Happy Friday y’all! Today I want to tell you about my biggest enemy: carbs! We all have a love/hate relationship with them! They help fuel our body and give us energy but if we have too many it can hinder our weight loss goals! As the unofficial Carb Queen here I thought I’d share how I lost twenty-five pounds in three months by safely cutting carbs and cleaning up my eating habits with the Keto diet.
So let’s begin! Ever since I was a little girl in Girl Scouts learning about exercise and nutrition I’ve always loved living a healthy lifestyle. I love to cook and eat healthy foods, exercise in some capacity every day, and just overall take care of myself as best I can. Don’t get me wrong I love French fries, margaritas, and chips and salsa as much as the next girl but it’s all about moderation. It’s not about having the perfect body because to me every body is beautiful! I truly mean that, it’s amazing how resilient our bodies are, what they can overcome, and how amazing you feel when you treat them well! Here are the most common questions I get about my weight loss. Remember every body is different and this is just what has worked for me personally!
Why did I decide on the Keto diet?
A few years ago I gained twenty-five pounds from too much stress, a less active lifestyle, and not making my health a priority. My job is very demanding and I was constantly on the go. I didn’t have time to exercise everyday nor did I have time to cook and eat well balanced meals. I was NOT feeling good and it wasn’t just about the extra weight I was carrying. I’m a firm believer that every body is beautiful and our weight does not define us! It was more about how I felt on the inside and my body was letting me down in so many ways. I was feeling tired, weak, numbness and tingling in my arms and legs, weird sensations while I slept, and very blah mentally and emotionally. One day I just didn’t feel right so I made a trip to the urgent care. The doctor on duty asked me about my symptoms and completely freaked me out! You guys!!! This doctor told me after one visit and no tests that I had MS also known as Multiple Sclerosis! In case you don’t know about MS, it’s a disease where the immune system attacks the nerves making it difficult for the brain and body to communicate. Advanced cases can result in difficulty speaking and trouble walking. He recommended I see a neurologist and I was terrified!
I made the appointment for the neurologist but had to wait a month or so to get in but while I waited I did my research! I learned everything I could about MS and came across a book called The Wahl’s Protocol Cooking For Life. If you’re interested in reading it you can find it on Amazon! The author, Dr. Terry Wahls, is such an inspiring human! Dr. Wahls was diagnosed with MS, lost the ability to walk on her own, researched how food could help her condition, all while continuing to see patients in her wheelchair, and then through diet, exercise, and reducing stress, changed her body and can now walk again! How freaking amazing is that?! This book gave me so much hope that no matter what the neurologist told me I was going to be in control of my body! In the book the author keeps her body in ketosis ten months out of the year but does it in the healthiest way. I was so inspired to do the same and let me tell you, it WORKED!!
What is the Keto diet?
So what exactly is the Keto diet you might be wondering? Technically the Keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet. When you drastically reduce your carb intake your body goes into a state called ketosis. Once you’re in ketosis your body starts burning the fat in your body instead of carbohydrates, causing weight loss. Carbohydrates aren’t bad, they are our source of energy but most of us these days tend to eat wayyyyy too many and our bodies can never burn off all of them causing us to gain weight!
How many grams of carbs can you eat per day?
While everyone is different I stuck to eating fifty grams of carbs or less per day. This seemed to work best for me and allowed me to go into ketosis within five days. I actually took a long time to go into ketosis compared to most who can get there in as little as two days! I bought Keto sticks from Amazon so I knew for sure whether or not I was in ketosis. You just pee on them and they will tell you whether or not you are in ketosis and if so how far into ketosis you are!
What did I eat?
The first week I was on the Keto diet I cut out as many carbs as I could and ate meat, low carb veggies, and as much fat as I wanted. My diet was pretty healthy but I didn’t worry too much if I wasn’t SUPER healthy because I just wanted to make sure my body wasn’t hungry or craving food! I’m a firm believer in listening to your body and never depriving yourself of food! That’s one of the things I loved about the Keto diet is that I was never hungry! Lord knows I would have never stuck with it if I was! After the first week when my body adjusted to not having carbs I stuck to protein, veggies, healthy fats, and nuts. My poor body had been used to French fries and margaritas for so long and was probably in shock! Haha! Trust me if I can get through the first week of Keto so can you!
Can you drink on the Keto diet?
You bet girlfriend! I LOVE cocktails! I mean who doesn’t and I still to this day LIVE for a good cocktail! I wanted to live a healthy lifestyle where I could still have the occasional drink and I knew if I was going to lose weight and get healthier that I needed to still be able to have a cocktail. I LOVE my White Claws or Claws as I call them and my Margi’s and I refused to give them up! While I believe in taking care of your body and making health a priority, I also believe in enjoying life! I didn’t drink at all the first week so that I could make sure my body made it into ketosis. After that I always remained in ketosis as long as I only drank liquor (any type) with natural squeezed juice or a low carb mix. I have a section of Keto drink recipes I’ll be adding under the Recipe tab if you want some options to experiment with! I promise they taste sooooo good! If they didn’t I wouldn’t have been able to stick to Keto!
What is the Keto flu?
The Keto flu affects a good chunk of people that are first starting out on the Keto diet! During the first week while your body is adapting to having very few carbs you may feel flu like symptoms including nausea, headache, muscle cramps, difficulty sleeping, etc. During this time your body is basically in shock that you took all the carbs away! Symptoms usually last about a week and you can reduce them by drinking a lot of water, not exercising for just the first week, and eating some carbs! Since you are allowed up to 50g of carbs per day on the Keto diet I suggest making sure you eat those 50g rather than restricting your body to 0g. It will help reduce the Keto flu symptoms. I always ate my 50g of carbs per day and I never felt any symptoms of the Keto flu!
How much did I exercise?
Zero!!! I don’t recommend this but I did zero exercise when I was on the Keto diet! I think I maybe went on one hike but that was it! I still lost twenty-five pounds in three months from changing the food I ate on a daily basis! You know how nutrition experts always say abs are made in the kitchen? It’s so true! Cliche, but true! On the Keto diet I lost my weight with no physical activity! I could eat until I was stuffed and not feel bloated. It was really such a wonderful feeling! If you have the time to exercise I highly recommend it but I just didn’t have time at this particular moment in my life like I do now!
The Keto diet replaces carbs with fat and technically allows you to eat things like bacon, processed cheese, tons of butter, etc. This is called “dirty Keto” and while yes you can eat these foods and still lose weight it’s not the best for your health to eat these foods every single day. Again, I’m a firm believer in health being more important than weight! I only ate these “dirty” types of food the first week I was on Keto to make sure I kept myself satisfied and wasn’t hungry. After the first week when my body adapted to not eating carbs until I was stuffed I switched to “clean keto” where I ate chicken breasts, shrimp, ground turkey, and tons of low carb veggies and berries.
How long did it take to lose weight? Were there any side effects?
It took me 3 1/2 months to lose twenty-five pounds by ONLY changing my diet! The only side effect was that I felt better than I’d ever felt in my entire life! Seriously! My symptoms completely went away, my stomach was flat, my digestive system felt healthier, my brain felt sharper, and the aches and pains in my body went away. I now understand why doctor’s always preach about how important it is to eat healthy!
Can you do the Keto lifestyle if you are a vegetarian?
Yes, absolutely! In fact I have tons of vegetarian Keto recipes as well that I’d love to share with you all soon! My best friend, Ashley, is a vegetarian so of course I had to come up with vegetarian Keto recipes!
Should you try a Keto lifestyle?
A Keto lifestyle has it’s benefits and while there are tons of studies that show a Keto diet can improve cholesterol, blood pressure, and lower triglycerides there are also those who say that more extensive studies need to be done to fully understand the benefits and risks of a Keto diet! I am in no way a health expert so I encourage you to speak to your doctor before trying a Keto diet especially if you have suffered from an eating disorder, have diabetes, or any other health conditions. I don’t recommend trying the Keto diet while you are pregnant or breastfeeding! I will say that I myself am technically not on a Keto diet anymore since I lost my weight because I am no longer in ketosis. However, having said that 90% of the time I eat low carb and stick to healthy fats, protein, and veggies.
So what happened at the neurologist?
Okay, so in case you’re wondering about what happened when I finally made it to the neurologist I’m happy to say that I was given a clean bill of health! My doctor ran a few brain tests and said that I definitely did NOT have MS and did not have any major brain issues! Yay! I do want to share with y’all something that he stressed that I think is super important to remember. He told me that even though I didn’t have “brain issues” that there IS something wrong with me even if it was just stress or poor diet (which it was)! Symptoms are your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right, even if it’s something small. It’s important to listen to your body and take care of yourself, if you don’t it can lead to bigger problems!
What foods exactly can I eat?
- Protein: Chicken breasts, turkey, beef, steak, duck, bison
- Wild caught seafood: shrimp, salmon, cod, snapper, trout, lobster
- Veggies: Broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, spinach, kale, green beans, bell peppers, olives, Brussel sprouts, celery, cauliflower
- Fruits: Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, tomatoes, limes, lemons, watermelon, blueberries (Carb count in fruit can be higher so make sure you are measuring the amount you eat correctly)
- Healthy Fats: Eggs, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, coconuts
- Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, walnuts
- Dairy: Butter, cheese, cream, cream cheese, heavy cream, sour cream
I can only speak for myself and what worked for me and in my experience losing weight was just the icing on the cake. I got so much more out of eating so healthy. I felt more alert, the numbness and tingling in my arms and legs had subsided, I had more energy, random aches and pains in my knees disappeared, my skin felt healthier, and so much more! My moods and mental health were at an all time high as well! To be honest never in a million years did I think I could stick to this healthy meal plan, lose so much weight, and come out feeling 10 times healthier than I have in my entire life but I did! I am so grateful for that too! I’ve always had ZERO self control when it comes to food so trust me when I say, if I can do it so can you!
If you’ve been thinking about trying Keto I hope this helps gives you a better idea about whether or not this lifestyle is right for you. I will be sharing on the blog some of the dinner and drink recipes I use as well if you’re interested in trying them out. I’ll have them sorted by Keto Kitchen which is all my Keto recipes and Carb Kitchen which are my non-keto comfort food recipes in case you aren’t Keto! I highly recommend them all, they’re so delicious! If you have any questions at all or need help with a meal plan feel free to let me know here or DM me. I always check and respond to my message and I’m happy to listen and give any advice that I can!
Health and happiness to you all! Hope you all have the best weekend!!