What made you decide to lose weight? Was there a moment or experience that "lit the fire" for you?
I have always gone for diet first, exercise second. I have never combined the two together. On a whim, I joined a local kettlebell class. Exercise first! The trainer introduced me to the book "Why We Get Fat...And What To Do About It" by Gary Taubes. The author completely debunks the age old theory of calories in, calories out. Slowly, I began to rebuild my confidence and armed with the new information from the book I decided it was time to address the eating issues.
Have you tried any other weight loss plans (low fat, low calorie, or other) in the past? How did they work out?
I have tried SO many weight loss plans: from the cabbage soup diet to Weight Watchers and everything in between. I had a fair amount of success with Weight Watchers and lost 50 lbs, but it was so difficult. I was always counting points and measuring portions. The hardest part was that I was hyper-fixated on food. All. Day. Long. The cravings and hunger were all consuming. Slowly the weight came back. Over the next few years I tried cutting calories and fat while using popular fitness trackers. I had fleeting, short term successes. I was so tired of it all and I was absolutely disgusted with my lack of that mythical "will power". I constantly berated myself for the failures while the whole time I was just gaining more and more weight. I gave up. Mentally, I couldn't face another diet and another weight loss failure. I quit.
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)?
The low carb diet is the easiest plan I have ever followed. I lost 8lbs in the first 7 days and after that it has been consistent weight loss every week. I am always satisfied after eating. My appetite is satiated and cravings are almost non-existent. Eggs and sausage for breakfast, a turkey club with bacon, cheese and mayonnaise on a low carb pita for lunch, and steak and grilled asparagus for supper. My snacks are typically baby carrots or sugar snap peas with blue cheese dip, or a serving of almonds, or a hard boiled egg. Yum, Yum, YUM. My appetite regulated itself. I stop eating when I am full. I drink lots of water and enjoy it. Sugar? What's that??
I go to kettlebells three days a week. My mobility has increased amazingly. I can bend down and tie my shoes! Small victories. I have the energy to get outside and help my husband with the yard work. I played catch with my daughter the other day. Best of all, I feel comfortable in my own skin again. I am content and that ugly voice in my head has been silenced.
How did Carb Manager help you stay on track? Which features did you find the most useful?
I researched every low carb app out there. I purchased two others before discovering Carb Manager. Carb Manager is very comprehensive. So far, every food I have scanned, purchased or looked up was listed. I even use the scanner function when shopping to quickly calculate net carbs on labels. I track my weight, water intake and measurements on the app. This is only app I found that listed kettlebells as an exercise. Bonus!
What was the most difficult part of losing weight? What techniques did you use to overcome these challenges? What kept you motivated?
The first week was the most difficult part of getting started. I was scanning everything to see what combinations of foods added up to the recommended range of net carbs. I needed to keep quick grab, low carb foods on hand at all times. After the first week I had a good grasp of what to keep on hand. I had a basic menu to operate from, so I could pack easy work lunches and prepare low carb, family friendly meals. My mantra was "a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step" and before I knew it my first month was behind me and 14lbs were gone forever!
What do you see as the greatest benefits of going low carb?
I find it easy and affordable. No expensive meal replacement bars, no calorie counting, no fancy cleanses. Weight loss is predictable and consistent. I have never, ever found it this easy to lose weight. I can always find a yummy, satisfying option when eating out: steak, fish, veggies, a burger without the bun. I don't even crave sugar anymore. I really feel like I have hit the magic reset switch for my poor confused body.
What's the best thing about being at your new weight?
Everything! I look and feel younger, my reflexes have improved, my clothes fit again and I can pull out those smaller sizes stored in my closet. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders. I am so very proud of my accomplishments.
What are your health & fitness goals going forward?
I can actually see myself reaching my goals this time. I am 1/3 of the way there. The low carb plan is very sustainable in the long run. This is a plan that can be incorporated into a true lifestyle change, the building blocks for long term success. I am going to continue with my kettlebell training and would like to compete in the future.
We'd love it if you could provide a few tips for others just beginning their low carb lifestyle.
Removing sugar, pasta and bread from your everyday eating will be the biggest hurdle. Even a little bit of sugar equals too many carbs. Give yourself time to adjust. Sugar is B.A.D. and you will feel so much better without it! Take comfort knowing that even though sugar, pasta and bread has to take a hike, you can still indulge in previously taboo diet foods like: cheese, butter, oils, dressings, mayonnaise, whole eggs, and meats. I found a lot of yummy low carb wraps and pitas to replace bread. Install Carb Manager and start scanning your labels people! Success is right around the corner.