Maria came to see me with a number of health problems. She desperately wanted to lose weight, had constant heartburn and had a very irregular menstrual period. Maria is 34 years old, is 170 cm tall and weighed 103 kilos.
Maria was one of the most carbohydrate addicted patients I had ever seen; she was constantly eating throughout the day and was terrified of the word “diet” because she didn’t think she’d be able to restrict her food intake. Maria woke hungry, ate toast or cereal for breakfast, a toasted sandwich for lunch and rice or pasta with meat and vegetables for dinner. She confessed that she ate enormous portions. Between meals Maria snacked on chocolate and biscuits and she drank three cups of tea with milk and four sugars in each!
Despite her daily sugar and carbohydrate feasts, Maria was miserable. She was moody and grumpy. Maria confessed that she often snapped at people at work and raised her voice in arguments. Night time didn’t offer any respite as Maria snored loudly, tossed and turned and would grind her teeth in her sleep. She woke exhausted and ravenous and dragged herself out of bed.
Maria was intimidated about making changes to her diet; she had little faith in her ability to reduce her sugar and carbohydrate intake and her food intake in general. I explained to Maria that it was much more important to change the type of food she eats, rather than worry about portion sizes. She was hungry all the time because she had high blood insulin levels; following our eating plan would lower her insulin and subsequently her hunger would be reduced also.
When I saw Maria for her second consultation six weeks later she looked like a completely different person. For a start she was 13 kilos lighter! Maria could not believe the amount of weight she had lost; she weighed herself once a week first thing in the morning. She could not believe the numbers on the scale and kept rubbing her eyes, imagining that she probably couldn’t see clearly because it was early morning.
Maria found the first week of her eating plan challenging but after that it became increasingly easy to stick to. She was now enjoying her new meals and snacks. Maria no longer experienced any heartburn at all, she was sleeping well and her energy levels were through the roof.
However, the most dramatic difference in Maria was the change in her mood. She looked far calmer and happier and she told me how much more relaxed she feels. Maria said she felt much more relaxed at work and things didn’t bother her like they used to.