The keto diet has risen in popularity this year, quickly becoming one of the most hotly contested health trends of 2017. Attracting many devoted followers with its promised weight-loss results, the high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein diet has received pretty mixed reviews across the board, being labelled as both a "dietitian's nightmare" and a solid way to drop some pounds.
To see what going keto is really like, we reached out to Caitlin Graham, a self-proclaimed keto enthusiast, to hear about her experience with the contentious diet. Spoiler alert: it's really working wonders for her!
A native Australian, Caitlin had tried (and subsequently given up on) multiple attempted diets in the past. Weighing in at 216 pounds (15 stone, 4 pounds), she realised she "just wasn't happy with the person I was and the body I was living in," she told POPSUGAR. So on June 15, after a friend convinced her to try the keto diet with her, Caitlin officially began adhering to the low-carb, high-fat way of life. "I started that day and haven't looked back since," she said.
In just fourth months, Cailin has dropped nearly 50 pounds (3 stone, 5 pounds), thanks to the keto diet. She started noticing a "significant change" in her appearance after the first month. The most telling physical sign that it was working? "I didn't feel anywhere near as bloated or sick," she told us. "I felt healthier on the inside because I wasn't putting bad foods in my body . . . It has also seriously improved my anxiety and depression. I still feel sh*t from time to time, but nowhere near as bad as what I used to feel."
So what exactly has Caitlin's daily food intake looked like since she went keto? She told us she's admittedly "not a breakfast person," so she skips that meal and goes straight into a salad for lunch (usually either a taco salad or pulled-beef salad). "For dinner I like to make curries, carbonara, sometimes even bacon and eggs if I'm feeling lazy," she said. In between those meals, she certainly indulges in some snacks, with salami and cheese or homemade keto-diet-approved cookies being her two favourite options. Plus, she usually has sugar-free chocolate or lollipops on hand to satisfy her cravings in a pinch.
"I've done very minimal exercise."
Perhaps the most interesting part of Caitlin's drastic weight loss is the fact that she didn't really do much additional working out to shed the pounds. "I've done very minimal exercise," she admitted. As she works at a health food store, she's constantly on her feet and moving around, which has served as her daily physical activity. But other than that, Caitlin's 50-pound weight loss was all due to adopting the keto diet.
Caitlin did mention, however, one side effect worth noting: the so-called "keto flu." This is something that "not all people will experience when on keto but most do," she explained. In layman's terms, "it's when your body realises it isn't receiving sugar or carbs anymore and it doesn't like it. I personally think it depends on how bad your diet was from the beginning to determine how bad or if the keto flu hits you," she said.
For Caitlin, it luckily only lasted one day, with symptoms like nausea, dizziness, and "just feeling yuck." In addition, she confessed that completely cutting out sugar and carbs after living on them for so long was "a bit shocking to the body," but overall, it's been "so great" to see her body transform before her eyes.
Now 165 pounds (11 stone, 7 pounds), Caitlin couldn't be happier with her progress and said she "would recommend [the keto diet] to anyone." Before completely cutting out carbs and eating fat-packed meals to shed weight, we suggest meeting with a doctor or dietitian first to make sure the keto diet would be a proper fit for you. Caitlin's incredible transformation just might be the motivation you need to book that appointment and do your research!