A year and three months ago, Traci Kehm decided she was ready to make a change. On a friend’s advice, she decided to try a low-carb, ketogenic diet — and has lost over 100 pounds to date.
The ketogenic diet
Traci had tried other diets before, including counting calories and going on Weight Watchers. But the ketogenic diet — which eschews carbs like bread, pasta, and sugar , and emphasizes healthy proteins and fats like eggs, meat, and avocados — was finally the one that stuck.
A typical day
Traci used an optimal keto living chart that told her about how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat she should aim for in her diet. Based on her height, weight, and gender, Traci aims to eat under about 20 grams of carbs per day.
A typical day of eating for her might include black coffee and a couple of eggs at breakfast, tuna fish salad with mayonnaise at lunch, and vegetables like broccoli along with a cut of meat at dinner. When she snacks, she usually reaches for almonds or a cheese stick, and limits all sugar and alcohol.
What the doctors say
Kathryn Boling, MD, a primary care provider at Mercy Personal Physicians in Lutherville, Maryland, follows a ketogenic diet herself. If you take certain precautions to ensure you don’t become dehydrated and don’t eat excessive amounts of proteins, the diet can be a great way to lose weight, Boling said. Not only will higher amounts of healthy fats — like avocado and coconut oil — keep you satiated for longer, but you won’t have to starve yourself to keep under a certain number of calories a day. Rather, you just have to watch your carb intake.
However, not all physicians are on board with the diet. Some express concern about the higher levels of saturated fat, like those in meats and cheeses, that dieters may be consuming. And, Ashlee Wright, a dietitian from Orlando Health, told Fox News, we don’t yet have many studies on the long-term safety of this type of diet.
Moreover, the ketogenic diet is not a magic bullet for weight loss, fitness trainer Dani Singer told Fox News. It’s still all about a caloric deficit — if you burn more calories than you take in on any diet, you’ll lose weight.
But for Traci, the diet has been effective and sustainable. When she’s faced with temptation, she told Fox News, she simply thinks about her young son, whom she parents alone after her son’s father passed away before he was born.
“It makes me feel proud of myself and that I’m showing my son that you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it,” Traci said.
And, a year and three months later, Traci still has never had a cheat day.
Traci’s advice to other dieters
After losing 100 pounds, Traci has more energy and feels great. Her advice to other dieters? “Just keep going,” Traci said. “If you fail, you just get back up and get back on the horse. Nothing is going to change unless you make it change.”