- The keto diet recommends foods high in fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrates.
- Having struggled with weight and weight-related health problems the majority of her life, author Jennifer Still was looking to shed some pounds and restore her health with the keto diet.
- After four years, the keto diet has not only helped Still lose weight, but it also changed her life in a variety of ways – here’s how.
I’ve struggled with my weight for the majority of my life. About four years ago, I was looking to make a permanent change that would not only help me shed pounds but also restore my health without being unsustainable, harmful, or faddish. That’s when I first discovered the ketogenic – or “keto” – diet, which prescribes a diet of high fat, moderate protein, and extremely low carbohydrate foods.
While it comes with its fair share of challenges – and I’ve definitely fallen off the wagon many times since that fateful day- the ketogenic diet is one of the healthiest and sustainable ways of eating I’ve ever tried. As an added bonus, I’ve shed over 50 pounds.
While it won’t be right for everyone, I truly feel that the keto diet is a great choice not only for those who are significantly overweight, but also for anyone who’s looking to simplify and streamline their diet with real, tasty foods.
After four years strong on the keto diet, here’s how it changed my life.
1. I finally broke my addiction to sugar
I used to eat a ridiculous amount of sugar on a daily basis. From obvious sources like candy and pastries to less overt but still harmful ones like sauces and savoury snacks, I was on a constant sugar-high, always chasing my next “fix.”
The keto diet allows little to no sugar at all, and going cold turkey turned out to be the only thing that could break my addiction and restore my sanity.
2. I started eating really, really good food
I’ve always loved vegetables and conventionally “healthy” things, but admittedly, the majority of my diet was made up of quick, easy foods that came from boxes or were heavy on carbs but low on the nutritional scale.
With keto – while there are no real restrictions on what you can and can’t eat as long as it falls within your macros (the amount of calories, carbs, protein, fat, etc. you should be eating per day) – the general idea is to start eating foods that are what they say they are instead of options that are made up of a long list of ingredients you can’t pronounce.
That means lots of fresh veggies, lean and fatty meats, eggs, cheese, and even butter. Fruit has also become part of my diet in moderation, though I stick with low-sugar varieties like raspberries and blueberries over higher carb options, such as pineapples and bananas.
3. I actually found a diet I could stick to for the first time in my life
As I mentioned previously, the ketogenic diet definitely isn’t for everyone, and there have been times that it wasn’t even for me. Given that it’s somewhat restrictive, it can be difficult to maintain while eating out, on vacation, with small children, and/or a full-time job.
While I’ve spent stints doing the Whole30, the paleo diet, and more general “clean eating,” I always come back to keto to reset my body and mind and get back on track when my nutrition seems like it’s veering out of control.
4. I met some amazing people in the same boat
In order to keep myself accountable, I started anInstagram account for my meal photos pretty early on. By including the hashtags used by the keto and LCHF (low carb high fat) community with my posts, such as #keto and #lowcarb, I soon gained followers who were on a similar journey to health.
It’s an incredibly supportive community with so many success stories, and being part of it keeps me inspired and motivated.
5. I became inspired to learn more about nutrition
I’m not someone who believes in miracle cures. While keto was intriguing to me from the beginning, I wanted to learn more about the actual science behind the approach to see if it was right for me.
I’ve spent hours poring over studies, reading books by keto pioneers such as Gary TaubesandRobert Lustig, and researching to ensure that I was making the best decision possible. Now, I’m more knowledgeable and feel more empowered about my health.
6. I lowered my blood sugar and blood pressure to normal levels
Obesity and its related health problems run in my family, so I was hopeful about the keto diet’s potential to lower my risk of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Before starting keto, my blood pressure was high (though I wasn’t taking medication), and I was heading toward a pre-diabetic state.
Once I cut out sugar and replaced it with real, wholesome foods high in nutritional value, both my blood sugar and blood pressure returned to the lower end of normal levels, and I’ve never felt better.
7. My confidence went up and I started to believe in myself
Since I’d tried and failed to lose weight before, actually seeing results was a huge confidence boost. I was proud of myself for following through and sticking to a healthier lifestyle. It was less about the number on the scale and more about how good I felt about being committed to changing my life and my health for the better.
I deserved better than how I’d been treating my body, and I was finally acting like it. My only regret is that I didn’t discover the keto diet sooner.
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