How This Mom Lost 60 Pounds In 1 Year With the Keto Diet
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
I had always struggled with weight, especially after high school and being insulin resistant. After my first pregnancy, I had lost about 20 lbs but then put a lot back on. Then in 2016, I miscarried which sent me on a bit of a mental spiral and back to not-so-great eating habits. Before I had any time to do anything about it, I became pregnant again. After having my second child in August 2017, I decided this was it and I needed a change.
While home on maternity leaves I heard a special on GMA about the Ketogenic Diet, medical purposes, and also the side effects of weight loss. I had already been on medication for blood pressure, migraines, and insulin resistance, so I figured why not try to take care of those issues and lose weight in the process. I spent a little over a month researching everything I could about the lifestyle and making a plan.
I started and never looked back. In a year, I had lost 60 lbs and was able to come off of all of my medication, had so much increased energy, and felt like I was living my best life. I was able to maintain the weight loss up until the beginning of COVID-19, but after a few months of putting weight back on, I have re-focused on the lifestyle that has done so much for me, and am so happy to be back in the groove.
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
When I first started, I was not working out at all aside from chasing around 2 small children under the age of 5. Since COVID, we ended up purchasing a NordicTrack S22i bike and now that I am back on track with my ketogenic lifestyle, I have been getting on the bike at a minimum 5 days per week for at least 30 minutes, which I feel has not only helped me jump start my weight loss again but has really done a lot for my mental health during COVID.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
In living a ketogenic lifestyle, I also incorporate intermittent fasting. I typically only eat in between 12 pm-8 pm and fast during those other 16 hours. However, with a ketogenic diet, I am often less hungry than I would be otherwise, so sometimes I will end up fasting beyond that 16-hour window.
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In the morning I would typically have black coffee, or coffee with very light heavy cream up until lunch. Lunch was usually something simple like a salad, hot wings, or before COVID when I was traveling for work, I would often pack snack food for lunch such as celery and cream cheese, walnuts, hard-boiled eggs, Two Good yogurts (low carb and low sugar) and then eat a larger meal for dinner.
Dinners are usually always family-friendly, where I might make something keto-friendly such as low carb meatloaf, steak, grilled chicken, adding in a low carb vegetable, and then for the rest of the family, I will make an additional side such as rice, potato, etc.
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
I think when I set my initial goal, I had enough at that point, so I went in very motivated. I had a goal, I had a plan, I cleaned out temptation (aside from kids snacks) from my pantry and fridge, and set a hard start date. Then once I started losing weight, and losing it relatively quickly, I became even more motivated and that truly helped me stay the course.
I went an entire year without a single cheat or slip up. After that first year and losing/maintaining 60 lbs I found myself having a slip up once or twice when at a fair with the kids or on vacation and getting ice cream, etc. but I found out quickly that it made it very easy for me to go down the rabbit hole and I was better without cheat meals at all.
It wasn’t until the start of COVID that I really fell off the wagon a bit. It took a toll on my mental health, I was so incredibly busy and stressed out, that I lost sight of my goals and my progress. However, just as I did the first time, I tapped back into my WHY, set a plan and a start date, and went back full force as I did in the beginning. I am human, life happens, pandemics happen, stress can get the best of us. But I think it is always important to remember where you started, how far you came, and learn to put yourself first again.
Making myself, my mental health, and my overall health, is a priority for me and I need to allow myself grace, but now allow myself to give up.
When did you start to notice progress?
Within the first few weeks, I noticed a drastic reduction in bloating. I was losing a lot of water weight, felt less swollen, had much less of that “ugh, I ate too much” feeling because I was eating less and eating cleaner. A few weeks later I just saw the scale consistently dropping and my clothes fitting better and it was just such a great feeling.
As someone that had tried EVERYTHING in terms of weight loss before this, I was losing weight while still eating incredible food and it clicked that this was sustainable long term. The best feeling was when other people started to notice and make comments. And it didn’t take long, because I was losing a decent amount of weight relatively quickly. I had more energy, I was happier, and people noticed all of it.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
The only thing I ever used was MyFitnessPal. It has settings to allow for macros instead of just calories or nutrients. The newest version (at a cost) also automatically calculates net carbs. I found this app worth the price as it had the biggest existing library of foods and brands, allowed me to create my own frequent meals, recipes, and even has a barcode scanner to scan new items in.
Are there any other fitness products that you used frequently?
Not all about products, but I do use collagen regularly. I also have a few companies that make low-carb food products that I do truly love and that has become a staple in my home. Those include cutdacarb flatbreads, choczero sugar-free chocolates, syrups, and even hazelnut spreads, Lolli’s Cookie Clusters, and Keto Candy Girl cookie mixes to name a few. Also, once I started getting serious about my ketogenic lifestyle, I started tracking my blood ketone levels using my KetoMojo meter, similar to checking blood sugar and I still religiously use that three years later.
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
Plan. Planning helps me stay on track. Develop a list of staples that will allow you to make any meal, a quick snack, etc. without ending up hungry and falling off track. Also, I know if we are ordering out somewhere, I will look at the menu ahead of time and know what I am going to order.
If there isn’t much there I can have, I make sure I eat before I leave, and then get something lighter. Water. Drink lots of it. Drink water like it is your job. Maintain your electrolyte balance, it is so incredibly important. Watch sneaky things like condiments, cold medicine, gummy vitamins, etc. that you don’t realize the sugar or carb content.
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
Tap into your why. Figure out why you want to make the change, and use that as your drive to start. Don’t rely solely on motivation, because you will have plenty of days where you don’t have any motivation at all, but if you remind yourself of why you want this for yourself, it is worth the push.
Find support around you, whether it is in your own family, a friend that wants to do it with you, or in the online community. Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s, we all go at different speeds, different ways, and even if we all did the same thing over the same period of time, we still would not all end in the same spot.
Where can we find more about you?
For all things weight loss-related and about the ketogenic lifestyle, my Instagram account is @Ketomommin. Just a story of a mom, trying to be healthier and happier for herself and her family, all while juggling two jobs and finishing her Ph.D. No filters, no false advertising, just a food journey to a better me.
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