What I didn't know, was that despite me thinking my diet was healthy, it actually wasn't. For example, my breakfast every day was a bowl of whole grain cereal with skim milk and a glass of grapefruit juice. Sugar on top of sugar on top of carbs, with no fat. And like most every American, just about every snack throughout the day is carb heavy, carbs with lunch, carbs with dinner, carbs with dessert. No wonder I couldn't lose any weight.
In June of 2012, a doctor friend of mine linked Gary Taubes' NYT Magazine article "What if it's all been a big fat lie". After reading it, I immediately started a low carb diet. I went out and got Good Calories, Bad Calories, and then Why We Get Fat and read them both as fast as possible. The plateau I never thought I'd get through was shattered. The weight poured off, and fast. It was effortless. I lost 14 lbs in the first 2 weeks, 20 lbs after 1 month, and 40 lbs after 3 months. I was down a total of 50 lbs after 5 months and I've stayed there for the last couple months.
Athletic performance has increased dramatically, which was my main impetus for doing this. I was tired of being heavy, and carrying around an extra 50 lbs that was slowing down my cycling, hiking and rock climbing. I've seen no decrease in energy, endurance, or strength. I've also started weight training and had no problem putting on muscle in short order.
The biggest challenge was finding food to eat at restaurants, or finding things to eat when visiting friends.
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?
Do not be afraid of fat. Embrace fat. Fat is your friend. Do not feel like you need to eat carbs, you don't. Watch out for added sugar in every product you buy. They sneak it into just about everything. The trasition phase was not as tough as I thought it would be. After 2 or 3 days I was fine, although I did feel pretty crappy for those couple days, so be prepared for some discomfort.
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