Dr. McDougall keeps a list of success stories on his site, written by people in their own words. This was a recent one. There’s always something to learn in these.
McDougall Success Story, Lex Frazure: “I Thought My Life Was Over.”
Just a little over two years ago, I thought that my life as I had known it was over; I was fat and sick at 52 before going on a whole foods, plant-based diet. I’m 5’7½” and weighed 210 pounds. My body was wracked with diabetes, chronic heartburn, extremely high blood pressure, numbness in my left arm and leg, and heart disease so bad that after an EKG at 50, the doctor asked me when the last time I had a heart attack was.
He also suffered from an enlarged prostate, sleep apnea, retinopathy, cataracts, and “pain in almost every part of my body.”
The first change he made:
First I emptied the house of all processed foods and animal products. Then I bought a juicer and stocked up on whole foods, mostly fruits and vegetables with minimal starches (I had not been to McDougall’s website yet).
That point about minimal starches? It came back to bite him:
But something was wrong. I was starving to death. No matter how many fruits, vegetables, smoothies, or juice I put in my mouth I was constantly hungry. I just couldn’t see myself sticking to this diet.
During my research I tried to avoid Dr. McDougall as much as possible, he was saying crazy things, such as eat potatoes and rice. How was I going to lose weight eating all that sugar?
He researched McDougall’s starch-based diet and eventually adopted it:
Everything that he said made sense. That without starches hunger would be my constant companion. … Since then I have never been so satisfied with a diet.
This is a key feature of this diet: starch. There’s no way around it.
A last point:
I thought I never really had a problem with constipation. I thought everybody had to grunt to evacuate the bowels. I eat so much fiber now that I have a minimum of three bowel movements a day, no grunting involved.
Americans don’t eat enough fiber. When someone asks you where you get your protein, ask them where they get their fiber:
Total dietary fiber intake should be 25 to 30 grams a day from food, not supplements. Currently, dietary fiber intakes among adults in the United States average about 15 grams a day. That’s about half the recommended amount.