Leon’s story: 10kgs down in 38 days

Leon’s story was first published on this website as an open letter to Professor Tim Noakes:

Dear Dr Noakes,
On 17 August 2015, 38 days ago, I joined your free banting course for a week and subsequently enrolled for the five week course. I also acquired your Real Meal Revolution recipe book and set out to find out more about this dangerous diet that is upsetting the medical world and big commerce.

My goal was to lose 10kg in 42 days and not suffer a heart attack in the process.

After a week I bought a Ketonix breath analyzer just as an added resource to prove to me that my body was in ketosis although with the metallic taste in my mouth I should have had no doubts.

Bookkeeping is a hobby and I enjoy statistics. I collected the following data and you and the banting community may find these figures of interest.

Today is the 23rd of September 2015, 38 days since I changed to an LCHF diet. Although I have four more days to go I am happy to report that I reached my goal of losing 10 kgs this morning. In addition to losing the weight, I also reduced my body measurements as follows:

  • Waist from 117cm to 108cm
  • Bum from 131cm to 121cm; and
  • Upper leg from 83cm to 74cm

My target diet was 25g carbs (5%), 150g fat (70%) and 120g protein (25%) giving me a daily intake of 1930 calories. At 55, I should expend 2400 calories per day giving me a saving of 740 calories daily without taking any exercise into account.

Over the last 38 days I actually consumed on average 22g carbs (6%), 113g fat (71%) and 82g protein (23%) per day. My daily intake in calories was thus limited to 1432 calories. I believe the reason why I managed to cut my calories way below my target is because of the “full feeling” the LCHF diet gave me after a meal.

Having consumed 1432 calories per day, I have consumed 54,425 calories over the last 38 days.

I do a bit of walking and play squash socially. To measure my calories burned daily I use a Fitbit device. According to this device I have burned 129,091 calories over the last 38 days or 3,688 calories per day. This is 1,288 calories higher than my sedentary burn rate of 2,400 calories because of the additional exercises I do from time to time.

Having burned 129,091 calories over the last 38 days and having consumed 54,425 calories I was left with a deficit of 74,666 calories that had to be provided from the fat in my body. I lost exactly 10kgs and I therefore consumed 7,467 calories for every 1kg of my body fat that was burned for energy.

I found a number of sources on the internet that claims that for every 7,500 calories burned in excess of a person’s daily intake should lead to a 1kg reduction in body fat. This is a rule of thumb and can differ a lot from person to person but it is uncannily close to my own experience.

A word about the cost of this diet. My daughter, a student, maintains that a LCHF diet is for wealthy people due to the cost of “whole foods” versus foods produced in mass. Being a bookkeeper I keep records of our groceries expenses. In August 2014, we were travelling but returned home on 25 August 2014. Grocery expenses incurred between 26 August and 23 September 2014 amounted to R15,818 [Aus$1,636,80] or R545 [Aus$56.38] per day. The total spend included liquor purchases of R1,313 [Aus$135.83].

From 26 August 2015 to 23 September 2015, our grocery bill came to R10,536 [Aus$1,089.23] or R363 [Aus$37.53] per day. No liquor was purchased during this period. Ignoring liquor purchases it seems that on LCHF we spent 37% less than in the comparable period. These figures do not take food inflation into account and it would seem that there is no merit in labeling an LCHF diet as expensive.

To celebrate the loss of the first 10kg I made the “Baconnaise Eggs” from the Real Meal Revolution book – what a delicious breakfast. I seldom used to prepare meals but having made most of the recipes I am ready to go on a cooking course!

In conclusion, I would like to mention that the Cereal Killer videos were excellent and inspired me to keep detailed records of my own food experiment. It seems that there may be some merit in Dr Noakes’ message and I, for one, will continue with this new lifestyle.

I hope you have a wonderful Heritage Day.


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