Dharma

August 10, 2007

I’d like to share my experience with the Kimkins diet. I am a 49 year old serial dieter. I’ve tried a lot of different diets and even done low calorie diets, but never for more than two weeks at a time, until last summer (2006).      

In May of 2006 I found my relationship in trouble. This was the most emotionally disturbing experience I had ever been in. While my marriage and my mental state is fine now, at the time I believe I developed a borderline eating disorder. I became obsessive and extremely controlling with food, cut out all alcohol, and did not allow myself more than 900 calories a day. The first two weeks I lost 9 pounds. Then of course my weight loss slowed.    

  I have been a member of LowCarbFriends.com for many years. I noticed there was a thread called “Ask Kimmer” that was getting huge. I was curious and checked it out. I read Kimmer’s responses to people whose weight loss had slowed. Cut calories, cut fat, no carbs. It started to make sense to me that to lose more and more weight, we all had to eat less and less food. I believed that my marital problems could be solved if I were skinny enough! This diet fed into my desperation and warped mental state too perfectly. So, I cut my fat grams to around 35 a day. Prior to this I was eating 50 to 60 grams a day. 

     I did Kimkins per her instructions for ONE WEEK. My calories never went below 800, but I felt incredibly bad!! NO energy, dizzy, constipated, depressed. I couldn’t keep it up for more than that ONE WEEK. It didn’t make sense to me that my body was “detoxing from sugar” (causing the symptoms I described) like I kept reading since I had been doing low carb for a month already. I knew there was more going on here. Here’s what I posted:

Originally Posted by Dharma

Just a comment here – personal experience and NOT an attempt to discredit Kimkins. But I have discovered I cannot lower my fat too low without some consequences. First, constipation. Second, depressed mood. I know in middle aged and older women that lowering fat too much affects our hormones and thyroid also. Looking back at my history in fitday, I have found the optimal fat grams for me is 60 to 80. Yes, that’s 540 calories in fat, but I just lower my protein a bit and I still have almost no appetite and can stay around 800 calories a day with a 3 pound a week loss. It may only be 2 pounds a week now that I am getting close to goal, but I just cannot tolerate being stopped up. The epsom salt works but is very unpleasant. So, I’m sticking with low calorie, low carb but NOT low fat. Like I said, it’s just what I’m doing – sharing my experience – not an attempt to change anyone else’s plan!!!      

 So, I knew the low fat was making me sick, but I was still clinging to the ‘fast weight loss’ dream. I upped my fats to between 50 and 70 grams a day, and for the next two months I averaged around 950 calories. That doesn’t sound too bad really, but it eventually took its toll. 

     By August I started noticing some disturbing things. I constantly felt a burning sensation in my mouth, and I smelled smoke, as if something was burning, off and on every day. This got worse and worse, and I did some internet research and realized I had Burning Mouth Syndrome, or BMS. There were no definitive treatments. By September I had developed a list of symptoms that indicated serious hormonal disturbances: Hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, morbid thoughts, depression, fatigue, and frequent periods. As if that weren’t bad enough, my hair started falling out in large chunks. 

     At first I just thought I was going through menopause. All the symptoms fit. I started using progesterone cream. It worked. My hair stopped falling out, the hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and other symptoms slowly went away. My periods went back to normal. I had started eating more and more because it temporarily helped the BMS. Thank goodness for that. I gained the weight back that I had lost, but I also regained my health.

      My hair is growing back in now. I have a lot so it never really showed much, and I’m grateful for that. I still have regular periods, no more menopause symptoms, but the Burning Mouth Syndrome, although very mild now, didn’t completely go away. It took six months for things to get bearable again, and six more for me to feel like I have my life back. I still use progesterone cream. Some of the symptoms return if I don’t. I believe the low calories permanently affected my hormone levels. 

     The scariest part of this story to me is that I did not lower my fat and calories to nearly the extent that many on the Kimkins diet do or for nearly as long, but I still had serious fallout. I never bought the idea of “starvation mode” either. But on a diet of 900 calories including 50 grams of fat, my body was starved enough for nutrients that it could not produce the hormones I needed. Younger people may have a higher tolerance but that makes it even more dangerous, since the longer one goes eating insufficient calories and nutrients, the more damage I believe will be done, and it may not be reversible!! I’m just grateful that my symptoms started before things went too far.

      I’m convinced that low calorie diets like Kimkins not only do NOT work (the weight comes back), but are dangerous. The allure of weight loss is so prevalent and so addicting. I hope the voice of reason will prevail!!!

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Dharma”

  1. Taressia said

    Thank you for sharing…so glad that you’re doing better now!!

  2. […] Dharma shares her experience with the Kimkins diet: By August I started noticing some disturbing things. I constantly felt a burning sensation in my mouth, and I smelled smoke, as if something was burning, off and on every day. This got worse and worse, and I did some internet research and realized I had Burning Mouth Syndrome, or BMS. There were no definitive treatments. By September I had developed a list of symptoms that indicated serious hormonal disturbances: Hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, morbid thoughts, depression, fatigue, and frequent periods. As if that weren’t bad enough, my hair started falling out in large chunks. […]

  3. megu said

    I am impressed! You have inspired me – I may try to plan something once a week or so…I need to start slow.
    脱毛専科

  4. 2big4mysize said

    Sorry you were a victim of Kimmer and her scam Kimkins.com

    thank you for helping others not to be victims too.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: