“You have literally saved my life”

Before and after

               Before and after

Here’s an impressive life transformation story, from Gareth Hicks:

The Email

Hej Andreas!

Thanks for such an inspirational site! I was informed by my doctor at the end of 2012 that I needed to make some significant changes to my life – as I was nearly 44 lbs (20kg) overweight – and had a very poor fasting lipid profile. This coupled with high blood pressure (routinely 160/120) and little exercise, I was classified as a 15% daily risk of heart attack – and was racing towards CVD. As someone with a history of family heart disease, I knew I needed to do something different! As of tomorrow, 19th Feb, I will have been living a Low Carb High Fat lifestyle for one year. I have lost (and easily kept off) 35 lbs (16 kg) so far – by living on real food – with lots of fats added to make it extra tasty.

I have completely removed pasta, most bread (I occasionally use unleavened bread with curry), have almost completely removed sugar – and live on a diet that is mostly curry, cauli-rice and fresh vegetables washed down with a glass of extra dry cava. I have inspired lots of people in the UK to adopt a lchf lifestyle, based on you – and your website – and am currently helping about 20 people on a one-to-one basis, as well as several others via Facebook.

I’m a follower on twitter and Facebook – as well as the original DietDoctor.com website – and have created my own interpretation based on what I have learned from you – @curryandcava, www.curryandcava.com (still being developed) and on Facebook – curryandcava.com ;)  Many people in the UK are desperate for this type of information – so please keep it coming – and I will keep sharing it !! Please also feel free to have a look at the pages and feedback anything you’d like to highlight!

I have done extensive research into blood chemistry, diet and exercise as part of my reading from your site – and enclose four pictures – for you to see the difference.  Sadly, it didn’t cross my mind to do a ‘before’ photo – as I honestly didn’t expect such amazing results in such a short space of time so I have added three photos from around the time I started. It took about 6 weeks for my body to switch to using fat as the primary energy source, but once it had done so, I lost 2 lbs (1 kg) every week for the next few months before plateauing at just over 168 lbs (76 kg). I now can fluctuate between 164 lbs (74 kg) – through to 170 lbs (77 kg) – over the course of a month.  I feel well, energised all the time – despite normally only eating twice per day, I’m much happier – and feel much better – than any time in the last 20 years.

My overall stats to date include a notable reduction in Total Cholesterol down from 267 mg/dl (6.9 mmol/l) down to 162 mg/dl (4.2 mmol/l) – and an improvement in triglycerides from 478 mg/dl (5.4 mmol/l) down to 97 mg/dl (1.1 mmol/l)

My weight is down from 200 lbs (91 kg) to 166 lbs (75 kg).

My blood pressure down from 160/120 (for the last 5 years!) to 120/80 (consistently for the last 6 months).

My doctor was sceptical at the start – and having seen the results first hand – has asked me to send them the link.  My heart attack ‘risk’ has dropped from 15% to under 3% – and I will be continuing to find ways to refine my health by adding some additional exercise.

Thank you so much; I would never had undertaken so much research – nor done so well – if it had not been for your site! You have literally saved my life – and I’m very grateful!!

Very best wishes,

Gareth Hicks

Congratulations, Gareth! Well done.

Check out Gareth Hicks’ resources here: CurryandCava.com / CurryandCava on Facebook


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 success@dietdoctor.com. 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. MichiD
    Iam one of the lucky ones Gareth has helped to get started via facebook and i have lost 6 pounds in the last 4 weeks..... a big thank you to Gareth and also this website for letting me know about this super new way of eating and losing weight :)
  2. Mark
    Well done Gareth! I too have reduced from 92kg in Nov 2012 to around 73kg now. The first 8kg was on a 5:2 diet, which was quite slow, but the real changes in feeling well happened after switching to LCHF. I've not had my cholesterol checked yet, but I have a 3yrly Well Man clinic in the next month or two. Your figures inspire confidence!
  3. 1 comment removed
  4. Guy
    Blimey, Gareth, we better get the web site finished!
  5. Kristin
    Hi Dawn, can I recommend a book to you which is greatly helping me currently, it's called Digestive Health with Real Food by Aglaee Jacob. The book is still Keto, but it addresses digestive issues and talks you through an elimination diet to help you work out foods you personally have intolerances to. For instance, some people have problems with eggs, dairy, fodmaps, fructans etc, sometimes we don't have enough stomach acid, there could be parasite or GI infections. Personally, I have lost a lot of weight over a few years, first by giving up sugar, then by increasing fat, reducing carbs and gluten etc, I averaged 2 kg weight loss for about a year and then plateaued a lot. Over 2.5 years I lost 30 kg, and still have a good 20 or 30 to lose, but the past few years, I'd go months losing nothing. I tried intermittent fasting, lose 2kg then stop. Tried strict LCHF, lose2 kg then stop, frustrating. I've been on elimination phase from this book, and so far have lost around 4 kg in past month. I'm still sorting out some digestive issues before I move onto reintroduction phase, currently getting tested for parasites or GI infection, but feel really good and people are noticing.
  6. Dawn
    Thanks Kristin, will definitely have a look at what you suggest. I've done what you've done with zero results, you get desperate. Especially as I'm now diabetic and have no choice but to cut out carbs. Thanks again
    Reply: #7
  7. Frances
    Hi Dawn. May I also ask if you are consuming caffeine at all? If you are, it may be wise to consider it's impact. Here are 2 examples of such: In the case of my friend (learning to manage T2DM with HFLC with daily moderate exercise, daily carb intake 30 grams) we experimented to discover that caffeine significantly interfered with the entire process of insulin sensitivity and weight shedding. Removing caffeine intake increased his rate of burning stored fat (from exercise) as well as making better gains on lowering his blood glucose levels (from diet). The difference is significant. In my own case (recovering from metabolic syndrome, shed 16 kgs on HFLC with daily interval training, intake of 50g carb daily) whenever I re-introduce even the slightest amount of caffeine my progress halts and I plateau... regardless of the amount of intense exercise I perform, regardless of diet. Caffeine impedes ketosis. As soon as I remove caffeine from the equation I shed weight again. The same occurs with my T2DM friend, as well as my weight-loss clients (I am a Kinesiologist). If you have access to a qualified PKP Kinesilogist with WMFK training it is straightforward to determine precisely (1) what is impeding your progress and (2) what is needed to be introduced/eliminated to address the issue/s... that are specific to you.
    Reply: #9
  8. Stefan
    Alzheimers = diabetes type 3?

    interesting speak to congress today:

  9. murray
    Dr. Thomas Seyfried in his book Cancer as a Metabolic Disease reports that his grad students fasted and all but one got into full ketosis. The person who didn't drank a lot of caffeinated coffee and this was seen as the reason.

    Do you perceive the same effect from 100% low-processed chocolate or cacao beans, which have fairly strong (for me) theobromine effect. Theobromine is an alkaloid related to caffeine, so chocolate might have a similar effect on ketosis.

    Reply: #11
  10. Susie
    Well done Gareth on your success and keep getting the message across to everyone that LCHF really really does work! Well done dietdoctor for keeping us all informed and educated.
    I have lost two stones and 6" all round. Last May was 10st, am now 8st. Cholesterol last Feb was 7.2 and very high. Have enjoyed fantastic health and found low carb life changing and easy.
    Have just returned from doctors surgery to request duplicate blood tests to see how results have changed. Told him the weight I had lost and how fabulous I was now feeling all due to low carb ketogenic diet, and he had no interest whatsoever! Blood tests in two weeks, should be interesting...
  11. Galina L.
    I never found any troubles to go into ketosis drinking coffee or tea. My daily dose is one cup of coffee on the morning, 2 - 3 cups of tea. Sometimes I have two coffees with a heavy cream if I am in a fat fast.
    Reply: #13
  12. Zepp
    I regard coffe as brown water.. and as a swede, how is the country that drinks seconde moste coffe in the world.. we dont see any bad effect.

    I think this fuzz about caffeine is a american thing.. we got visitors frome USA and they only drank caffeindepletetd coffe.. its for a swede to inhale oxygen free air!

    And on top of that.. I read that if one drink enough coffe one dont get diabetes that easy?

    But ofcourse.. noboby need caffein.. and its probably more about if one like it or not.

  13. murray
    Do you measure your ketones? In other words, how sure are you that it does not affect your ketones? There is something about caffeine that affects blood sugar management, so it is plausible that it could stimulate insulin in some situations and insulin is generally an antagonist to ketone production.

    I don't drink caffeinated drinks as they hyper-stimulate me, make me feel off and I can't sleep at night. My mother, on the other hand, wears out a coffee maker every six months.

    Reply: #15
  14. Zepp
    "Acute administration of caffeine impaired postprandial glucose metabolism in these diabetic patients. In contrast to nondiabetic subjects (3–5), our subjects demonstrated exaggerations of both glucose and insulin responses when caffeine was ingested with carbohydrates. Such effects could have implications for the clinical management of type 2 diabetes."


    I say.. ditch the carbs instead!

    But there are different outcomes in different experiments!

    "Caffeine and blood sugar levels

    Caffeine has been shown to impair insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes, indicating that coffee may see higher blood glucose levels.

    However, a regular high caffeine intake has been linked with improved insulin sensitivity. [20]

    Benefits of coffee

    Coffee has been shown to offer the following health benefits:

    Lowering risk of developing type 2 diabetes
    Lower risk of developing cancers
    Reduction of cardiovascular disease
    Reduction of strokes!


  15. Galina L.
    I never noticed drinking caffeinated tea or coffee interfered with my ability to be in ketosis when I measured it with urine sticks. Ketosis is more of a migraine prevention tool in my case.
  16. KittyAtlanta
    Gareth, congrats!!! You're such a cutie...

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