Many years ago I remember my musician husband mixing up and playing with a TV commercial for “effortless, rapid weight loss” and it made us laugh. Good times. I always thought that losing weight quickly and easily was a pipe dream, something that was impossible.
I have struggled with my weight my whole like. When I look back, I wasn’t really fat as a child, but I was called fat by some mean kids. Now, when I look back, they probably called everyone fat, but for me it became a self fulfilling prophecy, and the weight started to pile on in my teens.
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I also developed polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and was told at 19 that I had the beginnings of insulin resistance. Sadly, the doctor did not tell me what any of this meant. She just put me on the oral contraceptive and sent me on my way.
These fake hormones gave me my period, but they also gave me more weight gain and horrific migraines. I did not know that this was a bad thing, until my new GP told me about 10 year later!!
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The truth about weight loss
Most women with weight issues in the last 40 years have attempted all varieties of extreme low fat, high carb diets, combined with horrendous volumes of exercise.
Sadly this only works long term for about 1% of the people that try this method. ALL the rest of us FAIL. And the weight comes back on, usually more than we lost int he first place.
And until now, we have blamed ourselves. We weren’t strong willed enough, we were too lazy, we must have done something wrong, right?
It turns out we have been told the wrong information.
Being overweight is not a failing of character. You are not too lazy, to greedy, or too dumb.
You have been misled by well meaning people that didn’t know the whole story.
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Insulin and its role in weight gain
The initial thought of avoid eating fat to lose fat, kind of makes sense on the surface. Until you actually know some biology, then you realize what rubbish it is.
Insulins primary role is to take sugar out of the blood stream and to put it in to cells. High blood sugars are critically dangerous, and will kill you within hours if they get too high. So in this case insulin is a good thing.
The problem is, we are eating too much sugar. Not just sugar, but other things that your body converts directly in to sugar, like grains, starches, fruit, breads, cakes, pasta, high fructose corn syrup. All of these will go in to your blood stream as sugar.
At any one time your blood should have a grand total of ONE TEASPOON of sugar in it. The modern American diet, following the recommended food pyramid, would have you eating about 300g of sugar (from carbohydrates) a day. That is like eating half a cup of pure sugar at each meal.
To get rid of all that sugar, your body needs to cram it in to cells left, right, and center. Your cells get sick of it, and they become resistant to the effects of insulin. So to remove the sugar from your blood, your body must produce more and more insulin to do the original job.
Insulin is very inflammatory, and with chronic, high levels of insulin your body goes in to a state of chronic inflammation. This can cause chronic pain, chronic fatigue, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, autoimmune conditions and many cancers.
At this stage, your blood sugars are still at the safe and normal levels, but your body is producing more insulin that is used to to keep them at that safe and normal level.
All this sugar being squashed in to your body is getting stored as fat. And eventually your body cannot make enough insulin to keep up, and your pancreas burns out, and you get full-blown diabetes.
Effortless rapid weight loss
BUT there is a solution, and it is very simple.
What’s more, it is reversing type two diabetes, people are no longer suffering chronic illnesses and the weight just melts off.
As with any lifestyle change, it does take some commitment. But it is worth it, and to be honest, it has been the easiest meal plan I have ever had to stick to.
I eat when I am hungry, I stop when I am full.
My sugar cravings have gone away. Now, that is a sentence I honestly never thought I would write, I have craved sugar after every meal since I can ever remember. The cravings were strong, and not something I could ignore. And now it is gone. It is a miracle, to be honest.
The ketogenic diet, combined with intermittent fasting is the easiest and most effective weight loss plan around. AND it is super easy to do, and very affordable, in fact I spend LESS on my groceries now.
How the Keto Diet works
You need to do these things:
- Eat under 20 grams of carbs per day
- Eat the correct amount of protein for your body each day
- Eat healthy fats
- Eat when hungry
- Stop eating when you are full
- Eat real food.
That is it.
1) Eat under 20 grams of carbohydrates
Why 20g? Well, it is the most that most peoples body can handle and still comfortably stay in ketosis.
Your body is designed to run off of two fuel sources, sugar, or fat. It cannot do both at once. And you cannot access your fat stores while your insulin and blood sugar levels are high.
Ketones are the byproduct of using fats for fuel, and your brain can happily function off of ketones instead of glucose (sugar).
By eating 20g or less of carbohydrates each day, you are allowing your body to naturally lower its insulin levels to a more normal state, and your cells will slowly become more insulin sensitive again.
Ideally most of these carbs will come from vegetables (or some nuts) as you need all the vitamins and minerals from the fresh vegetables.
Vegetables that grow above the ground are generally the best.
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2) Eat your correct amount of protein for your body
If you do not consume the required amount of protein in a day for your body, your body will have to use its own tissue to satisfy requirements. For a day or two here and there, that is fine. But over the long term, you will experience some muscle wastage.
If you are doing an extended fast, the amount of your own muscle your body uses does decrease after about 36 hours. But if you are not fasting, your body will continue to burn through your own muscle. SO keep that protein up. Generally you want to consume about 0.36 grams per pound of body weight/.8g/kg.
Now this is not how many grams of protein foods you need to eat. Protein is only part of meat, and only part of eggs etc.
30g of meat
30g of nuts
30g of cheese
All have about 7g of protein in that portion, ie they are about 1/4 protein. So for a 200lb person, aiming for 80g of protein per day means you need to be eating about 320g of protein foods in a day to meet this requirement.
If you aren’t sure what amount of protein you should be eating, try this calculator.
3) Eat healthy fats
Healthy fats are natural, unprocessed fats. Lard, tallow, dripping, butter, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil – these are all GOOD fats.
AVOID commercially made industrial oils – corn, soy, canola, transfats, kremelta, crisco, margarines, lite olive oils. These fats are the ones that your body does not know what to do with. The cause inflammation, and your body will use them to build your cell walls.
Sadly they are not shaped like real, natural fats are, and this means they don’t fit properly in your cell walls, making your cells not work correctly at a fundamental level.
The c word – cholesterol
This a whole topic on its own. But believe me, we have been sold a lie. Cholesterol is not the bad guy, inflammation is. The data on cholesterol and heart disease is dodgy at best, and it does not seem to actually affect heart disease rates like we have been told. Interestingly what there is a strong correlation to, is high insulin levels.
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4) Eat when hungry
So much of our day to day eating is out of habit. When was the last time you felt truly hungry? We consume vastly more food, more often than we need, or even realize. So before you mow in to your food, simply think, “Am I actually hungry?”
This is when you simply choose not to eat for a period of time. Once you have been keto for a few weeks and your body has adapted to burning fat, you will find you are not hungry all the time anymore.
If you have weight to lose, this is a GOOD thing, it means that your body is tapping in to your own fat stores, and your leptin hormones are finally working again now that you have silenced the insulin that was out-yelling the leptin.
Leptin is the guy that tells your brain, “Stop eating, you are full and we have plenty of fat to live off!”
Intermittent fasting can be as simple as delaying or skipping your breakfast. You may see it referred to as 16:8 or 18:6 meaning that you are not eating for 16 or 18 hours and only eating within the 6 or 8 hour window. In practice this may look like eating lunch at 12pm, and dinner at 6pm then nothing more until lunch time the next day.
5) Stop eating when you are full
Well, this one seems obvious. But really, we are terrible at it. Slow down and listen to your body. Just because it is on your plate, does not mean you have to eat it. This is a hard thing for many of us to get our heads around, as it was drummed in to us from a young age.
Lets be honest, that starving kid in Africa cannot eat your left overs. It either goes in the bin now (or to the chickens) or on to your waist line. Just learn to take less. Tell yourself that you can go back for seconds if you are genuinely still hungry for more.
Try using a smaller plate. You will be surprised at how well this works.
As long as your meals are containing enough fats, you will find that you are satisfied with a lot smaller volume of food that you were when you were eating carbs.
This is because the satiety signals that you get from fat are a chemical signal that happens fairly quickly once the fats hit your digestive system.
The satiety signals that carbohydrates rely on are the stretch receptors in your stomach muscles. You will not feel full until that stomach is well stuffed.
It is a very different kind of feeling, and once you know to look for it, you will notice the difference.
6) Eat real food
It is possible to do keto and only eat rubbish. You will technically be in a ketogenic state, burning fat. But your body will not do well on it. Your body needs real food, and real nutrients to heal, survive and thrive.
Stick to real meat, fresh vegetables and simple foods. Add fat and salt to every meal, and bone broth where ever you can.
Keep your carbs low, fats high and your protein controlled.
Keep an eye on your calories, it is possible to eat this way and still gain weight! Use a tracker when you first start like carb manager until you know your portion sizes well. I also recommend that you use a food scale.
Living the ketogenic lifestyle, combined with intermittent fasting is the best, and fastest way to lose weight, and keep it off, and save your health in the process.