I’m often asked, “how did you lose so much weight?” The short answer is: add tons of fresh low carb vegetables and salad greens, and eliminate sugar and highly processed foods from your diet.
For most of my adult life, I weighed more than 200 lbs. I have struggled with my weight even as a child and tended to be larger than my friends and classmates. Since I’m 5’4” tall, I carried my weight differently than taller friends and even my taller younger sister. I compared myself to others and considered myself fat, although when I look at high school pictures I now know I was not overweight. I was a curvy girl, which wasn’t a popular thing in 1985.
Throughout the years, I have tried many “diets”. Some worked temporarily and some were not successful at all. At one point in my life, I faithfully kept my calories intake at 1500 a day. Not only did I count calories, but I also ate what is considered a very healthy low fat diet. I ran 2-3 miles five times a week, had a gym membership so I could take exercise classes, and lifted light weights. I kept this routine for about three years, losing and gaining the same 7 lbs. I never dropped below 197 lbs. It was disheartening- I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing to lose weight!
Two years ago, I had an appointment with my family practitioner to go over some blood tests. After having several previous results showing my A1C numbers creeping up, my doctor told me that I was pre-diabetic. I was very close to becoming a Type 2 diabetic. She told me I should start eating a low carb diet, and at that moment I committed to making changes even though I had been following the recommended low fat diet.
I started researching low carb diets and insulin resistance, and decided to start counting my carbs and sticking to a very low carb diet of 50 total carbohydrates daily. When you start seeing how many carbs are in so-called healthy foods, your eyes are opened. I was consuming an enormous amount of healthy carbs- fruits, organic oatmeal, whole grain breads, low fat pastas. With my new perspective, I began eating low fat meats, tons of fresh veggies and greens, steamed low carb vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli, salads, as well as adding healthy fats such as avocado, olives, and coconut. I also began eating a more clean diet and eliminated most processed foods, and continued to keep my calorie intake to approximately 1500 daily.
I decided to no longer follow a “diet” and commit to a lifestyle change. With the increase in greens and low carb veggies, and cutting out my sugar consumption, the weight began to melt off. Not fast, but a little at a time which led to a 60 pound weight loss! After three months of eating very low carb, I had more blood tests. My triglycerides were down 152 points, my cholesterol was good, and my A1C dropped over a point and I was no longer pre-diabetic! I also need to mention that some other gastro-intestinal issues have drastically improved, and I feel so much healthier overall.
People often say to me, “Oh, I could never give up (fries, pasta, bread, sweets, etc.).” I used to say that too. But it’s about making choices that work for so you can be at your best, or to continue living a lifestyle that’s not the healthiest. Once you stop eating a diet loaded with sugar and carbs, you really no longer have those cravings. My cravings now consist of a nice fresh salad with a delicious ranch dressing and avocado, or a delicious cup of flavored coffee or tea without sugar. Of course there are times when I have a cheat meal, once in a while. But I have realized that I feel much better when sticking to a low carb lifestyle.
It took a year for me to lose 60 lbs, and I’ve kept it off for a year now. I am now 53, the healthiest I’ve been in 35 years, and living my best life. I have committed to my lifestyle change, and help others to make their way to living their best life. I am sharing my experience, not medical advice. I know that one diet does not fit everyone, but if you’ve been struggling to lose weight and nothing has worked, talk to your doctor and consider giving a low carb lifestyle a try.