How This Dad Lost 100 Pounds With The Keto Diet
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
My journey started after my second daughter was born. I saw a picture of myself at my heaviest and realized I needed to do something if I was going to be around for them as long as I wanted to be. It wasn’t my first time committing to losing weight and wasn’t even the last time but I knew I had to do something.
I started with basic eating less, and then a coworker was talking about the Whole 30 so I jumped on that with her, made it through a few cycles on and off, and then found keto and haven’t looked back since.
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
I actually did not work out for the first 8 months and 80lbs of my weight loss. Eventually, I realized I needed to start some sort of routine so I started with some bodyweight exercises and a couple of dumbbells. I would sit on my ottoman late at night after everyone was asleep and do some basic movements. Eventually, I joined a gym and started going 5-6 nights a week, usually from 11 pm-1230am.
I knew my way around a gym from previous weight loss attempts and working with trainers so I built a 5-day routine. 2 days upper body, arms/chest, shoulders/back, one-day legs, and abs, and two days of cardio. The 6th day was usually a yoga class or some sort of outdoor activity. I also started commuting to work on my bicycle to get in some extra cardio every day.
I had run in a precious weight-loss attempt and even ran some 5k races, so my cardio went from the elliptical to running fairly quickly while I tried to build back up some stamina. When the pandemic hit and the gyms all closed I started running almost daily just to be doing something. That has continued for almost a year, and I ran my first half marathon in Dec of 2020.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
My success all came from the ketogenic diet. So I get about 80% of my calories from fat. 15% from protein and about 5% from carbohydrates. I used an online calculator to build my macro and calorie targets which have changed significantly between starting and where I am now. I would reassess about every thirty pounds and set my new macros for my new size.
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When I first started I would use MCT oil as a supplement to crease my fat intake, but as I maintained a ketogenic lifestyle and learned how to use whole foods for my fats I stopped including any specific supplements.
When I first started I relied heavily on the internet for recipes. For the first three months, all I ate were keto recipes that I could find online. Lots of casseroles or large pot dishes that I could batch cook on a Sunday and eat through the week. I found meal prepping and sticking to the prepped foods to be one of the most important things for sticking to my plan and using “fat bomb” recipes I could keep in the freezer to supplement if I was feeling hungry or wanted a treat.
These days my diet is very carnivore heavy. Fatty meats, bacon, cheese, eggs, and usually a low carb vegetable as aside. Cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus.
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
Early on the quick weight-loss and the energy and mental clarity of the keto diet kept me pretty motivated. It’s hard to want to stop when you’re feeling so good. I did also plan “cheat” days. Usually one day every month to 6 weeks, corresponding with travel I was doing for work. This gave me a target to work too and kept me on track. That went on for the first 8 months before I realized I felt so much better in a ketogenic state that it wasn’t worth the carbs.
Not to say I never have a carb-heavy day or two, but they are usually planned and I’m right back on the program the next day.
I learned one of my favorite words as part of this journey and it’s…consistency, and it keeps me motivated. Consistency even in small changes can lead to huge results. Whether with food or working out, staying consistent for me has always brought the best results.
When did you start to notice progress?
Weight loss with keto started right away and for me continued pretty continuously for the first 8 months. Even with the big losses, it was always hard to “see” them in the mirror. Body image and dysmorphia can be tough. There were certainly days, usually, when I saw someone I hadn’t seen in a while and they were shocked at my new look that I felt the progress.
But it took a long time before I started feeling more comfortable with my new size. Even now there are days that I have to remind myself I’ve lost 100 lbs and am not still 300+ lbs.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
Absolutely! I started tracking all of my foods in MyFitnessPal and did that for everything I ate. I eventually switched to Carb Manager because it calculates net carbs and was easier to add custom recipes and foods.
Workouts were mostly done in a notepad on my phone for the first few months. Then I started using fit notes which is a basic workout-tracking app. Weight and body fat I tracked daily in a spreadsheet that I built that calculated loss by total and by week. Eventually, I picked up a Renpho scale that has an app that does all the tracking for you.
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
I’m an IT guy so I like data. So for me, a great tip/hack was all the tracking. Food, weight, workouts. It’s incredibly motivating to see the weight go down, the strength go up and the food tracking hit all the macro targets.
Also, take pictures! Something I did not do at the beginning but do often now. Sometimes the scale may not be moving but comparing an old pic with a new one you will be able to see your progress as your shape changes.
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
It doesn’t have to be a full lifestyle change, it can be small things. Go for a walk every day, cut out soda, join the gym. Those small changes if you are consistent can make big changes.
And be ready to pivot. You may try something for a month or two and find it’s not for you or it’s not sustainable. Pivot. Try something new. It may take a few tries but you will find a lifestyle that is sustainable and works for you.
Where can we find more about you?
Instagram @hackmyketo is where I am almost all the time.
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