Keto Success Story: Check Out How Amanda Lost Weight, Cleared Acne, and Gained Mental Clarity
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We love celebrating our keto community!
We get so excited when a reader submits a success story about their keto experience. They always serve as an inspiration to keep us motivated on our keto journey.
Amanda is a Hip2Keto reader who started keto after moving to Texas and realizing she wasn’t feeling great. After adopting the low-carb, high-fat lifestyle, both she and her husband started seeing tremendous results making keto a permanent fixture in their lives.
Read her story below:
Have you ever eaten lunch only to feel hungry an hour later? And on top of feeling hungry, acquire an unexplained dull headache and an overwhelming urge to curl up with a blanket and take a nap until dinner? This was my life for so long, and I didn’t even realize how terrible I was feeling. Only recently have I discovered what it’s like to actually feel GOOD.
My daily breakfast was a banana and a huge bowl of “healthy” whole grain (yet still sugar-laden…) cereal. My lunch was an apple, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread (“whole” automatically means “good for you”, right?), and some form of a “healthy” snack, like SkinnyPop popcorn, Veggie Straws, or Pirate’s Booty… So. Much. Pirate’s Booty.
If you’re keeping score, that’s about 200g carbs… and dinner hasn’t even happened yet.
There was a Culver’s conveniently on the way to and from the church building where my husband and I worshipped on Sundays and Wednesdays. Let’s just say a lot of bowls of Mint Oreo frozen custard were consumed. And let us not forget those beautiful cheese curds dipped in marinara sauce. I mean, I needed to balance the sweet and savory, y’all.
We often went out to eat with our friends in Florida. I was drinking about 2 gallons of sweet tea or coke at our usual restaurants weekly. My clothes began to fit more and more snug. I didn’t feel confident in my cute sleeveless shirts anymore. I felt the need to layer on extra eye make-up because I thought it took the focus away from my chubbier cheeks. I knew I had gained weight. I knew I didn’t feel good, but I lacked the desire to figure out a plan.
On top of my issues, my husband wasn’t feeling like his best self, either. He has struggled with chronic migraines since he was a teenager. He would get a headache 5-6 days a week. He would frequently take 4 day’s worth of Excedrin Migraine in one day. I hated to see him feeling so awful, and neither of us knew the cause of his headaches. We just declared them his thorn in the flesh.
In November of 2017, we made the big move from Florida to our home state of Texas. It was such an emotional time! Florida is where we met, and where approximately 97% of our memories together were made. We left behind our precious church family and close friends, and our conveniently located Culver’s.
Something about our big move inspired me to want to have a fresh start. I thought low carb might be something to try out. I started making deli meat and cheese roll-ups for lunch. I missed my whole wheat bread, but I also enjoyed getting to actually taste the meat and cheese!
Somewhere in those first few weeks of our new life in Texas, my mother-in-law mentioned a few times that she’d been dabbling in the ketogenic diet. I had never heard of it before, so one afternoon I looked it up. Macros? Grass-fed butter? Little to no fruit? I was perplexed at this way of life but wanted to learn more.
Fast forward through the holidays… because you bet I was stuffing my face with pie and cinnamon rolls for a solid month and a half.
I talked off and on about this whole “keto” thing with my husband. He told me that once the new year came, he’d like to join me… as long as I kept doing all the meal planning and cooking! I was so excited he wanted to join me. At the beginning of January, I weighed 170 pounds and he weighed 160 pounds.
I learned a lot in 2018. I finally perfected my favorite ratio of low-carb sweeteners in my keto baking. I discovered that I love Brussels sprouts. My husband learned that he actually likes kale roasted in the oven (he says it’s like cotton candy to him)! I came to appreciate all of the many, many things pork rinds are good for, like breading for fried okra and tilapia. Ohhh, and keto puppy chow! My hubby even gets in the kitchen and makes our puppy chow now!
Within the first few weeks of dabbling into this new way of eating, I slowly but surely replaced my Pirate’s Booty with pork rinds, my apples with strawberries, my carrots with olives, my “healthy cereal” with bacon and eggs, my pasta with extra green veggies, my bread with… well… let’s just say we’re still working on perfecting homemade keto bread.
Over about 8 months, I lost 40 pounds. I found myself having mental clarity and energy in the afternoons instead of those annoying dull headaches and the desire to nap. I had to trade in my size 16 jeans for size 10. I got to confidently wear those sleeveless tops again. My face started to thin back out to the way it used to be, so I felt less of a need to drown myself in makeup. The acne I have struggled with since I was a teenager improved tremendously! (On the flip side, any time I eat sugar for a few days straight, it’s crazy how quickly my face starts to break out!)
My husband lost 25 pounds. He began to discover a correlation between sugar and his migraines—the less sugar he ate, the less likely he was to get a migraine. Although his headaches sometimes come from other sources, it has been wonderful for him to have one solution to work with. Instead of having a headache 5-6 days a week, he now averages only one headache every other week! I love seeing him feel so much better.
I, too, have become more in tune with how certain foods make me feel. While delicious, sugar and heavily processed foods make me feel tired and ravenous, whole foods, including delicious healthy fats, give me energy and satiate me. Although I do give in to the occasional carby treat (especially over the holidays!), it helps to have the consciousness to think before I eat—is it worth it to feel bad after eating this food?
So where are we today? My husband continues to eat what I cook and put in his lunch. He typically orders whatever he wants when we go out to eat, but it seems that because he’s a guy, he can lose any weight he gained in like, two days. I’m so jealous! I continue to eat strictly unless a special occasion arises… I ate an obscene amount of chocolate over the holidays, but the good news is, I know what to do to get back on track. I know that this way of eating WORKS. I truly believe this is the way we as humans were meant to eat.
If you think the ketogenic way of life sounds interesting, my biggest tip for getting started would be to take a look in your kitchen. What foods do you have that are high-carb and heavily processed? Eat them or give them away, and start replacing those foods with wholesome choices. Along the way, you will learn what those foods are. You don’t have to have all the answers right now, so don’t get overwhelmed! Slowly but surely, you will have a clean slate, and will no longer have those temptations screaming, “eat me!”
Ultimately, remember that this is not a “diet”. This is a lifestyle! You will occasionally go off plan, and that’s okay! Enjoy that red velvet cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory (it’s my personal weakness…) and just get back on track when you can. This is a process. Focus on your long-term goals, and don’t be afraid of a little slip-up here or there. Slow and steady wins the race!
We love Amanda’s story because it’s SO relatable! We’ve all faced the insatiable feeling that sugary foods cause, and then the guilt that can come with overindulgence. Her method of sticking to a healthy keto meal plan full of whole, fresh foods WORKS, and there’s proof in the weight loss, improved mental clarity, clearing of skin, and reduction of migraines that her and her husband have experienced.
We’re so proud of Amanda’s keto success and are cheering both her and her husband on throughout their continued keto journey!