I have lost
40 80 pounds in 4 11 months using a Ketogenic Diet and I am not done yet. Weight loss and fat loss have always been elusive to me. Not this time.
The Weight Loss Struggle
I have struggled with my weight and with trying to lose weight my whole life it seems. I was always a bit of a bigger kid growing up. Nothing too crazy. Just a few extra pounds. During my teen years I did grow quite a bit taller so I wasn’t quite as pudgy but I was never happy with the way I looked. Even at a young age I was conscious of my size.
Also see– 7 Day Ketogenic Diet Meal Plan(PDF)
A Sugar Addiction
I loved food. Especially the sugary stuff. I always had to have two helpings of a meal followed by dessert. Luckily for me we did at least have home cooked meals and we always ate as a family at the dinner table. The other thing I had going for me is that I was active. My friends and I were always outside playing. Hell our parents had to fight with us to come inside after dark.
But I was a “sneak-eater”. I would sneak food into my room and eat it. I am not exactly sure why this became a habit.
I “Tried” A Lot of Different Weight Loss Approaches
Over the years I kept trying to lose the pounds. I was very much into sports so to be honest I wasn’t hugely overweight but I wasn’t happy either. This pattern continued for decades. I was always trying to lose 10 pounds, or 20 pounds. I would have some success but it didn’t last and I would fall right back to my poor eating habits and the weight would come back. I tried a lot of different weight loss approaches. I joined gyms and I spent thousands of dollars on supplements. None of it made me any lighter. Except in the wallet.
Being Overweight Affects Your Self Esteem
This comes as no surprise I hope. When you are carrying extra pounds it is always on your mind. You never feel comfortable in your own skin. You are very aware of how your clothes fit(or don’t fit). It just plays with your head. For me I didn’t want to socialize and this in turn did not help my marriage(among other things of course.) And the worse I felt the more I would eat. I should also mention I had a serious problem with portion control. Having eating issues is related to so many other things in a person’s life. Being sad, depressed, lonely, low self esteem and so many other factors tie in with this issue.
How I lost
40 80 Pounds in 4 11 months using a Ketogenic Diet
So finally this past September something clicked. My eating during the summer was horrible. It is a miracle I am alive and I am not kidding. I figure I was well over 250 pounds. I am 6’1″ and a bit larger framed so I can sort of hide that. But who am I kidding? I was pretty round in the middle. Look at it this way- I was certainly over 30% body fat(which is obese btw). That means I was carrying 70+ pounds of fat.
Something had to change.
So what changed? I had a brief conversation with a friend who had gotten himself in very good shape over the previous 9 months and I just decided that I could do it too.
That’s the thing; in the past I don’t think I ever really believed that I could lose the weight. And because of that mindset I would give up and go back to eating junk. Funny how that works. If you don’t change your belief system it is hard to change your habits.
Enter the ketogenic diet.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
I am not going to try and explain in detail what a ketogenic diet is and how it works for fat loss. It is an ultra low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet.
Here is a brief explanation from Ketegenic Diet Resource:
“carbohydrate intake on a keto diet is only about 2-4% of calories. When carb intake is low, meals are delicious and satiating. Hunger goes away, and more importantly, this dietary change has some powerful and beneficial metabolic effects on the human body, in part because it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. If we reduce carb intake and instead eat more fat and protein, it results in a switch in metabolic pathways from using sugar as a primary fuel to burning fat instead.”
Here is a fantastic book that helps explains the science of how a ketogenic diet works. I highly recommend it!
There is a ton more science involved and I actually have always loved learning about nutrition and how food affects our performance and our lives in general.
And here is the number one recommended cookbook on the Ketogenic diet.
My Ketogenic Diet Fat Loss Numbers
You should go to this ketogenic diet calculator to figure out your calories and how many grams of carbs, protein and fat you should be consuming. It is awesome. If you have any trouble with it message me in the comments and I will help you.
Here are my macronutrient numbers.
I am aiming for around
2100 1600 calories per day.
Carbs are 5% which equals 80 calories which= 20g of carbs
Protein is 20% which equals 320 calories which= 80g of protein
Fat is 75% which equals 1200 calories which = 133g of fat
Here is a ketogenic food list of what you can eat on a keto diet.
That’s it. I also use the awesome MyFitnessPal app to track everything I eat. So easy to use and it calculates everything for me in a little pie chart and I can also see details about my vitamin intake etc. I highly recommended it.
If you are not keeping track of what you are eating how can you expect to see improvements or make adjustments? This is another major change I have made on my path to having lost 80 pounds in 11 months using a ketogenic diet- I am tracking everything. It isn’t that hard!
Do You Exercise on a Ketogenic Diet?
Scientists differ in opinion on if you should exercise while on a ketogenic diet. The point of exercise is to get healthy and to feel better both physically and mentally. For me I have always been active so I am continuing with that. My daily exercise routine has changed a bit though. I do about 20 minutes of high intensity interval training(HIIT), some resistance training, and maybe 30-45 of walking. And the other big thing I am going to learn beginner yoga to help with flexibility and stress.
So I do think exercise is important but you don’t have to overdo it. The keto diet itself works wonders for getting the fat off.
My Key Tips For Losing Weight With A Ketogenic Diet
Here is how I have lost 80 pounds in 11 months using a ketogenic diet.
- I changed my outlook. Instead of thinking that a keto diet wasn’t going to work I actually believed in it. And I believed that I could actually have success. What you think you will become.
- I did exercise. Probably too much in the beginning. But it helped me to feel good.
- I tracked every calorie that went into my mouth using MyFitnessPal. It shows me my macronutrient breakdown and total calories.
- I kept up with my water intake. 5-7 liters per day!
- I made sure to get enough salt and potassium. You will probably have to add salt to every meal. Not regular table salt. Go for either Pink Himalayan salt or Redman Real Salt. Read The Salt Fix
- I only weighed myself every 2 weeks. I did not really overthink the scale number. I focused on other things.
- I was patient. Although I did lose weight at a pretty good clip, I was never expecting to lose some huge number of pounds every week or month. Slow and steady wins the race.
I know that there are a lot of skeptics out there when it comes to using a ketogenic diet for weight loss. They don’t feel it is healthy. My advice is to educate yourself. This eating plan may not be for you at all. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to diet and losing weight. However there is a lot of science and studies supporting a ketogenic diet as a viable eating plan.
I will also mention that all of my carbs come from leafy green vegetables and some residual carbs from nuts and seeds. I also am sure to drink a crazy amount of water(can you say 5-7 liters a day?)
Personally I feel great, I have very little, if any, joint pain and I have tons of energy. Plus the weight loss improves your mood. That snowballs into other areas of your life!
80 pounds lost in 11 months using a ketogenic diet.
So where am I at now you ask? I am
220 215 183 pounds and less than 20% body fat. I still have improvements I want to make but for now I am enjoying being at a healthy weight.
And if I can do it, so can you.
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