Success Stories: Dr. Tro Kalayjian
May 06, 2020
My weight loss story began in childhood, since I grew up obese – in an obese family. Over many years I tried to lose weight but could never sustain it. I followed the advice most experts said was the proper diet: whole grains, vegan, low fat, fruits, vegetables, and eating everything (including junk food) in moderation – but I was chronically hungry and didn’t understand why.
As an adult at 350 lbs., I was a doctor who did not know how to heal myself. In a desperate attempt to figure it out, I studied for countless hours, combing through medical literature, research papers, and hundreds of books, desperate to find an answer to the ever-important question: why am I fat?
What I found in the research was in such stark contrast to what we have all been told and what my medical colleagues recommended. Carbohydrates are not a necessary part of a healthy diet. Eating multiple small meals does not speed up your metabolism. Fruit juices are not healthy, but red meat, fish, and dairy are.
If most physicians and nutritionists cannot get it right, how can we expect anything different from our patients? And why are we surprised that obesity has reached epidemic proportions? What patients may not realize is that most physicians do not receive sufficient training in nutrition and are ill-equipped to help patients lose weight or reverse diet-related diseases. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are only intended for healthy Americans (about 12% of the adult population) but are prescribed for everyone. Furthermore, the food industry and special interests further confuse the diet story, making it even harder for the average person to understand what a healthy lifestyle really looks like.
I lost 150 lbs. and reclaimed my health for myself and my family by eating a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet and ignoring both the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and conventional medical advice. I made a few simple changes that have been critical to keeping my appetite regulated: I eat foods (with mainly fat and protein) that keep me full, and I have replaced high-carb foods with low-carb versions.
I have since made it my life’s goal to help patients get healthy and prevent disease.