How I Lost Over 60 Pounds In 8 Months With Keto (Interview)
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
I am a wife and mom to two boys, ages 2 and 3. I had my sons via back-to-back C-sections and while it would be nice to blame my weight on that – I was overweight before getting pregnant with each of them and actually didn’t gain a pound with either one!
I have battled with my weight for most of my life, all the way back to 3rd grade, which is the earliest I remember feeling self-conscious about it, and I also battled eating disorders through high school.
I finally had things under control through the end of high school and college, but once I was done with my final season of college basketball, coupled with a toxic relationship – the weight started creeping back on, hitting a high of 244 pounds several times. I am 6 feet tall for reference.
I originally started keto back in October 2019 and lost 30 pounds between October & December 2019. I maintained through the holidays, but then gained almost all of it back as we entered quarantine and life in the midst of a global pandemic.
I woke up on May 6, 2020, and knew enough was enough. My days of eating all the toddler food were over and it was time to take my health seriously again. I knew that I owed it to my husband and sons to be the best version of me possible and I just wasn’t giving them that at the moment.
I was stressed out, to say the least.
All of a sudden, I was a full time working mom trying to balance life as an employee dealing with work stress plus acting as an interim preschool teacher, full-time chef, maid, and more. I knew the best thing I could do for everyone, and mainly my own mental health, was get my physical well being in order!
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
In my first month, I focused entirely on my diet and nutrition. Growing up as an athlete, I fully understood the movement side of health and wellness but also understood that what I struggled with most was what was on my plate and going into my mouth. I knew it was most important for me to control my diet and then I could incorporate fitness once I felt I had a good handle on the food aspect.
Starting in June (my 2nd month), I was down 15 pounds and felt like it was time to get my body moving. I had bought a ProForm iFit treadmill over a Black Friday sale in 2019 and enjoyed putting it to use. I made a goal to close all of my Apple Watch rings for the entire month of June.
I worked out every day for at least 30 minutes with some days being harder iFit workouts and others being quick paced walks watching reality TV. My 30 days turned into 120 days straight and I was feeling better than ever. I took some time finding balance over the holidays. Never going off keto for more than a meal here and there, but not working out every single day.
Currently, I just started a trial program through Beachbody called Control Freak which is a 9-week program that uses Tabata style workouts with a step, cable bands, and weights. I am only a couple of weeks in, but am really enjoying it! Especially since every workout is less than 30 minutes so that makes it easy with 2 young boys. I still also use my treadmill a couple of times a week.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
I live a ketogenic lifestyle meaning I eat very low carbs with a moderate fat and protein intake. Some people think you have to add a ton of fat into your diet while on keto, but really a state of ketosis is present when you are consuming such a low level of carbs. The fat is nice in the beginning to help you stay full longer, but I don’t typically focus on hitting my fat macros. I focus on staying under 20 net carbs, under 40-50 total carbs, and in a calorie deficit.
My favorite part of keto is finding delicious alternatives to carb-heavy foods. My body FEELS and FUNCTIONS better eating this way. Contrary to what most people think of when they think of keto, I do not eat any bacon. I do eat a lot of cheese though! I also eat a lot of broccoli, spinach, eggs, heavy cream, chicken, beef, and deli meat.
In the beginning, I tracked my macros and calories often. In times that I am stalled, I also track all food as it will point out exactly what I am doing wrong. Sometimes calories and carbs sneak in where you least expect it. I also try to get most of my carbs from wholesome sources versus all the keto packaged products out there. I do love a keto treat here and there, but try to keep it clean as much as I can while still enjoying a satisfying life.
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
People will often ask me, “can you eat that on keto?” My response is always, “I can eat anything I want to, but I choose not to eat that.” I think that mental shift has been the main reason for my success this time around. I LIKE how my body functions eating this way and I DON’T like how I feel when I am eating junk.
If I eat off-plan or indulge more for one meal or day, I do not consider it a slip up or a mistake. This is the only life I have to live and there are times where I want to enjoy certain aspects to the fullest without restriction. I live a keto lifestyle probably about 90-95% of the time. But if I feel like having something higher in carbs, I will.
Most times, I don’t want other food. I don’t miss bread and prefer a chaffle or cheese bun over traditional bread.
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I make my own low sugar ice cream or mug cakes if I am having a sweet tooth and I still drink alcohol – keep it low carb with vodka & seltzer water. I have found alternatives that I PREFER over high carb choices so it has made it really easy for me.
When did you start to notice progress?
The nice thing about keto is (especially if you are living the high carb life before starting) that weight tends to drop really quickly at first. I started noticing within the first couple of weeks. Other people started to really notice within months 2-3.
One of my first big oh wow moments was when a package of clothes I had bought online arrived and I pulled out a pair of size 10 jeans. I remember holding them up thinking oh heck no! These things are TINY! There is NO way they will fit. I was a size 18 starting my journey. I almost sent the jeans back without trying them on, but then thought ‘well I might as well try them on and get a new “goal jean” photo for Instagram.’ Except when I tried them on & they fit I was just standing there in shock. Like how did these pants that looked so small out of the package fit me?!?!
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
I use Carb Manager to track macros. I find the app super easy to use, really convenient when building recipes, and it’s free! Typically, I track all my workouts via my Apple Watch and the fitness app built into it. I’ve actually really enjoyed monitoring my heart rate over the months and seeing how much my heart rate has improved as my health has too. I also use a Renpho smart scale, which connects to an app on my phone through Bluetooth and measures my body fat, water weight, metabolic age, etc.
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
My biggest advice to anyone looking to start keto is to keep it simple. Yes, I cook in depth from scratch meals at times, but 99% of the time I am eating some type of meat, cheese, sauce combo. Take a look at what your non-keto meals look like most of the time and then find ways to keto-fy them.
Also, stay hydrated and drink electrolytes, or add Celtic sea salt or pink salt to your water. Don’t feel like you have to buy crazy products or snack packs, etc. to be successful with your journey because you don’t. You just need to be consistent and show up for yourself every day.
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
I post a lot of my recipes to Instagram and am working on launching my website with the same. I also highly recommend @lowcarbstateofmind (Instagram) for recipes and her eBook & @morethanjustketo (Instagram) for their newly launched podcast that is great for beginners. Plus Molly and Ashley (the hosts) are great to follow individually as well. You can never go wrong searching “keto recipes” on Pinterest either!
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
Do it! Don’t put it off another day. I woke up on a random Wednesday and just started and haven’t looked back since. Just make better choices each day and figure it out as you go.
Where can we find more about you?
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