‘Low carb is easy because you eat good, wholesome, and tasty food!’
From depressed and constantly hungry to energetic and cheerful. That’s how Karien’s outlook changed within just a year of starting a keto diet!
These days, Karien, 52, from South Africa, is also 161 pounds (73 kilos) lighter compared to her highest weight. ‘Low carb is easy because you eat good, wholesome, and tasty food!’ she says.
Here, she shares her inspiring story, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Karien’s keto story
Dear Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt,
Your website is one of the most comprehensive I have come across on the internet. It has been my go-to for information during my weight-loss journey. The inspirational success stories are amazing, and between my son, husband, and family’s support, it is the most inspirational boost one can get to JUST DO IT!!!
So how did I discover keto and low carb? In 2014, I visited Dr. Seeber, an endocrinologist, as recommended by my brother. She suggested I try the Banting diet, of which Professor Tim Noakes is a great advocate.
At that stage I weighed 302 pounds (137 kilos). I was shy, depressed, uncomfortable, and always hungry. I hardly left the house because I felt embarrassed by my weight. With the help of Dr. Seeber, I went down to 243 pounds (110 kilos).
Then too many things happened in my life and I got side-tracked from then until June 2019.
My weight increased to 256 pounds (115 kilos) between 2015 and 2019.
My son, Jaco, who is currently in his fourth year studying mechanical engineering at Pretoria Varsity, also had a weight problem. He did a lot of research into the keto diet in his second year at the university and lost over 88 pounds (40 kilos) in 13 months. Since then, he’s been living low carb and asking me to join him in this way of eating.
On the morning of June 3, 2019, I got up and got ready for work. The largest denim pants in my drawer made me feel like a stuffed sausage and they literally looked like they were going to burst off my butt. I started the keto diet on that day and never looked back!
In just 17 months, I went down to 143 pounds (65 kilos). That means that I lost 161 pounds (73 kilos) from my highest weight.
Before starting a keto diet, I had a number of health issues like high blood pressure, constant fatigue, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, painful joints, etc.Almost immediately when I started keto, I felt much more energetic and my skin started looking healthier and people said: “Wow, you look so much younger!”.
These days, I have no more mood swings and within the first month of keto, I had weaned myself off all prescription medications for high blood pressure, depression, and insulin resistance.
Before keto, my diet mainly consisted of high-carb foods like bread, baked goods, pies, cakes, pastries, muffins, scones, sweets, chocolates, and starchy food like French fries, etc.
Nowadays, I usually drink a quart (1 liter) of green tea and at least ⅔ gallons (2.5 liters) of water per day. I am also a coffeeholic, and I drink it black and bitter.
Every day, I do 16 to 18 hours of intermittent fasting, and once or twice per week I fast for 24 hours. It definitely helped me lose weight faster as a menopausal woman.
Lunch is usually bacon and eggs, tuna salad, chicken salad, or leftover food that’s easy to warm up at the office.
For dinner, I usually have chicken or fish with loads of vegetables – roasted, cooked, steamed, or baked.
I’ve found plenty of easy, affordable, and delicious keto meals on the internet.
During the first six months, I avoided anything sweet. After that strict period, I started to allow myself a small piece of Lindt 85% chocolate per week. I also started making mug cakes (I used a double recipe and divided into three mugs to reduce the portion size) as a dessert on Sunday with cream and chopped nuts, and still, I lost weight.Did I make any mistakes or encounter any problems? Well, first of all I’ve realized that it takes a while to learn what you can eat and how much to eat for optimal weight loss.
I don’t enjoy exercise, but I do exercise every day for 10 to 14 minutes of light weight training and ab-exercise in the form of hip circle 8 dancing.
My top three tips for anyone starting a keto diet are:
- The most important thing is to understand the science behind the keto diet.
- You can do anything if you put your mind to it!
- Always have cooked bacon in the fridge for when you just need something to eat!
I will NEVER be overweight again. Low carb is easy because you eat good, wholesome, and tasty food! I hope I’ll inspire lots of people to live a healthy low-carb life.
Congrats on your amazing success, Karien. It looks like you have found a wonderful combination of low-carb eating and TRE to fit your lifestyle and your goals. Thats for sharing your story and showing us how powerful these lifestyle interventions can be!
/ Dr. Bret Scher
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