How This Mom Lost 70 Pounds With Keto (Food and Workouts)
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
I was sick and tired of being the mom that sat on the sidelines. I could easily spend the whole day just sitting on the couch. I didn’t want to run around with my kid or go swimming. That made me sad to think I was missing out on so much because my weight was holding me back.
When I first started I was pretty confused about what I was doing! I ate a lot of sugar-free jello and heavy whipping cream. I ate a lot of keto snacks and pre-packed keto food. My motivation was to be a better mom. An involved, playful mom. My son’s daycare provider at the time had recently lost a lot of weight and she told me she did it by starting keto. That intrigued me as I had never heard of it before. I took a while researching it before I actually started it.
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
My workout routine is weekday mornings: 30 minutes on the treadmill and another 30 minutes doing one or a combination of free weights, weight machine, mat exercises, punching bag. On the weekends we go hiking a lot. I can actually thank COVID for getting us out of the house and doing the most hiking this year as compared to years earlier. We’ve been exploring all over the lower mainland.
In September 2020 I started and completed 75 Hard. It was very mentally challenging.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
When I first started keto I ate 3 meals a day and snacks. After a couple of months, I found that I wasn’t hungry at lunch as my breakfast was so satiating so I started skipping lunch. 4 months into keto I decided to try intermittent fasting on the weekends. This was because during the summer we go to a family cabin most weekends and there are always so many snacks in my face. This helped me avoid them altogether. Now I intermittent fast from 7 pm to 5 pm.
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When I first started I would weigh my food and used My Fitness Pal to log my food every day. Now I think I can eyeball my food so I don’t do it very often anymore. If I see the scale creeping up I start tracking again just to get a handle on where I’m off track. I mostly eat protein and low carb vegetables – but I change it up. I make a really amazing low carb pizza crust. I used to eat a lot of cheese and nuts as snacks but I’ve mostly cut those out. I will occasionally have packaged keto food but now it’s a rarity.
I take some supplements but not every day. I take a multivitamin, vitamin D, omega fatty acid, vitamin B, and electrolytes.
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
My Instagram account really keeps me motivated and accountable. I’m the type of person who really thrives from outward praise. If I tell Instagram I’m going to do something I do it. The more changes I see in my body the more it motivates me.
In January 2018 I completed the Whole 30. It was very restrictive and I rebounded in February and gained back/undid all the work that I did in January. I will not do anything like that again as I think that was not a good balance for me. I think the way I’m doing keto now is a good balance. I don’t feel deprived.
It’s not a secret that I suffer from anxiety. I take two medications for that. I’ve tried to wean myself off of them in the past without success. Mental health is very important. There is no shame in taking medication if you need it.
This past March I had a terrible fall which landed me in the hospital for 9 days. I have no memory of what happened. I had a subarachnoid hemorrhage and almost needed to have surgery to relieve the pressure in my head. I also fractured my right TMJ. Needless to say, I suffered a concussion which derailed my progress for a while. When I got out of the hospital it was right at the very beginning of lockdown for COVID. The whole experience was scary & I think that is what snapped me back into working out more. Life is short.
When did you start to notice progress?
My weight loss was very gradual. I think that helps in the long run. Five months in is when I started noticing the changes. I was also getting a lot of external notice as well. People were like “Woah you’ve lost a lot of weight!” That was pretty motivating.
My weight didn’t really change too much between the summer of 2018 and the beginning of 2020. I was hovering around the 145lb mark during that period. I wasn’t gaining but I wasn’t losing either. I wasn’t working out very much during that period. My husband and I had split up at the beginning of 2018 and I think I was emotionally not in the right headspace.
I noticed a huge change this year since I have been working out much more. Like I am blown away by the difference in how I look (more toned) and my pants were literally falling off!
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
I used to have a FitBit but I have an obsessive mind and I think it was better for me mentally no longer use one. I’d always have to be “getting my steps in” and trying to one-up myself from yesterday – not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I don’t think it was good for me.
I have a FitBit scale (Aria) and that has tracked my weight since I got (I think in 2018 or at least not at the very beginning of when I started keto).
I used the free version of My Fitness Pal when I am tracking. I will often use it to input a recipe (like a casserole) where I want to know what a proper serving looks like.
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
I so far have not been deprived of any meals that I want. Spaghetti? Ketofy it. Use spaghetti squash or zoodles. Lasagna? Protein lasagna is delicious! Think of what you want to eat and just think, how can I make this low carb?
Also, I brush my teeth soon after eating dinner. That has helped me with late-night snacking (my Achilles heel!)
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
Books: Maria Emmerich, Kendra Holley have great everyday cookbooks and Maria Emmerich has a great 30-Day Ketogenic Cleanse. I just purchased Chef Michael Keto’s book (he was the master chef) and he has great recipes that are restaurant quality but made simple.
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
Just start now! I know it’s scary and I think most people are held back because they don’t want to give up the food. In the beginning, it’s tempting to go back and eat all the food that wasn’t good for you but now, four years later, I don’t give a crap about any of it.
I couldn’t care less if I don’t eat that piece of cake or that chocolate. I don’t crave those things anymore. Just take that plunge and be strong. Be strong for future you who will thank you so much for taking that first step.
Where can we find more about you?
Follow me on Instagram! @keto_yvr (YVR is Vancouver)
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