How the Low Carb, High Fat Lifestyle Rescued Me from My Genetic Curse—Diabetes

Earlier this month, Brian, my life partner shared his story with you. He was able to turn his health around. More importantly, he has added many years to his life. But I’m the lucky one because I get to spend those years with him.

You can read Brian’s story here…

One of the people who helped to keep Brian motivated was his good friend, Steve. I think it made things easier at work, having someone else who was living a low carb lifestyle.

These men are an absolute inspiration and I am very proud of them!

I asked Steve if he would share his testimony with my readers. Below is his story.

 

How the Low Carb, High Fat Lifestyle Rescued Me from My Genetic Curse—Diabetes

By

Steve Butz

If you’ve taken the time to read Brian’s testimonial prior to my own, I’ve already been introduced. Brian and I are coworkers and friends. Craft beer drinking buddies, although we’ve reduced that pastime considerably since we both discovered the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) way of life. Even though we see each other every workday, we stumbled upon LCHF independently and, coincidentally, right around the same time. Having Brian and Wendy to bounce around ideas, experiences and discoveries has been a tremendous advantage for me and, I feel, to them, as well. So when Wendy asked if I’d be interested in sharing my testimonial, I was more than excited to oblige.

I feel I’ve found a tremendous “secret.” I say secret because the info every person struggling with weight, high blood sugars and diabetes should know is kept hidden by Big Pharma, our government and others around the world. The food pyramid, which the mainstream authorities have recently replaced with “the Plate”, are guidelines that fail to incorporate important scientific research that bears out the truth about nutrition that can cure diabetes and defeat obesity. Simply put, the Food Pyramid and Plate guidelines are misguided and all one has to do is look at the obesity and diabetic epidemics of the past 40 years to notice. Yet, physicians around the world continue to dispense poor nutritional advice, right along with oral diabetic meds, statins, and insulin. In essence, they’re keeping us all fat and sick and they’re not going to change anytime soon because there’s way too much money involved.

My brother is a progressive internal physician. He texted me one night and told me I had to check out dietdoctor.com. He said I’d find the information captivating. He was right.

After watching a video presentation on reversing diabetes by Doctor Jason Fung, a Canadian renal physician who works with diabetics, I was convinced LCHF was worth a shot. Fung promised that as soon as a person cuts all the nasty carbs from the diet and replaces those calories with healthy fats like olive oil, butter, eggs, bacon, cheese, nuts, and mayonnaise, blood sugar will come down and stabilize on its own and weight will begin dropping off. So I said farewell to bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, chips, pretzels, crackers, pizza, candy, cakes, ice cream and other desserts. And YES—Beer. That one was tougher than the rest, but I promised myself 15 weeks without beer to see how I could change myself. To me, this was a life and death decision, so it was going to get my best shot.

Fung explained that once we stop barraging our bodies with excessive carbohydrates, our fatty livers start to shed the fat and begin functioning normally. Fatty liver can be reversed in two weeks on the LCHF plan. The pancreas fat takes ten weeks to lose. That’s why I gave myself a 15 week promise on the strict induction phase of the LCHF plan—so that I could be sure my liver and my pancreas had time to lose the fat and start functioning properly again.

Perhaps the most important detail from Fung centered on insulin, a natural hormone found in our bodies. Fung said insulin is a fat-storing hormone secreted by our bodies, sometimes in enormous amounts, to deal with the onslaught of those nasty carbs and the resulting glucose that overwhelms our bloodstreams.

What does insulin do? It stores all that glucose as fat. It works quickly and tirelessly to rid our bloodstream of the glucose from carb breakdown and it stores the glucose as fat. So, Fung reasons, take away those unhealthy carbohydrates and you take away the need for insulin. Take away the need for insulin and you take away the fat storing. It’s as simple as that. Diabetes isn’t a sugar issue; it’s an insulin issue.

Amazingly simple logic. “That’s it” I thought? “I can do that. I can lose the carbs and restrict the insulin that’s keeping me fat and I’ll see where I end up.” And I began immediately.

I’ve been a diabetic for nearly 20 years and insulin dependent for 8 years. When I was diagnosed as a diabetic, I was told that diabetes is a progressive, incurable disease that requires oral meds and ultimately, insulin. More and more insulin as I age until I finally die from complications of diabetes. That’s the course I was on. It started with low doses of Metformin. Then higher doses more frequently. When that wasn’t controlling my blood sugars, I added Glipizide, a more powerful, glucose-reducing med. I watched my diet and stuck to the Pyramid, cut back on servings, took meds, exercised and still, my weight was up, my sugars high. When I went on insulin to treat my high blood sugars, I was treating a symptom but exacerbating the real problem—insulin resistance. I was pretty much devastated. I didn’t want to go to insulin because that was admitting defeat. It was giving in to the notion that my diabetes is out of control, incurable and that I’d follow the family genetic curse and die in my early 60’s, if I even made it to 60.

Now, with the discovery of LCHF, I feel like I’ve beaten the genetic curse. Low Carb High Fat is my Excalibur and I’ll use its magic to fight diabetes and obesity. In six months, I have become healthier than I have been in 30 years and all it took was some education, curiosity, and determination. Oh, and a lot of tinkering around with what was working and what wasn’t working. That’s where it was really cool to have Brian and Wendy around because we’d compare notes, dig for information and knowledge and share all that we were experiencing. The support was a tremendous help for me and I’m sure it saved me a lot of trial and error.

Consider these numbers after 6 months of the Low Carb High Fat lifestyle:

  1.  230 lbs to 177 lbs – 53 pounds lost.
  2. Size 38 pants (busting out of them, but too vain to go to size 40) to size 34.
  3. 9.8 A1c (on meds) to 6.1 (without meds).
  4. No energy (except enough to fall into a chair after work) to high energy (enough to exercise each day with vigor).

Allow me to elaborate a bit. In October, 2015, my Hemoglobin A1c was 9.8. I was taking all my meds and insulin and the test results were still scarily high, considering a normal result is 6 or less. At 5’9”, my weight was up around 230, I had no energy and I was feeling defeated. I upped my insulin in the ensuing months, made sure to work some exercise in, watched my diet and gave my best the following five months. In February, 2016, my A1c registered 7.8. After all that effort and medication, the number was still way too high.

Can you feel my desperation? This is when my doctor-brother, Todd, directed me to dietdoctor.com. It’s also why the 2-week challenge on that site was pretty much life and death for me—if this didn’t work, I felt there was no escaping the claws of diabetes. My mother died at 62 from complications of diabetes.

Her father died at 58. At 53, I was way too close to that general age and way too unhealthy. I was facing my mortality and it was downright devastating to contemplate an early death and all the lost years with my daughter, my wife and my family and friends. In my mind, there was still a lot of living to do.

Along with throwing myself into some pretty fascinating educational videos on dietdoctor.com, I also tore through a number of books on the subject, among them: The New Atkins for a New You by Dr. Eric Westman of Duke University; Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes and The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss by Jason Fung, MD. What I found in all this personal research is that there’s a whole body of nutritional research available that just (for some ungodly reason) hasn’t hit the mainstream. This research holds such promise—reversing diabetes and obesity—that everyone should know about it, but the fact that this information isn’t being taught and pushed by the medical community made me really angry. I gobbled up as much information as I could and I waged war on my diabetes…and all those who should have educated me through the years instead of medicating me.

Let me tell you this—when I gave this a whirl, I really felt that this was too good to be true. The next great fad. Something that would work for others, but wouldn’t work for me. To say the least, I had my doubts. But those doubts didn’t last long.

Once I quit putting bad carbohydrates into my body, my blood sugars dropped from the 150s into the 90s. I hadn’t seen steady 90s in decades, even with medication. At times, my sugars started dropping pretty low because, remember, I was still on full doses of oral medication and insulin. My brother advised me to cut all my meds to keep my sugars from bottoming out and, within a week, I was drug free and my sugars were still testing in the 80s and 90s. The immediate results floored me. And they also gave me hope that this was the miracle for which I was searching.

I started LCHF March 3rd, 2016. I began losing weight immediately. I dropped my meds completely, felt more energetic and in the first month, I was 18 pounds lighter. Without all the carbohydrates in my diet, I had transformed my body from a glucose-storing machine to a fat-burning engine that was eating up my storehouses of fat. I was still eating unprocessed meats like chicken, fish, beef, bacon and pork and the carbohydrates I still kept in my diet were green veggies like spinach, lettuce, asparagus, celery, broccoli, avocados, etc., but what was different was that I added healthy fats to my diet—you know, the same fats that we’ve been told to stay away from for 40 years, like butter, mayonnaise, bacon, heavy cream, full fat cheese. My body was converting to fat-burning since it didn’t have the usual onslaught of unhealthy carbs, so the fat I included in my diet became the most efficient fuel I could feed myself. And my body was eating it up!

When I saw my nutritionist in May, she was startled with the amount of weight I had lost. It was a pleasure seeing her reaction. When she went to record my weight in the chart, she stopped and said, “Wait a second. Get back on that scale.” She thought she had made a mistake because, at this point, two months into the LCHF lifestyle, I was 27 pounds lighter. She wanted to know what I was doing to lose the weight and I was glad to discuss my lifestyle change and all the benefit I was feeling.

Three months later, I had my routine blood work drawn and I saw my doctor. He’d already heard about my switch to LCHF because he’s married to my nutritionist. When I saw the doc in August, I was 45 pounds lighter than I was in February. My A1c was lower than he’d seen it in years and all this was accomplished without the medication that I’d depended on for so long.

Thing is, I sense that he’s not quite convinced yet that this is something that I can maintain. I’m positive he’s been privy to all kinds of weight loss fads through the years and I’m guessing he’s thinking this is one more. So that’s part of my incentive to keep going with this. When I go back, I want to show that this is still working; that it’s a permanent fix.

It’s been over 6 months since I’ve had bad carbs. No breads, no sugars, no desserts, no pastas, no junk food. The amazing thing is, I don’t miss any of those foods. I get such pleasure from the healthy foods I’m eating now and I’ve converted my kitchen into my very own LCHF pantry. I enjoy the taste of foods so much more—olives stuffed with blue cheese, rich buttery creamy crab soup, bacon, nuts and cheeses, guacamole. I never thought I’d be eating this way without feeling deprived because, after all, I’ve always been a junk food junkie who couldn’t do without a fast food burger, fries, soda, Extra Crispy KFC, Olive Garden pasta and breadsticks. But I swear to you, I feel so good now that all those bad, processed foods are out of my system that sticking to the LCHF way of life is not only a pleasure, it’s my preference.

Less than a year ago, I had no means to improve my health and I was scared that I was quickly heading toward all the bad things that diabetes holds, but now, I feel more vibrant, more energetic and healthier than I ever thought possible and it’s all a result of LCHF. It’s literally a crime that this nutritional and health information isn’t in the mainstream and that it’s circulating in underground channels. But a truth this bold and transformative—a truth that can reverse diabetes and help resolve obesity and solve many other health-related issues—will not be kept silent for long.

That’s why this testimonial is important for me to share—because if anyone out there is feeling the same desperation as I was, it’s important to know that there’s a way out. A proven, scientific way out. All you have to do is follow the research, read as much as you can, observe how your body reacts and personalize the LCHF way of life with the foods you really prefer and love. Nature will take care of the results.

Finally, I need to thank Dr. Eric Westman for stepping outside of the box at Duke University and promoting the LCHF lifestyle. Thanks to Dr. Jason Fung, whose video on Reversing Diabetes was the most common-sense, informative and powerful videos I’ve seen. Thanks to Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, who started dietdoctor.com with the ambition of helping a world of obese, diabetic, unhealthy and underinformed people. Thanks to my brother-doctor Todd, who opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me. And thanks to Brian and Wendy, who have been powerful supporters and partners in my search for a better way of living. All of these people are instrumental parts of my success team.

Steve,

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your story. It was way more than I expected and so much appreciated. I know you will be helping many people who have struggled with weight loss and type 2 diabetes. You are an absolute inspiration!

Hugs, Wendy

5 Major Health Effects Of Being Overweight

I think we all know about the health effects of being overweight. For example, I knew that when you are obese you are at a much higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. I mean you hear about this all the time.

But the truth is, when I thought about obesity, I always had a picture in my head of someone, other than me, who was obese. Because, even though I was “overweight”, I never really saw myself as obese.

500px-Body_mass_index_chart.svg
BMI (Body Mass Index) Chart

One day I went online to calculate my BMI. I typed in my height and weight and it said I was Obese! Really? I expected overweight, but not obese. This was a bit of a wake-up call.

My point is, sometimes we don’t realize just how out of control our weight is. The weight gain just happens over time if you don’t watch it. This is why I now weigh myself every day. I feel like it is critical to be honest with myself. When I weigh myself daily, it helps to keep me focused.

Being aware of my numbers helps to keep me on track with my low carb, high-fat lifestyle. And yes, for me it is a lifestyle. At 52 I feel so much healthier than I have ever felt. I don’t ever want to go back to having chronic aches, pains and sinus problems.

It really wasn’t until I first lost about 20 pounds when I noticed that my body was changing. And not just on the outside. I noticed that I hadn’t had a headache in a while, my skin looked and felt better, my allergies were gone and my knees didn’t hurt anymore. I actually felt wonderful.

Now, when I go to that same BMI site, it says I am just slightly overweight. And that’s fine with me. I will soon be at a normal weight again.

There are many health issues directly linked to being overweight or obese.

Health Effects of Being Overweight

Here are 5 of the big ones:

High Blood Pressure
Type 2 Diabetes
Stroke
Heart Disease
Cancer

What I want to get across in this post is that sometimes we are blind to what is going on with our bodies. But there are many other health issues related to obesity.

We may have sicknesses and go on medications. Some people have chronic pain all the time caused by obesity. The reality is, perhaps losing a bit of weight may actually help solve the problem.

The good news is, by being aware of our weight, we can prevent many ill effects of a poor diet.

At 52, I finally feel like I am in control of my weight and my health.

I would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts? Do you think losing weight can help folks get well?

 

Why Are So Many People Fat?

I’m a critical thinker. So when something doesn’t feel right, I ask questions and come to my own decisions based on facts.

When it comes to health and diet there is a plethora of information out there. And lots of opposite information. It is very confusing.

I started thinking about the obesity problem that is going on here in the US and in other parts of the world.

why are so many people obese?
Why are so many people fat?

Why are so many people fat? Why do we have more type 2 diabetes than ever before?

When I was a kid, my Mom and Dad referred to type 2 diabetes as “sugar diabetes” because it was rare that a child would get it. It was an “older” person disease.

I remember being a young woman in the 1990’s. I learned that fats were bad for you. It seemed during this time that everything became low fat or no fat. I remember eating Snackwells and thinking that I was doing a good thing for my body. I wasn’t.

If you read the label of these Snackwells cookies, you will see that they have no nutritional value. I remember the marketing used to talk about how it didn’t include any fat. Fat makes you fat, eat Snackwells.

If you look back in history since the early 1990’s the obesity rate has gone up dramatically and so has type 2 diabetes.

Guess what!? We had it all wrong.

Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat.

sugarThe culprit to obesity is sugar!

Sugar is way more addictive than cocaine. So people keep eating more of it. I was one of them.

Read about my sugar addiction here.

I didn’t realize how addicted to sugar I was. I thought I was eating a healthy diet by eating low fat and counting calories. I was doing it all wrong and making myself sicker.

Today, I noticed that same Snackwell’s has new packaging. It still says fat-free. But now on the front of the box it says, “without high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil or artificial flavors or preservatives”. So you would think that this would be a healthy snack.

But if you take a close look at the label, there is virtually no nutritional value in the cookies. If you look at the label, it looks like there is 14g of carbs and 9g of sugar. And this is just for 1 cookie.

1985 there was 10% obesity in the United States. Now it is up to 35%! Obesity is very common. And it is getting worse every day.

It makes me really sad every time I see a child who is obese. Or when I hear that someone died from complications of obesity.

But my biggest frustrations comes from the fact that many doctors don’t even give their patients the correct information. I’m not sure why. Some say it is because of the pharmaceutical companies give them a kick-back. Others say it is because they were taught the wrong information in the first place.

All I know is it is pretty simple. We (folks in the US) started getting fat after we started eating more processed food which was high in sugar.

What do you think is the cause of the obesity problem? Does obesity affect your life? Do you know someone who is obese or has diabetes?