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04.08.2015
June 11, 2012 By Vanessa Romero 19 Comments I’ve been an ardent supporter of a low-carb lifestyle for the better part of the past decade. These days, however, my adherence to a low-carb lifestyle is less about how I look on the outside and more about the health of my insides. There has never been a study that has shown protein harms the kidneys in otherwise healthy persons. For the general population, studies have found that those following a low-carb plan have actually lost less muscle mass than their low-fat counterparts even without exercise.
I’ve lived this low-carb lifestyle for a decade plus a few years and have no anticipation of living any other way. About Vanessa RomeroVanessa Romero, founder of Healthy Living How To and Healthy Living With Essential Oils, is a healthy living enthusiast with a background in Personal Training, Metabolic Testing and Nutrition Coaching.
I first tried the low carb diet several years ago with my daughter, and lost about 15 pounds the first month — but then life events happened, I went off the diet and never went back until last fall, when I learned that I am now a Type 2 diabetic. While eating low carb is a struggle at times, especially when cooking for a family that CAN and WANTS to eat carbs, I no longer feel like I am being deprived of favorite foods.
Also we use Splenda syrups — such as DaVinci and Tourani sugar free syrups, in coffee and in some of the treats. I just wanted to post how happy I am that there is more support and information now for low carb dieters.
In February of 2011 I was at my top weight of 205 lbs, just 7 months after having my first baby. I know this is old and I mean no offense by what I’m about to say, but in your before picture you look 50+ years old and in your after you look no older than 20-25… you look amazing! Obviously it’s still possible to lose weight on any diet – just eat less calories than you burn, right? A 2012 study also showed that people on a low carb diet burned 300 more calories a day – while resting! According to one of the Harvard professors behind the study this advantage “would equal the number of calories typically burned in an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity”. Do you want to watch a new high-quality 11-minute video course on how to eat low-carb, high-fat (LCHF)? Do you want to know more about exactly what to eat on low carb, exactly how to do it, potential problems and solutions… and lots of great recipes? Always eat enough, so that you feel satisfied, especially in the beginning of the weight-loss process. Doing this on a low carb diet means that the fat you eat will be burned as fuel by your body, as your levels of the fat storing hormone insulin will be lowered. Real food is what humans have been eating for thousands or (even better) millions of years, e.g. Low-carb chocolate is usually full of sugar alcohols, which the manufacturer does not count as carbs. On a strict LCHF diet the hunger and urge to eat tends to decrease a lot, especially if you have excess weight to lose. Some people fear that they will lose control if they don’t eat every three hours, thus making them eat thousands of calories and blowing their diets completely.
Losing fat and gaining muscles is great progress, but you may miss this if you only measure your weight.
Put the measuring tape around your middle, like in the picture above, slightly above your belly button (to be exact: at the midpoint between your lowest rib and the top of your hipbone, at your side). I suggest measuring your waist circumference and weight before starting and then perhaps once a week or once a month.
These markers are almost universally improved on a low carb diet, even before major weight loss. As you get closer to your ideal weight the loss slows, until you stabilize at a weight that your body feels is right.
Losing a lot of weight long-term and keeping it off forever won’t happen unless you change your habits forever.
This is a tip that goes for men as well, of course, but eating fruit is a more common obstacle for women trying to lose weight.
Five servings of fruit per day is equivalent to the amount of sugar in 16 ounces of soda (500 ml). Many people replace sugar with artificial sweeteners in the belief that this will reduce their calorie intake and cause weight loss. Instead, according to scientific studies, artificial sweeteners can increase appetite and maintain cravings for sweet food. This could be because the body increases insulin secretion in anticipation that the sugar will appear in the blood. Furthermore, artificial sweeteners can maintain an addiction to sweets and lead to snack cravings. Studies claiming to show neutral or positive effects of sweeteners are usually funded by the beverage industry. If you’re having trouble losing weight I suggest that you completely avoid sweeteners. 4.7 out of 5 stars5 star77%4 star15%3 star4%2 star1%1 star1%153 ratings15306:35Do you find the idea of avoiding sweeteners almost impossible to imagine?
Insulin injections, especially at higher doses, are probably the worst obstacle for weight loss. C. If this is not enough to get off insulin (again, for type 2 diabetics) you could try newer promising drugs like Victoza or Byetta. Some antidepressant medications can cause weight gain, especially the older tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) such as Tryptizol, Saroten, and Clomipramine; as well as newer drugs such as Remeron (Mirtazapine). Some contraceptives often contribute to slight weight gain, especially those that contain only progesterone and no estrogen, for example the mini-pill, the contraceptive injection, or a contraceptive implant. Antibiotics can possibly lead to a temporary weight gain by disturbing the gut microbiota and increasing the amount of energy we absorb from food. One way to combat this is to go to bed early enough for your body to wake up autonomously before the alarm clock goes off. Many may find the above guidelines difficult to follow, perhaps because of a lack of time (or the equivalent – small children!).
However, despite the fact that a low-carbohydrate diet generally makes it easy to eat just enough, there are foods classified as low carb which become a problem in larger quantities. Dairy products contain varying amounts of lactose (the milk sugar), which slows down weight loss.
Nuts, the second food to watch, contain a fair amount of carbohydrate, and it’s very easy to unwittingly scarf down large quantities. On the other hand, reliable access to vitamins and minerals could perhaps mean decreased hunger levels and decreased cravings, thereby promoting weight loss.


A lack of vitamin D is probably the most common deficiency in northern countries such as Canada, or most of the US.
In one of the studies, 77 overweight or obese women received either a supplement of 1000 units of vitamin D, or a placebo, every day for 3 months. A study from 2010 involved around a hundred women with weight issues, separating them into three groups. Unsurprisingly, the results showed that nothing had happened to the weight of the women receiving calcium or the placebo. Furthermore, another earlier study found that subjects decreased hunger levels by taking multivitamin supplements during starvation diets, compared to a placebo. If you’re overweight and not entirely sure that your diet provides enough nutrients, it may be worthwhile to take a multivitamin pill. There are many things to consider before moving on to this tip #14, but don’t let that fool you.
Probably the most popular option is fasting for 16 hours (including sleep), which is usually easy to do on an LCHF diet. Of course there are many other variants of intermittent fasting, but this 16:8 method (16 hours of not eating, 8 hours of eating during a day) is the one I recommend as a first option.
In fact on an LCHF diet some people spontaneously fall into this habit, as their appetite is reduced (see weight loss tip #4, eat only when hungry).
I recommend eating when hungry as a first option, and I recommend always eating until you feel satisfied at meals. Intermittent fasting is about eating all that your body needs… while still allowing it to sometimes briefly rest from constant feeding. As an experienced low-carber, I thought it was high time I did a little series on my nutritional lifestyle. In fact, there are some studies that actually show that low-carb diets actually improve kidney function. In my particular case, as a personal trainer and fitness enthusiast, I love my muscles and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize them. As far as the food goes, if you have been a regular reader for even the past few months, you know the food I eat is anything but boring.
My body clung onto that weight for a couple of years until my metabolism and adrenals were restored.
Her passion, is to help others achieve optimal health, through a wellness approach that encompasses living healthy in mind, body and spirit. I tried every diet I could think of or find and each left me starving, dazed, weak and feeling even more unhealthy. I can lift my 4 year old son and step on the scale and still weigh 10 lbs less than I used to at top weight.
This is an old idea: For 150 years or more there have been an infinite number of weight-loss diets based on eating less carbs. The problem with this simplistic advice is that it ignores the elephant in the room: Hunger. The most common mistake when starting a low carb diet: Reducing carb intake while still being afraid of fat.
They will tell you that you can eat cookies, pasta, ice cream, bread and plenty of chocolate on a low carb diet, as long as you buy their brand. Ideally the food you buy shouldn’t even have a list of ingredients (or it should be very short). It’s terrible advice and Americans who eat a more diverse diet actually gain more weight.
Even if you’re only using almond flour and sweeteners snacking on baked goods and cookies usually provides extra eating when you’re not hungry… and yes, this will slow down weight loss. Hunger will only slowly return and you’ll have plenty of time to prepare food or grab a snack. Focusing only on weight and stepping on the scale every day might be misleading, cause unnecessary anxiety and undermine your motivation for no good reason. You may want to lose fat – but the scale measures muscles, bone and internal organs as well.
Thus it’s smart to also track the disappearance of your belly fat, by measuring your waist circumference. Focus on your waist circumference and health markers (see advice #4) at first as it sometimes takes several weeks before weight loss is apparent. If you lose weight and then return to living exactly the way did when you gained weight, don’t be surprised when the excess weight returns. If this doesn’t seem possible for you, then you’re perhaps more interested in one of these magical diet scams.
People may believe that fruit is nutritious but unfortunately fruit contains a lot of sugar – around 10% by weight (the rest is mostly water). Contrary to what many people believe the sugar is more or less identical (about 50% glucose, 50% fructose).
This can increase your hunger and slow your weight loss. For best results avoid fruit – or enjoy it occasionally as a treat. However, large amounts of alcohol might slow weight loss somewhat, so moderation is still a good idea.
This is still speculative for humans but it’s another reason not to use antibiotics unless you truly need it. Letting yourself get a good night’s sleep is another way of reducing stress hormone levels.
It also has an adverse effect on self-discipline and makes it painfully easy to give in to temptation (it’s no coincidence that induced sleep deprivation is a common interrogation technique). Physical activity can perk you up and make it difficult to get to sleep for several hours afterwards. Yes, it tends to work just fine with a low-carbohydrate diet, as appetite regulation happens effortlessly. What’s more, part of the protein in milk generates a significant insulin response, which can have the same effect.
When in a situation where nuts are an absolute must, know that the most harmless ones carb-wise are macadamia nuts (usually around 5% carbs), or Brazil nuts (4%).
Three recent studies indicate that, when compared to a placebo, a vitamin D supplement can decrease your fat weight or waist measurement [1 2 3]. Those who took the vitamin D supplement decreased their body fat by 2,7 kg (6 pounds) – significantly more than the placebo group, who hardly decreased their fat weight at all.


One group received a daily multivitamin supplement, the other a daily calcium supplement, and the last group only a placebo. Unfortunately, they still contain only minimal doses of vitamin D, so you need both for the full effect.
It only requires trading breakfast for a cup of coffee (or some other non-caloric fluid) and having lunch as the first meal of the day. Eat as much as you need to feel satisfied 5 days of the week and then eat calorie-restricted on two days (500 calories per day for women, 600 calories for men).
But if this is not effective enough then intermittent fasting is a very effective addition. I lift heavy weights and keep an eye on bodyfat percentage and have more lean body mass today than I did a decade ago.
Even though bananas aren’t on the list, i guess being able to eat some type of fruit is better than no fruit.
What’s new is that dozens of modern scientific studies have proven that, yes, low carb is the most effective way to lose weight.
Sugar and starch may increase your hunger, avoiding it may decrease your appetite to an adequate level. Study after study show that low carb is the smart way to lose weight and that it improves important health markers.
The fear of saturated fat is based on obsolete theories that have been proven incorrect by modern science. The problem is if you’re munching a lot of cheese in front of the TV in the evening… without being hungry. People on a very strict low carb diet may lose weight quicker, as well as those who exercise a lot (a bonus). Several studies, however, have failed to show any positive effect on weight loss by consuming artificial sweeteners instead of plain sugar.
The most common antidepressants known as SSRI’s (for example Citalopram and Sertraline) usually don’t impact weight significantly. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should review possible ways to decrease or better handle excessive stress in your life.
If you’re the kind of person who always gets brutally woken up by the alarm ringing, you might never be giving your body adequate rest.
For someone following a strict LCHF diet with a 20 grams of carbs per day allowance, this means that consuming 100 grams (which happens in a flash!) will have filled their daily quota. What happens when you eat too little food, or when the food you eat isn’t sufficiently nutritious? Among other things, their basal metabolic rate (the rate at which the body burns calories when at rest) increased.
I don’t recommend this as it requires calorie counting and extra planning, but some people still find they enjoy it. Remember – and this is crucial – that between fasting periods you’re still supposed to eat until satisfied. While some days I eat more than others, I strive to eat at least 5-7 servings of nutrient dense veggies a day.
Besides, a properly designed low-carb plan is not high protein but moderate protein which research has shown to improve satiety and support lean body mass. If your body wants to eat an appropriate number of calories you don’t need to bother counting them. Nothing slows down weight loss more than frequently eating a lot of food that you do not need.
And if you have an enormous amount of excess weight to lose you could start out much faster. Keep doing what you’re doing and eventually things will start happening again (if not, check the other 16 tips). Something odd happened when I tested Pepsi Max though, and there are well-designed studies showing increased insulin when using artificial sweeteners. Unfortunately cortisone is often an essential medicine for those who are prescribed it, but the dose should be adjusted frequently so you don’t take more than you need. This applies especially to dairy products typically lacking in fat, such as regular milk and various yoghurts, but be careful with full-fat dairy such as cream and cheese all the same.
Peanuts tend to be around 10-15% carbohydrate – not putting them in the clear either. While the fruit list is a bit shorter than the veggie list, I indulge guilt-free in fruits that are low in sugar but high in phytonutrients. I was able to eat to satiety, and didn”t have to force myself to drink more than to thirst. This is my first time on your site, and I am happy to see that low carb lifestyles are becoming much more widespread. Or lots of cream with dessert, when you’re actually already full and just keep eating because it tastes good. This is especially true if you’re just coming off a long period of semi-starvation (calorie counting), as your body may want to restore lost muscles etc.
Asthma inhalers and other local cortisone treatments, like creams or nose sprays, hardly affect weight. After all – if we eat more, we increase the chances of consuming enough of whatever nutrient we are lacking. I began to rapidly lose weight and found myself feeling clearer mentally, and much more energetic. Another tip: Avoid bringing the entire bag to the couch, preferably choose a small bowl instead.
In 18 short months I had lost 60 lbs and was fitter than I had every been in my entire life. The newer drugs Victoza and Byetta (injectable) often lead to weight loss, but possible long-term side effects are still unknown. I did lose the vanity weight with little effort and have maintained a healthy and fit figure for a number of years*. I have about 10 lbs to go, and now I have decided that this is my lifestyle for the rest of my life.



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