Fri, 11 Feb 2000

On diets

Further to the article Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets are back in fashion (The Jakarta Post, Feb. 9, 2000), I would like share my experience.

I got hold of both Dr. Atkin's and Michael & Mary Dan Eades' books in December 1999. Quickly finishing both, I was at first shocked, as the recommendations were the opposite of what many otherwise believed. But having tried various methods in the past and losing the battle of the bulge many times, I decided to try this new approach for a month. On noticing my new eating pattern, I faced a heavy barrage of opposition and sneers from my family, who thought I was on the path to higher cholesterol, and all its consequences.

Two weeks after starting the diet, I decided to take a blood test, just to make sure my cholesterol, etc. was OK. Before I started the diet, I had always been overweight with an unflattering belly. A 1996 blood test showed my cholesterol at 161 mg/dl, HDL at 41.3 mg/dl, LDL at 88 mg/dl, glucose level at 100 mg/dl and, most alarmingly, my triglycerides stood at 159 mg/dl.

To my surprise, my Jan. 11, 2000, blood test showed that my cholesterol had dropped to 123 mg/dl, HDL increased to 53.6 mg/dl, LDL decreased to 52 mg/dl, glucose dropped to 88 mg/dl, LDL decreased to 52 mg/dl, glucose dropped to 88 mg/dl and my triglycerides plunged to 86 mg/dl. All these improvements were just what the authors predicted. In addition to the above improvements and the trimming of my belly, I did not have to suffer from feelings of hunger.

I believe many people will still dismiss this diet as wrong. But in the end, I would rather believe my eyes (blood test results and the mirror) than anything else. I am not buying new pants until I reach my target of 65 kilograms. But now, only my belt tightening prevents my old pants from dropping to the floor when I walk in public.