I did in fact do exactly that. On my own plan, inspired by keto, I managed to lose more than 29 pounds and meet my goal. All in only three months.
We’ve all seen diet promotions that seem to say, “How to lose weight and keep it off forever”. They don’t actually say it, but that’s what we think.
There are hundreds of diet plans. There are ads on this site promoting some of them.
The truth is, most of them work.
They don’t all work for everybody, but they work. People have lost weight using diet plans.
The question for most of us is, will it work? Or maybe, What will work for me?
Allow Me To Share My Story
I’m a senior. I’ll be seventy before many of you read this.
I have never had a weight problem. I have never been overweight, heavy, chunky, big boned, pudgy, or any of the other descriptors for being fat.
That all changed when I was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer.
The options were limited. Surgery was not one of them. It was explained in terms I understand. Prostate cancer is fed by testosterone. If testosterone can be eliminated, the cancer has no food source and stops growing (spreading).
What does any of this have to do with weight loss?
Ask any eunuch. When testosterone is eliminated, an unintended consequence is weight gain. You get fat. It happens quickly. Almost without realizing it.
So it is with the treatment I received. The testosterone was blocked with a drug given by injection every ninety days. I got four shots.
I Gained More Than Forty Pounds.
Gaining the weight was easy. I actually didn’t notice how bad it was getting. It seemed like, all of a sudden, I couldn’t button my pants. I ate more than ever before. I seemed always hungry, and I ate.
I gained the weight because I ate a lot of food
When cancer treatments finally ended, (there was more than the shots) and I was getting past the side effects of treatment, I found that the extra weight was not going anywhere. I was heavier than I had ever been.
I looked at options and read about choices.
Losing weight seemed to require a lot of learning. Things like how to count calories, what is good sugar and what is bad. Then there are the many names of the dozens of sugars. What about protein and carbohydrates?
As I looked it over, I knew I was not equipped to consume a bunch of science. The worst part? It seemed not even the experts could agree.
I considered eating plans. Buy pre planned meals delivered to the house ready to eat. The only requirement is to heat them up. It’s the age old portion control. As one slogan says, “Eat the food and lose the weight.” The portions are set for weight loss. Dieters need only to eat what is sent and nothing else, and they will lose weight.
The plans work. I can not speak to the food quality because I never tried it.
I often wondered if simply buying Hormel Compleats would work. A perfect portion control meal. It takes discipline. Adding more food into the meal defeats the portion control concept to lose weight.
The drawback to an option like the Hormel product is sodium content.
Then there are diet plans boasting quick weight loss. They too work. They are particularly popular for those wishing to lose weight because of a pending event. Example might include a trip to the beach or a wedding.
There are plenty of options for dieting. Find one and stick to it. Add in some exercise and begin losing weight. Right? Yes, but it’s not easy.
I Found A Diet Plan
I have known Adam for a couple of years. He is a friend of my grandchildren. He was a fat little guy, happy and easy to be around.
When I saw him in the spring, after several months, I noticed he had lost weight. I told him so and commented on how good he looked. I asked him how he did it.
In a short conversation, I learned he did it without buying a plan or program. He had learned about low carb high fat diets known as keto diets.
Here is one definition of the plan: A ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is a very low-carb, high fat diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many potential benefits for weight loss, health and performance. Read what HealthLine.com has to say.
Adam learned what he needed to know via online forums. When I saw him, he was ninety days into the program and had shed nearly fifty pounds.
As I considered my choices to lose my extra thirty pounds I considered what Adam had done. If a teenager can do it, certainly I can too. Did I mention that Adam also has a pacemaker?
My Keto Diet
I planned how I would do the diet. My wife was quickly onboard. That’s important because she does all the cooking. She’s good at it and it brings her pleasure to create great meals.
I started at 193 pounds. I had managed to lose about twelve pounds over the previous year. I was down from being over 200 pounds. Mostly by trying to lower sugar consumption. My goal was 165 pounds.
It’s a weight I had maintain most of my life. My work was physical. I always got plenty of exercise by simply showing up for work.
What I Ate
For the next four months I kept track of everything I ate. The keto plan allows for all the protein I wanted. That comes from meat. Beef, poultry and fish. I needed to eliminate carbohydrates. That means no potatoes, pasta, breads, or rice.
I kept my meals to modest portions. Meat portions were in the 4 oz range. I ate salads with nearly every evening meal. Vegetables are great on a keto plan with very few exceptions.
For breakfast I nearly always had two eggs and two pieces of bacon. I like orange juice and would have about three ounces each morning.
Keto allows for high dairy consumption. High fat content. If you drink milk, drink whole milk. Eggs and butter are good.
There is a plethora of Keto diet plans available on the internet. In addition to the Healthline.com link above, just Google search for Keto diets.
The details can overwhelm some. I came to the point of not wanting to get caught up in a lot of details. Net carbs for example. I don’t care about it. I would rather keep the big carb foods off the table. With that focus, I worked to stay true to the concept.
Since I began the plan, I have not had a chip of any kind. I did not eat pizza for more than three months. Spaghetti and other pasta dishes did not exist.
I changed my breakfast routine from a bowl of Cheerios, peanut butter toast and orange juice. Only the OJ survived.
I began to eat cottage cheese with fruit topping for lunch. A hot dog without the bun was common.
Rice or a baked potato with the evening dinner was common before I began. After four months I finally ate half a baked potato. Rice came with the first Chinese take-out meal. I was well into the fourth month of the diet.
It became a challenge for my wife, to create interesting, tasty meals given the restrictions. She did really well.
Diets Are Not Easy
I don’t know if my experience is unique. I doubt that it is, but my reasons may not be so common.
One of the side effects of my cancer treatment was loss of strength and endurance. A year before starting the diet, I was hardly capable of lifting a full coffee pot.
When the keto plan began, I also started a mild work out, three times a week. It may have been that the exercise portion of diet and exercise was the more difficult. In my notes the first week, I commented, “It would be easy to quit.”
The plan I used to lose thirty pounds was not difficult. It did require discipline.
Snacking ended completely. So did desserts like cake or cookies. Dairy is okay, but I stopped all ice cream. After four plus months I did finally give into an ice cream sundae with chocolate sauce, strawberries and whipped cream.
I don’t drink. That will be a sacrifice more many. Beer and alcohol is a huge contributor to weight gain. It needs to stop with nearly every diet plan I’ve seen. Wine may be the exception.
Sugar is bad in most circumstances. Soda, included diet drinks need to end. Same with most fruit juices. I drank three or four ounces of orange juice every morning. It contains sugar. It is the one ‘cheat’ I had.
When I began my journey, I ate a donut and recorded it. I have not had one since.
I drink coffee and water. A lot of both. That’s it on beverages.
I am not a scientist. I do not get into science when it comes to diets. I don’t count calories or carbs. I read labels and avoid sugar and carbs. It is said that fifty carbs a day is a good low carb diet.
If you read a label on a flavored yogurt serving, you’ll see carbs as high as 19 grams or more. That is half a day’s allowance. Sounds healthy, but not on this diet. That’s where I focus. Read the label, avoid sugars and carbs.
What You Can Expect
When you take the time to read what diets do, you will learn that nearly all have an initial phase of dumbing water weight. That’s a good thing but it’s not permanent. When you stop the diet, things go back to where you started.
Don’t get excited about four, five or six pounds quickly. It’s mostly water. Celebrate the fact that you’re going forward, but don’t think you’re there.
When you stop consuming carbohydrates, it forces your body to burn the fat you have amassed. It’s needed for energy. It’s the fuel to keep the body functioning. It’s a good thing.
Some things change. When you begin to burn fat stored in your body, that burned fat becomes a new waste product. It sounds disgusting, but your bowels will move differently. What you lose in body waste will be different. That’s a good thing. I also believe it is a healthy thing.
What To Do When You Reach The Goal
I have reached my stated goal. I am at a body weight that I now want to maintain. I’m new to this. It is still a work in progress, but I think I figured somethings out.
Maintenance is to continue to do what got you there. I don’t want to gain the weight back so, I’ll continue to do what helped me lose the weight.
The difference is, I’m not trying to lose weight, just not gain weight. The cheats will be more frequent. I’ll occasionally have what I could not eat during weight loss.
I’ve had a couple of ice cream sundaes. I ate a few homemade cookies. One or two after dinner. I don’t snack and have yet to eat chips of any kind.
When I eat a hamburger or hot dog, I don’t have a bun. It’s a small thing, but small things add up. It’s an easy sacrifice to make.
I’ll eat a few crackers now. That is something I did not do while in the weight loss phase. Crackers, high in carbohydrates, and cheese with a slice of meat is a great lunch or light snack.
Snacks include fruits like grapes, strawberries or pineapple on cottage cheese. It ends cravings and is healthy. It also fits well into the low carb, high fat diet.
I plan to keep the weight off. I think the strategy is sound. Avoid sugar and carbs while still enjoying foods.
Pizza and pastas have been a favorite. I eat them now, again, but very sparingly. Small portions are important. I stop before I’m stuffed. I don’t get my carbs from breads. A single slice of toast a couple of times a week works for me.
While On The Keto Plan
As I was doing this keto diet, I read what others were doing. Some are really hard core. I read some receipts for things like alternative pizza crusts. I was less than interested. The same is true of smoothie ideas. I get my veggies from salads. I don’t intend to drink them.
I kept track of nearly everything I ate for four months. I am thinking of putting together a list of meals and snacks to share with readers. If you think it’s something you may like to see, comment below and tell me. If the interest is there I’ll see about putting it together.
As always, if you have a comment or question, let me know in the comments section below. —Robert