First name: Carrie

Age (optional): 50

Where do you live? Albany NY area

Profession? Global sales

Diet/weight history? As a child I was average. By high school I was a little curvier than my friends, after college I gained weight and went on a yo-yo with my weight until I had children at age 38.  From there, my weight went steadily up. By age 40, I had 2 sets of twins born 16 months apart, and the lack of sleep and lack of exercise, and multiple stress factors at that time (working full time, money) created a perfect storm of self-soothing with food.

Successes achieved on low carb?  I was able to lose 50 lbs. with Dr. Tro from September 2019 – March 2020.

How long have you been low carb?  Looking at it as a lifestyle since September 2019.  Before then, I had tried low carb and fasting on my own for a few years but did not have sustained success.

Why did you start low carb? “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes finally taught me the reasons why low carb is important, especially for overweight people. Ultimately, I wanted to get a handle on my weight.

How did you start? On my own for about 3 years after reading Taubes, but it wasn’t until I found Dr. Tro on Twitter and saw he had a weight loss program that I got serious.  I have a branch office near Dr. Tro so was able to stop by as well as do video calls with him while in the program.  He taught me a lot about why I have failed in the past, patterns in my past related to stress and weight gain, and generally made me realize the “how” and “why” to make this sustainable.

How has keto changed for you over this time? There is no doubt that I feel better when I am strict and sticking to keto.  I have arthritis and bad feet – both feel better with sugar and grains out of my system.

What do you struggle with?  When COVID hit in early 2020, my stress and anxiety skyrocketed, and my momentum for continuing to lose weight stalled. I gained back 15 lbs. (and have since dropped 5 of them but still have a ways to go). I have a big sweet tooth and often crave sugar.  It is hard to rebound from a day or weekend “off” the plan.  Most recently I had knee surgery 5 weeks ago and it set me back – I’m having trouble getting back on track given the time of year (Halloween / Thanksgiving / Christmas). I am determined to do so, though.

What do you love about low carb? It is not specifically related to low-carb, but I love not having to eat breakfast! It is so much easier than worrying about what to eat – I just drink my coffee and move on.

Top tip? Try to remember how good you feel after 5 -7 days without sugar and grains.  Honestly you don’t just feel better physically, you feel better mentally as well.  Sugar is such a demon – the further away from it you get, the less power it has over you.

Advice for people just starting out?  Use every tool Dr. Tro has in his arsenal.  Listen to low-carb podcasts including Low Carb MD.

Favorite low-carb meal on the go? Pepperoni and cheese, deli meats rolled up in cheese

Favorite low-carb meal to cook? My husband makes a crunchy baked chicken or pork chops in crumbled pork rinds – they are delicious. I like experimenting with Pinterest meals and find some good ones on Diet Doctor or from Maria Emmerich.  Currently loving her PSMF bread!

Favorite holiday/special occasion recipe? This is going to sound like a commercial, but I love Rosette’s pumpkin spice cake – it is literally the best.  Even my kids like it.  I’ve also made the Rosette’s dough mix cinnamon rolls and they were excellent – I plan on making them for Christmas morning!

Favorite inspirational quote: “Meaning well is not enough.” -Violet, Dowager Countess, Downton Abbey

Anything else you want us to know about you? Nope!

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First name: Angelo

Age: 50

Where do you live? Albany NY area

Profession? Architect/Project Manager

Diet/weight history? I was always a ‘husky’ kid growing up and didn’t start diets until much later in life after being put on a statin for high inflammation. I did the Mediterranean diet for a while and lost weight and generally felt well, but then we had kids and that sent everything back. Poor eating habits, little sleep, no exercise, etc…when my wife Carrie started a low carb diet a few years ago, I joined in only occasionally and wasn’t committed to it.

Successes achieved on low carb? I’ve lost just under 70 pounds to date and I’m off a statin (which I was on for 13+ years) and beta blocker (20+ years). No more stiff joints or aches.

How long have you been low carb? January 2020

Why did you start low carb? I just felt awful – every day brought a new ache or a stiff joint, my legs felt like lead walking up the stairs and I had no energy to be active with my young kids. I saw my wife Carrie having a lot of success with Dr. Tro, and it just hit me – I was ready to get better and feel better.

How did you start? I had a four-month session with Dr. Tro and committed to less than 30 grams of carbs per day then worked my way to fasting within the first six months or so.

How has keto changed for you over this time?  It took some time for me to work in the fasting periods six to eight months after starting.  That was the toughest for me – trying to extend the fasting window.  Now I usually go with 18-20 hours of fasting and try once or twice a week to do 24 hours.  I find I feel better the longer I fast and don’t overeat in the limited eating window.

What do you struggle with? I see food and I want to eat it, so it’s mostly at family gatherings or other social events.  If I do slip up, I’m confident it doesn’t turn into a ‘cheat’ week or month and I can forgive myself and pick up the next meal or day.

What do you love about low carb? All the meat I can eat. In the past I tried to avoid a lot of high fat meals because of the cholesterol.  But now understanding the actual science and facts behind the low carb way of eating I feel so much better.

Top tip?  What I find that works the best for me is planning.  I plan each day of what I’m going to eat and when.  This helps me avoid bored, unconscious snacking or overeating.  I plan a day that I begin my eating window at 2pm and stop at 5pm.  That way if I start feeling hungry at say 12pm I tell myself you can eat in two hours. I find it helpful to know what you are going to eat ahead of time so I avoid ‘roaming’ through the refrigerator or pantry….that leads me to temptation.  If I know I’m having turkey lettuce wraps at 2pm and grilled chicken with broccoli at 5pm, it takes away all the temptation of going off the rails.

Advice for people just starting out? Understand it’s a marathon not a sprint.  I know the first month on the diet I lost 15 pounds and was like wow this is easy…..then I stalled for two months.  It also took me close to eight months to be able to fast for 18+ hours.  It’s not easy and temptation is all around, but stay focused and plan, plan, plan.

Favorite low-carb meal on the go? Protein Shakes (made at home)

Favorite low-carb meal to cook? Baked Pork or Chicken cutlets with pork rinds/Italian seasoning/parmesan cheese crust with a side of spinach or broccoli.  Kids love it too.

Favorite holiday/special occasion recipe? Carrie makes great low carb cheesecakes – vanilla or chocolate or pumpkin spice.

Favorite inspirational quote: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”― Winston S. Churchill

Article by Amy Eiges

Amy Eiges is a health coach and reformed chronic dieter who is passionate about helping others recover from the diet-binge-gain-shame cycle she struggled with for years. Since discovering a ketogenic and low-carb lifestyle, she has lost over 200 pounds and has both reversed pre-diabetes and resolved lifelong depression. "When I was just starting out, facing 200 pounds to lose seemed insurmountable, and the idea I would ever be where I am now was unfathomable. Know this: I am not extraordinary. I just finally got the right advice, put one foot in front of the other and didn't look back. I know now that it can be done, but after battling this war for 40 years I had lost hope that it was really, truly possible. I am living proof that it is." Read more about Amy's story and struggles with food addiction and chronic dieting ("I Am Not Broken").