Keto Weight Loss

Do Resolutions Actually Work? (Mine Did)

I didn’t do it as a New Year’s resolution because I don’t believe peer-pressure based promises are ever kept. It’s not enough just to want something desperately; you need a plan for when you forget how much you want it. Because you will. You will say, “screw it.” You won’t stick to the plan. You will forget or be too lazy. You will give an excuse, and then the slow ever-inching decline.

January 2016, 167 lbs. – January 2017, 121 lbs.

Keto Weight Loss

46 lbs. lost

And it has been outrageously easy to follow the ketogenic diet (this book of recipes certainly helps). Am I totally curious to read Oprah’s new diet book? Absolutely. I’m like the Jew of diets: questions and curiosity are encouraged. On the Ketogenic diet, though, I am not les mis or suffering. I’m full of energy and lightness. It is the only diet that has successfully stuck with me, ever. Where I truly don’t feel deprived or that I’m on some unrealistic diet. I don’t work on commission here, so I’m not pushing a plan to anyone. I just know that my body is so much happier. And I’m emotionally so much happier. And here’s what I can suggest: write down your “why?”

Maybe you want to be stronger. Why? Want to lose weight? Why? Be as specific as possible with your “why?” Because that’s where you’ll look when you do “lose” your motivation. What you’ve actually done is lost sight of your “why.”

No matter the resolution you’re making, here’s to writing down your “why” today. And to a truly happy, memorable, remarkable year filled with good health, prosperity, and lots of love (food and otherwise).

Rewind »
JANUARY When I began the Keto Diet in January 2016
MARCH How Long Does Sugar-Free Weight Loss Take? March 2016 Update
OCTOBER But What Do You Actually Eat?

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  1. May I ask…. I don’t know much at all about the very low carb way of eating…. are you able to include fruit with your meals? I would die if I couldn’t eat winter citrus/apples and summer peaches/nectarines. Your weight loss is very impressive, but what is more so is that you FEEL great.

    1. Author

      I do eat fruit. I try to limit my carbs to 20g a day. I basically can eat as many berries as I’d like. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries. That’s the only fruit I eat, except I’ll also occasionally have slices of tomato (a fruit) for a BLT sandwich sans bread. Feeling confident and energetic and clear.

  2. I hate to sound like a Polish grandma, but 121 pounds seems really thin. Weren’t you always in the 140’s? I would imagine 130’s is thin for you, but barely 120 is really low.

    Are you happy at this weight?

    1. Author

      Never apologize for sounding like a Polish grandma; we could all use one of those! I certainly can. I’m 5′ 4.5″. I’m in a healthy range for sure, not below. Just normal. In my life, at this height, I have weighed everything from 111 lbs at the start of a divorce, more miserable than I’ve ever been to 170 ish pounds pregnant with twins. Then 167 not pregnant, just recently even. And it was horrifying. Now, I’m normal. I’m not looking to lose any more weight, just to build muscle and keep eating as I have been.

      Today I ate sugar-free cheesecake and lamb chops and caesar salad and coffee with heavy cream. Tomorrow morning there will be scrambled eggs with dill and smoked salmon with scallion cream cheese. And it is all so easy. It feels like maybe I finally can relax.

  3. What’s the alcohol situation with the keto lifestyle? Is it something that comes into play on a cheat day, or are there alcohols that are ok?

    1. Author

      I was out to dinner the other night with 3 doctors. We were discussing my diet and alcohol came up as a topic. They all said drinking was fine. Just be aware that you get drunker quicker if your body is in a state of ketosis. You will NOT be thrown out of ketosis for drinking: vodka, rum, gin, whiskey, tequila. MUSIC TO MY EARS. 0 carbs. If it’s a flavored vodka, do your research in terms of carbs. Another thing to note on occasions where you want to drink: it doesn’t throw you out of ketosis (great), but if fat loss is the ONLY thing you’re striving for (and fast), you should avoid drinking as the alcohol is metabolized first. The short answer is YES!!! Drinking is okay. Though if it’s wine, you need to look up the carb count. Personally, I drink martinis. Straight Up & Dirty (and with a twist).

      1. Fabulous, thank you!!!! Dirty Martinis are my absolute fave, so this is good news.

  4. I actually tried the keto diet and lost a fair amount of initial weight (8lbs) because of reading your blog post (yay!). I am post-baby and around 167 as well (at 5’7″ it’s not terrible but I’d rather be around 145 lbs or so with a lot of muscle. However, I find myself back on the wagon this January after an indulgent December and have a few questions about your experience.

    How often do you drink alcohol? I’m a 1 drink a day gal, and would like to have my daily tequila soda, splash of lime without going out of ketosis. I also drink a ton of coffee and have switched to cream and either Splenda or ideally Truvia depending on availability.

    I can’t seem to find an example of a daily diet to follow. Would you mind posting a daily diet and talk about how much dairy/cream you’ve been eating?

    Once you are knocked out of ketosis, does it take 3 days to get back into ketosis?

    Can you point to a resource of a good meal plan to follow at the beginning? I’ve looked at a few books but they seem really unhelpful in terms of ketogenic diets.

    As a New Yorker, we eat out/order takeout a lot – i tend to eat chicken curry (thai) with no rice or fajitas if i’m eating mexican, but can advise typical meals to order when out?

    Thanks so much – this has really been helpful as i am trying to lost my own weight and, like you, this seems to be the only diet i’ve been able to “relax” on.


    1. Author

      Okay, let me try to answer all your questions. First, the less dairy you eat the better. Like, go for bacon wrapped avocado before you go for cheese. But when you’re on this diet for A YEAR, you realize in order to stay on it, you need the dairy or you’ll lose all motivation and will to stay on it.

      I eat a lot of caesar salad without croutons. Cheesecake Factory, any Italian restaurant. Caesar salad with grilled shrimp. Zucchini in vodka sauce (carbs are always in red sauce though). Any meat with hollandaise or bearnaise sauce. In restaurants, I ask for gluten-free menu so I know what’s cooked without flour, especially which sauces have no added flour as thickener.

      Chipotle: Salad bowl with double chicken (or carnitas), a small amount of pico, green salsa on the side, cilantro on the side, sour cream, shredded cheese, guacamole.

      KFC: Holy shit. Go to Kentucky Fried Chicken and order 2 GRILLED chicken thighs. You will love me FOREVER.

      BURGERS: double bacon cheeseburger with cheddar, pickles, mayo, etc. Just no bun. No ketchup. Most places will wrap a burger in extra lettuce.

      PIZZA: When someone orders pizza I pick off the cheese and eat that only. When we make it at home, I literally take whole-milk mozzarella put in an aluminum tin and bake with meat sauce. Eat alongside any good veggie.

      INDIAN: For the past year I haven’t checked the carbs on this but I have been eating it for days in a row and lost plenty of weight… Indian food, specifically: saag paneer (cheese chunks in creamed spinach), Lamb Korma (look it up… it’s so good) and chicken tikka masala. I do no rice or bread, obviously. I have Indian once every two weeks, probably for 3 days in a row as I work my way through leftovers.

      SUSHI: I order lots of Naruto rolls. Spicy Tuna and avocado wrapped in cucumber. Yellowtail scallion sashimi. Anything wrapped in cucumber without rice is called a Naruto style roll.

      VEGGIES: Melted butter over broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Cold olive oil and lime juice with salt on avocado halves.

      EGGS: any which way.

      GREEK SALAD: Romaine, dill, feta, cucumber, olives… any salad dressing with 1g carb or lower for 2 Tbl.

      WINGS: I go to Buffalo Wild Wings or Hurricane Wings and I get medium traditional wings. Just make sure they’re gluten-free. I eat only celery and wings and dip into blue cheese and ranch. Hells yes I do. I also order parmesan garlic flavor wings! Frank’s Red Hot sauce and butter for when I make the wings at home.

      I’m anti splenda and Truvia. I’m a LOVER of Swerve. It doesn’t raise your blood sugar, which means it does NOT make you crave more sweets the way Splenda does. Swerve is also natural and has no bitter nasty flavor like Stevia does.

      I drink coffee daily with heavy cream. No sweetner. I also do espresso with hot water and heavy cream. Let me check my stuff for daily what to eat plans.

  5. Thanks for sharing your keto experience. I did keto for about 100 days before my wedding and lost 25lbs in that period of time. Then, you know, honeymoon with all those dinner reservations, work stress, life, etc. I’m 20lbs over what I weighed before I got pregnant with my 2nd (last!) child and a sad 60lbs from healthy. Your MFP weight loss graph is motivating me to give up added sugars immediately… and ease my way back into ketosis before the end of the month.

    1. Author

      Add lots of salt when you head back into the keto life. It will help save you from the Keto Flu… which I though was totally over-hyped until I experienced it myself when I first started. I felt HORRENDOUS, truly sick on my second week in. It was definitely my body switching over from burning sugar to burning fat. I STILL cannot believe this diet works. It shocks me! Double bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg, pickles, and mayo and I lose weigh? Seriously? Shocking, truly.

  6. I’m happy you found something that works for you. I’m not disciplined enough for this, though it’s absolutely so tempting to try it. I’m at my highest in a long time (which is only 10 lbs from my lowest, but I’m short) and I actually like the way it looks. I don’t like the way my clothes fit, though, so something has to give (plus I’m scared I’ll just keep climbing). Will it be carbs and sugar, or the dress I’d like to get back into? Dilemmas! But seriously, I’m really happy you’re happy where you are and with what you’re eating. That is a magnificent thing to accomplish that not many people do. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    1. Author

      The slippery slope. The creep. That’s what scares me. But if you like the way more weight looks on you, see if you can get those clothes altered :)

  7. Hi Stephanie,
    I am a long time fan! I am so impressed with your weight loss. I am a mom to a toddler, work full-time and always have at least 20 lbs to lose. I would love it if you could share some ideas of what you eat during the course of a day and how often. Thanks again for sharing and please do some more make-up posts!
    Congrats on this amazing accomplishment!

    1. Author

      I take vitamin D, a multi-vitamin, Viviscal, and biotin. I’ve tried probiotics for over two months and felt no different. I know healthy gut flora are important, so I make an effort to drink kombucha (but there’s so much sugar in it that I’m still figuring this out).

  8. Stephanie I love this! What I love is your whole ” why” explanation. Your exactly right about resolutions but the ” why” makes sense. “Why” do I want to be thin? Honestly- because I am a happier person when I feel good about myself which in turn makes me a happier mom and wife! That is ” why”! Do you suggest writing the ” why” somewhere so when you do loose that motivation and fall off the wagon as we all do from time to time it’s somewhere close by to reflect on and remind us ” why” we need to get back on that wagon?

    1. Author

      I have written it down, in as much detail as possible! I keep it in my jewelry drawer because it’s priceless.

      I don’t want to go to the doctor and get bad news. I don’t want to be pre-diabetic. I don’t want to be told, “you can no longer eat that.” I want to be in control and to have freedom. I don’t want to be the fattest mom in the room. I want to be the hot wife. I don’t want to spend forever to get dressed, to fuss over pulling buttons and blousing things out to conceal bulges. It takes forever to get dressed when you’re overweight. I want to get dressed easily, to jump into anything and run out the door. I want to feel light and alert and clear, to be able to race up the stairs without being winded. I want to be able to run and feel strong. I want defined, sculpted arms, not cellulite spackled arms so wide they look like legs. I want to be able to do a pullup. I want to be lean, to like the way I look in photos. I want to RSVP yes when our family is invited to a pool party. I want to finally be able to swim with other people around, instead of hiding under clothes sweating. I want to be checked out. I want to feel desired. I don’t want to be underestimated, seen as less-than. Seen as a “but.” “Yeah, she’s great, BUT she’s fat.”

      1. Tears sprang to my eyes reading this. Yes, yes, yes. Thank you for sharing and for inspiring me to write my own why.

  9. Why limit dairy? That seems like an easy source of fat with little protein. I started a few weeks ago but I don’t think I’m doing it right. I didn’t have Keto flu and my strips are pale pink. I thought maybe I was eating too much protein, so tried to switch more to dairy. But maybe that’s wrong?

    1. Author

      Are you tracking your carbs with myfitnesspal? Keeping the carbs to 20g and under?

      Dairy is known to be inflammatory for some people. I am fine with dairy. Though when you think about dairy, it’s meant to nourish a growing child not a fully grown adult. I’m still a dairy lover and choose not to forgo it.

  10. Thank you for this! I, sadly fell off the keto bus last year after losing 25 lbs. (went on vacation and it all went to hell-in-a-handbasket from there). I ended up gaining about 1/2 of it back, BUT, I’m back on an one thing I can say is that your body remembers ketosis and bounces back very easily.

    The hardest thing for me to grasp and reason for this lifestyle is how “healthy” things are not allowed, like fresh heirloom tomatoes from my garden, or a sweet summer peach still warm from the sun, or a piece of cantelope wrapped in prosciutto. I know they have sugar, which are bad for keto, but it’s hard for me to reason these things are “bad”. That and wine…I can’t live without wine.

    1. Author

      I don’t believe any food is “bad,” except for foods with trans fat. I believe our relationship with certain foods are unhealthy. Certain foods trigger us. Even in terms of keto, you can have that sun-ripened peach. It’s 14g carbs. If that’s how you want to allocate your carbs, go for it. Same with tomatoes. Tonight I made my family lasagna. I am choosing to eat something else, something that makes my body feel sexy and strong and light. That’s the choice I’m making: basil mayo BLT sandwich stacks (yes, with tomato). Or I’ll have a Caesar salad. Or I’ll make a ricotta, mootz, melt with a few swirls of tomato sauce in a meat sauce over zoodles. And yes, if I want I can have wine. But I hardly drink wine when no one else in the house drinks it. Bottles go bad in this house!

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