I know you might be thinking, what makes this girl so qualified to talk about low carb diets? Has she lost 100+ lbs? Is she some huge success story? And you know what? I’m here to tell you that no, I have not lost copious amounts of weight, and I’m actually still on the diet itself. I’m making my way through my journey, day by day, bite by bite. What I do have though, is experience – and if you’re looking to start a diet such as Ideal Protein, Axodiet, Eurodiet, Protekal, etc (depending on where in the world you are), or if you’re simply in a rut – I’m here to share my experiences with you.
I learned about Ideal Protein while I was living in the US, and I had met a few people that had amazing results from it. I’ve never ever (ever) been a fan of diets, so as exciting as Ideal Protein seemed, I was also dreading it from the start. To clear this up, my eating habits are generally fairly healthy. The problem I have is that my body creates (or used to create) nine times the amount of insulin it needs. This is scary for many reasons, but mostly because once your insulin runs out, it’s out – and that’s it. The other reason my insulin spikes were unfortunate was because whenever I would manage to lose weight by diet and exercise, I would always regain it back almost immediately. These were the moments that I would lose all hope and give up, stuff my face with junk food for a period of time, and walk away from the experience both unhappy and disappointed.
I decided to give Ideal Protein a go in July of 2015. I was determined and pushed through two months of the program, losing about 25 lbs in the process. At that point in time I was living with my boyfriend, and temptation was everywhere but I was sure that this would be the last diet I would ever be on. Fast forward to September, things happened (quickly) and I was on my way from Wisconsin to Brussels, Belgium. I abruptly stopped the Ideal Protein diet (I didn’t phase out – bad idea), and went on to indulge in everything Belgium has to offer: Waffles, Fries, Chocolate and Beer (all capitalized for their holiness). In about two months, I gained back 15 of the 25 lbs I had lost and I was miserable. All of the determination I had built up beforehand got lost along the way, and if you know me, you know that I’m not a quitter. I researched and researched, and found an identical diet here called Axodiet. I started this diet on January 5th, 2016, a month and a week ago. I am currently down 20 lbs from that mark (so technically 35lbs down from the summer, and nearly 55 lbs down from my heaviest). This results are coming along twice as fast now, and I will happily share what I’m doing differently.
Let’s talk about the first few days on these diets, because they’re truly horrible. The night before I started my diet I had my parting meal, which consisted of a piece of baguette and Nutella. Don’t ask why, I wouldn’t know how to answer. I started my new life the next morning, and while the first few hours were fine, at around 1pm I found myself in bed with the worst migraine of my life. Going from Nutella to absolutely no sugar was a huge shock to my body. The migraines lasted about 48 hours, and they were accompanied by emotional breakdowns. Something I later learned was the fact that there are hormones in your fat cells and during the process of entering ketosis, your body releases them and goes absolutely nuts. I cried a lot and said that I was going to quit this diet – but I never did. Once these few days are over, you drop a large amount of weight (mainly water and some fat), but oh my goodness does it feel amazing. This is the moment you get hooked and decide that it’s worth it. Try to keep this feeling around as much as you can because you will doubt yourself in the process.
Things that make have made me more successful (this time around):
- The weight loss starts out crazy fast, and then it slows down and you have to remember that that’s normal. The thought that in this diet you literally pee out fat is still so cool to me, that I find myself drinking a lot (and I mean a lot) of water.
- I’m not putting my life on pause for this diet. I’m treating it as if it’s a completely normal thing to be doing, and I actually go to restaurants and out for tea (that’s me with a burger salad, completely fine with the fact that my friend was eating an actual burger).
- I’ve replaced my daily milk intake with sugar free soy milk (in my coffee) and it’s saving me so many carbs.
- I weigh myself every day. I know that coaches usually advise against this but it’s a good way for me to keep track of what bloats me and what works well. I’m never strict with myself if I’ve gained, because little gains are absolutely normal and temporary.
- I cook real, flavorful food. Like, actually cook. I also make sure to never have the same protein two nights in a row because that leads to boredom and discouragement.
- I exercise! I was advised not to do it for the first three weeks, but now I try to get four days of 30-minute at home workouts. Youtube is your friend.
- I take progress photos (I started this recently, because we all know how much it sucks to take photos of your body when you really dislike it).
- I took up a hobby which is probably the thing that helps me most. I’m guilty of eating when I’m bored, and now I’m learning to play the ukulele instead. I seriously get so much practice in, just so I don’t end up snacking – it’s great.
- I reward myself with new clothes, and especially workout clothes – motivating and cute!
- Last, but not least, I set a timer on my phone and make sure to take all of my supplements which makes a huge difference (because I would often forget to do that in US).