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Low-carb revolution taking off the pounds

By Staff | Dec 4, 2015

The second meeting of a low-carb group reached numbers topping 150 last week as they met at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center for a low-carb buffet and further information on the diet plan. The first meeting was held in late October when Melanie Miller and Terry Caswell joined forces with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella to bring information to the masses regarding the benefit of limiting the intake of carbohydrates.

There were many from the October meeting who returned last week to share their successes in weight loss and health improvement. In addition, more than half the attendees had not been at the first meeting but came to find out about this program.

Miller shared her story about her weight loss journey which began after she suffered a broken leg in 2012. After surgeries, inactivity, and loss of mobility, she subsequently turned to food to find comfort and self-medication. In late July of this year, Miller was invited to a health care meeting where she heard Dr. Mark Cucuzzella speak about the negative effects of sugars in the body, and if eliminated, better health and weight loss would result.

Caswell shared his story of being in the hospital on April 30 of this year. He was very overweight had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, his A1C (test that measures the levels of glucose in the blood) number was 9.7, well above the normal range of 5.7 for a non-diabetic person. Caswell’s blood sugars were elevated to 240 (the normal range is typically 100-140). He admits to thinking that maybe the best years of his life were gone.

Caswell received multiple visits in the hospital by Dr. Cucuzzella, who shared with him the benefits of changing his diet to eliminate most carbs. Since that time, Caswell has lost 51 pounds, his A1C numbers have dropped and he no longer has to take medication for high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.

Cucuzzella spoke to the group and explained some of the facts behind carbohydrate intolerance and its relation to weight gain and loss.

“West Virginia is the second most obese state, behind Mississippi,”Cucuzella said. “But obesity is not the disease,” he said. “Things are tied to high insulin levels,” Cucuzzella explained, such as diabetes.

Obesity is a disorder of abnormal fat accumulation driven by the consumption of carbohydrates by people whose bodies can’t process those carbs properly.

Reversal of these conditions requires the consumption of real foods that do not cause insulin levels to rise, according to Cucuzzella.

“If you eat carbs, you burn carbs. If you eat fat you burn fat,” stated Cucuzzella. He went on to say it’s not so much the “weight” that is lost, but the “waist.”

“If you’re losing inches from the waistline, who cares what the number of pounds say,” Cucuzzella said.

Local doctor David Didden spoke briefly to those attending, simply saying, “There are three words to remember: ‘This is real.'” He shared his belief that the food industry failed to address health issues and now the health industry is failing to address food.

“Doctors tell you that diabetes is a lifetime disease, but it’s not,” Didden said.

This lifestyle change in carbohydrate consumption can help eliminate the need for medications, a truth that was shared with several who have been on the program, even for a short time.

More information and resources can be found in the book, The New Atkins for the New You, by Dr. Eric Westman, which is the advocated guideline for the low-carb group, or on Melanie’s Weight Loss Journey page on Facebook.

The next meeting of the group is scheduled for Jan. 19 at the Clarion at 6 p.m.