‘Why I Traded Prescription Weight-Loss Pills For A Low-Carb Diet’


My name is Priscilla Fajardo (@priscillaslifestyle), and I’m 30 years old, from Illinois. I’m an administrative assistant. I wanted to quit turning to quick-fix weight-loss tactics (like prescription pills and fad diets), so I committed to a healthy, low-carb diet and did at-home workouts to lose over 100 pounds.


I was always trying to lose weight growing up. At the age of 12, I would sneak my mom’s Slim Fast shakes. In high school I was at my lowest weight of 185 pounds, but I never felt comfortable. I was bullied in elementary and middle school and carried that trauma for years.

All throughout my teen years and into my 20s, I was always yo-yo dieting, trying to find a fast solution to lose weight. I even tried prescription weight-loss pills, which I regret. They gave me horrible anxiety and my heart rate was always up. I saw my weight fall, but I knew it was unhealthy and had to stop.

At my heaviest, 345 pounds at 27 years old, my energy was very low. I was dealing with depression, and I had gotten to a point that it was hard for me to breathe normally. It got me really worried. It was hard for me to stand for a long period of time, go up the stairs, or even tie my shoes.

My intuition told me that if I didn’t do something about my health now, I wasn’t going to make it to 30.

I finally realized that I had to do a total reset and stop thinking that losing weight would come down to some quick fix. I needed a new lifestyle that I could actually maintain, and then the weight would come off naturally.

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So I started to make some basic changes. I cut out sugary drinks, soda, chips, and all the junk. It was difficult (I used to drink so much juice!). But even when I simply removed those foods and started cutting my portions in half, I started to see my weight drop.

The thing was, I still didn’t know much about nutrition, so I started doing a bit of research—and I finally decided to go low carb. I saw tons of Instagram accounts sharing amazing recipes when the keto diet started becoming popular. I didn’t feel like keto was for me, but it gave me ideas for how to go low carb, while eating more flexibly. I gave a low-carb diet a try and really loved that I was no longer feeling bloated like before.

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Here’s what I eat in a day.

  • Breakfast: Two-egg omelette with mushroom, onions, green or red peppers, and a pinch of pink salt. (Sometimes I add cheese.)

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    • Lunch: A BLT club salad with extra-crispy turkey bacon extra crispy, butter lettuce, spinach or Romaine lettuce, deli turkey or ham, shredded cheese, red or green peppers, half an avocado, and a bit of ranch (or any dressing I have available).
    • Snacks: Protein shake with almond milk. (I’ve been obsessed with a pumpkin protein latte.)
    • Dinner: Chicken tinga (shredded chicken with chipotle sauce), plus sides cauliflower rice and any vegetables available.
    • Dessert: A protein bar, red peppers with hummus, protein pancakes, or frozen berries with whipped cream.

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      I started working out from home 20 minutes a day, slowly working my way up to longer, harder workouts.

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      Working out wasn’t just for weight loss—it became therapy for my depression. I had a stair stepper and dumbbells in my basement home gym. I’ve slowly started adding equipment in my gym, and now working out every day is a must for me.

      Now my workouts last anywhere from one to two hours, and I exercise four to six days a week. I like to start with cardio (to get it over with, plus it’s a good warm up!), and end it with a four- to six-exercise circuit.

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      These three changes made the biggest difference in my weight-loss results.

      • I found a long-term lifestyle that I could stick to. I no longer see my way of eating as a “diet”—I have made this a lifestyle. I still enjoy my favorite foods, but I eat everything in moderation.

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        • I tried not to be so hard on myself. In the past, I was too hard on myself and it always led me to quit. If I ate something bad one day, I would ruin the rest of the day by eating more junk. Now if I treat myself, I don’t punish myself.

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          • I stopped focusing on the scale. Instead, I measure my progress by how my clothes fit, pictures, and other measurements.

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            I have lost 105 pounds in 2.5 years.

            Don’t get discouraged if weight doesn’t fall off quickly. I had to realize this is not a race; it was about changing my entire life for the better. It took me years to realize that this is not some three-month diet, but a lifestyle.

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