'I put on weight while climbing Everest': The British coastguard who piled on the pounds while on Atkins diet
08:22 GMT, 10 July 2012
Karen Bosman struggled to do up her snowsuit after piling on the pounds while on the Atkins diet
A woman who went on the Atkins diet to get fit to climb to Everest base camp says she ended up putting on more than a stone while her fellow climbers slimmed down.
Karen Bosman struggled to do up her snowsuit after piling on the pounds on a month-long charity trek in Nepal, while her companions, who were eating the same food served by Sherpas, lost weight.
She believes switching to the low-carbohydrate Atkins diet – in which foods such as bread, potatoes and pasta are cut out – actually made her body crave more stodgy food and store more fat.
During a year of dieting, she went from 11st 5lb to 10st 3lb after three months, but finally hit almost 13st in February this year.
Mrs Bosman, 49, a coastguard from Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire, decided to try the Atkins diet before the walk for the Help For Heroes charity.
‘I ate lots of high-fat foods, and the only thing that stopped me from gaining a lot of weight was the amount of exercise I was doing,’ she claimed.
‘Everest loomed and after about nine months of this diet I suddenly found I had no energy.
‘Eventually I stopped my training for two weeks and carried on eating my high-protein, high-fat diet but added a small amount of carbs to prepare for the trek. That was when the weight piled on.
‘The first meal in Nepal was a plate of spicy potatoes – carbohydrates are a vitally important fuel at altitude.
'The higher we got, the less meat was available and suddenly it was as if my body was saying, “You haven’t had carbs for a while, let’s store them up around your waist”.'
Karen, pictured on top of Everest, believes switching to the low-carbohydrate Atkins died actually made her body crave ore stodgy food and store more fat
Professor Waljit Dhillo, an expert in metabolism at Imperial College London, said: ‘Going on diets can cause your body to think it is starving and produce more ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) to make you want to eat more.
'Plus, people have their own hormonal and genetic differences which make them respond differently.’