"I found the low carbohydrate lifestyle easy to follow, with lots of food variety. It was healthy and satisfying. A huge bonus was the rapid weight loss and increased energy."
What made you decide to lose weight? Was there a moment or experience that "lit the fire" for you?
I turned 60 and found myself tired at the end of every day. I work long hours on my feet and had back, knee and foot pain daily. I decided that I was going to drop some weight for my health
Have you tried any other weight loss plans (low fat, low calorie, or other) in the past? How did they work out?
I tried low calorie, as low as 600 calories a day. It was hard to stay on the diet for more than 6 weeks. I lost some weight but always stalled out and would give up. Plus my family was not on board and meals were not diet friendly. I felt alone in my quest to lose weight.
Tell us about your weight loss experience. How did you change your diet and lifestyle? How did this affect your life (health, well-being, attitude, energy)?
I had heard good things about low carbohydrate living. I read a book about it, and jumped right in. I found the low carbohydrate lifestyle easy to follow, with lots of food variety. It was healthy and satisfying. A huge bonus was the rapid weight loss and increased energy. I found that I could go all day, no hunger, and no pain! I keep track of every bit of food that I eat. I try to keep my carbohydrates to less than 20 grams a day and my caloric intake to less than 1200 calories a day. My husband is retired and is the cook in the house. This time, he was totally on my side, reading all labels before purchasing any food. He is not dieting, but has lost 20 pounds eating low carb dinners!
How did Carb Manager help you stay on track? Which features did you find the most useful?
I asked my 13 year old granddaughter to find an app that I could use to keep track of my carbohydrate intake. She reviewed several and suggested Carb Manager. It is perfect! Easy to use, even for older people. I love the bar code scanner feature, as I can be exact on my carb and calorie use. I also like that it shows net and total carbs, along with fat and protein grams. I limit my protein to about 90 grams a day, as excess protein is converted in the liver to glucose.
What was the most difficult part of losing weight? What techniques did you use to overcome these challenges? What kept you motivated?
The hardest part of losing weight was giving up sweets: chocolate, cookies and even sweet drinks like Kahlua. I have found that the longer I stay low carb, the less I crave sweets and starches. I have also joined several groups on Facebook that focus on keto living. Everyone is so encouraging that it feels like a cheering section. Plus the biggest motivation is wearing smaller clothing, having more energy, and feeling great!
What do you see as the greatest benefits of going low carb?
It has to be the health benefits. Although my fasting glucose was fine at 88, my triglycerides had been out of control for years, with numbers in the high 200's. I recently read a book, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, by. Voles and Phinney, which explains many of the health benefits. I am due to have my lipid profile drawn again and expect vast improvements.
What's the best thing about being at your new weight?
I feel great. I am exercising again and am starting to lift weights. Plus I don't want to look, or act, my age! Losing weight has given me new confidence and a desire to do more.
What are your health & fitness goals going forward?
I plan to lose additional weight, get my lipids to normal and weight train to increase my bone density. I have Arabian show horses, but haven't ridden in years. I plan to start riding again, and maybe get back in the show ring.
We'd love it if you could provide a few tips for others just beginning their low carb lifestyle.
You have to commit. The first few days are the hardest as you get into ketosis. It may take a few weeks to get keto-adapted, but your body will adapt. You will the reap the benefits of low carb living: impressive weight loss, more energy, no hunger pangs. It is a lifestyle, not a diet. You can't cheat for a weekend as that will throw you out of ketosis and you will have to start again. Get a buddy or two to share the experience with. Misery may love company, but so does success. Read about the keto lifestyle. Educate yourself about what is going on in your body, such as in the beginning, you will waste salt and, therefore need to increase your salt intake to prevent fatigue and a washed out feeling. The more knowledge you have, the easier it is to stick with it. Also, many physicians are not aware of how healthy a low carb lifestyle is. You may need to convince your doctor that it is safe. I am a physician and did all of my homework first.