In 2001 I read Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution (1992 version). The first two weeks (induction) were simple: All the protein and fat that you wanted and either three cups of loosely packed salad vegetables or two cups of salad vegetables and one cup of green vegetables. It was ridiculously effective and easy to follow.
I started losing weight right away and I didn’t feel hungry the way I had on every other diet I had ever attempted in my 38 years of life.
After the first two weeks you were allowed to add in other foods and up your carbs in a controlled manner as long as you continued to lose. Following Atkins I went on to lose 90 pounds over the next year and a half and was healthier than I had been in many years.
At the time I was a member of Atkins listserves and forums and had a blog (long since retired). I learned a lot from smart folks in the low-carb community, but what I found worked best for me was to keep it simple. That the more time I spent thinking about recreating my beloved high-carb food, reading and obsessing about complicated recipes with exotic ingredients, and making low-carb creations and treats, the less successful I was. When I kept the program and the foods simple it was much easier to lose and then maintain my loss. When I found myself thinking about food as fuel rather than a hobby the foundation was laid for my long-term success.
Over the next ten years I managed to maintain my loss and in 2012 I read another book that changed my understanding of low-carb and now the ketogenic lifestyle: The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. Atkins had always allowed as much protein as one wanted, but in order for me to take my weight-loss and performance to the next level, I needed to examine my protein intake. I got a blood ketone meter and tweaked my way of eating to lower protein and raise fat to keep my blood ketones in the fat for fuel zone. In 2012 I was able to lose 20 more pounds for a total of 110 pounds down from my 2001 highest weight.
For four years I maintained this new low fairly easily using simple low-carb strategies, but in 2016 found my weight slowly creeping up. I had regained five of the pounds that I worked so hard to lose and realized that I had allowed some protein and carb creep and that I was headed in the wrong direction. I recommitted to a strict ketogenic protocol in early 2017 and found myself at a new low, 117 pounds below my all-time high.
After joining some keto Facebook groups I realized that my years of experience with this way of eating (WOE) and a long-term point of view might be helpful to others who are just starting out or who find themselves struggling to maintain their loss. If you are reading this I hope that you find some value here as I share my current journey along with what I’ve learned over the last sixteen years. Welcome!