Weight LossToday we celebrate our first reader to successfully lose nearly 100 pounds in 1 year! Congratulations on that phenomenal weight loss, Brian! We’re so happy for you!

A gentle reminder for our other readers: this story doesn’t necessarily reflect the outcome that everyone will see. Weight loss of one hundred pounds in one year is fast! Please don’t compare your progress to others’. Keep an eye on your non-scale victories (NSVs) and waist change as you continue your journey.

Read on to hear Brian’s story:

“Two weeks ago, I celebrated my 46th birthday and today I celebrate another birthday of sorts…today marks 52 weeks, 1 full year of the AH lifestyle.

It has been an incredible journey. I’ve lost weight and have experienced NSV’s beyond anything I could imagine.

People ask me how I did this…I usually give them a brief explanation and almost always am asked if they may borrow my book. We have a strict rule, the book does not get loaned out, period. Instead, we get home and order the book on Amazon and have it sent off. Thus far, in my little circle, several people have adopted, and are living, the AH lifestyle.

Yesterday, we saw a husband and wife couple, friends of ours, who served in the Air Force with Michael, my spouse. They are both Nurse Practitioners and now retired. We last saw them in late August and John was amazed with my progress and transformation. John started the program immediately after they returned home back in August and he has lost 30 lbs to date and says he loves it.

As for my personal NSV’s (Non-Scale Victories)…

My waist, measured at my belly button, was 48” when I started and I was wearing a 40” trouser. As of today, My waist at the belly button is 32” and I am wearing a 31” trouser.

I started gaining weight 11 years ago after breaking 4 vertebra in a snowboarding accident. I do not, nor have I ever taken narcotic pain killers. Needless to say, I have lived (and currently live) with a great deal of pain.

My pain has decreased significantly since starting AH. I’m sure it’s a combination of taking off nearly 100 lbs as well as the anti-inflammatory properties of AH.

My body fat was 40+%, it’s now right at 15%.

I’ve taken up running again, something I have not done in 11 years.

My energy levels are through the roof.

A fun one, back in November, I needed some new trousers, as again the ones I had were too big. The sales associate asked me my size to assist in finding some that fit. I told her I was not sure, I said 32-33, she looked at me and said, “oh no, that is way to big.” She had me try on 31, slim fit and to my shock, they fit. One down side, it’s been an expensive year with regards to clothing purchases. Michael tells me, it’s bad when all the Nordstrom men’s department sales associate know your name, LOL.

As I started losing more and more weight I was worried I would have excess skin around my belly. None at all, I mean none. I realize that is pure vanity but that absolutely thrills me.

Finally, Michael too has lost some excess weight. He has lost 30+ lbs in the last year.

Weight Loss

Ok, now for my weight loss or scale victory. I am 6 feet tall and 46 years old. I started on Monday, January 25, 2016, I weighed 255.7 lbs with a BMI of 34.7 and as of today, Monday, January 23, 2016, 52 weeks later, I weigh 158.7 lbs with a BMI of 21.5. A 97 lb weight loss in the last year. My weight loss started tapering off in late October and I have been between 163 and 157 lbs since then.

I do not kill myself at the gym, not by a long shot.

I eat mostly Phase 1 with brown rice and sweet potato on occasion and have a Phase 3 treat every now and then, over the holidays, my birthday and when dining at people’s houses. Restaurants never pose a problem, there is always something I want to eat from the menu. I do not partake in fast food at all, and I foresee staying mostly in Phase 1 as it works for me. We do not, nor have we once “counted calories.” I really enjoy the food.

Starting the Program:

When we set out to do AH, we dove in head first. Cleaned EVERYTHING non-compliant out of the house, EVERYTHING. We vowed that those items would never return. No white potato, no white rice, no flour, no white sugar, no brown sugar and no “sweeteners”, no bread, no pasta.

We do use almond and chickpea flour and sweeten things with pure maple syrup and honey.

I do have a few non-compliant items in my pantry, at least I think they are. I don’t really worry about them because we use them so seldom and in such small quantities, they are arrowroot powder and cornstarch.

During the first 4 weeks, we ate EXACTLY as outlined in the book, with the recipes and meal plans. We did have drinks on the 14th day, it happened to coincide with Super Bowl Sunday. Since then we have branched out and now incorporate only those things that work for our bodies. Beer seems ok for Michael but not for me, wine is ok for me.

Eating Out

We do not eat “fast food” at all. I’ve had Panera a few times since starting. We stay clear of all packaged food and try to make everything from whole. Have even started playing with making our own beans in the Instant Pot.

We live in Charlotte, North Carolina, where we have some pretty great restaurants. We love dining out. We never have a problem finding something to eat. I do ask tons of questions about menu items if the description is not clear, yes…I’ve become that person.

Ratios and Macros

We do not religiously track these but now try to keep our days at about 1/3 carb, 1/3 protein and 1/3 fat. This has worked for us. Keeps us satiated and “Never Hungry.”

Prep-work and time spent in the kitchen

Believe it or not, after a year we have this down to a science. We can whip up salad dressings quickly now and always have a fresh home-made one on hand. Once a month or so we do and afternoon of cooking, again, we enjoy time in the kitchen. On those days we make up some soup or chili, a casserole and some fresh made tomato sauce. We portion those out and freeze. That way on busy days, when things don’t go as planned, we have something we can pull out of the freezer, heat up and eat. We have even started making our own stocks and are dabbling in sausage making.

We always have Chef Dawn’s Ranchero Sauce. We make large quantities of it, portion it out and freeze it. It is super versatile and we have found tons of uses for it. Believe it or not, our time in the kitchen has significantly decreased since starting AH. Full-disclosure, this was a learning curve, the first few months were a transition where we spent more time in the kitchen. Our grocery budget has NOT increased since starting AH and our “waste” is practically nonexistent.

“Plateaus” during my journey.

Let me start by saying, I went into this with NO WEIGHT LOSS GOALS. I would have been thrilled shedding 20-30 lbs. It happened completely naturally and became self-fulfilling. The more weight I took off, the better I felt and it continued. I kept wondering when it would stop, but did not worry once, because as my weight dropped so did my % of body fat, in other words I was not losing lean mass. Had my lean mass started to plummet, that would have been a cause of concern for me. The weight loss naturally started tapering off to where I am now back in the Fall. I’ve gone back and looked at my numbers and there were no significant “plateaus” save for a week or two here and there. My loss was pretty consistent.

Thanks to the best, most supportive spouse in the world, Michael. Thanks to my wonderful friend Becky, who also lives the AH lifestyle.

None of this would be possible without Dr David Ludwig and Chef Dawn Ludwig and the book.

The “Before” photo of me is from my 45th birthday, just over a year ago and the “Current” photo was taken this week.

I’m looking forward to, and see no reason not to, maintain the AH Lifestyle!

The journey continues!”