EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — Many people fear eating fat might also make you fat. However, one Utah man proved otherwise.
Dave Anderson, of Eagle Mountain, stood over his stove cooking a pan-seared New York steak in olive oil and added butter.
Anderson is not afraid of fat. In fact, he told KSL he would probably be eating about 50 to 60 grams of fat in that single meal alone.
“The calories from this meal will be very filling and satiating,” he said.
Yet, as Anderson pounded the fat, he dropped the pounds. He used to weigh 360 pounds. His 6-year-old twins are not shy about it. After seeing a photo of his father two years ago, Bryce Anderson said with a little chuckle, “I thought he looked kind of fat!” His twin sister, Emma, agreed.
Anderson’s wife, Terisa Anderson, said he gained the weight during a stressful time of life.
“All the stress of twins, his dad passing away, we sold our home at the time, there were just all these changes going on,” she said. “He just spiked really high, and I was just really worried about him.”
But all that changed when he heard about Keto. Anderson caught wind after seeing a friend post on Facebook about the diet.
“He was posting pictures of eating these huge piles of bacon and eggs and I said, ‘I like bacon and eggs,’” Anderson said.
Anderson said he’s tried every diet in the book.
“I’ve done a super low-calorie, low-fat diet, stay under 1000 calories … Just crazy stuff,” he said. Anderson also gave the Atkins diet a run, he said, “along with 30 million other people.”
However, Anderson said the Keto diet is different.
“By switching to a high fat, more of a moderate protein, and low carb (diet), I fill up quickly and I’m full for many, many hours,” he said.
Anderson’s body relies on fat instead of sugar as a fuel source. He’s lost 100 pounds since starting the diet in August 2016.
“The best part of this for me is that I feel better,” Anderson said.
And Anderson said he thinks more clearly. “One of the first things I noticed was the mental clarity and the mental focus … so I actually perform better at work.”
Now, Anderson is able to play trains on the living room floor with his son.
“My knees were so beat up that kneeling on the floor was excruciating, let alone crawling around chasing,” he said.
Anderson also loves to play tag with his kids in their backyard. “I couldn’t keep up with two 4-year-olds. They’d run me into the ground,” he added.
Intermountain Healthcare’s outpatient dietitian Emily Lybbert said there are some benefits to the diet.
“Keto is great. It encourages limiting those more processed foods that don’t have as many nutrients in them,” she said.
However, Lybbert said the diet is not sustainable. “It’s not healthy to be in ketosis for that long. It’s just kind of your backup system,” she said.
Lybbert said it is dangerous to cut out entire food groups.
“You cut out vitamins and minerals that are in those,” she described. You aren’t going to get as much riboflavin and thiamin or as much Vitamin C as maybe you would.”
Anderson would argue differently though. In response, he said, “Yeah, I cut out the foods that raise my insulin, which tells my body to store fat. Find out for yourself. There’s so much information out there — so many published studies.”
Anderson said it has changed his life and he feels 20 years younger. His wife agrees saying, “He has more energy for the kids and the honey-do list.”
After playing tag with the twins, Anderson threw Emma up in the air as she laughed and screamed. Anderson said he feels better than ever, “being able to pick them up and toss them around and all that fun stuff!”