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The Life Changing Power Of The Low-Carb Lifestyle

Posted Feb 19 2009 6:30pm

There is nothing more empowering than the results of a changed life

One of the most common themes I often write about is how livin’ la vida low-carb is such a life changing experience for people who try it. My own experience has shown this to be true after losing a large amount of weight while simultaneously getting my health back from the brink of destruction. While this way of eating will always have people who oppose it for whatever reasons they rationalize in their minds, the fact remains that the power to take back control of your weight and health is in YOUR hands to do something about it.

As I enjoy doing from time to time, today I want to share with you some stories of real people from the real world who have forever been changed for the better as a result of being on the low-carb life. You’ll see a variety of ways livin’ la vida low-carb has positively impacted these people and hopefully be encouraged in your own journey towards a better weight and health from their testimonies of this amazing way of eating. Be encouraged in your low-carb walk as you read these powerful stories!

I’ve been watching your YouTube videos, reading your blog, and listening to your podcasts for maybe a year now….wow how time flies! I’ve lost about 40 pounds so far and have another 60 to go!

THANK YOU for your support of the work I am doing and congratulations on your weight loss success. You keep at it with your low-carb lifestyle and that 100-pound goal you have set for yourself can and will happen. NEVER GIVE UP!

Hey Jimmy,

Here are my latest blood work results:

Total Cholesterol: 217
LDL: 154
HDL: 51
Trigs: 58

This is the note from my doctor:
“Go on a low-fat diet, try losing weight, increase your exercise, re-check cholesterol in one year.”

UGH! Let’s see, NO to the low fat, yes to the weight loss-I am trying and succeeding on a low-carb plan, yes to more exercise, and yes to the re-check in a year. Three things I agree with him on and one not a chance in Hell!

WOW, your lipid profile numbers are excellent. The HDL will continue to rise as you continue livin’ la vida low-carb and your triglyceride/HDL ratio is phenomenal at a 1-1 level. That means those 154 LDL you have are likely the large, fluffy, protective kind that are the hallmark of a healthy low-carb diet keeping you from heart disease risk. Of course, getting this tested with the NMR Lipoprofile or VAP test is the only way to know for sure. But you are well on your way! I’m surprised he didn’t bring up statin drugs for your “high” cholesterol (anything over 200 and doctors go batty). Good for you rejecting the low-fat lie and embracing the low-carb life instead!

I’m living low-carb too. I just wanted to share another success story with you. I started off at 275 on Feb 29, 2008. Today, I am 236 pounds. I enjoy the way I eat, which is probably better described as carb-conscious. I was pretty strict in the beginning to break the sugar addition, but now I don’t even really count my carbs. I just continue to avoid breads, pastas, rice, potatoes, corn and sweet fruits. Also, I enjoy riding my bicycle more now that I’m lighter (~80 miles/week). This too adds to my healthier lifestyle. I’m a 43 year old male and will probably settle for being at 220 pounds with my 6′2″ frame. We’ll see when I get there.

I am so very proud of you! Taking that bull by the horns and transforming your life forever by implementing low-carb into your daily routine has reaped for you great dividends. And you did it at an age when most men are GAINING weight and starting to see their health decline. Always remain vigilant in your carb-consciousness and never let anyone convince you the way you are eating is unhealthy. Very clearly what you are doing is working for you to bring about some truly remarkable results!

I know a friend of mine who I turned on to your blog a long time ago and she reads your stuff religiously. She used to weigh 400 pounds and I was the one who suggested low-carb to her. She was hungry and depressed on other diets and would always gain it back–whereas I’ve stayed low to moderate-carb for a long time and even do it vegetarian-style now and still have success over the long run.

Anyway, my friend lost 200 pounds AND WAS THRILLED she could LIVE AGAIN. People were not making fun of her at every turn and she could walk for the first time in a long time. But she fell off a few times gaining back some weight, but each time she starts up again doing it the same way.

She continues to read your blog and menus every day and is so encouraged by your outlook and determination. In fact, she has said to me that it gives her a jump start every single day.

Thank you for sharing this inspirational story of one of my readers you turned on to low-carb. And I’m encouraged by the determination your friend has to keep on livin’ la vida low-carb even when she messes up. Too often we hear people criticize those of us following a low-carb plan that it’s not something you can do for the long-term because nobody could eat that way forever. Well, why the heck not? It is an absolutely perfect nutritional plan for anyone trying to manage their weight, blood sugar, insulin, and health. If your friend is reading this right now, then I urge her to stay on low-carb as a permanent and healthy lifestyle change and then never look back! The rewards are worth the investment!

Just wanted to let you know I completed the first 14 days of Induction yesterday and I’m already down 8 pounds. I’m showing definite spikes in energy levels and I’ve started doing little bits of exercise that would never have happened a month ago (just too dang tired), like walking around the building at work during lunch. Also making use of the pool in our community (why not? I pay for it already!).

OUTSTANDING! Induction is a great way to kick start your low-carb plan and I expect your energy levels and weight loss will continue to go up and up and up! Way to go!

I did Atkins and was successful at it about 7 1/2 years ago. I was down to my high school weight of 118 pounds and maintained for about a year. I’m a 48-year old Army wife and there has been a lot of stress in my life. Between Army life and raising kids and moving, I have probably just ate my way through this life I live right now without even thinking…boredom…emotions…THE WORKS!

My husband is deployed to Iraq for the 2nd time and I want to get some of this weight off. I’ve not been on a scale in a while and I’m guessing I’m 170 pounds…gosh,could I be more? I’m just tired of all this. I walk daily for 45-60 minutes and that has made me feel strong, but I need to control the food. I had blood work done with an Army course that my husband and I attended about five months ago and the test results showed all my levels were good except for my bone density.

I would like to wear my size 8s and 10s again and right now I am squeezed into 14s. It takes a photo to really show you what you look like and this past June I had to speak at our farewell dinner with a microphone–UGH! I looked like a tank!

Because of that, I am starting Induction today and I hope I can get back to my low-carb way of life because of the way it made me feel. I’m so tired of mindless eating and I just don’t want to eat my way through this year and be even larger. I can see that is what I’m doing because my husband has been gone just 6 weeks and I have gotten into the habit of nightly junk eating–chips, ice cream, popcorn, etc. I need to stop!

Anyway, I’m sending a cyber hug to you and Christine and a thank you for waking me up. I’ll be watching your YouTube videos and I need to try to go find your blog. I needed something and now that I found you. I’m going to latch on and work hard.

This is the kind of story that moves me. When someone shares their life warts and all in a cry out for help, you can’t help but feel a sense of compassion for someone like this. I get e-mails like this one all the time and I’m humbled to know that the work I’m doing is helping women like this get back on track again. She’s seen success before with low-carb and she’ll see it again if you decides to stick with it for life. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

Having failed twice at calorie diets, I was ready for something different. I purchased the Atkins book and cookbook. Though most people have a skewed idea of Atkins (No, you don’t eat meat all the time) I found you have a choice of a lot of vegetables, and that counting net carbohydrates was not starving me. After two months in the induction phase, and two months in the “ongoing weight loss” phase, I lost 35 pounds and it showed. The weight loss increased my metabolism. I needed less sleep, I had more energy. Most noticeable: my abs began to show. I was ecstatic and continued following the program.

I actually found this low-carb success story at the Tampa Bay Online web site about a guy named Daniel Mlotkowski and his story is enough to make Dr. Atkins smile down on him right about now because Daniel gets it. He used the Atkins diet principles to shed over 50 pounds and has tweaked his low-carb lifestyle to fit HIS preferences and needs while still maintaining the weight and health he earned doing this. His story is not unique, but it adds yet another voice to the growing list of low-carb champions!

Hi Jimmy,

I am 51 years old and live just north of Sydney, Australia. I have (had) Type 2 diabetes and all the associated metabolic syndrome issues. I was told by my doctors that I, like you was a dead man walking. Having tried all sorts of diets in the past, I was getting desperate to the point of starting to consider bariatric surgery.

It was in my search for some info on bariatric surgery that someone posted a
very small comment (as they often are) about your blog. From there I devoured your low-carb message like a meat starved homo-sapien. I also took your message about going and reading Dr. Atkins’ book before starting on the plan–did that and more (I think I ate the pages out of that book too).

I then immediately went on a low-carb Atkins diet. Induction was easy after reading
the problems bariatric surgery patients had to deal with after their operation. That was 2 months ago. So far I have dropped about 20 pounds from a starting weight of nearly 300 pounds and I’ve already come off ALL of my diabetic medication (when you tell people that it gets them interested). My blood sugars now are totally normal which is amazing without the use of any drugs. I feel fantastic and can’t believe the difference low-carb has made in my life.

As I said you probably saved my life. Thank you for that. My wife (also on the diet now) thanks you, too. But I had to know more, especially after your YouTube video on gluconeogenesis (I loved that episode). I am a trained chemical engineer with a background in biochemistry. Not content to just accept the obvious answer, I have been on a quest for knowledge. Not only about biochemistry and diseases but anthropology, evolution, traditional diets, supplements–you name it I am studying it.

Got a lot to go before I can present a completely integrated document on all
this but when I do I would like to give you a copy of my research and to any others who may well be interested like I am. Thank you again so much Jimmy for opening my eyes to the truth.

This kind of e-mail just blows me away! I got a call from my local NBC-TV affiliate here in the Greenville/Spartanburg, SC market last week wanting to interview me about the work I’m doing at my blog (it is scheduled to air LIVE on Sunday, February 22, 2009). The WYFF-TV host asked me on the phone to talk about some of the experiences I have had with my readers and I shared how amazed I was at the GLOBAL outreach it has made since I started writing in April 2005. The things I talk about don’t just effect the United States–it’s also just as significant in the UK, Canada, Sweden, Australia where this reader was from…EVERYWHERE! That’s why I’ll keep doing what I’m doing because you never know who will be listening to the message.

I limit my carbohydrate intake to about 50g per day and I eat about 20-25 eggs per week. I got my lipid tests back today and here are the results:

Triglycerides 28
HDL 62
LDL 136
CRP 0.13
Homocysteine 7.6

Not terribly surprising, as I have had testing along the way, so I was merely pleased as opposed to ecstatic. So when I talked with the nurse you can just imagine what she said to me. Despite the fact I had provided my menus to her for the past three days and my triglycerides were the lowest she had seen in five years of testing, all I heard about was how my my LDL was. She insisted that I must lower my saturated fat intake.

I pushed back a bit just to see if there was any opening for her to actually assimilate the information that was before her, but it was clear that the conventional cholesterol mantra was all-powerful in her mind. It was enlightening but depressing to see how utterly impenetrable this medical professional’s thinking was. I could see I was actually making her uncomfortable and stressed with only minimal verbal resistance to her mono-toned mantra, so I backed off.

To her credit though, in addition to the typical low fat, low-saturated fat drivel, she did advocate a daily carbohydrate limit of 120g. That’s the first time I’ve seen or heard a mainstreamer mention any limitations on carbs. So perhaps this is a good sign of some glacial movement toward low-carb…be it ever so slowly.

I just love your blog and podcasts! Keep up the good work.

Good for you standing up for the truth about your lipid results. I’ve never seen triglycerides as low as yours and your triglyceride/HDL ratio is so microscopically low (below 0.5), it just baffles me why any medical professional would dare tell you to change ANYTHING you are doing. I’m dedicating an entire chapter of my upcoming book to this subject because maybe, just maybe we can educate enough patients to be informed like you were going into your doctor’s office with the facts about your cholesterol numbers. While they may not want to admit it publicly, I think a lot more people in the medical industry knows low-carb nutrition is the way to go. But they feel they can’t buck the trend of conventional wisdom that has ruled the day for so long. Better days are coming when this cloud of secrecy about the benefits of low-carb will be lifted and so many more lives will be saved. Keep fighting the good fight, my friend!

Hey, Jimmy! I spoke to you a few months back about the difficulties low-carbing and trucking. Well, I’m happy to give you a little progress report: I’m down from 376 to 314 now–63 pounds lost! And according to my training journal, I didn’t even start Atkins until sometime in mid-to-early August! I feel tons better, and quite frankly I look it, too! I’m down from a size 56 to a size 48 so far.

I’ve been working out with Lifeline Fitness TNT Resistance Cables and man I feel almost like I’m 25 years old again! It’s exhilarating to step into the shower and see my deltoids, biceps, triceps, and back muscles starting to reform (I used to be a bodybuilder in my early 20s before trucking)! I must admit to altering the diet slightly–I binge. Yeah, I know, but I went super strict carb first month, and progress staled out quick. So, I had a lapse of judgment, and binged. Two days later, I discovered that whereas in the previous two weeks I’d lost nothing, since I binged, I’d lost 3 pounds! So, when I’m home every 2 or 3 weeks, I binge for that day or 2.

It’s not enough to replenish my body’s sugar stores (when I was bodybuilding the logic was it took 72 hours of heavy carbing to reload your sugar stores after competition diets), but it does 2 things: 1) it helps me with that monkey of all those foods you know I love, and 2) I don’t crave those foods insatiably like I used to because I know I’ll get to try them when I get home. And besides, those foods taste good at the time, but I’ve actually found that my cravings have decreased sharply!

Wow, dude. I’m totally impressed with the results. Thanks for your web site, and your tips for me at the time! My goal weight is 205–I was last at that body weight when I was 23 when I was at 3-6% body fat. I’m dying to know what it’ll be this time, and how I’m gonna look. YOU ROCK, JIMMY! Don’t let anyone tell ya different!

Rock n’ roll, trucker guy! I’m so happy you’ve found what will work for you. Although I don’t advocate any low-carber to go on a carb-fest “binge” like you are doing, I’m happy to see you so excited about low-carb living and wish you nothing but the greatest of success as you’re traveling around in your truck out there on the highways. Keep it between the ditches, buddy, and I look forward to hearing more about your progress!

I had my lipids checked recently. My triglycerides were 70 and LDL was 126. But my HDL was only 41, which seems awful low for low-carb. But at least it’s over the standard target of 40 and it’s the best mine has ever been.

The nurse from the doctor’s office told me my cholesterol was “slightly elevated” and the doctor said I should go on a low-saturated fat diet. At least he didn’t try to push a statin prescription drug on me.

I was soooo worried about my fat intake after this visit–you know what I ate last night? Blackened salmon pan fried in butter, spaghetti squash topped with Alfredo sauce, and collard greens, cooked with butter and bacon. Low saturated fat indeed!

HA! You rebel you! That is strange to see your HDL so low, but your triglyceride levels are perfect. CONGRATULATIONS and keep sucking down that saturated fat–who knows, it might just make you healthy yet!

I check your blog everyday and I just wanted to let you know how much you’ve helped me. At the start of 2008 I weighed 340 pounds and today I weigh slightly under 240. Yours was one of the first web sites I found when I was Googling “low-carb dieting” in December 2007 and through your posts and the information you’ve lead me to, you’ve probably been the single biggest help and inspiration to me with this. Well, I just wanted to say thanks. I’m a little embarrassed now that I haven’t even submitted this before!

Holy cow–100 pounds gone forever!!! That’s incredible, dude! Congratulations on your low-carb weight loss success and I am thrilled to know that I played even a small role in helping to make that happen. But you did all the work to bring it about and that is quite an achievement on your part. Share your story with everyone you know and even start up a blog to talk about your experiences on your own low-carb journey. There are so many people like you out there hungering to experience a successful low-carb lifestyle change that you could in essence “pay it forward” by sharing your story. The low-carb legacy will continue to spread as long as those who have been changed by it are willing to share what they’ve learned with others.

Do you have a “life changing” low-carb story to share with me about yourself or someone you know? I’d love to hear about the weight loss and health improvements that have resulted from livin’ la vida low-carb, so please send those to me anytime at

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