This morning, I hit 256.8 pounds, which is 115.4 pounds lost. 257 was my next “mini goal”. It’s a number I recall hitting a few times in my life.
- Freshman year of HS. In wrestling in 8th grade, I recall being around 208. Midway through 9th grade, they send you to the nurse’s office to get weighed. 257. At 5’7″. I’m 5’9″ and change now, so I’m “thinner” than my freshman year of HS.
- End of freshman year of college. I had ended my senior year at 227. Freshman year of college is filled with unending booze, late night pizza, and McDonald’s drive thru whenever you wanted.
So I have now crossed the Rubicon, and march towards my next goal of 227. So, just a smidge under 30 pounds to go to reach the lowest weight I’ve essentially been since 8th grade!
I started this journey in September of 2016, so it looks like I’m 21 months in. That’s about 1.4 pounds per week loss during this. It doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up. 5 months of that time, my weight didn’t move (a 3 month stint and a 2 month stint later), so you have to work the process. I know some of my friends are so excited to jump into keto and lose 40 pounds in a month, but I have to preach patience and working the process.
What people also don’t realize with weight loss is that you can gradually put on muscle and water, while you’re taking off fat. Here’s what you want:
- Hit your nutritional goals while stabilizing your hormones and reducing inflammation. All other goals come from this.
- Create a deficit of sorts
- Burn fat
- Add water
- Add muscle
Here’s what you don’t want:
- Be starving all the time
- Eat bad foods which jack up your hormones and inflammation
- Burn muscle
- Dehydrate yourself
So – keto weight loss is not terribly higher than other plans. However, what keto does is, as Jonathan Bailor may put it, “reset your set point”. This is a BIG deal on the effectiveness of long term weight loss.
Bailor hypothesizes that your body has a “set point”. All systems work in harmony. You have energy balance. Whether you are 200 pounds or 300 pounds, your body has a balance. Now, the body is very good at holding on to fat. It’s our emergency reserves. Let’s look at two models:
- You cut your calories from 2200 to 1200 per day and run 3 miles a day
- You keep your calories at 2200, introduce long distance walking, and change the composition of your foods to be only whole foods (keto/paleo friendly).
Now, both models may take off 10 pounds in a month. The issue is, when you operate under model 1 above, your body still wants to remain at 200 pounds. Your body sees less energy coming in, and over the course of a month, will begin to reduce your metabolism and you will feel like you’re drained. When/if you go back to 2200 calories per day, your body HOLDS ON to as much as possible to get you back to 200 pounds. Additionally, your body might feel you just went through some sort of starvation and hold another 5 pounds just in case. This is why people like myself (and anyone on the biggest loser who gained it all back) have been so discouraged our whole lives. It’s not from a lack of effort. It’s the model we were all taught to lose weight does not universally work for all.
Now in the second model, you are still consuming 2200 calories, but you change the composition. Rather than 70% carbs I used to have, I’m now somewhere around 10% carbs. Long story, but your body will have a ton more nutrition and less insulin. When less insulin is present, this allows glucagon to break down fat cells with hormone sensitive lipase, which then uses a process called “lipolysis” to break down fat cells for fuel. While you may have found balance with 2200 calories per day, you then find after you are fat adapted that you have TONS of energy, and your body wants to then possibly burn 3,000 per day. Your body then sees all of the fat there to burn and when you do create a deficit, your body “set point” will also lower to 190.
So, there’s a BIG difference between the two models, and why the QUALITY of the food we put in is more important than the calories. When we get all of our nutrients and proper exercise, we can then cut through the fats on our bodies without re-gaining the weight.
For all of my friends now doing keto, please, for the love of God –
- The scale is important for your success to YOU, but it is only one of several measures of improving your HEALTH
- Check your measurements. Even though you might be in a stall for 2-3 weeks, your body is dropping INCHES.
- Check how you FEEL. Being on keto has been life changing for me with quality of sleep, relaxation, and lack of appetite. If you FEEL great, but lost no weight this week, rest assured your body is working to reduce its set point.
- Weight loss is not a linear solution. You will have days you go up a half a pound, down a half a pound. I’ve had weeks where I had no loss for 2 weeks then in week 3, I’d dump 5 pounds. From what I have read (not sure how true), that when you are breaking down energy from fat cells, WATER is pushed in there temporarily. After so much time, they realize no fat is coming back, so then the water is flushed from the cell.
Update on Alternate Day Fasting (ADF)
In week 1, I lost 7 pounds. In week 2, I lost 3. But it’s interesting. Last Saturday and Sunday I had “feast” days, which were about 2200 calories, but it was a LOT of food. Come Monday, I was back up 5 pounds. But within 1-2 days, I was back down to -5. So I’m pretty much confusing the shit out of my body right now.
Currently, I’m also sick with a chest cold. Been a LONG week. However, my fast days on Monday and Wednesday were not “true” fast days, as I did have cream in my coffee in the AM and I was on cough medicine and cough drops all day, which technically isn’t fasting. I used those days to each have about 700 calories with a big salad and meat for dinner. Thursday I had my chicken thighs and cabbage for lunch, and for dinner I wasn’t that hungry. So, rather than forcing myself to eat a lot, I ate a big salad with no meat, and I was content.
Lesson here now – if you’re not that hungry, don’t force food.
On Friday, I did the true fast. 36 hours with only water, black coffee, tea.
Now, I’m not entirely sure I can keep up this pace, but this is TEN pounds in 2 weeks, which helps me break my stall, for sure.
The downside of being sick is that I’m missing some gorgeous days for exercise. Hopefully sometime early next week I’ll be better and can get out and about.
Lastly, random people at work have been coming up to me lately…”have you lost weight”…..”you look great!”. Some of these people I have never exchanged a word with prior to this. I can tell you, it made week 2 of the ADF easier, that’s for sure. I think I got 5 or 6 different people say something to me these past 2 weeks. Since I’ve worked there, I’m now down 71 pounds. Interesting – some noticed around 50 or 60, but I think 65 pounds was the magic number when people noticed lol.
Do me a favor. If you have people in your life that are working hard and losing weight, go out of your way to pay them a compliment. It really put a kick in my step this past week. I know how hard it is to lose weight and I’ve gone out of my way over the years to make people feel great for their weight loss. It’s HARD to do, effectively. And sometimes that random person who gives you the compliment just minutes after you got some hunger pangs, it gives you an extra kick to your step to wait until dinner – or choose that healthier meal.
No one can force you to change but you. I had to almost bottom out before I made the leap. But other people around you giving you support once you make that choice is amazing. I’ve now lost 115 pounds. My best guess is I have about 60 more, or about 67% to my goal. Those last 20-30 pounds might take some time, but I’m looking at the fact that I might have an awesome summer next year. I might have to try and work on a great tan then!
In the picture on the left, is the only picture I have found anywhere near my top weight of 372. On the right was me at 227 at the end of HS. So, I’m just under 30 pounds away from that and hoping to hit that before my birthday in November!
The picture below was around 267ish. So I’m a good 11 pounds below this one now. I think I’m going to take my next picture around 230. I don’t like the camera and I’m most definitely not part of the selfie generation.