As part of our Group Coaching program, we shine a spotlight on members of our program to learn more about their journey. This week’s Member Spotlight is Dan Cadmus, whose story is one that many of us can relate to. Dan struggled with weight most of his life, but being active in sports kept his weight from spiraling out of control. In high school Dan suffered an injury that led to him losing a baseball scholarship, and this began some mental-health struggles on top of the weight issues. His 20s were spent yo-yo dieting and battling depression, as he searched to find a better way.

Dan was about to have hernia surgery and knew he would not be able to maintain any activity during recovery, and in his research for how to lose weight, came across low carb and keto. Two years and 180 pounds later, Dan has reclaimed his health and is not looking back!

Discussion With Dan:

  • Dan, like many of us, followed the outdated advice of many doctors: “eat less and move more,” which typically led to a pattern of all-or-nothing thinking where he would eat very little during the week, but binge on the weekends.
  • When he started his keto journey it was, as he says, “dirty keto,” eating low carb treats and other prepackaged foods. His transition from this to a more whole foods low carb lifestyle was gradual, and today Dan is “carnivore-ish” (mostly meat with some vegetables). He limits the treats that once got him started because along the way he recognized that when he would slip up it was because he overdid the processed foods — even the keto-friendly ones.
  • Dan has realized a lot about food addiction and these days completely stays away from cheating on high carb foods. “It’s not worth the weight gain, the many weeks to regain the progress, beating myself up and feeling horrible just for a few moments of giving in to cravings,” says Cadmus. If he does eat low carb treats he plans it and usually does so after working out and/or a long fast.
  • When Dan first started he tracked every macro obsessively and he had success, but the tracking eventually had the opposite effect and gave him anxiety. Now he finds it easier to eat protein to satiety and listing to his hunger rather than eating to hit specific macros goals.
  • Dan’s biggest struggle so far has been moving back home because it was a very familiar safe place that felt like a vacation full of trigger foods. He had to readapt to these surroundings with his new way of eating. He thought he had things figured out but soon learned that having cheat days was bringing back unhealthy eating, beating himself up after, and depression. He was able to refocus and get things back under control.
  • Dan is a big advocate of meditation, journaling and when things feel a little out of control, getting back to basics by keeping meals uncomplicated. During stressful times he likes to unwind by walking and working out.
  • Dr. Tro, Amy, Brian and Dan all agreed that consistency is one of the biggest keys to success, and embracing the realization that not every day is going to be perfect: get back on track as soon as possible, quickly move forward with forgiveness and try to learn how to avoid repeating mistakes in the future.

Article by Brian Wiley

Brian Wiley is a Certified Health Coach who struggled to lose weight for most of his life. He attempted most of the mainstream approaches, along with the standard advice to “eat, less move more.” This advice resulted in minimal short-term success, or no success at all. Brian then adopted a low-carb lifestyle in 2009, and succeeded in losing 100 pounds. He has maintained that weight loss ever since using a low-carb ketogenic IF lifestyle. "I see people every day, both in real life and on social media, struggling, going through the same cycles of unsuccessful dieting like I did. I want to serve as an example that this approach can be successful, is not a fad, and is a healthy long-term lifestyle solution." Brian is also an ACE certified personal trainer.