Local Judge Finds Success with Atkins Diet|
By Martha Hardcastle
for the Dayton Daily News
(10-19-99: Dayton, OH) People have been seeing a lot less of Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge David Gowdown these days. But it's not because of absences from his bench.
Gowdown, 51, of Brookville, has lost about 100 pounds in the past couple of years. The first 94 he lost on Weight Watchers low-fat diet plan, but he gained half of that back in about two years.
"I've been on every diet known to man, " Gowdown said. His physician, Dr. Daniel Schoulties, suggested he tried the Atkins diet after gaining 47 pounds.
"I went on Atkins Nov. 1st, 1998. Dr. Schoulties said, '..get the book, do it and come back in 30 days.' ".
The diet, as laid out in Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, by Dr. Robert Atkins, clicked for Gowdown, and he has lost 49 pounds in the past eleven months. Gowdown believes this is a plan he can stick with the rest of his life.
"I would like to lose about 10 more pounds," he said. "I weigh 227, and I will be happy to be in the 2xx teens." Gowdown has been heavy all of his adult life.
"I had good luck with Weight Watchers, but I always seemed to gain it back," he said. Jenny Craig and Diet Workshop are among some of the other plans he has tried.
"This seems to be more successful for me," he said of the low carbohydrate Atkins plan. "I haven't had a piece of bread, a desert or a potato for eleven months, and I don't miss it."
Gowdown knew he didn't want a diet plan that would change his lifestyle. He doesn't have time for regular exercise and doesn't plan to take any up in the near future.
"I'm a firm believer that you have to lose your weight in the lifestyle where you live," he said. "If you lose your weight and go back to your former lifestyle, you'll gain it back."
Gowdown's progress is being monitored by Schoulties.
"I think that any individual who wants to go on this diet should be evaluated by their physician first, on account of coexisting conditions that might make this dangerous," Schoulties said. "Judge Gowdown has no other health problems."
Schoulties says low carb must become a lifestyle change in order to keep the weight off.
"The diet should serve as a learning experience as to changing nutritional habits because once a person goes off of it, the weight can come back on," he said. "Even though there is often a reduction in lipid levels, it's not certain how this affects risk for atherosclerotic disease."
Gowdown takes a Multi-Vitamin and also additional Vitamin C and Calcium. He drinks about 64 ounces of water per day.
Gowdown and his wife, Claudia, enjoy eating out, usually Thursday through Sunday nights.
"I like Cracker Barrel, and there, I'll get a meat and a salad," following the Atkins diet, he said. "I'll go to Frisch's [Big Boy Restaurant] and get a "Big Boy" without the bun. You can really eat anywhere. I can go to an Italian restaurant and order meatballs and salad."
Gowdown tries to consume less than 30 grams of carbohydrate per day, while the average intake for Americans is about 300 grams.
"This diet gets you thinking totally the opposite of what you formerly thought," he said. "I like salad greens, although lettuce has some carbs. I like to have cheddar cheese on my salad, bleu cheese crumbles and bleu cheese dressing. That's just the opposite if you were on some other diet."
Like most Atkins devotees, he does not count calories.
"I have a lot of meat and cheese," he said. "Breakfast is great -- sausage and eggs at McDonald's with no hash browns or muffin. That's a nice hot breakfast, and I can eat that on the way to work.
Another thing is exercise. Gowdown just says "no," for the time being.
"If you're going to make a firm effort to commit to exercise the rest of your life, fine," he said. "I play golf and mow the yard. I'm not getting much exercise. Right now with my busy life I'm not exercising, but I'm not losing it through exercise - I'm losing it through diet. I have a lifestyle of dining out and no exercise."
And he's in no hurry to lose the rest of his weight to get to goal.
"This is a life change for me," he said. "I expect to continue to lose weight for the next year. The fact that it's leveled off and is going more slowly now than it did in the beginning, so what? Hurry up and lose it, and then what? You need a plan you can live with for a long time, and right now I don't think I need a piece of bread. I'm happy with the foods I'm eating."