Warning: this post contains opinions and a lot of personal anecdotal information. It is not meant to promote anything.
There are diets everywhere. Obesity is at epidemic levels. I get surprised when my patients actually aren't diabetic. It's sad and really difficult to watch.
I've been obese for much of my adult life. Several years ago, at my wonderful wife's urging, I did a fasting blood glucose level. It was too high. I didn't want to suffer what has plagued my patients and family members, so I took my knowledge of human physiology and tried to simplify those principles to see if I could improve things. I identified several problems.
1) most diets look at weight loss as a gauge of success. The problem here is that diabetes can affect those who aren't obese, and a normal BMI doesn't mean you're healthy
2) most people have no immediate feedback as to whether a food is good or bad for you. How many of us have stepped on a scale and been unhappy, only to think "I shouldn't have had that ____ last night!" That's not how the human body works.
3) most doctors get abysmal training in medical school regarding nutrition. What training they do get amounts to someone standing up and either reciting food pyramid nonsense or telling you that carrots contain vitamin A. That's not helpful.
I took the advice of William Davis, a cardiologist, regarding real time feedback. In my eyes, insulin secretion was the root cause of my problems. Over the years, my bombardment of my pancreas with bread, rice, and pasta in addition to sweets caused tremendous amounts of insulin secretion in an effort to drive that resultant sugar/starch into my tissues for storage for the marathon that will never be run. With time, my tissues became insulin resistant and the sugars remain in my blood. Boom, I'm diabetic. Additionally, insulin is a growth factor. In an almost offensively oversimplistic thought, I considered anything that caused excess insulin secretion as a direct cause of what was keeping me fat.
What did I do? I would check my blood sugar before a meal, then eat, and then check 1 hour later. If my blood sugar went up by 15 or more, I analyzed my meal and eliminated the cause. Slowly, over time, I whittled away at the problem. With my wife's help, I was basically eating a paleo diet. I began reading blogs like this one and this one and this one and this one.
I hesitate to call it a diet, however. I prefer to call it "eating". It's not a diet anymore. 60 pounds lighter, amazing lipid profile, lower BP, no more sleep apnea, and a really low A1C level.
What did I cut out?
- Grains. All if them. Like bread (and it was easy). While the focus is on gluten (Latin for poison), I don't think there is a single health benefit to grains. Even "heart healthy" nonsense like oatmeal and whole grains are empty and don't fulfill a biological need.
- Rice (as a descendant of Persian parents, this is a feat)
- Artificial sugars (with time, as I became insulin sensitive, I added back unprocessed forms of sugar, but still minimally)
What do/did I eat?
- Meat/poultry (ideally from pastured animals)
- Eggs (until I realized I was allergic)
- Veggies (not enough of them)
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy fats/oils (coconut, avocado, olive oil are healthy. I don't eat canola/processed vegetable oil etc). Much to many people's surprise, I eat animal fats from pastured animals as well (like bacon fat)
So how does this link up with your facial appearance? First, losing weight becomes most noticeable in the face. It's the best way to get rid of jowls, folds and shadows caused by excess fat. Gluten elimination (even if you're not celiac/sensitive) makes your skin look better. I've personally seen how eliminating gluten can reverse skin conditions like dishydrotic eczema. I've experienced fewer breakouts since removing gluten.
Admittedly, this post was more about my journey than it was to advise you about how to try to lose weight. The basic premise is that if you're unhealthy and are suffering from what you're putting in your body, it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend money to try surgery or invasive procedures. Taking care of your body will result in improved face and skin health, plain and simple.