Karen From California’s Low Carb Success Story

Success Stories

Karen from California is 36 years old and 5′ 7″ tall. Karen has reached her goal size of 8, down from a size 12/14, and has lost 16 pounds, dropping down from 150 pounds to 134 pounds. Karen’s goal weight is 128, but she is presently on the Atkins maintenance phase. She has been low carbing since Super Bowl Sunday, 2000.

“I really never had trouble with my weight until about a year after we moved to California. I was very lonely, and I was alone from the time I finished work at 3 PM until my husband came home from work at 7:30 PM. I would literally sit and eat for four hours and then make dinner and eat with him.”

“I gained 25 pounds in about two years. I knew it had to stop, but I just didn’t know what to do. My eating habits were poor, especially breakfast. I now realize that was setting me up for failure. I would eat a NutriGrain bar or a Pop Tart every morning before work. It left me starving by 10 am.”

“I started to try to control my weight with a diet I read about on the Internet, which was basically food combining. It started out as a free website, but now the person who created the plan charges money for it. Food combining is not new. Several celebrities have endorsed it. Marilu Henner is one of them. I followed her book after I gave up on the Internet diet. I thought food combining would be easy and it included fruit. It also encouraged giving up dairy or severely limiting it. I thought it would be ‘healthy’ for me. I liked being able to eat fruits and vegetables liberally, especially fruit, but I hated never feeling full. I was constantly hungry, and I never lost any weight! I had highs and lows while following this plan. Now I know it was the sugar from all the fruit that was the culprit. I ate a lot of hummus and pitas too, which are loaded with carbs. It was an easy plan to follow, even though The rules for food combining are somewhat tricky. You have to remember them or you can really mess it up. I was pretty good at it, but I would usually mess up at least three times a week. I made it about six months. I feel it didn’t work because of the large number of carbohydrates and fruits that were allowed.”

“I also tried juicing to lose weight. I thought it would be a healthy way to eat and I love fruit, so I was in heaven! I learned to juice everything and had fun doing it. I didn’t like that I was hungry all the time. It was also expensive to buy all the fruit and veggies at the store. Cleaning the juicer got to be a pain after a while, too! I was always wanting more, so I was constantly used my juicer. I could drink gallons of juice a day. It was basically easy to follow, just juice and drink…. slowly. I think there were several reasons it did not work. Juicing takes all the fiber out of food, leaving nothing to slow the digestion of the sugar. It also leaves you hungry because you stomach is not full. Juice is calorie laden. While it does have lots of vitamins, eating whole foods is much better for you. I really believed it would work, but now I know that it probably never works. I made it about three months.”

“Then I tried eating less and counting my calories. I thought calories were all that mattered, so if I ate fewer, I would lose weight. It was difficult to keep track of everything and it was not always possible to know how many calories were in a food, especially when eating at a restaurant or someone else’s home. I also had to measure every portion to be sure that I was getting the exact amount of food. I felt very limited and somewhat anal about my food. I had always just eaten until I was full, but I could no longer do this counting calories. I think it didn’t work because it was so tedious and because there were so many times when I would not know how many calories were in the foods I was eating. I lasted about three months on this diet, too.”

“None of these diets worked and I was starving all the time and STILL gaining weight! I tried using my will power, but it didn’t work, because I was truly hungry.”

“I had known about low carbing for years. My husband’s dad tried it in the 70s and was successful with it back then. My hubby needed to lose 50 pounds and I knew that I needed to lose 25. I thought that he would try low carbing with me, so I bought the Atkins book and read it. I told myself, ‘What do I have to lose?’ So we tried it together and have had great success.”

“It has really been easy following Atkins. I have generally liked the plan, although I still miss some carbohydrate-laden foods like bread, pasta, and desserts. I lost 14 pounds on the Induction phase of the diet, so I was very motivated to keep going.”

“Some of my favorite foods are full of carbohydrates, so I do miss them, but overall I feel the trade is worth it. I have a more constant level of energy with fewer low points during the day. I feel it is very easy to follow the plan, even when eating out. With simple modifications to the food I am served at a restaurant, such as removing a bun from a cheeseburger. I can enjoy many things on any menu.”

“I do think the low carb lifestyle can become too routine if you don’t keep it lively by adding new recipes in your repertoire. I like trying new things when I become bored with steak and salad.”

“Low carb works because it is simple….. DON’T eat carbs. Other plans are complicated and they fall apart in real life situations. How do you count calories when you are eating out? It’s easy to avoid bread, but it is often difficult to know how many calories you are consuming.”

“I plan to stick to this plan, but I sometimes have a difficult time with boredom. The support of my online support list, A Low Carb Support System at Yahoo Groups, helps me stay on track and the recipes give me ideas for cooking. But maintaining is tricky because the temptations are different. It becomes easier to rationalize a two pound gain from the ‘indulgence’ Too soon the two pounds has become five pounds. It can be vicious!”

“I’ve had both positive and negative reactions about low carbing from people. Most have commented that I look great and don’t have a weight issue, but as soon as I tell them that I am on Atkins they are very skeptical. Usually, I can convince them that Atkins is really about giving up all refined carbohydrates and not being afraid to eat fat. My hubby has convinced several of his coworkers to try the diet, and most of them have been successful, too. Some of them have even emailed me for recipes and tips on how to stock the pantry!”

Karen concluded by offering up some advice for low carbers:

“First, reframe your thinking about cheating. I don’t ‘cheat’ anymore. I ‘indulge.’ Indulging is a choice. You have to acknowledge that every bite of food you put into your mouth represents a choice. Second, try not to worry about stalls. Stay on track and eventually they will break. Third and most importantly, stay away from refined carbohydrates! Fiber is your friend. Don’t forget to drink water, and recognize that every person on earth is different, so what works for one of us might not work for others.”


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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!

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