Resolving to diet in 2012

The first week of January is the traditional time for overweight people to start a diet.  For years I’ve told my patients (and anyone else who would listen) to fight the holiday eat-a-thon and start the new year at the same weight they started the month of November.  During the time between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, so the media typically reports, the average weight gain is anywhere from five to ten pounds per person.  A study in Nutrition Reviews showed the weight gain to be much less on average but a little over five pounds in those who are already obese.  This same study confirms a belief I’ve had for many years.

The best and easiest way to stay slim is to never become obese in the first place.

What I mean by making this seemingly obvious statement is that when a person goes from being normal weight to being overweight it is an indication that something metabolically has gotten broken.  At this point, no one knows for sure what gets broken, but many (and I count myself in this ever growing group) believe the damage occurs in the mitochondria, the organelles within the cells that are the energy furnaces.  Once whatever it is that gets broken breaks, it is difficult from that point on to lose weight and maintain weight loss without effort.

The study I mentioned above showed that the non-obese didn’t really gain anything over the Thanksgiving through New Year’s holidays, and I’m sure it’s not because they didn’t go face down in the fudge.  They didn’t gain because their metabolic systems were working properly.

MD and I both had our struggles with excess weight starting a few of decades ago.  We were both thin, both ate whatever we wanted, and both never gained weight.  Until, that is, our metabolic systems became damaged.  Once that happened, we ballooned, then lost, then have fought it since.  We both have kept our weight under control for years now with a few exceptions here and there by judiciously following a low-carbohydrate diet.  Since we’ve both stayed pretty much in the normal weight range for at least the last several years, we decided to try an experiment over the holidays.  And not over the entire Thanksgiving to New Year’s stretch but for a fairly short stretch between Dec. 20-Jan 2.  We had planned to make a multi-state trek to visit relatives over this period, so we decided that while we were traveling, we were going to eat like normal Americans just to see what would happen.

We didn’t go out of our way to overindulge in anything.  We had a maybe two hamburgers with the bun and had two or three orders of fries (I’m talking about during this entire period – not every day).  We had a Christmas cookie or two, downed several pieces of fudge, drank a bunch of eggnog, ate some fruitcake, and had a couple of bowls of ice cream.  And MD had a little more wine than usual while I probably doubled up on my Jameson.  Other than those indulgences we ate what would be considered sensibly by most people.  We ate some mashed potatoes, grits (we were in the South), beans (not the green bean variety), more fruit than usual and meat of one sort or another.  Pictured below is my plate (which I doubled down on) on New Year’s day.

As you can see, I ate ham, cheese grits, black-eyed peas, curried fruit, and corn bread.

The point of this exercise was to see what would happen to us if we followed a sort of modified typical American diet.  We avoided trans fats and vegetable oils as much as we could and had absolutely no soft drinks.  We had no breakfast cereals of any kind and took it easy on the wheat, but we did eat a little bread occasionally.  Except for the bits of fudge and other Christmas goodies we consumed – all of which were homemade using butter and/or lard as the fat source – we didn’t really go overboard on the sweets.  Our fructose intake was doubtless considerable less than that the average American, especially during that time of year.

So what happened to us during this couple of weeks of much better than average typical American dieting?

We gained weight!  And a fair amount of it.

I don’t know exactly how much we each gained because neither of us ever weighs – we go more by how our clothing fits.  (We didn’t plan on starting this little experiment before we left or we probably would have weighed.  We started it once we were already on the road.)  When I left on the plane, I wore a freshly laundered pair of jeans that fit loosely around my waist and that scrunched up a bit when I tightened my belt.  When we flew home, I wore the same pair of jeans (also freshly laundered), and they were tight around my waist and my belly actually spilled over a little.  MD had the same experience except her weight distribution was a little different.

If I had to guess, I would say we both gained somewhere around five or six pounds.  We were clearly at the top of the range of weight gain as described by the study I linked to earlier, and it happened in two weeks not the six weeks as it did in the study.  Which would indicate that we fall into the obese category, since the obese are the ones who most readily gain weight over the holidays.

But we aren’t really obese, or at least weren’t when we started.  But we obviously have the same metabolic defect that the obese have.  Our metabolic machinery has been damaged.  And even though we’ve keep our weight under control for years, the problem is still there, lurking in the weeds, ready to strike the moment we drop our defenses.

The take home message here is, to paraphrase Wendell Phillips, eternal vigilance is the price of thinness.  At least after you’ve once become obese.

So, MD and I are back on a rigid version of our own program, we are taking Metabosol, and, with the exception of a party we attended last night, are eschewing booze until we get back to our regular sizes.  Some of my GERD symptoms re-appeared during our modified debauch and I was thankful I had an old bottle of out-of-date Protexid to see me through.  One day of solid low-carb, and no more GERD, thank God.  And already after just a few days our clothing is starting to fit again.

If you are one of the many who are committed to a program of weight loss and rehabilitation this January, know that MD and I are right in there with you.

I want to forewarn you, though, that you’ve got to get your head right if you seriously plan to succeed.  Don’t be a Tara Parker-Pope.

I’ve had a number of people send me the link to her long piece in last week’s New York Times Magazine (Parker-Pope is a health columnist for the New York Times) about her struggles to lose weight and to maintain her weight loss once she is finally able to shed a little.  In the article she describes her despair as she tried first this program then that to lose weight.  She fits perfectly the description of so many patients I’ve dealt with over the years.

Once your metabolism is broken, it’s difficult  to lose weight (other than the first time or two you try it) and even more difficult to keep it off.  In order to be successful, you’ve got to make a real commitment and stick to it.  You can’t drift here and there as Parker-Pope has done looking for some magic regimen that is going to ‘melt the fat away.’  It ain’t going to happen.  It takes a lot of hard work and resolve to see it through.  Even with a low-carb diet.

As you can see from the vintage ad above, Tara Parker-Pope is not the first to look for a miracle cure for excess ‘flesh.’  But she is at a bit of a disadvantage in that by virtue of her position she can pick up the phone and call the head of nutrition at Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins or any big institution and ask for advice for a column she’s writing.  Unfortunately, the advice she will get from most of these people is totally the mainstream academic party line and more than likely incorrect.  And, if she’s like many patients I’ve dealt with, as soon as she discovers that whatever she is doing entails real work, she will start looking for the next magic fix, only to be disappointed in that.  She will, as she describes, roller-coaster around weight-wise, quickly regaining whatever she loses, and end up fat, sad and miserable.  The only difference between Tara Parker-Pope and the millions of other people out there in her shoes is that she has a powerful platform to express the despair and hopelessness she feels to a large readership.  (I noticed that for a few days her piece was the most emailed of all the articles in the New York Times, which speaks to just how many people are struggling.)

The underlying message of her piece is that she has tried everything, and it has all been for naught.  Her obesity is a condition beyond her control because she has worked with all the greatest minds in the academic world of obesity treatment and has ended up fatter than when she started.

My contention is that if she would undertake a low-carb diet composed of whole foods (with maybe a shake or two thrown in here or there) and stick with it judiciously she would ultimately achieve success.  At least considerably more success than she has achieved thus far.  But if she followed the best low-carb diet known to man and lost to her ideal weight and body fat percentage, she would still have to continue to watch what she eats for the rest of her life if she were to want to maintain her new slim self.  MD and I just proved that over the past couple of weeks.
I have never been able to understand the mindset of people who think that once they lose to their ideal weight and body fat percentage they can then go back to their old way of eating without regaining all the weight they originally put on by their old way of eating.  It baffles me even more that people can lose considerable amounts of weight on a given diet, then go back to their old way of eating, regain all their weight, and view it as a failure of their weight loss diet.  But they do.

I always took a detailed dietary history of all my patients.  Many had been through two or three (or more) weight loss programs before they came to see me.  I would ask them about all the different programs they had tried, and they would list them out.  And most had had some measure of success on one or more (if not all) of these programs, in many cases having lost anywhere from 60-80 or more pounds, but they, almost to a person, considered these programs failures because they had regained their lost weight.

These people, like Tara Parker-Pope, MD and me, and anyone else who has crossed the Rubicon into the land of obesity have dysfunctional metabolic systems that will probably never be completely normal again.  They, like we, will always have to exercise vigilance to maintain what we maintained so easily before the damage took place.

As I wrote above, the easiest way to deal with obesity is to never become obese in the first place.

Which brings me to a real pet peeve of mine.  I want to go for the throats of people who let their kids eat and drink tons of sugary crap and justify it because their kids don’t gain weight from it.  Who knows when the irreversible damage begins to occur?  I feel the same about adolescents and young adults who seem to feel invincible and are face down in all kinds of crap all the time because they never gain weight.  And they assume, stupidly, that they never will.  But when they do, most will struggle with it for the rest of their lives.

In preparation for my own weight loss, I went back an reread a few of my old posts to gain inspiration.  If you are in the let’s-lose-weight boat this month with MD and me, you might want to read them, too.

Here is one of my favorites about a good friend who really committed to losing weight and turned her life around.  The post also tells you why you should gain control not just for yourself but for others.

Another old post gives some psychological insights as to why it can be difficult right now to give yourself over to a low-carbohydrate diet and some psychological tools to make it easier.

Here is one that gives a few more psychological tools to make dieting easier.

Years ago I wrote a regular column for a now-defunct low-carb magazine.  This piece on what it takes to really make a low-carbohydrate diet work may help with your struggles.

There are the two fairly recent posts on all the tips and tricks you can use to start (or restart) a low-carbohydrate diet.

I’m frequently asked on radio, TV and print interviews what my daily food intake is.  A couple of years ago I decided to do a photo diary of a week’s intake of food during a normal week.  The food I ate that week pretty much mirrors the food I eat now with a couple of exceptions.  The quality of the cooked food is better now because almost everything we eat at home is prepared sous vide for obvious reasons.  I go through periods from time to time in which I really like to have shakes for breakfast.  Then I burn out on them and almost can’t bear the thought.  During the non-shake periods I typically eat three eggs and three or four slices of bacon (Mangalitsa bacon if I can get it) every day for breakfast.  During my week’s photo log, I was in a shake phase, so realize that I am not now in shake phase, so it’s bacon and eggs, but that’s about the only difference.  The week’s diet you’ll see if you take a look is what keeps me at my normal weight.  It’s pretty much what I’m back on now minus the booze and a few of the little extra carb tidbits. Plus, I’m scrupulously avoiding wheat just to see what happens.  As soon as I lose the few pounds I picked up and my jeans are loose again, I’ll be back to this diet in full.

 

If you, like we, have been noshing on more carbs than normal over the holidays, then start anew with us this January.  As I have discovered this first few days, the time I spent dallying with carbohydrates over the previous couple of weeks has reinvigorated my long dormant urge to eat even more carbs.  I’m sure I’m not the only one in this boat.  We all have to remember that this urge is one we have to overcome first by effort and ultimately by habit.  I’m back on track.  Hope you are as well.

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130 thoughts on “Resolving to diet in 2012

  1. Interesting. I have felt the same way for a long time — life just isn’t fair, is it?

    But then comes along Dr. Jack Kruse with his claim that a “leptin reset” will fix all that. Are you familiar with his work?

  2. Very honest and useful post. The links to the food photos are particularly helpful. Would love to see more of this from you and other gurus.

  3. not that i like people to suffer, so i hope this comes across the right way — but it’s satisfying when people such as MD and yourself have to work to remain lean, because it lends far more credibility to the rest of us who have the same problem! it raises my blood pressure every time i hear the “fat people lie about what they eat” line….i’m not even very overweight; i can only imagine how the obese feel! in addition, i’m sure it causes you to give far better advice than those who never had the experience, themselves.

    thank you for the blogs, and for sharing your experiences — it’s very helpful! happy 2012!

  4. “Once whatever it is that gets broken breaks, it is difficult from that point on to lose weight and maintain weight loss without effort.”

    Like countless millions of others I can’t say enough how much I identify with this. Based on distant memories and family photos I believe I’ve been in this boat since age 6 or 7.

    I began doing Atkins late Dec of 2010 and quickly lost 15lbs, then lost another 15lbs more steadily, now I’m back up 15lbs and starting 2012 on a clean low-carb note. Have added berries and some dark chocolate here and there, but sparingly. Regardless one thing has proven itself true over the holidays and over the past year–at a certain point I stopped losing weight, but could easily maintain, however the moment I reintroduce carbs the weight comes on FAST.

    This holiday season my wife started going gluten-free (concerns about allergies with our breastfed baby, her doctor suggested it along with cutting eggs/chicken/dairy) so the only treats we had were gluten-free baked goods and the like. Still gained on them.

    Anyway without sounding too much like a broken record, I’d like to share a few instances I can remember in the past, before doing low-carb in any form, where weight loss did happen with ease although it all came back eventually. The first was when I was 16 and had the opportunity to do the Boy Scout High Adventure Sea Base program; a ~2week excursion on a sailboat down in the Florida Keys. Wonderful trip, still have very fond memories, and I dropped from 215lb to 192lb by the time I got back. Can’t remember the diet too much, had unlimited access to granola bars on the boat and typical restaurant fare at Key West, decent cafeteria food at the Sea Base. We got some exercise (swimming, snorkeling, walking on the island) but most of the time was spent relaxing. What I did have access to was limitless sunlight, warm temperatures and a fun, stress-free environment.

    Second was during college, I worked there and around the spring we had a new employee, a girl I took quite a liking to. The office was on a huge fitness kick too so I was going to the gym a couple times a week mainly doing leg and arm strengthening machines. Also ate rice cakes a lot to curb hunger, but the real weight loss didn’t kick in until I was in the throes of infatuation over this girl, something that never turned out well but I did drop from ~250lb to ~220lb during those 5 months. Lots of outside jogging, walking during the summer months. Stress wasn’t too bad, most of my waking thoughts involved excitement and anticipation. Rose to 230lb over the following year, then graduated, and quickly ballooned to 250 in 6 months working in a corporate office environment and going out to eat chinese, japanese, subway, pizza quite frequently.

    Third was when I met my wife, it was during April of ’09 and I’d just got back from a week in Ft. Lauderdale late in March. Couldn’t eat much, emotional rollercoaster much of the month (mostly positive), went out on frequent dates always involving an hour or more of walking and spending time outside before settling down for dinner (pizza, chinese, italian, french, whatever was around). I was also on the heels of 6 months seeing a Dietitian who put me on a low-fat diet based on the old “mypyramid.gov” site and geared to 2000cal/day. I used to carry around a sheet of paper tracking my portions of meat, vegetables, fruit, grains and after estimating what the caloric value of those portions were I’d say I was eating a minimum of 2600 cal/day, never quite hitting the target she set for me. Lost 15lb over 6 months, then that following month when I met my wife I lost another 15lb (but in ~3 weeks). Blood test late April showed AST/ALT down to normal range (was high for years), HDL was still barely under 40 and I don’t remember what the LDL was. Looked much better than 6 months before though. Haven’t had it tested since then… might be a good idea…

  5. Interesting post. Yeah, I’m in the New Year’s Resolution boat with so many others this year. Generally I reject NYRs as too artificial, but this year I decided it was a nice cultural tradition so why not take advantage of it. So far, so good.

    I think there are a couple of other psychological drivers at work too. Paradoxically, the (relative) ease and effectiveness of the LC diet is one. It’s like all these people who are getting tattoos: If you say to them that the tats are going to look ridiculous when they’re middle-aged, they just respond that they’ll get them lasered off. It’s hard not to fall into the trap of seeing LC as there to bail you out.

    The other thing I think is that some of us get addicted to the progress and achievement of it. While you’re losing, everyone’s complimenting you and cheering you on. Once you’ve done it, you feel good, but that fades. And nobody comments anymore. you’re just another thin guy/girl. So the evil angel sitting on your shoulder offers you a “two-for-one” deal. A very enjoyable multi-month binge, then an absorbing and tough challenge and cheering from the sidelines.

    Yeah, I know, dumb dumb dumb. Pathetic. But I think it’s better that I’m honest about it. This time I counter with the fact that as I get older the binges do more damage. Maybe more than I can fix. And your supporters will drop you if they figure out you’re not serious. And you should find a healthier challenge.

  6. Dr. Eades – when you say this:

    “What I mean by making this seemingly obvious statement is that when a person goes from being normal weight to being overweight it is an indication that something metabolically has gotten broken. At this point, no one knows for sure what gets broken, but many (and I count myself in this ever growing group) believe the damage occurs in the mitochondria, the organelles within the cells that are the energy furnaces. Once whatever it is that gets broken breaks, it is difficult from that point on to lose weight and maintain weight loss without effort.

    It confuses me a bit.

    Because despite being “obese” as you put it, I would think that entering ketosis just for a brief period (and consistently staying on it), that the human body adopts, and re-aligns again with the “burn stored body fat” process.

    Your holiday binging (to me) just seems that your blood sugar was too high, and as a result – your body could not burn stored fat, but rather gained it. Elementary, no?

    Are you saying that “becoming obese” (even just once), is in fact – a syndrome that will affect you for the rest of your life? If so, I sort of disagree.

    I’ve been inspired by your site – and other low-carb living sources, to the point that I have zero issue with worrying about what I should or shouldn’t shovel in my mouth, holiday or not.

    Weight gain and loss certainly does fluctuate, and because you ate silly for two weeks (even within moderation) shows you that perhaps your metabolic baseline, age and glucose tolerance may be below average, and that you need to “watch what you eat” more stringently than the average?

    Some final observations:

    1. Never let holidays or societal pressure force you into eating or doing anything against your wishes (unless you accept the consequences).

    2. Try hard to find your carb intake baseline. I did that by going zero carb – and inching up until I knew what it took to maintain. However, the “need” for carbs has quickly diminished, and I’ve been able to maintain rock-steady consistency for the desired success I want to achieve. Remember – genetics has dealt most of us a “hand” that we are sort of stuck with. Whether it be 25g of carbs or 300g of carbs per day.

    3. A low-carb life should be just that. Once I jumped off the bad boat, and hopped on the good boat – the “urge” to taste, eat or try the carby foods has all but disappeared. Why would one put themselves in a tempting situation? (deserts, starches, breads?) Do you not remember what you said about them in the past? What is tempting you now?

    4. Finally – I came up with a good analogy for my own. I treat my low-carb life like a batting streak. Breaking the blood sugar level ruins my batting streak – like going 0 for 4. I prefer to go a week or two with a good batting streak – which is the only way to lose or maintain the weight.

    Eggs and bacon are our friends, so take a good multi – and avoid the berries, and other psuedo carb foods as much as you can… or at least do it in the early AM if possible!

    Happy new year!

    • I may not have been as clear as I could have been. What I was saying is that before one becomes obese, one doesn’t have to really work to stay non-obese. The metabolic processes are working smoothly and extra carb intake is dealt with without the storage of excess fat. Once, however, the point is reached that these metabolic processes are ‘broken’ and obesity sets in, everything changes. And from that point on, it requires constant vigilance to lose and maintain a lower weight. You are maintaining constant vigilance and are thus maintaining your weight.

      • apparently, one doesn’t even have to become clinically obese to suffer these changes. i’ve never been over about 28 bmi, and obviously have significant problems with carbohydrates.

      • Consider the possibility that you’ve avoided carbs fro so long that you’ve become intolerant to them, not that carbs are inherently fattening. Its a pretty consistent experience that when one goes of LC/paleo he gains weight, but that says more about the long term effects of LC rather than the healthiness of carbs.

        • From the two paleo sites I frequent It’s the extremely consistent experience that weight is lost and remains off on substantially Low Carb diets and that carbohydrates are inherently fattening for many (walk down most American streets for a view) and research is coming to support the fact. It is usually impossible to usurp the truth over time. The detriment to health by the consumption of starchy vegetables, soya beans and other legumes and grains is well known though the facts are being fought by commercial interests.

          Low carb veg and some berries to not carry the heavy starch and fructose disturbances the weightier carbs do and may support optimal health. The experience of researcher Vilhjalmur Stefansson living with the ‘Eskimo’ in the early 20th C and his and a friend’s improvement in health when studied in a hospital setting as illness raged around them is a fascinating read. http://www.thearctic.is/articles/topics/legacystefansson/enska/kafli_0200.htm

    • “Your holiday binging (to me) just seems that your blood sugar was too high, and as a result – your body could not burn stored fat, but rather gained it. Elementary, no?”

      No.

      It is possible to gain weight without having high blood sugar, and without even getting out of ketosis. I know that for a fact, because I have personally done so.

      OTOH, it’s possible to lose weight on 4000+ calories/day. I also know that for a fact, for the same reason.

      • Howard – thanks for the response. But it is confusing to me, because it sort of goes against everything I’ve read (here in fact). I presumed that by keeping blood sugar low, it is next to impossible for the body to “add” to the fat cells.

        Dr. Eades – can you elaborate on Howard’s sentiments?

        I also want to add that I believe that the whole “calories in / calories out” concept isn’t as simple as it sounds… rather it is the TYPE of calories in that matter…

      • When I was training (running & biking 15+ hours per week) I was eating over 3000 calories per day to maintain
        (at around 110 lbs).
        OTOH, that kind of eating in a sedentary person would almost certainly lead to excess fat storage.

    • “because you ate silly for two weeks (even within moderation) shows you that perhaps your metabolic baseline, age and glucose tolerance may be below average, ”

      I’m sure Dr Eades would be happy to agree that he’s below average in age.

  7. It’s truly mind boggling how many ‘experts’ you hear say things like “sure the diet works, but when you go back to eating how you normally were you’ll regain the weight back”.
    So, going back to eating the same way that got you to where you overweight in the first place is likely to yield the same results the second time around? Astonishing.

    • It is true that you do retain excess fluid when you overeat carbs, and this does come off fairly quickly. But in our case, we were beyond just the excess water weight stage.

  8. I definitely wrecked my metabolism by taking Paxil, years ago.
    Have struggled with 40 pounds, since. Still, I keep my self afloat by telling myself that my health is much better, no matter how much I weigh.

  9. At the end of October, sitting in my hotel room while attending a conference in Washnigton, DC, I looked in the mirror and came to the painful realization that not only was I overweight, but I was fat, bordering on obese.
    For someone that had spent most of her life fairly thin the acceptance of being fat was really hard to swallow. I think my upward march had started about five years ago, culminating in being close to 50 lbs overweight. I didn’t understand what was going on. I had tried to eat a lot less fat and limit my overall calories but still I gained weight. People told me that is was just a natural progression due to age, that there really was little I could do about it and I just ought to accept being over weight. So what if I had a closet of really nice clothes I couldn’t fit into anymore. It was time to send those to Goodwill and head out to the shops for some size 14s and 16s.

    I rebelled against this notion as November started and we headed into the Holidays. I was determined to start right then and there losing weight and not get caught in the holiday ‘fat trap’. I bought a treadmill. I stuffed myself into my too tight jeans and refused to buy new ones. I started to eat even less fat and tried harder to watch my calories. Little weight came off in the first two weeks. Then, a friend posted something on Facebook about the butter shortage in Norway. This led me to Andreas Eenfeldt’s LCHF site. I was intrigued. Finally here was an explanation for what was happening. I did a lot more research. I found this site and the wealth of wonderful information you provide. I began to understand that my metabolism was broken and more importantly, what to do about it. I ditched the carbs and embraced the fat. For the first time in the last ten years or so I began to loose weight and not have to starve myself to do it. I’ve lost over 30 lbs. since that day at the end of October. I’ve come through the holidays feeling really good about myself. I’ve maybe 10-15 lbs to go yet but I’ll get there soon. As for ever going back to carbs. I see that as being like a heroin addict, having kicked the drug and stayed clean, going back on it for a couple of months. That’s a big “Hell No”. I understand my metabolic system has changed for life and that’s OK. Now that I know how to deal with it, I’m so much happier than before.

    So, I’ll be sending my clothes to Goodwill. My ‘fat girl’ clothes. Thanks Doc for all the work you’ve done to help educate us all about what’s really going on and provide a workable, livable and sustainable solution.

    • Cate, I have those 10 lbs to go and they won’t come off eating this way. I even tried hcg and they came off but slowly, very slowly, each month, they came back on. So frustrating. I don’t want to discourage you in any way. Maybe you are doing something else right. I exercise. I eat zero carbs sometimes, never go above 20g carbs. I eat moderate protein and high fat. I can maintain eating this way, but I don’t lose to where I want to be. I have no idea what to do next. I have been doing the Leptin Rx from Dr. Kruse for the last 2 months. I haven’t lost any weight. I eat no sugar or starch…only protein like ground beef, steak, salmon (very little chicken or shrimp), and veggies, eggs, coconut oil, butter. Help!!!

        • I think so Perry. I drink lots of water, although we have a reverse osmosis system and I wonder if this is actually bad for us. I take cod liver oil (in the winter and krill oil), vit. C, all the B vitamins, mag and calcium. Is there something else I should be taking that would help? I have been trying for several years now. I generally eat fat 70%, protein 20-25%, carbs the rest.

          • I guess you’d be best off asking Dr. Eades – But he mentioned other supplements like Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) which helps accelerate you into ketosis if I’m not mistaken.

            Also are you strength training or just cardio? Adding muscle mass lets you burn calories in a resting state and you BMR increases.

          • I do both cardio and some kettle bell workouts and then, bodyweight exercises (like planks, push ups, squats and lunges). I do need more muscle and that might help. I’m pretty sure my body fat % is probably higher than it should be. What about Metabosol? Maybe that would help, but not sure I can afford it right now 🙁

  10. Good timing on this, for me anyway. I am just ending a two weak tear thru carb land-ice cream, donuts, cookies (I even attempted to make my own toll house cookies, haha), pizza, Fritos, burgers with buns, burgers with buns and fritos on them, french fries…

    And generous pours of Glenlivet and beer and wine almost every day!

    Today is the day of reckoning and the day I go back to low carb and get back to where I was.

    Usually when I’ve done this, I gain about 10 – 12 pounds. I assume its mostly water weight. It usually takes about two weeks to get rid of all of it.

    But this time something weird happened. I started at 187 pounds (I’m just under 6 feet), which is still a bit chubby but close to the lowest I’ve weighed in 10 years. When I got back on the scale I fully expected to clock in at close to or maybe even over 200. But I was only 191. Bizarre. I’m not sure what to make of this.

    Anyway, I’ve been experimenting with a low-carb version that simple food diet you may have heard of (you know, “food reward” and all that) and I’ve found nothing works faster. It’s not much fun to eat that way, but at least you aren’t hungry and I do seem to lose weight beyond what I can do by strict carb restriction.

    • My concern with any diet considered a short term solution is that you simply end up gaining the weight back. After a while, that process of diet / gain / diet doesn’t work any longer. Can you eat a low “food reward” diet forever? Would you want to?

      It’s a little like purposefully running your car into a tree and taking it to a body shop to get it back in shape. Eventually, the shop tells you they can’t restore the car.

      A better choice is to find the eating lifestyle that maintains your weight after you reach goal, and never, ever gain another pound, no matter what.

      • Yeah I hear you about the food reward thing, who would want to eat that way long term? I’m just experimenting to see if it works. Once I figure that out, even if it really does work, then it’s “do I really want to live like this?” The answer will probably be “hell no!.”

    • I realize it is a typo or an auto-correct in your first sentence, but it leads naturally to a “two week of too weak” binge. Amazing what makes me smile….

  11. I just want to echo the experiences of the good doctor here, and reinforce that the price for true weight loss is eternal vigilance. I had done LC “Diets” on and off for years. I lost weight (significant quantities), I gained it back, lost it again ad infinitum. Problem was exactly what Dr. Eades describes; once I was done losing the weight, I slowly but surely slipped back into my old eating habits, and carb consumption exerts a positive feedback mechanism to consume more carbs.
    Almost three years ago it was different; rather than just “go low-carb” I really committed to changing the way I ate, to include avoidance of processed foods, portion control, and more raw/natural foods cooked with natural fats that don’t require extraction processes (i.e. butter, lard). I dropped 105 pounds ( and more importantly reduced by body fat to less than 15%) in about a year’s time and have worked tirelessly to maintain a healthy weight by sticking to my lifestyle changes. This past holiday was a bit stressful for me in that I changed jobs, and had multiple holiday parties; two Thanksgiving dinners, a company Holiday party, a neighborhood Holiday party, a traditional Cuban Christmas Eve feast, A traditional Anglo Christmas Day feast, and a New Year’s party. Additionally I was on vacation for the entire week between Christmas and New Years with a couple of birthday parties that week, and a lot of eating out and idle eating. I had lost all of my eating discipline as far as what I was eating and how much I was eating. I recognized this loss of control, and yet ignored it during the holidays. Come January 2nd, much like the occasional drinker who tied one on for New Year’s eve, I recognized that I had to attack this problem again with the same fervor that got me down over 100 pounds. I didn’t dare step on a scale because I didn’t want to be shocked by the number. I knew I had gained weight because my clothes were fitting badly, and I had less energy. In just the week since the New Year, I have trimmed off all of the offending weight (I finally stepped back on the scale this morning and confirmed this result. My clothes are also fitting normally again). More important that getting back to my intended weight, I managed to reinforce my good eating habits. The experience has taught me that it only takes a little loss of discipline to get you very quickly back to the state you are trying to correct. It will be a life-long battle, and the enemy is waiting for you to let down your guard.

  12. Great post! I’m interested in the idea that damage on the cellular level may be responsible for what so many of us have found — weight is very easy to gain if you resume eating more carbohydrate. I gain very quickly if I veer off my 50 – 80 grams of carbs per day (the level at which I maintain my still “overweight” but not “obese” weight).

    I had thought perhaps it was reduced hormone levels, such as testosterone (well, not for me of course, but other guys my age may have that problem!)

    I propose a follow-up post on the idea of damaged mitochondria! Not that you need more work, of course, but it would be great to see the topic given the “Eades Treatment”.

  13. I restarted today.

    I was encouraged that notwithstanding the indulgences over the holidays — almost exactly the same as yours — I gained only one pound this year. That said, I lost 20 from July through December, stalling after the end of September through occasiional full-carb meals or snacks. So I have my work cut out for me — another 50 to go.

    Wish me luck, though January through April is probably the easiest time of the year to follow the weight-loss diet strictly.

  14. Dr. Eades,

    Your statements about the “broken” metabolism are very interesting to me. My husband underwent treatment for SCC of the tonsil last year – 35 radiation treatments and 6 sessions of Cisplatin over a 7 week period. He used a feeding tube for about 7 weeks, 4 weeks during treatment and 3 after, and did not consume any solid foods – only Carnation Instant Breakfast VHC liquid nutrition. Even though his nutritionist prescribed 2500 calories per day to maintain his weight of 180 (at 6′), he lost about 25 pounds. He has been eating “normally” for about 10 months now. When I say normally, I mean eating everything as he did before. But he cannot gain a pound! He is very frustrated by this. (I say only a man would complain about not being able to regain lost weight! LOL) His doctors can’t explain it, but in an online support group I belong to for Head and Neck Cancer patients, this seems to be a common theme. Patients who have been through the treatment find it difficult to regain lost weight, especially men. (That’s not scientific, that’s just my observation from talking with others.)

    While he was not obese at the start by any means, he had gained a bit of a belly and those 20 pounds in the last 10 years. So here’s what I’m wondering – do you think that somehow the chemotherapy or radiation could impact whatever was broken in one’s metabolism? I had been suspecting this anyway and then after reading your post I am wondering even more. I am not asking for your medical opinion by the way – or any opinion about my husband personally. I’m just asking, based on your personal experience what you think about the situation I’ve heard from head/neck cancer patients being unable to regain lost weight even years after treatment and long after their eating has returned to normal.

    Thank you! Love your posts!

    Debra

    P.S. My husband has tested completed cancer free so we are thankful for that!

  15. I’m in the same boat as you and others (except I have much more weight to lose). I was doing a low carb, gluten-free diet successfully and then the holidays hit and all my old symptoms returned: sugar cravings, blood sugar crashes if I didn’t eat every 3 hours, depression, gall bladder “twinges”, heart palpitations, carpal tunnel. (Some of these symptoms I equate to gluten intolerance).

    I’m back on track this morning with my wonderful breakfast of eggs, bacon, broccoli and avocado. I feel good.

  16. I’ve been a low-carb dieter ever since reading PP and LifePlan all those years ago and have gone through the above seemingly every year. The fact that it happens to the Eades has made me wonder – Is it possible by going low-carb, long term one becomes less carb resistant? Meaning, by not having carbs do we react more violently to carbs when we eat them than the person who regularly eats carbs? I’d be curious what other low-carbers think about this.

    • I’ve heard that elevated free fatty acids cause acute insulin resistance, and elevated FFA’s is usually the norm with a LCHF diet… so I would think that makes you acutely hypersensitive to carbs. I keep hearing that you should up your carbs for at least 3 days before having a glucose tolerance test done?

  17. I guess that I’m fortunate that anything with wheat in it causes my hands to hurt, and anything with sugar in it causes my teeth to hurt. The fairly instant feedback definitely keeps me on track.

    However, I have been stalled at about 50 lbs over goal for nearly 10 years now, even on low-carb. My conclusion is that low-carb is necessary, but not sufficient.

  18. I’ve been LCing for about 14 years. I don’t even eat things like “low-carb” bread, because I’d much rather have a second helping of broccoli with olive oil and lemon juice. More taste.

    I think the secret to maintaining LC is not to take holidays, so it becomes a habit and you come to prefer the foods you normally eat.

    The interesting thing is that just looking at the photo of the southern holiday meal made me feel bloated. Chocolate cake or apple pie don’t tempt me. But photos of some of the LC meals posted previously made my mouth water.

    If that ham had been served with cabbage, maybe one piece of curried fruit for variety, and broccoli salad, it would have looked good.

  19. My experience is in agreement with you, Doc. I have been following a low carb diet for years, and initially lost 25 pounds. I then stalled.. down a few pounds, up a few pounds for a long time. In my case, I know it’s cellular insulin resistance and mitochondrial damage.. my fasting insulin was off the chart high at test time, and this was AFTER having gone low carb for a year.

    I began Doug McGuff’s weight lifting program to help build insulin sensitivity in my musculature, which did seem to help as I dropped a few more pounds without changing the way I ate.

    But, I finally had to undertake a protein sparing modified fast to lose a significant amount of weight. I now eat about 1000 calories a day, less than 20 carbs/day, with about 55% fat calories and the balance of the calories from protein.

    Thankfully, this worked for me. I’ve lost 40 pounds in 3.5 months, and discovered some truths. If I eat too much protein, the weight loss slows, and my fasting blood sugar goes up. If I take a day or four off as you did over the holidays, I gain back 5 pounds which then takes me two weeks of being on plan again to lose.

    It’s a frustrating place to be, but I’ve accepted the fact that my mitochondria are indeed broken, and I can only hope that dropping another 40-60 pounds will help my body achieve a state where I’m a little less susceptible to weight gain. But I’m not going to hold my breath.

    I can see that I will probably have to maintain this way of eating at least part time if I don’t want to gain the weight back. My tentative “reintroduction” plan is to eat light during the week and more calories on the weekends. I haven’t had any kind of grains for more than a year, and am not even tempted to eat that poison, but I’m hoping I can at least have a higher fat consumption on Sat and Sun and not gain weight.

    In my next life, I’m requesting to come back as one of those people who have trouble putting weight on, no matter how much they eat. 🙂

  20. Thanks for sharing, Doctor. I’ve been doing low carb since January 2011 and lost 58 pounds just before Christmas – then hubby & I went on our Sandals Christmas present vacation to Nassau, Bahamas, and I gave myself permission to “cheat” for 2 weeks – after all – it was “all-inclusive!” In those 14 days I gained 10 pounds. Last week, 5 Jan, I got back on the low-carb wagon and dropped 5 pounds in 3 days. The whole time I ate carbs I felt miserable and bloated. I couldn’t wait to get back on track. Now I feel great and am extra motivated to lose the additional 62 pounds. Hopefully I will always remember how bad I felt while eating carbs and never go back to them for more then a few bites – 2012 Christmas present will be to another Sandals, in Jamaica, but I’m thinking I’ll be “good” in order to enjoy it more! Thanks for all the great work and writing you do to help keep us on the right track!

  21. That was so good to read and I feel so relieved, so thank you – I, too, lapsed for a few days only over Xmas and put on an astonishing 4lb. Where did that come from? Now I know. Everyone has to find their own suitable carb level and sadly mine seems to be very low but on the other hand I LOVE being able to eat pork chops without guilt.
    Soon I am going on holiday to a hotel where ‘our chef is happy to oblige with special diets’. I wonder how well he/she will cope with mine?

  22. Hi, Dr Eades. I won’t dispute any of your assertions but I’m happy to report that I don’t match your assumptions on 3 counts.

    1) never becoming obese was not an option for me; I was born fat and was so fat as a growing baby that I was slow to sit up (though I walked early)
    2) I’m a card-carrying yo-yo due to binge eating, but something’s different on my wheat-free downward cycle this year and when I ate neolithic treats over the holidays I gained no weight and did not relapse to binge eating.
    3) I’m losing weight steadily, and I think more easily, than on any of my previous weight-loss attempts. I credit full nutrition but, again, I’m not experiencing either a tendency to regain or any significant plateaus.

    If I didn’t know better, I’d think I’d never had a weight problem. Most of my belly protrusion is gone (5″ lost from my waist since September.) I’m not yearning for a return to my old ways, unlike past diets, and in fact I stopped splurging before I’d planned because I like my ancestral foods better than the alleged treats.

    I guess my point is, we still don’t know everything about weight gain and loss, let alone maintenance.

  23. There is this really annoying ad, an Adope photoshop ad, which keeps poppin gup right OVER the words I am trying to read and it is even over the words I am typing now so that I can’t see many of them! It says plugin by wpburn. I am using an IPod touch. I don’t know if I can even read your article, I may have to read it later on my desktop.

    P.s. I do love your blog and I am happy that you have a new article.

      • I’m having problems too. It tales about 5 minutes to load your page.
        I actually have to click it and then go make breakfast while it’s loading. I think this is not the best blog spot to be in. I’d consider transferring if possible. I need you this year, bad.

          • It’s definitely the scrolling “follow me” twitter thing on the right. It breaks on my iPhone, and it looks broken on my desktop until your page loads fully.

            It shows as a generic Flash icon because the iPhone can’t display Flash.

            The plugin is probably using flash because Flash lets it track users who are blocking regular cookies, and because it permits its links to WP Burn to be hidden. (Otherwise I can’t think of a reason Flash would be needed.

            A lot of “free” WordPress plugins have nasty, hidden behaviors like this. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

            I’d suggest that you ask your blog guy to see if he can’t find a better-behaved twitter plugin. (Or do without it entirely.)

          • Today, it just hangs on the side while reading comments. As for while typing, it’s hanging below.
            I enjoy your information, especially this restart. Trader Joes had some evil peppermint taffy that just jumped into my mouth which contributed to a little holiday weight and constant sugar craving. Day Two for my restart, so I very much appreciate the article for motivating me to return to the right track.

  24. Interesting, I actually LOST weight when I began to eat ‘crappy’. (This was in August). I was kind of skeletal looking, LOL. I had diarrhea for a month, in addition to having weird joint pains. (The joint pain became more prominent in September though). (Note: I maintained healthy fluid intake especially knowing I had diarrhea). My breath felt like it tasted like metal for a period of time too…weird. I was ITCHY like CRAZY. I figured it was probably physiological insulin resistance (or something like that), but I’m not sure if it’s supposed to last more than a month. Finally when I think my body was ‘adapting’ more to this new state of ‘crappy’ eating, I slowly started putting on some weight. (The weight gain was about mid-Oct. to present. Now I stopped gaining because I can’t put on any more. I think I reached my ‘threshold’ all of 110lbs.) I think putting on the weight helped against this physiological reaction. Still though, for August, September and October, I had a lot of night sweats etc. Also, I honestly felt like I was going through some kind of withdrawl…(BTW, October was a pretty BAD month anyway) with minor improvement in November, but December, things were more ‘normal’.

    I feel like my body can’t handle putting on too much weight. When I DO put on a small amount of weight my body over reacts as if it was 350lbs or something. I am very slow and sluggish and can’t move properly…

    Also, there are some symptoms I get in both weight reduced and weight gained states, but with some qualitative differences. Eg. When my body was rejecting ‘normal’ food the diarhea I had was entirely different than the kind I experienced in December (after eating ‘crappy’ since August). Probably tmi… I don’t feel itchy the same way I did in August, (since that was probably just a bit of hyperglycemia). Now the only kind of itchiness I get feels kind of like an allergic reaction instead. I still have weird joint pains…which is kind of embarrassing, seeing as how I’m only 26. I think there might be a defect with my cartilage or something which might be triggered by certain foods, since the joint pain is not restricted to just one area. It affects all of them. lol. That sounds quite embarrassing since I’m young and I don’t mean to sound like I’m whining. It is merely an observation. On the plus side though, I have good musculature. I really thinks this helps and when I have more muscle on me, I get less joint pain. It def. attenuates it.

    Now I know this sounds DUMB, and obviously I need to eat a certain way—that’s the easiest solution. It seems like an obvious question to ask is “Why eat like that if it causes that much destruction?” Answer: I have no clue. Call it an extended experiment?

    Anyways, it is probably a good idea I go to a doctor to at least check it out (even though it’s probably nothing and I’ll be wasting their time). I just think it’s still worth it because I also feel like my hearing has been affected as well. (I was going to go in October, but I felt like I was just overreacting, so I didn’t). [Independently] of the specific type of itching I had in August, my insides of my ears were (often are) itchy as well. (Not always, and other times just feels like they’re muffled instead). I feel like I miss what people say a lot of times and always asking: Pardon? etc. (But I have 0 trouble hearing annoying bass/motor sounds lol). Also, for years I had right sided headaches of which nothing seemed out of whack. Progressively through the years my jaw has been sore as well. (The joint part of it, particularly the right side). I also thought I had cavities b/c my teeth felt sore for over a year, but I did not have any cavities. (This is well before going LC. This did not go away with LC). As you can see, eating LC obviously helped me greatly, and I’m just dumb for not eating that way, but also note how some of these other symptoms are still present in those conditions as well. That’s why I probably should at least check it out…only problem is I don’t trust doctors, and I really don’t appreciate [many] of their dismissive attitudes. I feel like I’m treated as if I’m making things up. (Mind you, I only ever asked about the head aches, and with the teeth/jaw, only asked a dentist. I checked my eyes to see if there was any relation, but there’s not. )

    Anyways, that is my experience upon restarting ‘normal’ eating…in the time frame that you (or the study which was 6 weeks) gained weight, I lost weight. To state that was my original intention…but got majorly side tracked. Hope you have any insight into this. (Please be gentle if I end up making a bigger deal about this than what it is).

    Thanks. 🙂

    • Please go right away to the website Stop the Thyroid Madness — you sound massively thyroid-messed-up! (Itchy inner ear is often a symptom — and VERY annoying cause there’s no gettin’ in there to scratch!) You’re looking at what you’re eating — and skipping over a very important gland that affects your metabolism at a very high level!

  25. I’m wondering how much aging does affect metabolism. I am not nor have I ever been what anyone would call ‘fat,’ but pics from 10 years ago show me definitely ‘plump’. I’ve been dedicated low carb since then, and went from 127ish to 110 on a 5’3″ frame. Maintenance not a problem. If ever I put on a pound or two, it came off easily enough. In the last year, post menopause, I’ve crept up to 112, and added another one or two through the holidays. It does not go away with the usual couple of days diligence. I have started to work hard at it, (some fasting, some carb and calorie counting) but am wondering when or if to accept some weight as a part of gracious aging,

  26. I think we’ve all wanted to resolve to diet at one time or another. I am truly jealous if you have not. I happen to cheat every year a little bit. I did make some progress and after reading this article a renewed energy to try again. Thanks!

  27. Happy new year all. So happy to have found this blog which I got to by searching on a question about ketosis. So much misinformation out there, it’s hard to find the way! I stumbled across this article which was scary in the extreme http://www.sideroad.com/Weight_Loss/low-carb-diet-danger.html ! Be very interested to hear your thoughts on it if you feel inclined MRE.
    I am going well with weight loss so far but have ordered 6 week book to boost my progress. I definitely feel the need to feed my insula – so much disapproval from others and the “pyramid pack”! I have a scale which measures fat/muscle/water percentages which is very useful and encouraging because I can see progress.
    Some questions if you have time MRE:
    You mention a need to increase salt on this program , by how much and for how long ? Or is it ongoing?
    When muscle mass increases does that increases glycogen storage?
    I wonder if what gets “broken” in obesity might be to do with the epigene switch mechanism?
    Does ketosis affect transit time? Mine seems to have sped up!
    I have set myself a weight/bmi goal to work to but wondered is there an optimum % of muscle to aim for – middle aged female here.
    Can’t wait for your book to arrive,your writing here has given me great hope and help.
    Oh and my solution to part of the holiday meals problem – I invited people here! so I could eat anything and everything I saw! Dark choc and berries with cream for dessert-yum! Next year I’ll post a photo, your photos are very helpful too. THANKS MRE and MD

  28. Great to see posts from you again! I had a hell of a time trying to read this: couldn’t get in by clicking on the link in your email, nor could I get to it by “googling” your blog. Finally googled MDs blog and got to your site that way – back door so to speak? Glad I could read this – I was wondering what, if anything, you’d have to say about Tara Parker Pope’s article. And as I said, sooo happy you’re posting again. (Can you check and see if there’s a problem for some of us?)

    Cheers and Happy New Year!

    • Will do. I can’t figure out what’s happening myself. I used to get about 20-30 spams per day, virtually none of which made it through my spam filter into the comments in moderation. Over the past month, I’ve been getting almost two thousand spams a day, a couple or dozen of which make it through into the comments. Don’t know if this is another manifestation of whatever is happening to others with the flash ads showing up. I’ll see what I can figure out. Thanks for the heads up.

    • I had to jump through a few hoops to get to the page too. I kept getting a google page that said it couldn’t find the site. Fortunately I had bookmarked an old article from the blog and it let me through on that page.

  29. I was a tall skinny kid, surrounded by obese relatives with heart disease and diabetes. My favorite uncle, an internist, died from complications of type 2 diabetes at 50, grandparents both passed away too soon for the same reasons. My mother was always obese and fed us high carb, sugary foods. She died in a diabetic coma a few years after having a sextuple bypass.

    As an 11 years old girl, I started gaining weight and have been dieting since. Most of my adult life I have been determined to avoid the illnesses that devastated my family members. In the 70’s, I lived on Atkins for 8 years maintaining a weight of 120 pounds at 5’9″ (shorter now with age). I have always worked out and continue to this day, now at 64 years old, still 120 pounds.

    When the low-fat philosophy started in the 80’s, I got on board mistakenly believing this was safer and healthier based on the propaganda fed us by the government and media . This began an up and down cycle of 20 pounds, through raging hunger, periods of near starvation, diet pills and occasional over exercising in an often futile effort to lose whatever amount I was above the 120. It was daunting.

    I became a enthusiastic cook and literally devoured books on fitness, cooking and nutrition, endlessly seeking an answer to my struggle. Since I wasn’t considered overweight at any time, friends and family perceived me as obsessed with my weight with my constant struggle to avoid obesity. Vanity wasn’t the issue. Whether I was on the high or low end of the 20 pounds, no one ever noticed. Life was the issue.

    So here I am today, pre-diabetic, hypertensive, have thyroid disease, advanced degenerative disc disease and have already had heart surgery! In September this year, a spine specialist told me I needed a complete spinal fusion, C1 to L5 or…I could try an anti-inflammation diet to reduce the pain, weakness and rapidly increasing stiffness. In searching the web, I found this website and Dr. Davis’s Wheat Belly.

    In 4 months, my life has changed. I have found I can’t consume over 20 carb grams a day or my blood sugar sky rockets. I can’t eat over about 1100 calories a day of low carb foods or I gain weight. I have to drink 2 cups of salty broth with 1/4 tsp of kelp per day or my electrolytes are out of balance and I get weak. But, this is OK. I have learned to stretch those 20 grams/1100 calories into the most satisfying, nourishing meals and I am content with my WOE for the first time in my adult life. The pain is better, my skinny jeans fit, my husband has quit smoking and has lost 20 pounds doing this with me. I am grateful. Thank you!.

  30. HELP! I (happily) received my supply of long anticipated Metabosol today. I am a type II diabetic, contolled by diet alone. I have been taking 600 mg of lipoic acid daily, in the form of Insulow, which also contains biotin. This is ala Dr. Bernstein. Each 100mg lipoic acid is paired with 750 mcg biotin. Will it be harmful for me to take the additional biotin in Metabosol? How much is too much biotin? I can get lipoic acid without the added biotin if it would be preferable.

    • I would go with the lipoic acid alone. The total biotin dose is probably okay with your supplement and the Metabosol, but just to be sure, take the lipoic acid alone.

  31. Ten years ago I successfully lost 30 lbs. going LC. In the years since then I’ve gained back 50. Now I’m convinced that hormonally and/or metabolically, my body won’t respond to LC anymore. Since my hysterectomy a year ago I have gained another 10 pounds and haven’t been able to budge it downwards. I was forced to buy all clothes one size up. Post menopausal women have a hard time losing weight. Chalk it up to out of whack thyroid or hormones. It’s a sad situation to feel more fat rolls on your sides and back.

  32. Jessica,

    Yes, people ALWAYS dismiss me over health and diet concerns I have. They perceive me to have little credibility simply b/c I do not gain excess weight. It seems to be ‘all about the weight’ with some people. So it’s not enough if someone has genuine health concerns which are expressed differently than through obesity?

    This frustrates me, and leaves me ‘not allowed’ to have an opinion re: a good diet that could help people I know simply b/c I’m ‘slim’. DOES NOT MAKE SENSE! Then when I tell them of such health concerns (see above), they think I’m stupid for not doing anything about it…lol.

  33. Thank you for another great post. Do you think the newly discovered link between statins and diabetes is the smoking gun leading to the idea that diabetes and the accompanying obesity are caused by mitochondrial insufficiency?

  34. I find the holidays the best time to lose weight. For our company holiday party I filled my plate with ham, veggies and butter. For our neighborhood Christmas party, I did the same. I roasted a duck and served it with veggies for Christmas dinner. Every day since I’ve been able to cook my breakfast with duck fat.

    I went on a trip and found liver and onions on the menu and ate a burger (the menu called it “the Cardiac Arrest”) with bacon and bleu cheese, sans bun. When not eating out, I had a cooler with cheese and deli meat and cans of salmon. No trouble at all.

    I’ve lost about 20 pounds since September and seem to be stuck here, but that’s okay. I’ve reached the very top end of normal weight according to the calculations in Protein Power. My weight lifting class starts tomorrow. Maybe I’ll make it to the middle or lower end of normal.

    I don’t care if I can never eat another Christmas cookie again. I really like cream and butter way more than cookies.

  35. This is the first year I didn’t go crazy during the holidays. I mostly stuck to my diet with only Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years as “official” days off– and even then I only went off diet during one meal. My weight would fluctuate the way it always does when I have a glass of wine or some other kind of carb but I managed to return to my baseline weight within two days each time. That’s huge for me. This is the first time in almost 15 years that I don’t have to constantly fret over my weight and it absolutely is thanks to being vigilant– and it’s worth it!

    I’ve also noticed that I don’t enjoy certain foods for more than one serving. I looooved the sweet potato casserole the first time, but was underwhelmed the second. Though I did stumble across a wonderful recipe that might be a low-carber’s best friend– burgundy mushrooms. Oh were they heaven. Cooked all day in red wine, beef stock, garlic and butter– they were the best thing I ate. And I got to eat a lot of them because everyone else was scared of all that butter!

  36. Oh. I also wanted to mention that my sister-in-law is on a juice fast right now to “detox” after the holidays ((eye roll)) She watched a video, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” and it now convinced that she can juice her way to health. I have no doubt she’ll lose weight since she’s cutting out the bread and other starches, but I also bet she starving since she also loading up on fruit and vegetable juices and no protein. Her normal plans don’t last long (I don’t think she even stuck to Weight Watchers) so there will be the inevitable crash and burn. I wish there was an easy way to get people like her to listen to sense…

  37. I sincerely believe that your dietary and lifestyle advice are by far the most realistic and personal of any information that I have thus far encountered and with the exception of your endorsement of the Slowburn exercise methodology, I feel that your information is basically irrefutable. Thank you very much for your massive contribution to the TRUTH concerning weight loss and weight maintenance. Constant vigilance and creativity (both mentally and dietarily) are paramount and like you have said repeatedly, there is no pain free way to maintain your weight in this food addiction landscape. Thanks again

  38. Dr. E, great follow up piece to the holidays! I’m one of those always-have-been-thin people that you write about. At 5’6” I’m usually around 115 -118 pounds, but last year, my weight rose to 124 so I went on Atkins and after 4 weeks, I was back down to 118. The most amazing part of this though was that I accidentally cured my years-long acid reflux problem and have not had to take a single pill ever since! I’ve settled in on living on about 30 grams of carbs per day — which I obtain from nuts, berries and vegetables for the most part. My question to you is should I remain like this for the rest of my life or is this too few carbs? I’m perfectly fine living on this, but I want to make sure this is healthy. Also, if I start working out with weights as opposed to the usual walking I do now, should I consume more carbs? Thank you!

  39. Hi Dr. Eades,

    Do you ever suggest a specific caloric ratio of macronutrients to your patients? So far, I’m eating at least 65% of my calories as fat, 25% as protein, and around less than 10% as carbs.

    I ask this because so many people on the forum I belong to make one fundamental mistake: they don’t eat enough fat in the beginning.

    Thanks!

    ~Brigitta

  40. Great post and a good reminder to all of us that we need to stay vigilant (and that we are not alone in piling the pounds back on when we fall off the wagon). I was thin until sometime in my mid 40s when early menopause, diet, and stress really started taking its toll. I lost over 30 pounds by going low carb and I should loose more but I haven’t always been stringent about it. I know I feel much better when I am more vigilant and I am determined to finally stick with it. I put on a few pounds in November due to stress and a few candy binges (we were moving and my husband has dementia so there was added stress there). Actually it was only a few pounds, and I found that the candy wasn’t nearly as appealing as it used to be, which is good. I knocked those pounds off the first few days of driving south and feeding ourselves, even when eating out. Then I put it back on during the family visit extravaganzas despite trying to be somewhat vigilant. I haven’t yet figured out how I am going to work this family thing out — they eat mostly carbs, low fat including lots of low fat-substitute foods, with very little protein in their diet, and this is what my grandson is used to. I tried to do my best picking through things over Christmas, choosing mostly meat and vegetables but I suppose i am too well socialized into being a “good guest” and once I had a few carbs it was harder and harder to say no to more. It wasn’t long before my reflux returned as well though, reminding me that I really need to be vigilant about what I eat.

    When I lived 1000 miles away I felt I had to give in to the carbs because that was all my grandson would eat, they were visiting, and I didn’t want to cause a rift. And the arguments would get pretty intense. Now that we are closer, I hope we can find a compromise where they survive eating low carb at my house, and I try to eat as few as possible at theirs. My daughter keeps commenting on how I have lost weight and she hasn’t but she doesn’t like the answers I give her and doesn’t want to listen. Maybe time and proximity will make a difference. Maybe not.

  41. From my own experiences, the few longer term weight loss studies I’ve seen as well as plenty of anecdotal evidence, low carbing is no more easier than any other diet out there and still requires the same superhuman effort to lose and to maintain. Dieting is a waste of time and causes more harm than good in the long term.

    • Actually most of the studies show that people can lose weight and do so easier and more effectively with low-carb diets. Failure to follow some kind of program results in obesity, insulin resistance and all the problems flowing from that including diabetes, high blood pressure, diabetes and a shortened live. Those problems the price one pays for ignoring diet, so ignore at your peril.

    • Changing your habits is never easy, but even aside from the health benefits, it’s great to be able to move freely and feel healthier than when I was grossly overweight. I still have a ways to go, but motivation is the key. If you want it, you can do it (barring some sort of serious metabolic problem or disease). I have taught myself progressively over the years to give up some of the rewards I never thought I could do without. It is more fun to live a healthy life than one where I was essentially limited because of my weight and size. You may or may not want to live to old age, but if you are going to live a long life, let it be one of quality and activity, and not one where you are taking insulin shots and risk the amputation of limbs, not to mention all the problems attendant to cardiovascular disease.

    • The only studies that I have seen to date that “prove” that low-carb is somehow bad for you or is not tolerable generally fall into one of the following categories:

      1) The fat used is Crisco or some other partially hydrogenated birdseed oil. This is usually not disclosed in the publication, so you have to dig for it. This is called fraud.
      2) The diets studied would not qualify for any of the common-accepted definitions of low-carb, which is generally considered to be less than about 100g of carb/day. The “Atkins-bashers” typically use about 150-300g as “low-carb”. This is called fraud.
      3) The diets don’t contain enough fat, but more than enough protein. While a moderate level of protein is satiating, a large amount is known to spike insulin. This might not even be fraudulent, but it is more closely related to religion than it is to science.
      4) The diets include “healthy whole grains,” which means wheat, or may contain “hydrolized wheat protein” which usually means gliadin, one of the most powerful appetite stimulants currently known to food science. This is called… wait for it….

      FRAUD. The *majority* of so-called “researchers” in the field of nutrition are either clueless, or damned liars.

      The “researchers” in this type of study know who writes the paychecks, and exactly what results are expected, and they design the studies to get those results. And intentionally bury any results that don’t support the results required by the funding source. Most of what passes for “research” in nutrition is actually either religion, or outright fraud.

      I went through the effort of actually reading some nutritional studies about 8 or 9 years ago. I did not find any well-designed studies. None. Zip. Nada. And when I ran across one that removed the sugar from the test diet, and concluded from the resulting health improvements that “animal protein is bad for type II diabetics,” I quit reading these “studies.”

      I now rely on my own n=1 “studies” and the various anecdotal stories (with a little checking) I run across to see if I can deduce what is really going on. I also use the reporting and analysis of folks like Dr Eades, Chris Masterjohn, and Gary Taubes to help with that. I have found that my own n=1 trials and the reported experience of others is more reliable than the typical published “study.” That’s because my agenda is to improve my health, and not to “prove” that fat is bad, or that whole grains are “healthy.”

  42. Hi. Love low carbing, but it makes my hair fall out. I low carbed for 6 months. About 3 months in my hair started falling out. So, I stopped low carbing after 6 mos, Gained weight, but my hair stopped falling out. Now I’m starting up again with the LC. Just a week in, I’m starting to feel that tingling/burning scalp, which usually proceeds a hair shed. Not really sure what to do about this.

      • I’ve read that before and commented on it. I’m defininetly not low calorie. I’m starting to think there is something to the claim of low carb not always being good for the thyroid.

        • I can’t find the page right now but on ‘The Scribble Pad’ blog

          http://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/

          which is a low carb blog, she mentions that she experienced hair loss after she stopped her leptin injections. short story: in some people, when they lose fat leptin levels go down and the brain thinks you’re too thin or something and weird things happen.

          On Mark Sisson’s forum Dr.Jack Kruse started a thread about some kind of leptin reset protocol. I haven’t read it yet cause it’s 50+ pages long but you might find some answers there.

  43. Sounds like you engaged in what we call around our house the “one-rat experiment”. In this case, also a kind of DIY aversion therapy (grrr GERD…).

    I have been struck by how friends and family who have lost weight and kept it off almost without exception become the “one-rat experiment”. The rat reads, studies, tries different things, keeps track, finds out what works for it and what doesn’t. Whereas those who are embarking on yet another (soon to fail) diet seem to want everything laid out for them, the no-brainer diet they can simply follow.

    “The best and easiest way to stay slim is to never become obese in the first place.”

    Missed my chance the first time around 😉 I borrowed Warren Buffett’s rule “never lose money” and adapted it as an rule for my own very long, slow weight loss on high fat/low carb:

    Rule No.1: Never gain weight. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.

    This got me through an almost 3-year weight-won’t-budge-no-matter-what stall. I focused on building muscle and maintaining the ~100 lbs I’d lost so far. Now, thanks to some mysterious switch being thrown in the metabolism somewhere, I am finally losing again. On the same food intake as before, except carefully wheat-free and with a slightly higher carb content.

    — one (somewhat lighter) rat, marching ever onward

  44. Even though I’m not (and may never be) at my desired weight, I still think it’s worth it to eat low carb. I feel better, and have more energy and my labs are good, which tell me I’ll probably have a healthier old age.
    And, believe me, I think about that every day. I’m an occupational therapist in a nursing home, and everytime I interview a patient for an assessment, I’m mentally thinking, ‘Am I going to be like you in 30 years?’ Some of the people I see are a good example of the adage, “If you can’t be a good example, be a horrible warning.”

  45. In your eating experiment you threw in nearly everything bad in the SAD all at once. To me the most interesting new thing in low carb discussions lately is the thought that wheat is worse than other carbs. The original Protein Power book was my main guide for losing 50 lbs in the late 1990s. I have had ups and downs of 5 lbs a few times since then, but never worse. I have found eating wheat products always throws me out of control and gives me GERD. However, I now eat a little (a quarter) boiled white or sweet potato each day and do not gain weight. While not eating as much “safe carbs” as some suggest is OK, it is pleasing to eat a little. Next holiday season, maybe you should try a more selective controlled test.

  46. I noticed you said “Plus, I’m scrupulously avoiding wheat just to see what happens.” This sentence seems to imply that you ate wheat in small amounts or in moderation outside of the experimental diet. After reading “Wheat Belly” however, it seems imperative to avoid wheat at all costs, and I’d imagine that if you are on a low-carb diet, that would be one of the main focuses of the diet. I remember hearing in one of the ancestral health convention speeches (I don’t remember which speaker it was) that it was an all or nothing thing when it comes to wheat, and that it’s a better idea to give it up completely. I know it’s incredibly hard to avoid if you eat out at restaurants though.

  47. Dr. Eades.

    Since the “stalling” of weight loss is a hot topic, I wanted to get your opinion on the candida diet. As you probably know, it is a more stringent temporary LC diet that cuts out the cause of candida yeast in the system which can cause the stall. It has been cited in Atkins books and many other places. Do you think it is a real issue?

    Thanks.

    • I don’t think it is a real issue for most people. A few patients have problems with an overgrowth of Candida, but they are in a minority. When MD and I operated our general medical clinics, we had a doctor working for us who was of the opinion that just about everyone had a problem with Candida. He treated all his patients with anti-fungal medicines, which treat Candida if present, and we noticed on follow up that virtually none of them got any better for whatever condition he was treating. After numerous patient failures and complaints, we ended up getting rid of the doc. The whole experience gave me an extremely jaundiced eye toward anyone claiming everyone has a problem with Candidal overgrowth. There are a few conditions in which there truly is Candidal overgrowth, but these are usually brought on by antibiotic use. Vaginal candidal infections in women who take antibiotics being one and kids with thrush (Candidal infection of the mouth) after taking antibiotics is another. And babies can get a Candidal diaper rash that is bright red and responds to anti-fungal creams.

      • I’ve been a PP girl since the late 90s. Dr. Eades cured my long suffering issue with “hypoglycemia”, which I put in quotes because I’m not sure that’s what it really was. Either way, LC turned me from a highly stressed, super grouchy young woman into the calm, sensitive, laid back person I always knew was hiding in there. And if anyone out there thinks an addiction to carbs can’t impact mental health too – you are wrong.
        However, about 7 years ago I developed a chronic cough. Went through every test imaginable looking for all kinds of terrible things. It was just a little cough that popped out when I tried to speak and seemed to always be hanging in my throat, needing me to hold it back. Not a nasty hacking cough, just a little annoying one. Oh and lots of unexpected laryngitis (forgive my spelling) with no other symptoms. Well Dr. Eades is probably reading this and saying “hello…acid reflux!” but it took all kinds of tests and 4 different doctors to say “yes…acid reflux.” So they put me on super high intensity anti biotics and a twice daily dose of Prevacid. Cough under control…sometimes.

        Well after 3 years of switching reflux meds and every six months of antibiotics to kill h.pylori that they couldn’t even confirm was still in my body, I went to find another opinion. That’s when I was told candida was the culprit. So after 60 days of active acidopholis (again forgive spelling) and the candida diet – my cough was finally gone forever. No meds, no diet restrictions (other than my standard low carb, but that is NOT what doctors recommened for controlling acid reflux), it was just gone. So I think the candida problem can be real and I agree with the Dr., mine was likely caused by too much use of anti-biotics.

        Dr. Eades, you and your wife, really you saved my life. Not because I was in danger of death – I’m not overweight, diabetic or have any other health issues. But without whatever carb addiction (as I call it) was doing to my brain, I live my life without the intense mood swings I had become so familiar with. I thank you and trust me, my family thanks you! Much love to everyone here ~ Debi

  48. I have been on a low carb diet for year ( over 10 ) and quit eating sugar 20 years ago and recently switched to eating Paleo but increased my carbs up some from VLC. The entire time on VLC I never lost weigh and my BS became high. Even now with Paleo I still have high BS in the 90’s. I watch all of my carbs and try not to eat large amounts of fruit or high glycemic veggies. Why is my BS in the 90’s all the time? Will it ever come down so I can lose weight? I take natural thyroid hormones and feel whatever I eat makes no difference in weight loss, I’m doomed. I have been suffering with this for years and in the past ate well ( gluten free ), it makes no sense to me.

    • Hi, I’m no doctor but from what I understand from my own doctors, a blood sugar reading in the 90s is normal, not high. Who is telling you it’s high?

    • In his book Richard Bernstein, MD, says nondiabetics have blood sugar readings between 85 and 95 milligrams/deciliter and that when he kept his readings in that range his Type I (from age 12) symptoms stopped deteriorating further. His path to his diabetes specialty practice on Long Island is very interesting.

      For myself, as a type II diabetic I get really shaky and anxious when my blood sugar goes into the low 70s mg/dl. I’d love it if I could stabilize at 90 mg/dl.

  49. Please report on your wheat experiment, if you can keep it up. I’ve been wanting to eliminate wheat for a long time, yet it really is in EVERYTHING. Like corn.
    It is very hard, especially when busy, to avoid it.

  50. Casey, I was hoping to see some comments from Dr. Eades re: Dr. Kruse too. He had been obese years ago. Dr. Kruse says that following his advice can REPAIR LEPTIN.

    And I expect removing Wheat/Gluten totally would be beneficial to the Eades also as well as all of us. I did so 4 years ago.

  51. Where are your green vegetables? I was surprised after looking at your photos at how few vegetables you eat. I think one of the major reasons I stay healthy, despite my metabolic damage, is eating lots and lots of organic, pesticide-free vegetables 2-3 times a day. Every week I go through 3 heads of cabbage, a couple bunches of spinach, swiss chard, mustard and collard greens, and 2 heads of lettuce. I also eat the more commonly eaten vegetables like brocoli, cauliflower, asparagus, brussel sprouts, zucchini etc. Because my metabolism is damaged, I am more judicious with starchier vegetables. Absolutely no processed foods, no grains, very little dairy (local eggs, some yogurt, small amounts of apple or berries, nuts & seeds and small servings of local meat and poultry complete my diet. I don’t have to count calories and I continue to lose a pound or two every month. I love wine but I have to limit myself to a couple of glasses around once a week. You’re right, weight maintenance requires that one has found a way to eat that works and stick with it. Good health should be the primary goal.

  52. I’ve learned that, for me, bicarbonate of soda is better than taking extra salt (apart from generous amounts on food of course). I get leg cramps in the morning without sodium (I use magnesium too). Having salt at night stopped these but dried me out; I felt too salty. Baking soda, or a mixture of 50/50 Na bicarbonate and NaCl, feels much more right.
    I’m not taking it after food or using enough to neutralise stomach acid significantly.
    Presumably the need for sodium is greater than the need for chloride. Paleolithic man used ash to salt food, higher in potassium and sodium and lower in chloride than salt.

  53. Dr. Eades,

    I keep hearing “plain” water for rehydrating. I’m wondering if flavorings like Crystal Lite hurt the hydration issue.

    I’m 70, diagnosed Type II diabetic at 60, discovered “Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution” and tried to follow it, then fell off the wagon. Then I discovered “Protein Power” and climbed back on the wagon, incorporating some of Dr. Bernstein’s comments about fruits and vegetables. On the low carb diet again some of the cognition losses that occur in people my age have reversed, my, head is clearer and memory works better than with higher carb intake ‘though not as well as when I was 20 (and I’ve never been very good at retaining what I hear, better with what I see).

    But I’m having trouble with the hydration question. I still don’t like “pure” water, much preferring water contaminated with flavorings like coffee (the local Starbucks makes Americano wrong as you said; so did a coffee shop near the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles), Cabernet Sauvignon, diet sodas, etc. Per Bernstein I avoid the products with Maltodextrin and all other -oses and -ols because on the FDA label “sugar” refers mainly to sucrose which isn’t the only substance that can send a Diabetic’s blood sugar soaring.

    Thank you a lot for your insight and leadership.

    Ned Dodds

    • I don’t think a little flavoring hurts as long as it doesn’t contain sugar. I love sparkling water, which is how I get most of my hydration. And I often add a tiny bit of concentrated cherry juice to it – just enough to give the sparkling water a slight flavor.

  54. I am curious after reading that your weight gain was possibly higher than average, yet your diet was lower carb than average, if it is possible that the low-carb diet plays a role in “breaking” the mitochondria or whatever it is that causes the body’s inability to process food effectively? It seems that in the USA anyway, we are exposed to so many unnatural carbs (excessive white sugar at early age, HFCS, processed grains) at such an early age, that perhaps our bodies begin to adapt, then going on the more natural low carb diet causes such a radical shift that the adaptation process is cut short and any exposure to carbs creates easier weight gain. I don’t know if I am explaining myself very well, but mainly I’m wondering if the dietary shift from “normal” diet to low carb can be implicated in the “breakage.”

  55. Hi, Dr. Eades

    I have your back. Anthony Colpo is insulting you again. I plan to do a complete demolishion of his articles and “Fat Loss Bible” it is not at all congruent with the information from a top , pioneering obesity scientists such as Dr. Douglas Coleman’s immensely valuable work in the 1960’s and on.

    Anthony Colpo is 100 % completely ignorant on the scientific literature about obesity. What a true CRANK that guy is. I want to expose this to EVERYBODY on the Internet in my detailed article.

    In fact , there was a recent study in the NEJM about diets- they left people with VERY negative effects to their metabolism and hormones a YEAR LATER.

    He has misrepresented the literature on iron and CAD, alcohol and CAD, women and heart dusease and other things I cannot think of off the top of my head.

    Eat less, move more” is an unreliable nostrum that dates back to Hippocrates. It is an unscientific , belief based approach to “cure” morbid obesity. The scientific literature does not at all show this approach to be the solution for morbid obesity.

    Stay tuned. It will be good.

    Best Wishes,
    Raz

  56. After reading what was eaten from Dec 20 through January 2 (which I estimate a possible extra 1000 calories daily), why would it not be obvious that the increase in calories led to the gain in weight?

    Sure, the eggnog, fruitcake, fudge, cookies, fries, breads, booze, mashed potatoes, ice cream, fruit (and maybe more things) DID contain loads of carbs — but you wrote that you ate more meat during these 14 days as well. Even if you want to view the carb gram increase only (I am guessing 250 grams per day), that had you eating 1000 extra calories per day.

    • I use diet to maintain my weight and resistance exercise to maintain my strength. I’m usually more diligent with the diet than with the resistance exercise, but I do workout irregularly regularly.

  57. Dr Eades
    Please help, I have been lchf for several months now and have benefited. My cells have probably been broken since early in life due to a high carb/sugar existence. I have been fighting a losing battle to keep weight of on the low fat high carb diets all my life. As 5 kg crept on each time I would lose it by starving myself for six months only to find the weight creep back on again on a low fat lifestyle. Now on lchf I am keeping the weight off but I have to maintain almost zero carbs. My problem is leg cramp during night. I have been taking 4gms of sea salt/day but to no avail. I have recently started using a magnesium chloride oil which has made a big difference. Can you tell me if I am on the right track with the magnesium. Is there something else I can do. I look forward to your thoughts. This is my 3rd attemp a various blogs but no replies. A very helpful website.

      • I am so glad you mention NuSalt. I bought some a while back and have been using it along with my Himalaya salt. I was worried about its additives.

        I also know that magnesium is the great electrolyte regulator and have been using a recipe that I found on line that mixes about 30g Milk of Magnesia into a litre of Club Soda (both cold) shake for a minute, rest an hour in fridge (mix not me) then shake again. The bottle will collapse indicating the ion reaction has taken place. No more fizz. It lasts about ten days. Recipe called for 100ml of concentrate to 900ml of my home structured water (unit via Clayton Nolte) and sip it through the day. I got the trots so I halved to fifty millilitres concentrate.

        My mum couldn’t regulate her potassium when she turned fiftyish and ended up in emergency via ambulance and this continued for a year until I found an obscure little book that mentioned that there are four electrolytes; sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, with mag being the great regulator. (Last week I discovered there is a fifth electrolyte, phosphorous. Go figger, knowledge is never ending.) Back to mum; I got her Magnesium oxide, not the best I learned years later, but it did the trick for 22 years until she was being assessed in a hospital apartment set up to see if she could continue to live on her own. She was not allowed to bring any supplements, only doctor prescribed meds which the nurse would administer. She died from C/A on in hospital three days later. Her two sisters died from the same problem way before mum did even though I had warned both families of this problem. I’ve warned all my siblings about this too, but who listens?

        I blather, but, I have found on raw paleo high sat fat that I seem to need fewer supplements. Don’t know if this is true for sure but I did read that high carbs use a lot of vits and minerals to digest- calcium was one I think I remember seeing, and maybe vit C.

  58. Got re-energized the first of the year because of this post. I am now down 23 pounds and 2 dress sizes with no hunger and the fat is finally coming off the mid section this time around. I have increased the fats at the “horror” of family and friends. In the meantime they are getting fatter with their low fat diets and relentless exercise. I enjoy my yoga practice and the occasional walk. I do yard work and generally keep moving because I now have lots of energy and don’t want to sit. Thanks again for this wonderful place to come for ideas and inspiration and especially for the information to fight what feels like the world in my choice of eating. I am half way to my goal and for the first time ever, I know I will reach it.

  59. What about those who did not “crossed the Rubicon into the land of obesity” and never had “maintained so easily” a normal weight? Are we born with a deficit? I always had weight problems, being fed crap and not gaining weight just because of young age has never been my “problem”. When other kids in my class were usually 40 kg I was already 60. When they reached 60 kg I was 90. I don’t think I’ve ever been “normal”, and “normal” is just an excuse for not paying attention to what we eat. After changing my lifestyle some years ago I’m very fit now and nobody would guess how fat I was. But still I would never call myself “normal”…

  60. What about the person who has been obese starting at the age of 5. I’ve been as high as 320, did the phen-fen, got down to 190, off the meds back to 275. dieted low carb down to 225, back up to 268. For 2 years I took fastin and ate high protein/low carb and went to a low of 177. My doctor started spacing the fastin at 3 pills of 37.5 mg per week. I’m still eating low carb but my weight is creeping back up. When I was at 177 – I was exercising like a mad woman, I’d push mow my dad’s yard (2 acres) for 4 hours. I am still rather active aqua aerobics, walking 2.5 miles per day (15 min mile) yet the weight continues to creep… up 2 lbs.. down 1 pound.. up 3 etc. I eating the same as before. As far as the phentermine…. it’s not a question of appetite, I am ocd about my food, Ive eaten the same breakfast for 3 yrs, basically the same lunch. I think that there is some metabolic change created by the phentermine, perhaps its some type of change in the serotonin levels of the body, but something… and all the drs say is …”you must be eating more” are you active? “well maybe you mis-counted the calories…. I’ve come to the conclusion that people who begin life overweight are not “programed” the same as those who were thin and then gain weight. I think it’s a totally different Dna? There has be something or some reason, why my mom who is a carb-aholic and eats sugary junk all day weighed 97 lbs until she was 60 and then only gained up to 140. and never exercised a day in her life…. I swear… I must be adopted!

  61. Animals in the north gain weight through the spring, summer and autumn to prepare for winter. Winter time, they grow skinny. It occurred to me that I should do the same. As a youth I lost weight through the summer and put it back on over the winter. Autumn and spring were usual waiting periods for the change to come. As I aged this didn’t work out so handily/

    This year I decided not to gain weight over the December month which meant I had to limit my holiday treats. I had also decided to lose weight like a bison come January. Strangely, I started to lose weight in late November and by January I had lost seven pounds and then through the month of January and into the first week of February I lost nine pounds.

    I think I am on to something. Rather than seeing the winter time as a time to chub up I am mindful of my bison friends and their weight loss over winter and it just seems so right. My hope now is not to pack on the weight over the next three seasons leading to Winter. Since I was able to lose weight in November and December and winter sort of officially starts around the 21 of the last month, I think I can talk myself out of chowing down this summer. We’ll see. Sometimes mindfulness is all it takes. I hope I speak not too soon.