Saturday, January 10, 2015

2 years, 23 months in long term weight maintenance- graphs, photos, my thoughts on US News and World Reports 2015 diets!

Starting Weight: 187.4 lbs
Goal Weight Range: 113-119 lbs
Current Weight: 116.4 lbs
Height: 5'1"
Age 48
Time it took to lose the weight: 40 weeks
Time in long term weight maintenance: 2 years, 23 months
Menopause: 2 years

Weight graphs below. 

Oh, do this one thing..... before you spend another month in a "highly ranked" U.S. News and World Reports Diet rankings 2015, evaluate if your weight loss and weight maintenance food template is the best one for your:

1. Molecular Genetics
2. Inflammation
3. Health Goals
4. Emotional Health
5. Overall Well Being
6. Age and hormonal status

Hey! There's a reason why Paleo is the most googled diet term of 2013-2014. Now to be fair, I lost my weight using Medifast, but I maintain using a Paleo, Modified Auto-Immune Food template.

E-GADS! I'm glad I can use my brain to figure out what works for me.

What does this mean for me? I found a great , real food, lower carb, higher natural fat food template that keeps me feeling young, strong, sleeping well, as disease free as I can get.

What does this mean for you? Use your own n=1 (your own self experiment) and your own mind to decide what weight loss and weight maintenance plan works for you.

What worked for me:

1.There is no one thing that will work for all people. What did work was finding the food template that works best. For you it may be Paleo, Primal, Mediterranean, Auto-Immune Protocol, The Wahl's Protocol.   Heck, it might even be vegan, vegetarian, Weight Watchers.  Medifast . Moderate all the things..

2. I used my own brain and body feed back to make changes to meet my weight maintenance and long term health goals. Moderating grains and sugars fed what I believe to be a life long food addiction. I faced my patterns head on, in a much more effective way.

3. I have a good sense of self. 

4. My food template sure does taste good! 

In the past, what didn't work

1. I used diet plans that were effective for weight loss, but failed to be the best tools for me in long term maintenance. I failed to switch up plans when what I chose stopped working.

2. I hid from the scale and did not want to see the pattern of emotional eating and mental use of crappy processed foods as an addictive pattern. I refused to address either. Both kept me in an unwell state of health. I did not embrace using my most effective tools.

3. I was so brain washed into thinking that the diet plans that were "best for others", "popular" would be best for me. Like a lemming off a cliff. It took me about 1 full year to really stop being afraid of good fats and proteins. I was terrified. Better late than never. 

4. Meh, low fat, high carb wasn't the best tasting food ever. I enjoy using sea salt, olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed beef now. Great flavor profiles. I can't say a WW frozen dinner and dessert was the best tasting thing on the planet. Just saying.. Oh, was I ever miserable on a DASH diet. Turns out I can use sea salt and get great blood pressure results.

Here's to another month of choosing foods that make me well instead of make me sick and for thinking for myself.  I wish the same for you. Promise you'll use your brain to pick your food template based on your own n=1 outcomes.


  1. Great job, Karen. Turns out I'm a little less global than you. I think as grain-free and sugar-free as possible is THE way to go for everyone. Just because someone is scared of a theory doesn't make it any less right for them. Think I'm gonna bite the bullet and discuss that...balancing that mindset with 'well, but if they won't even try it, what's the point' counter-balance. ;)

  2. Ah.. That's were I disagree. Anyone with certain genetics may actually be better off with certain grains in their diet. Take the traditional diets in different cultures, people with certain genetics.

    Molecular Genetics, past environment, gut health, disease history, family history, geneotype vs phenotype. One size does not fit all- IMO. I have several friends in real life that because of these things do well on grains in their diets. That going gluten free made them sick. Now processed foods, that's another thing... she does all most all her own cooking.

    I would guess that with the rates of Food addictions, obesity, auto-immune- that grain free, processed sugar free would be better, but THE only way to go.. no.-IMO.. personal genetics will rule the next 20 years- IMO.

    I do agree, if they do not try, then they will not know... n=1 until we are all running around with our 23nMe geneotypes. LOL!!!! My doctor hates me/loves me. So funny... will blog about this soon....

  3. I agree with your expression of disagreement in your reply. I am a case in point. Because of certain medical issues, I can't do straight Paleo. It has taken me, my doctors, and a dietitian a while to figure this out, but I need some grains/starches. I can't eat all vegetables and fruits, as well as nuts and seeds. I have blood sugar issues (both low and high, as well as serious digestive issues. In fact, I became very ill last summer trying to eat some very common vegetables. I won't go into it, but it was serious. We're all different, and bravo to you for being objective about this topic. So glad you found your way and have been so successful.

    1. E.Jane- there are many who don't do well on full Paleo or primal- one such person is Terry Wahl's, MD who needs her own modified Paleo -Whal's protocol to manage her MS symptoms. Genetics, meds all play a part. I was thrilled to see that Dr. Wahl's clinical trials have caught the eye of the MS society AND the Rhurmatoid Arthritis docs. Her work with optimizing diet on those auto-immune diseases will help a lot of people.

      Yeah, I hear you on the common veggies thing. Oh, winter squash make me so sick. Seeds in cucumbers are now a no go for me... Glad you figured out what keeps you well. I congratulate you on doing the food work to keep yourself well and to continue to lose weight. Bravo to you. I'm still finding foods that jack up my glucose.... I'll blog about that.. but it's a nightshade that I previously thought was okay... Now maybe not. ....

  4. I was reading about a study just the other day--can't quite remember where, Mark's Daily Apple, maybe--that talked about how the vast majority of people lose more weight on low carb diets.BUT one group of people lose more weight on high carb , specifically grain containing diets. Those are overweight people who ARE INSULIN SENSITIVE. A rare breed, to be sure, but there you are.

    Congratulations on almost 3 years of maintenance.


    1. Deb, I think the people who lose weight well on high carb diets with grain may all have the same geneotype- say APOe genes might be one example. Just from those who know their APOe and know they are E4's, tend to do much better on a lower fat diet and grains like rice. Also, the risk for Alzheimer's is much higher in those people.I can tell you I have two copies of E3.

      I do think it's rarer to have the E4 geneotype, thank goodness. I think many of those insisting they must have their processed carbs are Food Addicts- Vera Tarman, MD stated up to 40% of the obese. 6-10% of the thin.

      My friend IRL has a GI disease and has never been obese, so it's a whole different ball game for her.

      I suspect that down the road, we will be told if we are insulin resistant based on lab tests and geneotype and will even be given recommendations on custom made diets from genetic profiles that involve real food. Possibly medications. I carry one gene for increased ghrelin production after I eat. If I had two copies of that gene, I suspect I might need some meds to be normal weight. I do think that my LCHF diet helps to manage that response. Feel full on real food, nutrient rich.

      All my 2 cents and highly speculative. Thank you. I would almost eat LCHF Paleo-ish just to sleep well in menopause as much as I would to maintain my weight loss. Like Dr. Berkeley said- "Accept it" that high carb/processed foods affect me, then work on getting well. Onward!

  5. Two great words immediately jumped out ........Real Food !

    Eating whole real fresh foods are the better option. My food template is LCHF with moderate protein. Regular exercise and a good sleep pattern. Of course it is important to eat foods that suit you, that you are not allergic to .... sorry if that sounds a bit obvious. The strange thing is, the hardest thing I sometimes find is establishing a good sleep pattern, but I am improving and it does make a difference.

    Well done Karen on your great time in maintenance.

    All the best Jan

    1. Jan, I'm so, so glad that I overcame my fear of fat- not just for me, but for my daughter. I can add some good quality butter to veggies and protein and feel super awesome about it, and for her it tastes great. I'm strict dairy free myself, so I add whatever dairy I need at the end of cooking. The flavor is just so good. Real foods, indeed!!!

      I wish more people boiled it down to the "allergy part". Yes! I'm very allergic to casein and lactose both. Thank you, Jan for stopping by and your wisdom. My best to you and Eddie!

  6. Hi Karen, I always appreciate your experiment-on-yourself approach. That is how I came to my conclusions for myself too. Who really cares if somebody claims a way of eating works if it doesn't stand up to the personal experiment?!!! And yes, eat delicious food -- so obvious, but so many people are hating "diet food" and continuing to eat it. Sometimes, the obvious must be repeatedly said. As always, well written and worth reading. :-)