‘Keto has improved my health in so many ways that I’ve lost track’
Do you want to embark on a similar journey? In this interview, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity, Robbie shares her best advice for people who want to get the same results.
What’s your name, age, and where do you live?
I’m Robbie, a 41-year-old from Toronto, Canada.
How did you discover keto?
Some friends of mine were practicing intermittent fasting and mentioned it to me. It sounded interesting, so I looked it up and found Dr. Jason Fung. I read his book, The Obesity Code, and it completely shifted my understanding of weight loss.
Dr. Fung mentioned low carb in some of his writing and mentioned Diet Doctor specifically on his website. I went to Diet Doctor and continued to research keto and low carb.
Did you have any health or weight struggles before going keto?
I have been significantly overweight most of my adult life, in particular since my mid-20s. But I began struggling with weight in my adolescence. My weight gradually increased over time until I began my journey with keto and intermittent fasting.
What were you eating before making this lifestyle change?
I’m not entirely sure how to answer this question, but the answer is, in a large part, carbohydrates. I ate a lot of pasta, baked goods, and chocolate. A lot of cheesy pasta, though, to be sure.
When did you start low carb or keto?
In mid-February, 2019. (I believe it was Feb. 11, exactly.)
In what ways has your health improved?
At this point, keto has improved my health in so many ways that I’ve lost track, but here are some things that come to mind:
- I am mobile enough to bend and play with my kiddo
- I can lift and carry my kiddo (a tall 6-year-old);
- My knee (an old injury from being hit by a car as a pedestrian) stopped grinding and aching;
- My terrible reflux cleared up. (I used to take Pepcid AC, or the like, many times a week. Now, I don’t even own any);
- I can RUN (for the first time in my life);
- My seasonal allergies no longer require daily medication during the spring and summer months;
- Psoriasis all but disappeared;
- The headaches I used to get from weather changes have decreased dramatically.
What does a typical day of eating and/or fasting look like for you now?
I start my day with lots of water and black coffee. I eat low-carb and keto food. When I think there may be some carb creep, I’ll track, but otherwise, I eat to satiety using primarily whole foods that are keto-friendly.
I love protein, green vegetables, avocado, cheese, and olives. Meals vary with the seasons, but right now, it is spring here in Toronto, so I’m enjoying lots of BIG fresh salads at lunch and barbecued protein and veggies for dinner.
I mostly do 16:8, 18:6, or 20:4 fasting these days. I find eating two meals works best for me, although sometimes I’ll get busy over lunch and only manage one. I have done some longer fasts aiming for autophagy to help with loose skin, but generally for 42-72 hours. For the most part, I have eaten daily during maintenance.
Have you made any mistakes on your journey (which you’ve learned from)?
But unlike all of the other times that I tried to change my eating, I decided to be kind to myself this time. I decided to focus on little victories and allow myself to feel good about them and find a way to celebrate without food. It looks like I’ve succeeded, at least to some extent, because the things I’m thinking of seem minor, and I’m not kicking myself.
Here are a few things I’ve learned:
- Don’t focus on an end goal, focus on small changes and ANY progress in the direction you want to go instead;
- It’s okay to be proud of yourself;
- Keep something easy on hand; otherwise, easy is always nuts.
Do you think exercise is necessary for success?
No, I don’t. I think that if you’re aiming for weight loss, then exercise isn’t necessary. If you’re aiming for health, that’s a different story.
I was able to lose a significant amount of weight working a desk job. My exercise was walking for pleasure, getting to work, running errands (at a meandering pace), and playing with my kiddo. I found that as I lost weight, it became easier to move my body, and I wanted to be more active.
What are your top three tips for people starting low carb?
- Make no assumptions. I quickly found that my prior learning about healthy eating and the inferences I made were not in sync with eating low carb/keto. So don’t assume. Learn and get guidance from reputable sources instead.
- Plan ahead, or risk falling back. I found using a meal plan (the keto starting plan on Diet Doctor) to be invaluable. If I hadn’t had the meals pre-planned (even lunch, since Diet Doctor suggest using dinner from the night before!), then it would have been easy to fall back into old habits and more familiar territory.
- Eat whole foods. If you eat whole foods, rather than “low-carb” or “keto” processed foods, you’ll feel better, and feel more satisfied. Treat yourself sometimes, but don’t rely on these foods. Also – try to get your carbs from veggies!
Thanks for sharing your success with us, Robbie. I especially like your advice to be kind to ourselves, to be proud of all our victories big and small, and plan ahead. Such great tips for success! Keep up the great work.
/ Dr. Bret Scher
More success stories
Check out our most popular success stories below, or view all stories we’ve ever published here.