When I started my keto journey, I used my strengths as a project manager to develop a plan for success. I did a personal analysis on paper of my strengths and weaknesses from many perspectives, I wrote down my dreams and my fears, and I formulated a plan for myself based on an honest assessment of myself. I looked at previous diets and exercise plans from my past and wrote down what I liked and disliked about them. I also wrote down why I was not able to maintain weight with those diets. This personal analysis was not easy for me, because I was already in a vulnerable state but I told myself “This is not to beat myself up, it is to understand. I will proceed with compassion and love as though I am helping someone else.” I set realistic expectations for myself in terms of milestones and goals and I used technology such as a FitBit and the MyFitnessPal app to track my intake (food/nutrition) as well as my output (exercise, daily caloric output). I never imagined that I would be sharing this information with others and I am working on collecting, analyzing and providing this information through this site to help others understand what I did to achieve success. I do not want to delay and this page is a starting point. Please reach out to me with your questions. What I will tell you is that the formula for my success had a lot to do with changing behavior and habits. It was NOT just about cutting carbs and increasing fat. Another important point was education. If you have not already seen my GET STARTED page, it is filled with the information I used to formulate my plan, how I learned about intermittent fasting, the link between sleep and weight loss, how ketosis works and what sort of exercise would accelerates weight-loss progress. In short the formula was Strict Keto + Intermittent Fasting + Sleep + Exercise (HIIT)
This months focus was to make the necessary changes in my behavior when it comes to eating, exercise and sleep. I kept a journal to track food/exercise/how I felt (emotionally and otherwise). I realized that I had to commit to exercise on a regular basis to lose and eventually maintain weight. I ordered a new elliptical trainer for my birthday because I hate going to the gym and could not commit to an exercise routine with the responsibility of two toddlers. I used my FitBit to track my actual physical output, my food, as well as my sleep. Once my new elliptical arrived, it had a feature that synched my workouts to the MyFitneessPal app without me entering it manually. This ensured that I kept accurate metrics and help myself accountable for my progress. Below is an overview of what I committed to.
PHASE 1 – 90 Days Weight Loss Focus
Part 1: 30 Day Accelerated Weight Loss Program
Get used to meals with keto diet
Strict keto for 30 days
- 20 g of total carbs, ALL from vegetable sources
- Avoid any food that comes in a box, a bag or sits on a shelf (preservatives and hidden ingredients can impede progress)
- No Fruits
- No milk, liquid dairy coffee creamers
- No sugar
- No artificial sugar of any kind (even those approved for keto)
- No diet soda or bottled drinks other than water
- No grains/No rice
- No flour or anything with breading / bread crumbs (e.g. chicken tenders, meatballs made with breadcrumbs, salad croutons)
- No pasta
- No potatoes
- No almond flour (yes it is keto approved but I avoided it)
- No alcohol
- No Soy or soy products
- No MSG, dextrose, maltodextrin and other ingredients that slow down progress
- NO DIET PILL/EXOGENOUS KETONE/PROMISES IN A BOTTLE
INTERMITTENT FASTING GOALS
Week 1-3 Goal: Stop Snacking – Eat 3 Square meals. Get through keto flu, get through any withdrawal symptoms. Stay within the macros.
Week 4 Goal: Get through 1 (overnight) 12 hour fast by eating only 2 meals this week. Keep a backup meal just in case this impairs my ability to concentrate/focus on work days.
- Do a personal analysis of exercises that I like to do to find a routine that I can stick with! Until then, clean the basement, move boxes, work up a sweat everyday until we figure out what that is. Also go for walks and challenge myself with hills to increase intensity.
- Commit to 3 Days a week – Min. 15 minutes a day changing up between High Intensity Interval Training (Cardio/ Strength training) at home.
- Start rebuilding my abs/core that were weakened by 2 back to back C-Sections within 13 months.
- Find out how much quality sleep I am getting each night using FitBit. Goal – 6-8 hours of sleep a day (even if it means taking naps)
- Use the FitBit to track how much activity I actually get in a day.
- Keep a journal of how I feel before and after meals.
- If I feel like I am about to sabotage myself, STOP and at least ask myself why I am feeling like this? Try my hardest to understand my personal triggers.
- Address personal issues/behaviors that trigger negative feelings, stress, anger, depression (e.g. new mothers especially!)
- Seek help if you feel overwhelmed, unable to cope (e.g. new mothers who may be suffering from post partum depression)
- Stay away from diet pills, exogenous ketones, products that promise “faster results” (this was a personal choice because I wanted to allow my body to adjust without these supplements)
- Take 1 multivitamin per day, 1 potassium, 1 (500 mg) Magnesium a day (essential for keto. The Magnesium also helped with sleep and stress).
- Ask for help! Stop feeling like you have to do everything yourself. If exhausted, call mom, husband, friend and say, “I need help.”
- Keep a positive attitude. Chose to be happy and if you can’t get there, ask for help. It may be a much deeper issue. There is NO SHAME in this.
- At the end of each day ask yourself, “What did I do well, what could I have done better? How can I make tomorrow a success?
- While focusing on cooking at home as much as possible, create a plan for success for those days when I cannot cook. Research restaurant menu items that are keto (e.g. Kabobs no rice, Five Guys burgers no bun, Lobster and Steaks no potatoes).
- Brace for the fact that my first month of keto may result in very little weight loss because my body has to reset and that may take time.
- Chose workouts that are preventative, improve hip and knee strength so I don’t have to get replacement surgery.
- Do not compare my progress to others. They are not me, I am me and I own and accept myself.
- Learn to love myself again, not for the woman in the mirror, but for the commitment I have made to care and improve myself from the inside out.
- 30 lbs lost in the first month
- Significant reduction in the stomach/core area
- Significant improvement in mood, sense of well being, JOY
- No more sugar cravings (this was so liberating)
- No more headaches
- Puffiness and redness in my face significantly reduced
- 0 cheat days (watching the scale go down, the clothes fitting better and the comments from people who see me everyday motivated me to not cheat)