Tania A.

Dec 15, 2017

Get to know her!

Keto Before and After | Weight Loss | Tania A.
             5 ft 5 in height
            62 years old
           Keto-ing for 6 months
          Started at 220 lbs
            Lost 50 lbs so far
            Wants to hit 145 lbs
            Prefers a "Meat Lover" diet

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Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m a wife and mom to 3 grown, self-sufficient children (yay!). I’m also a private college admissions counselor with hundreds of students and I work out of my house.

Habits & Mindset

What motivated you to try keto?

I had specific reasons for starting keto. My nurse practitioner challenged me to lose 20 pounds in 6 months rather than increasing blood pressure medication. I also did not want to be the ‘fat’ mom at a wedding.

How often do you cheat on keto?

I wouldn’t say I cheat as in eating something I didn’t mean to. However, occasionally, maybe once a month or so, I make a conscious decision to have a non-keto item because it’s something very special, was made from scratch, and the best of its kind.

How do you get (back) into ketosis?

If I eat something non-keto, it’s very important for me to get back into ketosis right away and not tempt fate or awaken cravings or start into a slippery slope of carb-creep. I’ll be back in keto quickly by having bulletproof coffee, doing HIIT pilates, and getting right back into my eating routine including intermittent fasting.

Do you track your weight/ketones/blood glucose/macros or anything else?

At the beginning, to see if I was in optimal ketosis and to be sure I was really on-track and not justifying things in my mind, I would track through ketostix, breath, and blood. I still use any of these to check in with myself from time to time. The best and most satisfying is my Precision Xtra Ketone Meter. My ideal, and which I usually reach, is under 100 for my glucose reading, and between 1 & 3 for ketones. My usual ketone reading is about 2.

How supportive were your friends & family when you started?

My family and friends are fully supportive. But I am the only person I know doing keto. I’m good with doing it on my own.

Has your weight loss ever stalled?

Like most people, I lost a lot of water weight right away, which was encouraging. Then it stalled or greatly slowed down for days at a time while my body adjusted to the change from burning glucose to burning fat. It took about 3 weeks for me to become keto/fat adapted. Once that happened, my hunger greatly reduced and it felt natural to start intermittent fasting. I started with 168 (16 hours of fasting) just once a week and built it up quickly to fasting for 18 hours and eating within a 6 hour window, which I continue to follow. If I do this regularly, I don’t stall and lose weight every 2 days. I eat one main meal that I love in the morning - 2 scrambled eggs with butter, sour cream and chives. Also in the meal is Trader Joe’s minimally processed chicken sausage or bacon, and maybe some grilled onion and mushroom, and a little vegetable such as wilted baby spinach or broccoli. I drink at least 40 oz of water daily with liquid electrolytes called Hi-lyte.

What other benefits have you noticed?

The main benefit of keto for me is removing any pull toward food, but I also feel an overall sense of well-being, sleep very well, and have sustained energy.

Did you encounter any obstacles to pursuing keto?

Digestive issues can be a problem on keto. Some people are constipated but I had the opposite problem for a few weeks until it settled in. I take magnesium and fiber supplements everyday, which work well for me.

Have you had any side effects to keto?

I felt slightly dizzy at the beginning if I didn’t have enough water with electrolytes. But once I made that a steady routine — drinking from a 24 oz cup with a permanent straw helps — I no longer had any keto flu issues.

Food & Fun

What’s your typical day of eating look like?

I eat a good breakfast. I enter and track my macros in MyFitnessPal and still do, but now I mostly eat basically the same way everyday. I’m consistently doing well with weight loss so I no longer enter the same foods in MFP. I eat the kind of breakfast I mentioned in the prior answer and I have coffee with a dairy-free creamer called Nutpods, 12 almond milk, 12 coconut milk (no sugar) with a splash of heavy cream from Trader Joe’s with 0 carbs. A few hours later, I’ll have something like Trader Joe’s white chicken salad with grated cheese & butter on a romaine lettuce leaf and another coffee with whipped cream. At this point I often stop eating for the day - except when I feel hungry, then I’ll have another coffee with cream or a cup of chicken broth with a teaspoon of sour cream. If I still feel hungry, I’ll have a slice of Trader Joe’s roasted turkey rolled with grated cheese that I melt in the microwave. If I’m not doing IF that day (e.g. I’m having a dinner or going out), I’ll have the breakfast and coffees, then for dinner have something like grilled salmon with butter, garlic and some broccoli.

What’s your favorite home-cooked keto meal?

It goes in phases but these are some of my favorite recipes - Taco Pie | Frittatas | Cauliflower rice | Keto Egg Cups | Homemade Mayo | Chicken Chowder (turnips instead of sweet potato). I use only real foods, hardly anything I eat comes in a package or pre-made. Something that helped me during the first month was going keto Whole 30. After that I added back dairy, but I stick with the basic principles of Whole 30 with real food. No mindless eating.

What’s your favorite restaurant meal?

It’s become rare for me to eat at restaurants now, but when I do, I stay keto. I ask them what’s in dishes, if there’s sugar in the salsa, if pancake batter is added to eggs etc. I have fish or chicken or beef with a keto vegetable.

What’s your biggest non-keto temptation?

The best part of keto is no longer having cravings. And I’m not having non-keto temptations any more. It took about a month to reach this point.

Anything else you’d like your readers to know?

My nurse practitioner who asked me to lose 20 pounds was shocked when I lost 45. She reduced my blood pressure medication. I feel that I’m in control of my own life now instead of thinking of food throughout the day. I’m grateful to have found keto. I read the science and listened to podcasts at the beginning and now have a good handle on how it works in my body. It’s a lifelong way of eating for me. I also started pilates at the same time and have been doing both consistently for 6 months and have lost 50 pounds. I am a 62 year-old female. If I can lose this weight, without hunger and feeling really good, then honestly anyone can.