My Keto Journey: How I Managed To Reach My Weight Goals Against All Odds
by Shivani Kakhandki, Cora Health
Being overweight can really take a serious toll on your confidence level and how you feel about yourself. A majority of us find it difficult to maintain optimum body weight, isn’t it? It could be a lifestyle habit, it could be our eating habits or it could be a health condition that we are secretly suffering from — all these contribute to weight gain and yet we do not do much about it. However, in the present times where a lot of fad diets have started coming into the picture, it is the ketogenic diet that is shining for quite some time now. For those who don’t know, a ketogenic diet is a completely different way of approaching food, and also a different way of deriving energy from food. This diet is completely low on carbs and high in fat alongside some moderate amounts of protein. For one to stay in the ketosis stage ( it is the body state when you’re burning fat to get energy), you really need to stick between just 20 grams to 50 grams of carbs per day! Now that might sound impossible for a lot of people, especially for people like Snigdha Kumar who love Indian food. In a typical Indian diet, one attains most of the energy from carbohydrates only! So, how did Snigdha get on to the Keto bandwagon and achieve her weight loss goals? Let’s find out her story in her own words.
How Was Your Life Before Keto?
“Before I begin I would like to say that I am sharing some of the highlights of my keto journey to help and motivate people to get healthier in life. Kindly note that I am not a dietician, nutritionist, or medical professional. Please do your research, approach and talk to a doctor about dieting before you begin.”
I have always lived a lifestyle that was a combination of ups and downs owing to the kind of work culture that I am a part of. If I was travelling to work, it was difficult for me to stick to an exercise routine or follow a diet. And in the early months of 2020, I ended up fracturing my foot in February and both my hands in May after falling off my bike. These restricted my mobility for the most part of the year and I landed with a few extra kilos! In general, I have always had a difficult experience in maintaining my overall weight. I remember I did a low-carb diet for some time, I did lose some weight and also put it back later on. I’m someone who doesn’t want to go by the law books of a nutritionist; I would prefer having flexibility even while following a diet. And again, because of work pressure oftentimes my motivation to follow a diet or workout regime took a backseat.
What Made You Choose Keto Diet?
So you see I suffer from PCOS and we all know that this health condition is directly linked to a woman’s weight. I had periods that lasted for almost a month and it came with a package of immense pain because of which I couldn’t even manage my daily chores. Of course, to lose weight one must exercise but because of the series of fractures that I had gone through, my movements were restricted and I could only think about following a diet at that point in time. When I began to research about PCOS, I understood that this health condition stems from insulin resistance and the whole concept of Keto is to reduce insulin resistance — this is what attracted me to follow Keto! Also, it promised short-term results and in that phase of life when I was very guilty of not being able to manage my health, Keto looked like this doorway to better health for me.
How Did You Plan Your Keto Meals?
People have this misconception of Keto is very difficult to follow but it depends on how you source your information… For me, I joined certain facebook communities that were answering questions about Keto, especially how to follow an Indian Keto. The hacks that were shared there, for example, using almond flour to make roti or dosa really helped me. I felt insanely dizzy in my first week of following Keto, I found the solution to this problem in that online community. When you’re following a Keto Diet, you’re losing a lot of water because of eating very little to no carbs at all. So one needs to up their water intake and drinking water with salt separately every day helps you maintain your energy levels. Coming to what I ate every day…
For My Breakfast: I had a mug of bulletproof coffee (green coffee+normal coffee mix+butter+virgin coconut oil) along with two whole eggs. This kept me full and gave me the required fats to start off my day. During Keto, one needs to pace out the meals; you cannot be eating all day while on a keto.
For My Lunch: I ate one roti made of almond flour. I completely avoided rice. I stumbled upon this low-carb atta from Lo! Foods and helped me keep my Indian roti cravings sane! I ate the roti with paneer tikka masala or a veggie-loaded curry.
Evening Snack: I would have a little bit of black coffee along with almond flour cookies or peanuts.
For My Dinner: I mostly had soups with lots of vegetables in them or a salad with a nice dressing.
What Is Your Favourite Keto Food That You Cooked?
Although I sourced my information about the Ketogenic diet online, I didn’t completely follow what was given online. I did talk to a lot of people whom I know and were following a Keto diet. Though Keto requires us to completely go off fruits, I counted my carbs in a way that I could include a few low calories and low sugar fruits, for example, strawberries and blueberries. I don’t really have a sweet tooth but I had my fair share of days when I craved for all things sweet. Thankfully I came across these amazing sugar-free chocolates from Zevic which are to die for! They have so many flavors to choose from (starry eyes). I used to make my own Keto version of desserts like cheesecake or mousse using stevia and erythritol from Zevic, trust me, they make our Keto life way easier!
How Soon Did You Start Noticing Changes In Your Body Weight?
You will hear people say that they lost 2 kilos in 3 days or 3 kilos in a week. But let me tell you that each of us has a unique body and it takes time for our body to adjust to the Keto way of life and start showing results. I have hyperthyroid and PCOS conditions and it took me a week to lose just 1 kilo.
What I’m trying to say is that if you haven’t lost any weight in the first 15 days don’t assume that you aren’t doing the diet correctly. Understand your body and listen to it!
It took me 3 months to start noticing changes in my body weight and also the non-measurable achievements. And to date, I’ve lost 13 kilos. I didn’t beat myself when my body weight was stagnant for an entire month. I waited patiently and religiously followed my diet and achieved my weight loss goals.
How Was Your Energy Meter Like While You Were On A Keto Diet?
Initially, my energy did take a hit when my body was trying to adjust to the Keto diet. And drinking water with salt separately ensured that I stayed hydrated and my energy levels were good. As long as I stayed hydrated, I never felt any lack of energy. I kept reminders on my phone to drink water.
What According To You Are Some Of The Pros And Cons Of Keto Diet?
- It does bring in discipline in our food habits. As desi Indians, we don’t really think twice before eating our calorie-loaded foods.
- I became more mindful about what I ate because of keto. I ate only when I was hungry and not just because I was bored!
- With the results that I could achieve through Keto, I became more confident as a person and who doesn’t feel happy about a healthier body, right?
- Being mindful about what you eat in Keto, requires effort, and takes time to find Keto alternatives and prepare your meals.
- So, when you’re doing something like completely clean keto, it will deprive you of a lot of essential nutrients and vitamins. You need to figure out a way to replenish them.
- It is very difficult to sustain. And even if you achieve your target weight, figuring out the next step after that is confusing.
Do You Still Follow Keto Diet?
Before getting started with the Keto diet, you require certain information. While on a keto diet, you’ll be searching for different information, and once you’ve achieved your target, it’s another task to find your diet routine outside keto. I followed a Keto diet straight for 4–5 months; post that I have been following a low-carb diet where I’m introducing dairy in small amounts as well.
Finding a way to stay healthy and fit post your Keto journey is very important or your lost weight might just bounce back.
Lastly, I’d always pay emphasis to the fact that one must consult a doctor before switching to a different lifestyle like that of a Keto!