Does Keto Really Work?
Updated: Apr 13, 2019
Short answer: for me it does.
So what is keto?
In short, it's when your body burns fat for fuel. Carbs burn fast and can cause energy crashes. Fat and protein burn slower and steadier, allowing for a steady stream of energy. There is a great Keto In A Nutshell explanation on Reddit regarding keto. Most ketoers try to stay below 25 carbs a day and get 70% of their calories from fats.
Why do I keto?
I grew up in West Virginia. A state that is currently tied for second place for the highest obesity rate. I was an active kid. I was a Young Marine, a part of 4-H, I ran track (6 years), played softball (3 years), and was on the swim team (3 years). Eventually, I quit sports to pick up more hours at my after-school job at the local Dairy Queen. Surprise! Eating fried chicken and french fries for dinner four to five days a week takes a bit of a toll. The pounds just crept on.
By the time I got to college, I was already considered obese. Fast forward to my senior year of university, and I weighed just over 250 pounds. I tried many diets. Counting calories, Weight Watchers, soup diets, juice cleanses - nothing seemed to work for me.
One day, I was taking a shower, and something as simple as shaving my legs caused me to become short of breath and light-headed. I had a breakdown. That's when Josh, my significant other, suggested I try keto. He's always been very good at being supportive and encouraging while letting me know that he'd love me no matter what. I've been lucky in that regard. Especially since Josh loves to cook, and the keto lifestyle ultimately meant changing the way we cooked.
I asked what keto was, and he explained that he had seen it popping up on Reddit a lot lately. He said it was a lifestyle where you ate a high amount of fat and a low amount of carbs. He stressed there's a ratio to it, and that it would have to be "good" fats.
"HOLD ON!" I said confused and in a questioning tone. You can't lose weight by eating fat. Fat is bad for you. I was scared of gaining more weight that I would struggle to lose. Josh convinced to give a week. One week to see how I felt and if it was something we could do. So, I did. My life has been different ever since.
In that first week, I lost 7 lbs. That was more than I had been able to lose in the last two years of trying. I was encouraged for the first time in a long time.
At the time I was working as a social media manager for the West Virginia Uncovered project through AmeriCorps. My manager knew my background was in video and suggested I start making videos in my spare time to keep my skills current. So, I started The Keto Show. In that first year, I was able to lose 50 pounds.
When my year with AmeriCorps ended, I accepted a social media position in Boston. I switched into maintenance mode. Sure, I still had weight I wanted to lose, but I had also just made a major life change. Fast forward three years and I've been able to maintain the initial weight loss.
Now I've accepted a new position at an organization that works with health clubs and aims to solve the inactivity crisis. This reignited my fitness journey and has pushed me out of maintenance mode. I know that keto is the best way for me to continue. In addition to keto, I've started boxing and jogging with Josh. I'll update my journey along the way.
Me wrapping my hands before our boxing class.