The ketogenic diet changed my life — and helped me lose 70 pounds

It wasn’t the first time my dietary habits had drawn glances, and I was well prepared for the monologue I felt required to give next — the nutshell of information that described the ketogenic diet I was on, or “keto” for short. Here’s the long and short of it: By dramatically reducing your intake of carbohydrates, you force your body to burn fat for fuel, which can speed up weigh loss, not to mention still enable you to blithely chow down on typical diet no-noes like mozzarella and pepperoni.

Fast forward a few years and my pizza particularities are no longer quite so foreign. Keto has become decidedly cool, even if somewhat controversial. Celebrities like Halle Berry, Kim Kardashian, and even Mick Jagger have been known to follow the guidelines

While keto might not work for everyone, it’s certainly been an important tool for me over the seven years since I began my weight-loss journey. Don’t get me wrong — it wasn’t only keto that helped me achieve and maintain my 70-pound weight loss, which was the result of a monumental and lifelong set of efforts that ran the gamut from Weight Watchers to CrossFit. While I still limit my carbohydrates today, I don’t maintain ketosis long term.

For complete clarity, I’m not a medical expert, nor am I a dietitian. I’m just someone who has been familiar with the keto diet for the better part of a decade. H

A strict ketogenic diet requires a very precise breakdown of macronutrients: Dieters consume 5 to 10 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates, 15 to 30 percent from protein, and the rest — as much as 80 percent — from fat.

But true keto is extremely restrictive, requiring constant attention to every morsel you put in your mouth. It can be time-consuming and expensive, and if you’re very active, you may find a lack of carbohydrates tanks your energy levels, at least until you’re fully fat-adapted — and several weeks of iffy performance isn’t always a viable option for an athlete. In fact, lack of sustainability is one of the main reasons nutritionists trashed it in the latest annual diet rankings.

Bottom line: You have to find the lifestyle that works for you, even if it’s not the one everybody’s talking about.

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Even when you’re eating keto, you’ve still got to eat your veggies.

I no longer eat — or, more important, crave — wheat flour or sugar. Period.

It’s still possible to overeat keto-friendly foods, and anything can cause weight gain if you eat too much of it.

Losing weight will not fix you

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