On December 6, 2018, I decided it would be a good idea to eliminate pasta, potatoes, rice and bread from my diet. I ended up sticking with it. At this point, I’ve lost 40 pounds. My weight seems to have stabilized at about 147 pounds. This change has been nothing short of a revolution as well as a revelation.
What caused me to radically change my diet? A bit of back story is in order. I’ve spent much of my life overweight. My parents tell me when I was 4 months old, I weighed a hefty 25 pounds. At around 7 years old, I weighed around 100 pounds. Once I moved into adolescence the weight dropped off somewhat.
As an adult in my 20’s and 30’s, my weight stabilized at around 155 pounds and remained there for many years. However, once I got into my 40’s the weight started increasing. Around age 45, I reached my highest weight ever at 225 pounds. At that time, I had a job where I was constantly around cookies, cakes and candies day in and day out. Once I was away from that job, left to my own devices, my weight dropped to around 185 to 190 pounds and hovered there until my dietary change.
In November of 2018 I was talking to one of my younger brothers and he mentioned he’d just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. That grabbed my attention. I really didn’t know a lot about type 2 diabetes, so I started watching a bunch of YouTube videos about it. I figured if type 2 diabetes could happen to my younger brother who is five and a half years younger than I am, it could just as easily happen to me. From the information in the videos it quickly became obvious that the cause of type 2 diabetes is carbohydrate overconsumption, plain and simple. That is what motivated me to change my diet.
At first, I thought changing my diet would be difficult. I drive a truck over the road and therefore am forced to constantly eat in restaurants. I quickly figured out that I could simply drop pasta, potatoes, rice and bread from my diet.
For many years I have eaten twice a day, with occasional vending machine snacks. Making the change was easier than I thought. I did have a decisive experience early on, however. I was in a Denny’s restaurant and they brought a yeast roll with my meal of steak, broccoli and salad. The yeast roll was fresh from the oven, fragrant, warm an oh-so soft! I thought to myself I’m not going to eat the roll. I ate the steak, the salad and the broccoli. The roll was still sitting there. I couldn’t resist. I pinched off a piece. I chewed it for about thirty seconds and then thought I’m not going to swallow it. I discreetly spit the chewed bite of yeast roll out into a napkin, and that was that. Following that experience, it has been easy for me to avoid bread.
I’ve always adored pasta. I could eat pasta every day or even every meal. What’s interesting is that now it can be placed right in front of me and I’m not tempted by it. There’s scientific evidence that the digestive bacteria in the human gut, the species of which is controlled by what we eat, communicates with a brain area that controls cravings. Change your gut bacteria by changing your diet, and you will change what you crave.
Within the first week I no longer had acid reflux. No more need to constantly gobble antacid tablets, which are ineffective anyway. Permanently eliminating acid reflux is reason enough to continue to never eat pasta, potatoes, rice or bread again.
Besides spontaneously losing the acid reflux problem I’d been plagued with since I was a child, I also had another pleasant surprise. Since around 1990, I had a weird dry skin problem on the heels of my feet. The dry skin would form painful cracks in the winter months. At one point I got a secondary bacterial infection that required an antibiotic in order to avoid blood poisoning. That condition was diagnosed as eczema. In the intervening months it has spontaneously healed.
For many years I also had a chronic fungal infection in the nail of my right big toe. One day a few months ago I noticed that the super thick toenail had reverted back to a normal nail.
Another beneficial side effect of a low-carb diet is a distinct reduction in overall body inflammation. Prior to the diet, I would have mucous drainage particularly from my sinuses. That problem also went away.
At age 65, losing 40 pounds is kind of a big deal. Not having to worry about gaining weight or worrying about overeating is an amazing thing. Sometimes I eat rather large meals, but my weight remains completely stable. On the rare occasions I feel like eating a snack from a convenience store in the middle of the day, I will either eat frankfurters from the “roller grill” every self-respecting convenience store has, or cheese sticks. On occasion I’ve eaten nuts such as pecans.
Generally, I don’t feel hungry. When I do feel a bit hungry but I can’t stop or there is no food around close, it is very easy to ignore.
Another amazing benefit is that I never experience energy dips. Before this, there were regular occasions where I would suddenly feel drowsy to the point where I wanted to stop and take a nap, particularly a couple of hours after eating. That never happens anymore.
I also seem to have better overall mental clarity.
Overall, I’m feeling better than I have in years.