The frequent reader here has no doubt heard Tommy Runesson's impressive story before. But now it's also in the Swedish newspaper Corren and we get to admire some new pictures of Tommy. Like the one above - it's probably time for a new pair of pants.
Here's the full article, translated into English.
Ate a High-Fat Diet - Lost 200 lbs
In two years Tommy Runesson lost 200 lbs. By exercising and eating fruit? No, with fat.
Initially, the diabetes nurse had trouble believing what she saw. The patient Tommy Runesson's blood sugar, cholesterol and lipid levels just kept improving, while he was eating exactly the opposite of what the official dietary guidelines dictate.
Tommy is full of contradictions in many ways. Despite always being obese, he has felt fine both physically and mentally. He has no idea what his health markers looked like when he was obese, as he had hardly ever seen a doctor. But he can take a guess...
- Oddly enough, I was never bullied, nor did I feel awkward as a fat boy. Perhaps someone yelled "fatso" at me in school at times, but it never stuck with me.
Tommy has a background as a trained chef and has always loved food, "real" food as he calls it, in the old traditional style. Meat and fish and rich sauces with piles of pasta, bread and potatoes. And Coca Cola. He had big portions and was obese already as a child. But he never had a sweet tooth, and was never particularly fond of pastries and candy.
As he felt fine, he didn't consider losing weight, even though deep inside he of course knew he should.
So, what happened?
- Well, this is actually pretty funny. I was googling for new recipes for béarnaise sauce and happened to end up on the journalist Sten Sture Skaldeman's homepage http://www.skaldeman.se (in Swedish). I was caught up in his life story, how he lost a weight loss contest and began to eat himself to death. He ate all the things that were good and forbidden and ignored the rest. To his great surprise all of his 155 unhealthy pounds started to melt off. And he's still alive! His motto is: "If we eat what we're meant to eat, we'll have the body we're meant to have."
- It's amazing that one person's attempt at eating himself to death started a national movement. After two years I had lost 200 lbs (90kg), all my health markers are excellent and I haven't experienced a second of suffering or hunger. This is an enjoyable method that I'll never let go of. My mother, father and brother have all joined too.
Your food choices are very unusual, an ultra-strict LCHF diet, and many may react to the amount of butter you consume.
- I've always loved herb butter, béarnaise sauce and mayonnaise. If you have a problem with these, I suggest that at least you choose fattier meat cuts. Pork loin instead of pork chops. Entrecote instead of steak and fillet. Chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. It's marbled, tastes better and is cheaper. You don't have to be as strict as I am. The fat can also just come from full-fat cream, cheese and sour cream, but they contain a little more carbohydrates. The trick with an LCHF diet is that the fat keeps you satiated.
From reading your blog, we understand that you are a number nerd. Your health markers are constantly updated.
- Yes, I think it's interesting. I'm since long enjoying a completely flat blood sugar level, it never dips.
Critics argue that the climate will collapse if we all pig out on meat.
- We shouldn't. We shouldn't increase the amount of protein, just skip the carbohydrates and add saturated fat.
Sugar vs. other carbohydrates, isn't this where opinions differ?
- Yes, all agree that refined sugar is bad. But I also claim that starchy carbohydrates, grain flours, that are converted to sugar in the digestive tract, are equally great villains.
The acronym LCHF has become negatively charged.
- Yes, many have begun to call it a low-carb diet instead. The acronym LCHF is a Swedish invention, and I don't hide the fact that it probably saved my life. I will gladly debate with any dietitian. I am well read, and I don't exactly represent the only success story in this area. Now I am a trained diet counselor and I give lectures.
Wherein lies the controversial part in this?
- There's no big money involved in LCHF, but there certainly is in the food industry and the dietary advice feeding the pharmaceutical industry. It's about prestige and money. There are diabetes clinics that hand out brochures on how to eat, published by pharmaceutical companies selling insulin! Imagine that all dietitians, who are now discouraging fat consumption, would suddenly say "oops, we were wrong!" They'd then be admitting that their advice has led to a deterioating quality of life for hundreds of thousands of diabetics and obese patients.
- But time is running out. Many people's lives are at stake.
Corren: Ate a High-Fat Diet - Lost 200 lbs (Original article in Swedish, by Carina Glenning, Östgöta Correspondenten, Sweden ( via dietdoctor.com ).