I received some nice emails lately that I thought I’d share.
No more ‘freshman 15’ for this student
First of all I want to thank you for all your work and research that went in to the movie Fat Head. I found the movie easy to watch thanks to your humor, but also because it was full of facts and most of all transparency, something that I really appreciated.
After watching your movie the first time (around September) I decided that I would try your low carb-high/fat-diet to see if it would do any good for me. (I’ve always been a little bit overweight even when I was in great shape.) Almost immediately I dropped around five pounds, but unfortunately after a few days I quit the diet due to harvest and spending such long hours in the fields.
After New Year’s I went back to school to finish up my degree, and after a disagreement with my roommates about the effect of fat on a healthy diet, I made them watch your movie to settle the argument — after which they realized that they had been misinformed. After this incident I decided to again go on your diet and have been religious about keeping my carb intake day to around 100g per dat, while my caloric intake remains around 2000 per day (sometimes a little lower).
I can say that it was everything you have said it would be. The first week I sorely missed carbs and spent long hours dreaming about bowls of pasta and freshly baked bread, but after a few days these cravings died down and I no longer felt hungry in between meals. After a week I had already lost six pounds. Now after only two weeks of changing my diet by simply cutting out carbs, I have lost an astonishing 16 pounds, and besides looking better, I feel great.
Again I just want to thank you for dispelling the health myths that have been perpetrated by our government and their scientists. You now have another disciple spreading the word.
Excellent, Phillip! (I’m not a disciple-seeker, but keep spreading the word.)
A former vegetarian goes low-carb
Dear Tom –
I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. I’m sure you get these by the thousands but I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am that I saw your documentary. When I was a young kid I had all the energy in the world, I was last to come in from recess every day, but when I turned 8, I would come home from school and eat a pb&J with my dad and a lot of potato chips, and then two or three hours later have a big plate of enchiladas or spaghetti when my mom got home. I put on weight FAST, and then ceased being active because it’s no fun being the fat kid on the team and I didn’t have the energy anyway.
My aunt was a doctor, and around this time started advising my mom that all the fat in our diet was bad. So we switched from whole milk to fat free, from eggs and bacon for breakfast to cheerios and fruit, and my dad decided it was best for him to become a vegetarian. Well two years later, my dad passed away from a heart attack. My father was an incredibly healthy man (aside from the diet). He was an iron worker, and when he came home from work he rode his bike for miles. He was actually in the mountains riding his bike with a friend when he died. We were devastated and couldn’t understand why such a thing could even happen to a man like him.
After my mom and I moved to a new state, we got a house with a swimming pool and she bought a big trampoline, and I lost all kinds of weight without even noticing until none of my old clothes fit. Looking back now I realized that my mom, who’s always been naturally thin, never had any starchy or sugary foods in the house at this time.
When I turned 14, urged by what can I only imagine now was pure insanity, I became a vegetarian for about two years. I felt horrible all the time, my eyes were sunken in and my hair started falling out. I gained back a lot of the weight and it felt like I was always sick. So under the advice of my aunt, I went on a super healthy low-fat diet and worked out at least an hour a day until I was glowing red and drenched in sweat — and didn’t lose a pound.
I gave up for a couple years and got all the way up to 180 pounds, until last December. Your documentary has changed my life. I’m 19 years old, and the best part is I feel like a 19-year-old-now. I get up early for school or work every morning, I never feel tired throughout the day, and I can fit into all the cute clothes I’ve always wanted to wear but was too embarrassed. I’ve already lost 14 pounds since New Year’s with little effort on my part. I don’t count calories like I used to; in fact I don’t even think about them any more.
I’ve been telling everyone who’ll listen about the benefits of low-carb, including my husband, mother and grandmother. I’ve been reading your blog like a maniac and email bits and pieces to people, like your post about cholesterol and Alzheimer’s to my grandmother. I showed your post about nutritionists and mechanics switching jobs to my husband and he thought it was hysterical. I’ve even talked him into to eating this way; he’s loving it and feeling all the benefits despite formerly having a bread addiction. I can’t say thank you enough! Thank you thank you!
(Just a funny little side note about my aunt: she probably only gets about 10% of her calories from fat, and she is probably one of the most irritable, grouchy, unhappy women I know.)
Now there’s an interesting correlation: do low-fat diets make people grumpy, or do grumpy people prefer low-fat diets? In my case, it was certainly the diet causing the grumpiness.
Either way, Sara, I’m glad to hear you’ve rejected the low-fat nonsense and feel great — as a young person should. (The good news is that you can also feel great when you’re 53 … trust me on that one.)
Still another former vegetarian goes low-carb
Some months ago, I heard from a woman named Rae. Here’s that letter first:
I know you must hear this all the time, but “Fat Head” made such a huge impact on me. I watched it around the time I was considering bringing 18 years of vegetarianism to an end. What I learned inspired me to learn more, and I realized how I became very overweight while eating a low-fat grain-based diet, why I struggled with depression much of my life (which only began when I became a vegetarian, but I never saw the connection), and why I had to constantly fight the urge to eat whole sticks of butter chased by a bottle of olive oil – obviously my body was telling me something, but I just thought I was a weirdo for craving fat the way I did! And I thought fat was the reason I became fat in the first place!
I’ve been so busy getting reacquainted with fat and meat that I forgot to eat my ‘heart healthy whole grains’ and lost about 35 lbs (and still going!) without really trying. I feel incredible!
That was back in July. Now here’s a hot-off-presses update from Rae, which included the pictures below:
I emailed you several months ago when I had lost about 35 lbs after seeing Fat Head. I wanted you to know now I’ve lost nearly 80 lbs since Fat Head made me re-think everything I had ever learned about food and nutrition. I wish it had been around 10 years ago so I wouldn’t have wasted my 20s being an obese depressed vegetarian. I don’t know how to express my gratitude to you. I do tell people to watch Fat Head when they ask me how I lost weight. But some people are so resistant to anything outside of conventional wisdom! Even though I’ve gotten serious results, because Oprah doesn’t endorse what I am doing, it must not be real. Oh well!
Understandably you might not want to open a file from a stranger, but I just wanted you to see the difference you made. Fat Head totally changed my life. You must get these emails all the time – you’re wracking up some impressive karma! Please don’t stop doing what you’re doing!
One of the advantages of being married to a secure woman who knows I adore her is that I can say things like this without getting in trouble: Rae, you don’t just look far leaner and healthier – you’re officially a hottie now. (I know this because I showed Chareva your before-and-after photos, and she said as much.)
Congratulations, and way to go!