By Krista Bobrowski
“2018 is the year,” said my 2017 self. I was going to stick to my New Year’s resolution goals! I even made a vision board of the woman I wanted to become—healthy, happy, stylish, hard-working, proud—complete with an action plan. As for many, losing weight was one of those goals, 30lbs to be exact! My entire life, I was naively convinced if I spent hours at the gym four to five times a week, I could eat whatever I wanted. But the phrase, “You can’t outrun a bad diet,” kept creeping into my weight loss fantasy.
I knew it was time to face the music and find a diet that made the most sense to me and didn’t make me that miserable. However, I knew the end was near… my relationship with sugar and carbs just wasn’t working out, even though I really I wanted it to. Portion control was also a HUGE problem for me, so I was willing to try anything. I didn’t trust myself enough to go to the gym for as long and as much as I needed to hit my weight loss goals, so there seemed like there was no other choice.
The plan was hit my weight loss goals, slowly incorporate carbs little by little at that point and hopefully figure out the workout thing. The ketogenic diet was not supposed to be a lifestyle for me!
Keto is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that gets your body used to burning fat as a source of energy by producing more ketones, which leads to rapid weight loss. This metabolic process is called ketosis. The argument is that eating fatty foods will keep you fuller longer, ultimately resulting in you consuming less calories — hello weight loss, we’ve never met, I’m Krista!
With the help of the keto subreddit, the MyFitnessPal app and my boyfriend’s participation, I started counting my macros only to the extent of making sure I was at or under 20 grams of net carbs a day—you subtract the fiber from the total carb count to determine the net carbs. Just to put it into context on how hard this is starting out, a banana is 24 grams net carbs and a slice of pizza is 35 grams of net carbs.
To really drive it home, staying on keto meant not eating fruit, sweets, baked goods, chips, cereal, pasta, certain sauces and spices…the list, unfortunately, went on and on. Every time I felt moments of weakness, my 2018 vision board and hundreds of success stories online kept me going, but I didn’t go in blind. I did tons of research on best practices, recipes and keto-friendly alternatives to food I had a hard time letting go. If it wasn’t for these blogs—Gnom-gnom and All Day I Dream About Food—and their yummy recipes, I would not have lasted this long!
This diet also forced my boyfriend and me to buy and cook A LOT together, which is a routine of ours I’ve come to cherish. My bank account is pretty pleased with me too—no more frivolous food spending. My breakfasts consist of vanilla bulletproof lattes, a fat-filled treat to wake me up and fill me up. My lunches, dinners and snacks consist of a lot of salads, tons of red meat, buffalo chicken dip, pepperoni chips, oven-roasted chicken wings, and cheese—LOTS OF CHEESE—among plenty of other things! It wasn’t as miserable as I thought it would be and I was losing around a ½ lb to a 1 lb a day. It was amazing!
In my first month on keto, I lost 10 pounds and the compliments kept rolling in, which was also another reason why I never slipped. When you get constant validation and you feel the best you’ve ever felt mentally and physically, the power carbs and sweets had over me was slowly diminishing. But that doesn’t mean it disappeared.
I did start really missing sweets, especially when I was having bad days. So I started baking and making homemade keto brownies, cookies, ice cream and milkshakes using sugar alternatives and tons of butter – it’s become a passion of mine. Since January, I’ve lost 25 pounds with a few months left to get to my 2018 goal. However, even if I don’t get those last 5 pounds, I’m still considering it a win-win my book because since I’ve taken this low-carb leap, I never plan on looking back!
But that doesn’t mean I’ll never eat a carb again. This Thanksgiving for me was carb-o-licious (as it always should be) complete with stuffing, cranberry sauce, apple pie and wine galore—no food guilt at all. Since I have a healthy routine to fall back on, when I do decide to indulge, it never feels like a punishment. It feels like a celebration of all the hard work I’ve done to get to this mindset – which is how eating food should feel, in my opinion.
The way this diet lifestyle has made me feel physically and mentally is too positive to ignore, let alone revert back to my old ways. I finally feel like the woman on my vision board and I owe part of it to keto. However, most of my progress is due to the permission slip I gave myself to finally take charge and be the woman I’ve always wanted to be. Plus, a new passion of mine was ignited—keto-friendly baking. If you’re looking to change your outlook on food, force your hand on cooking more, and feeling like your best self, I invite you to try the keto lifestyle!
Krista Bo is the co-founder of Experience ADITL (A Day In The Life), a podcast and platform with the mission of helping college students make better career decisions. Have a cool job? Want to share your wisdom on the Experience ADITL podcast? Contact Krista!