Cindi Levengood wanted to enjoy a special date night with her husband. He had planned everything, from the dinner to the movie. But as Cindi stood in front of her closet to get ready to leave, she lost her nerve. I can’t go, she thought. I just don’t feel
Cindi was dealing with hormone imbalances, migraines, and moodiness, as well as prediabetes. “It felt like I was fighting a losing battle,” she recalls. “I’d always been able to keep my weight gain at bay by dieting, but once I went through menopause, everything changed, and the scale only crept up.”
Then Cindi learned about Ann Louise Gittleman’s nutrition advice, including her Radical Metabolism ($13.99, Amazon) and Quick Start weight-loss plans. The female-friendly plan includes meals built with plenty of keto-approved healthy fats, as well as “smart” carbs, which bind to excess hormones and ferry them out of the body, naturally balancing hormone levels to speed slimming.
“I was skeptical, but I tried it,” recalls Cindi, who started focusing on healthy fats, smart carbs, and satisfying protein. She lost seven pounds in the first four days. “I was shocked!”
During this healthy turn, Cindi made her own salad dressing out of hemp seed oil and cooked her burgers in ghee. She explains, “I did Atkins in the past. This was similar, but it was super healthy and fabulous because I could add carbs in. If I wanted rice or gluten-free crackers, I could eat them.”
Within a month, Cindi’s chronic migraines lifted, and after three months, she was no longer prediabetic. “My doctor was stunned! She said, ‘Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.’” In all, Cindi shed 60 stubborn pounds — even in her belly — without exercise. Now her days of dieting are over. “I have no problem maintaining my weight, even if I splurge here and there,” she says.
“I feel younger and healthier than I have in years. Everyone wants to know my secret!” Most of all, Cindi’s confidence has transformed. “My husband says I look like I did when we were dating. We’re like kids again!” She adds, “These days, we have contests to see who comes up with the best date night. So far, I’m winning!”
How ‘Smart’ Carbs Make Keto Easy for Women
Up to 75 percent of women over 45 can struggle on a keto diet thanks to a hormone imbalance called estrogen dominance. The condition occurs when estrogen rises too high in relation to progesterone, causing weight gain.
The keto diet can worsen this hormone imbalance, says weight-loss expert Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D. “When carbo hydrate intake is very low, the body thinks it’s starving,” she explains. “This causes the brain to send signals that reduce production of all hormones.”
As a result, hormone levels fall further out of balance, leading to belly fat, mood swings, and fatigue. Fortunately, Gittleman has created a female-friendly plan, detailed in QuickStart: Your Guide to a Radical Metabolism, that includes the metabolism-boosting healthy fats common on a keto diet plus “smart” carbohydrates (mainly fruit and vegetables) that balance hormone levels, making it easier to slim. Says Gittleman, “You get all of the benefits of a keto diet without the hormonal downsides.”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.