Category Archives: Successful dieting

18 week update = 35 pounds gone!

Well, it was good news and bad news at this follow up doctor visit.

The good news, the challenge was to lose 2 pounds per week and return in 3 months. It’ more like 4 months later due to scheduling issues, but I met the challenge thanks to the ketogenic diet plan!

Yup, in the past 18 weeks I’ve lost 35 pounds. Okay, I’m one pound short of the goal, but neither the doctor nor I care about that. The fact is I’m doing it!
thirtyfive

Bad news: the doctor who had earlier told me that weight loss could alleviate the symptoms of atypical adenomal hyperplasia (the reason I was to have a hysterectomy), now says he never told me that. He says I still need the surgery. I plan to seek a second opinion on the matter, but, I’m still very thankful that this whole situation gave me the boost I need to get back on the keto plan.

I’m happier, healthier, and weigh 35 pounds less than I did 18 weeks ago. I rarely crave carbs, never even eat “fake” desserts, and am enjoying fitting in all of my “too-tight” clothing all thanks to keto.

 

One month update – 16 1/2 pounds gone!

Well, it’s a month since I posted, and first, let me say a big thank you to all of you for the kind thoughts! I’m still going strong and I’m down 16 1/2 pounds. It’s the not quickest I’ve ever lost, but it’s steady and I’ve kept between 20-23 grams of carbs per day – with very few cravings. My clothes are looser, and I keep finding more in my closet that I can wear comfortably now. Bloat gone, more energy – what’s not to love!? (No exercise yet.)

My husband has type 2 diabetes and he decided to join me after a couple of weeks, which has made me really happy (who wants to get healthy only to lose a partner because of CARBS?!). He isn’t strictly keto, but is staying under 80g per day and his sugar went from 224 to an avg of 80-100! I foresee us living/eating this way for the rest of our lives. It’s so much easier doing this as a team than having junk in the house.

Reading reddit keto subgroups daily has been a huge inspiration. I’ve also been reading (listening to) The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person, and I highly recommend the book. She uses cognitive therapy to help people learn to stop the cycle of yoyo dieting and self-sabotaging behavior. She doesn’t endorse any special diet, and I figured at this ripe old age, I should learn to change my thinking as well as my food intake, so I’ve been staying strong and focused even when I would usually seek carby food for comfort!

With the support of my husband, and the delicious recipes (and advice) of fellow keto redditers and this book in my arsenal, I know I can do this!

Starting all over again, Day 1

The keto plan was the answer to my weight-loss prayers: I lost approximately 40 pounds in around 6 months. And then I started fooling around…

Well, maybe I’ll have a couple of pieces of toast. How bad could it be?

Boy, that pizza crust looks great. Maybe this one time, I’ll eat the entire piece of pizza, not just the toppings.

Hmm, maybe I’ll eat what I want at this party, then I’ll get back on track starting Monday.

I regained the weight – at least 35 of those pounds straggled back on. So, I started over, and stopped, and regained. And started over, and stopped, and regained.

And…in order to beat myself up a little more, let me remind myself that – not only did I regain all that weight – I also could have been LOSING another 40 (or more) during this same time span! An 80-pound weight loss puts me into “normal” sizes and a happy happy place.

What to do? Go back to the beginning.

Strict keto, journalizing, immerse myself in the topic. I started a keto recipe site last year; keep that up to date. Live, eat, and breath the keto lifestyle. No other choice. It worked before, and it will work again.

product_BuffaloRanch1Day 1:

Breakfast – 2 scrambled eggs, one sausage patty, topped with 2 ounces grated cheddar.

Lunch – mixed greens, 2 ounces grated cheddar, topped with Wishbone Buffalo ranch dressing (2g carbs) and 14 almonds

Dinner – one small squash (cut to resemble fettucini) topped with Rick’s marinara sauce and cheddar cheese (we’re out of mozarella).

Snack – salt and vinegar pork rinds with 2 tbsp french onion chip dip.

Day 6: Better, not great

Saturday progress:

Brunch – coneys (ate the buns and about 10 fries)

Dinner – Steak with onion cream sauce and a side of cauliflower mashed potatoes. Delicious!

Photo Mar 23, 8 25 50 PM

Photo Mar 23, 8 32 00 PM

That’s it. It was a short day, and I hit the hay early. Since I’ve never done “low carb” and only strict keto, I’m not even sure how many carbs were in the buns and fries, so let’s take a look:

buns = 18 grams carbs each
fries = a little bigger than shoestring, so I’ll say 15 grams to be safe

So I went over 33 grams from “non-keto” eating. And then I went right back to keto-friendly for dinner.

That’s something I’ve decided to try. I’m working on getting rid of this all or nothing attitude, where I screw up one meal, then go on a binge for the rest of the day. Instead, I ate the carbs at brunch, then went back on the keto plan for the rest of the day.

My son (who is doing very well on the keto plan) proposed an interesting idea –

He suggested that I add up my carbs by the WEEK instead of the day. That would definitely help rid the “I’m a failure” attitude that is so pervasive after one binge meal. I’ll think about trying that next week.

Day 294: Perfect keto day

Total weight loss: 41 1/2 pounds

Monday morning and I started out with an egg/sausage/cheese breakfast bowl lovingly made by my hubby.

Lunch was leftover keto-friendly lasagna.

After work, we went over to the sold house – again – to do ONE MORE load of last minute “junk” from the garage. Rick swept the garage floor, and he just needs to go back tomorrow morning to get about 4 boxes and some leaf bags (filled with leaves). I’ll be soooo sooo glad when we finally close on this house.

 

Dinner was at Albert’s on the Alley, since it’s trivia night. I didn’t get the delicious french fries. sigh. I didn’t eat any of Jo’s pizza. I did get the healthy keto-friendly grilled chicken salad with blue cheese dressing. The salad was just packed with yummy layers of ingredients. It took me more than 1/2 hour to eat it and it hit the spot. I ate one steak fry, courtesy of my trivia pal and coworker, Jim.

Before bed, I read a little and had two 72% chocolate pieces. Daylight saving time plus lots of activity has made us both pretty tired. I’m usually up until 1 am, but last night, we both hit the hay at 9! I was starting to get hungry again, so I think I dodged a bullet by just going to bed.

Day 291: Italian restaurant – chicken piccata

This week’s weight “loss”: +.5 pounds

Total weight loss: 40.5 pounds

Today was weigh-in day. I gained .5 pounds since last week. I’m not thrilled, but I’m used to the ups and downs. In order to keep my spirits up, after weighing I put on the smallest jeans I own…and they fit. That made me feel a little better.

Yesterday was Friday. Again, I had no time for breakfast. My son, Brandon, and his new bride, Lindsey, found a house they may bid on, so I called Rick and asked him to take me by on lunch. We wouldn’t be going until 1 pm, so I ate some almonds and 1/2 slice of lasagna around 11 am.

After checking out the house – which we both like very much – we went to the Senate Coney Island. I ordered 2 coney dogs and didn’t eat the buns. Rick didn’t order fries, so no temptations there.

Since I had a few long lunches this week, I needed to work until 6:30 to achieve 40 hours. When Rick picked me up after work, I was really tired and wanted to splurge and indulge in something to fill the emotional void. We debated the restaurant choices, and ended up at Angelo Brothers Italian restaurant. I had been there years ago for a Christmas party with my former coworkers at the school system. Rick had never been. I was really hoping I would find something satisfying AND low carb. I was thinking chicken marsala or some such item.

I actually did find a possibility: chicken piccata. I’d never had it before. When I visit an Italian restaurant (pre-keto), I usually go for something with lots of cheesy pasta. The ingredients listed for the chicken piccata: thin-sliced chicken breasts, garlic, butter, white wine, and mushrooms. Sounded good, so I tried it. I skipped the carb-laden sides and asked for extra mushrooms. The side salad was just a lot of iceberg lettuce, but it helped assuage the hunger while I waited for my meal. So did the glass of red wine.

I ignored the bread basket and dug into the chicken. It was so so so delicious. I checked the carb count afterward, and it ran from 5 to 20 grams per serving, so I’m not sure how well I did. I’m sure there was flour or cornstarch involved; however, I do know that I will be trying a low carb version at home, and I’ll just leave out those items. Rick took about 5 tastes of mine dinner. He loved it….even better than his pizza. The two of us will experiment with the new recipe soon. In the mean time, I’m proud of myself for picking something as low carb as possible, and not pigging out on pasta, pizza, and bread.

Once home, I had an Adkins bar for dessert.

I think I’ll go without the Adkins treats this week and see if that did impact my 1/2 pound weight gain. It’s not a real scientific experiment, but it may give me some indication if I lose a bit more next week after not eating them.

Day 290: Successes and failures…and lessons learned

Total weight loss: 41 pounds

Breakfast – skipped

I took my breakfast bowl to work, but our morning meeting went so long that I wasn’t hungry for breakfast by the time we got out. My friend Wally called unexpectedly and invited me to lunch. I decided to wait to eat until then.

Lunch – Big Boy buffalo grilled chicken salad with bleu cheese dressing. It was delicious, as usual – and Wally treated. Thanks, friend. Good food, good conversation.

Snack – Rick and I decided to go to a 5:00 movie: Cloud Atlas. I knew I wouldn’t make it until after it was over to eat dinner, and I didn’t want to show up at the theater hungry and get tempted to buy something bad at the snack bar. (I am learning to plan ahead.) I was already getting hungry, since the salad for lunch was all I had eaten for the day. Around 4, I heated a leftover portion of lasagna and ate that as a preventative measure. It was really tasty. Most “pasta” dishes seem to taste better when reheated since all the flavors have time to blend.

Movie – 2 sips of Rick’s diet Coke. Very determined NOT to buy concession food

After movie dinner – We didn’t eat out. When I got home, I heated another portion of lasagna. I have no problem repeating meals when I like them.

I congratulated myself on my restraint. I had a perfect keto day.

Then, an hour before bed, I decided to read and have a choco/peanut butter low carb snack.

I went in to the kitchen to get some 70% chocolate and noticed that Rick had eaten one package of the Hostess cupcakes we had purchased for the grandkids. How are we supposed to give only ONE grandchild a pack of cupcakes? Boy, they sure looked good. They were orange frosted. I could just taste the tangy citrus flavor of the frosting and the creamy center. So I did. I ate two Hostess cupcakes.

BLECK. I was SOOOO close to going to bed. Why didn’t I just close my eyes and ignore them? They were a total of 60 grams of carbs. I know I was well under 80 carbs for the day, which is probably fine on a low-carb diet, but for keto, I’m sure I knocked myself out of ketogenesis, and for no good reason. They were just okay tasting, nothing to get excited about.

Lessons learned:

  1. I am not perfect.
  2. I should probably fill up more on water.
  3. Don’t skip breakfast.
  4. I probably did not eat enough during the day, and allowed myself to be too tempted.
  5. NEVER have junk food in the house.

Day 288: Oops, cheat lunch at Chinese restaurant / excellent keto-friendly lasagna

Total weight loss: 41 pounds

We finally decided not to go out to breakfast. Just too costly. Rick made my “breakfast bowl”: 2 eggs, 2 sausage patties, cheese, and Taco Bell hot sauce. He puts it in a bowl, and I reheat, chop up, and eat at my desk. MMMMMMMM. Thanks, honey.

I was going to eat 2 Beddar Cheddars for lunch, but I got a surprise lunch invite from my niece, Marsha. The AUCE Chinese restaurant that we both love is very near my workplace, so I agreed to lunch with her.

I debated if I could do a low carb lunch, or if it was too difficult with the few options that I should just do a cheat meal. I sort of did a blend of both options.

I went to the Mongolian section and made a bowl with chicken, onion, garlic, and a little crab. I asked the cook to use garlic oil – he offered spicy; I said sure. It turned out to be delicious. Unfortunately, the Mongolian counter was at the back of the store, past the crab rangoons and the tempura sushi. Sigh.

So, I sort of did a half and half cheat meal. I had a main course that was low carb, and side dishes that were coated with breading. I do think I’ll get some garlic oil and try to make my own “Mongolian” stir fry at home. It’d be pretty easy, and keto-friendly. Always looking for some fresh ideas for keto recipes.

While I was off galavanting with my niece, Rick was home slaving away over the stove – for me! He made marinara sauce with the low carb tomato sauce and diced tomatoes he found yesterday at Kroger. He also cooked a pound of ground up Italian sausage. He was preparing the ingredients for a new keto-friendly, low-carb lasagna recipe I wanted to try. I thought I’d make it pretty close to my Dad’s traditional recipe, only using spaghetti squash as the lasagna “noodles.”

I saw this idea on several low carb sites, but most of the recipes, although low carb, were too high in carbs for keto. Rick did some investigating while shopping and found that a 14 oz can of Del Monte diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chilis was 7g per can, and Kroger tomato sauce was ZERO net carbs per can. He used 2 cans of each in his recipe, with 2 tbsp of olive oil (og), and various ingredients like garlic, 1/2 cup onion (10g), and 1/2 cup of red wine (4g). The whole recipe is posted here.

After work, I cook a whole large spaghetti squash, gathered the rest of the cheeses and ingredients and assembled a lasagna. Approximately one hour later, we sat down to a delicious bubbly authentic-tasting lasagna meal. At approximately 7.4 grams of carbs per serving, it surpassed my wildest dreams. I am no cook, but Rick’s marinara sauce is really flavorful and added to cheese and pepperoni, this tasted almost like my dad’s traditional recipe!

Here’s a picture of the whole pan…

So, dinner was a hit, and I have lots of servings to warm up during the week. This will definitely be a staple of my keto diet, and I’ll be making it a couple of times a month. I have to recalculate and be sure I didn’t mistake any of the carb counts. For instance, the mozzarella cheese said less than one gram of carbs per serving. Well, if you have many servings, when does that become 1 or even 2?

We each had an Adkins coconut bar for dessert. It was kind of an up and down day in terms of the keto plan, but creating such a keto-friendly pan of lasagna was a real high point of the day.

Day 281: Update on progress, 39 pounds off

Total weight loss: 39 pounds

In case you think I have fallen off the keto wagon, I have not. I have simply been overwhelmed by life and far too busy to blog. There is no chance for me to catch up on my daily progress, but here’s a recap:

When last I blogged, it was on the cusp of my son’s wedding. I blogged just before the celebratory dinners began. For the week or so before/after the wedding, I had cheat meals galore. In fact, I was off the plan.

The next week (the end of August), I started afresh. Before going off the keto plan, I had lost 38 pounds. I weighed myself before starting back on the plan, and was sad to see I had gained 4 pounds during my cheat fest. Sigh, back into the routine I went.

I stayed on the plan through September and October. Each week, I saw slow progress: 1.5 pounds down, .5 pounds up, 1 pounds down, .5 pounds up, etc. etc. No consistent loss or huge drops in my weight, but I did have at least one-two cheat meals or days a week (planned, and unplanned, depending on the week).

At my weigh in last Saturday, all the weight I gained in August was gone, plus one pound – total 5 pounds lost in September and 3 weeks of October. WHEW!

As an added bonus, I am in one size smaller in my work slacks. For some reason (the cut of the pants or whatever), I have not been able to get in a smaller size all these months. In jeans, I dropped a size long ago. Well, whatever the reason, the pants fit, so I must not quit. [bad pun, sorry]

There isn’t much to report from the past week. I have no new recipes or food ideas, and my meals have been somewhat boring, so I will begin my daily meal journal with tomorrow’s blog.

Oh, one thing I do have to report: I’ve had a stupendous amount of energy! From dawn til dusk, I’m going going going, and feel great! I guess a nearly 40-pound weight loss can relieve the body of  a lot of stress. I know if I pick up something that weighs 40-50 pounds, I appreciate how heavy that is.  I think it’s time to work more exercise into my routine. I feel very healthy now, and that will speed up weight loss and make me feel more energetic as well.

Goals – I’d like to get back to more inspirational meals. I’m going to spend this weekend investigating new ideas. I’m also thinking about recording my meals in myfitnesspal.com again and getting more regimented in my intake. I have been estimating carbs based on the fact that I’ve been doing it so long. I’d like to see how much leeway I’ve been allowing myself by not recording every meal in a food calculator.

Six months on Keto: thoughts and resolutions

Total weight loss: 35 pounds

For anything to be successful, one needs to look back over the successes and failures to plan for a better future.

Things I’ve learned:

Plan meals in advance

Always have keto-friendly snacks on hand

Always have keto-friendly cooking ingredients on hand

Remember which cheat meals didn’t satisfy

Keep a list of fast food keto-friendly foods in mind

Look at bread, rice, buns, tortillas, pasta, cakes, cookies, donuts, and other high carb food and think negative thoughts: “how pasty looking that is,” “it looks good, but it’ll make me feel lethargic and half-dead after I eat it,” “that rice under Chinese or Indian food, will make me gain, and really doesn’t have much flavor; cauliflower rice tastes just as good”

Even if you eat twice the amount of almonds you’ve planned, it’s still better than potato chips

Cheat meals/days must be thought out VERY carefully. Pick something that will really satisfy you and allow you to keep on the keto plan longer

Drink lots and lots and lots of water

Drinking no-carb alcohol may be okay, but keep it in limits. Over indulging makes me gain water weight and being drunk makes me really tempted to binge on whatever high carb party food is on the table.

There is ALMOST ALWAYS SOMETHING YOU CAN EAT in a fast food place or restaurant. For example, what about chicken marsala in an Italian place?

And there is usually some salad option anywhere you are. Burger joints, just remove the bun.

Mexican and Chinese restaurants give me the most difficulty, because any low carb option is not the reason I would go to the restaurant in the first place.

If you MUST go to a Chinese buffet (I attended a funeral dinner at one), you can find options, but they probably aren’t going to be your favorite General Tso’s. How about the salad bar choices? eggs? the insides of eggrolls, and I even ate the insides only of crab rangoons. Leaves quite a pile of discarded shells on the plate and look like you really waste food.

That’s all I can think of right now, but these ideas have helped me realize the first real weight loss I’ve achieved in more than 15 years! YAY KETO!