Advertisements

How the KETO Diet helped my struggle with Thyroid issues and Weight Gain

Keto

People would often refer to me as a gym junkie, someone slightly obsessed with health and fitness. Actively going to the gym and active for the last 10 years. Always been a member of a local gym/sports centre. Swimming two/three times per week. Accompanied by 30-45 minutes in the gym lifting weights, which would entail a full workout session of the following:

  • Leg
  • Back & biceps
  • Shoulders, triceps and chest
Photo by: Samo Trebizan

Back then I weighed approx 54 kg, and 5 ft 4 in height. My initial goal was to gain lean muscle and a little weight to my shoulders. Naturally, I struggled to gain weight and could eat whatever I liked. Until one day that all changed.

I went through two horrific ectopic pregnancies in the space of 12 months which left my body in pieces. Luckily my 1st ectopic pregnancy in 2017 was caught early on in the pregnancy and the Doctor managed safely with a dose of Methotrexate. However, unfortunately, the 2nd time was somewhat more challenging and my body struggled to recover. My fallopian tube raptured during 10 weeks of pregnancy and I was rushed into emergency surgery and had the tube and baby (with heartbeat) removed. My hormones were all over the place for the following 12 months, both my hair and skin were falling out and I had no clue how to stop the weight pilling on.

Photo by Canva

Whilst recovering from the emotional and physical scarring of the pregnancies I was going desperately to the gym, swimming, cycling, dieting and doing everything I could to try to lose the extra kilograms I had gained. But nothing seemed to be working, my mood was always very low, I was extremely tired, pale and had zero sex-drive.

In May of 2019, during my IVF treatment and testing, I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid gland. Suddenly I felt a sigh of relief. This explained the weight gain, hair loss, bad skin and hormonal battles. The doctor started me on a daily dose of Euthyrox (50mg) treatment and I continued with my gym and healthy eating.

Thyroid Issues illustrated with Chalk on Blackboard

I started to take the thyroid medication in mid-July 2019 and still didn’t notice any changes or difference with my weight gain in mid-August, so I decided to try something different for a change. I had heard many friends talking about the benefits of the Ketogenic diet and how it rapidly increased energy and weight loss and all I had to do was limit my carbohydrates intake and up the natural fats and protein intake.

So, I spent hours researching the net, reading articles and published medical journals. I then opted to join a number of groups on Facebook which supports the Keto Diet.

Excited and eager to lose my weight and get healthier… I saw lots of Ketogenic Diet results on Instagram, Facebook and healthy food blogs. I knew I could do this. So, I set myself a goal on 20 August 2019

  • Duration: 3 months approx (12 weeks transformation program)
  • Goal: lose 6kg by 1 November 2019.

I downloaded an APP called Carb Manager App and enrolled onto a Nutrition Diploma Course online, and off I went.

I didn’t want to stop eating, nor avoid food as I really enjoy food and eating out. I just wanted to learn more about Nutrition and how macro and micronutrients affect the body through food.

Starting out I created a profile in the Carb Manager App and defined my goals clearly so each day I had a plan. What to eat and what not to eat. How many calories, how many fats, carbs and proteins. To the exact percentage, I should consume daily for what the body needs.

The ketogenic diet dictates a specific ratio for nutrients that the body needs.
Credit: Photo/iStock

I made sure I had all the support and resources needed to get to my goal. That’s when I discovered the 14-day ketogenic diet plan by Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD at Diet Doctor. I learned everything I felt I needed to know for groceries and meal planning. The good carbs and the bad carbs, nuts, sauces, drinks and all. To ensure my success on my KETO diet.

I read how to get started, Week 1 and Week 2, and Shopping lists.


Foods I stuck to daily:

  • Meats (preferably grass-fed organic and pasture-raised) including beef, lamb and chicken.
  • Salmon and other fish – preferably wild-caught
  • Eggs
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Greek Yoghurt, and whole plain yoghurt
  • Butter and ghee (grass-fed if possible)
  • Coconut, Olive and flax oils
  • Avocado
  • Dark Chocolate (min 85% cocoa)
  • beverages include tea, coffee or water.
Photo by: Diet Doctor – Keto Food

Best Low-carb veggies I became BEST friends with:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Kale and Swiss Chard
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Bell Peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Green Beans
  • Celery
  • Spinach
Low-Carb Keto Veggies by Diet Doctor

Foods I avoided like the Plague:

  • Soft drinks /sodas
  • Commercial baked goods (cakes/cookies etc)
  • Ice-cream
  • Fruit juices
  • Bread and Pasta
  • Any processed food with Trans Fat
  • All vegetable oils (canola, soy, grapeseed, corn and safflower)
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • “Low-Fat” or “Diet Foods”
Photo: Food to Avoid by Diet Doctor

In the first 7 days, it was a little challenging. I would wake up feeling dizzy and crave chocolate during the afternoon. I even had to up my intake of Magnesium as I started to experience the KETO flu. But by the 2nd week, I was feeling good, I had lots of energy and was feeling really excited about cooking a variety of healthy dishes.

I even decided to change my workout regime and try high-intensity interval training at the local HIIT Hub in Ras Al Khaimah. I started with 3 times per week. A combination of lower/upper body strength training, and alternate days of core or metabolic workouts.

When I started KETO Diet in the last week of August and HIIT Hub first week of September I was fluctuating between 68- 70 kg.

5 weeks later I weighed myself to find myself weighing 65kg. I had a small minor surgery and had to stop the KETO diet for 2 weeks but since starting again, I have lost a further 1kg and now weighing 64 kg.

I am sharing my KETO and Thyroid issues as a motivator to all of those women out there who also have bodily struggles and fear they cannot lose the weight and regain control of their health. When I stopped doing the KETO diet I went back to a normal healthy balanced lifestyle. Eating carbs and foods high on the GI index. When I soon came to realize that those foods are no longer good for me.

Since choosing a Ketogenic Lifestyle, whereby I watch what I eat, ensuring to eat foods low on the GI index and maintain a high source of natural fats and proteins daily. I can confirm I feel healthier and way more energized. My stomach bloating has stopped, any lethargic feelings and lack of motivation have subsided.

I now enjoy baking KETO Bread, Brownies, Keto Friend Low-Carb deserts and Keto Smoothies and Energizing Keto Drinks.

To conclude, I have experienced a very difficult physical and emotional battle for the last two years with thyroid, pregnancy loss, weight gain and went into a spiral of depression that even I was not even aware of. I had very little motivation and mood to do anything.

Now almost 3 months later, I am so happy with the results of the keto diet and I am so glad I listened to my inner self and opted to move to a ketogenic lifestyle. Regularly participating in one-hour high-intensity interval training at HIIT Hub has really changed my body composition, motivation and passion for life and helped me move forward with my goals.

My next goal is to reach 60 kg by 15 November 2019 with Keto and exercise.

Photo by Demaerre

It’s never too late. Do what scares you.

The below links may be useful should you too wish to start Keto Diet.

  1. Keto For Total Beginners: https://www.carbmanager.com/article/keto-for-total-beginners-59775152-672d-dea4-b877-9d145c73c14a
  2. Best Supplement To Take on Keto: https://www.carbmanager.com/article/best-supplements-to-take-on-keto-d4fd60f9-0863-d89e-e017-1c24b9258395
  3. 14-day Ketogenic Diet Plan and Menu: https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/diet-plan#getready
  4. Recipes: https://www.healthfulpursuit.com/recipe-search/

Connect with Nailah on LinkedIn, FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Copyright Nailah Aljasmi 2019

Advertisements

Recommended For You

About the Author: Nailah Aljasmi

Marketing & Advertising Manager | Health and Wellbeing Educator | Nutrition Health Advocate