Chef loses 55 pounds by, yes, cutting carbs

Here’s another one like the Paula Deen story:

How did a professional chef lose 55 pounds? Jesse Schenker, chef at Recette, consulted Dr. Stephen Gullo, a psychologist. “Dr. Gullo told the chef that he was a “finisher,” someone for whom mere contact with a basket of bread, a box of doughnuts or a bag of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish would lead, inevitably, to the inhaling of its complete contents.” And what are all those foods? Refined carbohydrates.

And what did Dr. Gullo say Mr. Schenker could eat? Protein and fat: “The trick was to provide Mr. Schenker with something different to inhale. Sugar and other carbohydrates were out. Certain fats were discouraged. Shrimp, salmon, egg whites and Greek yogurt were in.”

Mr. Schenker says: ““I’m still a finisher and I’m still eating at 1 in the morning,” he said. What he’s eating, though, might be a big bowl of shrimp.”

Not only that, but Mr. Schenker regularly goes on eating tours of New York to check out the competition. The article describes him visiting 5 restaurants and eating at each–heading home, comfortably full, after midnight.

Exercise?  Not so much. “Trips to the gym are not part of Mr. Schenker’s repertory; he tried that and didn’t like it.”

Notwithstanding eating research and no exercise, the chef has lost a fifth of his body weight.  And what has he cut out?  Carbs.  Am I the only one who is seeing low carb everywhere?



Overcome obstacles with information

Every low carb eating book, article, and blog (including ours!) has a section on overcoming obstacles. Here is a sampling of some of the things that could be interfering with weight loss even when a low carb eating plan is being followed:

Food allergies or intolerances (especially dairy and wheat)
Stress or elevated cortisol levels even without stress
Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease
Yeast overgrowth
Thyroid issues
Not drinking enough water
Eating too few carbohydrates (paradoxically)
Eating too many calories overall, even if low carb calories
Medications (prescription and over-the-counter)
Inadequate nutrients to assist fat-burning (remedied by taking supplements, like l-carnitine)

In Juliana’s case, allergy medications and not drinking enough water were definite obstacles. But we’ve addressed those: she stopped taking allergy medication and instead we went to an alternative allergy practitioner who was able to clear up her mold and dust mite allergies without drugs, and she now fills and drinks several large water bottles a day, plus tea and low carb lemonade. But she is nonetheless stuck at her current weight. We tried some supplements, but didn’t notice a change. We tried eating no dairy, but didn’t notice a change. We honed in on overall calories, making sure she was eating appropriate protein and fat portions, but didn’t notice a change.

Rather than all this trial and error, wouldn’t it be great to have Information specific to your body to guide you? We just got the results of the tests Dr. Hopewell ordered for Juliana.

Lots of them were completely normal. Fasting insulin levels, cortisol levels, and thyroid function were all normal. Cholesterol was in range and most of the LDL cholesterol was the big fluffy kind. She did not show markers of Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease.

This was good and bad news. It’s good that she doesn’t have a hormonal imbalance or a thyroid problem. But it was bad because there was no smoking gun to explain her weight stall. However, there was one more set of results–the food allergy panel. Despite not having eaten gluten or wheat for 10 months, Juliana tested positive for wheat and gluten allergies. (Ordinarily food allergy reactions diminish over time when the food is not consumed). She tested positive for allergies to chicken and egg whites, and very positive for egg yolks. Since she has been eating 2 to 4 eggs every day, that could be a problem.

We are now trying an elimination eating plan where the offending foods are removed for a month. At the same time, Juliana is taking supplements to improve her gut health, since the wheat and gluten allergies may have caused leaky gut issues.



Paula Deen goes low carb

Has anyone else noticed that Paula Deen, a celebrity chef who is known for creating things like a cheeseburger sandwiched between two donuts, has gone low carb?  And lost 40 pounds?  She and her family are on the cover of People magazine this week.  After developing Type II diabetes, she cut way back on carbohydrates.  Now a half slice of bread is a big treat.  One of her sons’ comments in the article that everything he used to eat with bread he now eats with lettuce instead.  Sounds at least less-carb to me.  They mention other factors, like portion control.

Portion control and low carb eating go hand-in-hand.  It’s much easier to control your portions eating in a low carb style.  It’s very hard to drastically overeat meat and vegetables, whereas it’s easy to eat an entire box of cookies or a whole loaf of bread.  Not sure the Deens realize it, but they’ve joined the low carb club.