How the keto diet made Dani feel more amazing than ever
Even though Dani had always been on the heavier side, it wasn’t until the past few years that her weight started spiralling out of control. In addition, a couple of other health issues had crept up on her over time, such as high blood pressure, chronic pain and hormonal imbalances.
She now recognizes that the ailments were weight related, especially the pain in her legs and back, but at the time she did not connect the dots. “I had a lot of excess weight causing a lot of excess problems” she explains.
When she decided to do something about her weight, a friend mentioned the keto diet. Dani thought it sounded interesting, and went online to do her research. She soon discovered Diet Doctor, and it is from here that she has gotten the majority of keto-related information.
The results that Dani has gotten in less than a year reveals her determined mindset. She has lost 126 lbs (57 kg) since the 16th of September 2018, which is the exact date when she started.More importantly, her hypertension, chronic pain and hormonal problems have vanished and she feels amazing. Her mental clarity and memory have also improved markedly since starting the diet, and she no longer has a hard time paying attention during meetings and retaining information.
How exactly did she do it?
Having a meal plan to fall back on is something that Dani regards as very important, particularly in the beginning when more accountability is needed. Personally she uses Diet Doctor meal plans, and has done so since the day she started.
Planning is necessary to sustain the lifestyle, and with the help of the meal plans she has established a great routine. She plans next week’s food on Saturdays, buys groceries on Sundays and then cooks throughout the week. Just like in the Diet Doctor meal plans, what she cooks for dinner most often ends up in next day’s lunchbox.
Dani defines her way of eating as strict keto. Specifically, she eats less than 19 grams of net carbs per day. On every eighth day, she eats some additional healthy carbs like fruit to “carb up”. Yet she prefers not to overdo it, and a sluggish feeling usually reminds her when she has had too much sugar. Similarly to the 5:2 fasting regimen made popular by Dr. Michael Mosley, she also restricts her caloric intake to 500 calories twice a week and combines it with 16:8 fasting.
To start her day, Dani usually has some coffee with heavy cream and a little bit of MCT oil. On her two weekly fasting days she often breaks the fast with something more substantial like a salad or a “sandwich” of romaine lettuce with deli meat and mayonnaise. On regular days she tends to eat three meals, and her favorite dish is the Tex Mex casserole.
Like so many other keto devotees, Dani feels that her appetite has decreased significantly, and this has helped her be more in tune with her hunger. Whereas she previously was mindlessly eating whatever she came across, she now might find that she is not hungry at all when her set out meal times roll around. In these cases she might just snack on a few olives or almonds.Dani explains that she is very happy about her new keto way of eating. “It is really sustainable. It is not a diet — this is a lifestyle, this is just how I eat now” she clarifies. Contrarily to some people’s preconceived ideas about keto, she thinks that it is a way of eating that is very easy to maintain, especially with some planning.
Keto doesn’t limit Dani socially, and she is blessed with supportive friends and family. Everyone around her is aware of how she eats, and they often make the extra effort of cooking her something keto friendly.
If she goes out to a restaurant with other people, she makes sure that she checks where they are heading, so she knows what to order. If the restaurant doesn’t have a keto-friendly menu, she might eat something beforehand and then order something small to snack on.
Dani has also discovered a new hobby thanks to keto. Whereas she used to hate exercise, she now does strength training four or five times per week. Once every week she also works with a personal trainer who pushes her limits and has helped her feel more confident in her abilities.
Although she decided not to do any exercise during the first month of her keto journey, in order to fully focus on changing her eating habits, she does think that doing some type of movement is a crucial aspect of improving one’s health. What is more, building muscle is particularly helpful when it comes to improving fitness and shedding body fat.
Dani’s top three keto tips
Many people have been inspired by Dani’s transformative journey, which she shares on Instagram, and reach out to her for advice. She tends to turn them to Diet Doctor for any keto questions they might have.But there are also three things which she recommends to anyone who is interested in starting keto. First of all, she stresses the importance of researching the diet in order to know how and why it works. Secondly, she is a firm believer in creating the right structures for sticking with the diet. Having a meal plan is a great structure which increases the chances of staying on track when you are just starting out. Third, it is important to learn to listen to your body. In the beginning it might be a good idea to ask yourself whether you is truly hungry or simply craving something out of boredom, tiredness or stress.
When asked whether she has learnt from any mistakes since starting keto, Dani responds that she wishes that she would have known about the keto flu earlier on. During the first few weeks of keto, she experienced fatigue and cramping in her legs. In hindsight, she is glad that she didn’t give up and that she endured the initial rough patch. When she found an article about the phenomenon on Diet Doctor, she made sure that she rested and drank hot chicken bouillon to replenish with electrolytes. For anyone who experiences a similar thing in the beginning, she encourages to just “push through and you’ll be fine.”
If you want to learn more about Dani, you can follow her on her Instagram.
Medical comment by Dr. Scher
Thanks for sharing your story, Dani. You story is a perfect example of how the journey may start out being about weight, but then it becomes more about the long lasting health benefits and the ability to “get your life back.” I love that your progress even inspired you to start exercising! It’s a great example of how the better you feel, the more you want to improve!
Keep up the great work and thanks for spreading the message about all we have to offer at Diet Doctor.
Dr. Bret Scher
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