Meet old Rose:
I've struggled with weight my whole life, but especially since puberty, when I began to balloon. The only diet that worked for weight loss (I tried a lot) was a 500-cal/day regimen that I could only sustain a few months at a time before getting weak and ill. In my late 30s I finally tried Atkins and lost 40 or so pounds, but my (now ex-) doctor begged me to quit, so I did and regained all the lost weight, plus more.
Fast-forward into my early 40s: I was riddled with joint pain, weighed over 220 pounds, and was on a cocktail of anti-depressants and anti-seizure meds. I had just found out I was adopted, and that my birth mother had weighed over 300 lbs at one point. Fed up and scared, I went to a nutritionist and paid a lot of money to be put on a 1,200 cal/day standard low-fat diet, which I complied with meticulously, despite being miserably hungry all day long. And I worked out nearly every night, too. After five weeks, I was up a pound. The light bulb flashed for me: I needed to eat low-carb, and to heck with my doctor and conventional wisdom.
I quit the nutritionist's program and started the Protein Power plan in April 2007. By June I was down to 190, but my weight stayed their for nearly two years, despite eating less than 30g carbs/day. However, I was able to ditch my anti-depressants, so I stuck with the plan, tweaking here and there (dropping dairy, skipping breakfast, even upping my carbs) to no avail; I was stalled. Finally I tried something that initially sounded crazy to me: An all-meat, "zero-carb" (ZC) diet.
To my utter surprise, it worked beautifully, and quickly, too. I started in September 2009, and by December was down to 155 pounds. My joint pain disappeared completely, too. I've been ZC ever since then, with one (failed) "safe starch" experiment during the 2010 holidays. I had my labs done in June, and my doctor was shocked at my perfect numbers. Not only had my weight dropped, but every single number was in range, and my triglycerides were 32 (a number that won't surprise low-carb researchers). Despite those numbers, she still insisted that I was killing myself with a fork, and that's why she's now my ex-doctor.
I plan to eat this way for the rest of my life. Not only has my health improved spectacularly, but I have no cravings at all, and food takes up very little of my mental energy. I don't think everyone needs to go "zero-carb" -- far from it -- but for me, it's been pretty close to a miracle.
Overcoming my doctor's extremely agitated objections. The first time I did Atkins, years ago, I listened to her and regained all the weight I had lost. She's now my ex-doctor.
What advice (if any) would you give to someone interested in trying a carbohydrate-restricted or paleo diet? Were there any obstacles that you overcame that could help future dieters?
Read Gary Taubes, either book (GCBC if you can handle the in-depth analysis). Being armed with that excellent information gave me the insight I needed to realize that my doctor's fears were misguided, and that my results told the real story.
Want to share your story? Join the registry today!