How I Lost 80 Pounds With Keto (My Workouts and Eating Plan)
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
I signed up for a charity fundraising challenge in late 2018 which involves rowing down the Zambezi River in Africa. The trip involves spending 4 days on the Zambezi River, rowing around 28-30km a day, and camping out on the river bed. I knew that if I wanted to succeed in this challenge, but also enjoy it at the same time, I needed to lose weight and get fit. The trip was due to go ahead in August 2020, but due to the recent pandemic, it has been pushed back to August 2021. The silver lining of this means that I’ve got an extra year to get fit and lose weight, and I’m feeling more motivated than I’ve ever been.
I originally decided to lose weight over 10 years ago, so I’ve basically been a serial dieter for a long time. February 2019 was when I changed my lifestyle to the low carb/keto way of eating and realized it was the right way forward for me. I was up and down, on and off-plan until June 2020, and since then I’ve lost over 70 pounds, and my mindset has changed dramatically!
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
When the gyms are open, a typical week involves a mixture of different workouts. I’d do a HIIT session on a Monday, Zumba on a Tuesday, a mixture of cardio and strength training at the gym on a Wednesday, a spin class on a Thursday, another gym session on a Friday, a walk on a Saturday, and a personal training session at the gym on a Sunday. Working from home resulted in me losing my normal daily routine, so having this fitness regime every week kept me mentally healthy, as well as keeping me physically fit. At the moment, the gyms are closed, so instead, I do a mixture of HIIT or strength training home workouts 6 days a week and a walk on a Sunday.
I do all of my workouts with one of my best friends, and without her I know I’d never keep that motivation. Even now when we can’t visit the gym, we video call each other when we work out or walk, and it also gives us the chance to check in on each other which is so important with the way the world is right now! If there is somebody you can pair up with to do your exercise alongside, I 100% recommend it!
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
I follow the ketogenic diet, which means I eat minimal carbs, moderate protein, and high fat. I also ensure I am in a calorie deficit to help me lose weight. With any other previous ways of eating I have ALWAYS found myself hungry. I wouldn’t feel satiated after my meals and find myself snacking all the time. This way of eating works so well for me. Not only has it resulted in weight loss, but I’m much more aware of portion control, managing binge eating, and also how important macronutrients are for our body.
View this post on Instagram
My normal day usually starts with a coffee with added collagen. As I do a lot of exercises, I need to look after my muscles so ensuring I keep on top of my protein is really important for me. I also add apple cider vinegar to my first liter of water. This comes with so many added benefits as it’s full of potassium, can help keep blood sugars low, subsides hunger, and also helps support a healthy heart and skin!
Lunch is often a medium-sized meal of healthy fats and protein, and then dinner is usually some form of meat with plenty of veggies! There is so much variety in what I eat, and I never get bored or end up eating the same thing.
Like this weight loss story? Get more exclusive weight loss stories delivered to your email inbox every Tuesday!
How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
A weight loss journey wouldn’t be called a ‘journey’ for no reason. It’s never a straight road, and there’s always going to be a bump in that road which we have to get over. It’s important to remember this, and if you do find it difficult for a period of time, don’t beat yourself up about it! We have to be kind to our mind and body, and if that means we take a break from the plan for a while, then so be it. Don’t put pressure on yourself to reach a goal either (something I’m still trying to manage myself)!
During the first lockdown we had, I was not on plan at all and I gained pretty much all of the weight I had lost during the last 6-8 months. I was disappointed in myself, but I knew there was only one person who could change that. Since being back to it in June last year I’ve come off plan a few times, but I feel so much less guilt when I do, and that’s an achievement for me.
When did you start to notice progress?
There have been a few moments where I’ve realized that my body is changing. Comparison photos are the big one, and I highly advise doing this! There are also aspects to my workouts that I can do now which I couldn’t manage 6 months ago. The best feeling though is when you see someone you haven’t for a while and they compliment you on your weight loss.
This happened to me just before Christmas. I didn’t think I looked that different, but when somebody else recognized it, that’s when I really started to believe that I had changed and I had done so well.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
I track my food daily on the Carb Manager app and if I don’t track, I definitely overeat. It’s so easy to eat that extra piece of cheese and not realize that it was over 150 calories when you don’t log! I also have an Apple Watch which keeps me motivated to workout and hit my exercise goals.
I do weigh myself daily on my own scale, which I know is a bit of a touchy subject! At the start of my journey, I would find it hard to see an increase on the scales so I changed to daily weighing. It was then that I started to see how much my weight fluctuates day today, it’s crazy, but I now understand it and don’t feel so deflated if the scales don’t show what I want to see.
I also use a body composition machine every few months at my gym. This tracks my fat percentage, my muscle mass, total body water, visceral fat, my body fat percentage on different parts of my body, and more. It’s really useful to see how my muscles are increasing and my body fat is decreasing, especially if my overall weight hasn’t moved much. It really helps to put it into perspective.
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
Join an online community! Having like-minded people to talk to daily about your lifestyle makes such a huge difference. The Instagram community has given me the boost I need to continue this journey. They are there to cheer you on when you succeed, pick you up when you feel like you’ve fallen, and provide so much fantastic advice.
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
The Keto Fitness Podcast is relatively new, but if you’re looking for a relaxed group of women to listen to who talk about all the relatable stuff happening in the world, that’s your go-to! They discuss diet, fitness, personal goals, topical news, etc, and are really easy to listen to.
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and create mini-goals, not just one big one! Mini goals are more achievable.
Where can we find more about you?
@kelsonketo is my Instagram handle!
Would you like to share YOUR story on How I’m Fit?
We’d love to hear from you! Please send us an email and we’ll get in touch shortly!