I lost 120 pounds following the keto diet and learned some important lessons along the way.
For my current weight-loss journey, I still opt for whole foods whenever possible.
It’s crucial not to compare your progress to that of others on similar journeys.
About two years ago, I lost over 120 pounds by following the ketogenic diet, implementing intermittent fasting, and going to the gym roughly six days a week. But I struggled with the restrictive nature of the lifestyle, which exacerbated the issues I had with food.
I’ve since regained roughly 60 pounds and embarked on a new weight-loss journey, hopefully in a more sustainable way.
But as I try to lose weight again, I’m taking a few notes from the keto diet.
Here are a few rules I followed then that I’m incorporating into my current weight-loss journey.
I still track my calories to make sure I’m in a deficit
It seemed like the weight effortlessly fell off me while I was on keto, but I don’t think that would’ve been the case if I hadn’t tracked my caloric intake.
Though I’m exercising to increase the deficit, I still log everything I eat and drink in MyFitnessPal to ensure that I’m not going over my set calorie amount and that I’m hitting my macronutrient goals. I focus on eating enough protein, then slot in fats and carbs around that.
But tracking macros can be overwhelming, especially for those at risk of developing disordered eating habits.
I can prioritize whole foods while still enjoying carbs
A typical keto diet is composed of 75% fat, 20% protein, and no more than 5% carbs, so high-carb foods are usually off-limits.
Even though I don’t follow that way of eating anymore, I still prioritize whole foods like vegetables, fruits, and other unprocessed and unrefined options.
But now I have a wider selection – I can regularly enjoy sweet potatoes, brown rice, and higher-carb vegetables like carrots, peas, and squash.
Staying hydrated is an important part of any diet
The number of calories you consume and the nutrition of the food you eat are certainly important factors, but so is staying hydrated.
I aim to drink at least 3 liters of water a day.
Though drinking water in and of itself won’t make you lose weight, it can help people consume fewer calories, since some may mistake thirst for hunger.
Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s
Your results will always be different from the next person’s, and that’s OK.
Though I lost weight on keto pretty quickly, there were still people I’d see on Instagram shedding it faster, who I thought looked better than me and whose progress I really admired.
So I had to stay focused on my own goals. It took me a while to internalize that lesson, but it’s advice I carry with me.
I’ve learned to trust the process and be patient
At the end of the day, weight loss isn’t linear. I didn’t gain the weight back overnight – more like over two years – so it’s not going to come off immediately either.
Just because the scale may go up one week doesn’t mean that all progress has been lost or that the lifestyle’s not working.
It took me a long time to learn patience. Though I sometimes wish I could hurry the process and reach my lowest weight again, I always try to remind myself that consistency is key and that I’ll reach my goals if I stick with it.
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