Izac and Lisa: In It Together

  • When Izac and Lisa first came to me, Izac was curious about the Keto diet. We started by putting a focus on the quality of the food they were eating and then slowly worked out way towards a keto lifestyle. I suspected Izac was carbohydrate sensitive and that a high fat and protein diet might suit him. It was decided they would do Keto for a few weeks but not use it as a long term life change. In this testimony they share the valuable lessons they learned while trying the keto lifestyle. Both Izac and Lisa lost weight, increased their energy and learned about portion control. Keto is not a good fit for everyone, we are all unique and need our own approach to food. I hope you enjoy reading about their experience!

 

Lisa’s background:
My family is Italian, so eating meals together has always been important. Whenever we have a social gathering, you can count on there being a variety of delicious foods to eat and a lot of them. Portion sizes are large and we are encouraged to “mangia, mangia” (eat, eat).

This summer, after getting married and moving in together, my husband and I wanted to start our life together on the right foot. Going from eating as part of a larger family, to preparing our own meals for two, we wanted to make informed food decisions. We are also fortunate to have a health benefits plan that recognizes nutritionists, so we contacted Charity.

Izac’s background:
Reflecting on my childhood, I realise how lucky I was to be born and raised in a diverse community. I have Tamil heritage but grew up in Kenya, East Africa. I know everyone’s path in life is unique. I lived in a household whose pantry was mainly organic and contained no processed food. Having grown up there made me develop a diversified food palate. That being said, even though I had fresh food all the time, my portion sizes were huge! When I moved to Canada I wanted to turn a new leaf and live an active lifestyle. Working in the Navy always meant I was on the move.

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Combined lessons learned:
I (Lisa) realized that I was snacking a lot in the evenings and eating a lot of processed snacks out of boredom. Once we moved into our own apartment, I quickly realized that if we didn’t have a certain type of food in the house, I couldn’t eat it. We drastically reduced the amount of pre-packaged treats in the house and increased the veggies and nuts. I could still feel satisfied without all of the extra calories and sugars. Initially, changing our eating habits had a bit of an extra cost for things such as healthier oils. But once we had our cupboards and fridge stocked properly, it was affordable and easy to maintain.

Right after Christmas, we went on the keto diet for one month. This is a low carb (5%), high fat (70%) diet. At first I was a huge skeptic, I did not think it was possible to feel full with only that small amount of carbs or eat that much fat and still be “healthy.” Honestly, I was lost. The first thing that I learned was that it is essential to meal plan in order to be successful. We would spend some time each evening planning out our meals on MyFitnessPal for the following day. We could play around with the measurements for all of our food until we got the macros that we wanted. This way, our macros were fulfilled and our calorie intake was where we wanted it to be. My biggest surprise is how full I was while eating what I considered to be small portions. I found that the quantity of food that I was eating was smaller, yet I was feeling full because I was eating smarter. Also, because I planned all of my food and snacks the day before, I was less likely to snack out of boredom. I knew that what I had planned out was enough to satisfy my hunger and fuel my body. I really started to think of food in terms of health benefits and energy instead of just eating because it was meal time.

My (Izac) biggest lesson has been to listen to my body in terms of what feels right. Rather than eating certain foods because they are traditionally paired together, I have realized that I control what is on my plate and can make substitutions that agree with my stomach. I have had to reduce or cut certain foods out of my diet because I do not feel well after eating them.

Portion control has also been a game changer for me. Particularly when on the keto diet, a kitchen weighing scale was crucial. Measuring out each quantity of food means that I know the exact portion I am eating. If I am still hungry after eating a serving of a meal, I know I can add more vegetables to feel satisfied.

I highly recommend to anyone who is looking to make a change to start by filling their kitchen with the foods that they want to eat. There are many great recipes online and on social media for each type of food plan/diet, they are a wonderful source of inspiration! Also, use an app, find a friend or someone in your house to take on these lifestyle changes with. When you have support, you’re more likely to encourage each other and stay accountable.

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