The story of how a busy mom with 5 kids actually managed to stick to an eating plan for a month and lose 10 pounds of weight without falling face first into a ginormous bowl of ice cream before the first week was out: A low carb/keto success story.
New Year’s resolution to lose weight, anyone?
I know I’m not alone when I make my resolutions and vow to be a better person, to lose weight, to make more money.
This year, however, I’m already making good on my resolution to lose weight.
I’ve lost 10 pounds in just the month of January!
Now, granted some of that was the few pounds I’d gained back in December and some might have been water weight, but I’ll take 10 pounds down any month! Even better, that weight loss came with some awesome benefits:
- My clothes are already fitting better
- Even my shoes are fitting a bit more nicely!
- My libido has definitely been boosted
- My energy has gone through the roof (for me, anyway…I struggle with low energy)
- My mood and overall outlook on life has improved
In essence, I feel great!
How I Lost 10 Pounds in One Month
So how did this lovely turnaround happen in my life?
Well, I didn’t count calories or exercise more or deprive myself of good food.
But I did follow a basic ketogenic diet with a few little tweaks that helped keep me on the path towards weight loss.
I Researched the Heck Out of My Chosen Way of Eating
The first thing I did was educate myself about the low carb ketogenic diet. I had followed a low carb diet years before, so I knew that it could work, that I could follow it, and the basic principles. However, I’ve found with any big undertaking like this, reading a lot, listening to podcasts, or watching educational videos on the topic can really be helpful in keeping up my morale and my mojo to really follow through. I love to read interesting books and research the science of nutrition so I continue to study before and during my new eating habits so I’m both informed and inspired.
Wanna know what’s been helping me to eat well this time around? Here are my favorite resources at the moment:
- Podcasts ( I looove listening to podcasts after I’ve dropped the kids off at soccer practice. #soccermomwin )
I Severely Limited My Carb Intake AND Increased My Fat Intake
This is the ketogenic diet in a nutshell. You eat low carb, high fat, and moderate protein. If you want to know WHY this works, then I suggest one of the resources I just listed above. That’s a long, complicated answer. However, the fact is that keto DOES work if you DO the work. I had a pretty good feel for how to limit carbs from my previous go-round with low carb eating (2 kids ago!). So I just did what I knew I had to do.
What did I eat? I’m glad you asked! Some of my favorite meals from January were:
- The Amazing Italian Ham Waffle Sandwich with half an avocado on the side
- Steak and loaded broccoli
- Chicken Fried Rice (rice meaning shredded cauliflower)
- No-Bean Chili
- Pizza Skillet
Mostly I wasn’t hungry for 4 or 5 hours after eating because the high ratio of fat makes this way of eating very satiating. If I did get hungry though, I’d either drink a cup of hot tea to fool my stomach into thinking it was fine or I’d make a low carb smoothie that had a couple of teaspoons of MCT oil in it to fill me up fast.
Bonus Tip: I bought Ketosix to make sure I was actually in ketosis and to monitor when I was kicked out so I could figure out why. This also leads to a reduction in cheating. “Should I eat this half cup of my kid’s leftover Chicken Fried Actual Rice? Naaaah….it’ll probably kick me out of ketosis on my pee stick in the morning. Better not.”
I Cooked Meals & Snacks That Worked For Me AND My Family
One of the things I hate about “dieting” as a busy mom is how difficult it can be to follow your own plan while your family continues to eat in their regular fashion.
Now, I suppose I could have dragged them all along for the ride, but that poses some difficulties and challenges of its own.
This time around, though, has been relatively simple for me. I just plan meals that are naturally low carb and then add a starchy component either on the side or at at the very end of the cooking after I’ve removed my portion (plus a portion for lunch the next day!). So, for example, I’d make chili like I always do, cooking the beans separately and adding them in at the very end while saving myself a mostly meat portion. Or we had steak and baked potatoes with broccoli, and I just skipped the potato and added the butter, sour cream, and bacon bits to my broccoli. Yum! On pizza night, I just skip the crust altogether and make myself a pizza in a skillet. Ain’t nobody got time for low carb pizza crust alternatives.
In order to always be prepared, I baked some lemon blueberry muffins made out of almond flour and pre-made waffles for sandwiches. Mostly because I’m lazy (well, and busy with 5 kids) and I need to have food on hand for quick meals when my lofty meal plans fall through. (Oh, just me?) I also made extra at almost every dinner so I’d have something on hand for the future. Basically, I made it fool-proof to eat super low carb and not cheat. If I’ve got several options for food several times a day and don’t get overly hungry, then I’m golden.
ALWAYS HAVE LOW CARB READY-TO-EAT FOOD ON HAND!
This is a rule. Follow it and thank me later.
I Found A Support System and Leaned On Them For Inspiration
I had seen a friend posting occasionally some keto recipes on Instagram, so I hit her up. We are old friends so we caught up a bit and chatted about her journey and mine with being healthy, losing weight, and adulting in general. She had a lot of great tips to share which I truly relied on during my first month. They were like gold to me. So helpful every single day. I continually blew up her phone throughout the month with my food pics and questions. She was great and so encouraging always (Thanks, Jo!)
So seek someone within your circle out and just do some virtual (or in person, even better!) hanging out and chatting about your journey to health.
I can hear it already, in kind of a whiny voice, “But what if I don’t have a friend headed down the same path as me?”
Then you need to find some and there are lots of ways to do so.
One good free way is to jump on Facebook and join any of the innumerable keto groups that are out there. You can ask questions and get lots of answers. You might meet someone there to chat with. It’s easy to get lost in those groups, though.
If you’re looking for something a little more structured and dedicated, you have to check out Keto Dash. For a pretty small investment, you get meal plans and grocery lists, a workout plan if you want one, and access to not one, but two private community options (on Facebook or Slack, a nifty way to stay connected). You’ll be joining others who are definitely on the same road as you, and I know you’ll find so much support and inspiration there. I definitely recommend checking out the Keto Dash community to find all you need to be successful on this journey.
Whatever you do, find somebody to walk alongside you and give you great meal ideas and help when you’re craving wine. That’s what friends are for.
So get out there now and DO IT!
My Trade Secrets to Losing Weight
Well, I don’t really have any trade secrets to losing 10 pounds.
This is it:
- Read to educate and inspire yourself.
- Follow the actual plan.
- Keep your food menu and prep simple with leftovers always readily available*.
- Seek out a supportive friend or community.
You can follow these 4 weight loss tips with any way of eating.
And don’t be fooled. I have far more to lose than just 10 pounds, so this is the just the tip of the fatberg, as it were. More to come….
*Oh, and if you don’t have leftovers or anything else to eat, a few fried eggs is your go to. Can’t go wrong there. And a jar of pickles or kimchi in your fridge is close enough to a vegetable.