I was not always that heavy. Weight is something that never really mattered to me – I have always been between the range of 130 lbs. and 140 lbs. and I have always been happy with that. It all started when I began living on my own, I was working a lot. I was tired all the time and I was short on money, the easiest thing was fast food. My breakfast at work consisted of a strawberry Pop-Tart, Cheetos and a Starbucks vanilla frap (the ones that come in the glass bottle), that is so much sugar and that’s just breakfast! I slowly started gaining weight. Honestly, at first it didn’t really bother me but the bigger I got the less confident I was and the more depressed I got. One morning I was getting ready for work and I noticed my size 20 jeans were starting to fit tight and that is the moment that I knew I had to make a decision, I either buy a size up and continue on this path of hating who I was or I lose the weight.
Just like that it was like a switched had flipped in my head, I was tired of feeling so depressed and hating myself I needed to take action. The only problem was I had tried to stick to diets before and it never worked I would always go back to my bad habits, so I was worried because I knew I had to lose a lot of weight. My starting weight was 237 lbs. and my goal weight was 145 lbs. So I started reading and educating myself about nutrition and how to achieve my goal. I decided I was going to start by giving myself short term goals and I didn’t give myself a time frame I wanted to do this for myself on my own time. I started by cutting fast food, cooking more at home, I switched to whole grain and I cut my sugar intake. The first 2 months I had lost 20 lbs. and I was so happy! but my weight loss was starting to slow down a bit, each week I was losing less and eventually it stalled, so I started reading and that is when I learned about Intermittent Fasting or IF for short, that is when you choose an eating window and that is the only time you are allowed to eat, for example I chose the 16/8 eating window to start (eat for an 8 hours window and fast for 16), I stopped eating by 8pm and I wouldn’t eat anything until noon the next day. That changed my life so much, IF is something I still do to this day, it has become a lifestyle for me.
After starting IF I also started working out I contacted a friend who was a personal trainer and my journey began. So, 5 months into my new lifestyle I had finally made it out of the 200’s lbs. I was so happy and it only fueled me to keep going. I have to add that I did give myself a cheat day in my journey, I don’t think I could have made it if I didn’t have that. I personally believe that cheat days are very important. If you are like me and are weak to food temptations a cheat day is a must. That way you can always look forward to the one day to eat that food you been craving all week. The key is to not over do it, the way I did it is I chose Saturday as my cheat day and then I chose dinner as my cheat meal that way I’m still eating healthy but I get to eat that slice of cheesecake also.
After I had lost 40 lbs. I was starting to stall again and that is when I learned about keto and low cab diets. Keto or ketogenic is when you are only allowed to eat certain amount of carbs that usually would give you energy, but your body uses that fat storages in your body as energy instead. So, at this point I decided to cut all bread, pasta, rice, anything with wheat or starch in it I cut of my diet. I downloaded this app called MyFitnessPall and starting tracking my food intake and my macros were 25 % carbs, 50% fat and 35% protein.
After a while keto began to take a toll on me, yes I was losing the weight but I could tell it was just not for me, so, I decided to do low carb instead, I incorporated all the foods I loved back into my diet but just in smaller proportions I upped my carb intake by 10% and decreased my fat intake by the same amount, I stopped working out and kept doing IF, and by this point I was doing 20/4 (eat for a 4 hour window and fast for 20 hours) and I kept losing the weight.
Now, I’m 96 lbs. lighter and I feel so much better about myself and I found a confidence I didn’t know I had. My average weekly weight loss was 2 lbs. a week and it was very consistent. Now I am just maintaining my weight, I do home cook meals only and if I do go eat out it is not a fast food restaurant.
My advice is do it for you and start by giving yourself small goals. This is not an easy path I had struggled along the way but in the end my road to happiness is what kept me going. Start slowly, do not go cold turkey because it never works, I found that by cutting certain types of foods slowly out of my diet and giving myself a cheat day worked better than just cutting it all off at once.
In the end, do what makes you happy. I learned so much about myself and I really wouldn’t change anything. I’m still doing IF, but I have switched to OMAD (one meal a day) for 3 days a week and 20/4 for the other 4 days, I stopped tracking calories and I only eat when necessary. I still don’t eat fast food but I do eat a burger when and only if I’m craving one really badly, I eat cauliflower or thin crust pizza but rice and pasta are a constant in my life as well, just in smaller quantities.
If you have any questions about intermittent fasting and keto I will link the website of Dr. Berg, his YouTube videos really helped me learn and understand what keto and IF was. Hope it helps you too.