MERLE WESTCOTT WASN’T LOSING WEIGHT
BANTING COACH MERLE WESTCOTT WASN’T LOSING ANY WEIGHT HERSELF – THEN SHE REALISED SHE NEEDED TO TAILOR HER LOWCARB DIET TO HER SPECIFIC NEEDS.
until she adjusted her diet to accommodate her thyroid issue
‘Having written The Low Carb
Creed with Sally-Ann Creed as well as being a Banting Buddies coach, the fact that I wasn’t losing any weight myself made many people ask me how I could mentor the lifestyle. I had no answers – I have clients that are hugely successful (one of them has even lost 80kg!), yet my own weight wouldn’t budge.
I had never been overweight – my weight usually hovered around a size 12. So in 2000, when I gained 13kg in a three-month period, I knew something had to be wrong: I hadn’t done anything to justify this weight gain – I ate the same as before and I exercised the same as before. My lifestyle was healthy. It was frustrating not only to struggle with weight loss, but to actually gain weight instead!
I started Banting in 2014, and I used a combination of extreme low-carb and IF (intermitted fasting). Despite this, my weight stayed the same, and I began to suspect that it might be something to do with my thyroid. My gut feeling proved correct: I met Dr Pieter Erasmus at the 2015 LCHF Medical Summit. He became my GP, and when we tested my T4 levels we discovered that they were lower than the very bottom range! Dr Erasmus put me on medication immediately, and all my symptoms of hypothyroidism disappeared. All, that is, except the weight. It was only after I saw Dr Amy Meyers’s
The Thyroid Connection summit that I realised I needed to tweak my Banting diet to suit me. It turned out that extremely low-carb diets are detrimental to thyroid health. That was when I started incorporating Orange List vegetables into my diet. I also gave up IF as it was putting too much strain on my adrenals.
When I go out, I usually find something Banting-friendly to eat, or adjust a meal to suit me. Before, if someone told me I couldn’t have sweet things I’d feel deprived. Now I just don’t care. I don’t feel the urge to eat anything I know isn’t good for me.
My family and I went on holiday to Vietnam in December 2016. When we returned a month later, I’d lost 4kg without any effort. You usually don’t have control over the food you’ll be served on holiday. I knew, however, that the Vietnamese people usually cook with palm or coconut oil, and I stuck to only vegetables and protein. I drank black coffee as well, and I was amazed at the weight loss.
Being a Banting Buddies coach has put me under a lot of scrutiny, but I would never quit. I love helping my clients and getting to know them on a more personal basis. Very often, I find that someone’s weight stems from an unresolved issue. Working that out with them, mentoring them and guiding them can really help someone break free from those issues. When they shed the weight, they are shedding those heavy issues. This makes coaching all the more rewarding.
After adjusting my diet to accommodate my thyroid issue, I lost 14kg in 11 months. I now wear a size 10, and this would never have happened if I hadn’t been properly diagnosed. I now weigh less than I did when I won a fitness challenge in 2012, and I really am proud of myself.’
‘I realised I needed to tweak my Banking diet to suit me. Extreme Low carb, which is how I was eating, was detrimental to my thyroid.'
THIS PIC: BANTING BUDDIES COACH MERLE AFTER LOSING 14 KG. after