As you probably know if you read my blog, I have been on a keto diet since April when my doctor told me it would help the neuropathy in my feet.
When you spend most of your life trying to lose weight, you tend to hear, read, and live your life based on what is supposed to be good and bad for you.
I was 406 pounds at the age of 24. I had stomach surgery (a band and staples) in 1998. I did lose weight with the surgery but remained heavy for many years after (although never went back over 300 pounds thankfully). In 2017, I decided enough was enough. I wanted to do something about my weight and health before I ended up getting sick. I started counting calories. I still drank a LOT of calories, mostly energy drinks and Mountain Dew daily in addition to eating Oreos and whatever else I wanted as long as I stayed within my calories for the day. I was hungry all the time and had so many cravings it was difficult to stick with it.
I did lose a little weight doing this. I went from 212 in November 2017 to 200 in April. I kept telling myself that losing slow is better and that would keep the weight off.
In April 2018 when my doctor put me on the keto life, I learned better. Sugar was causing me to not lose the weight. Eating everything low fat was helping my body to keep the weight on. I wasn’t losing many inches until I started this plan. When I stopped consuming sugarand cut down the amount of carbs daily, the weight just started falling off of me. I lost 40 pounds in 5 months. And I don’t have a problem keeping it off. I eat between 1200-1500 calories a day, only exercise about twice a week at the moment, and have not gained a pound back. I attribute this to not have processed sugars in my diet.
I do have a treat every once in a while, don’t get me wrong! I sometimes eat MANY carbs in a day (I think my highest carb day since April has been about 80 carbs). Before keto, I was consuming over 300 carbs a day and most of those carbs were from simple sugars. There was a day recently where I ate a Twix candy bar. A day where I had fried fish from the local cafeteria. Enchiladas, quesadillas, a burger, lots of carbs. I just make it only about once a week or so that I do that. If I do it every day, my feet are tingly and numb for days after. Like when I ate too many carbs for like 5 days in a row a couple of weeks ago. It took me forever to get the numbness out of my feet again. It’s what I live with having neuropathy.
I am NOT telling you that keto is the “best” diet nor am I saying you have to do this and it’s the only way. This is what worked for me and has gotten me to 159 pounds so far. I still want to get 9 more pounds of fat off my body. I will too. I’ve said this before and I will say it again. If I get stuck at this weight for the rest of my life, I am perfectly happy with it. I look at old photos and know that I have done the right thing for the first time in my life.
The reason for this particular post is to show you that carbohydrates and natural sugars are NOT the enemy. First pictures are carbs in vegetables and fruits. Yes, they are naturally in foods we have grown up being told that we need to eat a lot of every day! Carbohydrates are found naturally in lots of good, healthy foods, and our body does need some carbs daily.
The next photos are the natural sugars found in these healthful foods. Real natural sugar is not the enemy that it’s made out to be. What’s your favorite fruit? Did you know it had carbs and sugar in it? Would you ever stop eating it just because of a little natural sweetener?
The enemy for our bodies is processed foods and foods that are high in complex sugars. Fruits and vegetables have simple sugars that our body can break down into nutrients that keep us going. They are not to be feared or shunned. My suggestion is to keep track of how much you consume so you can tell how it affects you.
I started making my own bread so I can still have it but not deal with the bad stuff. I make my own shredded cheese from block cheese because when the companies shred their cheese, they have to add chemicals to keep it from going bad. I have learned how to make whatever I want to eat to keep my body happier and healthier.
Soda: have you seen this photo?
Look at all the sugar in a 12 ounce can of Coke and a bottle of tea. Why? Why do companies add so much sugar? I can tell you. We become addicted to it and crave it when we take it away. That’s how they keep you drinking it. I love my soda, do not get me wrong! When I started this new lifestyle, I switched to Bang energy drinks (made with sucralose) and Zevia (made with Stevia). Mostly I drink water. At least 67 ounces of water a day. That’s only 2 liters or 4 standard bottles a day. If you can drink 3 or 4 sodas a day, you can drink that much water. It is doable. It’s a mindset. You have to change the way your brain works. It takes time. Don’t expect to be able to jump in and have everything perfect. You didn’t get to be overweight, have diabetes, or whatever the problem is overnight so it won’t be fixed overnight.
If you don’t take anything else out of this post, just please remember that natural carbs and sugars are fine no matter what diet you decide to live by whether it be no diet or an extreme diet. As much as you can do, stay away from processed foods like complex sugars and added chemicals. Read your nutrition labels! If you don’t know how, here’s a helpful way to read them.
Picture from the FDA.
Please feel free to comment or email me any questions you have! This is why I am studying nutrition, I want to help you!