Thank you waveylines - I am sorry that this is so long, but try to pick the bones out of it.
As stated - the 'Leptin guy', Bryon J Richards (Certified Clinical Nutritionist, now sadly deceased) came my way in his book 'Mastering Leptin', first published 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 - I got the second edition because I couldn't lose weight, no matter what I did. What he was saying made sense because by that time I was being really, really sensible, eating well, with all of the right foods [a shock to the system because I used to be someone who could literally eat/drink anything]. It was especially the TIMING of eating that struck me as something worth looking at, given the introduction of 'snacking' from the USA to over here... 'snacks' were showing up everywhere as something to fit in to your day. Great for business but not for people, especially children, first obese American kids, then here! I didn't really read this book.
Somehow I got to recognise that hormones had sabotaged my body... I actually knew nothing about the thyroid, no clue [couple of family members - both sides - one hypothyroid in mid 50's, 8 stone wearing wet clothes, other slightly hyper, same weight]. Virtually all of the rest of my family on one side had bizarrely become obese ONLY WELL INTO ADULTHOOD (it has since become so clear they were hypothyroid... signs/symptoms are so obvious once you see them). I was fine until it got me: it was abominable stress, stress that would have put a Buddhist monk in a straight jacket! I had heard about cortisol and its effect re prolonged stress but even in 2003, when that 8 year stress period was over, still nothing I did would shift weight. I had never been overweight... so for some of those people out there, who think(?) it simply couldn't happen to them... think again. I fast walked/sprinted 5 days a week for 30 mins and changed my diet beyond recognition but nothing changed. I then became so ill 2006/7 that I couldn't even read the Leptin book, let alone think to implement anything [crawling out of bed, sitting slumped in a chair, going back to bed]... I had to give up my work, give up everything and no doctor would listen to a word of it and they still aren't to date.
But by 2008/9 - having been told by two professors of endocrinology that I was 'in range' and not hypothyroid, did I somehow muster something from within me to drag myself back to life ( I seem to have something akin to 'remissions', always OK in Summer). I was able to join a gym [weights, not lots of cardio] and revamped my eating habits even further... all good, fresh food. Still nothing happened. Few pounds lost went back on when I got cold in winter. I recall half-laughing, telling my husband that once really low temps, I make my way to cupboards, opening doors, looking, searching, 'as if' a bear before going into hibernation... seriously, that's how it seemed. I didn't succumb to that but my hormones had me go through the motions of 'searching out food'. Low temps finish me even now! Will docs listen? No.
By Feb 2010 Dr S very easily diagnosed hypothyroidism - as I've said, "An optically challenged man on that proverbial galloping horse couldn't have failed to do so"... I have before and during worst of illness pics which resemble those of 100+ years ago; the slumped posture, dead eyes all of the crumpled, puffed features of a seriously hypothyroid person. Under Dr S, I started T4, no good except for a huge 'mood hit' then toxic and ill [clearly I did not need T4 alone]. Armour Thyroid must have had enough T3 to lift me out of the worst of hypothyroidism... buy still not able to lose weight. Gym going great, food great... even when hypothyroidism treated... still no weight loss.
Dr P May 2010: I went to see him on one of his regional clinics for supplement advice. He also readily diagnosed hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency [said one of the worst heel reflexes he'd seen]. He suggested T3 alone but I don't like taking any of this stuff (stopped taking the pill in my mid-30's and would never take HRT). I now say to people, "These are hormone, not meds!", due to medics and their penchant for implying that our minds are somehow in question!
It was only in 2011, when another seriously stressful event occurred did I balloon up even further [2 stone in three months... no changes to anything else, bearing in mind that a size 14 was 'fat' to my former self!]; only then did I hunt out the Leptin book. It worked, immediately - that extra weight went in months but winter came, taking my temps right down again. I let it slip because winter takes me down and it takes everything I have just to 'get by and survive' when freezing cold.
So, for all of those years of doing the very best I could [£40 per hour personal trainers, lost of gym sessions, the best food I could eat], despite my being highly motivated, nothing at all changed my weight. Armour stopped working in the winter of 2012... 2 1/2 good years so I bit the bullet and began Cynomel, Dec 2012. Now if anything was going to raise my metabolism, surely T3 would? Nope. Still no change to weight but for medics its 'Calories In-Calories Out', fools!
Improvement with Cynomel until Dec 2014, when I went down huge time... I thought I was finished, this time. in a room 25.9C, with layers of clothes, thermals and all wrapped up in a hot room, plus an under and over blanket in bed... also thermals in bed and socks. I have hypothyroidism and hypothermia NOT hypochondria, otherwise I would not be able to tolerate these strong thyroid hormones and my temperature, often 34.5C, would be normal! No amount of thyroid testing can defeat those assertions. That docs won't entertain this, says way more about them. Being 'freezing, uncoordinated and punch drunk' went on from end Dec 2014 until end June 2015, yet still taking my adrenal support and T3, even adding some Armour in... I was desperate and with only myself to rely on - unable to exercise.
So, to finish this sorry tale... we had a bad summer this year and I didn't 'come 'round' from the cold until end June 2015. I had asked to see yet another endo [you guessed it, I'm now not hypothyroid at all!] but frighteningly, my HbA1c was 71 [no ranges given] but I know that this is well into diabetes. Previously, likely given my exercise and good eating, I teetered around pre and borderline, sometimes flipping a little over - BECAUSE I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO LOSE WEIGHT - so this time, I got out the Leptin book. Oh it works alright. I will not take their meds, the side effects can be appalling and they don't address the actual issue [often as T4 does not for many of the hypothyroids out there]. Within just over 4 months, my HbA1c dropped to 39 [under 42 is being non-diabetic] from that terrifying, whopping 71. Leptin control!
I still eat full fat diary, very small berry intake but like your friend everything else is like her regime. Leptin is indeed a 'Master Hormone' and getting that sorted, whips ghrelin into shape [not feeling hungry - 'the bear in the cupboard'] and clearly insulin got whipped into shape too. I am now, sitting here freezing, worry about what might happen next... so, if this can work for me, with a 35 lb drop in 4 months (after all of that time, effort and ££ of pretty much zero loss), it can work for most people. I have left in dairy and a tiny amount of fruit to leave me something to omit [don't omit until you have to, or you'll have nowhere else to go when you, inevitably, plateau], then remember that other strategies can also be implemented. Keep in mind: not too much food reduction; rather on 2 days a week do two meals but with only 10% reduction in food intake.
Sorry this is so long, I clearly suffered cognitively during the stress times [nothing medicine could do about that... the psych garbage they dish out to people is verging on the criminal] BUT the 'punch drunk-uncoordinated' times, medicine needed to investigate, not leave me struggling for so long, ill as a dog but ludicrous 'ranges' deciding people's lives. So now, I can't precis to save my life Give it a go, don't cut down too much on food - hiding to nowhere - change the food and stick to those timings.
Best of luck to you and anyone trying to get back to good health.
Be well! x