How Keto changed my life
I had been overweight most of my adult life and I never understood why I was constantly gaining weight while I was still eating the same food that my friends or family did. I am not the person to do exercise or any physical activity more complex than simple walking and I had tried a lot of different diets over the course of ten years. I knew why I was gaining weight when I graduated from university. I was working more than 12 hours a day – my day would start at 09:00am and it would finish at 09:30pm and like that for years. I had time for quick lunch – pizza, a sandwich, some pasta or some pastry from a local bakery and of course, a chocolate as a snack. I would have dinner after work and go to sleep immediately afterwards. That was how I lived for years. However, I was really concerned about my general health when I discovered I had insulin problems. I was diagnosed with insulin resistance in October 2017 and my endocrinologist told I had to change all of my habits – she told me I should cut down on sugar and pastry and pasta. My fasting insulin was 43 and two hours after a meal it was 147. I realized I had to change my life if I wanted to avoid diabetes and I turned to Keto.
What did you personally do in your first 10 days of keto?
Every beginning is difficult. I wondered what to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, how to organize myself better to be able to keep up with the diet and not give up after a week. I educated myself on forums, I read other people’s experiences and honestly, they motivated me. It was important to get through those first 10 days and get used to living without sugar. I cut down on almost every form of sugar except for strawberries – I figured I needed at least them because they are my favorite fruit. However, I would eat only 5 strawberries and only once a week. It was my perfect Sunday cheat day. Moreover, I had to increase my water intake. I used to drink only half a liter of water but then I started drinking 2.5 liters daily and it took some time to get used to. For breakfast, I ate scrambled eggs with veggies or bacon and for lunch, I tried eating a lot of veggies and meat. For dinner, I would just have some cheese or yoghurt as I wasn’t hungry.
Do you count and track macros strictly?
I tried using apps to help me count and track macros but honestly, it didn’t work for me. I just made a list of food with low glycemic index and I stuck to it. The most important for me it was to lower my insulin levels and regain my energy.
How has your life changed since going keto?
I started with Keto in November 2017 and in November 2018, I was over 90lbs lighter. It felt amazing. My insulin was a little over 10 fasting and also a bit over 10 after two hours. I was excited and happy. It felt wonderful to have so much energy. I stopped feeling sleepy all the time. I was more positive, smiling a lot, implementing more hours of walking setting myself a daily goal of 10 000 steps and during the weekend – between 15 000 and 20 000. I also gained more confidence – not only related to appearance but also related to my personality. I became much stronger.
Have you ever encountered a plateau? If so, how did you get over it?
It’s difficult when you hit a plateau. I had a month of not losing any weight and actually gaining some but I promised myself I would keep going and I looked for support on forums and people who are on the same journey as you are, are a great support.
What is your WHY (your drive/motivation) to keep on track and stay focused?
I wanted to be healthy! That was my primary goal. I had never been competitive and I wanted to prove myself that I can win this race against myself. That was what kept me focused.
What is your favorite Keto recipe?
Because of my working hours, I had to prepare a lot of meals so I would usually make meals for a couple of days in advance. This is one of my favorite Keto recipes because I just love bacon. However, I am also addicted to cauliflower so I love this soup as well.
Finally, what advice would you give someone who is just starting out on keto?
Stay strong! Look for support! There are so many people in the world who are trying to lose weight just as much as you do. Make sure you also have the much needed support from family and friends. When you feel like giving up, remember your goal, remember that you only have one life to live and give yourself means to live it to the fullest. Ljiljana (Lily), 30, Serbia