Nick From Canada’s Low Carb Success Story

Nick from Canada is 32, and has been following Protein Power since October of 1999. Nick started out weighing 395 pounds, and now weighs 216! He has dropped from a size 56 waist to a 36, and a from 4XL to a large shirts!

Nick has had a weight problem for as long as he can remember. “At least as long as I have been going to school, ” he told me. “When I was really young, around 6, I think,” I remember going to a doctor because of my weight. He had me eating a lot of vegetables like broccoli, green beans, wax beans, etc. I don’t really remember dieting other than that at the time. But I really hated vegetables back then!”

A few years later, Nick had to write down everything he ate for a nutritionist. “I remember being told that I was overeating,” he recalled. “I ate lot of bread and chocolate, but again, I don’t remember really dieting. The only real diet that I remember was back in high school, when I was 17. I would eat salad every day for dinner, with a bit of mayonnaise, and dome pita bread, along with other vegetables. I don’t remember eating much else the rest of the day. I had gone from 270 to 225 at that point. I actually felt pretty good, but I was probably starving my body. I would never do that again, because now I realize how unhealthy it was. I must have been on that for over a year. When I went away to the university, there was no way I could stick with it. I was surrounded by residence food, and other treats like pizza and subs. I gained it all back and eventually ballooned to almost 400 pounds.”

Nick learned about low carbing a few months before he began in October of 1999. “I heard ads for Protein Power on the radio all the time. They kept talking about how you could eat steak, eggs, cheese and real butter. I looked up their site on the Internet, bought the book, and eventually decided to try it.”

Nick believes he was addicted to carbs. “Before low carbing, I would eat dinner and be hungry an hour later. My cravings would always be for bread. I ate way too much bread. A bagel for breakfast, 2 sandwiches for lunch (on Kaiser rolls), sometimes bread at dinner, and another couple of sandwiches for a late night snack. I would also have potatoes, pasta, or rice for dinner almost every day.”

“I hated the way I looked,” he said. “It made me very self conscious – to the point where I did not want to go out and do things. It also made me very shy when it came to asking women out on dates. I could not get past the fact that I was physically unattractive. My back and knees hurt, and I became winded very easily. I was basically afraid my weight was going to kill me. A coworker told me how his sister gave up eating bread and lost weight. I have another friend who is diabetic. She cut back on sugar and was looking great. So I thought maybe bread and sugar were the culprits after all.”

“I am not constantly hungry any more. Low carbing also forces you to make much healthier choices. Contrary to one of the common misconceptions about low carb dieting, I am now eating healthier vegetables than I ever did before. All I ever seemed to eat were potatoes or a bit of lettuce and tomato for sandwiches. Now, I have a big salads nearly every day for lunch. For dinner, I have a couple of different side vegetables. I am not tired all the time, and I feel like I have more energy.”

Nick told me there were definitely foods which he still misses. “I try not to think about them too much, but they are there. Most notably pizza. Pulling the toppings off just isn’t the same, and I do miss bread sometimes. But overall, I would say that this way of life is relatively easy. It seems to cater more or less to what I like to eat anyway. I love meat, cheese, mayonnaise, and other foods which low fat diets prohibit. Being able to go out and order chicken wings and Caesar salad (no croutons) and still be sticking to this “diet” is pretty amazing. I love salads now, provided they have some meat in them. I have never really cared that much about sweets, so loosing them is not a big deal to me.”

“I will definitely never go back to how I ate before. I am much too happy with my weight now to ever go back!”

Nick continued, “It can be a little tough when you do not have control over your own food preparation, like at restaurants and other people’s homes. You have to make sure that food is not heavily breaded, the sauces are not loaded with sugar, the vegetables are not things like potatoes, peas, or carrots, etc. But I have not found a place yet where there was not something I could order. It’s just some places are more limited than others. I am hoping that once I am at maintenance, I can reintroduce the occasional bread, potato, rice, etc. But I will have to be very careful to not trigger that carbohydrate addiction again. I will always be monitoring my weight!”

Nick’s friends and family are very supportive. “I know my parents were very worried about me before I tried this. My Dad pulled me aside one day a few months before I started; he really wanted me to do something. I also found out afterwards that some of my friends were also very concerned about me, particularly when a couple of them noticed how bad I looked after a 45 minute walk we did. I have a couple of friends who do not completely agree with the low carb lifestyle, but they still support my decision to do it, and they also compliment me on the results. I have had a few friends tell me how impressed they are. They remind me that I am no longer a big person.”

“My coworkers really loved the fact that I was low carbing when I started,” Nick continued. “It was around Halloween and I had quite a few bags of those little chocolate bars. I kept them around after I started, but one night I got into them and ate a bunch. I decided that I had to get rid of them, so I brought them to work the next day. A couple of days later, I brought in the cans of Pringles I had. They finished them all off for me; they loved it!”

“I have to tell you about something else which happened a few months ago,” Nick added. “Some of us from work went out for lunch at this place where you choose your own ingredients for a stir fry and they prepare it for you. They also gave each table a bunch of rice. The rice looked so good mixed in with the stir fries, that I almost caved in. I mentioned out loud that I would have just a bit of rice, but the friend sitting next to me wouldn’t let me! He basically said, ‘You sat next to the wrong person; I’m not going to let you cheat!’ I was blown away, and very grateful. He says now that it was purely selfish act so that there would be more for him, but I know differently. That is one of the standout signs of support I have gotten.”

Nick frequents the newsgroup, and feels it is very helpful. “It is a great place to post victories and failures, or to seek out advice. It also helped to know that there are many other people trying this, because sometimes you feel somewhat isolated. Everyone understands and accepts low fat dieting, but low carb is still generally a foreign concept.”

After creating his own website, Nick receives a lot of email, as well as people signing his guest book. “They were really encouraging. A few people have mentioned how they find inspiration in my story, which makes me feel great. It’s still difficult for me to think of myself in those terms, but I love that other people do.”

Nick likes himself a lot more now. “I have much more self-confidence, and I love to go out and do things. I don’t mind getting my photo taken, or looking at myself in the mirror. I just have to make sure I don’t become vain. (Just kidding.)”

In concluding, Nick added, “I am very grateful to Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades for their great book, Protein Power. They really explained the theory behind low carbing, and were very motivational. It sounds cliche, but this whole thing has changed my life. It is really unfortunate that it is criticized so heavily. Especially when the criticisms are often so uninformed, as in those who keep saying we cannot eat vegetables, that all we lose is water weight, and that our kidneys are going to explode.”

The Protein Power web site is located at:


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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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