Before and after
Gina was recently featured in People Magazine’s ‘Half their Size 2017’ issue. According to People Magazine:
“I overhauled my entire diet,” says the Port St. Lucie, Florida, resident, who gave up sugar, processed foods and swapped starches like pasta for veggie-heavy salads. Lassales also started wearing a Fitbit and talking long walks. Now she logs about 15,000 steps per day.”
She started off at 300 pounds and now weighs 120 pounds according to the website. Reading the article, it appears that she ate small meals throughout the day and increased her exercise for walking.
This is the classic ‘Eat Less, Move More’ prescription that we’ve all been taught. It has been spectacularly unsuccessful for the great majority of people, so how did it succeed for her?
Well, the truth is that you can’t always believe what you read. Gina happened to be part of a Facebook group called Fung Shweigh, a support group for fasting and LCHF/ Ketogenic diets. Shortly after the article in People magazine came out, she wrote this:
“They did not mention my fasting protocol at all, which I kind of guessed they wouldn’t. They described it as “small meals”….um, no. Only two and small, hell no. More like huge. They did not mention the ketogenic diet by name, which I also guessed they wouldnt since they werent truly understanding it when I described it to them but thank God they said I cut the sugar and replaced carbs with salads. They chose pasta even though I told them it was rice. I never ate pasta.
I get that they have to cater to their sponsors but at the very least, the message of getting rid of sugar to lose weight was told.”
Gina’s real story – the exact opposite
Ahh… This is starting to make more sense. Gina, in fact did not eat six small meals throughout the day, she was implementing a fasting schedule – virtually the exact opposite of what People wrote. Since the conventional advice is so spectacularly unsuccessful, it would probably be better to do the exact opposite of what People told you to do. This is why the fasting/ LCHF diet could really be called the Costanza diet, after the character in Seinfeld who does the exact opposite of his instincts to become super successful.
I emailed Gina to ask her if she could possibly share her own, more accurate story, and she writes:
“My weight crept up in my late 20’s, but at that time, I was never concerned about it. I just figured I ate a lot, even though I was typically eating about two meals a day when I first started my very low fat diet. I was recommended this low fat diet by my doctor because of high cholesterol. The more I replaced fat with carbs though, the hungrier I became, and I gradually added several snacks between my two meals. Then I added an extra meal. I started getting hungry while out and so I started eating out. I would pick up snacks at the gas station, at fast food places, at the supermarket. I counted calories and tried to get snacks with a lower fat content, but my weight continued increasing. I was being told that snacking helps weight control but that wasn’t happening to me. I got up to 300 lbs. The feedback from my doctor was conflicting. Supposedly, I was eating too much but I also wasn’t eating enough. I had to eat many small meals, all day, even when not hungry. I was following this and now I was getting really hungry.
In my early thirties, my health had started to deteriorate rapidly. I went from moderately high cholesterol to full metabolic syndrome. I just didn’t know it was called that back then. My blood pressure and triglycerides were very high. I had extremely high postprandial blood glucose, in the triple digits range. My HDL cholesterol was low and my VLDL cholesterol was high. My resting heart rate was in the 100+ range.
I then developed very rare ocular migraines, which left me blind in my right eye on a weekly basis. I would have visual disturbances constantly and other neurological effects from these “silent” migraines. On few occasions, I experienced the debilitating migraine pain as well. Thankfully, after many tests, I was finally diagnosed with “migraines” but no answers were given as to what was causing them or why I had them.
I had also developed extreme tenderness throughout my body, to the point that I could hardly sleep because the mattress pressure would cause me to feel sharp pains. No one could hug me. My clothes hurt on my body. I was weak as well and experienced, so much fatigue that I had to crawl upstairs at times. I had to walk on a cane from reoccurring lower back injuries which I sustained from just doing normal, everyday things like bending over to pick something up. It was one health issue after another and one doctor after another. It felt like I was at the doctor’s office on a daily basis.
My cholesterol was still the same, in the high 200’s. It hadn’t gone down, even on a very low-fat diet. I was having heart palpitations and I was getting winded from just going up the stairs. The final straw was that I failed the heart stress test. I was pretty much at the end of my rope by then. The cardiologist told me the failure was because I didn’t exercise but I was on a cane most of the time, so I couldn’t exercise. I was done with the double talk. (Jason Fung – notice how everybody ‘blames the victim’, such sad behaviour from physicians even though ultimately the cause of disease was the calorie-reduced low-fat diet advised by physicians)
How she started healing herself
I wasn’t getting answers from my doctor, so I decided that I would learn everything that I could about obesity myself. I went online and also read several books that linked carbohydrates to obesity. Though I didn’t really believe it at first, I significantly reduced by carbohydrate intake by getting rid of all grains and most sugars. I was scared of what this might do to my cholesterol levels but at this time, I was willing to risk it. I had nothing to lose at this point since nothing else was working. I dropped a significant amount of weight but stalled at about 200 lbs. I just wasn’t losing any more weight after that but I continued with the low-carb protocol, hoping that eventually the weight will begin to go down again. (Jason Fung – again, so sad that Gina, healed herself despite, not because of her physicians)
My health improved but not to where I wanted it to be. I was still having migraines, which was the most debilitating health issue I was having at the time. I couldn’t leave the house without dark sunglasses or I would lose my vision and have horrible pain. I felt like a prisoner to this condition. My weight went down into the 190’s. I felt relieved that I was finally below 200 but it was taking forever and I stalled again. I was in the 190’s a long time, so I went back online to get more information and I came across The Etiology of Obesity on YouTube. I spent a few nights watching the entire thing.
That’s when I got rid of ALL sugar, every grain (not just wheat), every starch and upped the fat content of my meals, with plenty of fear because of the cholesterol issue. I was technically following a ketogenic diet at this point but wasn’t aware of it. The first thing that happened was that the hunger went away. That’s when I decided that I would be able to implement a fasting protocol. I felt that was the last piece of the puzzle. I wasn’t sure which fasting regimen to do because I had been having so many side effects from the carb restriction that I was concerned the fasting would cause them to get worse. I had to find a regimen that would work for me and that I could sustain long term. I decided extended fasts were not right for me.
On the videos it said that you can do a fast for as little as 12 hours and it would be beneficial so I began by getting rid of all the snacks. Then I got rid of a meal. Then I shortened by eating window to only 4-6 hours a day. It worked. I was able to follow this regimen very comfortably. The weight finally started dropping again and the migraines went away. The weight dropped very quickly. I was surprised at how much weight came off. I was not expecting to end up at 120 lbs. Now I can sometimes eat only one meal a day and be completely fine. I am more in tune to what real hunger is and so I don’t eat if I am not hungry. I am happy to be liberated from all those snacks I had to carry around with me everywhere.”
Congratulations, Gina on your amazing achievement. I’m a little saddened that People magazine decided to impose their own agenda upon your own story. Otherwise, it may have helped thousands of people with their obesity struggles.
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