How I lost 24 Kilos and a Recipe for Macadamia Oil Mayonnaise

This blog post may change your life.

Back in April 2010, Amanda from Lamb’s Ears and Honey posted a Facebook link to an article in the New York Times with the title “Is Sugar Toxic”, written by a science researcher called Gary Taubes. Amanda doesn’t know it, but by posting that link, she saved me from almost guaranteed diabetes and heart disease. Thank you Amanda! At the time, I weighed 122kg and had a waist circumference of 122cm, and with those measurements, I was obese. After reading Taubes’ article, I watched the amazing video, “Sugar, The Bitter Truth” by Dr Robert Lustig that discusses the health dangers of eating high amounts of fructose. I also saw that Taubes had written a book entitled “Why We Get Fat: and What to Do About It”. Having always thought that getting fat is all about calories-in/calories-out, I was intrigued to find that there may be another explanation to the problem I had suffered with all my life (having dieted non-stop for 15 years) so I bought Taubes’ book and read it. That book changed my life forever.

Zoom forward to today, my nutritional re-education continues as I weigh 98kg and my waist circumference is 98cm. My diet has switched from one focused on carbohydrates to one that that uses fat for energy. My energy comes from grass-fed and free-range animals, fish, eggs, low-starch vegetables, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and berries. To a lesser extent I also eat full-fat dairy (cheese, cream and sour cream), bananas and sweet potatoes. I eat around 2700 calories a day, so by any definition, I am not on a diet. Having lost the weight I did without caloric restriction may seem to defy the laws of thermodynamics, but what I found out during my reading is that the well-established adage of calories-in/calories-out is a big fat lie. For almost all people, we gain weight because of hormonal issues. The main way to lose weight is to reduce insulin levels and make our body more receptive to the action of leptin (which, being a hormone discovered only relatively recently may not be known to most doctors).

Having (effortlessly) lost the weight is great, but I realize now that weight was not a problem in its own. It was merely a physiological indicator that my body wasn’t healthy. The health of our body is greatly determined by our diet. Using my newfound way of eating, I have helped many friends with their weight and health issues. My father, a long-term diabetic, now has stellar blood sugar levels. I personally enjoy vastly improved energy levels, no longer have the acne problems that plagued me throughout my life, no longer have plaque, have less/no joint pain, and I feel more clear-headed and happier.

As I continue to learn new things, I try to keep it simple to introduce people I care about to the diet that I know will change their lives for the better. I try to explain that there are 3 things I believe cause most of the health issues we encounter

1- Fructose – this is a sugar found naturally in fruit (and natural sweeteners like agave). It is used in massive quantities as a sweetener for soft drinks, junk food and mass-produced food. Though it doesn’t cause insulin spikes on its own, it does cause fatty liver disease. I highly recommend you watch Dr Lustig’s video “Sugar, The Bitter Truth“ as it will give you all the info you need on why you should avoid fructose.

2- Omega 6/PUFA oils. For years, we have been told to eat margarine as a healthier alternative to butter. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found in margarine, canola, corn oil and other seed/grain/nut oils. These fats are easily prone to oxidation and as we consume them in the large quantities we do, we create an unfavorable ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 (found in fish) oils in our body. The right ratio is crucial for our liver function and the makeup of our cell membranes and many other bodily functions. I have personally cut out all PUFAs (no more margarine, canola, grapeseed, rice bran or vegetable oils) and the fats I eat are either fully saturated (butter, animal fat and coconut oils are saturated and that makes them stable and not prone to oxidation) or mono-unsaturated oils like macadamia or olive oil. I do not fear cholesterol. Cholesterol is a healthy, healing substance and is largely misunderstood. I suggest you read Gary Taubes’ life changing book, Why We Get Fat: and What to Do About It to re-educate yourself on the real science of fat.

3- Grains – It amazes me to see a diabetic being prescribed a diet high in complex carbs and whole grains and low in fat! Seriously? Diabetics have a problem with blood glucose and insulin. Why are they being fed food that will turn into sugar in the body at all? My diabetic father made the switch and only gets his carbs from leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables. The rest of his diet is protein and fat based and his blood sugar levels are now AMAZING. If you are not diabetic, there are still plenty of compelling reasons why grains are not a good idea for you. Grains increase gut permeability (they penetrate the gut wall and allow dangerous material in our gut to leach into our blood stream which leads to chronic inflammation) to grains’ anti-nutrient properties (which depletes the body of vitamins and minerals). People with acid reflux, coeliac or autoimmune diseases can reverse or control their condition by eliminating grains. For more details on the dangers of wheat and grain, and the amazing health benefits to be gained by eliminating them, read Dr William Davis’ book Wheat Belly.

I am not giving anyone medical advice. I firmly believe that health is a journey and that people need to make their own decisions on where they want to go. What is clear to me is that a carbohydrate centric, fat fearing diet is not the answer. Read through the links and books I suggest. You’ll feel like Alice going down the rabbit hole. If you decide that you are convinced and want to follow the advice in these websites and books, let me know. I’d love to hear from you and to learn about your journey.

When you are convinced and want to start straight away, here’s a great recipe to help kick-start things. Macadamia Oil Mayonnaise. When I stopped eating oils rich in Omega 6, I found that I can no longer eat mayo. All commercial mayo is made with either canola or soybean oil and that’s just poison. Olive oil doesn’t make good mayonnaise – the flavour is too strong and bitter. Macadamia oil, on the other hand, is a wonderfully aromatic oil with a beautiful buttery texture and a heady aroma. It’s not a neutral oil (because it’s not chemically processed unlike vegetable and seed oils). This delicious mayonnaise takes 1 minute to make, is high in monounsaturated fat from the macadamia oil and saturated fat from the eggs, and, yes, it’s SUPER-HEALTHY! Just don’t eat the bread.

Macadamia Oil Mayonnaise Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 egg yolks (if you are worried about bacteria, simply pasteurise the whole eggs by keeping them at 63 degrees C water for 5 minutes)
  • 1.5 cup macadamia oil
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt (to taste) – use real salt like Celtic Sea Salt.
  • lemon juice

Method

  1. Put the egg and mustard in an upright blender and whiz it up.
  2. Add the oil (shouldn’t take more than 20 to 30 seconds) from the top opening until the mixture thickens.
  3. Add apple cider vinegar and salt
  4. Add more oil if thicker mayonnaise is needed
  5. The process should take 1 minute or less
  6. Once done, you can adjust the salt and lemon juice. Heck, you can even add more mustard if you want. Go crazy!

Resources

There are many amazing resources out there to find out more about this diet. I owe a huge debt and thank you to Jimmy Moore and his super-human efforts in getting the word out there and his inspirational podcasts. Mark’s Daily Apple, Robb Wolf and Chris Kresser are an absolute must. Both Dr Kurt Harris and Dr Jack Kruse are medical doctors that have dared to think outside the box and their websites are invaluable resources to my life-style. I also recently started exercising using Drew Baye‘s methods and have seen unbelievable results in strength, endurance and muscle building.
Disclaimer: I am not giving medical advice. I am simply sharing my story with you. You make your own decisions, and I recommend that you discuss changes in your diet and lifestyle with your medical doctor. I do suggest you find a doctor who is up-to-date, will listen to you and is open minded to guide you through your journey. 

25 Responses to “How I lost 24 Kilos and a Recipe for Macadamia Oil Mayonnaise”

  1. Amanda says:

    Wow Fouad, I had no idea I had such an impact on your life but I’m very glad my random wanderings around the interwebz had such a remarkable and life changing result for you. Now- I wonder if I could get The Husband to have a look at this book. He has one or two dietary issues of his own.
    Amanda´s last [type] ..Cellars in the Sky Awards 2011 – Qantas range of Australian wines scoops the pool

  2. Fouad, I am going to bookmark this page and read it carefully, thank you for sharing!

  3. Ed says:

    Fabulous story. Eat. Real. Food. – it works!

    Good books, I’d also recommend Robb Wolf’s book and podcast.

  4. Yvette Giles` says:

    Wow. Thank you so much for this, Fouad. I have been a yo-yo dieter my entire life and currently weigh slightly more than you did before you started your successful weight-loss journey.

    That video is absolutely life-changing.

    I’m going to get the Gary Taube book and am really excited about making some big changes!

  5. Fiona says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Fouad. I have been working with a naturopath/nutritionist doing the exact same thing as what you’ve been speaking about. It has been working a treat, and like you, I feel so much better for it. Thanks for the mayo recipe. I will certainly be adding this to my repertoire.

  6. Wow – what a story. Did you find it difficult to change your diet?
    Tina@foodboozeshoes´s last [type] ..The Devonshire Friday prix fixe on my mind

  7. Kavey says:

    This is very interesting, I’ve long been unconvinced by calorie in/ calorie out arguments.

    Can I just clarify? When you explain that you avoid fructose, does this mean you avoid (or heavily reduce intake of) it in all formats, including fresh fruit or mainly in processed formats?

    Thank you!
    Kavey´s last [type] ..HelloFresh Reviewed

  8. Gaby says:

    Congrats on your new healthy life, Fouad! I’ve been eating Paleo for 9 months and I’ve never felt better. My various chronic issues (reflux, depression, knee pain) are gone and I lost 5 kilos of fat that I didn’t really think I needed to lose on the first place. What I would add to your article is that legumes tend to produce the same effects as grains (gut permeability, nutrient absorption blocking, insulin spikes) and that dairy may be an issue for some people, even if it’s organic/grass-fed & full-fat.
    Gaby´s last [type] ..Review: Dae Jang Kum

  9. Yvette says:

    Well done and thank you for posting. I was wondering how you use coconut oil in food? When used, does it leave a “coconutty” flavour – which may be appropriate in some dishes, but not all? Keep well.

  10. Wow Fouad, this is truly inspiring! Sugar is evil .. I have been hearing that more and more with so many people going off it in part or completely. I weigh 18 kilos less today than I did 2 years ago and one of the things I cut back in my diet was sugar and supplementing with high protein, clean, fresh, sustainable food. Your post has taught me a few new things and I feel recharged to implement those as well. Thanks!
    Sneh | Cook Republic´s last [type] ..Daisy Cake

  11. Jo Whitton says:

    Oops, just posted on the wrong bit! But yes, I TOTALLY agree – and thank you so much for this post – I’ll be sharing it!!
    Jo Whitton´s last [type] ..Healthy Fried Chicken Strips & Salad

  12. Angie says:

    so I guess the ‘toast sandwich’ is well and truly off the menu?
    congrats, Fouad, and thanks for the advice.
    Angie

  13. Fouad says:

    Hi Yvette. Yep, coconut oil taste like coconut and is delicious. It’s great in curries or for frying eggplants, etc… I also make a chocolate dessert with it (and sometimes eat it straight up – it’s that good)…

  14. Fouad says:

    Hi Gaby. Yep, legumes are an issue for many people, though grains are usually more problematic (according to Dr Kurt Harris, at least). Dairy is a big one too, but as you rightly mentioned, for some people. I seem to be ok on it, my wife has issues…

  15. Fouad says:

    Hi Kavey
    Well, with fructose, I would avoid it completely unless I’m eating whole, fresh fruit. I think I hard Robb Wolf mention a few things that sounded interesting to me (or was it Mark Sisson – podcast confusion…). This is what I remember hearing:
    - Ketoadapted folk with less glycogen stores in their body can handle fructose more than sugar burners
    - The most dangerous way to have fructose is with PUFA oils
    - The safest way to have fructose is with saturated fats (for instance, berries are best had with cream…)

    I would personally never have liquid fructose in any form, not even so-called healthy sweeteners like Agave (which is terrible for you, as I discovered). High Fructose Corn Syrup is in a huge amount of processed foods so you need to be seriously careful.

    Have a listen to Dr Robert Lustig’s youtube video which I linked to in the blog.

  16. Fouad says:

    Hey Tina. Not overly difficult. After doing it for 10 days, it was clear that I felt better than ever. With this kind of diet, you don’t need perseverance or to be strong-willed. You just need conviction. Once you believe in the science, you will naturally want eat this way.

  17. dc says:

    Great experience, thanks for sharing. I’ve been a long time reader and this article has compelled me to comment for the first time :)

    I went down a similar journey and lost 20KG (from 95KG to 75) and about 15CMs off my waist

    The diet described above is part of what I aimed for and have kept it up for over 2 years now with ease and not worrying about counting calories

    Carbs haven’t been completely cut out of my diet, but I try to keep it low GI which doesn’t spike the blood sugar level as much but also helps with satiety.

    My portions are dominated by fibre, followed by protein and then carbs if I can help it. This way I’m not really craving any food group. I LOVE Lebanese food for this very reason (also because communal eating means you pick what goes on your plate)

    Drinking PLENTY of water – it’s good for you and also helps with satiety

    The final aspect that I try to work on is improving my metabolism – eating smaller meals + regular (healthy) snacks at regular intervals rather than a few large meals at irregular times daily. Regular exercise and green tea. I’m not sure about the squeezed lemon and water I have each morning but it helps wake me up nonetheless.

    Anyway this comment is probably long enough for me to make a new blog entry but I’d like to share a movie/doco that I watched (after losing most of my weight) that might interest you (also featuring Gary Taubes). It’s called Fat Head – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1333994/

    dc

  18. Jilbert says:

    Fouad, nice write up mate! check this out too. in a very similar tone (albeit less scientific :) )

    http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/cuisine/healthier-nuts-to-that-20120211-1svps.html

  19. Fouad says:

    Hey Jilbert. Ahm. No. The writer has no clue in that article. Margarine is better than butter? Really? That is dangerous advice. Also, a fat calorie is not the same as a carb calorie or an alcohol calorie. Carbs raise insulin which causes fat storage. Fat calories don’t spike insulin. A calorie should be measured by the hormonal response it causes in the body, not just as a calorie. Also, saturated animal fats, based on my readings, are not artery clogging.

  20. Jilbert says:

    bro, maybe you missed the sarcasm. i guess i should have used a :p

  21. Well done on the weight loss! I’m not sure I can cut down that much but I’m with you on margarine – it’s evil. I always use butter and in small quantities.
    Corinne @ Gourmantic´s last [type] ..Men & Martini: What His Choice of Martini Reveals About Him

  22. I have just book marked this post for a further read. A lot of what you have said really rings true. Good on you for what you have achieved!

  23. Yvette Giles` says:

    Just wanted to thank you again for this post. I’ve blogged about my experience and first week going low-carb here:

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/ymgiles/view/so-here-we-go-213328

    I’m pretty sure this post has saved my life and it has most certainly changed my entire worldview. So again, thank you. :)

  24. Laura says:

    Hi Fouad,

    Loved reading this post. As someone who has followed a similar food lifestyle change in the past with amazing results, I always love reading about success stories and food overhauls.

    I’m really curious to know what your daily diet plan is like nowadays? I only ask because as having Lebanese family myself, where food is at the forefront of any social gathering, how do you get around eating food that you love(d)? I guess I’m talking more in the way of wara2 3aneb, riz 3a jejj, ftayer and a morning manoush – and do you still eat legumes, or have you given up homemade hoummus and mjadra?

  25. Karen says:

    Been reading your blog for yonks, but never commented. Sorry, seems I’m going to make up for it now, excuse the lengthy response.

    I’ve been coming to the same conclusions myself, so it was great to read this post. My journey isn’t really mine, my partner was diagnosed with high cholesterol so we’ve had a big change in our way of eating.

    We’ve been on a reduced carb, low GI for almost six months now.

    Thankfully we got put onto the right track by a dietician, but it is quite alarming how the medical profession seems to be so slow to cotton on to carbs and insulin resistance and their effect on cholesterol, and heart disease.

    I’ve also been quite alarmed the more I investigate about oils. Here I was thinking we were doing the right thing with Grapeseed and Rice Bran.

    I’ve thrown them all out and like you, have converted to macadamia oil, but wow its so hard to find or sold out. I also use coconut oil to fry and olive oil for salads.

    As for the evil white powder, when I have to, am now using coconut palm sugar or stevia.

    Thanks again for this informative post.

Leave a Reply

*

CommentLuv badge
All rights reserved The Food Blog 2010