My name is Leena Oberoi and I live in Delhi, India. I have been obese for most of my life. I weighed 95 kg at my highest. Initially, I started by eating low-fat meals, and really just cutting down on all the foods that all of us “professional dieters” know we must avoid. I began drinking more water, and after my initials loss of 20kgs, I started walking half an hour daily.
I lost weight, but always gained some of it back, if not all. At the beginning of 2020, I made my New Year’s Resolution, of this being my last year of being overweight, (the same as the previous 10 years resolution by the way), and luckily I heard about the Ketogenic lifestyle from a friend. It involves you mainly cut out all sugars, carbohydrates, and starches.
A daunting thought at first, but luckily not anymore.. I had heard that this way of eating is not compatible with everyone, but I was willing to make a last attempt. I started Keto way of life in January 2020.
My weight loss journey had its ups and downs, but I have successfully shed 20 kgs. This is the first lifestyle where I never gained during the process of weight loss. The plateaus and stalls are to be expected, but the cm’s just kept falling away.
1. What tactics did you employ to help you get to your goal? What did you find helped you get to your goals best?
I set out weekly menu’s, for which I did the shopping on the weekend so that I had no excuse that I did not have the correct ingredients as set out on my meal plan. I rather ate fixed meals than waiting for hunger, as I don’t think my appestat works anymore after the years of yo-yo dieting. I would have a big breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a light late lunch and then supper. I stopped eating by 7 pm and nothing after that till breakfast.
2. What is the most impactful change you’ve made to your diet and why do you feel it’s been the most important?
I absolutely avoid all sugar items, whether it is hidden sugar such as condiments or spices or added sugars. No fruit other than berries.
I have learned to listen to my body. If ever taking a cheat, I would realize the symptoms thereof, such as bloating, headaches, tummy aches. Things I would never have noticed during the high-carb lifestyle. I am more aware of what I put into your mouth, and doublethink before cheating as it is not nourishment that my body needs.
3. What is the best single piece of advice you can give to someone that is just starting out?
Research, plan, and preparation. For me, preparation is an important part of this lifestyle. Winging it did not work for me, as the illegal carby foods are just too convenient to grab, instead of having lovely low-carb bread rolls, or boiled eggs or egg muffins ready and waiting.
4. How do you feel your life is now that you’re at your goal?
I almost find it harder to stay at goal than what it was to lose the initial weight. One tends to eat higher carb veggies or fruit, thinking that it is ok, but then the scale protests soon after, and one needs to go back to basics for quite a while to undo the damage. Other than that, I am more active, more confident, sleeping better, loving fitting into a size 8 blouse instead of a size 24 and the list can go on and on and on.
5. What do you consider the biggest change in your day-to-day life?
Realizing that we must eat to live, and not live to eat!
6. What did you do to find support throughout your journey?
Ruled me has always been a number one support website with all the great recipes and articles. When I started Keto in 2020, there weren’t all the fancy flours and butter that are available in local supermarkets like today. I am actually grateful for that, as I feel I fared better without the replicas and baked goodies.
However, it is great to be able to treat oneself now and then with a little sweet deliciousness by using Erythritol when one really has a craving.
7. What do you currently do to manage your day-to-day diet?
I ensure my Keto Cupboard is stocked with enough coconut oil, seeds, and nuts. I also love shopping for fresh vegetables and eat them with a protein every single evening. I have a HUGE supply of eggs, as whenever in doubt, they are my go-to Keto staple. Poached, boiled, baked, scrambled, mixed with mayo and omelets are so quick and easy.
8. What is your favorite keto recipe from www.Ketocommunityindia that’s become a staple?
Oh my word, there are so many, but I think the versatility of the pizza dough is simply amazeballs. From the snacks to the condiments are wonderful recipes to fall back on when one needs to be re-aligned with Keto eating. I know some people eat a meal and then no snacking is allowed, but I find I lose weight when eating small meals often instead of one or two large meals.
9. If there is one thing that you could do differently during your journey, what would it be and why?
Firstly, Keto is not a one size fits all type of lifestyle. What works for me, might need to be adjusted to work for someone else. If I had to start over, I would just allow myself to enjoy the journey to becoming healthier and happier. We tend to get stuck on the numbers of the scale and are too hard on ourselves when the weight does not decrease weekly. The mere fact that our clothes are fitting better and our family and friends are noticing the difference should be enough to motivate and keep one on track. This is not a race, it is a LIFESTYLE!