For the past few years, my main goal was to overhaul my health on all levels. I was feeling sick, I was morbidly obese and disgusted with my appearance. My fibromyalgia was flaring up on a daily basis. I did not know what to do to feel better but something needed to happen. I’m only in my thirties and the future was not so bright. I could see the specter of diabetes and heart disease looming above me. I wanted things to change.
Last year, I had to take many days off of work because of intense gastrointestinal pain. My doctor diagnosed a gastritis and I tried to figure out how my diet was influencing the way I felt. I went to an acupuncturist and a naturopath and they both recommended that I quit dairy and investigate gluten sensitivity. I went off both for two months and my gastritis went away. My naturopath suggested that I take a food sensitivities test and the results were astounding. I was sensitive not only to gluten and dairy, but also to soy, eggs, nightshades and many other foods that I was eating on a regular basis. I had to relearn how to eat and cook.
Later that year, I was diagnosed with IBS, and my obesity was weighing hard on the quality of my everyday life. It was hard to climb the stairs to my second floor apartment, my feet and knees were constantly aching, heat in the summer was intolerable. I was miserable. I ate a normal amount of food, but I was constantly hungry. All I could do was think of my next meal or snack, and I would often have a hard time falling asleep because I felt ravenous. And I must add that my self esteem was at an all time low. My body depressed me.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that Gretchen Rubin is one of the influencers I look up to the most. I consider her my virtual mentor. In one of her podcasts, she recommended the book Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. I knew that Gretchen was eating low carb following Taubes’ advice, but I was curious to learn more.
I bought the book and read it passionately. This was not a typical diet book. It was sciency, hard to read but highly informative. It explained the science of obesity, how fat was created inside our bodies, and suggested that sugar, not dietary fat, was making us fat. The book hit me like a lightning bolt and I quit sugar on the spot. Taubes briefly hinted at a diet that caused our bodies to use their own supplies of fat as fuel. It was called the ketogenic diet and it became a massive rabbit hole for me. Within a few weeks, I read every book and every website I could find about the ketogenic diet. I was hooked.
And my transformation began just like that. Within three weeks of cutting sugar, I had lost 15 pounds and my weight was still dropping fast. Instantly, all my gastrointestinal issues were gone, from all the IBS symptoms to heartburn and headaches, all gone. Even more suprising, my fibromyalgia was also gone. Not one symptom. After a whole month on the keto diet, I quit my fibro medication and never looked back.
I’m now down 65 pounds, started morbidly obese and am now only considered overweight. My health is tip top, I can climb any stairs without losing my breath, I feel energized and am ecstatic with how my body looks! People keep telling me how well I look, radiant and happy, all thanks to the keto diet.
So I hear you asking, what is the ketogenic diet? What’s this magic and how can I get a piece of it? Let me tell you. The ketogenic diet is a High Fat Low Carb diet, meaning that you will cut all sugar, most fruits, all grains and starchy vegetables. Your body, deprived of carbohydrates, will switch to burning fat for fuel, producing ketones, which is a cleaner fuel for your brain. Most of your calories will come from healthy fat, meat and vegetables.
Once you get the gist of what you can eat and choose not to eat, it is fairly simple to follow. I can cook any piece of meat paired with any vegetable allowed, and my meal is ready. There’s not much else to it. Since eating keto, I’ve simplified my cooking so much, and, thanks to the good fats I’m adding, everything is delicious and I do not feel deprived.
The keto diet is used to treat a plethora of common diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, epilepsy, PCOS, insulin resistance and many more. Weight loss of more than 100 pounds is common in the keto community. I personally aim to lose at least that amount and I believe that I can reach that goal for my birthday in April next year. There’s one caveat. Once you go keto, you can’t go back to your old way of eating, because you will gain all the weight back. Since keto is making me feel so good on so many levels, I have absolutely no intention of going back to the standard American diet. You’d have to force me to eat sugar ever again.
A year after I’ve gone keto, the diet has become super trendy. There’s much more information all around on the topic and influencers all around are getting on board with keto. If you’ve been struggling with your weight or your health and you’re curious about it, I’d strongly suggest you start by taking a look at Leanne Vogel’s book The Keto Diet. It is the most comprehensible resource out there and it’s packed with tons of easy and tasty recipes you can try. If you’re into the sciency stuff, definitely take a look at Gary Taubes book, Why We Get Fat. It will help you get over the fear of this new diet.
Do you have any questions about weight loss or the keto diet? Let me know in the comments below!