I started the McDougall Maximum Weight Loss Program in May 2017 to lose a few pounds, improve my current health and reduce the future risk of diseases like heart disease, cancer and dementia. Over the previous 10 years, I’d tried diets like calorie counting, Atkins and 5:2 fasting but was unable to stick with them for more than a couple of weeks. When I reverted to my usual way of eating, I gained back the 2-3 pounds lost and gained a few more. In 2014, Paul Malekos, a personal trainer, introduced me to a whole foods plant-based diet. Initially sceptical and reluctant to abandon foods that were part of my way of life, I read The China Study and finally decided to give it a go. Over the next couple of years, my IBS improved and I lost 8 pounds, but my weight stuck at around 10 stone 9 pounds (149 pounds). After reading and re-reading several of Dr. John McDougall’s books, I decided that the time had come to try something different and committed to the MWL Program for 12 days. My taste buds adjusted fairly quickly to the new way of eating and I was pleased to lose weight without being hungry. I decided to stick with it and set an initial weight loss goal of 10 pounds, as it was a nice round number and would take me below the 10 stone barrier. I lost 10 pounds in 9 weeks and went on to set and achieve two more weight loss goals over the next few months. In total I lost 25 pounds in 9 months and have managed to maintain the new weight for a further 10 months.
Now I stick closely to the regular McDougall Program and adjust the calorie density of my food if the weight starts creeping up. The IBS, acid reflux and knee pain have disappeared. I’m hugely grateful for the information, support and advice from all involved with the McDougall Program and the MWL online weigh-in group. My husband has been very supportive, learning how to cook without oil and becoming a part-time McDougaller. He has lost 14 pounds, reduced both his blood pressure and cholesterol and has seen his skin become less oily and blemish prone. I feel exceptionally well and am no longer anxious about the future. I am very grateful to be able to enjoy life with pain free walking and have restarted dancing classes. The side effects of the weight loss? Buying new clothes in styles I wouldn’t previously have felt confident to wear, spotting a slim healthy-looking person in the mirror and receiving compliments on my appearance. What a lovely surprise!