My name is Clutch Caro. I am a medical doctor, and I work in a public setting, so I apologize if I am not too candid about my personal life (and for using a pseudonym). I have always been interested in dieting and nutrition. I am in my 30s. I live in the United States with my wife.
This is a personal website. There will be no advertisements or commercial endorsements. I have no financial conflicts of interest.
Not too long ago, I was overweight, and I was looking for a way to change my diet in order to get down to a healthy weight. Like many people, I live a busy lifestyle, and I have a big appetite. I do not have the time or desire to count calories, make strict/extensive dietary changes, or to seek out specialty foods. I understand that weight loss requires and effort and discipline, but I was looking for a practical and efficient dieting strategy that I could maintain in the long run.
Here is my [not-so-spectacular] weight loss story:
I grew up thin. My mother is a health nut (currently in her 60s and weighs <100 lbs), and my father ate steak and ice cream. My mother prepared many of my meals, and I was an active kid. In junior high school, I started to have more control over my diet, and I ate calorie dense foods and slowly put on weight. In high school, I would eat pizza and chocolate chip cookies during lunch and healthier food at home. At age 15, I was 5'7 and weighed 173 lbs and couldn't do a single pullup.
That summer, I got serious about dieting, and knowing nothing about nutrition or weight loss, I went with a tried and true method: starvation. I dramatically decreased my total food intake. This is an example of what I ate in a typical day:
Breakfast: a grilled chicken breast and a piece of toast
Lunch: a grilled chicken breast and a piece of toast
Dinner: an apple and a glass of water
I also added walking on a treadmill and doing some weight lifting, and I had tremendous results, dropping about 30 lbs over the summer. When I came back to school, everyone was telling me how great I looked. A friend's mother even asked me for dietary advice (because everyone who loses weight is a bona fide nutritionist :) ). Needless to say, the pressures of school broke my will power, and I was slowly gaining the weight back.
I then switched to a different strategy: exercise
I decided to take up running...which was somewhat ironic as I hated running, lacked talent, and had asthma. I have many memories of carrying an albuterol inhaler during "the mile" at school, taking walking breaks, and finishing near last. Yeah...I was that kid.
However, new prophylactic medication had my asthma under better control, and I remember the very first time I ran an entire mile without stopping. The smile on my face was ear to ear, and my stop watch said about 8 minutes and 30 seconds.
I got into the habit of running a mile during school lunch every day with a stop watch. I broke 8 minutes; then 7:40. Then 7:30; Then 7:20; Then 7:10. I seemed to plateau with this rudimentary training regimen, and I eventually switched to longer runs after school and on the weekends. Suddenly, I loved running. It's funny how that happens sometimes. I was also eating healthier too...or at least avoiding the cookies and pizza. I graduated high school at about 5'8 and 145 lbs. At age 16, I vowed that I would someday run a marathon in under 4 hours.
In college and medical school, I continued running and got into weight lifting a little bit. I gained weight, but some of it was muscle. I was about 5'9, 165 lbs at the start of medical school. However, my diet slowly deteriorated, especially with the pressures of medical residency. I was working long hours and grabbing quick meals in the cafeteria. I had little time to prepare food and was often resorting to processed snacks and eating out.
I actually became more interested in running at this time and stopped lifting weights. I increased my mileage to around 30 miles a week and ran three marathons during my residency. At one point, I was running up to 50 miles a week during training and still managed to gain weight. I would do a 20 mile run and follow it up with binging at Indian buffet-chicken tikka massala and naan are two of my many weaknesses.
Here are my approximate [not-so impressive] running PRs in case you are interested:
mile: 6:18 on a track
1/2 marathon: 1:57:00
marathon: 4:05:00 (run at approximately 170 lbs)
Soon after residency, I reached my all time highest weight of 188 lbs (5'9), and I again felt motivated to lose weight. While dieting, I became interested in using the principle of caloric density, and I quickly realized that this is a well known dietary principle with many names (volumetrics, energy density, etc.) and espoused by many individuals over a long period of time.
I currently weigh ~155 lbs, and I am currently training to run a 3:59:00 marathon :)
Feel free to e-mail me any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org