Coming home from work one night in severe pain, Tammy Prier told herself, I can’t keep going on this way. I’ll be in a wheel-chair before long. Anyone could see that Tammy was struggling with mobility issues at her size. Less apparent, however, was what was happening inside her body, like the heart and thyroid issues that left her exhausted.
Plus, she felt sluggish mentally, having trouble with forgetfulness and brain fog that sabotaged her ability to keep the countless important details necessary to do her job straight in her mind. And she suffered what she called “mini blackouts” after drinking soda or eating sugary snacks. “I was already on four heart medications,” she recalls. “I worried this was the onset of diabetes.”Tammy knew she needed to lose weight — she also knew a strict diet wasn’t the way through this health storm. “I needed to feed my body.”
So Tammy learned to cut sugar, plus the starches and carbs that turned to sugar in her body. Instead, she reached for satisfying foods known to heal the body and mind — clean choices like eggs, almonds, walnuts, apples, celery, and olive oil.
She also made a point to enjoy avocado at breakfast, a brain-friendly food recommended by Max Lugavere, author of Genius Foods (Buy on Amazon, $17.99). Tammy had been gifted a copy of the book, and she was happy to see that much of its advice was in line with the healthy choices she was already making.
Tammy whittled off 17 pounds in three months. After that, she recalls, “I never looked back.” And when she dropped 40 pounds, she was able to get off those four medications with her doctor’s blessing. She also melted away 20 inches from her waistline and avoided major foot surgery.
Now that this Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS.org) member has kept off more than 100 pounds for over two years, she’s enjoying newfound mental stamina. “I’m retaining so much more information now than a few years ago.” Tammy quips, “Sure, sometimes I forget to call home, but it’s not because of memory problems — it’s because I’m out having so much fun!”
What’s more, Tammy’s energy has skyrocketed! “My husband and I can do a lot of outdoor activities,” she cheers. And she hasn’t missed a day of work since starting her health journey. “I’m so blessed — and a lot happier!
How Cutting Carbs Improves Memory
Just a few years ago, forgetfulness was considered unavoidable with age, but breakthrough science has led to a new understanding of why brain function falters: Much like diabetes, mental decline is caused by problems with blood sugar (glucose) and insulin.
When blood-sugar levels are chronically elevated, the brain becomes resistant to insulin, so neurons don’t get the fuel they need — and “type 3” diabetes sets in. “This can lead to fog, learning difficulties, and even Alzheimer’s,” says Mark Hyman, M.D., author of The Blood Sugar Solution (Buy on Amazon, $9.39).
But researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have found that just six weeks of following a high-fat, low-carb, keto-style diet that eliminates sugary foods and processed carbs reduces insulin resistance by 18 percent and enhances memory performance by 35 percent in older adults.
This article originally appeared in our special print edition, Keto Over 50. You can purchase the magazine in full on Amazon, $12.87.