms, documenting her body's transformation as she lost what would end up being 160 pounds.

    Scroll through the series, "Changing Room," on Kozerski's website, and you'll find, at first, pretty much exactly what you might expect: full-length selfies, with Kozerski's lovely smile growing larger as her body grows smaller. It seems like a fun, empowering project: Kozerski, 29, is fond of animal prints and platform pumps that draw attention to a unicorn tattoo near her left ankle. You could literally chart the development of her confidence by the height of her hemlines.

    About two-thirds of the way through the series, though, two unexpected images creep in: extreme close-ups on Kozerski's face, devastated, tear-stained. They're jarring: What happened to the smiling, excited woman in heels?

    A possible answer lies in another set of self-portraits Kozerski took inspired by her weight loss. Called "Half," it is a series of nudes with a much more sober, even confrontational tone: These photos highlight Kozerski's stretch marks, loose skin, stretched navel, sagging breasts. She looks, unsmiling, down at her body, or out into the distance.

    "I kind of put it out there, in the world, to be like, 'Fuck you – this is real, this is what you need to see,'" Kozerski laughs over the phone from her home in Milwaukee.

  10. FrankG
    Sure eddy... anyone is free to post pictures of their own success stories on whatever site they like.. this blog happens to be devoted to learning about the LCHF approach... so guess what kind of stories get posted here? Did you somehow think it should be any different?

    And your story about Kozerski is supposed to do what? Scare people away from "weight" loss for fear of loose skin and stretch marks?!? Sorry mate... I 'd rather have my health back, any day of the week, than worry about things like that! And I'd hope that as more people recognise the benefits of a real whole food approach, there will be less overweight/obesity in the first place.

  11. Paul the rat
    Ann Oncol. 2013 Oct 22. [Epub ahead of print]

    Associations of bread and pasta with the risk of cancer of the breast and colorectal.

    Augustin LS, Malerba S, Lugo A, Franceschi S, Talamini R, Serraino D, Jenkins DJ, La Vecchia C.
    Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and Clinical Nutrition & Risk Factor Modification Center, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada.
    Carbohydrate foods with high glycemic and insulinemic potential may influence cancer risk possibly through the insulin/growth-factor axis. Two staple carbohydrate foods of the Mediterranean diet, bread and pasta, have different glycemic and insulinemic responses and hence may affect cancer risk differently.
    We studied the association of bread and pasta with breast and colorectal cancer risk using data from two Italian case-control studies. These studies included 2569 women with histologically confirmed breast cancer and 1953 men and women with colorectal cancer. Controls were 2588 and 4154, respectively, admitted to the same hospitals as cases for acute, non-neoplastic conditions. Multivariate odds ratios (ORs) were obtained after allowance for relevant confounding factors.
    The ORs of breast cancer for the highest versus the lowest quintile were 1.28 (95% confidence interval, CI: 1.03-1.58, P-trend = 0.0342) for bread and 1.07 (95% CI: 0.88-1.31, P-trend = 0.7072) for pasta. The association with bread remained virtually unchanged with postmenopause and overweight. The ORs of colorectal cancer in women for the highest versus the lowest quintile were 2.02 (95% CI: 1.46-2.80, P-trend = 0.0002) for bread and 1.37 (95% CI: 1.00-1.88, P-trend = 0.0164) for pasta. The associations remained significant only for bread in strata of menopausal status and in women with overweight. No significant associations were seen in men for either bread or pasta.

    Overall, these two cancer case-control studies showed stronger positive associations with bread than pasta in women, particularly if overweight, suggesting possible hormonal-related mechanisms.

  12. Nate
    Also, read Esme's success story on the vegetarian website. Her tips for success? "Use smaller plates" to trick your brain into eating less. Brush your teeth after you eat so you won't want to eat more later. Chew your food more so you feel more full.

    I've come to realize that the psychological tricks are not sustainable in the log run, because many people do not "overeat" but are instead overinsulinized. I lost weight as a vegan, once upon a time - and then, as a vegan, I went on to gain 100 pounds. For me, the only thing that has taken weight off without mental tricks and heroic force of will is cutting out carbs.

  13. Paul the rat
    Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Nov 15;178(10):1542-9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwt178. Epub 2013 Sep 5.

    Dietary carbohydrates, refined grains, glycemic load, and risk of coronary heart disease in chinese adults.

    Yu D, Shu XO, Li H, Xiang YB, Yang G, Gao YT, Zheng W, Zhang X.
    The potential long-term association between carbohydrate intake and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) remains unclear, especially among populations who habitually have high-carbohydrate diets. We prospectively examined intakes of carbohydrates and staple grains as well as glycemic index and glycemic load in relation to CHD among 117,366 Chinese women and men (40-74 years of age) without history of diabetes, CHD, stroke, or cancer at baseline in Shanghai, China. Diet was assessed using validated food frequency questionnaires. Incident CHD cases were ascertained during follow-ups (in women, the mean was 9.8 years and in men, the mean was 5.4 years) and confirmed by medical records. Carbohydrate intake accounted for 67.5% of the total energy intake in women and 68.5% in men. Seventy percent of total carbohydrates came from white rice and 17% were from refined wheat products. Positive associations between carbohydrate intakess and CHD were found in both sexes (all P for heterogeneity > 0.35). The combined multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios for the lowest to highest quartiles of carbohydrate intake, respectively, were 1.00, 1.38, 2.03, and 2.88 (95% confidence interval: 1.44, 5.78; P for trend = 0.001). The combined hazard ratios comparing the highest quartile with the lowest were 1.80 (95% confidence interval: 1.01, 3.17) for refined grains and 1.87 (95% confidence interval: 1.00, 3.53) for glycemic load (both P for trend = 0.03).

    High carbohydrate intake, mainly from refined grains, is associated with increased CHD risk in Chinese adults.

  14. Paul the rat
    PLoS One. 2013 Aug 7;8(8):e70943. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070943. eCollection 2013.

    Glycemic index, glycemic load and mammographic breast density: the EPIC Florence longitudinal study.

    Masala G, Assedi M, Bendinelli B, Ermini I, Occhini D, Sieri S, Brighenti F, Del Turco MR, Ambrogetti D, Palli D.
    Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology Unit, Cancer Research and Prevention Institute, ISPO, Florence, Italy.
    A few studies have evaluated the association between diet and mammographic breast density (MBD) and results are inconsistent. MBD, a well-recognized risk factor for breast cancer, has been proposed as a marker of cumulative exposure to hormones and growth factors. Diets with a high glycemic index (GI) or glycemic load (GL) may increase breast cancer risk, via an effect on the insulin-like growth factor axis. We have investigated the association between carbohydrate intake, GI, GL and MBD in a prospective study. We identified a large series of women, in the frame of the EPIC-Florence cohort, with a mammogram taken five years after enrolment, when detailed information on dietary and lifestyle habits and anthropometric measurements had been collected. Mammograms have been retrieved (1,668, 83%) and MBD assessed according to Wolfe's classification. We compared women with high MBD (P2+DY Wolfe's categories) with those with low MBD (N1+P1) through logistic models adjusted for age, education, body mass index, menopause, number of children, breast feeding, physical activity, non-alcohol energy, fibers, saturated fat and alcohol. A direct association between GL and high MBD emerged in the highest quintile of intake in comparison with the lowest quintile (OR = 1.73, 95%CI 1.13-2.67, p for trend = 0.048) while no association with glycemic index was evident. These results were confirmed after exclusion of women reporting to be on a diet or affected with diabetes, and when Hormone Replacement Therapy at the date of mammographic examination used to assess MBD was considered. The effect was particularly evident among leaner women, although no interaction was found. A positive association was suggested for increasing simple sugar and total carbohydrates intakes limited to the highest quintiles.

    In this Italian population we observed an association between glycemic load, total and rapidly absorbed carbohydrates and high MBD. These novel results warrant further investigations.

  15. Paul the rat
    And here is the story of this blog eddy:
    PUT-UP, SHUT-UP or go to your vegan buddies - are you trying to make people sick?, why?

    PLoS One. 2013 Jun 5;8(6):e65522. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065522. Print 2013.

    The ketogenic diet and hyperbaric oxygen therapy prolong survival in mice with systemic metastatic cancer.

    Poff AM, Ari C, Seyfried TN, D'Agostino DP.
    Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, United States of America.
    Abnormal cancer metabolism creates a glycolytic-dependency which can be exploited by lowering glucose availability to the tumor. The ketogenic diet (KD) is a low carbohydrate, high fat diet which decreases blood glucose and elevates blood ketones and has been shown to slow cancer progression in animals and humans. Abnormal tumor vasculature creates hypoxic pockets which promote cancer progression and further increase the glycolytic-dependency of cancers. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO₂T) saturates tumors with oxygen, reversing the cancer promoting effects of tumor hypoxia. Since these non-toxic therapies exploit overlapping metabolic deficiencies of cancer, we tested their combined effects on cancer progression in a natural model of metastatic disease.
    We used the firefly luciferase-tagged VM-M3 mouse model of metastatic cancer to compare tumor progression and survival in mice fed standard or KD ad libitum with or without HBO₂T (2.5 ATM absolute, 90 min, 3x/week). Tumor growth was monitored by in vivo bioluminescent imaging.
    KD alone significantly decreased blood glucose, slowed tumor growth, and increased mean survival time by 56.7% in mice with systemic metastatic cancer. While HBO₂T alone did not influence cancer progression, combining the KD with HBO₂T elicited a significant decrease in blood glucose, tumor growth rate, and 77.9% increase in mean survival time compared to controls.

    KD and HBO₂T produce significant anti-cancer effects when combined in a natural model of systemic metastatic cancer. Our evidence suggests that these therapies should be further investigated as potential non-toxic treatments or adjuvant therapies to standard care for patients with systemic metastatic disease.

  16. Paul the rat
    Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Jul 15;19(14):3905-13. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-0287. Epub 2013 Jun 6.

    Ketogenic diets enhance oxidative stress and radio-chemo-therapy responses in lung cancer xenografts.

    Allen BG, Bhatia SK, Buatti JM, Brandt KE, Lindholm KE, Button AM, Szweda LI, Smith BJ, Spitz DR, Fath MA.
    Free Radical and Radiation Biology Program, Department of Radiation Oncology, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.
    Ketogenic diets are high in fat and low in carbohydrates as well as protein which forces cells to rely on lipid oxidation and mitochondrial respiration rather than glycolysis for energy metabolism. Cancer cells (relative to normal cells) are believed to exist in a state of chronic oxidative stress mediated by mitochondrial metabolism. The current study tests the hypothesis that ketogenic diets enhance radio-chemo-therapy responses in lung cancer xenografts by enhancing oxidative stress.
    Mice bearing NCI-H292 and A549 lung cancer xenografts were fed a ketogenic diet (KetoCal 4:1 fats: proteins+carbohydrates) and treated with either conventionally fractionated (1.8-2 Gy) or hypofractionated (6 Gy) radiation as well as conventionally fractionated radiation combined with carboplatin. Mice weights and tumor size were monitored. Tumors were assessed for immunoreactive 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-(4HNE)-modified proteins as a marker of oxidative stress as well as proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and γH2AX as indices of proliferation and DNA damage, respectively.

    The ketogenic diets combined with radiation resulted in slower tumor growth in both NCI-H292 and A549 xenografts (P < 0.05), relative to radiation alone. The ketogenic diet also slowed tumor growth when combined with carboplatin and radiation, relative to control. Tumors from animals fed a ketogenic diet in combination with radiation showed increases in oxidative damage mediated by lipid peroxidation as determined by 4HNE-modified proteins as well as decreased proliferation as assessed by decreased immunoreactive PCNA.

    These results show that a ketogenic diet enhances radio-chemo-therapy responses in lung cancer xenografts by a mechanism that may involve increased oxidative stress.

  17. Paul the rat
    Nutr Cancer. 2013;65(6):843-9. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.804579.

    Decline of lactate in tumor tissue after ketogenic diet: in vivo microdialysis study in patients with head and neck cancer.

    Schroeder U, Himpe B, Pries R, Vonthein R, Nitsch S, Wollenberg B.
    Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Luebeck, Germany.
    In head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) aerobic glycolysis is the key feature for energy supply of the tumor. Quantitative microdialysis (μD) offers an online method to measure parameters of the carbohydrate metabolism in vivo. The aim was to standardize a quantitative μD-study in patients with HNSCC and to prove if a ketogenic diet would differently influence the carbohydrate metabolism of the tumor tissue. Commercially available 100 kDa-CMA71-μD- catheters were implanted in tumor-free and in tumor tissue in patients with HNSCC for simultaneous measurements up to 5 days. The metabolic pattern and circadian rhythm of urea, glucose, lactate, and pyruvate was monitored during 24 h of western diet and subsequent up to 4 days of ketogenic diet. After 3 days of ketogenic diet the mean lactate concentration declines to a greater extent in the tumor tissue than in the tumor-free mucosa, whereas the mean glucose and pyruvate concentrations rise. The in vivo glucose metabolism of the tumor tissue is clearly influenced by nutrition. The decline of mean lactate concentration in the tumor tissue after ketogenic diet supports the hypothesis that HNSCC tumor cells might use lactate as fuel for oxidative glucose metabolism.

  18. Paul the rat
    I repeat my question: why are you trying so hard to make innocent people sick?. Why?
  19. FrankG
    Is it reasonable to read anything into the recent dates on all these studies Paul? Is this a new and exciting era in cancer research... or maybe we should simply stick with the "weight of evidence" from the past?
    Replies: #21, #23
  20. murray
    Wow, Paul, that's quite a rat's nest.
    Reply: #22
  21. Paul the rat
    These are the first spring flowers Frank, I say we need to wait (I do not know how long) for the guardians of old dogmas to give-up. Judging by the new crop of mainstream medical graduates I say it will not happen in our lifetime. As one researcher said to me: "..we publish papers but nobody with a position of public responsibility is reading them or taking any action…"
  22. Paul the rat
    This is a tip of a proverbial ice-berg Murray. Most of the ice-berg is not published due to a deep concerns about the next grant money or wise/not so wise career move.
    Reply: #24
  23. murray
    Frank G, it is a new and exciting era. Dr. Thomas Seyfried has been leading a challenge to the genetic theory of cancer, arguing that Otto Warburg was close to correct attributing mitochondria injury as the ultimate cause of cancer, with genetic changes being a consequence of altered cellular respiration. There were some gaps in the Warburg theory that lead to apparently contradicting data and it was overtaken by the genetic theory of cancer for 40 (rather unsuccessful) years. Seyfried shows glutamine oxidation produces energy in cancer cells (of which Warburg was not aware) and that this accounts for the seeming inconsistency of experiemntal data with the Warburg theory. Based on this approach, Seyfried has worked on calorically restricted ketogenic diet to enhance mitochondria in healthy cells and reduce glucose and glutamine delivery to cancer cells, thereby reducing the cancer cells' energy capacity enough to kill them or at least weakening them so they cannot withstand immune system attack. The results in animal models are very encouraging. There has been growing support for this model but human trials have been impeded trying to get through institutional review boards for approval.
  24. murray
    Alas, Paul. we've seen that all too often regarding low carb generally, in all areas. Too many vested commercial and political interests to allow science to progress in the direction the empirical data leads if it undermines the reliance on cheap carbohydrates to feed the people, and the industry to treat their diseases. I read The Truth in Small Doses: Why We're Losing the War on Cancer-and How to Win It, by Clifton Leaf and it was depressing. Clearly the funding structure actively suppresses research contrary to the dogma and status quo, despite the manifest lack of success.
  25. binhang
    Hi, IBS is one of the most important problems of digesive system. your article is informative.
    This is really good progress! looking solid, and muscular, this is inspiring me to post my story on LCHF as well!

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