In July, after my annual physical and several follow-ups, I was given my “marching orders” which included adopting a low-carb diet and intermittent fasting. (I wrote about my struggle with weight loss Here). I was already following a low carb diet, (that’s how I lost 50 lbs 11 years ago) but recently gained six pounds, the first weight gain I’d had in 11 years. We had started to eat more sweets, breads and junk food even though I know I don’t feel good after eating that type of food. In addition, my appetite had increased. I wanted to be sure we nipped my weight gain in the bud, so I was keen to make adjustments to my diet right away to get back on track.
My blood work showed two issues: one, that my under active thyroid needed another little boost, and my bio identical hormones were out of whack—my testosterone level was way too high, both of which, could have contributed to the weight gain and through the roof stress levels I was experiencing.
When I started working with my weight loss doctor 11 years ago, we started with a Keto diet which I stayed on for about six weeks before slowing moving to a very low carb diet. After my recent doctor visit, I decided to go back to Keto to loose the six pounds, then slowly add healthy carbs back into my diet after my weight stabilizes.
I’ve been following a Keto diet for just short of two months. I’ve lost the six pounds I had gained and reduced my body fat by 3%. I was interested in reducing body fat in addition to the weight loss, so I am very pleased with the result. I will remain primarily Keto for another two weeks before gradually adding low glycemic vegetables to my diet.
I thought I’d talk a little about living with the Keto diet, since when we adopt any diet, it does affect how we feel, how we navigate socially, and whether we experience cravings, hunger or discomfort, and of course whether or not the diet actually works.
Keto did and does work for me. I focused on eating proteins and “healthy” fats. I felt better immediately. The bloating and brain fog I had been experiencing was gone, and my energy level picked up. I felt full and went longer feeling satiated between meals. It’s very easy to follow the Keto diet at home and dining out, unless you go to a vegetarian restaurant, of course. I simply order meat, fish, eggs or chicken, and don’t eat the carbohydrates.
We visited Roger’s family while I was on Keto, and I did have a few spoonfuls of Roger’s deserts twice—he had a maple Creme Brûlée one evening and homemade mint chocolate chip frozen custard on another day. Both very tasty, but I had a stomach ache both times I consumed deserts, even though it was just a little bit. I also had a half of a homemade English muffin—absolutely delicious, I must say, but experienced bloating and brain fog after eating it, so wheats and sugars are a no-go for me. The verdict: I am very comfortable with Keto and low carb diets, and they work for me they help me lose weight, keep it off and I feel better health wise.
I also added Intermittent Fasting to the game plan, with a 14 hour fast. It was pretty close to my normal routine, but was a little tricker socially. Because I get up around 5:30, and I’m usually hungry, I break my fast early, which means my last meal of the day is usually in the mid afternoon. No problem when I’m on my own or with Roger, but is definitely a challenge when I have plans to eat with others in the evening. Most people eat dinners at 6:00 or so, and I’m usually finished eating around 3:30 or so. On days I’m invited out to eat in the evening, I either don’t worry about it, or I break my fast later in the morning.
I did feel hungry some evenings, so I’d make myself a cup of decaf tea or lemon water, which took care of my hunger pangs.
My anxiety is completely gone. I think it’s in part because of the diet, but I think it had to do with the fact that we’ve eliminated my bio identical hormones with the exception of progesterone. Initially the doctor was working to adjust my bio-identical hormones, to reduce the testosterone, but because my BRAC test came back positive, I am no longer a candidate for bio identical hormone replacement therapy, except progesterone.
As you can see, my results are somewhat complicated by other health matters. I strongly recommend that if you are struggling with weight loss, be sure to work with a doctor. I wouldn’t have said that when we were younger, but there are so many more complicating factors now that we are older.
Having a complete physical, allergy testing and blood work is so important. I have two people in my life who actually craved the very thing they were allergic to. Brooke, my daughter has a serious gluten issue and craved pasta, bread, and cookies, so much that I couldn’t get her to eat anything else. When we discovered the problem, it was hard for her to make the shift away from the foods that were seriously impeding her health, but she’s done it. I learned that craving foods are allergic to is not uncommon.
Knowing what’s going on with our bodies through allergy and blood testing makes it so much easier to get a handle on our over all health, weight loss, and knowing what type of diet is best for us rather than following a fad or guessing. I’d love to hear your experience, have you had success with any of these programs?