Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Meet Our Transform from Home Challenge Winners

After taking up Better Nutrition’s Transform from Home challenge, coworkers Abby Maher and Lisa Stockton saw dramatic improvements in their health and vitality. Here, they share the stories of amazing transformations with the help of leptin pioneer Kat James.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

After transforming his own health with the help of Better Nutrition contributor and leptin pioneer Kat James—and learning of her “Transform From Home” Contest (jointly with BN)—grass-fed producer and activist John Wood began urging several of his employees at U.S. Wellness Meats in Canton, Mo., to give Kat’s program a try.

Two women who had struggled with multiple health issues stepped up to the challenge in October 2020. And the results were stunning. We hope these accounts and photos will inspire your own health transformation success.

Transform from Home Winner Abby Maher

Abby Maher, Age 30

ISSUES: Weight, Thyroid, Cravings, Mood, Period Issues, and Energy

I’d seen my boss’s physical changes, but I rolled my eyes when Kat said I’d no longer crave carbs or alcohol—and that they would even taste “off” to me. But I knew that she’d ended her own deadly eating disorder with the same biochemical mechanism she’d be teaching Lisa and me, so she had my ear!

I was also excited when Kat told me that leptin helps regulate thyroid hormone production and had helped her resolve her own thyroid and autoimmune issues. I’ve struggled with my thyroid, having had half of it removed years ago, with many related health issues.

So, Lisa and I jumped into the Transform from Home regimen, which “flips” you into a fat-burning state pretty darn fast, as long as you avoid any food or drink that spikes your blood sugar. Mind you, so-called “keto- legal” foods like trace alcohols, lots of nuts and cheese, coffee, too much meat, and other unexpected things can thwart Kat’s protocol for leptin-sensitivity. And even if you get the carb reduction tight, it still won’t work without increasing your intake of good fats to your own individualized “threshold,” which produces a leptin-triggered appetite drop-off and energy upswing. It was counterintuitive at first, “like learning to ride a bike and deciding when to charge ahead,” as Kat says. But we soon felt our bodies and tastes adapt.

Getting Through the Detox Period

A day or so after starting Kat’s Transform from Home regimen, Lisa and I both hit the proverbial “energy wall” from denying ourselves any food or drink that could turn to sugar. Kat suggested specific supplements to reduce the digestive “funkiness” and muscle cramps that often accompany this transitional period. And after a couple days, I felt an upward shift in energy and a major drop in appetite—including the desire for carbs or coffee. My afternoon crashes weren’t happening, and I didn’t have any heartburn, which made it much easier to sleep. In fact, I was opening my eyes, clear-headed, before my alarm even went off in the morning!

My colleagues must have thought I was on drugs, as my regular work-related tantrums stopped, and I literally became almost giddy that first week. All pretty miraculous. But my mind wasn’t officially blown until my monthly cycle came and went without any down days or sleeplessness from painful cramping. Everyone noticed that Lisa and I were shrinking, but I’m sure they thought we were using big time willpower, which, incredibly, we were not.

Waving Goodbye to Swollen Hands, Thyroid Meds, & More

And then came my hands. I’d always had a chubby neck, belly, and legs, but my swollen hands have become my “leptin meter.” On Kat’s Transform from Home plan, everything shrunk to near-normal proportions, without my ever feeling hungry. I’m 30 pounds lighter and look like I’ve lost more, says Kat, because I’ve gained muscle. I’m doing things like cleaning my whole house in the morning, like it’s nothing. I can run up the stairs and not be out of breath. And while loose jeans are a great feeling, that’s not the best part. I’m now off my thyroid medication and no longer have the sluggishness, heartburn, flaky skin, and—most importantly—the creeping depression.

I did have some setbacks along the way because I didn’t really get this at first: If you drink alcohol, it all falls apart! I’ll never forget ordering that first martini after I started the program. After one sip, I was done. I literally could not drink a second sip because it tasted awful to me. My taste-buds and sense of smell had really changed!

But if I did have more sips of that martini, or ate even a few bites of carb-loaded foods, then sure enough, my morning grogginess and dread, along with the cravings, moodiness, flaky skin, and tight clothes, returned. And I’d have to go through the three-day transition back into fat burning before that incredible light feeling returned, and the cravings and discomforts vanished again.

It’s like a light switch. No more eye-rolling from me. Kat was right—I don’t need willpower as long as I have my new favorite foods available. And unlike most “legal diet foods,” they’re far more appealing than what I see others eating.

Lisa and I continue to inspire each other with meal ideas and physical milestones. We cheer each other on. Our boss, too. He’s quite proud of us!

Transform at Home Winner Lisa Stockton

Lisa Stockton, Age 52

ISSUES: Obesity, Hypertension, IBS, Crohn’s, Autoimmune, Thyroid, Poor Memory

I was skinny until my mid-20s, but an abusive relationship left me a single mom with PTSD on meds for inflammation, anxiety, dangerously high blood pressure (182/96), and pain. I’d gained 80 pounds. I’d have months of diarrhea, finally diagnosed as IBS, Crohn’s disease, hyperthyroidism, and “thyroid storm.” My knees hurt so bad I could barely lift my legs to get in the tub, and I was actually considering getting a cane for long distances.

On my own, I quit drinking two-plus liters of Mountain Dew every day, and came a long way working on my emotions. But I wanted to find a way to get my body to fix itself, rather than just minimizing symptoms. So I joined my coworker Abby in pursuing Kat James’ Transform from Home course and this contest last fall. But even with all the success stories I’d seen in the pages of this magazine, I didn’t believe that Kat could actually help me fix the wreckage in my body.

Still, I took Abby’s lead and plunged into the first sugar-burner-to-fat-burner transition Webcast with Kat. After three very tired days, I noticed my energy return, and at the same time, my fingers, feet, knees, wrists, and joints became less swollen.

Less Knee Pain, Lower Blood Pressure

I was urinating a lot during that time—Kat said that fluid connected with body-wide inflammation was being released—so I took all of the supplements she recommended to retain my electrolytes. My blood pressure readings began to drop. My knees hurt less. My stomach pain, which I often call “the rocks in my belly,” was suddenly gone. No more gas, cramps, or diarrhea. Just like that, after decades! In about three weeks, the scale showed a 20-pound loss.

My own eye-rolling moment was when Kat said that I would not need to wear foundation makeup one day soon. I couldn’t imagine that at first, but I started to entertain the idea after the first month when my acne, under-eye bags, redness, and blotchiness had all but disappeared. I still haven’t stopped wearing foundation, but I no longer roll my eyes at the idea.

Like Abby, I couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t need willpower to overcome my health issues—until I experienced it. What’s incredible is how little I care to eat anymore, even though everything tastes amazing. The swelling and pain in my knees are gone. I have a wonderful new freedom of movement. And my blood pressure is a healthy 120/80.

Maybe even more amazing, I’ve had no major setbacks, which is a first for me. Sure, minor accidents can happen, like consuming hidden sugar at a restaurant, but they don’t derail me like they used to. There’s no temptation to eat the old foods.

Down 52 Pounds and Full of Energy

I’ve lost 52 pounds so far. And while I’d love to lose more, Kat reminds me that leptin “decides” a person’s weight for optimal health and will continue to normalize my weight as long as it’s properly functioning. The “spare tire” is gone and even the fat above my bra is almost gone. My fiancé says I look and act very different. In the evenings, he asks, “are you going to settle down?” because I’m be-bopping around the house, whereas the former me was planted in a chair beside him. I have a sense of calm, content energy that I’ve never had before.

But the best part is my mind. It’s sharper and clearer with no more fog. I’m able to recall things like I could 20 years ago! When I remember how tired, mentally exhausted, easily overwhelmed, sleepless (like I was choking under my own weight), and miserable I felt and looked before, there’s no question I want to maintain Kat’s regimen for a lifetime.

Doing this alongside Abby and my boss is a new adventure. We motivate and help each other. I’m so grateful to my boss John for introducing me to Kat’s program and BN’s contest. It’s honestly one of the best things that’s happened in my life. It’s an answer to my prayers.

Learn more about Kat James’ Programs, recommended by doctors around the world, at

What’s Leptin Got to Do With It?

Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells. It’s also found in smaller amounts in the brain, stomach, skeletal muscle, immune cells, and other places. Eating a low-fat, high-sugar diet (including starches, juices, and sweet fruits) can cause leptin resistance—not a good thing. However, adopting a high-fat, very-low-carb diet puts you into leptin sensitivity, which helps decrease appetite, get rid of excess fluid, clear brain fog, improve sleep, and enhance energy.

Transitional Supplement Support

These supplements can help with the transition into leptin sensitivity and fat burning while also providing long-term, overall health support:

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics include prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics to balance the microbiome, ease transitional digestive comfort, and support long-term gut, mood, immunity, and craving reduction.

Trace Minerals Research Electrolyte Concentrate offers trace mineral support for electrolyte balance during fluid loss.

Kyolic Blood Pressure Health Formula 109 to reduce inflammation and support Lisa’s hypertension.

Lipase provides enzyme support for fat digestion.

Solgar L-Tyrosine with B6 for energy, thyroid, and craving support.

Magnesium Malate (such as Jigsaw Health MagSRT) helps ease leg cramps due to fluid balance changes.

Activated charcoal reduces gas and toxins released during yeast die-off.

Swedish bitters, a traditional blend of bitter herbs, helps ease transitional digestion symptoms and improves elimination. Use an alcohol-free liquid form.