How a ketogenic diet benefits my life a womans perspective

How a Ketogenic Diet Benefits my Life – A Woman’s Perspective

posted in: Lifestyle | 30

If you have watched many of Tristan’s Youtube videos or read Using a Ketogenic Diet to get Lean and Ripped: Benefits and Drawbacks, then you have an idea on the body composition benefits of being in ketosis and eating a low-carb high-fat diet. Now it is my turn- I want to give you my view on how this diet has improved my relationship with food, helped me lose weight, improved my mental clarity, and makes shopping and food prep a breeze. This is my testimony and personal experience, of course each person is different and may react differently to “diets” but after the initial adaptation phase I’ve enjoyed this way of living immensely.  I’m not afraid of carbs, I don’t mind breaking my “diet” every once in a while, but I definitely enjoy a keto style diet and don’t feel any desire to stop at this point!

 

I have tried several different ways of eating (standard American diet, vegetarian, raw vegan, whole food with no concern for macros, and a probably a few more phases in between) all in the hopes of finding the optimal diet to lose weight and feel healthy. Fortunately, I have never had any diagnosable disease- no diabetes, no obesity… instead I suffered from general symptoms like debilitating migraines, inflammation, bad circulation, poor digestion, a seemingly weak immune system, fatigue, and mental/emotional imbalances. I would have never thought that eating a diet of protein and fats would improve all of these issues, but to my surprise, it did.  Love it.

 

In Summary

  • I am never in the binge, feel guilty, binge again cycle….and I don’t crave those binges.
  • My body composition has improved.
  • My body feels efficient and energetic, my mind is more clear and emotions stable.
  • Life in the kitchen is simple and straightforward.
  • Biggest challenge: other people think what I eat is “weird”.

 

Healing a Broken Relationship with Food

As a kid I was pretty self-conscious and wanted to be in better shape, but was very naïve about how to achieve my goals. Other than monthly articles with catchy titles like “Lose Belly Fat in 30 Days” and “Get Ready for Summer Abs” from Seventeen magazine, I did not have any “fitness” influence in my life. Eating disorders were trendy within the group of my 14 year-old friends so my go-to solution was to start skipping meals. I thought that by eliminating lunch or buying a sugar-filled icy frappuccino sold by the school snack bar (right next to taco bell burritos and dominos pizza) I could lose weight.

Unfortunately my “baby fat” never melted off and I always ended up binging on ice cream and homemade chocolate chip cookies when my hunger rebounded from my restrictive habits. This failure to see food as a source of nourishment, to feel a direct correlation between what I put into my body and how I feel, continued for years.

After years of researching and experimenting with other ways of eating I’ve found something that WORKS and is sustainable for me. I’m so happy that I no longer get cravings for junk foods and if I ever did want to eat something out of the keto box, I CAN. I would eat it, enjoy it, and move on…I’ve found the sweets and “junk” just don’t taste as great any more and even when I do indulge in the occasional non keto food it doesn’t spark cravings – in fact it has the opposite effect and reminds me how much I prefer how I feel after savory fish and meat meals!

There are many different ways of eating and diets that one person can utilize to feel healthy and balanced. For me, thus far, there has never been a time when I have felt more stable or nutritionally satisfied than I do now. Eating a low-carb high-fat ketogenic diet has given me a solid nutritional base to stand upon more than any other diet I’ve tried. The ketogenic diet is a tool that has taught me how to fill my nutritional needs and makes it easy to not consume empty, unsatisfying calories.

 

Effect of a Ketogenic Diet on my Digestion

This is my favorite reason to stay in ketosis – my digestion works! No gas, no bloating, and no fear of going to the bathroom like I had in the past with constipation issues! The transition was a bit odd and for a couple weeks my system had to adjust to the new macro intake, but now I am on the other side and I can see that all the “weird” feelings were so worth it. I can not remember a time when my digestive system has functioned so well. I used to go out of my way to soak and ferment grains, sprout nuts, and make fresh juices, all in the hopes that it would ease my digestive discomfort – but it never did. Believe it or not, I used to be afraid of eating meat because I thought it was hard to digest. Without a doubt my number one benefit from a low carb keto diet is that my body can functionally digest, absorb, and eliminate food without discomfort.

woman in ketosis

Weight Loss with a Ketogenic Diet

Due to the satiating nature of protein and fat it’s easy to fill up with nutrient dense food AND lose weight without feeling like I’m restricting myself- I don’t need to count all my calories because I naturally don’t overeat! It is awesome. Contradictory to my previous understanding of weight loss, I’m getting lean without feeling hungry all the time. I’m overjoyed to see that the sticky love-handle zone and post-pregnancy belly fat are fading away. I don’t have a wonder story of losing 25 pounds in a week but little by little things are changing and the best part is that is consistent. It feels pretty effortless actually, I do resistance training a few times a week but with the goal of building muscle to get stronger, rather than burning fat to lose weight. This is an important distinction to make for yourself, what your goals are can effect your general self-perception. Why focus on breaking down, subtly insinuating that your body is wrong or “toxic”, when you can build up strength and switch out old dead weight for a new toned body?

Mental Clarity, Focus, and Well-being in Ketosis

You have probably heard it before, fat is good for your brain. Eating a diet high in DHA and healthy fats has certainly brought me benefits: I have decreased brain fog, higher ability to think clearly and brainstorm, enhanced focus, improved memory, and better overall mental acuity. I feel liberated from the biological “fight-or-flight” response of receding glucose levels – I used to get bouts of fogginess and lethargy, likely due to blood sugar dysregulation.

I also notice that my emotions are much more balanced. I never reach the point of intense hunger and the state of I -need-to-eat-now-or-else! I feel when I need food, but I never crash. I have sustained energy without constant feeding and love not being constantly preoccupied with bringing snacks and making time to prep food.

For all you ladies out there, I am happy to report I have NO premenstrual symptoms. Nothing. My cycle is regular and comes without cramping, emotional chaos, headaches, bloating, or food cravings…not sure if this is due to how I eat but the change did coincide with me dropping out the carbs.

keto simple recipe

Practical Implications of a Keto Diet

Shopping is easy. I know what we eat and I know what quality we want. My list is short and sweet. I buy what I can in bulk, prepare what I need and preserve/freeze/dehydrate the rest. I do not buy things and feel guilty after or not buy things and feel like I am missing out.

I handle various parts of an animal. It took a little practice before I switched the thought from “ewww this is so gross” to “wow, this is actually really good for you”. Practice makes perfect.

Food prep is simple. I no longer try to be overly gourmet. Our meals are basic and do not vary that much day to day – we enjoy this simplicity.  Sometimes we eat out or dine with friends on some more refined dishes but the simplicity, awesome taste, and satisfaction I get from our meals is wonderful. We eat what we enjoy and focus on nutrient content over exotic flavor profile, though we occasionally do add some flair to our meals.  For me, food is not something I reward myself with, it’s not a comfort item any longer – food is nourishment and fuel for my body to repair itself and thrive.

Recommended: kitchen prep, keto strategies and recipes in The Ketogenic Edge Cookbook

The Biggest Challenge of Being in Ketosis

The biggest challenge for me is handling how others react to my own personal decisions in a social setting. Although they used to be for me, get-togethers are not about the food, they are about spending quality time with the people I love and cherish. Whenever someone has a different diet, others can feel threatened or personally offended. Ultimately, I can not control how others perceive me or my choices and must learn to not let their perceptions affect me. I try to be neutral on the diet topic and I never judge what others eat or even talk about my diet unless someone asks. I am not defensive of my position and certainly not trying to convert anyone. I am happy to share my experience, but don’t go out of my way to change others’ minds or believe my way of living is optimal for everyone.

husband wife ketosis healthy

Conclusion

The relationship between body, mind, and lifestyle is in constant evolution. It is very exciting for me to have a better grasp over my health and vitality. A ketogenic diet addresses my nutritional needs, gets these physical demands out of the way and allows me to focus on other important aspects of life. I don’t know how long I will continue eating this way but at the moment I have no reason to want to stop.

 

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30 Responses

  1. Emma
    | Reply

    I couldn’t agree with everything that You’ve written more!
    After 2 solid years of terrible hormone fluctuations, leading to bad unpredictable inflammation/periods and a low-ness I’ve never felt before it appears I have finally reached a stability, which I can ONLY put down to a ketogenic diet.
    As for digestion, couldn’t agree more, the bloating/gas and pain that I use to have was unreal……and now…..nothing, which improves my mood even more so!
    I no longer have crushing glucose crashes where I feel I’m about to pass out, yes I get hungry, eventually, but it’s controlled and painless, I now tend to eat a couple of meals between the hours of 0830-1300, maybe half avocado later in the afternoon if needed, coconut oil and coffee around 1900 when I then strength train and will then probably eat around 2130ish, but I’m not starving, plus my strength has increased dramatically this past month or so which is fantastic.

    It’s good to hear a woman’s view as Keto tends to be a male orientated conversation/information subject, so I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    • Jessica
      | Reply

      These are wonderful changes! Funny how something as “simple” as diet change can have such a profound result in our lives. I am so happy you are experiencing such positive effects from a ketogenic diet 🙂 Keep it up!

  2. Wendy
    | Reply

    Thank you for this article! I almost did a keto diet this spring when my digestion went totally crazy, but I didn’t plan well enough and the carb cravings got me. I have healed quite well going gluten free, but other grains are still an issue digestion-wise. I was thinking of re-trying keto in the fall, but my husband and I are toying with the idea of getting pregnant again. What would you do, or did you do in that situation? Were you keto while pregnant, if you don’t mind my asking? I was wondering if a primal-ish diet would be wiser, no grains but not in ketosis, or is ketosis ok? My last pregnancy was a nightmare with all the digestive issues, and I’ve no desire for a repeat. There’s not a ton of reliable info out there… Thank you for your time, you have a beautiful family! 🙂

    • Jessica
      | Reply

      When I was pregnant, 4 years ago, I had not yet learned about a Keto diet. I have not seen any studies but only heard anecdotal stories of women staying with a high fat, low carb keto diet through-out their pregnancy and while breastfeeding. As with anything related to pregnancy and childbearing – it becomes a very personal and individual decision. If you apply dietary changes during pregnancy I would remain very open minded and pay acute attention to how the body responds. If you are in keto and want to transition back to higher levels of carbs, keep in mind your body isn’t as metabolically flexible and it is best to slowly transition by gradually bring carbs up while decreasing fat rather than an abrupt jump to high carbs.

      I think the bottom line is that you know your body and can take responsibility for it. Take the steps to fix your digestion first – apply an elimination diet to identify digestive triggers, drink bone broths and freshly blended aloe vera juice, supplement with MSM. For now, a keto diet may or may not help, try it and see. Fix your digestion (which impacts your immune and brain health) and then focus on welcoming a child to the world.

  3. Ashley
    | Reply

    I’m a bit worry because after 3 weeks of ketogenic diet i started to have lots of acne around eyerows,between eyebrows and forehead area. Can it be the reason of high fat? Is it just an adaption phrase only? I had a period of time consuming so much fruit and with no meat so is it just my liver cleaning itself from those fruit sugar or adapting to the fat? Or my fat source is not clean enough? Cuz i dont have grass fed butter and the meat i have is not grass fed. I really hope to continue cuz it improves my mood a lot (i thought i have depression before)and digestion. I appreciate your living style so much and your little girl is really cute, hope to see more vlogs in the future❤️

  4. John
    | Reply

    I have been researching the Ketogenic diet/lifestyle for over a year now. I’ve watched probably all you and Tristan’s vids as well as others in the Keto community. You guys are really inspiring. My wife and I just began our journey and I can say I don’t see us going back to any other way. My wife and I also appreciate seeing your views coming from a women perspective. You both look amazing and we will continue to look forward to your progress. Off the subject I though it was interesting that our daughters are both named Ariana. Mine is a little over 2 and I hadn’t really heard that name much before. Now I know of Ariana Grande and people think we named our daughter after her. LOL.

    • Tristan
      | Reply

      Thanks for the support! It is very encouraging to hear your story. Going through big lifestyle/dietary changes is a special experience to share with your spouse. As you achieve better health, you will know yourself and your wife better! Overcoming challenges and making big-leap-of-faith changes in any area of life tests you and bonds you stronger with those you experience it with. Wishing you many blessings on your journey, lots of love to your whole family!

  5. Wendy fri, Ny
    | Reply

    Thank you so much for the female perspective! It is really needed in the keto community. I have been on keto for 6 weeks and it has been the most rewarding and difficult experience. Like you, I started keto for health reasons and balancing of emotions. Diabetes runs in my family. Even though I feel great I have one issue. Severe constipation. I have had this issue since I was a kid but it’s much worst since on keto. Any help for a newbie???

    • Jessica
      | Reply

      Make sure you are drinking enough water – at least 3 liters a day. Keep your electrolytes up as well. Are you having enough magnesium? A product like Natural Calm can help with constipation. Find the right level of fiber for yourself, some do better with more, some are better with less. Like all health problems, you must get to the root of your issue. Best of luck!

  6. Vera
    | Reply

    You both are beautiful couple with beautiful child, but I have problem with ketogenic diet.
    I’m 43 old woman who looked good before this diet. This diet helped me in so many ways, but one thing went wrong.
    My face.
    I lost so much water and fat from my face, so my years show clearly now.

    Do you know how can I restore my face naturally, or do you know someone who can be good for your show answering this question.
    Thanks.

    • Tristan
      | Reply

      I cannot recommend someone specifically. Use a high quality facial cream to nourish your skin. Look for ingredients like cacao butter, argan oil, shea butter and coconut oil. Make your own blend or find a chemical-free non-toxic version from a health food store or local producer. Etsy.com also has options.

  7. Susan Jones
    | Reply

    Healing a Broken Relationship with Food- YES! this has been huge for me, loved your article and agreed with ALL you stated 🙂 continuing my journey with Keto more excite then ever!!
    Susan- Texas

  8. lida
    | Reply

    Will you guys do a video on food for children and toddlers.
    thank you so muc

  9. Cynthia
    | Reply

    I just so appreciate both of you! Amazing journey you both are on…. Together! Thank you & bless you for sharing along the way!! *blessings

  10. Eileen
    | Reply

    Just starting to tune in to your family as I’ve been surfing online and found you on YouTube. Following keto for 10 weeks. Not spot on but making HUGE changes. No weight loss, maybe even some gain, but feel good. I need to tighten it up tho and will give it another couple months. Do some folks gain during the adaptation phase?

    Thanks so much for all the vital info you two provide! Regards, Eileen

    • Jessica
      | Reply

      Yes, it is possible to gain weight on a ketogenic diet. You must work to formulate your macros to better suit your lifestyle and goals. Best of luck 🙂

  11. Tina
    | Reply

    I just found you and Tristan on YouTube and I am super pumped to have done so .You two are Awsome!!..I have just started keto about 2 weeks ago and so far doing pretty good….Looking forward to keeping up with your videos!

  12. Tawnya
    | Reply

    “The biggest challenge for me is handling how others react to my own personal decisions in a social setting. Although they used to be for me, get-togethers are not about the food, they are about spending quality time with the people I love and cherish. Whenever someone has a different diet, others can feel threatened or personally offended. Ultimately, I can not control how others perceive me or my choices and must learn to not let their perceptions affect me. I try to be neutral on the diet topic and I never judge what others eat or even talk about my diet unless someone asks. I am not defensive of my position and certainly not trying to convert anyone. I am happy to share my experience, but don’t go out of my way to change others’ minds or believe my way of living is optimal for everyone”

    YES. I totally get this! I very much appreciate you sharing about this in your journey to better health. Since when did someone have to somehow defend the fact (or just be made to feel poorly) that they healthy in a world that is perpetually sick?

  13. Mickayla
    | Reply

    Did ketosis end up helping your debilitating migraines?

    • Jessica
      | Reply

      Mickayla, I believe a ketogenic diet has been very beneficial to my brain health and function. It facilitates mental clarity, emotional stability, and yes – I no longer suffer from intense migraines. Drinking enough (around 3 Liters) high quality water and seeking a non-stressful, simple lifestyle also minimize help 🙂

  14. Sylvia
    | Reply

    Keto diet gives me the best results to be honest, thanks for useful tips and whole article!

  15. Katie Garbutt
    | Reply

    Wow, Tristan and Jessica – Every word of your blog on getting ripped on a Keto diet and this one about a woman’s perspective are so exactly right on and reflect how I feel about this eating lifestyle. I have lost 80 pounds – down to 155 from 234, and I am thrilled that I have finally found a way of eating that has stopped the binge/guilt/deprive/binge again cycle. I have a similar experience in childhood, feeling like I wanted to do something about my body type but not being informed about how. My terrible cycles led me to my highest weight several years ago. Keto has given me my power back. I love it. I am now just trying to figure out how to get these last 15 or so pounds off and look lean. I have a pretty good amount of lean muscle mass without doing much weight training, so I am hesitant to do too much of that, but maybe that’s what I need to do in order to get the shape I’m looking for? Or is it just keep on with Keto until my % is low enough I look the way I want? Any insight would be great. I just started doing coaching with people to help them with their weight loss journey – so your time in responding will be multiplied as I will pass on your helpful info to others! Thanks in advance!! If you want to email me, I’ll respond with my before and “almost” after pics!

    • Jessica
      | Reply

      Hi Katie, There are a lot of variables that can impact your situation. If you are interested in fine tuning your success please contact us through the coaching page (http://www.primaledgehealth.com/coaching/) and we can discuss this all further. Happy to hear of all your success!! Wishing you well on your continued journey! xx

  16. Joan
    | Reply

    Hi! Great to find your blog and this article! There’s so little out there about the keto diet for women… I’ve been eating keto for a while and the main benefit I’ve noticed over time is just a ‘balancing’ of everything. So, hormones, mood, energy, sleep, my relationship with food. Everything just works more smoothly and I have a pretty much consistently good mood. I used to really struggle with emotional eating and snacking all the time. I really thought it was something to do with my psychology, but when I changed to eating high fat my desire to stuff my face all the time just went away! The freedom from that is probably the thing I am most grateful for. Gorgeous photos on your post too btw. 🙂

  17. Trisha Lopez
    | Reply

    I’ve been eating this way for 2 months now and I really enjoy it. I have found that my body feels good when I put good nutrients in it. I don’t get those highs and lows in energy and my 8 year old son is enjoying it too. My family thrives on a keto diet, so this is now my way of life. Thank you got all of your information. I’m addicted to learning more.

  18. Wendy
    | Reply

    Hi Jessica,

    I Just started watching your videos. My husband recently went off keto because he found it too restrictive but I however I am still on it and love it. My question is I have two children for 18 and 17 to eat the dinner as I make and I husband does too but I wanted to know if you had a simple plan for simple meal making during the week where I don’t feel like when I go shopping I’m buying 10,000 different things what are you basically do during the week to keep it simple as far as meals go?..

    • Jessica Haggard
      | Reply

      I’m a work in progress, always trying new things 🙂

      I like pulling recipes from my first book, The Ketogenic Edge Cookbook and adding sides with higher carbs like plantains, baked sweet potatoes, or roasted beets and carrots. I feed our kids all the same keto meals Tristan and I eat plus things like fruit smoothies, honey and yogurt, and root vegetables.

  19. Jonathan Drake
    | Reply

    So I’m curious what you do if you do encounter constipation… I’ve been keto for 6 months, and until the last month I had no major digestion issues. I cut way back on my fat intake (199lbs/18%BF male) to about 120 g from 170-180, and upped my protein to about 130g. Seems like when I did that I started having issues. I drink a lot of water…maybe I’m not getting enough fiber?

    • Jessica Haggard
      | Reply

      There could be a number of things gong on, without knowing much more about your situation, I would recommend checking your salt levels (aim for 5,000 to 7,000 mg daily). In some cases, magnesium citrate and/or MCT oil can help.

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