Fat Fiction Fat, lies and measuring tape

24Oct/106

Losing 4 stone in 8 months

I lost 4 stone

I always thought when I was slimmer, in my early 20s, that fat people must be pigging out more than slim people; surely it was a case of eat less and move faster. It seems pretty obvious - fat people are just greedy. When my weight started to creep up in my 20s, I’d still say it was ultimately because of bad eating habits, so while I wasn’t rejoicing growing outwards, I’d still hold myself accountable for it.

Fast forward to my mid-30s, 15 stone in summer of 2009 (to give you an idea, at 5ft 11 that’s about 3 stone overweight). I decided to do something about it. Eat less. Move faster. Now, I’ve got to be honest, I find the whole merry-go-round of the diet industry a bit of a joke. Fad diets come in and go out, and to me they disguised the simple truth that if you eat a normal, balanced diet you would lose weight.

So, my diet changed for a lower fat, leaner, healthier version. Out went junk food, in came fruits though vegetables were a step too far, and I began some serious exercise. I started regularly putting in 5 hours of solid cardio every week. And slowly and surely, my weight gradually crept … upwards.

By February 2010, from the start of my healthy eating campaign, I’d managed to gain a whole stone. And I know you think this may be impossible, but I reallywasn’t eating that much. Mostly low-fat, high carb meals, low on sugar, and in fact low on everything that’s supposed to make you fat. While I felt better for all the exercise, and looked more defined, it was bizarre. I was increasing in weight. “It’s muscle”, I hear you cry. Well, it might have been if muscle can be disguised as a pot belly and a set of moobs. No, no doubt, I was moving in the wrong direction.

A casual comment from a friend prompted me to make a few changes. “Probably the carbs”, he said. And with that, I tried to reduce my intake of bread which I’d have religiously with every meal. I’d only have bread following exercise, which in turn made me exercise more, causing a virtuous circle. By August 2010, I’d lost two stone, gradually and effectively. Magic.

Then I was diagnosed with gallstones. Not so magic. Gallstones are like having a rusty screwdriver rummaging around your innards and are caused by … well, let’s put it this way, in the UK, you don’t get on to a discussion about how you get them, you just get your gallbladder removed surgically. I didn’t fancy that, so instead, having realised they must be diet related, for the first time I started learning about nutrition, eating, obesity and of course gallstones (see ‘how it began’ for more).

Deficiency theory

I started research and came up with an idea – see two minute summary for the complete run down.
- What if both obesity and gallstones were caused by a lack of nutrients?
- What if your hunger levels and increased and the body carried on eating until it found the necessary nutrients?
- What if weight gain, never mind the extremes of obesity, were a sign of illness?
- And what if your body naturally wanted to return to it’s genetic optimum weight, and so any serious weight gain was a sign you were lacking nutrients?

And the thing is, I was sceptical at first, but the more I set about seriously researching it, the more clinical trials I read, the more I started piecing things together, the more convinced I became. It’s not about how much fat you eat. It’s not about exercise. It’s nothing to do with being greedy. Weight gain is an illness of malnutrition.
And I thought OK, if that’s the case then, I should be able to prove it. So…

Changing my diet

Rather than simply cut back on the foods I thought were causing the problems, I went drastic. The first thing I did was to strip out all grains altogether and starchy tubers (potatoes, sweet potatoes).
- In 7 days, I lost 7lbs.
- In the following 14 days, I lost another 7lbs
The more I read, the more I realised this was probably gluten. I put back in the remainder of the carbs (potatoes, rice, oats in my case) and carried on avoiding all bread.
- In the following 28 days, I lost another 14lbs.

Fast forward to today, that’s a full 4 stone lighter and I never once went hungry. The speed at which I was losing weight was actually causing me concern; so much so that I spent a weekend stuffing myself with all kinds of cakes and chips, deliberately overeating to make sure I wasn’t suffering from some parasitic disease (I gained a pound; evidence enough that I wasn’t coming down with ebola or similar).

So, now at 12 stone, possibly 7 lbs or so overweight if that, the only real remaining issue is with the gallstones. If I’m right, I can get rid of those too. And if you think losing 4 stone rapidly is impressive, trust me, it’s more impressive to get rid of gallstones without surgery as the chances of success are pretty slim (see D day for more). And I’m that convinced about this theory , I had to write about it.

Is this important?

It couldn’t be more important. If I’m right, it explains why diets almost always fail, why the obesity epidemic really kicked off in earnest in the 1970s, how the Pima Indians became so fat and why they have the highest incidence of type 2 diabetes and gallstones in the world, why black women are shrinking, how millions of people are being killed by a massive Darwinian selection process (and how it can be avoided), why pregnant women are experiencing more food cravings than ever before, why low carb diets are more likely to succeed than high carb diets while not being strictly necessary, why there are now four year olds suffering from obesity and why it’s not necessarily the parent’s fault, and how the staple of the human diet for thousands of years is suddenly causing worldwide problems.

It’s not about celiac, or any type of fad diet, be it low carb, low protein or low fat. It’s not about Paleo diets either, although they’re a fantastically healthy (if a little limiting) way to eat. I’ll explain everything over the time I’ve got between now and my gallstone scan (about 7 months at the time of writing) and explain exactly what I did, what it means, and how this affects how everyone should look at weight gain.

In one word, it’s all about nutrients.

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Photograph: © Copyright Andrew Wood

Comments (6) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Love your site man keep up the good work

  2. wish i had found this site earlier….but you are absolutely right

  3. Every advice for gallbladder attack and gallstones is to reduce the fat content of your meal. I am going to try your diet recommendations but consuming comparatively high fat meals worry me that I might get a gallbladder attack. I understand your articles on good fat but do you have problem digesting all the good fat when you have gallstones already?

    Spent one night reading on all your articles, great information and good luck with your scan!

    • High fat means you need to produce more bile, and high cholesterol bile is the source of most gallstones, so the advice kind of makes sense. You need to read the next post carefully!

  4. Just thought you’d like to know that your blog, and its excellent references prompted me to simply turn wheat off – almost NOTHING else except that leads you to better food and more vegetables has me down 40 pounds (3 stone?) since I first read this.. I’m as unhealthy as they come – I sit for a living and don’t exercise enough, but changing my diet in that one fundamental way is making a crazy positive difference in my physiology.

    I wanted to thank you for that.


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