I’m Jimmy Moore, 43 years old now, just a guy who changed his life forever 10 years ago.
I was in trouble then and didn’t know it. I was cognitively dissonant.
I grew up in a typical American household, literally from an early age eating what I call carbage – all the low-fat, high-carb stuff. My mom bought into it completely. I, my older brother, Kevin, and my sister, Beverly. We ate hamburgers, fat-free dressings, pizza, rice cakes, fat-free ice cream, all the nasty carbage foods.
In my early 20s, I started gaining weight quickly.
In 1991, Kevin had a series of heart attacks. He was 32, just four years older than me! That woke me up.
I started going on starvation, ultra-low-fat diets. I ate things like marshmallows that are naturally fat-free. Twizzlers, Coca Cola that are all fat-free. I lost a significant amount of weight, about 160 lbs, but I became an angry monster, not a very nice person. These low-fat diets deprive the brain of essential nutrients, especially fat.
Then I went to McDonalds, binged for four months and put all the weight back on again. I thought if that was the way I had to eat to be healthy and lose weight, I’d rather be fat. It was a horrible place to be in, feeling that the only alternative was a low-fat diet, deprivation, hunger, for an aesthetically pleasing and healthy body.
Flash forward after 1999. I was following to a T all the official dietary guidelines. I thought at the time that I weighed about 330 lbs. I had no scale that could weigh me.
In late 2003, I weighed 410 lbs. I was substitute teaching at the time, and one of the children in my class said: “Man, Mr Moore is really fat!” The whole room started laughing. I started laughing too, to keep from crying.
I was taking three prescription medications at the time. I had hypertension, breathing difficulties, wheezing. I had no idea how bad my health was.
Then I had an epiphany. I was trying to climb a rock wall and couldn’t do it and frequently ripped my pants getting in and out of my car.
Then for Christmas 2003, I got a diet book as a present from my mother-in-law – Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution.
I started on what I thought was a crazy low-carb, high-fat diet. The first three or four days were hell, but once I got beyond them, I felt good. By the end of January 2004, I had lost 30 lbs. I was energetic. The transformation was quick. I’d never been on a diet before where I felt this good this quickly.
In 100 days I had lost 100lbs. I thought: there really is something to this Atkins Diet. My hunger was gone, no cravings. I realised that the key was adding in extra fat, not extra protein.
I came to some roadblocks. In the summer of that year, I had lost a single pound for ten weeks in a row. But despite no weight loss on the scale, I still lost 6 inches off my waist. I didn’t need the scale to tell me I was losing weight.
I think the scale is the single most evil invention of all time. It puts focus on the wrong thing. It’s all about right nutrition. By the end of 2004, I had lost 180lbs, I had gone from 410lbs to 230lbs.
My meals were mostly fat and protein with a few non-starchy, green leafy vegetables. I found I didn’t need to eat as often as I did when I was on a low-fat, high-carb diet. Real food nourished my body, suppressed my appetite, and I learned what real hunger control actually feels like.
I told my doctor that I had lost all the weight on the Atkins diet. Needless to say, he was impressed with the weight loss but was concerned about my cholesterol.
Despite having stellar triglycerides and HDL cholesterol which are indicative of being on a low-carb, high-fat diet, he still wanted to put me on medications. That’s what began my journey to digging deeper into what matters the most regarding health markers.
I’ve now interviewed hundreds of the world’s best health experts to learn the truth, and I’m sharing that on a weekly basis on my podcast, the longest running health podcast on iTunes, that I started in 2006.
In 2005, I started a blog to share about my experienced called Livin’ LaVida Low-Carb. There weren’t a lot of health blogs at the time. I shared quite openly, being honest. I wanted to help other people know the reality, to become informed and empowered, and know that they can talk to their doctors with confidence. I often tell other patients: Don’t get caught in white coat syndrome. Doctors don’t have all the answers. They do things that are miraculous, but what they don’t know about is nutrition.
Most medical doctors haven’t had more than a month or two, or even just a few weeks of training in nutrition in all the years of medical study. Medical professionals are giving nutritional advice according to official dietary guidelines, and that’s just not helping people.
There are so many mixed messages that patients are getting. They don’t know what to believe. In my blogs, I try to make that information palatable, and understandable.
And it’s still a journey for me. I’ve put on some added weight again with the non-diet factors (stress and lack of sleep primarily) that can impact someone with severe insulin resistance like I’m experiencing. Although I’m currently 275 pounds, my health markers are immaculate. I don’t cheat on my low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat ketogenic diet and it’s going to be a harder road for some of us than others. That’s okay because health is much more important than your weight.
I have co-written two books: Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers, and Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide To The Benefits Of A Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet with Dr Eric Westman. These are available from Amazon.com:
People have been made to believe that low cholesterol levels are the optimal state, and that statins are necessary to lower cholesterol. What is most important is the size of the particles of LDL cholesterol (also known as “bad” cholesterol). What doctors think is “bad” cholesterol doesn’t tell the whole story. And your body needs cholesterol to deal with the inflammation in your body as well as other key bodily functions.
In Keto Clarity, we clear up a lot of the common myths about low-carb, high-fat diets. I look at 12 things we’ve gotten all wrong about ketosis.
One of those things is that ketosis is an unhealthy, dangerous state. It isn’t. It is different from ketoacidosis that is dangerous. Ketoacidosis can’t happen if there is even a little bit of insulin in the body. It can happen when the body can’t make any insulin, as in Type 1 diabetes. But even in type 1 diabetes, ketoacidosis doesn’t happen when patients eat a low-carb diet.
Another myth is that a ketogenic diet increases the risk of heart disease. It doesn’t. In fact it protects you against heart disease.
Follow Jimmy http://livinlavidalowcarb.com to stay updated on his journey.