In May of 2014 I was 33 years old and 271 lbs. The largest I have ever been in my life. At this point, I did not have any noticeable health problems. I just hated being fat. I wanted to lose weight because I wanted to like the way I looked. A co-worker of mine told me about a book called Carb Nite. This booked outlined an ultra low carb diet followed by one “Carb Night” each week.
I gave this a try for close to a year and got down to 215 lbs eating this way and working out. Fast forward a year later and I opened up my own pizza restaurant at the same time I found out my wife was pregnant with our first child. The stress of opening up a restaurant and going through a pregnancy, I let the diet take a backseat. I ballooned back up to 255 lbs and this time I had the noticeable health problems to go with it. Lots of back pain, joint paint, and worst of all gout.
I pictured myself being a 50 year old father who couldn’t do things with his son because he was too fat and unhealthy to be able. I knew I had to make a change. In May 2016 I decided to start Carb Nite again. This time I wanted to really kickstart the weight loss so I decided I would go a month before having a “Carb Night.” This time after a month of eating ultra low carb I realized that I felt even better than I previously did. I also did not crave or look forward to the “Carb Night.” I started researching and learning more about the science behind keto. I found resources such as “Butter” Bob Briggs on youtube, Ruled.Me, 2 Keto Dudes podcast, and keto on reddit.
By January of 2017 I was down to 190 lbs and had completely changed my lifestyle. Throughout 2017 I maintained between 185 lbs and 190 lbs and ate whatever Keto foods I wanted. I no longer needed to track anything because I was completely aware of what I was putting into my body. I was also able to do all of this without working out. As a restaurant owner and new dad, I haven’t been able to find the time to work out, although I would love to because I feel incredible. I own a pizza restaurant and haven’t had a “real” pizza in almost 2 years. How crazy is that!!!
I also went through another pregnancy with my wife and didn’t gain any weight this time. I am now the proud father of 2 boys and couldn’t be happier about my prognosis of being a healthy dad!
1. What tactics did you employ to help you get to your goal? What did you find helped you get to your goals best?
I started out by just limiting my carbs as much as I could. I ate whatever else I want and didn’t pay attention to fat and protein macros. That worked great for a while. I then utilized the ruled.me plan. That really helped me get a feel for calories and fat/protein ratios.
I never really weighed or tracked my food other than doing the 30-day plan. The 30-day plan also helped transition me into IF. I probably only eat 1 meal a day 5 days a week. There are a couple of days where I’ll feel like eating lunch. I never feel like eating breakfast anymore.
2. What is the most impactful change you’ve made to your diet and why do you feel it’s been the most important?
Limiting my carbs and increasing my fat. I am able to keep my appetite in check by limiting my carbs for the first time in my life. The few times that I have cheated I have experienced cravings for days. Once I get back on the plan the cravings go away. I own a wood-fired pizza restaurant and I watch hundreds of pizzas being made each day without craving them at all.
I finally have control over what my body craves. And that craving is FAT!!!
3. What is the best single piece of advice you can give to someone that is just starting out?
Keep it simple. Don’t start out immediately trying to replicate your favorite carb foods. Start out eating bacon and eggs, chicken fried in lard, broccoli covered in butter. Once you have control over your habits and your appetite then you can branch out and try to make an almond flour dessert or pizza.
4. How do you feel your life is now that you’re at your goal?
I am finally healthy and don’t stress about trying to find time to exercise or trying to fight hunger cues. I finally feel free.
5. What do you consider the biggest change in your day-to-day life?
By far the biggest change in my day to day life is not eating out. I used to eat out for lunch every day and would go out to eat for dinner every weekend. I now drive by restaurants without getting cravings and don’t even think about eating lunch. I have probably eaten out at a restaurant less than 10 times in the past year.
6. What did you do to find support throughout your journey?
Podcasts, youtube videos, ruled.me, keto reddit. Instead of eating lunch on lunch breaks I would listen to podcasts and watch youtube videos to keep my mind on the fact that what I was doing was right. It really helped keep me motivated and gave me the knowledge to have conversations about keto.
7. What do you currently do to manage your day-to-day diet?
I don’t do anything. I eat what I want when I want. The difference is I don’t generally want to eat breakfast or lunch.
8. What is your favorite keto recipe from www.ruled.me that’s become a staple?
The ruled.me version of pizza is a staple at my house. We probably eat that once a week. I also love the curry rubbed chicken thighs. On the weekends we will make a double batch of the almond flour and flaxseed pancakes. My wife and I will eat one batch and we freeze the other batch. My 2-year-old son eats one of those pancakes every morning for his breakfast. He loves them!
9. If there is one thing that you could do differently during your journey, what would it be and why?
I would have done more research about dieting in my early 20s. I would love nothing more to have learned about Keto throughout my 20s. Instead, I just assumed like everyone else that it was all about calorie control and low fat. I was always hungry and tried to exercise my way out of a bad diet. I also would have documented my journey more through photos.