It’s been just over 6 months since I started the low-carb, high-fat diet and I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my progress and provide a quick update as to how it’s all going. In a nutshell: it’s going great. I can hardly believe that it’s only been 6 months – it honestly feels like I’ve been powered by ketones for much longer. It’s a testament to how compatible I am with LCHF (I like to call it my lifestyle soulmate, as cheesy as that sounds), and that’s saying lot coming from someone whose previous diet consisted of probably 95% carbs.
So, here’s a quick rundown:
1. Weight / Body Composition
About 3 months into LCHF, I had lost about 8 pounds to get down to 132 lbs. Since then, I’ve lost a further 7 pounds, bringing me down to 125 lbs. That’s a steady and sustainable average of about 2.5 pounds lost per month. I’m very happy with where I am now, but my body fat percentage is probably still hovering around the 22-23% mark. My ideal would be to hit around 19-20%, so I still have a few more pounds to go. Overall, I feel great at this weight, which I haven’t been able to reach since I was probably in my late teens/early twenties. I do remember when I was at this weight before that I had the somewhat flabby, “skinny fat” look because my body composition still skewed towards a higher body fat percentage. Today’s 125 definitely looks better.
2. Food / Diet
Still sticking to the same philosophy – whole, natural foods; organic as much as possible; the less food comes out of a bottle, the better. Breakfasts are usually like clockwork and I’ve recently started experimenting with cutting out lunch. It seems strange at first – what do you mean cut out a whole meal? I think I was so conditioned to think that I had to eat 3 square meals a day that I never really asked “why?” The main reason for doing this is to keep my calories in check. It’s not as simple as “calories in, calories out” (because human bodies are open systems), but calories still matter. Since I’m still in the weight loss phase, I have to be careful to maintain a steady deficit in calories and I found that splitting my calories into 2 meals per day is much more effective than having 3 meals. Plus, it gives my body a break from having to digest food and I enjoy the freedom of not having to stick with the 3-meal rule.
Regular exercise is still an important part of my life. I’ve since graduated from DVD programs such as the P90X series and the Insanity series, and moved onto power lifting. Mark and I started a program called StrongLifts 5×5, a combination of five free weight compound exercises designed to build functional muscle strength. Forget about all those myths about weight lifting leading to a “bulky” look in women – this is some legit shit right here (excuse my language). Since we’re both in the weight loss phase, our progress is a little slower, but it’s helping us to start “recomping” our bodies (essentially, increasing muscle mass while decreasing body fat). We’re so serious into it that we invested in our own power rack and it stands prominently in our living room. Power lifting has really changed my body, even in the short few months that I’ve been doing the program. I can honestly say that this is the only exercise program that I enjoy. Lifting heavy things, pushing past previous plateaus and reaching new personal records gives me such an awesome high. And no, I do not need carbs to keep myself fueled – I do just fine on my own body fat.
As mentioned earlier, I feel like I’ve been doing LCHF for much longer than 6 months. It’s become normal. It’s just the way I do things. Yeah, sure, once in a while I’ll see a really great looking bowl of noodle soup or a beautifully crafted pastry and think, “damn… that looks mighty good.” But they’re fleeting thoughts. I can still appreciate those foods for what they are without having to eat them. I don’t see them as bad or evil; they’re simply not the best fuel for my body. I can still go out with friends to enjoy a meal without getting cold sweats about what I’m going to eat or how I’m going to navigate a menu. I get really excited when I discover a new product and I’m still just as eager to learn about the science behind LCHF today as I was when I first discovered it. It’s been a fun ride so far and it’s not gonna stop anytime soon.
And with that, I shall leave you with photo of my progress so far:
This is the best and most recent “before” picture I have of myself (on the left). This was taken in June 2014 on our trip to San Francisco. I weighed about 140 lbs. Notice the double chin and the chubby legs. I was actually quite shocked to see this photo because I didn’t think I looked this soft. The picture on the right was taken in late December 2014 on a recent trip to Los Angeles. I was about 126 lbs by that time and had gone down 2 sizes. Notice the much slimmer face and legs (and better shoes). More to come because this isn’t even my final form.