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Lose weight and lower your cholesterol?

by Fred Hahn on May 15, 2011


I just got the results of my yearly physical back and I discovered some interesting results.

Mind you, I was not trying to do anything about my cholesterol profile even though my doctor thinks I am going to expire in a few minutes unless I start eating fistfuls of statins. It amazes me that after all these years of being my doctor and seeing me in perfect health (and even better health as the years have rolled on), she continues to say the same things to me regarding cholesterol. I think she needs to read the book Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life(affiliate link).

Backing up a bit – as many of you know, I decided I wanted to go on an elimination diet to see if this would help my arthritis pain which unfortunately it didn’t. Not at all in fact. However, I did lose a lot of fat while doing this. I went from 175 pounds to 157 pounds in a few months. I cut out virtually all grain as I usually do, but did not cheat anywhere near as much on things like French fries, corn chips, dairy, etc. In fact, I cut out all dairy and replaced the calories with coconut butter, more meat, etc. I also stopped eating eggs.

The result of my blood work after losing nearly 20 pounds of fat and perhaps a bit of muscle?

My cholesterol remained virtually identical. My HDL actually went up a bit from 78 to 83. My LDL remained high 174 (was 178) but all of the LDL remained the fluffy, buoyant, large pattern A particles. As you can see from the graph, my LDL’s are well into the good side.

And for those of you who think ALL LDL particles are bad, take a look-see at this. Now, one really can’t make much of this study since the results are just an observation by the researchers. But I do find it interesting given my results and that I regularly perform high intensity exercise.

My triglycerides remained virtually the same – a very low 57. So I eat all this fat and yet…

One bad thing however – my fasting blood sugar was oddly high coming in at 104 (reference range 65 to 140). It should have been in the 80’s. I’m not sure why this was. It could be that since I and others who are on very low carb diets rely on gluconeogenesis (the production of glucose from protein), perhaps low carbers like us are making a bit more glucose than others who eat a good deal of sugar during the day. But I’m not sure. I’ve had fasting levels lower than this in the past so I’m not sure what to make of it.

Anyhow, I lost almost 20 pounds but there was virtually no change in my blood cholesterol profile. Interesting right? Did my doc say anything about this drop in weight but no change in cholesterol? Nope.

So the next time your doc says to lose weight in order to “improve” upon your cholesterol levels, don’t worry if it doesn’t change. Losing fat if in excess is always a good thing and will always result in better health even if your cholesterol numbers don’t budge.

And for those of you who are concerned about your cholesterol levels and just can’t seem to shrug off your doctors prodding that you take a statin, please read this book The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It

It’s informative and funny to boot!

I've been involved in exercise ever since I became a member of The Charles Atlas Club when I was 10 years old. In 1998, I founded and established Serious Strength on the Upper West Side of NYC. My clients include kids, seniors (and everyone in between), top CEOs, celebrities, bestselling authors, journalists and TV personalities.
my book. my Gym.

in Health/Fitness,Losing weight/diet,Nutrition,obesity,weight loss/diet · 13 comments

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cholesterol, LDL, HDL, health, fitness, weight loss, fat loss, diet, | pycyvobykano
May 17, 2011 at 8:47 AM


Beth@WeightMaven May 15, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Fred, re high fasting BG on LC, check out this older post from Peter@Hyperlipid* and Chris Kresser’s comments on Jimmy Moore’s podcast** (starting around the 45 min mark, gets into the LC/BG at around 49 min).



Jeff Kiefer May 15, 2011 at 12:57 PM

As for your higher resting blood glucose levels, me too. Check out Hyperlipid at:

Also, Jimmy Moore touched on this with an interview with Mary Vernon but I can’t seem to find that link.

I have been paleo/low-carb for last six months and I have moved to pattern A also, but my resting sugars are in the 95-105 range. However, during this six month period my A1c levels have gone from 6.0 to 4.9.

Kathryn May 15, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Congrats on your hard work and good results!

Having struggled for years with chronic illness that i am convinced is iatrogenic, or at least strongly contributed to by doctors and the “treatment” they have given me in the past, it does not surprise me one bit that your doctor parrots the same thing regardless of the good things she sees in you. Most, not all but most, doctors do not seem to be able to “think outside the box.” Or they are afraid not to follow SOP because it does put them at risk. I think i found your site thru Dr. Davis’ Heart Scan Blog. He stands out as a shining example of “thinking outside the box” and has wonderful outcomes as a result.

Would that more doctors employed critical thinking skills.

Fred Hahn May 15, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Thanks Jeff. Mu A1c is 5.6. Not great but not bad.

Agreed Kathryn, agreed.

Jimmy Moore May 15, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Here’s the link to my podcast interview with Dr. Mary Vernon, Jeff:

Mike Miller May 15, 2011 at 9:16 PM


I’ve been living LC-HF for about 6 months and am off my diabetes medications for the last two months. I’m also see fasting blood glucose levels between 100 – 120. I’ve wondered if my liver is pumping out too much sugar along with the excess fat it’s burning, or if I just need to be more patient because my liver is still recovering from 20 years of abuse. Please, let me know if you find anything out. I’d ask my doctor, but he’s about as useful as your’s sounds. 🙂


Mike Miller May 15, 2011 at 9:16 PM

LOL, beware of commenting fist then reading the other comments.

M May 16, 2011 at 11:27 AM

“It amazes me that after all these years of being my doctor and seeing me in perfect health (and even better health as the years have rolled on), she continues to say the same things to me regarding cholesterol.”

Why don’t you find a new doctor?

Anna May 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

I was going to suggest the Hyperlipid link, too, but another reader got to it first. Very much looks like normal physiological insulin resistance for us LCHF eaters, not pathological IR. It’s not uncommon for BG to be at it’s highest in the morning after the liver has dumped some glucose into the blood around dawn as a result of the long overnight fast.

If you want to be sure you aren’t running chronically high BG or spiking too high during the day, you can test your blood glucose 1 and 2 hours after typical meals for a while to make sure your BG regulation is normal throughout the day (probably more important than FBG anyway). If your glucose is elevated after meals, then you have something to worry about, but I highly doubt that is an issue for you. Jenny at Diabetes Update blog has a great post up today about testing BG after meals if you want more info on that. Glucose meters do not require an prescription, so buying OTC to self-experiment can be an expensive out-of-pocket experiment, but at least it doesn’t include insurance noses poking into one’s health records. The peach of mind and additional insight can be well worth the expense, too.

It would be far better for doctors to order random or post prandial (post meal) BG levels than FBG, since FBG is the often last measurement to go haywire if someone is developing (or has developed) diabetes. But since most people are coming into the lab fasting for their blood lipid tests, FBG is seen as more convenient and cheaper, I guess.

AK May 18, 2011 at 1:21 PM

With total cholesterol at 104 I’d rather increase my cholesterol. Suggestions are welcome.

Fred Hahn May 18, 2011 at 1:32 PM

104?? Say what?

Cody April 28, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Excellent post! We will be linking to this great content
on our site. Keep up the great writing.

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