The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast – Episode 47: Kevin Larrabee

The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast – Episode 47: Kevin Larrabee

In this week’s My Sugar Free Journey Podcast, we are talking to Kevin Larrabee of the Fitcast Podcast!

Remember that you can follow us on iTunes and I would really appreciate a review there on iTunes.  Thanks!

Podcast Shownotes

You can find more from Kevin over at the Fitcast’s home page or follow him on Twitter here

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The One Thing That Helped Me Stick to a Ketogenic Diet for Over Three Years


I have been eating a low carb diet for over three years now and a more strict ketogenic diet for about 19 months.  The good thing about having done it for so long is now that I have lost 200 pounds, no one bats an eyelash at my bunless hamburgers and bacon covered everything.  Most of the people in my life remember the 400 lb me and know that this is something that definitely works.  Plus, I’m a bit of an evangelist about this lifestyle so I’m quick to talk about it with anyone and everyone.

But those early days weren’t so easy.  I hadn’t lost the weight yet so people thought it wasn’t very smart to eliminate an entire macro from my diet.  (You and I know that’s not what happened because there are plenty of carbs in veggies but explain that to the average person.)  Also, there was the occasional sugar craving and just the inertia of wanting to go back to my old way of life.  Fortunately there was one thing that I didn’t even realize I was doing at the time that only looking back now do I realize how crucial it was to my success.

I never do anything life-changing lightly.  I’m just not a “spur of the moment” kind of guy so I devoted myself to learning everything I could about this way of eating.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that is was the constant reinforcement from that education that helped me stay true to the diet.  I really believe that if I had just decided to change the way I was eating without doing the research, I would have eventually lost interest in it and would probably still be 400 lbs.

It was the books and podcasts on this list that were crucial to my success because it gave me a kind of accountability that I needed to keep me focused for long enough to start seeing the results I wanted in my body.  Then once I started seeing those results, the motivation came more from within and I could rely less on books and podcasts.  Don’t get me wrong, I still listen to a ton of podcasts and my Audible subscription is the greatest thing I spend $14.99 on every month but I’m at the point now that if those things were taken away from me, I would be fine.

That constant reinforcement was so crucial to my success that when I was putting together my ketogenic training course, I wanted to make that constant reinforcement an integral part of the program.  Sure I could have prerecorded messages or something like that but I wanted live coaching calls to at the center of what was going on there.  So in addition to the weekly meal plans that get sent out and the awesome FaceBook community full of people who are taking charge of their own health with the ketogenic diet, I included a nightly live training video where I not only give instruction, guidance and encouragement but you could also ask any burning questions you might have and get answers on the spot.  It is a huge commitment but I love doing them and hearing the stories of how they are helping people lose weight, reverse their Type 2 Diabetes and regain their health.

If you would like to join us and start your own ketogenic journey, just click here to sign up!  You will get the weekly meal plans sent to you every Thursday as well as the FaceBook community and nightly coaching videos.  I want to help you lose weight!  Come join us now!

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7/26 Weightloss Wednesday: Celebrating Too Hard!

It’s Weightloss Wednesday! I am a little disappointed in myself because I let myself celebrate my 200 lb weight loss a bit too hard and my weight has creeped up to 202.2.  It’s a little disappointing to be n this side of the 200 line again but it made me wake up to the fact that I can’t fall back into old patterns.

So what did I do?  The big thing was I stopped Intermittent Fasting when I am at work and would eat cold cuts and cheese all night.  Just way too much food.  I wasn’t even hungry really.  I also had chips and salsa one night and a few Halo Top pints.  In short, I’ve been celebrating.

But, I can’t rest on my laurels and need to keep moving forward.  I don’t think I realized the power of having that big goal of 200 lbs motivating me forward and helping me keep disciplined.  So now I’m recommitting myself to getting under 190 lbs and returning to the habits that brought me success.

Wish me luck!

How are you doing this week?  Let me know in the comments!

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What is the Ketogenic Diet? A Beginner’s Guide!

Last week in our Ketogenic Training and Meal Plan Room, someone asked for something they could read about how to start and be successful on a ketogenic diet.  When I started going over the basics, I realized that what I really needed was one post with everything I would want someone to know on day one of starting this way of eating.  So this post will be a little longer than most but I think that if you are new to this way of eating, it should answer the big questions most people have when starting off.  If you still have a question or if you think I didn’t cover something important, leave me a comment below and I’ll make any necessary changes.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

Your body can use 3 different types of dietary fuel for energy; glucose, fat, or ketones.  In the typical person that includes carbohydrates as a normal part of their diet, the body will prefer to use the glucose that carbohydrates are converted into in the body as its main source of energy because in high amounts, glucose is toxic to the body.  So every time you eat a carbohydrate, your total blood sugar level goes up and your body has to either use that sugar as fuel or store it away as fat as quickly as possible to keep your blood sugar levels where your body wants them to be.  So if you ate fat at the same time you ate carbs (which usually happens.  Think of a fatty hamburger on a carby bun with a side of carby french fries.) then rather than use that fat for energy, it just quickly stores it away in a fat cell so it can concentrate on the sugar.

What the Ketogenic diet does is it removes those blood sugar spikes from your metabolic equation by removing carbohydrates (especially simple carbs like sugar and processed grains like bread and pasta) from your diet.  So instead of having to deal with both sugar and fat at the same time, the body only has to deal with the fat, which it does very efficiently by converting fatty acids into ketones.  (This is where the ketogenic diet gets its name)  These ketones are the body’s actual preferred energy source as almost every metabolic process runs more efficiently on ketones as fuel rather than glucose as less metabolic waste products are produced in your cells with ketones as compared to glucose.

A very important truth at the core of the ketogenic diet is that weight loss (and overall health) are controlled not by the amount of calories that we take in, but by the hormones that are produced by the types of food we eat.  (As well as other factors like stress but food is the biggie.)  The main hormone that sits in the driver’s seat and exerts the most control over your weight and metabolic health is insulin.  Insulin’s job is to take the glucose created by the carbohydrates we eat and usher it into a cell to be used as fuel or if we eat more than we can use, to usher it into a fat cell for long term storage.  So Insulin in your body’s fat storage hormone.  Anything that increases insulin makes you fatter and anything that suppresses insulin production makes you leaner over time.  The ketogenic diet suppresses insulin production by removing the foods that cause insulin secretion from the diet, namely sugar and other carbs.

If you would like to check out my history with the ketogenic diet, you can read how I lost over 200 lbs on the Ketogenic Diet here.

What Should You Eat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Fat!  I know, you’ve been told your entire life that fat would give you a heart attack but that’s just not true.  (Want to do more research?  Here’s a list of 5 studies on the healthiness of dietary fat)  You body is mostly fat, your brain is mostly fat, every cell in your body contains fat, your body needs fat to make most hormones and enzymes, your body requires fat to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K.  In short, fat is a basic building block and can be consumed in large amounts without harm, as long as it is not consumed alongside carbohydrates.

The Ketogenic diet in one sentence is High Fat, Moderate Protein, and Low Carb.

High Fat

We are talking specifically about saturated and monounsaturated fats from animal sources like beef, chicken and pork as well as oils like coconut oil, lard, olive oil and butter.  Essentially if it is a fat that came from an animal, eat it.  You will want to avoid Polyunsaturated Fats (Sometimes called PUFAs) like canola oil, corn oil, or any oil that contains the word “seed” like sunflower seed oil, cottonseed oil and so on.  You will want to avoid like the plague any trans-fats that are usually found in processed foods or anything that has the word “hydrogenated” in the ingredients list.  Also, avoid anything that says “lite” or “low fat”.  Any product that has removed the fat has probably replaced that fat with sugar.

Moderate Protein

Again we are talking about meat here but specifically fatty meats.  We want to stay away from lean meat like turkey or boneless, skinless chicken breasts as excess protein gets turned into glucose in our bodies through a process called Gluconeogenesis.  So eat fatty meats like steak with a lot of marbling, pork chops with a thick rind of fat, bacon, dark meat chicken with the skin and so on.

Low Carb

It is the low carb part of the equation that is the most important as ideally you are aiming to keeping your carbs below 20g a day.  None of your carbs can come from processed sugar or grains so no candy, sweets, fruit juice, tropical fruit (grapes, pineapple, and bananas are the worst offenders but most long term keto-ers just stick with berries if they eat any fruit at all), bread, pasta, or potatoes.  All carbohydrates are complex and in the form of whole vegetables, usually mixed with fat so almost any veggie on the produce aisle (except for potatoes) covered in butter works great and they can be cooked in any way imaginable.

If you would like a complete list of the foods you can eat on a ketogenic diet, there’s not a better or a more complete one than the one Dr Westman gives to his patients.  (Edit: That helpful resource is gone! Here’s a list of foods you can eat on a Ketogenic diet.)  In a nutshell, you can have any meat but the fattier the better, any vegetable but you want to prefer green leafy vegetables over more carby root vegetables like carrots or squash, and most dairy up to your limit of 20g a day of carbohydrates so you want to eat the fattiest dairy available.

Other things you will want to include in your diet is high quality salt like pink Himalayan salt or any salt that came from a sea bed as opposed to Morton’s that came out of the ground and plenty of water.  (My personal favorite salt is Redmond’s Real Salt.)  In fact, most issues that arise on a ketogenic diet, especially in the early days as you are adjusting to the diet can be solved with more fat, more salt, and more water.

How Can You Succeed on the Ketogenic Diet?

There are a number of things you can do to increase your chances of success.  As with any big change, the biggest obstacle will be the inertia of old bad habits that will try to trip you up.  For instance, when I first started I was in the habit of going to the gas station almost any time I left the house and grabbing a big fountain drink.  It was so ingrained in me that I would often pull into the gas station and buy a Coke completely on autopilot and not realize what I had done until I was done the road a ways.  I couldn’t even remember stopping!

You will discover many bad habits you will need to break.  You might always go to vending machine right at 3 PM for a snack or order pizza on Friday nights.  What ever your particular bad habits are, you need to pay careful attention in the first few weeks to keep your carb intake as low as possible.

You should also get some support, perhaps that would be from your family members or close friends or maybe you join the ketogenic training group I created.  When you join, you get a new ketogenic meal plan sent to you each week as well as access to our Facebook community with over 1000 people who are improving their health and losing weight with the ketogenic diet.  Every night I have a new Facebook live video with important training you need to know about the ketogenic diet as well as encouragement to help you succeed.  To sign up, just click here!

I also have a handy checklist of things you can do to succeed on a ketogenic diet here.

What Should I Expect on a Ketogenic Diet?

The first few weeks on a ketogenic diet can sometimes be a little difficult to get through if you don’t know what’s coming so let’s be clear about what you can expect.

Chances are you are a sugar addict so when you stop eating your sugar filled snacks, you will probably experience some sugar cravings for a few days to a few weeks.  These can be pretty intense depending on how often you were eating sugar before you stopped.  The only thing you can do is just get through them.  If you cave and eat something with sugar in it then the whole cycle starts over and you just made things worse for yourself.  You have got to go through this withdrawal stage to break through your addiction.

One of the places your body stores excess sugar is in water in your muscles in the form of glycogen.  As you lower the amount of sugar consumed, your body will begin to dip into these sugar reserves and as that happens, the water contained in the muscles drains off.  This will usually result in a fairly rapid weight loss of 10 pounds or more in the first week or 2.  While it’s great to see those numbers on the scale go down, don’t get too excited as most of it will be water weight.  This will also mean that you will probably go to the bathroom much more often than normal in the first few weeks as your body sheds this excess water.

Losing this water can also lead to mild dehydration which can leave you feeling drained and having flu-like symptoms, sometimes referred to as “Keto Flu”.  This also happens while the body has depleted most of its sugar reserves but hasn’t quite switched over to full-blown ketone production.  Don’t worry, it usually passes within a few days and can be shortened by upping both your water and salt intake.

Beyond this early transitional time, the ketogenic diet is fairly smooth sailing.  Once the sugar cravings disappear and the ketone production goes up, you should expect to feel more energy and can see weight loss of 1-3 lbs a week, depending on how much weight you have to lose.

What Are the Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet?

Weight loss – This is the biggie.  Once you lower your insulin levels, you should begin to see steady weight loss until all excess weight is gone.  Again, you can read my story here.

Type 2 Diabetes – Lowering the amount of sugar consumed means less work for your pancreas to do as it is your pancreas’ job to produce insulin.  Let your pancreas rest long enough and chances are you will regain full function of it.  Keep your blood sugar levels low enough and your A1C should drop like a rock.

Cholesterol – A ketogenic diet will raise HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) and lower VLDL cholesterol, the smallest densest particles of LDL cholesterol that actually cause heart disease.  It also will lower triglycerides which is an important factor in heart health.

Blood Pressure – Insulin makes your blood vessels more rigid and incapable of flexing with each heart beat which means blood pressure tends to rise with insulin resistance.  Once you lower your insulin levels, your blood vessels will relax and BP should fall.

Epilepsy – Before anti-seizure medications were invented, a ketogenic diet was the only option for epileptics and it worked very well with none of the side effects of the medications.  If you would like more info on this, I recommend you check out the work that The Charlie Foundation is doing.

Cancer – Insulin stimulates increased cell reproduction and cancer is essentially cell reproduction run amok. Combine that with the fact that cancer consumes sugar to produce energy, it’s easy to see why the typical high sugar diet most of us eat or ate at one point increases our chances of getting cancer.

There are plenty of other benefits, most of which we go over in detail in the 28 Day Challenge group but suffice it to say, a ketogenic diet improves your metabolic health on pretty much every front you can imagine.

Would you like to try it out?  Come join us in the 28 Day Challenge room today!

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The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast – Episode 46: Lierre Keith and The Vegetarian Myth

The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast – Episode 46: Lierre Keith and The Vegetarian Myth

In this week’s My Sugar Free Journey Podcast, we are talking to Lierre Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth!

Remember that you can follow us on iTunes and I would really appreciate a review there on iTunes.  Thanks!

Podcast Shownotes

You can find more from Lierre at and pick up a copy of her book, The Vegetarian Myth here.

Here’s the video of her getting hit in the face with a cayenne laced pie

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7/19 Weightloss Wednesday: Still Losing!


It’s Weightloss Wednesday! Man oh man, what a week!  After the thrill of finally getting below 200 last week, I slacked off a bit and fully expected my weight to creep up over that line this week but that is not what happened.  as of this morning, I am at 198 lbs which means that not only have I lost a total of 202 lbs so far but more than a pound and a half since last week.  Wow!

So here’s why that is so amazing to me.  I did 2 things this weekend to celebrate that milestone.  First thing I did was eat a big ice cream sundae.

Now, this isn’t as bad as you might think because that’s Halo Top ice cream which is very low in sugar, homemade “Magic Shell” that is essentially flavored coconut oil and homemade whipped cream, both of which are sugar free.  It wasn’t bad in terms of total carbs but it’s easily the largest dessert I’ve eaten since I started this journey of mine.

Then the next night we ordered Mexican food for take out and I totally chowed down on some chips and salsa.  Definitely not keto!  But I fully expected to see my weight tick up as a result of these 2 indulgences so another pound and a half of weight loss is pretty shocking to see.  I think the major takeaway from this is my Insulin Resistance seems to be a thing of the past which is great news for me.

However, all of that is done and I’m done celebrating.  I am going to continue on keto and keep my weight falling until I get down to at least 170 and then I’ll see what happens but for now, the next big goal is 190 and I know I’ll get there!

How are you doing this week?  Let me know in the comments!

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How I Lost 200 Pounds!

How I Lost 200 Pounds!

In this week’s My Sugar Free Journey Podcast, I am sharing m journey to lose 200 pounds!

Remember that you can follow us on iTunes and I would really appreciate a review there on iTunes.  Thanks!


I recently hit a MAJOR milestone in my weightloss, one I have been working towards for over 3 years now.  Yes, I am officially under 200 lbs for the first time in my adult life!  I haven’t seen my weight start with a one since Junior High roughly 30 years ago.  I started off at the hefty weight of 400 lbs so I am half the man I used to be which is pretty amazing.

But it has been a LONG journey and although I have kind of piece-mealed my story out and told in several different places, I wanted to put the whole thing together in one place so everyone can see it and find the entire journey.  This will also be recorded as a video and podcast so everyone can see and are included below.

I was SICK!

This whole journey started as I was approaching my 40s.  I have always been heavy but really had no idea how heavy or what that weight was doing to my body.  I went to one of those free clinics that pop up every once in a while at a CVS and got a few tests run.  That was when I discovered that my blood pressure was not just high but completely out of control.  I always knew I had a tendency towards high BP but never paid much attention to it.

I still remember the look on that poor technicians face when she started up the machine and watched the numbers climb higher and higher.  In fact, when she saw the final reading of 220/175, she assumed the machine had malfunctioned and put it on the other arm to run another test.  But no, that was pretty accurate.  The crazy thing is that’s not even the highest I ever saw as one time a paramedic tested me at 237/180.  Just crazy!

When I saw that number, that’s when the realization that I had lost both my maternal grandparents to high blood pressure and Cardiovascular disease and that I was in trouble.  And since all this happened, I have also lost my father to a stroke brought on by high blood pressure.

It was thinking about my grandfather dying of a heart attack that really pushed me to make a change because I absolutely adored that man and still miss him.  His death was a pivotal moment in my life and not for the better and all I could think about was my beautiful grandkids and how much they mean to me.  The thought of affecting their life in a terrible way because I wasn’t taking care of my health was too much to bear.

It was also around this time that I was diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome which basically means that I was so fat everything was breaking down all at once.  Another reason I had to get the weight off.

But how exactly do you lose weight?

My previous attempts at weightloss

I of course, knew exactly how to lose weight.  It was simple science.  All you needed to do was to eat less and exercise more.  Couldn’t be easier so that’s what I dd.  I would portion control and start different diets and did great on all of them until my willpower ran out and I would plateau and eventually all the weight came rushing back on.  I could never figure out why it was so much easier to put weight on than it was to take it off.

The one crazy thing I did that really drove home to me how stupid these crazy diets are was my brief flirtation with juicing.  I stayed up late one night watching Netflix and came across Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  This is the story about how a guy started juicing all his food and lost weight.  I watched this doc and thought, “That is something I can absolutely do.”  I Amazon Primed a juicer and bought tons of fruit and veggies.

For probably a month, I did not eat solid food.  Just a fruit juice in the morning and a veggie juice for dinner and water.  Did I lose weight?  You better believe I did.  I don’t know how much I lost but it was enough to keep me going despite the fact that I felt horrible and had absolutely no energy.  One night I was swimming my laps at the pool and didn’t even have the energy to put my arm over my head for another stroke.  I floated to the edge of the pool and gathered up the strength to get out of the pool and go home.

I didn’t know what I was doing wrong.  The guy in the documentary never complained about feeling lousy, he kept talking about how great he felt all the time.  So I just couldn’t do it anymore; I stopped the juicing and went back to eating like a normal person and the weight crept back on.  Soon I was probably over 400 lbs again, I say probably because I never weighed myself.

How it all started

I still remember the first step along this Sugar Free Journey of mine.  It was the middle of the night and I was messing around on the computer reading different websites.  I wasn’t looking at anything specifically health related but I didn’t realize how my life was about to change for the better.  I stumbled upon an article on Yahoo about a woman named Eve Schaub and how she went a year without sugar and wrote a book, Year With No Sugar.  I read the article and for some reason it piqued my interest enough to click over to Amazon to see how much the book was.

I don’t remember the exact dollar amount but the thing I absolutely remember was that the Kindle version had a pretty steep discount and was almost exactly what I had available on an Amazon gift card that I thought I would never use because it only had about 3 or 4 dollars left on it.  I figured that was a sign so I bought the book and through the magic of Kindle technology, I had it available to read instantly.

Now this was not a weight loss book as Eve and her family didn’t have much weight to lose but it was in that book that the first really big piece of this journey fell into place.  She mentioned a video by Dr Robert Lustig called Sugar: The Bitter Truth and recommended everyone watch it so I did.  It was this video that opened my eyes to the source of all my problems, sugar in general but specifically the fructose in sugar.

I was hooked!  This idea of sugar being at the root of everything that was wrong with me was so simple and clear that I decided right then and there to never eat anything with fructose in it ever again.  I didn’t know at the time how difficult this was going to be because sugar is in everything and almost impossible to escape from.  The thing that opened my eyes to what I signed up for was when I cooked one of my first sugar free meals and went to put garlic salt on my homemade french fries (clearly wasn’t keto yet!) and happened to look at the ingredients for the garlic salt and right there between the salt and the garlic powder was sugar!  Who puts sugar in garlic salt?

I needed a way to keep track of everything

By this time I was reading as much as I could about sugar and its effects on the body.  I cleaned out my local Half Price Bookstore and bought several books from Amazon on the subject, especially Dr Lustig’s book, Fat Chance.  It was all so new to me that I need a place to keep all my thoughts and what I was learning together in one place.  That was when this blog, My Sugar Free Journey was born.  I wouldn’t recommend reading those early posts because they were by someone who was just trying to chart a course with a lot of new information and didn’t know much. 🙂

This blog became a way to not only keep all this information together but became a place where I could post new recipes I was trying out and a way to keep myself accountable.  My Weightloss Wednesday posts became the cornerstone of the blog.  I knew that whatever happened, I had to check in and even if no one was watching, I needed to be able to say something about what was going on with me.  I didn’t really know it at the time but it was the WLW posts more than anything else I did here that kept me moving and was far and away the best idea I had.

My slow evolution

The next step in my journey happened in May of 2014.  That was when I was listening to a podcast that typically dealt with online business matters called Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn.  In his May 16th, 2014 episode he interviewed a trainer named Vinnie Tortorich and he told his story about how he was helping people lose weight by getting them off of sugars and grains and talked about his podcast that covered that same idea.

This was a life-changing event for two reasons, #1 it opened my mind up to the idea that I didn’t just have to read books to figure out this new way of life but could listen to podcasts while I was out walking the dog or whatever I was doing and #2 it brought Vinnie specifically into my life and his show has been a staple of my education from day forward.  In over 3 years, other podcasts have come and gone from my feed but I have never missed an episode of Vinnie and listening to him was a key part of the decision to launch my own podcast, The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast.

Vinnie’s message of No Sugars, No Grains (what he calls NSNG) struck a chord with me because by this time I had learned about the role of insulin in weight loss and knew that if not eating sugar was helping me to lose weight than not eating sugars and grains would only speed the process along faster.  Eventually I made the switch over to NSNG and the weight continued to come off and the next step in my progress was made.

My discovery of Keto and how it changed everything

I pretty much stayed NSNG for the rest of 2014 but continuing my education helped me to discover the next piece of the puzzle, the fact that fat was actually good for you.  Not the fat on your body but the fat in foods like meat, butter, olive oil, etc.  This was the one part of the journey that really took me a while to wrap my head around because I had always been taught to avoid fat because it gives you a heart attack and I certainly wasn’t going to go to all this trouble to lose weight and drop dead of a heart attack!

Eventually though, the number of podcasts I was listening to and the books I was reading made a strong and compelling argument that a diet high in saturated fat was not only a good thing but how humans were designed to eat.  I spent most of 2015 moving more towards LCHF and eventually on Jan 1, 2016 I made the jump into a ketogenic diet and never looked back.

The Keto diet served me very well over the last year and a half or so and I saw the biggest losses on the scale when I went fully ketogenic.  Eventually I read Dr Fung and Jimmy Moore’s collaboration, The Complete Guide to Fasting and I mixed in some Intermittent Fasting to my ketogenic diet.  In fact I will be featured on an episode of Fasting Talk with Jimmy Moore in a few weeks and will link to that as soon as it comes out.

My long slow climb out of obesity

Every 10 pounds I lost from the start of 2016 at 300 lbs, I took a pic of the scales and put them on Instagram and vlogged through the Weightloss Wednesday posts so I wanted to share those dates with you here because I think it’s important to show people how long the process is.  I spent over 40 years ruining my health so fixing it didn’t happen over night.  It took me 3+ long years to get here and I’m not done yet.  After the dates I have included the time it took for me to reach that benchmark from the previous benchmark.  Sorry I don’t have the data from 400 to 300 lbs but I wasn’t really tracking things at the time.

300 lbs – 1/1/16

290 lbs – 1/27/16 4 weeks

280 lbs – 3/23/16 8 weeks

270 lbs – 4/28/16 5 weeks

260 lbs – 6/8/16 6 weeks

250 lbs – 7/27/16 7 weeks

240 lbs – 10/12/16 11 weeks

230 lbs – 12/7/16 8 weeks

220 lbs – 2/8/17 9 weeks

210 lbs – 4/19/17 10 weeks

200 lbs – 7/12/17 12 weeks

You know, I have never written out how long it took me to get from goal to goal but looking at it now, my weight loss was far steadier than I realized as most 10 pound increment was reached within about 2 months of the last one.  The biggest exception being that it took me 3 months to get from 210 down to 200.  It certainly didn’t feel steady at the time but that’s why it’s helpful to look back on these things and see them from a bird’s eye view.

My new goals

Since reaching this huge goal, I have given some thought to what my new health goals should be.  I want them to be big enough that they will take a year or more to reach but not so big that they will be impossible.  So I’m taking this opportunity to write them down so I have them in my own head moving forward.

170 lbs – When I look my ideal weight up on a chart, it usually says that the ideal weight for someone of my height is around 160 lbs.  I figure I have at least 10 extra pounds of loose skin hanging around so I think 170 is a good goal.  Mainly, I just want to continue to lose weight.

35″ Waist – They say your waist need to be half your height so 35″ is where that needs to be for me.  I’m at about 45″ right now so I’ve got a little ways to go.

120/80 – I have never been anywhere close to a normal blood pressure so I would like to see something close to those numbers.

Muscle Building Exercises 3 times a week – Right now I’m all about the kettle bell so I will stick with that but I need to be more regular with the exercises.  I’m not the most faithful exerciser in the world and need to get into a regular rhythm.

Running – I have no intention of starting this anytime soon but I’ve always kind of wanted to be one of those people who could run long distances.  There are probably a few things I need to do first to toughen up my joints and whatnot but I’ve always thought that being a runner would be cool.  Will this ever happen?  Not sure but I don’t want to lose sight of what for me would be the ultimate health stretch goal.

My regrets

I have a few regrets about this journey but they are small.

#1 I wish I would have started sooner.  Not only would I have gotten healthier faster but maybe I could have prevented all the cavities in my teeth.  Right now, every meal requires a floss pick to clean out the meat that gets crammed in between teeth and into small cavities.  More annoying than anything.

#2 I wish I still had my wedding ring.  I was just starting off cutting out the sugars and grains when I went to put my seatbelt on in the car and my wedding ring flew off my finger, never to be seen again.  This was my first insight into how badly inflamed I was from the grains because I hadn’t lost all that much weight.  It was cool that the inflammation in my hands went down enough for that to happen but I wish I still had the ring I said my vows with.

My Heroes

I’d like to take a minute to thank the people that had some input into my life over these last 3 years and helped me along in my journey.

Dian – My lovely wife who makes all this worthwhile.  If I didn’t have a woman worth getting healthy for and living a long life with, none of this would have happened.

Vinnie Tortorich – Yes, I’ve already discussed him but he was so important to this journey that he deserves another mention.  Do yourself a favor and listen to his podcast.

Jimmy Moore – His podcasts have helped as well, especially the Keto Talk podcast as it is keto-specific.

All the other podcasts I listen too – There are a lot in my queue so I’ll just list them and you decide the ones that are worth your time.  The Model Health Show, Ultimate Health Podcast, 2 Keto Dudes, Low Carb Conversations, The Fat Burning Man and of course my own podcast, The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast.  I realize that’s a lot but keep in mind that I can listen to podcasts while I work so I essentially have 8 hours a day I can fill with whatever I want to listen too.

Sharon Cannon and Jackie Gonzales – When I started my FaceBook support group for this way of eating, these 2 women were among the first to join.  Now they have both lost a lot of weight, reversed their markers of metabolic disease and assist me by being admins in the group.  They make my life so much easier and I love having them along in this journey with me.  If you would like to join us, sign up for the Ketogenic Meal Plans here.

What’s Next

The main thing I will be focusing on now is continuing to grow my 28 Day Ketogenic Challenge group and would love to see you there!

So that’s how I did it.  Mostly by not eating sugar and eating more fat.  Super simple but the results have been amazing!

If you need help or have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me here or leave me a comment below.  Thanks!

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7/12 Weightloss Wednesday: My Body is a Onederland!

It’s Weightloss Wednesday!   IT FINALLY HAPPENED!  I am under 200 lbs for the first time in my adult life!  I am so thrilled!  I told my wife before I went to sleep that I was having trouble falling asleep because I was pretty confident that when I woke up, I would finally be where I wanted to be.  It felt like Christmas morning!

So as of right now I am at 199.6 lbs which means I have lost 200.4 lbs.  Wow!

This WLW is going to be a little shorter than most because I’m going to spend some time this week writing a big post giving a lot of the detail of my journey and will probably dedicate the entire podcast this week to it.  So I’ll link to that when it comes out but for now, I DID IT!  3 long years of work have paid off and my weight begins with a 1.  That’s incredible!

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Ketogenic Becon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

Ketogenic Becon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

I realize this recipe would have been a bit more helpful before the 4th of July but what can I say, that’s when I made them for my family so hopefully you will enjoy them at your next holiday gathering or whenever.  Honestly, who needs a holiday to enjoy a delicious food wrapped in bacon.  Bacon is amazing all the time!

Mmmm...Stuff those peppers with delicious cream cheese!

So the key thing to remember here is that all the heat is in the seeds.  Do you want some heat?  Mix a few seeds into the cheese mix.  Want a lot of heat?  Mix ALL those seeds into the cheese mix.  Are you like my family and want absolutely no heat and get mad at the guy cooking if it is even slightly hotter than a bell pepper despite the fact that he took the time to not only wrap 2 dozen peppers in bacon but also cook a delicious 4th of July meal out on the grill under the hot sun for the whole day?  Just throw those seeds in the trash and rinse the peppers off with water before stuffing them.  To each his own!

Delicious Bacon!

If you decide to make this, please take a pic and tag @MySugarFreeJrny on Instagram.  I love to see those pics!  Also, you can find all my sugar free and ketogenic recipes here.

Ketogenic Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Ketogenic
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 servings
An easy to make and tasty ketogenic snack. Cook it on the grill for a more "outdoorsy" flavor!
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1½ c. shredded mozzarella
  • 10 jalapenos, halved
  • 10 slices bacon
  1. Mix cream cheese and mozzarella.
  2. Halve and spoon out seeds of jalapenos.
  3. Fill with cheese mixture
  4. Combine the two halves, and wrap a slice of bacon around.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F until bacon is crispy, about 25 minutes. Flipping once halfway through

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Ketogenic Becon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

The My Sugar Free Journey Podcast – Episode 44: Steve Parke from!

In this week’s My Sugar Free Journey Podcast, we are talking to Steve Parke from!

Remember that you can follow us on iTunes and I would really appreciate a review there on iTunes.  Thanks!

Podcast Shownotes

To check out what Steve is doing, visit or his Instagram page.

How Meal Planning Can Help You Lose Weight

What’s Sugar Free and Keto at Outback Steakhouse?

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