How I lost 30Lbs

How I lost 30Lbs

One of my goals in this YouTube channel
is to bring real science to – to YouTube; and the vast majority of my videos are
preventive medicine science. This doesn’t sound like it. It sounds like more of a
personal emotional story and that’s what it is. It’s gonna be a little bit
challenging for me but I think – I’m like – I’ll wait through it. How I lost 30
pounds in the late 1970s? No – most people look at me and they think, well you know
you’ve – you’ve been in preventive medicine your whole life and you’ve
tended to practice what you preach for the most part so maybe you’ve always
been thin. No – not a – not – not so. I’ve never been what we would call completely obese.
I’m currently a BMI of 21. I’ve had a BMI of 25 though, 30 pounds heavier than what
I currently am. I’m currently 510 and 150- 153 pounds. Before I talk about how I
lost that weight, I probably need to talk about how I gained it. It had to do with
organic chemistry and my grandmother’s cooking. Now you’re gonna – maybe you’re gonna see the obvious connection that grandmother
cooking is being an organic chemist. That wasn’t the point. No, I was – I was in a
fairly rigorous college program. It wasn’t your – your animal house type of
experience. Then I wasn’t in any fraternities, didn’t do any of that
experience. I was working very hard. I actually completed my bachelor of
science in 2 years. I was in the 5-year medical program so it was intense. I
actually even was naive enough to expect to get some relief when I slowed down
and went with everybody else at med school. That was
the case either. It’s a different level of competition at that point and I didn’t
see it as competition; but so here I was. After a very difficult first year of – I
enjoyed it, but very difficult, very challenging first year of college; and
then taking organic chemistry this summer between those 2 years of
college. Organic – organic chemistry is the – is the pre-med class. That’s supposed to
cut most of the – the folks that aren’t going to make it into – into med school.
It’s a challenging course. My grant – I took it in a local community college. My
grandmother lived nearby just a couple of miles away and I grew up with my
grandmother. So I relished the idea of getting to stay with her and I did. I
remember studying all day every day, taking naps in the afternoon and waking
up dreaming of a methane molecule, joining with another methane molecule to
form ethane and you know those of you who have taken organic chemistry may
remember that. So I gained weight. I gained a lot of weight that summer and
that came on the back of a lifetime of family reunions. We were when you look at
grandma’s – my grandma sort of looked like this, our kitchen sort of looked like
these two we were lower middle class and my mother had eight or nine sisters and
one brother so we had family unions, also lower middle class our rural families. So
I remember at one family reunion we had 300 people and everybody brought a
covered dish. My dad, this was the grandmother that I was that I stayed
with during organic chemistry was his mother and I’m convinced she had a whole
lot to do with his BMI. He was at 3 – 5’10” my height. 350 pounds
and more during much of his life. He tended to – and 350 pounds and 5’10” is a BMI
of 50. That’s beyond obese. The conversations around food in that family
we’re just – I mean and I don’t mean the conversations, the lifestyle, the
perceptions around food or I’ll cover them. I’ll go over – I’ve covered it in
another video. I’ll mention it a couple of times in this video. So this was my
dad up on the orange and red end of the scale and this is me now down in the – the
dark blue and then me and the light blue end just getting into that light blue
end when I gained that weight. Talking about the culture around food, you know we’re –
southern rural was not only not the only culture that focuses on food and
feasting around weddings, holidays, funerals and other big days. People do it
but again we had a major focus on it. Well I bring this up because pizza and
beer were not a big deal for me. I did enjoy pizza but not beer but we would go
hog-wild at times when we were celebrating. In fact, in terms of the
culture around that I mentioned the other video I did. I’d trampled all over
the standards of mental health science and addiction science and compared my
perspective, my – my emotional stuff around food to an addiction; and yeah I still
think I mean, again not speaking as a professional but speaking just as an
individual who’s had to manage his or her relationship with food for 60 something years.
It’s got a lot to do with addiction. It’s you know a dependence knowing that it
may be negatively impacting your health and inability to to stop anyway and etc.
Just a lot of stuff. So how did I lose 30+ pounds? I went low-fat. Attended –
mostly low-fat and plant-based / pescetarian and people will say, oh you
know and I fully expect people to say oh that wasn’t – that was an idiot move.
Actually I’ve been able to lose weight more recently. I’ve done a couple of
videos on that. Went up to 160. Gonna do that with low carb and I’ll talk a
little bit more about how I maintain my weight. Now, but this was the 70s.
You didn’t tend to focus on low carb then. It was low fat. We travel in
restaurants were not a big deal during the lowest – the late 70s because
we just didn’t eat that – out that much. I just quit eating. How do I – how do I
compare the cultures of my current family versus my family of origin? Again,
I covered that in the – in the other (excuse me) food addiction video.60-40
years ago, my family of origin, we all struggled with being overweight. It
was physical and behavioral. Positive food was a way to celebrate a way to
show that you cared, the women showed that they cared by making food and they
also showed that the – their own performance and capabilities by making
food and the men went hog-wild at buffets and I was one of them.
We loved sweets like blackberry cobbler. My wife is in a different perspective.
Her – her family never had struggles with being overweight. In fact, they had more
struggles with being underweight. Physical and behavioral components around food, we
actually – we all have that and they often needed to be coaxed to eat. They’re
intimidated by food prep and a large quantity selected buffets. They were not
into sweets. Again, a very very different view and culture around food. Now, how do
I have – I kept 30 pounds off? That would take me back up to these 2 components,
the – the travel and restaurant components. No entrees except large
salads. No fats except fish. No meats, no pastas. Small desserts were okay but I
was constantly saying I was a nudge. Can I have a taste? Can I have a taste? Can I
have a taste? Go somebody have a really good pasta that you know I’d want or
even more so, a really good piece of meat that I’d want to try; and from that
perspective I was not or somebody to have a big dessert. And from that
perspective I was not a – I was a challenge to eat with, I think. How do I
keep 30 pounds off now? Well, it’s very different. It’s a low carb
diet, a decreased eating window and those two things I tend to see with a lot of
folks that I work with, a lot of my patients have taken 30 pounds off or
more and keeping it off. They tend to call the decreased eating window an
intermittent fasting. It’s technically – it’s more just decreasing the eating
window from 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning to 10:00 at night, that’s a large window.
Decreasing it down to like, for me 11 o’clock or noon to about 6 or 7,
2 days a week of water fast or an extended water fast; and an occasional
fasting mimicking diet. I’m constantly watching, constantly asking myself, you
know what am I doing in terms of my behavior around eating? And I’m
constantly a nudge to my current family. I – again, they don’t have a problem with
weight so they don’t need to constantly ask themselves and each other how much
they weigh and that sort of thing in fact they do not – it makes them
uncomfortable. So speaking of being uncomfortable, this has been an
uncomfortable presentation for me. I hope it hasn’t been too uncomfortable for
if you’ve made it this far and thanks for your interest! Have a 2-day event
in Louisville, November 8th and 9th. Give your CI-MT and all your labs.


  1. This is helpful as it provides a context and point of reference many of us can relate to. While it may be a bit of a struggle for you to share this, it is very beneficial. It motivates.

    As an aside, your channel was the beginning of some renewed hope that change is possible. And it hass been the gateway to many other YouTube resources which are also being used to get me started again. At age 66, having struggled with weight since a child, I really am motivated to embrace a low carb approach, and this motivation comes in large part from these videos.

  2. thank you for sharing this Dr.
    I have a similar family/friends environment regarding both food and alcohol. That makes it much harder.
    Do you think that if/when you slip up you gain weight back faster than say your wife's side of the family?


  3. 2 days water fasting – that's impressive!! Those first couple of days of fasting are always the hardest!! Does it get easier for you over time? I can fast for weeks, but the beginning is definitely the hardest.

  4. Thanks again for sharing that Dr. Brewer! Yep, one of my favorite courses in College "Organic Chemistry" by Morrison & Boyd, if I remember correctly? Although, Biochemistry was more interesting & pertinent in my opinion. Anyway, that's off topic. I was wondering what your opinion is regarding the aquired genetics related to obesity? It appears that everyone has a difference in bone structure & a given "set point" related to how much they weigh. So losing weigth can be a real problem because if they go below their set point, it's very hard for them to continue to lose weight & subsequently to keep it off. The reason is that they go into "starvation mode" & their body wants to get back above that set point. I myself am 5' 11" tall & weigh around 215 lbs. I have tried to get below 200 lbs. but find it very hard to do without almost starving myself. Getting down to 180 lbs is really tough & trying to maintain that weight is impossible, at least for me. Obviously, life style, exercise & how much one eats has a lot to do with losing weight & keeping it off. Anyway, just wanted to get your perspective on this. Thanks again for your videos……………..

  5. Good for you Dr. Brewer. Eating and food is a sensitive topic for many people. My wife's family was always food centered. Maybe that is a result of going without at some point in life, as most depression era people did. I really think family doctors need to be more honest about the advice they give to patients. For example, my two brother-in-laws are both over 300 pounds and have regular annual checkups. each year that goes by, they are taking more and more medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. I don't mean to blame the doctors because they themselves know what the core problem is. We need more doctors like you that promote preventive health care. Thanks again.

  6. How to lose body fat, not weight! #1 create a calorie deficit! #2 Lift weights! Muscle metabolizes FAT! Love your vids doctor!

  7. I like fasts started earlier in the day 2-4 pm, and earlier morning eating 7-9 am. Has there been any evidence times of day for fasting make big differences? Thanks for your videos. You don't like shining a window of light upon your personal history, or why are you uncomfortable about making videos such as this? They are helpful for people understanding how these problems start.

    My weight loss has seem to hit that point it always has done.

    My understanding that one's hormones usually point to where that particular weight is. Not that you can't provoke further changes, but it takes things I can't do well right now.
    That weight is always around 198-200 pounds on a 6' medium frame. About 26-28 pounds down in near 7 months. Considering I have not been able to exercise as I like, fasting and diet alteration has been the strict causation of my weight change. Am still not able to work it like I want. Thanks.

  8. What do you call it if you replace the hydrogen in a benzene ring with "MD"s in the para position? Answer: A paradocs. Organic chem was easy compared to inorganic chemistry IMO. Organic chem lab was the challenge. Physical Chemistry was the wash out course for potential chemistry majors at my university.

  9. Dr Brewer may I suggest you do a video on postprandial walking which can be such a great help in controlling glucose levels

    Canada's national dessert is the butter tart, which has a mixture in a pastry shell that is similar to ice cream except it uses butter instead of cream.
    Someone introduced Queen Victoria (also queen of Canada) to the butter tart. She loved it.
    Queen Victoria loved butter tarts so much that she gained a lot of weight.
    She died a few years later, although she was 81.
    I guess that's a classic example of death by food.

  11. Good presentation, Dr. Brewer! While living with your grandmother and going to school and then your afternoon napping, I bet that you didn't know in the 70's that your sleep was helping you transport your newly-learned knowledge into your long-term memory bank. So, those naps were very helpful to you, and here you are! 🙂 (I'm reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, Ph.D. Great research in this book, as you know! I enjoyed the video greatly! 🙂

  12. Dr. Brewer, how has (or did) the continuous glucose monitor help your willpower, by offering constant feedback? Do you think a wristwatch cgm would be even more motivational? Humans are feedback machines, which is why the instant 'doughnut taste' feedback is so powerful – – nothing to counter the positive feedback, until months later on the scale.

  13. Great video. It helps to know where food habits and addictions come from. We all have our own challenges. I think you've overcome your family's struggles with food, health and weight. Kudos to you doc.👍👊

  14. Hey Dr.Brewer, no need to be ashamed. I relate almost exactly with the way you described your upcoming with food. My family evolves around food, to where I've relized that it's an emotional dependance. Very eye opening and honestly frightening. Thank you and keep up with the powerful information!

  15. I think your story is similar to many of us. I had the same (during intense education program gained all my weight, bf was 33% at the end, height 172 cm, weight 84kg, unhealthy way of feasting). Talking about feeling u comfortable, I felt real uncomfortable then. Lost lots of it in the 18 months after that (-16kg, weight training and lots of cardio) but then over the past 7 years gained again (slowly) trying to eat low fat, doing lots of cardio. Last year May switched to low carb and viola, dropped to 60-61kg!

    Thanks for sharing your story and thanks for all the education you have been putting out there. You satisfy a lot of our information needs and in the long run you are saving lives.

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