Then a newly skinny friend recommended Simeon's HCG diet...it was 500 calories a day for 40 days with no carbs and daily injections of HCG. Our weight loss was dramatic. I lost 29 pounds and my fiance lost 41 in 40 days. It was a very difficult diet at first...actually, it was awful...if it hadn't been for my fiance consistently losing more weight than I was, I couldn't have stayed on it...but I wasn't going to let him be the skinny guy with the fat wife. For the first two weeks we had no energy at all. I was confused and dizzy and absolutely ravenous. Then we started to lighten up on the 500 calorie restriction. We kept the No Carb restriction. We started feeling healthier. The arthritis in my hands went away.
During the 40 days I did a lot of research on diets and I found www.fathead-movie.com and through it, the LCHF movement. We stopped counting calories and just restricted carbs. We eat steak cooked in coconut oil, eggs, and chicken with the skin on. We drink tea with cream and coconut oil in it. My fiance lost 100 pounds. I lost 65. Then we loosened up on the carb restriction and over less than three months each of us gained back about 20 pounds. So we started being strict about avoiding refined carbs once again and the pounds are coming back off. When I do "cheat" and eat bread or crackers, I'm ravenous an hour later. I start getting the low blood sugar shakes I used to get when I was overweight. It reminds me that I used to feel that way all the time. I used to cram food whenever I had an opportunity because I didn't want to have one of those low blood sugar attacks. However, I've found that when I omit the refined carbs, I'm almost never hungry.
For the first time in my life, I push away from the table with my plate half full of food because I'm satisfied and full. I'm happier and have lots more energy. We now love going to the gym, whereas before it was a chore to drag our overweight bodies off the couch. I've got so much energy I changed my TV watching habits...I used to veg out in front of the TV for hours every night. Now I want to accomplish projects around the house instead of sitting still. I enjoy what I eat, I don't count calories, I'm not hungry, I never have blood sugar crashes and I feel as if I've turned the clock back 20 years. I have to say that it really, really, really helped that my fiance and I did this together. I could not have maintained my diet if I'd been constantly confronted with someone eating all the junk food I was learning to give up. I don't even want that junk food now. I went to an amusement park recently and tried to allow myself a junk food day. Everything I bought I ended up taking one bite of then throwing the rest away because it tasted disgusting to me. The "old" me would have wolfed it all and wanted more. I've included before and after photos wearing the same clothes in the same pose. I'm not done losing yet. But what really strikes about the before photo is that I really, really thought at the time that I didn't look "that bad." I had no idea I looked like that from behind. I thought I'd picked a shirt that hid all my fat rolls. I was very, very wrong. I'd developed the ability to just gaze in the mirror from the neck up...with mood lighting. A friend snapped that before photo and my diet started soon after. :-) Maybe everyone who can't bring themselves to start a new diet needs a friend to snap a few candid photos.
It is very difficult to find food to eat outside the house. Most paleo foods require refrigeration, so they're hard to bring with you. There are few you can slip in your purse for "just in case". Every restaurant seems to use wheat and sugar in all their sauces. Everything is breaded. Waiters don't understand your questioning about what's in their dishes. I don't like to make a fuss so if I'm out with other people, I just order the least objectionable item and pick out the non-paleo parts.
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?
I would suggest slowly cutting down on refined carbs and gradually replacing them with fat (steaks, eggs cooked in butter, etc.) Carb addition should be treated similarly to opiate addition. You shouldn't go cold turkey (pardon the pun). You should set yourself a schedule and depending on how big a role carbs have played in your diet, allow up to two months to eliminate them.
Also...diet with a friend! Even better, diet with a loved one. It's really hard to go it alone.