About 5 years ago I moved to Australia from England. I was about average weight, but you could probably say I was “skinny-fat” at the time (not much muscle). After a year of living in a new country and eating a lot of carbohydrates, junk food and sugars my weight ballooned to 185 lbs. (I’m 5′ 7″). I tried to lose the weight through cardiovascular exercise and low-fat diets, but this just made things worse, I was always hungry and just gained more weight. When I couldn’t stomach the diet anymore, I returned to my usual eating habits, and with it came excess weight gain.
In 2013 I was looking through the Internet for another solution and stumbled across ketogenic diets. I read lots of studies and participated in the forums online, and finally adopted this lifestyle.
I ditched the bread, pasta, rice and potatoes for butter, cream, cheese, vegetables and fatty cuts of meat, and the weight started falling off! I carried on but noticed as I was losing body fat there wasn’t much muscle to make me look good; that’s when I started resistance training (still on a ketogenic diet). I added some much needed muscle and seemed to lose body fat simultaneously, I felt great! With keto we keep our carbohydrate content below 30g per day (from fibrous veggies), protein moderate (around 0.8g per pound of body weight) and lots of natural saturated and monounsaturated fats. I was nervous that all the fat i was eating would be bad for my health soIi had a lipid test at the doctors after the first year and to my surprise my TG were down, LDL was down and HDL was up.
The biggest challenge was the initial cravings for sugar and bread. However once I became fat-adapted (about 6 weeks in) the cravings subsided and I can even now taste the sweetness of broccoli! One thing I wish I knew when I started was not to be afraid of things like berries and tomatoes, these are okay to have on a LCHF diet!
Fat loss was great, adding muscle was great but the true benefit from my shift in lifestyle was that I felt healthier than ever: I have better skin, my migraines are gone (I used to get them monthly), I sleep better, I don’t get as many colds as I use to, I have more energy and no mental fog. I feel great!