How I Lost Over 90 Pounds With Keto
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
As a teenager, I remember starting to really like food, especially sugar. It didn’t become a problem until I was an adult and first moved out on my own and could buy my own food. I bought all the crap and ate all the crap. I then began emotionally eating and hiding how much I was consuming. I would binge on all the things. It got to the point where I would eat just because I wanted to. Because it would make me feel better. Because it tasted good.
I could never get enough sugar, the sweeter the better I always said. Food was an escape for me. I found every excuse to eat. Good day, let’s celebrate with a cake! Bad day, let’s drown my sorrows and stress with Little Debbies. Grocery shopping was my favorite activity. I would buy the crap food I wanted and would hide it under my bed so I didn’t have to share it with my kids. If someone found my junk stash and ate some- I was MAD! It was totally a drug for me. Then came the blood pressure meds.
I decided it was time for me to start caring about my health when I saw a picture that my husband took of me in a swimsuit on our boat on the river. I didn’t want our memories to show how unhealthy I was and I didn’t want to look back and remember how crappy I felt. My motivation was to feel better and also as a side effect look better. I wanted to feel good and confident in my clothes. I wanted to feel cute for once. I also have some health issues that finally got sorted out. I found a doctor that listened to me and pointed me to the right doctor to get some answers and help. Once I finally found the right medication and started to feel better physically. Then I knew it was time to start getting the weight off! I started to care.
6 months into my journey the start of the pandemic hit. I was moved to work at home and you know what that means? I was sitting at home 24/7 with the fridge right there. I could go get something to eat anytime I wanted to. I did not let that be an excuse. I actually took that time to focus on myself and my goals. Working from home meant less commute to work and I took that extra time at home to prepare healthy meals for me and my family. If the pandemic never happened, I honestly don’t know if I would have gotten as far as I have. Gained quarantine weight? Not here!
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
I started my journey by just watching my sugar and carbs. Once I lost about 15-20 lbs I started feeling good and had some energy back. I started walking on my treadmill for at least 30 mins. I walked 5 days, sometimes more a week. When the weather was nice I would take my walk outside. We have a river cabin and my husband and I would take the dogs for walks there. After a while, the dogs were worn out before I was!
I also introduced planking. I love doing planks! Sounds weird, I know! Just the physical strength in your core after doing planks every day is incredible. Wall sits are another great workout for your legs!
Honestly walking, planks and wall sit were all I did during my journey. I will get back into weightlifting soon as well!
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
I followed the Ketogenic diet. I had heard a lot about it and had tried other diets like South Beach which didn’t last long. The Keto diet has tons of health benefits and weight loss is just one. I needed a way of eating to reduce inflammation in my body. I eat a lot of meats, cheeses, eggs, olives, and veggies for the most part.
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I love making food simple and basic and easy to track. I tracked macros towards the middle of my journey so I could get an idea of how much I was eating but did not track the whole time. I normally fast until noon or later, eat a giant salad filled with protein and then have more protein and healthy fats for dinner.
The only supplements I take are electrolytes. With this way of eating, getting sodium, magnesium, and potassium is very important. If you are low on those your body will definitely let you know. Sips of pickle juices are also a cheap way to get electrolytes in.
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
I got to where I am today because I didn’t give up when it was hard. Sure when I first started I had “cheat meals” every weekend. Once I started to see that scale moving and started feeling better I knew I had to give up those foods if I wanted to continue to see progress. I didn’t want to continue eating that way and potentially see the scale go the other way. I was determined. I didn’t want to undo everything I had already accomplished. I saw the results and that’s what made me keep going! I felt great and I wanted to see where I would be in a year if I didn’t give up like all the other diets I did.
If I slipped up in the beginning, I got right back on. I didn’t wait until that next week or the next month. The NEXT meal I got back on track. The longer you stay off the harder it is to get back on. You can always find an excuse not to get back on, so don’t give it enough time to find one.
When did you start to notice progress?
I started to see progress after about a month. Once I started going down in jeans sizes was when I really got excited. Going down one size after another was so exciting, that gave me the push to keep going.
After about 6 months in, I knew this was a lifestyle for me. It wasn’t just a fad diet at that point. I felt wonderful, I was losing weight, I had more energy, my mood was better. I felt me again. After going to the doctor for a checkup for my health issues and the doctor noticed my weight loss and told me to keep up the great work and my joints and issues would continue to get better, I WAS ALL IN! That’s all it took.
You see, every time I went to the doctor before my weight was always the top subject. “Well, you know your joints and body would feel better if you would just lose the weight.” Yeah, yeah I heard it 100 times and I always left there so depressed and still in pain and straight to food I went to make “it all better.” That was actually making everything worse.
With a food addiction and binge eating someone telling me I was overweight would send me into a spiral. I would even hide how much food I was consuming from my family because I didn’t want them to know how bad it was. Then the doctor took me off blood pressure meds! Didn’t need it anymore!
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
When I was tracking my food I used the app called Carb Manager. I scanned all my food and it would add it up for me. For exercise, I track those on my Fitbit. I like data so it’s always cool to go back and look at my activity.
I weigh every single day. I have a good old fashioned scale and a high tech FitTracker scale. It keeps me accountable for what I am putting in my mouth. I didn’t want the scale to go back the other way so I just did not off-plan foods. Weight loss starts in the kitchen.
I also use the Keto Mojo to track glucose and ketone readings. I would use the glucose tests to see if a food spiked my glucose or not. If it did. I didn’t eat it anymore. The ketone tests would tell me if a food kicked me out of ketosis or not. If not I kept eating it.
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
A tip I tell people, after dinner if you are trying not to have a sweet treat I make a cup of hot black tea with liquid stevia. It fills your belly and it’s a little sweet at the same time.
Another tip is just because that scale might not be moving, does not mean nothing is happening! During one of my stalls, my jean size was still going down but it didn’t show on the scale. Don’t let that discourage you. Things are still happening whether you see it or not. Take measurements.
For me, limiting the snacks was huge. Every time you eat something whether it’s keto or not, your glucose spikes. Every time your glucose spikes your body stops burning the fat and ketones and has to start burning the glucose which means it slows the progress and slows your energy. If I was going to have a sweet keto treat after dinner I made sure to eat it immediately after dinner when my glucose was already elevated and not an hour or more later and create another spike.
Fasting is another tool I use. I was never a big morning eater before keto so that came in handy. I usually fast 18 hours and sometimes up to 24 hours. I fast intuitively. Never forced and planned. I listen to my body.
Get passionate about your new journey. Start researching anything and everything you can. Foods, science, books, tips, tricks. That’s what I did. I started looking up people on Instagram that did keto and started following them. Every single day I would listen to their stories and try to absorb all the knowledge I could. I learned A LOT that way. It kept my mind on track and kept me focused on the result. I saw other people doing it so why couldn’t I? I can, and I did!
You can do hard things too. You have to want it bad enough. You have to want it so bad that you are willing to sacrifice time to make it happen. Never did I think I would go from a size 18+ to a 0!
You make everyone else around you a priority, why wouldn’t you do the same for yourself. If a friend asked you to do something you would rearrange your schedule to make it work so you aren’t a flake. Don’t flake on yourself, you’re more important. If I can do it, so can you!
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
Thomas DeLauer has many amazing videos on YouTube about the science of keto and fasting. The information he gives is incredible. I know when I am watching and listening to him that I am getting good accurate information.
I like Vinnie Tortirich’s podcast. He has great guests and tells a lot of good information. He also has a documentary called “Fat” it is such an eye-opener. The “diet” information we were told growing up is so backward it’s insane. The food pyramid should be upside down! Give it a watch.
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
Don’t wait, start now. You can start slow and work on lowering your sugar and carbs and when you’re used to it, then pull in on the reins.
Start with small goals. First 20 pounds lost, create a reward. I set some goals to keep myself going. I would reward myself with a new swimsuit, a new pair of tennis shoes or those expensive jeans you have had your eye on. Don’t “treat” yourself with food.
Where can we find more about you?
You can find me on Instagram! @ketoamanda88
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