I’ve spent some time over the last few weeks after finally reaching my weight loss goal of 200 lbs thinking about the lessons I’ve learned over the last 3 or 4 years. If I’m being honest, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses as the weight fell off. There was some hard work involved!
But you might be surprised to learn that most of the really difficult things I had to deal with weren’t sugar cravings or sticking to a schedule or really anything that most people would associate with a weight loss routine. No, the hardest work I had to do was between my ears. It was discovering all the mindset issues that allowed me to get to 400 lbs and then slowly but surely unpacking those issues and reversing them.
I’m not going to lie, if you found this post because you are morbidly obese and ready to make a change, you are in for a journey. It’s going to be long and difficult and you are going to learn a lot about who you are and how you’ve chosen to live your life up to this point. Some of it won’t be pretty. You will feel shame over your weight, anger that you’ve let it get so far out of hand and fear that you might not be able to fix the problems and get your health back.
I want you to know here at the outset that you can do this. You’ve lived with this weight for far too long and now it’s time to get rid of it. If you need help, I would love to help. If you join our ketogenic meal plan group I will send you a weekly ketogenic meal plan and you will join a community of other people who are dropping the weight and regaining their health with a ketogenic diet. You will also get access to nightly live videos that will teach you about the ketogenic diet as well as offer accountability and encouragement. Click here to join today!
Without further ado, here are 12 Keto Weight Loss Tips for the Morbidly Obese
Your Ideas About How to Lose Weight Are Probably Wrong
This was a difficult lesson to learn because I was so cock-sure in the beginning that all I had to do to lose weight was eat less and exercise more. Turns out that is a great way to make yourself hungry, not lose weight! It probably took me a year of studying weight loss, listening to podcasts, and reading medical literature, books and articles before I felt like I had a handle on what I was doing. In fact I can track my continuing education to my slide from no sugar, to no sugars or grains, to a ketogenic diet to where I am now which is a ketogenic diet with a healthy dose of intermittent fasting. You can read more about my story here if interested but my point is to not be so proud that you aren’t willing to learn. If you are morbidly obese, chances are you don’t know the first thing about health and if you are laboring under the illusion that you do, that’s not going to end well. You can find out more about the basics of the ketogenic diet here.
I Know You’re Tired, Keep Going
Yeah I know, you are tired. You want ice cream, or cake, or cookies, or whatever your carb of choice was. You are struggling with sugar cravings and possibly lack of energy as your body switches over from burning sugar to burning fat for fuel. This new way of eating is tough in the beginning because all change is tough but please hear me, it’s better than the heart attack, stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, or cancer that you are on track for now. This diet works when you make good decisions today. Don’t worry about tomorrow for now, just focus on today and your next meal. You lose the weight by eating one low carb, high fat meal at a time so that’s all you need to do. I promise that there will be a day when it will feel weird to not eat this way and it will happen automatically but for now, just keep going.
You Aren’t Hungry, You Are Bored
You hunger signals are totally messed up. I know, you are thinking “I know exactly when I’m hungry. In fact I’m hungry right now!” But hunger is controlled by a team of hormones, among which are Ghrelin and Leptin. Ghrelin stimulates hunger and Leptin suppresses it. The thing is, if you are morbidly obese, you are almost certainly Leptin resistant so you have trouble picking up the hormonal signaling that tells you that you are full. Over time, you begin to confuse the body’s other signals for hunger. So if you are deficient in salt, you mistake it for hunger. Or if you are thirsty and a little dehydrated, you mistake it for hunger. But the most common one is that you are just bored and eating seems like a great way to pass the time. The awesome thing here is that hunger passes. Drink some water, go for a walk, play with the dog or do almost anything for five or ten minutes and the feeling subsides. Over time you will become more leptin sensitive and have a better feeling for when you are actually hungry.
In the Beginning, Track Your Food
It’s helpful to track your food intake at the beginning so you can start to see exactly how much you are eating. You can do this in an app or take pics of your food but you want to be able to review what you are eating after the fact. You will start to see patterns and notice that when you eat certain foods, you lose weight faster or not as fast. You can learn that you are sensitive to certain foods and may have to cut out things like dairy or nightshades. Or you may just see that you are eating too much entirely. Whatever you learn it will only help you along in your journey.
It Helps to Plan Your Food
Something else you can do is instead of tracking food after the fact, start planning your food in advance. This way you aren’t having to decide in the moment what you are about to put in your mouth. You can also sign up here to have a ketogenic meal plan mailed to you each week.
Stop Eating Out
Restaurants don’t care one bit about your weight loss goals. They don’t care about your commitment to cut carbs or PUFAs out of your diet. They just want to put the most food in front of you they can for cheapest cost and if that means using poor quality ingredients, so be it. The truth is, you really have no idea what is in the food at restaurants. I remember I was at a very nice steakhouse one time and asked for olive oil and vinegar for my salad. I was informed that they didn’t have olive oil, just cottonseed oil. Gross! What else were they using this industrial byproduct oil on? Probably cooking the steaks in it. You just don’t know so stay out!
Keto is a Set of Parameters, Make Changes That Work for You Within Those Parameters
You don’t have to do it exactly the way I do it. You might be more insulin sensitive than me and can eat a few more carbs than me and still lose weight. Great! You might not be able to tolerate cheese. Great! The important thing is that you figure out what works for you and do what it takes to meet your goals.
Change is Hard, Being Fat is Harder
I know at the beginning it can seem like you are giving up a lot. No bread? But how will I get food into my mouth? Like the fork hasn’t been invented or something. Any change is hard but this is why you have to be crystal clear what your “why” is. You need to know exactly what it is that is motivating you to lose weight and keep that front and center. For me it was my crazy high blood pressure and the knowledge that it killed 2 of my grandparents and eventually my father. You need to keep that motivating factor front and center in your mind to get you through the early days of the diet. Remember that you are overcoming years of bad habits and it’s going to take some willpower to set new habits over old but when you do and you start seeing results, nothing will be able to stop you.
You Are Going to Blow It, Keep Going
You blew it, it’s going to happen. You are going to get into the car one day and feel compelled to pick up some Ben & Jerry’s or a Coke. You will be at a restaurant and absent-mindedly eat an entire loaf of bread or a bowl of chips. Just get back on the horse and keep going. The past is the past and you are looking towards the future.
You Will Learn More From the Screw Ups Than From Weeks of Eating Right
I can easily tell you that I was a paragon of willpower for the entire 3+ years I did this but that isn’t true. I screwed up but I made sure to learn from my mistakes. What did I learn? I learned not to allow the bowl of chips and salsa to even be on the table when I ate Mexican food. I learned to stay out of the frozen food aisle with the ice cream on it. I learned I am prone to eat whatever is in front of me so I needed to be aware of what was in front of me. I learned my insulin resistance decreased over time and weight bearing exercise helped correct most issues that arose from “slip-ups”. I’m grateful for my mistakes as they helped me become the man I am today. I’m certainly not suggesting that you purposely blow it but when you do, learn from it.
Don’t Concern Yourself With How Other People Are Losing Weight
I used to get so frustrated when I would see other people losing weight faster than me. People would post on message boards how they were keto for like 10 minutes and lost 50 pounds. It took me over 3 years to get where I wanted to go! It was slow and nothing ever seemed to happen as fast for me as it did for other people. I had to put that aside and just do me. You will have to do the same. Focus on your own wins and losses and don’t worry about what is going on for other people
Support Can Be Hard to Find, Keep Going
This way of eating is much easier if you have people in your corner that understand what you are doing and the science behind it, especially if they are doing it with you. Unfortunately if you start telling friends and family what you are doing, you are far more likely to see a look of horror cross their face before they inform you that eating fat will make your heart burst out of chest. If you want a community of people that understand what you are trying to accomplish, join our ketogenic training facebook group. It’s got over 1000 people in there who are all taking charge of their health and losing weight on the ketogenic diet. You will get the support you need as well as informational videos every night explaining one part of the ketogenic diet as well as weekly ketogenic meal plans to make your journey to health easier.
Have questions? Reach out here or chat with me in the little chat box in the corner. I’d love to hear from you! You can also leave me a comment below.