‘Keto is a way I can eat because I love the food!’
Since embarking on a keto diet in August of 2019, Patricia has accomplished all of this — and the dress of her dreams now fits her perfectly (you can see it in the picture above).
Here, Patricia shares how keto ended up being the game-changer that would transform her health.
Looking back on old photos, Patricia realizes the only time that she didn’t have weight issues was when she was in kindergarten. After first grade, the weight piled on. And after that, she wasn’t able to stay at a normal weight.
“I’m the middle child out of eight, so I started using food as a substitute for attention and comfort from a very early age,” Patricia says.
Because diabetes runs in Patricia’s family, she was well aware that it would likely affect her at some point in her life. Unfortunately, this foreshadowing wasn’t initially enough for her to change the trajectory of her health. Instead, she simply carried on eating what she thought was a somewhat healthy diet.
Patricia used to eat foods like fried potatoes, eggs, bananas, bacon, and whole-grain toast. She’d have pre-fruited yogurt with peanut butter to start her day; lunch was usually a salad and dinner varied, but carbs were a part of most meals.
Patricia also suffers from osteoarthritis, which causes the cartilage of joints to wear down over time. As a result, she’s had both knees and a hip replaced.
Finding motivation to change her diet
In May of 2019, Patricia’s hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) — a measure of your long-term blood-sugar levels — had crept up to 7.4%. This meant that she now had type 2 diabetes. Her doctor started her on 500 mg of metformin twice a day to treat the condition.
Despite taking the medication, her HbA1c had risen to 7.7% by the time she went back to her doctor’s office in August of 2019. “Even with the meds things went the wrong way,” Patricia says.
This pivotal moment acted as Patricia’s wake-up call. For the first time, she realized she needed to change her way of eating in order to improve her health.
In the past, Patricia had tried eating low carb, but was never able to sustain it. Fortunately, her nurse said, “Go to Diet Doctor, it might provide the support you need.”
Interestingly, Patricia used to be a colleague of Diet Doctor’s Kristie Sullivan. Since Patricia had watched Kristie lose weight with a keto diet, she knew that it was a good way of eating for long-term maintenance.“I always stress that you have to be ready for starting keto. In my case, my type 2 diabetes diagnosis became a huge source of motivation to change,” Patricia says.
What happened after Patricia started keto
Almost immediately after going keto, Patricia started losing weight. Although she had a few plateaus during her first year — which she mostly attributes to being ‘too lenient on the carbs’ — she’s down 63 pounds (29 kilos) from her starting weight.
“Another bonus is that I found my dream dress in November, which I wanted to be able to fit into for my daughter’s wedding in April this year. At the time, it didn’t fit. But in February, I was already able to zip it up,” Patricia says.
Since Patricia started on a keto diet, her type 2 diabetes has been improving. With the help of her nurse, she gradually lowered her diabetes medication until she could go off it completely on June 8, 2020.
Remarkably, Patricia’s osteoarthritis has improved significantly since starting a keto diet. She only wishes that she had found out about the positive impact of a keto diet sooner.
“If I had lost weight years earlier, I might have spared myself many years of pain! But these days, I have pain-free flexibility and stamina with my replacement joints. In fact, I was nicknamed ‘Titanium Trish’!” Patricia says.
She adds: “Fortunately, my remaining hip has no arthritis.”
Keto also helped spark Patricia’s interest in exercising. A few months into her keto journey, she decided to sign up for classes at a newly opened gym in her area this fall.
“I’m not self-motivated when it comes to exercising. I need someone to push me. That’s why classes are ideal for me,” Patricia says.
A friend of Patricia’s also started going to the gym around the same time; having her there has made exercising much more fun. Even if they don’t go to the gym, they continue to meet up to take brisk walks together.
Patricia’s approach to keto
When Patricia first went keto, she ate three meals per day. For breakfast, she would have scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and sautéed vegetables, such as peppers, onions, and mushrooms. She’d also pre-cook some bacon and add it to the meal.Over time, Patricia gradually started delaying breakfast until she could skip it all together and ate just two meals a day. “I never dreamed I could eat just two meals a day,” Patricia says.
These days, lunch is usually tuna or chicken salad with mayonnaise. Patricia’s husband usually grills chicken, steak, or pork for dinner — and she roasts some veggies in the oven to accompany the meal
Pro tip: In Patricia’s opinion, broccoli, cauliflower, mushroom, zucchini, and summer squash are the best vegetables to bake.
Below are some of Patricia’s favorite Diet Doctor meals:
Patricia’s top 3 tips for beginners
- Make sure you’re mentally prepared. If your head isn’t in the right place, the risk is high that you’ll end up quitting. That’s why it helped that Patricia was mentally ready after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2019.
- Include foods you look forward to eating. Patricia always looks forward to her meals, and this makes sticking to keto a breeze.
Congrats on your incredible success, and thanks for sharing your story Patricia! I am thrilled we at DietDcotor had a role in supporting you and encouraging you on your path. Keep up the great work!
/ Dr. Bret Scher
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