My Ketogenic Diet Success Story – How I Lost 45 Pounds Eating Bacon

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Gaining weight wasn’t something I was horribly worried about until living on my own during the college years. The idea of a ketogenic diet was years off from my mind at that point as I cooked and ate whatever sounded good at the moment with no second thoughts. It wasn’t until I left for college and ate all of the easy-to-cook pre-packaged meals and pulled all-nighters weekly that the weight started to creep. Don’t even get me started on how it packed on when I discovered bars after turning 21. A refreshing Moscow mule sounds fine and dandy until the sugar and calories do their work on your waistline (if only I’d known about this sugar-free, keto-friendly ginger beer at the timeβ€”I could have indulged without the carbs!)!

I talk more about my breaking points before deciding to go Keto in this blog post, as well as a timeline to my weight loss in my About Me section. But, I realized recently that I never explained to people:

Why a Ketogenic Diet?

I’ve tried nearly every popular diet there is to no avail. Take a look at this picture below. The picture on the far left is near my heaviest weight in 2015. Moving along a good few months, the middle picture was a progress picture after 4 strict months of working out 3x a week with a personal trainer and sticking heavily to a high-protein, moderate carb, and low-fat diet focused on counting calories. This kind of diet left me feeling ALWAYS hungry, constantly tired, and I loathed going to the gym but forced myself due to paying over $300 a month for someone to tell me what workout to do.

losing weight while eating delicious food on a ketogenic diet

After researching diets recommended for women with PCOS, I landed on a Ketogenic diet: eating foods that were high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Standing at 5’2″ and being pronounced pre-diabetic at my Keto starting weight of 168, I decided it was time to give anything a try.

How does Keto possibly work?

It sounds crazy. How can one lose weight while eating cheese and bacon? Trust me, I was a skeptic myself. I read tons and tons of research and testimonies before taking the dive. I knew that I would get shocked looks and scoffs from those who didn’t understand, but the idea of nourishing my body with fat to keep it satiated rather than consuming empty carbs for temporary “fullness” just made sense to me. Part of me was a bit scared to make this change based on what I had been taught about fat, but the other part of me figured that if it didn’t work after a couple of months, I would switch to something else and start over. So, with much hesitation, I threw out my bread, potatoes, and rice, and stocked up on flavored cooking oils, sugar-free sweeteners (I use Swerve sweetener to replace white sugar and Lakanto monk fruit sweetener to replace brown sugar), shirataki noodles with oat fiber that seriously tastes like the real thing and Quest loaded taco tortilla-style chips that are like a fiesta in your mouth (pasta and chip cravings are REAL during the beginning, y’all!), and ALL the cheese.

You see, many of the yummy carbs we eat but know are bad for us give us quick and easy energy, but don’t last in nourishment, meaning we don’t feel satisfied or full as easily. Whatever our bodies don’t use up in energy ends up getting stored as fat. It’s no wonder our bodies are subject to weight gain on a diet containing a high amount of carbs. But how do you get nutrients and energy without carbs? Using a ketogenic diet, carbs are replaced with high-fat foods which cause the body to go into a natural state of ketosis. In this way, the body runs on ketones for energy rather than carbohydrates.

How I lost 45 lbs on a keto diet

No bread or sweets?! That sounds impossible.

I know, I know. I’m met with a lot of eyebrow raises and pure shock when I tell people that it’s as “simple” as cutting out bread and cookies. But, the truth is, it really is easy if you get a bit creative. There are a lot of low-carb friendly bread recipes, and sugar-free options are plentiful when that sweet-tooth kicks in. I mean, with sugar-free cheesecakes and pecan pies on the regular, it’s hard to argue that I’m “deprived” in this way of eating!

How long did it take for Keto to work?

I’m not going to sugar coat it; the first week was AWFUL. I’d heard of the “carb flu” associated with a ketogenic diet thanks to my research, but I didn’t realize how real these claims were. I was constantly sweaty nauseous, weak, grumpy and suffered from some pretty crippling headaches.

I was hungry like no other and wanted to snap at anyone who talked to me. It wasn’t pretty.

But, having read all the testimonials that spoke of this happening, I tried with all my might to push through. It helped that I had told everyone around me I was starting this diet, and part of me wanted to continue just to prove the nay-sayers wrong. About eight days into eating this way, my bad symptoms lifted and I felt a weird sense of energy and clarity I had lacked for quite a while. It was as if I was living in a dimly-lit room for some time and someone finally drew the blinds to help me perk up.

How I lost 45 lbs and many dress sizes on a low carb, high fat diet

Losing a total of 45 lbs on a ketogenic diet, I got to the lowest weight I’ve been since graduating high school. I actually went back home a month ago and was able to fit into my high school dance dresses! The feeling of being able to fit into those dresses all the way left me like an excited child on Christmas morning, zipping up each dress and realizing I had achieved what I thought was impossible, simply by eating a low carb, high-fat diet.

What Did You Eat Regularly to Lose Weight on a Keto Diet?

One of the biggest excuses I hear for those who don’t think they can stick to a ketogenic diet is that they either have no idea what to eat or get bored easily eating the same meat and veggies over and over. I’ve said it before on several recipes and I’ll say it again: necessity is the mother of invention when it comes to eating Keto meals!

If my husband can dream up a meal he wants, the wheels immediately begin turning on how I can “keto-fy” it. From Italian alfredo pasta nights to cozy Zuppa Toscana evening dinners, I’ve looked for ways to sub ingredients without losing flavor or missing the real thing. In fact, some dishes he actually prefers the low-carb alternative to the carb-loaded original!

Using the Right Keto-friendly Ingredients While Cooking

Having the right ingredients and tools at your disposal is key to keeping up with a ketogenic lifestyle without getting bored or discouraged. Check out my Amazon page to see all of my favorite, tried-and-true keto-friendly products, as well as my favorite kitchen utensils for making low-carb cooking easier. There’s not a single product listed on that page that I haven’t tried and loved myself. They’re all staples in my fridge and pantry now!

losing weight on a low carb diet

Did you work out?

I get this question a lot. While I did work out toward the beginning, it was more for my own cardiovascular health than it was to lose weight. The toning up was just a bonus. I started lifting weights a few times a week, sticking to light weights with several reps. I then began running for a few months as I prepared for two separate 5K runs. Let me add that I am NOT a runner, but I was actually excited at having the energy to train and get up for a race. One of the races I actually ran fasted! I never would think I could say that. It was incredible. I ate an enormous amount of bacon and eggs after.

I haven’t been working out much these past 3 months due to using every excuse in the book, but I really want to get back into it! It is such a great habit for cardiovascular health, and it relieves my stress. Not to mention that I continue to pay a monthly membership! Whoops. Perhaps now that I’ve reached goal weight, THAT will be my next fitness goal.

How about fasting?

The second-most-popular question I get when those curious ask me about a Ketogenic diet is if I participate in intermittent fasting. The simple answer is yes, though none of my fasts have lasted more than 16-18 hours. Intermittent fasting describes a dieting pattern in which a person chooses to eat during only a certain time during the day. Studies have shown that this cycling between fasting and eating can help weight loss efforts,  improve metabolic health, and protect against disease.  I typically fast during the weekdays from 10-11 PM to 12:45 PM the next day. On the weekends, I choose to fast from 11 PM to 3 or 4 PM. Some days will be longer or shorter, depending on how hungry I am and what I’m doing that day. Above all else, I always try to listen to my body.

before and after weightloss on a ketogenic diet

Do you count calories? Your macros? Both?

In starting out, I plugged EVERY little thing into MyFitnessPal and stuck to macros of 85% fat, 10% protein, and 5% carbs. Better safe than sorry was my mantra, and it helped me learn what foods had hidden carbs snuck into them. After I got in a pretty rhythmic cadence for meals, I stopped counting all macros and focused mainly on how many net carbs I was having per day (net carbs meaning the total amount of carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols), sticking to 20 net carbs or less per day. I never worried much about calories, as I stopped eating whenever I felt full and didn’t deprive myself if I was hungry.

Overall, a Ketogenic diet has done wonders for my life. I feel like I’ve been given a second chance on my body and its health, and it feels wonderful to not feel guilty for eating or indulging. My hope is that this diet does the same for you!

Did I answer all of your questions? Comment below and let me know if you’re curious about anything else; I’m happy to help!

Join the Conversation

  1. I am just curious to know, how long it took you to lose the 45 lbs? That is my goal as well. Thank you.

    1. Hi Jennifer, thanks for stopping by! It took me just under 9 months. I started March 23rd, 2016, and met my goal weight December 3rd, 2016. I continued to lose weight until mid-January, when I entered maintenance mode. Slow and steady is the key for those on a ketogenic diet that don’t have a large amount to lose!

  2. Mary Ellen says:

    Thank you. I am in need of some help and encouragement and this was so great!

    1. I’m so glad I could help! πŸ™‚ You’re certainly welcome.

  3. Allison Klunk says:

    Thanks so much for this!!!! Breaks it down simply and easy to understand. I am a month and a half in with 12 pounds down and 4 inches lost from belly alone!!! Loving this WOE!!!! Keep up the good work xxx

    1. You’re so welcome! I’m glad I could help πŸ™‚ That’s quite a great success already, way to go!!!! Keep up the good work as well πŸ™‚

  4. What are the duration & focus of your workouts now? I really struggled with my running when I sent keto. I literally could not do it. My goal isn’t just to lose weight/inches. I want to tone up & build some muscle too. Just curious what your routine looks like.

    1. Hi there, thanks for stopping by! It really depends on how much time and energy I have that day. I will typically run 1.5 miles at some point in my workout, and the rest is dedicated to weight training a different area of my body each day. For instance, one day I may go in and run .5 miles as a warm up, workout my arms with several different weight training exercises, then go run another mile. Some days I may run .2 miles as a warmup. workout my chest and back, then finish the remaining 1.3 miles. Right now I’m not working out that much though I am looking to get back into it, considering I’m paying the monthly gym membership! πŸ˜› Perhaps work your way up with jogging? Or look at a sugar-free pre-workout drink to keep stamina if that’s the issue while running. Hope this helps!

  5. Did you keep your fat above or below your protein each day? I’ve heard both ways…

    1. I kept my fat above my protein. I hope this helps! πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to enter the 2K Giveaway at https://www.baconandcream.com/bacon-creams-allthebacon-2k-giveaway/ for a chance to win some bacon-themed goodies!

  6. This is so helpful. Started the KetoDiet in feb, lost some weight but my tummy is still no where I desire. What was your daily calorie intake.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and so glad that you found this helpful! My calorie intake varied day today from 900 on the low-end to 1500 on the high-end. Hope this helps! Be sure to enter the 2K giveaway at https://www.baconandcream.com/bacon-creams-allthebacon-2k-giveaway/ for a chance to win some bacon-themed goodies!

      1. Why such a big range? 900 seems quite low, no? How did you determine your calorie amounts?

        1. Hi Dani, thanks for checking Bacon & Cream out, and for leaving a comment! Yes 900 can seem pretty low, but because I intermittently fast on several days, I often find that my caloric intake ranges widely depending on how hungry I am. There are days where I will eat bacon, eggs, and 90-second bread then not be hungry until I have steak and broccoli later that night, averaging to about 450-500 calories per meal that day. I use MyFitnessPal to roughly track my calorie amounts, though I’m not as concerned with the calorie numbers as I am with my net-carb intake. Mainly, I just eat until I feel satisfied, then wait to eat again once I feel hungry again. I hope this makes sense! πŸ™‚

  7. Your so inspiring! I’ve been doing this for two weeks staying under 20 carbs, walking everyday and I’ve not lost a pound. Is this normal? Or am I doing something wrongπŸ˜•

    1. It is normal, it takes about 2-3 weeks to see results. Based on how hardcore you’re sticking to it you can lose 15-20 lbs in less than a month.

  8. Hi! I’m starting on Monday and am curious as to what are your go to recipes or quick snacks on the go? I have about 100 to lose and I’m eager to start! Also I’m not sure how to count my net carbs.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing! Can you give some tips on snacks and foods you ate? What did you eat if you went out to a restaurant? Thanks in advance!

  10. Thank you did sharing your story. Very inspiring. I have about 20 pounds to lose. Started Keto about 3 weeks ago. Lost some weight in the first 1.5 weeks but haven’t made much progress. One thing I did notice recently is that I tend to feel hungrier after dinner than the first 2 weeks, although I am hitting my macros and even a bit more on days I exercise. I am wondering whether I should eat something when I feel hungry? So far I just drink more water if I feel hungry. Thanks

  11. I have a question about what some of your main meals you stuck to and knew what to grocery shop for?! Very inspired by your story! Can I follow you on Instagram!

  12. Danielle McKlveen says:

    Hi There,

    Love your story and blog. When you intermitent fast what time do you stop eating the day before and what time would you start eating next day? Also, do you do any coffee in mornings when you are fasting? Thanks!

    1. Hi there! Sorry it took so long to respond. I typically stop eating the night before at around 9 PM, and don’t eat anything the next day until about 3:30 PM to 4 PM, resulting in 18.5-19 hours fasting. Sometimes I will have coffee with HWC to hold me over, other times I have just water. It really depends on how my body is feeling on each of these days! I do my best to listen to my body and not push myself too far. Hope this helps! πŸ™‚

  13. Hello , i am on my second week with keto and i didnt loose anything , looks like i am gaining instead ! What u think ?

    1. Hi Carla, I’m sorry to hear that! You should be at your third week now… are you still gaining? With the little information I have gotten from you, it sounds like your macros might be off. Are you tracking your macros? Best, Sarah @ Bacon and Cream

  14. Hey! Just wondering if during your 9 months of the keto diet if you had any cheat meals that included carbs?

    1. Hi Sophia, I only had one really bad cheat episode a couple months in where I ate whatever I wanted in New York on a vacation, but I definitely paid the consequences. My feet got swollen, my stomach was in pain, I had a headache and was miserable. After that, I didn’t want to cheat anymore. Now that I’m in maintenance I’ll have a gluten-free, organic potato chip now and then, but I still stay away from anything with gluten and all sugar. Hope this helps!

  15. Hi – this is really interesting! Did you notice an improvement in your skin at all? Oh – and energy levels? I’ll try anything for more energy but also need to loose a bit of weight.

  16. Hi, did you ever have any alcohol beverages during your nine months of the keto diet

    1. Hi Mallory! So so sorry for missing your comment for so long! Yes, I did drink occasionally while on Keto for the first nine months. If I was out, I would get one of the following: vodka, soda water (NOT Tonic), and 3 limes, or Diet Coke, rum, and a lime wedge. I will have a glass of wine now and then, as well, so long as I stay away from the sugar-heavy wines.

  17. My cousin went on a similar diet a few years ago, and lost 100 lbs in about a year maybe. No exercise r/t physical problems. Bacon and eggs for breakfast every day, and for lunch and dinner. green or red veggies. No whites, not sure about carrots… all the butter, dressings she wanted was allowed. But it called for a 4? oz cup of grapefruit juice with all three meals. The idea of the grapefruit juice was to be a fat burner, toner. On keto, this would be unacceptable, correct? Carbs, sugars too high?

    1. Hi Paula, I’m not sure how I overlooked this comment! Interesting about the grapefruit juice. Yes, that would be unacceptable due to the sugar and carb count. I’ve limited my juice intake greatly after switching to Keto. I stick to water now with flavor added if I’m craving something fresh.

  18. Demi Aren Ollivierre says:

    hi ! , how much did you lose in the first two weeks?

    1. Hi Demi, looking back on my fitness tracker, it looks like I lost about 3.4 lbs between March 9th and March 27th, 2016 at the start of my journey. I hope this helps!

  19. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with this diet. I can see that it has helped you and I want to congratulate you on that achievement. That is great!

  20. Hey Jennifer,

    Love your story, thank you for sharing! How old were you when you started the keto journey? I hate asking the question that some people dread but I am 29 and your story, height, build is very similar to myself. My mother and I have been teaming up to keto together and have each lost about 12 lbs in 3 weeks! Now we are considering implementing intermittent fasting as well 16:8. You rock!

    Thank you,
    Tana

    1. Hi Tana,

      Thanks so much for the kind words! I was 26 when I started my keto journey, and am now 29 and still trucking along with the keto diet. I do notice it’s a little slower these days than it was a few years ago, but definitely not impossible. That’s awesome that you have the support system and accountability with your mom teaming up with you! It’s definitely easier with a companion to lean on. 12 lbs in three weeks is an incredible start and it sounds like you’re both doing great. I personally do intermittent fasting. It takes a couple days to get the hang of it, but now it’s just second nature.

      Thanks again for the kind words, and hang in there!

      Best,
      Sarah at Bacon and Cream

  21. Hi, i started the keto diet a month ago, I’m doing pretty good, but i just lost 10mbs the first week, and these last 3 weeks i barely lost 2lbs. Did you experience that kind of thing? Thank youπŸ™

    1. Hi Mylene,
      It sounds like you’re on the right track! 10 lbs in your first week is a great start. And yes, as frustrating as it may be, the pounds don’t always come off quickly. There have been times where I’ve averaged 1.5-2 lbs for a whole month! It all depends on how strict you are with keto-friendly ingredients and how much you have to lose. Someone who has hundreds of pounds to lose will of course lose more week by week and month by month than someone who has 40-50 lbs total to lose. Also, often times when my weightloss seems slow for a few days (or even jumps upβ€”so infuriating!), I’m in for a “whoosh” where my fat cells finally deplete the water they’d been retaining, then a drop a few pounds. I hope this helps! Stay strong and keto on!

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