We have both struggled with our weight for as long as we have known eat other, and I am not one for dieting. I find it generally demoralising and obsession creating, and it just never works for me in the long term because of the sense of deprivation I end up having.
That said, I have long been worried about the amount of pain the GOM has been living with due to osteoarthritis in his knees. The man doesn't walk so much as hobble. Part of the problem is, of course, the pressure on his knees cause by the extra 40kg he's carrying around. He also has had a long struggle with ankle pain having many times rolled his ankles quite severely. We put this down to the excess weight as well.
So, last year a friend of mine Kelli, gave low carb, high fat eating a go, and lost 46kg! This wasn't the best bit for her though, she also reported that her fibromyalgia pain levels dropped significantly! I watched her doing this, and the food she was eating looked okay, though I wasn't sure we could ever afford to eat like that as a family.
Over Christmas I talked to Kelli very briefly about her achievements in 2014 and she gave me a few links to follow up, so I did. I was quite loathed to go on any kind of diet, and I had openly scoffed at the whole idea of Paleo eating (the caveman diet seem apropos). I knew, though, that sugar was a problem for us. The Grumpy Old Man has quite a sweet tooth, and the kids all seem to be like him in this. Erik would make himself tea which was half sugar, and was sneaking cupfuls of muesli with half the cup being sugar as well. Bryn was gorging himself on biscuits whenever our backs were turned, and Lukas and Ari, well, they were as keen as any kid to live on a diet of fast food and sugar.
So, I set a goal to cut sugar from the house for the month of january, and grains as well. We have bent this for the kids, they have cereal and bread and jam, biscuits in their school lunches, and peanut butter (which has added sugar as we all know), but we have no actual sugar in the house and we do not add sugar to our night time meal or to cereal anymore.
It has been interesting. The absence of sugar in the house caused such desperation for Erik and Lukas that the police brought them home one morning, at 2.30am, because they'd found them walking along Doncaster road - headed to Maccas for thick-shakes.
The Grumpy Old Man and I have stuck with the program, even though we've both been out, we've tried to opt for low carb, high fat options (it's not too hard, the worst thing is hidden ingredients). I have had a very busy month of socialising, and am actually looking forward to a quieter month in February because I know eating out of home slows me progress.
So, what are the results?
The Grumpy Old man has lost 8.1kg! He also reports having next to no pain in his ankles whatsoever. No pain! He has had pain in his ankles for almost as long as I have known him, even when he was lighter than he is now. I think there is a strong likelihood the grains he was eating were causing inflammation in his injury prone ankles!
Me? Well, I've lost 7.4kg! Besides two days at the beginning of the program (the adjustment period), and two days after I suspect I ate MSG, I have had no headaches! I felt very lethargic for the first 2-3 weeks but have come good now, have even managed 10000 steps on a couple of occasions. I eat breakfast now. and dinner, but I'm not usually hungry during the day at all. In fact, I haven't felt deprived at all this month, and I have not had any real sugar cravings either (I'm not as much of a sweet tooth as the GOM, though either).
We have had full cream everything, full fat everything. We've eaten lots of salads, and have discovered how the simple salads are often the best. We've also discovered that fresh fish doesn't have to be expensive. We know how to make grain free KFC. And that nachos don't need corn chips to be very tasty.
I was very dubious about eating so much fat. How can fat cause you to lose weight. I fully expected to not lose anything. I was very pleasantly surprised.