Dale From Melbourne, Australia’s Low Carb Success Story

Success Stories

Dale from Melbourne, Australia, is 55 years old and is 5 foot six inches tall. Dale follows the Atkins program. Dale does not weigh herself, nor does she want to, but rather Dale prefers to keep track of her progress by her clothing size until she is closer to pre-maintenance. Dale began low carbing wearing a size 32 and is currently wearing a size 24. Her goal is to wear a size 14/16.

“I’ve had a weight problem all my life,” Dale began. “I was a swimmer as a child and teenager. As with most overweight people, my problem with food was emotional. I had an abusive marriage and kept gaining weight to ‘protect’ myself.”

“I tried Atkins in mid-70s. It worked very well for me. But then I got divorced. In 1979 I had my stomach stapled. I found ways around that so it, too, was a failure as far as controlling my weight.”

Dale tried many different ways to lose weight. “I tried food combining,” Dale continued, “because it was a best-selling book. For me, that lasted three months. The fruit left me with a mouth full of ulcers. It was easy to follow, though, because I love fruit. However it didn’t work because I kept craving sugars and starches. I also, still had heartburn.”

“For about six months, I was a ‘Losing Lecturer’ at Weight Watchers. I tried it just because somebody took me one day. I moved to the country, and they used me as a ‘losing lecturer.’ But I was always hungry and obsessed about each meal (and food in general) while I was on the plan. I was healthy enough, and I was walking every day, but it was so difficult to follow the Weight Watchers plan once I had anything with sugar in it! At night, it was the low calorie ice cream that did it. Weight Watchers didn’t work because I continued craving sugar and starch. And… I still had heartburn!”

“I tried the Beverly Hills Diet, too. This diet had lots of fruit allowed, and I love fruit. After a couple of months my mouth was full of ulcers! I was still craving sugar and starch, and… I still had heartburn!”

“I went back to Weight Watchers again in 1998. By this time, they had more ‘legal’ food to choose from. The point system had also been introduced by then. I did it for 4 months, and it was uphill all the way. As always, I still craved sugar and starch. Now did I mention… I still had heartburn? However, it was now acid reflux, and I developed a hiatal hernia. I couldn’t handle the pressure of wanting to lash out with chocolates.”

“As I mentioned earlier, I had tried low carbing in the 70s – very successfully – but with all the bad media attention it got at that time I decided to stop. The first two times in I came back to low carbing in the late 90s, it easy for me to follow the program, but the weight just wasn’t coming off. I was having way more carbs than I was counting and was obsessed about how much I was or was not losing.”

“This is my third time. I began the 15th of August, 2002, and it has been a dream! I set no expectations for myself this time, and I now understand the importance of consuming enough protein and fat for my body.”

“I didn’t come back to a low carbohydrate lifestyle because of my weight; I came back because of my health. I was taking four or more Gaviscon a day, my hernia was huge, and my skin wouldn’t stop itching. I realized I would have to do this for the rest of my life and set out to find the best way to do that.”

“A friend gave me the updated Atkins 2002 book, which was very clear about protein and fat. I was almost obsessive about counting carbs and keeping a comprehensive food diary, which lists my protein and carbs. I did a rough ‘guestimate.’ My fat intake is about 150 grams a day, my consumed calories are roughly 2,500 a day, my protein is at least 100 grams and sometimes is up to 115 grams a day, and I keep my carbohydrate consumption is below 18 grams a day. This seems the only way I can lose weight (being menopausal). I am unemployed but by careful budgeting and shopping fortnightly, I manage to eat very well.”

“I haven’t had ONE sugar or starch craving in four months, which in itself is a miracle to me. If by accident I have had a tiny bit of sugar, it hasn’t set off cravings, but it does give me dizzy spells.”

“For the life of me, I can’t think of anything bad about this way of life except the reaction of some people. I don’t try to explain or ‘tell’ anyone what I am doing, I just say I am cutting out sugar.”

“I truly believe this will be the way I eat for the rest of my life. I have over 1000 recipes to insure I have enough variety to keep me interested, but it isn’t really the variety of foods that I eat that keeps me on the straight and narrow. I believe it is the adequate amount of protein and fat that low carbing provides. The last two times I low carbed, I was always hungry and snacking all day. This time, I eat breakfast and maybe four hours later I have a small snack. This way, just an hour after that I eat lunch, and I don’t get hungry at all like I did before. If I do get hungry in less than 3 hours, I know it is emotional and look at what might be causing it.”

“The benefits of this way of life are NO reflux, NO heartburn, NO gas, NO hiatal hernia, NO itchy skin, and NO cravings. I have more energy than ever! I never need to sleep during the day anymore. I am now walking a couple of miles most days.”

“My parents both have high cholesterol and other illnesses and insist on low fat eating. They shake their heads at my way of life, but it no longer pushes a button for me. I know this is the best way of eating for me. I know that I am healthier than I have ever been in my entire life.”

I asked Dale if she had any advice for new or seasoned low carbers on the following subjects:


“Based on my experience with cheating, I would say increase the protein to way more than half your goal weight. My goal weight is 150 pounds. If I have just 75 grams of protein, I crave sugars and starches. Eat lots of fat. These things keep your head from controlling your heart. It still comes as a shock that I don’t want to cheat, and that I don’t crave chocolates. After 55 years, this is the first time I haven’t wanted chocolate!”

“If you are constantly cheating, I would wonder if you were viewing low carbing as a short term ‘diet,’ which is usually what happens. Diet automatically sets you up for failure.”

“Also, not setting any expectations on the outcome is great. I don’t ‘have’ to lose a certain amount of weight every week because low carbing isn’t a ‘diet’ to me.”


“I haven’t hit a stall this time. But the previous two times, I didn’t lose for six months. Again, it didn’t worry me because I was feeling so much healthier. I have read Fran McCullough’s Living Low Carb: The Complete Guide To Long-Term Low-Carb Dieting, and she gives some very good hints on plateaus. I would suggest to people to look into that book.”

The most IMPORTANT thing to remember is:

“The most important thing to remember is to eliminate unrealistic expectations, keep a variety in food, keep your protein and fat grams high, keep a food diary, and don’t preach this way of life to anybody you don’t know very well unless you want to hear how bad it is for you.”

We will share an update with you all when Dale gets closer to her goal weight!


Fran McCullough’s book, Living Low-Carb: The Complete Guide To Long-Term Low-Carb Dieting, can be purchased through CarbSmart: livinglowcarb.html.

Check Also

Karen Rysavy from Colorado Low Carb Success Story

Karen Rysavy from Colorado is 38 years old and 5'11 inches tall. Karen started low carbing in 2000 doing a combination of Atkins and Protein Power but since that time has studied most of the popular low carb plans out there and implemented parts of each (the parts that worked for her) into her own personal Way of Eating. She began at 271 pounds and wearing size 24/26 and is now 210 and wearing 14/18. Karen revised her goal of a size 12 and 185 pounds to "happy and healthy". A very important goal for Karen, one which she has REACHED!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.